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.