As a business owner, you may want to diversify your income and assets. In addition to the income from your business, you may want to invest in other businesses by buying stock. You can buy stock from a brokerage, which is a company that offers many types of stock, bonds and mutual funds. Some corporations also sell stock directly to the public, like McDonald’s.

What Is a Direct Stock Purchase Plan?

A direct stock purchase plan is when a company sells its stock directly to the public. Some companies sell the stock through a third-party administrator, but it’s still considered direct since it’s not through a broker. Other companies handle the stock sale directly. In the case of McDonald’s, Computershare is the third-party administrator.

Investors use direct stock purchase plans because they typically offer low fees. You may also be able to start investing with a modest amount of money. Direct stock purchase plans have waned a bit in popularity with the rise of online brokers and robo-advisers, which allow you to invest with as little as $5 or $10.

A direct stock purchase plan is a good fit for investors who like to do their own research and follow the market on their own. You’ll need to follow McDonald’s stock prices closely unless you plan to take a “buy and hold” approach to your investment. If dealing with fluctuating stock prices is stressful, you may want to work with a broker or look at a different type of investment that spreads your risk across multiple investments, like a mutual fund.

How Does McDonald’s Computershare Direct Stock Work?

The first step to purchasing McDonald’s stock directly is signing up for an account with Computershare. Computershare is the third-party administrator for other direct stocks as well, including Walmart and IBM. Once you set up an account, you can purchase McDonald’s stock.

If you’re a new shareholder, you can start with either a one-time purchase of $500 or a recurring transaction of at least $50 for 10 months. If you’re a current shareholder, you can start with a one-time purchase of $50 or a recurring transaction of $50. There’s also a $5 initial setup fee, a one-time investment fee and a $2 maximum fee for reinvesting your dividends.

Dividends are payments from a corporation to shareholders. Dividends come from company profits. Many investors choose to reinvest dividends by purchasing more stock. The direct stock program makes it inexpensive to reinvest dividends.

Other Ways to Purchase McDonald’s Stock

If you don’t want to commit to the $500 minimum investment, you could invest a smaller amount through a discount broker. Discount brokers are brokers who just handle transactions. They typically don’t offer advice on your investments, and they usually charge a small amount of commission for executing trades.

A full-service broker is another option. A full-service broker gets to know you and your financial situation and makes recommendations on what to buy and when to sell. Due to the additional time and attention, full-service brokers charge a higher commission.

McDonald’s employees can also buy McDonald’s stock through the company’s employee stock purchase plan. Formerly called McDirect, the McDonald’s employee stock purchase plan allows employees to purchase stock through payroll deductions. This is in addition to the 401(k) program McDonald’s offers to employees.