For this part of the assignment, you will evaluate the choices in purchasing stock via online brokerage accounts (where you can buy and sell stock via the Internet) and the use of dividend reinvestment plans (known as DIPs and DRIPs) or mutual funds or index funds.
For online brokers, you will be looking for the requirements to open the accounts: costs, minimum balances, and other features. Because most DIPs or DRIPs are available from publicly traded companies, you can search their Web sites or a search engine on these plans and their requirements.
Perhaps the most famous and useful Web site for these programs is http://www.directinvesting.com/. You are to compare and contrast online brokerage to DIPs and DRIPs.
Research online trading sites and DRIPS as outlined below, and summarize your findings. Make sure to include a summary table of the relevant information.
Search three online trading sites, and determine the requirements for trading, including the price per trade. Compare and contrast the online trading companies. (2–3 pages)
Search the Web for three companies (look for investor information) that offer DIPs or DRIPs. (2–3 pages)
Compare and contrast the requirements, including minimum investments, nature of the return, costs, and other features. (1–2 pages)
Part B: Research Market Data on Bonds
Research the current (within the last two months) market data on bonds from AT&T, Dell, and IBM. Assume each bond has a par value of $1000, unless otherwise indicated. Cite your sources.
Complete the table above.
Calculate the value of the bond if your required return is 5% on AT&T, 6.5% on Dell, and 8% on IBM.
Determine the yield to maturity (YTM) on the bonds given the current price. Based on each bond’s ratings and your determination of its yield to maturity, explain how you rank each bond for risk and return.