The Motley Fool Drip Portfolio was born, like a small infant, on July 28th, 1997, at 6:59:59 p.m. The portfolio weighed five hundred dollars at its birth.

The portfolio became "married" at a very young age, when it decided three weeks after birth to wed Intel Corp (Nasdaq: INTC) for the next two decades, making that stock the first purchase of an eventual six to eight holdings in the portfolio.

Provided in this area, dear Fools, are links to articles that explain what this very Foolish portfolio aims to accomplish before reaching a mature age, what Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRPs) are, and how you can begin such an investment plan in leading companies, commission free, for you, your spouse, your children, and your family newt. While immediately below, in laymen's terms, is a summary of what we're doing and answers to frequently asked questions.

Following along and what to invest in. The Drip Portfolio is easy to follow because each investment is being made steadily over a twenty-year period (at least), meaning that money will be invested into Intel and the portfolio's other stocks on a near monthly basis, representing "new" investments at the current prices all the time. Anyone can begin to learn from our investments via the daily columns at any time, even five years after the port's launch. As long as we still believe in our companies we'll hold onto them and add money to them each month. Ideally, we'll never need to sell.

As you begin your own investing adventure, remember that each decision you make is your own. Make sure that you're steering the boat, not some stranger whom you've never seen before and who goes by the ridiculous name of "JimmyBoBob Joe," or "TMF Jeff," for example. Online you have all of the information at your fingertips to begin making Foolish decisions, and this portfolio aims to help you steer in the right direction with its ongoing lessons, articles, and useful reference points.

How do I begin a commission-free purchasing plan? There are more than a few ways to begin dividend reinvestment plans. You can find answers to many of your questions on the options by clicking through the articles to the right. Essentially, you can use a dividend reinvestment plan service, you can use a discount broker, or, increasingly, companies offer what are called "direct purchases" of stock from the company itself from the beginning (most dividend reinvestment plans require that you own at least one share of stock before enrolling, though, and that stock needs to be bought in a traditional manner). Whatever you do, the objective is to keep your starting cost as low as possible. Luckily, this is easy to do with the options just mentioned and provided in the links to the right.

What is the Drip Port doing on a daily basis?Every Thursday the Drip Port column provides thoughts on DRIP investing and analysis of the portfolio's stocks or possible future stocks. We also discuss where monthly additional funds will be invested, how best to value industries and stocks within them, and finally we show how to write a really lazy column but make it look good enough to pass mustard, at least for a day.

Over the first six months, the portfolio examined the technology, healthcare and food industries, eventually buying Intel and Johnson & Johnson. We'll continue to examine leading industries for possible purchases. We discuss all possible buys weeks before they happen, and we show exactly why we're buying what we finally decide to buy. This is what the daily Drip column does. It's hopefully a daily education for all Fools on some level.

What is the beloved Drip Portfolio's goal? Our portfolio has a 20-year goal of building an initial base of $500 and an additional $100 invested per month into $150,000 in twenty years. All transactions and accounting are done in full public view -- Foolishly -- and buys are announced at least one week beforehand, after being discussed in the daily recaps long before the official announcement. The real goal, though, is to get Fools far and wide who haven't invested in stocks much or at all in the past to begin investing savings regularly into leading companies. After six months we've already seen that goal come to fruition with thousands of Fools.

Criteria and sharing with Fools. For more on the criteria that we look for in each stock that we finally decide to buy (buys are far and few between -- they must be dominant companies representing consistently growing value from the start, if possible), again, please see the articles on the previous page (or linked below). And once you're thinking about investing, or anytime that you wish, visit the Drip Port's Drip Basics and Drip Companies message boards in the Investor's Roundtable area to share thoughts and questions with other Fools. (There is also a complete FAQ linked at the bottom of the Drip boards.) Best of luck in your first steps to building value. As Warren Buffett says, "Find value." To which we add, "And then build upon that base."

What are DRPs? »