Direct Purchase Plans


toggle Who is Invest Online

Invest Online is a division of EQ. Your investment transactions are handled by EQ employees from start to finish. Such a system minimizes the likelihood of error and ensures that your transactions are handled in the most professional and expedient manner.

toggle How do I become an Invest Online account holder and how may I view my transaction history online?

Upon the completion of your first Invest Online transaction, you will be assigned a personalized account number (included in your confirmation statement). This number will allow you to access your account information online as well as to perform additional transactions without the need to reenter your personal data. To log in, navigate to and click login under Shareholder Central.

toggle How do I invest in a direct stock purchase plan?

Investing with Invest Online is simple. In five easy steps you provide Invest Online with the data it needs to execute your stock purchase order. In the sixth step, we confirm the data you've entered and ask you to submit the page as your purchase order. Please note that the purchase order is not transmitted until you confirm the data in the final step.
You will need the following information to complete your stock purchase:

• Your bank account number
• Your bank's ABA number (printed on the bottom portion of each check)
• Your social security number

The six steps of the investment process are:
1. Account Registration: You select the type of stock registration (e.g., Individual Registration, Joint Registration, Corporate Registration, etc.).
2. Account Information: You provide the name and address for your account. We also ask for your phone number to enable us to call you should we have questions or concerns related to your investment. Please note that this data is NEVER transmitted to outside data processing companies.
3. Tax Identification Information: You provide us with your social security number. We need this information to send you your tax information at the end of the calendar year.
4. Investment Options: You select a one-time or recurring investment option. Both options permit you to purchase fractional shares. This means that we invest with all the funds you have allotted us (less commissions) to buy stock for your account. If you elect to invest on a monthly basis, we automatically deduct the amount that you have requested on the tenth of every month.
5. Bank Details: You enter your bank account number and your bank's ACH (automated clearing house) number. These numbers are printed on the bottom of every check (a diagram on that page will demonstrate their placement).

Confirmation: We confirm the data you have entered. If this data is correct, you click to submit the page and place your purchase order. You have completed your investment! You will receive an immediate email confirming your order. If you submitted an order before 4 p.m., it will be processed on the next business day; otherwise it will be processed two business days later. You will receive a confirmation via mail notifying you of the share price, the number of shares purchased, and your new account number to log in and view your online statement.

toggle How do I research the direct stock purchase plans available through Invest Online?

Access plan information by navigating to our AST Individuals page and click Buy Shares under Investor Services

toggle How do direct purchase plans differ from dividend reinvestment plans?

Dividend Reinvestment Plans allow shareholders to direct their dividend proceeds toward the purchase of additional shares in the company without the intervention of a broker. Many companies also provide for Optional Cash programs whereby shareholders contribute their own funds toward the purchase of additional shares in the company, once again without the involvement of a broker. Direct Stock Purchase Plans differ from these plans in that you need not already be a shareholder in order to participate.

toggle How do I enroll in a direct purchase plan?

To enroll, select the company you are interested in and verify that they offer an online plan. Then, click on Purchase and you will be guided through the share purchase process.

toggle If I submit an order to purchase shares, at what point will I find out the exact price at which the order was executed?

Upon the submission of the share purchase order, you will receive an immediate email confirmation of your order as well as a subsequent one listing the exact price of the shares purchased.

Until now, the accepted practice has been for Direct Purchase programs to aggregate all purchase orders submitted over the course of a week and to execute them all at once. Needless to say, such a process introduces a fair degree of uncertainty and likely dissuades many potential investors from participating in the program. We are proud to offer the first Direct Purchase program featuring daily stock purchases. Orders submitted by 4 p.m. will, in ordinary circumstances, be executed no later than the following business day.

toggle Where will my shares be held once I have purchased them online?

As Direct Purchase Plan Administrator, we will gladly hold your shares electronically.

toggle Which browser do you recommend for viewing the Invest Online site?

The Invest Online site is compatible with all standard browser programs.