Many people buy a single share of stock as a novelty, a memorabilia item, a way to receive stock and annual reports from the company or to present as a gift to a friend or relative. Many framed stock certificates grace the walls of children, with the Walt Disney Company a favorite. A great many hang on the walls of business leaders and CEO's as works of art or historical pieces. Some old stock certificates of bankrupt or acquired companies are worth more as collectibles than their shares were worth when traded on the stock exchange. Buying one share is straightforward, but commissions, fees, delivery charges and taking possession complicate the process.
Before You Buy
Before you buy a share of stock, you will need to open a brokerage account. Full service, discount, and online brokerage firms handle such requests. An individual can enter the order online if that option is available, or phone the order in to a broker. Some companies will allow an individual to buy one share of stock directly through the company by contacting their investment services. If you plan to buy the stock as a gift, you will want it registered in the recipient's name so you will need the person's name, address and Social Security number. Several websites will allow you to buy one share, such as Oneshare.com and Shareinaframe.com
The commission of a single share of stock can be expensive in relation to the price of the stock. Also, there are shipping and transfer fees. Many brokerage firms charge as much as $100 to transfer a single share of stock. Also, a great many companies have gone paperless and have book-entry shares only, meaning they do not provide physical certificates. But you have a confirmation of the purchase and periodic statements from your brokerage firm that prove you own the share.
Buying a share of stock is a good way to get a young person interested in the stock market and investing. Framed, it also makes a great gift. It is a relatively easy process, but it is important to consider fees. Also, if the stock pays a dividend, be prepared for quarterly checks for just a few cents. Dividend reinvestment is an option, but good financial records will be needed when it come time to sell.