Dividend Reinvestment Plans, or DRIPs, are a great way to build wealth. They allow you to use the quarterly payments to acquire more shares in a company, and odd amounts are no problem, since the plans buy fractional shares. But be sure to look at the details. Of the roughly 1,100 DRIPs, around half charge fees to invest the dividend, and they can be deceptively steep.
The biggest offenders are direct purchase plans, a type of DRIP that lets you invest in a company even if you don't already own any shares. Most charge 1% to 5% of the value of the investment, and sometimes a per-share fee to cover brokerage costs. IBM's (IBM) direct purchase plan levies 2%, up to a maximum of $3. Campbell Soup (CPB) and FedEx (FDX) both tack on a 5% reinvestment fee, up to $3 -- plus commissions.
That can add up, especially on small accounts. Charles Carlson, editor of the DRIP Investor newsletter, figures fees up to 2% are acceptable. If you already own stock in a high-fee plan, he advises taking the cash and channeling it to another stock. Spending $5 to invest $100 in dividends is no way to get rich.
Golf clubs too big to squeeze into your car with all your other gear? Attach Autolinx ($295, drivelikeapro.com) to the back of your car, then pop your clubs inside the special hard-shell case. And for those road trips with your golfing buddies, a separate hitch attachment will let you transport up to four sets of clubs on a single rack. Extra cases are sold separately ($295 each).
The Indianapolis Museum of Art (ima-art.org; 317 920-2660) now has digital tools once reserved for a sci-fi movie. In the new X Room, images of modern and classical art are projected on the walls and on a table. Using a paddle that acts as a computer mouse, you can zero in on a piece and find its location in the museum. In the "Cabinet of Dreams," for example, museum goers can view 3-D graphics of Chinese antiquities using polarized glasses. Art lovers who can't live without their BlackBerries will welcome a program that allows you to retrieve information on a PDA. Crowding around text mounted on a wall is so 20th century.