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What is a Fractional Share?


A fractional share is a small increase in equity (less than an entire share) in an exchange-traded investment fund (ETF) or stock fund.

A fraction of a stock is a full stock. Financial choices or corporate activities frequently have an impact on fractional shares. What behaviors might result in fractional shares?

Suppose the investor has an odd number of shares and wants to split them. Or, if the two businesses are united, the shares are frequently mixed using a ratio that has been agreed upon and can result in fractional shares. You can obtain a share of the stock if you reinvest your dividend as part of a dividend reinvestment scheme. A brokerage business can combine numerous shares to produce a full share, sell you a percentage to complete your stock, or split whole shares to sell fractional shares to new investors. Normally, you cannot buy or sell a fractional share of the stock market.

Let’s use an example where shares of GridCapital are available for $1,000 each. Fractional shares can be offered by a brokerage company to clients who would like to acquire a portion of GridCapital but are unable to pay the expensive price for a single share. For example, a half-share can be purchased for $500, a quarter-share for $250, etc.

As a result, fractional share resembles a diamond. Not everybody can afford an entire diamond, but it can be divided into multiple pieces.

The fundamentals of how fractional shares work

A fractional stock is exactly what it sounds like—it represents a portion of a share rather than the complete share. The fractional share allows those interested in fractional investment to purchase in smaller monetary increments because it is smaller than the complete share.

A brokerage company can help you buy a fractional share of a large company if you’re a start-up investor interested in investing in a huge company with a high stock value but unable to afford an entire investment. Not all brokerage houses provide this choice.

Positive aspects of fractional shares

Even if a full share of a company’s stock is out of your price range due to its share price, you can still participate in it through fractional shares. Additionally, it might give you more flexibility, enabling you to diversify your portfolio and lower risk (though it’s important to keep in mind that it can’t guarantee protection against market falls).

Acquiring and disposing of fractional shares:

  • Some brokerage companies enable the purchase of fractional shares. There are numerous ways that companies can carry out fractional orders. One illustration would be if the company bought or sold all of the shares of a particular share, then kept track of which client owned which share of each share.
  • The only way to complete fractional shares is not to purchase them. Financial strategies used by businesses, including stock splitting, frequently produce fractional stocks as a result.
  • A dividend reinvestment plan may also produce fractional shares when dividends are used to purchase additional shares right away, but there may not be enough money left over to acquire an entire stock. A profitable business may choose to distribute a portion of its profits to investors in the form of dividend payments, which may be made once or more each year and are calculated according to the number of shares that each owner owns. The company’s shares, frequently in the form of fractional shares, may then be purchased with the dividend payment. This transaction is established to take place periodically and automatically via the dividend reinvestment plan.
  • Because businesses can combine new common shares depending on a specified ratio, mergers and acquisitions can also result in fractional shares. This would function similarly to a stock split by generating a specific number of new shares from older shares.

Do ETF shares come in fractional sizes?

Yes, it is the answer. You can purchase fractional shares of some exchange-traded funds, just like you may purchase fractional shares of one share (ETFs).

Fractional shares in ETFs can help you diversify your stock portfolio, which may help lower risk. This is similar to fractional shares in a company’s stock. Fractional ETF shares function according to the same rules for buying and selling: At both ends of the transaction, a brokerage company is involved. However, keep in mind that all investments directly include dangers and be careful of the expenses.

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