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The Drawbacks of Buying Fractional Shares

The Drawbacks of Fractional share trading

Inexperienced investors can get their feet wet with fractional shares by investing small sums of money in fractional shares of a stock. Many investors do fractional share trading because they allow them to hold a portion of a stock in a company they are interested in without committing to purchasing an entire share.

While fractional shares have many similarities to whole shares, they cannot be traded on the open market as separate items because they must be sold through a large brokerage. This post will explain why you should do fractional share trading as well as the disadvantages of doing so.

What Are Fractional Shares?

A fractional equity share is a share of stock that is less than a full equity share. It has the same appreciation or depreciation rates as full shares and pays dividends at the same yield proportionate to the fractional quantity. Previously available only to institutional investors at one-sixteenth intervals, fractional shares are now widely available to individual investors and for Premarket Stock Trading at exact decimals to boost market price precision and minimize trading costs.

The availability of thousands of stocks and other assets in smaller quantities thanks to this new fractional share trading option increases the financial inclusion of casual investors by lowering minimum investment requirements.

How Does Fractional Share Trading Work?

A share is divided into many units and handed to buyers when trading fractional shares, and to purchase a fraction of a stock, you just state the amount you desire to buy or sell. However, depending on the buyer’s order, the broker must take some measures to execute the trade; the broker will purchase the entire stock and slice it up to suit the buyers.

Alternatively, the broker can use the execution algorithm route, which is normally automatically compiled, and with this, the broker waits for orders from other traders, which are then collected into a block order before being executed.

Why Trade Fractional Shares?

For some investors trading fractional shares are worth it, and here are some of the reasons to trade fractional shares.

1. Access to high-value stocks

Fractional shares can assist develop a portfolio of choice stocks, where some may be too expensive for certain investors to afford a whole share, but with fractional shares, an investor can choose stocks based on more than simply price.

Previously, new investors faced price discrimination since they did not have enough finances to purchase one complete share, but with fractional shares, they can pay $1,000 to purchase 0.5 shares of a stock that costs $2,000 per share.

Because of this, fractional shares make it simpler to spread a modest investment amount among several stocks, and it might be possible to buy more of each stock to equal one or more whole shares. Furthermore, purchasing a fractional share allows you to benefit from a stock’s gain right away, as well as start the countdown to qualify for long-term capital gains and dividends.

2. A new doorway to invest in stocks

The stock market has a long history of outperforming fixed-income assets and interest-bearing savings accounts by a wide margin. However, if equities continue to provide returns comparable to the long-term average of 7%, then even a small investment can outperform the money market, savings accounts that typically yield 1-2%.

As a result, you can make tiny investments in the stock market with substantially more growth potential, even with ordinary market returns, as opposed to savings accounts, which often do not even meet inflation.

3. You get maximized dollar-cost averaging

Because stock shares trade at precise numbers down to the second decimal, flat investment amounts are extremely unlikely to buy perfectly even amounts of shares.

With fractional shares, however, the entire investment amount can be invested down to the last cent. Assume a monthly contribution of $500 to a mutual fund with shares value $30, and they will receive 16.66 shares.

This procedure of purchasing fractional shares is repeated the following month, and the same investment amount is used to purchase the greatest number of shares feasible by pooling both new and old fractional shares to produce a whole share wherever possible.

4. You get maximized dividend reinvestment plans

The initial dividend earned in smaller dividend investment accounts is too tiny to afford one complete share, but with fractional shares, the marginal dividend amount can be reinvested regardless of how small it is.

Because of the power of compounded interest, fractional shares are a key component of a dividend reinvestment strategy. If a person invests $500 every month at $30 per share but is unable to buy fractional shares, they can only invest $480 of $500 in that month, losing the chance to buy 0.66 shares.

What Are Stock Splits?

Stock splits take place when a company decreases the price of its stock by selling more shares to shareholders at a cheaper price. This operation has no impact on the overall value of an investment in the stock, only on how the value is determined.

A stock split may result in a split of existing shares, resulting in fractional shares for some holders. Assume an investor holds 11 shares of $30 firm stock, and the company goes through a two-for-three stock split. The number of shares would rise to 22.5, while the price of each share would fall from $30 to $20. As a result, this stock split results in the same $450 total but generates a fractional share.

Disadvantages Of Fractional Share Trading

If approved, fractional shares can be a valuable asset; however, where you buy them can have a significant impact on their value, such as:

1. Limitations to order type

Full stock shares are normally enabled for a wide range of order types to support many types of trading requests, however fractional shares may be limited to basic order types depending on the brokerage. This can prohibit you from triggering limit orders at specific price levels and from executing transactions outside of typical market hours.

2. Options to transfer

Because not all brokers allow fractional shares to be transferred in or out, consolidating investment accounts without losing the original investment or market profits from fractional shares is challenging. As a result, you may be forced to retain a position you no longer want or sell at an unfavorable price in order to combine money.

3. Less liquidity

When there is less market demand for selling equities, selling fractional shares may take longer than expected or result in a less beneficial price due to a wider spread. It’s also conceivable to find a stock that has whole shares that are liquid but fractional shares that aren’t, making it impossible to execute trades at market price.

4. Higher commissions

Brokers who impose trading fees may charge a flat fee per trade regardless of share price or number of shares traded to fractional share trading which can be unfavorable for someone who can only afford to buy fractional shares because they are charged the same amount as someone who buys entire or numerous shares.


Fractional shares are a new market concept that allows investors of various levels of experience and income to access the broader stock market, making it worthwhile to trade fractional shares. Fractional shares have numerous other advantages, such as the ability to optimize both DRIP and dollar-cost averaging, but they also have certain drawbacks, such as costs that are disproportionate to the investment and order constraints.


1.  Dividends are paid on fractional shares?

A fractional share is the same as a whole share. This indicates that someone who owns one Amazon share is equivalent to someone who owns half a share. So, certainly, dividends are paid on fractional shares. The distinction is in the amount. As a result, if the owner of one share receives $5 in dividends, you will receive $2.5.

2.  Is it possible for me to trade fractional shares?

As previously stated, fractional shares are similar to whole shares. The only distinction is that they allow consumers to own a limited number of shares. For instance, if you have $100 and a stock is now trading for $2,500, you can purchase 0.04 shares. As a result, because you can readily buy these shares, you can also easily sell them.

3.  If there is a stock split, what will happen to my fractional shares?

If you own fractional shares in a firm that goes through a stock split, they will be treated the same as full shares. For instance, if you possess 4.5 shares of a company and it conducts a 2-1 stock split, you will now control a total of 9 shares.