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Fractional shares are a great way to invest in the stock market without costing you an arm and a leg. Thanks to fintech applications, many fractional share investing brokerages have cropped up in recent years, creating a considerable amount of competition that has enormously benefited consumers like you.

People love online brokers that offer fractional share investing because they enable people with limited funds, or those who don’t want to risk too much of their capital on any investment, to buy partial stocks and ETFs at low prices. This demographic typically skews toward younger investors looking to buy stocks for the first time as they begin investing with small amounts of money.

These fractional share trading online brokers have empowered a new cohort of investors eager to begin investing without fronting an excessive amount of cash upfront nor pay costly commissions as they steadily add to their diversified portfolio of stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

These low barriers to entry place the best investments within reach of millions for the first time, whether they’re passive investors, self-directed investors, or some combination of both. The ability to buy fractional shares levels the playing field for building wealth through placing small stock trades on user-friendly investing apps.

This article will discuss the best fractional share brokerages that exist right now and which make the most sense for your unique situation. By the end of the article, you’ll have what you need to begin trading fractional shares and investing in the stock market—perhaps for the first time!

Let’s jump in!

Fractional Shares Brokerages—Top Picks

Fun, Easy Stock Trading App for Beginners
Free Stock Trading App
Best Brokerage Account + Debit Card for Teens
Get a free stock for signing up
Commission-free trading.
Free (no monthly fees).
Fun, Easy Stock Trading App for Beginners
Get a free stock for signing up
Free Stock Trading App
Commission-free trading.
Best Brokerage Account + Debit Card for Teens
Free (no monthly fees).

Best Fractional Share Brokerage Account Options for Buying Partial Stocks and ETFs

AppApp Store Rating +
Best For
Robinhood logo thin
☆ 4.2 / 5
Basic stock, crypto and ETF investing
Commission-free tradesFree stock with sign up
acorns logo transparent text thin
☆ 4.7 / 5
Automated investing in the background into diversified investments
$3/month - $9/month$20 sign up bonus when making first deposit at account opening
sofi logo transparent text thin
SoFi Invest: iOS, Android and Desktop
☆ 4.8 / 5
Fee-free active trading and automated investing
Commission-free tradesFree stock worth between $5 - $1,000
public logo transparent text thin
☆ 4.7 / 5
Social theme-based investing interests
Commission-free trades$10 free stocks for signing up
Webull logo thin
☆ 4.7 / 5
Self-directed investors and intermediate traders
Commission-free tradesTwelve free stocks with $500 deposit, valued between $60 - $90,000
interactive brokers logo transparent symbol thinInteractive Brokers☆ 3.8 / 5
Low margin rates
Commission-free tradesNone
m1 finance logo color thin
M1 Finance
☆ 4.7 / 5
Fee-free active trading and automated investing
Commission-free trades and automated investing; $10/month or $95/year on M1 Plus subscription for custodial account3 months of M1 Plus free
greenlight logo thin
Greenlight Max
☆ 4.8 / 5
Teaching investing fundamentals with guidance from parents; allows individual and index fund investing
$9.98/monthOne month free
betterment logo color text thin
☆ 4.7 / 5
Investors looking to build a globally-diversified portfolio
0.25% AUMNone
*Apple App Store Rating as of March 7, 2024


1. Robinhood (Best Simple Stock Trading App for Beginners)

robinhood signup new2

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Platforms: Web, mobile app (Apple iOS, Android)

Robinhood is a pioneer of commission-free trading, jumping into the investing public’s consciousness in 2013 when they rolled out commission-free trading. They remain a standout option for cost-minded investors thanks to their continued $0 commissions on stocks, ETFs, and options, as well as for its fractional trading, which allows people to invest with as little as $1.

More importantly, though, Robinhood has evolved from a bare-bones app appealing to mostly beginner investors to a fuller-featured account suitable for a wider range of experience levels.

For instance, Robinhood now offers individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and Roth IRAs via Robinhood Retirement. Functionally, it comes up short compared to many other IRA providers because of its investment options. It offers just stocks and ETFs; like with its brokerage account, mutual funds aren’t available.

However, Robinhood Retirement still stands out from the pack because it’s the only IRA provider that offers matching funds. If you open up an IRA with Robinhood Retirement, Robinhood will match 1% of any IRA transfers, 401(k) rollovers, and annual contributions to your account—and 3% if you pay for the Robinhood Gold service ($5 per month)—typically almost immediately after you make your contribution. Better still: Any matches made on annual contributions don’t count toward your contribution limit.

(Friendly message from your WealthUp tax expert: The reason the IRA match doesn’t count toward your annual IRA contribution limit is because Robinhood treats it as interest income in your IRA.)

Robinhood has long catered to younger investors with its gamified interface and growing library of educational content. But over the years, it has added a boatload of other features for new and experienced investors alike. Advanced Charts, for instance, provides simple and customizable charts with a variety of technical features. Robinhood’s Options Strategy Builder simplifies the options-trading process by helping you build a strategy based on what you expect your target stock or ETF will do in the future.

Sign up for a Robinhood brokerage account or Robinhood retirement account today.

Related: Best Free Investing Apps to Consider

2. Acorns: Best Micro-Investing App to Learn About Investing

acorns signup
  • Available via Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Price: Personal: $3/mo. Personal Plus: $5/mo. Premium: $9/mo.
  • Sign up here

Acorns is a micro-investing app for minors and young adults who wish to start with a small amount of money in their investments. You can choose to invest your spare change through a linked debit card and make regular deposits to contribute to your investment portfolio.

These recurring contributions and rounded-up deposits from your purchases could grow into an extensive portfolio over time. Hence the company’s name, Acorns: start small like an acorn but grow strong into a mighty oak tree.

The service charges a monthly fee for users. Though, it doesn’t charge trading commissions when your money gets invested on your behalf in fractional shares of ETFs. Instead, it charges an account fee depending on the subscription plan you select for your account. These subscriptions provide various product features that fit well for young adults’ goals, like investing young and managing your money prudently.

The service efficiently acts as one of the best money apps for kids with its all-in-one platform (Acorns Personal Plus).

Their plans come as follows:

  • Acorns Personal ($3 per month): Includes an Acorns Invest investment account, as well as Acorns Later for tax-advantaged investment options such as Roth IRAs. Also includes Acorns Checking, a bank account that has no account fees, lets you withdraw fee-free from more than 55,000 ATMs nationwide, and Smart Deposit, which allows you to automatically invest a bit of each paycheck into your Acorns accounts.
  • Acorns Personal Plus ($5 per month): Everything in Acorns Personal (Acorns Invest, Later, and Checking), plus Premium Education, which are live onboarding sessions covering account setup, Round-Ups, setting up recurring investments, and more; Emergency Fund; and a 25% bonus on Acorns Earn rewards (up to $200 per month).
  • Acorns Premium ($9 per month): Everything in Personal Plus, plus Acorns Early, which allows you to open a custodial investment account for your child so you can begin investing for them while they’re a minor; custom portfolios that allow you to hold individual stocks; live Q&As with financial experts; a 50% match on Acorns Earn rewards (up to $200 per month); $10,000 in life insurance; even the ability to set up a will for free.

Learn more in our Acorns review.

Related: Best Acorns Alternatives: Micro-Investing Apps to Use

3. SoFi Invest: Invest in Fractional Shares

sofi invest signup
  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play.
  • Price: Free trades
  • Sign up here: (iOS), Android, Desktop

SoFi Invest is an app that allows you to invest in stocks with whatever dollar amount you prefer because the app offers its investing products with fractional shares in stock and ETF trades.

The well-known brand in the personal finance space expanded its presence to the investing world by offering commission-free stock trades, including ETF trades and crypto trades.

The fractional share service provides you the ability to trade actively or stand back and let its automated investing tools takeover.

Of interest to beginning investors, using a brokerage account through SoFi allows you to participate in fractional share investing, called “stock bits” by SoFi.

This means you don’t need to save up a lot of money before buying some of your favorite tech companies like Alphabet (Google), Amazon or Facebook.

The app acts as an excellent choice for investing your spare change or adding more to the market at once by tapping into savings accounts to make more significant deposits regularly.

Therefore, this fractional share app might make an excellent place to hold your investment accounts because you’ll have options for investing money.

The company wants to serve all customers interested in improving their financial situation alongside participating in their other personal finance products like refinanced student loans, money management, credit cards and more.

Start investing in fractional shares by making a $5 deposit today.

Related: Best Credit Cards for Kids: Building Credit & Money Habits Early

4. Public.com: Best Free Investment App for Beginners

public signup
  • Price: Free trades
  • Sign up here

Public.com is a commission-free fractional share investing app targeting Millennials and Gen-Zers who have attuned their senses to social media.

While the company previously followed the lead of companies like Robinhood with monetizing Payment for Order Flow (PFOF) or receiving kickbacks from clearinghouses for routing trades to them, they’ve abandoned this practice.

Instead, they now rely on other income streams as well as a “tipping” system.

The decision not to route orders to specific clearinghouses places this beginner investment app firmly on the side of retail investors and not pledging allegiance to Wall Street firms.

Public.com is really about making investing like an investing social network, where members can own stock slices, or fractional shares of equities, follow popular creators, and share ideas within a community of investors.

What Public.com aims to do above all else is make the market an inclusive and educational place, with social features that make it easy to collaborate as you build your confidence as an investor—for free.

For younger investors who want to align their investing with their social preferences and keep good company to socialize and learn from others, Public.com might be the app for you.

If this sounds like an interesting fractional share trading app, open an account and make an initial deposit to see if the app meets your social and investing needs.

Read more in our Public.com investing app review.

Related: 8 Best Stock Tracking Apps [Investment Portfolio Management]

5. Webull: Best Stock Trading App for Beginners

webull sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Price: Free trades
  • Sign up here

Webull came into the stock trading world in 2018 when it started challenging Robinhood for market share. This stock trading app offers the ability to place equity trades commission-free and on ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies.

The company also recently added the ability to trade fractional shares, making this an excellent app for micro-investing.

Like most investment apps available, the company provides access to trade on your smartphone, tablet or desktop.

Further, it charges no commissions for the trades because Webull makes money on other actions you take, like Payment for Order Flow (PFOF), margin loans, interest on cash and service fees for their Nasdaq TotalView Level 2 Advances quotes subscription.

Webull also provides you access to several powerful tools you can use for in-depth trading analysis.

If these account features sound attractive, the best part might also come with knowing setting up a Webull account is free and comes with no account minimums you must meet or maintain.

Finally, to de-risk your signup, Webull also runs frequent promotions that give free stocks.

Read more in our Webull review.

Related: Best Debit Cards for Kids

6. Interactive Brokers: Powerful Trading Platform With Fractional Stocks + ETFs

interactivebrokers sign up

  • Platforms: Desktop (PC, Mac), web, iOS, Android
  • Best for: Intermediate and advanced investors
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Available: Sign up here

Interactive Brokers, founded in 1978, is the largest U.S. electronic trading platform, offering traders access to stocks, bonds, funds, options, cryptocurrencies, foreign exchange, and more. That also includes fractional shares of stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

IB’s Trader Workstation (TWS) is Interactive Brokers’ flagship desktop program—a trading platform with roots back to 1995. But since then, the company has launched a number of other access points for brokerage accounts, including:

  • IBKR Mobile: A powerful app for iOS and Android that allows people to trade on the go
  • IBKR GlobalTrader: A simplified app for iOS and Android that targets global traders, allowing deposits in up to 23 different currencies
  • Client Portal: A lighter web-based platform allowing clients to manage their account, evaluate performance, and read market news
  • IBKR EventTrader: A web-based platform allowing investors to trade “event” contracts (yes-or-no questions like “Will the S&P 500 Index close above 3,900 today?”)
  • IBKR Impact: A mobile app that helps investors select holdings most in line with their values.

Importantly, investors can use these various platforms to trade fractional shares of eligible U.S. and European stocks and ETFs. Investors need a tiny minimum of $1.00 to trade fractional U.S. shares, and there’s no minimum for European shares.

IBKR also makes it easy to trade fractional shares thanks to its cash-quantity stock orders. Let’s say you want to buy $100 worth of a $75 stock—IBKR will automatically purchase a full share ($75) and one-third of a share ($25).

The company’s original platform, Trader Workstation, supports investments across 150 global markets, and offers a wide variety of features, including real-time monitoring and alerts, risk management tools, paper trading, and access to breaking news—all packaged under a heavily customizable layout.

While TWS users can still select the original view, they can build their own bespoke view through Mosaic. Functions such as stock monitoring, order entry, charts, and more appear as “tiles,” sized and arranged however you want them, and you can save custom layouts designed for one or more monitors.

Interactive Brokers offers two primary plans—IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro—and both have no account minimums and zero maintenance fees. The former offers commission-free U.S.-listed stock and ETF trading, and is most suitable for beginner and intermediate investors. The latter charges commissions, but it provides better execution for trades via IB SmartRouting, and offers a number of additional features not found on Lite.

You can visit Interactive Brokers to sign up or learn more.

Related: Best Online Stock Broker Options for Beginners

7. M1 Finance: Build a Portfolio Pie of Fractional Shares of Stock

m1 finance sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Price: Free trades
  • Sign up here

The M1 Finance app offers investors two options for investing on their platform.

The first option entails a traditional investing method: build your tailored portfolio with your picks of stocks and ETFs you think will meet your investment objectives.

Suppose that option sounds unappetizing or otherwise uncomfortable from an investment selection perspective. In that case, you can opt for the company’s pre-made “Expert Portfolio Pies” containing different stocks and ETFs for your money.

With either option, you can set predetermined percentage amounts for your M1 Finance investment account (they offer several types of investment accounts, including a custodial Roth IRA and traditional individual retirement accounts) and then trade stocks to match those percentages.

This allows users of M1 Finance to buy fractional shares of stock on their own without an extra charge or trading commissions.

As you earn dividends, you can choose to participate in automated dividend reinvestment plans following your portfolio preferences, making automated investing through M1 Finance one of the best passive income investment ideas.

Read more about the app in our M1 Finance review.


8. Greenlight Max: Fractional Share Investing for Minors

greenlight sign up new
  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial, $9.98/mo after for Greenlight Card Max package

Greenlight Max is an investment account for kids paired with a debit card and bank account. It’s easy to use and can double as a savings account and banking apps for teens. The app will teach the basics of investing, how to invest money in stocks and ETFs, etc.

It works best if parents and/or grandparents are involved in the process because it requires linked accounts from the custodians’ banks or brokerages. Plus, parents and guardians will need to approve trades made in the investment account.

The all-in-one plan teaches them critical financial skills like money management and investing fundamentals — with real money, real stocks and real-life lessons.

You can use the investing feature to invest in stocks:

  • Buy fractional shares of companies your kids admire (kid-friendly stocks) or in an exchange-traded fund
  • Start investing with as little as $1 in your account (with fractional shares)
  • No trading commissions beyond the monthly subscription fee
  • Parents approve every trade directly in the app on individual stocks and ETFs with a market capitalization of $1 billion+

Consider opening a Greenlight Card + Invest account to start investing in a custodial brokerage account for your kids today. The first month is free to trial the product and see if it meets your needs for giving one of the best investments for kids.

Read more in our Greenlight Card review.

Related: GoHenry vs. Greenlight: Who Has the Best Debit Card for Teens?

9. Charles Schwab: Invest in Stock Slices

charles schwab sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Price: Free trades

Charles Schwab offers similar products as all the other brokerages listed here, including Schwab Stock Slices, Schwab’s version of fractional shares.

Instead of paying the entire stock price on one share of stock, fractional share trading through Schwab Stock Slices allows you to buy fractional portions of stocks commission-free.

The fractional share investing product allows users to participate for as low as $5, with the ability to buy up to 10 Schwab Stock Slices at a time.

Charles Schwab differs from other investing brokerages on this list by only allowing you to make fractional share purchases for S&P 500 companies.

This compares to investing brokerages like those above and Fidelity and Interactive Brokers, except they don’t have such restrictions on their fractional share investing features.

While good choices exist in the S&P 500 index, extending the Schwab Stock Slices capability to medium and small business opportunities outside of the index can be helpful for anyone seeking opportunities beyond the widely-tracked index.

10. Betterment: Best for Automation and Tax-Loss Harvesting

betterment sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Account Minimum: $0.
  • Price: 0.25% Management Fee (AUM)
  • Sign up here

You can use the Betterment robo-advisor platform to buy fractional shares of ETF index funds like the S&P 500 in taxable accounts as well as individual retirement plans.

The service does not allow you to invest in individual stocks but will automatically place deposits into fractional bits of index fund ETFs aligned with your portfolio objectives.

The features of this platform make the micro-investing app most suitable to investors looking to diversify instantly as they make contributions to their accounts.

The service charges an all-encompassing 0.25% assets under management fee but can justify this expense in taxable brokerage accounts through its tax-loss harvesting feature.

Lowering your taxable income through their tax-loss harvesting feature is one of the products that justifies the 0.25% AUM fee for holdings in a taxable account.

It works by selling losses to lock in short-term capital losses and lowers your taxable income while taking your proceeds and placing them into a similar investment.

This lowers your taxable income or other capital gains and quickly covers the 0.25% annual AUM fee.

Further, based on your intended financial goal, the company provides investment advice by tailoring your portfolios to accomplish these goals.

Betterment led the way for robo-advisor services and micro-investing apps, growing from a small business to what now represents a significant book of business.

Using them has become a popular choice for people looking to invest toward specific goals without the need for any investing experience for a reasonable fee.


What Are Fractional Shares?

Fractional shares are a part of a share—not the whole.

A fractional share is a portion of stock in an individual company divided into many (hence fractional shares). These make investing more affordable and accessible for those who do not have large sums of money available upfront or beginning their careers.

Investing apps that allow you to buy fractional shares typically avoid account minimums or commissions, as these investment vehicles appeal toward individuals without much capital to invest at once.

An account minimum keeps people from starting, and commissions could eat up any amount of money you wish to use for your fractional investing.

The theory behind fractional shares is nothing more than allowing people to invest in a company with a high share price with smaller amounts of money.

For example, if fractional shares were available for Tesla, they could be bought at a fraction of the cost of a full-price share—even a few dollars worth. This would allow people with smaller budgets and those just starting to buy into this fast-growing company.

Before fractional shares investing, you could only do this through purchasing shares in mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETF) with the hope that the underlying stocks held by the fund would perform and increase your equity in several companies simultaneously.

Stock markets, like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the NASDAQ, require investors to buy whole shares in a publicly traded company.

Meaning, people who wish to buy shares in Alphabet or Berkshire Hathaway could only do so if they had a lot of cash on hand or chose to purchase them as part of a larger basket of securities in a mutual fund or ETF.

To make shares in companies like these accessible to everyone, some apps like Robinhood, M1 Finance and others have chosen to offer fractional shares to their users.

This can be a great investment option for new investors looking to buy in some of the most innovative and successful companies on the market without breaking the bank.

How Does Fractional Share Investing Work?

Investors can purchase fractional shares in companies like Alphabet, Berkshire Hathaway and other high-priced stocks without having to buy a whole number of shares (in other words, full shares of stock).

This lowers barriers to entry for investors who may not be comfortable investing a large amount of money into one company’s stock or don’t have enough cash on hand at the time.

This allows small investors to transfer a consistent amount of money into their account and know it’ll get invested at transfer, not only when they’ve accumulated enough money to purchase a whole share.

Likewise, for younger investors who might not have a lot of money to spare, they can link a debit card for kids and teens (or young adults), which then employs a round-up system.

This rounds up your purchase to the nearest dollar, investing the difference automatically in fractional shares. Micro investing apps like this use fractional shares to build account holders’ balances slowly but consistently.

The dollar-cost averaging investment strategy allows for real-time purchasing and not delayed investments over lumpy periods.

Fractional shares allow you to diversify your portfolio with ease, which can help spread the risk of your investments and potentially increase your overall return.

Suppose you had to stash your money until you could afford one high-priced stock. In that case, it might mean your portfolio carries a lot of undesired exposure to a smaller basket of stocks while you wait to accumulate enough money to buy a whole share of a company you want.

Investors also have more control over fractional shares than they do with only buying and selling whole shares. You might not wish to liquidate an entire share of Tesla and instead only need a fourth of the share’s value for some purchase.

Fractional shares allow you to choose exactly how much money you need to pull from the market if you have a financial need.

For example, if Tesla stock is worth $750 and you currently hold $3,500 worth of the stock, you’d own 4.67 shares of the stock.

You might only need $300, lowering your ownership to 4.27 shares of stock. You don’t need to sell a whole share to get cash when you only need a fraction of a share’s worth.

Essentially, fractional share investing allows you to invest in the market on any budget.


How to Buy Fractional Shares and ETFs

Many investing brokerages allow you to place stock and ETF trades for fractional shares, reducing the dollar amount you need to commit upfront when buying stocks by the slice.

These stockbrokers have enabled a new generation of investors to buy into the market without credence to share prices thanks to fractional trading capabilities.

When balancing student loans, living expenses and other competing money priorities, having the ability to invest through an institution that equips you with the tools that make any stock accessible is valuable.

The best options on the market that we’ve found are found above.

Fractional Share Brokerages FAQ

Can you buy stocks as whole shares?

Yes. You do not need to buy fractional shares only through these brokerages, and you can buy fractional shares and whole shares of stock.

Do you need to maintain an account minimum in these accounts?

Many of the accounts above do not require an account minimum. Specialty accounts, like the Roth IRA from M1 Finance, have account minimums—$500 in this case.

Do any fractional shares brokerages offer investment advice?

Many of these fractional share brokerages conduct a questionnaire when signing up to understand your investment goals, risk tolerance and investment time horizon.

After answering these questions, some robo-advisor options offer financial advice on how to invest your money.

What happens to fractional shares when stock splits occur?

Like whole shares of stocks, when stock splits occur, the amount of your position divides in the same way. For example, if you owned 100s of TSLA and a 3:1 stock split occurred, you’d have 300 shares of TSLA stock afterward.

The market cap remains the same, but the shares outstanding triples.

If you owned 33.3 fractional shares of TSLA stock, you’d have 99.9 fractional shares of TSLA following the stock split.

Do any of these fractional shares brokerages have custodial account options?

Yes. Many of the accounts above, like Acorns, M1 Finance and Greenlight, offer custodial accounts to underage investors. All make great picks as the best stock trading apps for beginners.

Do fractional shares affect capital gains and losses in taxable accounts?

There is no difference in capital gains and losses on fractional shares in taxable accounts compared to whole shares.

How do fractional shares affect dividend reinvestment opportunities?

Fractional shares allow for easier dividend reinvestment because you don’t need to receive enough dividends to wait for purchasing whole stock shares.

About the Author

Riley Adams is the Founder and CEO of Young and the Invested. He is a licensed CPA who worked at Google as a Senior Financial Analyst overseeing advertising incentive programs for the company’s largest advertising partners and agencies. Previously, he worked as a utility regulatory strategy analyst at Entergy Corporation for six years in New Orleans.

His work has appeared in major publications like Kiplinger, MarketWatch, MSN, TurboTax, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, The Globe and Mail, and CNBC’s Acorns. Riley currently holds areas of expertise in investing, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies and personal finance where he has been cited as an authoritative source in outlets like CNBC, Time, NBC News, APM’s Marketplace, HuffPost, Business Insider, Slate, NerdWallet, Investopedia, The Balance and Fast Company.

Riley holds a Masters of Science in Applied Economics and Demography from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana.