How to invest in stocks?

I'm looking to invest in some stocks, I'm from South Dakota if that makes any difference at all. How do I go about investing, do I need to go to the company itself or though some financial institution?

Other answer:

Web search "discount broker". You need a broker in order to buy and sell stocks, but that does not necessarily mean a live person, just that you have to use a brokerage company. You can buy/sell on-line.

I don't know if any have offices in the Dakotas, the closest offices that Fidelity or TD Ameritrade have are in Omaha or Minneapolis. Although, you do not necessarily need to visit an office to do anything. Scottrade (being acquired by TD Ameritrade) has an office in Sioux Falls.

1. go to an online broker like or one of dozens of others.
2. transfer money from your checking account to the new brokerage account.
3. when the transaction clears, pick a stock and buy it
Love big words:
OPen an account, make a buy
Just go here:

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