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How to invest in fractional shares

Invest with specific dollar amounts with fractional shares, and enjoy more flexibility in how you build and diversify your portfolio.

Fractional shares make investing more accessible by lowering the barrier to entry for high-dollar stocks, every stock really, but not all brokers offer this feature. Here’s what you need to know about investing with fractional shares and which brokers provide this valuable feature.

What are fractional shares?

Fractional shares are slices of whole shares, letting you invest with a specific dollar amount instead of having to buy in at the stock’s full share price. Fractional shares are available for stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and cryptocurrency.

Fractional shares can also be created as a result of stock splits, company mergers and dividend reinvestment plans. But not all brokers offer access to fractional share trading – i.e. the ability to actively trade fractions of shares instead of whole shares.

Are fractional shares worth it?

Fractional shares provide an opportunity for investors to build portfolios with stocks, ETFs and crypto that may have previously been out of reach.

For example, Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class A (BRK.A) shares, one of the most expensive stocks to ever trade, closed at $527,750 on October 17, 2023. Fractional share trading lets you invest in stocks like this, often for as little as $1, instead of needing $527,750 for one share.

How to buy fractional shares

You’ll need to open a brokerage account with a platform that offers fractional share trading. Fractional share trading is available with several self-directed brokerage accounts and robo-advisors.

Self-directed brokerages that offer fractional share trading:

  • SoFi Invest
  • Robinhood
  • tastytrade
  • Public
  • Interactive Brokers
  • eToro
  • Webull
  • Cash App Investing
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Charles Schwab
  • Vanguard
  • Robo-advisors that offer fractional share trading:

  • Acorns
  • Wealthfront
  • Betterment
  • M1 Finance
  • Titan
  • Steps to buy fractional shares

    Once you’ve opened and funded your account, invest in fractional shares by following these steps:

    1. Choose a platform. Compare brokers in the table below or jump right in and choose from our best stock trading apps of 2024.
    2. Search for the stock. Pinpoint the stock by searching by company name or ticker symbol.
    3. Enter your investment amount. Instead of indicating how many shares you’d like to purchase, enter the dollar amount you’d like to invest.
    4. Submit your order. Review your order details and submit your order to complete the transaction.

    Compare brokerage accounts

    If you’re looking for a new brokerage account, compare your options using the table below.

    1 - 8 of 8
    Name Product Ratings Available asset types Stock trade fee Minimum deposit Cash sweep APY Signup bonus
    Tastytrade
    Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
    Tastytrade
    ★★★★★
    Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Futures, Treasury Bills
    $0
    $0
    N/A
    Get $50-$5,000
    Competitive, capped options commissions, with a reliable trading platform designed for serious traders.
    SoFi Invest®
    Finder Score: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
    SoFi Invest®
    ★★★★★
    Stocks, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Alternatives
    $0
    $0
    0.02%
    Get up to $10,000 cash
    Commission-free stocks, ETFs and options, with no options per-contract fees. Plus, a no-cost robo-advisor and complimentary access to certified financial planners (CFPs).
    OPTO
    Finder Score: 3.1 / 5: ★★★★★
    OPTO
    ★★★★★
    Stocks, ETFs
    $0
    $0
    N/A
    Earn up to $300
    AI-driven thematic investing, with proprietary research, fractional shares and commission-free stocks and ETFs.
    Cash App
    Finder Score: 3 / 5: ★★★★★
    Cash App
    ★★★★★
    Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
    $0
    $0
    4.5%
    N/A
    Buy and sell over 1,800 stocks and ETFs commission-free and for as little as $1.
    E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley
    Finder Score: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
    E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley
    ★★★★★
    Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, CDs, Futures
    $0
    $0
    0.01% to 0.15%
    Get up to $1,000
    terms apply
    $0 commissions on US-listed stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options, with powerful, easy-to-use tools and complimentary market research.
    Robinhood
    Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
    Robinhood
    ★★★★★
    Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
    $0
    $0
    5%
    Get a free stock
    Trade stocks, options, ETFs and crypto without commissions and on a user-friendly platform. Plus, a 1% IRA match and no options contract fees.
    Public.com
    Finder Score: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
    Public.com
    ★★★★★
    Stocks, Bonds, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Alternatives, Treasury Bills, High-yield cash account
    $0
    $0
    5.1%
    Get up to $10,000 and transfer fees covered
    Build a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, crypto and alternative assets, with a high-yield cash account and options contract rebates.
    Moomoo
    Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
    Exclusive
    Moomoo
    ★★★★★
    Stocks, Options, ETFs
    $0
    $0
    Up to 8.10%
    Get up to 15 free stocks
    No commission stock, ETF and options trades, with $0 equity options contract fees, low margin rates and advanced trading tools.
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    Pros and cons of fractional share trading

    Pros

    • Lowers the barrier to entry. Invest in companies of any share price with a specific dollar amount, often as little as $1.
    • Makes it easier to diversify your portfolio. Instead of allocating funds to a single high-dollar share, you can purchase fractional shares to spread your funds across multiple stocks.
    • Available with most brokers. Most brokers, especially stock trading apps, offer fractional share trading. E*TRADE and J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing are two examples of big brokers that don’t offer this feature.

    Cons

    • May not get voting rights. Voting rights may not be available with fractional shares. It depends on the individual broker. Robinhood is an example of a broker where fractional share owners do get voting rights.
    • Account transfers. It’s often challenging to transfer fractional shares between brokers, so you may need to sell your fractional shares before you can move funds.

    Can you still receive dividends when you hold fractional shares?

    Yes, you can. Fractional share dividends will be split based on the portion of a share that you own. So if shareholders will receive $1 per share in dividends, then owning half a share will get you 50 cents in dividends. It’s worth noting that if rounding means that you’re due less than a penny in dividends, you’re unlikely to see it hit your account.

    Penny stocks versus fractional shares

    Both penny stocks and fractional shares can cater to the low-dollar investor, but that’s where their similarities end.

    Fractional share trading is a feature that lets you invest with specific dollar amounts. Penny stocks are stocks of companies that cost less than $5 per share. You can buy fractional shares of penny stocks just as you can any other stock.

    Bottom line

    Fractional shares make investing more accessible by letting you invest with a specific dollar amount instead of having to buy in at the stock’s full share price. Fractional shares are available for stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrency.

    Frequently asked questions

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    Finder is not an advisor or brokerage service. Information on this page is for educational purposes only and not a recommendation to invest with any one company, trade specific stocks or fund specific investments. All editorial opinions are our own.

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    Written by

    Editor, Investments

    Matt Miczulski is an investments editor at Finder. With over 450 bylines, Matt dissects and reviews brokers and investing platforms to expose perks and pain points, explores investment products and concepts and covers market news, making investing more accessible and helping readers to make informed financial decisions. Before joining Finder in 2021, Matt covered everything from finance news and banking to debt and travel for FinanceBuzz. His expertise and analysis on investing and other financial topics has been featured on CBS, MSN, Best Company and Consolidated Credit, among others. Matt holds a BA in history from William Paterson University. See full bio

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