How to Buy Stock in Walt Disney Co.

With a seemingly endless stream of lovable cartoon characters, theme parks and movies ranging from the classic "Fantasia" to modern blockbusters like "Pirates of the Caribbean," Walt Disney Co. is an icon of American popular culture. It has also proved to be a good investment for many people. If you want to buy stock in Walt Disney Co., there are two ways to do so. You can go through a traditional brokerage firm, or you can set up a direct stock purchase plan, or DSPP, through the Walt Disney Co. transfer agent.

Step 1

Decide if you want to use a traditional brokerage to buy stock in Walt Disney Co. or open a direct stock purchase plan. Buying stock through a broker is usually more expensive (even with discount brokers) and requires higher investment minimums. However, you can use your brokerage account for other investments as well. A DSPP can only be used for the sponsoring company's stock, and you must adhere to the terms of the plan prospectus.

Step 2

Open a cash account with a discount broker if you want to buy a share in Walt Disney Co. on the open market. Disney stock trades on the NYSE with the ticker symbol DIS. To open a cash account, you will need to provide a valid ID (driver's license, state ID or military ID), your income, place of employment and other personal information. A minimum deposit is required, usually $1,000. Once you've opened your account, all you have to do is place your order to buy a share of Walt Disney Co. with your broker.

Step 3

Learn how the Walt Disney direct stock purchase plan works. The plan is set up with the company transfer agent, which is Disney Shareholder Services. The required investment is $250. This is payable in $50 (or more) monthly installments if you arrange for automatic debiting from your bank account. Each stock purchase transaction carries a fee of $1 if made by electronic funds transfer, or $5 if by check or money order. A per-share fee of 1 cent is also charged (subject to change without notice). There is a one-time setup fee of $10.

Step 4

Enroll in the Disney DSPP if that's the best investment option for you. Read the plan prospectus before you complete the enrollment form. Both are available online (see Resources) or you can order paper copies by calling Disney Shareholder Services at 1-818-553-7200.

Step 5

Select the features you want for your Disney DSPP. Dividends are reinvested automatically without charge. You can also get free safekeeping of your stock certificates, and you may transfer ownership of shares at no charge (to another member of your family, for example). Like most direct stock purchase plans, the Disney DSPP can be set up as a traditional or Roth IRA.

Tip

Direct stock purchase plans, including Walt Disney’s, are not intended for short-term stock trading. Consequently, a sales fee of $10 per transaction plus 1 cent/share (subject to change) is levied on each sale of stock from the plan.

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