What Are Fractional Shares and How to Buy Them

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Written By Kevin MacDonald

Fractional shares offer investors a unique opportunity to access the stock market without needing to commit to purchasing whole shares. In this article, we explore what fractional shares are, why investors might choose them, and how to go about buying them.

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Understanding Fractional Shares

Fractional shares represent partial ownership of a company’s stock, allowing investors to purchase a portion of a share rather than the entire share.

Credits: DepositPhotos

For instance, if a single share of a company costs $100, investors can buy fractions of that share, such as $50 or even $10, depending on their investment budget. 

This flexibility democratizes investing, enabling individuals to participate in the market with smaller amounts of capital.

Why Invest in Fractional Shares?

Affordability and Accessibility:

Fractional shares provide an affordable entry point into the stock market, allowing investors to buy into high-priced stocks without needing to commit substantial sums of money. 

This accessibility empowers individuals to diversify their portfolios and explore investment opportunities that were previously out of reach.

Portfolio Diversification:

Diversification is a cornerstone of prudent investing, reducing overall risk by spreading investments across different asset classes. 

Fractional shares enable investors to build diversified portfolios by allocating funds across a range of stocks, even with limited capital.

This diversification helps mitigate risks associated with individual stock fluctuations and market volatility.

Optimizing Investment Contributions:

Fractional shares facilitate dollar-cost averaging, a disciplined investment strategy where investors regularly contribute fixed amounts of money to their portfolios over time.

With fractional shares, investors can fully invest their contributions, ensuring that no funds remain unallocated.

This approach promotes consistent investment habits and minimizes the impact of market timing on investment outcomes.

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Considerations When Buying Fractional Shares

Credits: DepositPhotos

Transferability Issues:

While whole shares are typically transferable between brokerage accounts, fractional shares may pose challenges during account transfers. 

Investors should be aware that fractional shares may need to be sold before transferring, potentially incurring taxes or fees. Therefore, it’s essential to assess the transferability implications before investing in fractional shares.

Long-Term Investment Focus:

While fractional shares offer accessibility and convenience, investors should maintain a long-term investment perspective. 

Engaging in short-term trading or speculative behaviors can detract from the benefits of fractional investing. Building wealth requires patience and discipline, emphasizing the importance of adhering to long-term investment strategies.

Where to Buy Fractional Shares?

Several online brokerage platforms offer fractional share investing, catering to investors seeking diversified and accessible investment options. 

Platforms such as Charles Schwab, Interactive Brokers, and Webull provide commission-free trading and user-friendly interfaces for purchasing fractional shares.

Additionally, these platforms offer a wide range of investment choices, including individual stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), further enhancing portfolio diversification opportunities.

Fractional shares represent a transformative innovation in the realm of investing, democratizing access to the stock market and empowering individuals to build wealth over time. 

By understanding the mechanics of fractional shares and their potential benefits, investors can harness this tool to construct diversified portfolios, optimize investment contributions, and achieve their long-term financial goals. 

With a strategic approach and a commitment to disciplined investing, fractional shares offer a pathway to financial success for investors of all backgrounds and experience levels.

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