Buy an specific number of shares rather than a £ amount


I was just looking at the latest update e-mail and came across this:

“Input the £ amount you want to buy stocks for. After the last update, you can simply put in how much money you want to invest, and you’ll get the nearest number of shares.”

It’s my understanding that the transaction is completed at the end of each trading day. So if I input a £ amount in the morning the price may change during on that day. So if I wanted to buy one share I could end up being just short, or just over, rather than purchasing exactly one.

Will there be an option to purchase an amount of shares rather than a £ amount? So if I want 1 share that’s exactly what I get and at the price it was at during the moment of transaction at the end of each trading day.

Let users specify number of shares while buying
(James Storer) #2

Hey @PigeonStrangler. :bird::open_hands:

Right now you can’t specifically enter a no. of shares (except for sell orders). If you enter an £ amount that is enough to buy 1 share and the price goes up by the end of the day, our system is intelligent enough to still execute against that 1 share provided you have enough funds in your account, not just the money you initially “reserved” for this order (if you don’t it will fail, but that would happen in either scenario).

There is also our Instant Order that executes immediately (not at the end of the day), so you’d enter a £ amount and we’d go and get as many shares as we could for that amount. This will work so sweetly once we introduce fractional shares.

Hope this helps, have a nice weekend y’all. :wave:

(Giridhar Tammana) #3

From your explanation it feels like there are no limit orders, did I get that right?

(Jeff puckering) #4

Could I turn this off? If I want a specific £ regardless of no. Of shares?

Also is this unlimited, if a share price doubles would it still automatically round up to buy a full share?

(Tommy Lowe) #5

Thanks for the info James, how does this work with regards to order prioritisation? Say you had a balance of £1k and you put 4 EOD orders in at £250 each, if one of the orders then increased in value to say £260, how would the system dictate which order to cancel? Would it be chronological - so the last order would not complete as you might only have £240 left?


I intended to put in £1000 each month. Lloyds Banking Group are £58.74 at the time of writing this so buying a number of them I’d get just over 17 shares. I’d rather buy 17 shares exactly and keep the extra so that it can roll on to the following month. Fractional shares isn’t something I’m interested in. I guess I’ll need to pay the £1 transaction fees to ensure I get the exact number of shares I’m after.

Maybe in the future buying a set number of shares is something freetrade could look in to. Thanks.

(Alex Sherwood) #7

We don’t offer limit orders yet but they’re on your roadmap.

For anyone who’s unfamiliar with what limit orders are, we explained them in this blog post -

Some platforms also allow you to sit on the order book and set your own price too. These are commonly known as limit orders and stop losses. With a limit order, you set the price at which you’re happy to buy or sell and your order will go through if/when market price hits that level or better.

With a stop loss, you set a price at which you want to sell off your stock and likewise your broker automatically tries to sell it if the price declines to that point.

We have these order types on our roadmap and look forward to bringing this flexibility to you!

(Vladislav Kozub) #8

Hey PigeonStrangler,

Whilst the quote price on the exchange is 58.74, it is actually in GBX rather than GBP (pence rather than pounds). Freetrade will charge you £0.5874 per share, meaning you could afford 1702 shares at that exact price at the time of purchasing.

Good new for yourself here - UK shares will not be offered in fractions. All you will do is input ‘£1000’ in your transaction summary and Freetrade will let you know how many full shares you will be able to buy using the maximum of the figure you provided (but not exceeding). For example, if you choose £999, you will afford 1700.72 shares (assuming the same price), but Freetrade will round it down for you, so that you ended up with 1700.

And then £1 on the top of that if you buy instantly (50p if you hold Alpha or £0 if executed at the end of the day).

Feel free to clarify if the response did not fully answer your question.


Hi Vlad,

That’s good news for me. Thanks for the response.

(James Storer) #10

Hey @tommy, great question. Firstly, the system will only cancel an order if it physically can’t afford to execute a single share, so in your scenario, the last order placed would just buy fewer shares rather than cancelling the order. Pretty neat given that it’s cost nothing to place :smile:.

On the order prioritisation front, this get’s a little trickier to explain. Let’s say you’re the only user that places basic orders for GSK, BARC & RMV in that order. They would execute in that order. Sounds simple right?

Well now let’s say hundreds of people all buy these same stocks at various points of the day and have multiple basic orders placed in different orders. Because GSK was the first basic order placed that will be the first batch to be executed, BARC the second, RMV the third etc. So regardless of what order I or anyone else bought those stocks in the batches will go off in that order.

Order in which we bought the same stocks:
Someone else: RMV, BARC

Order in which they are executed:
Someone else: BARC, RMV

Hope this makes (some) sense, let me know if you have any other questions around this. :+1:

(Tommy Lowe) #11

Thanks a lot James!

One more… Will there be any kind of notification system in case of a significant change in the share price since you submitted your initial order (for EOD)?

Say for example you wanted to buy RBS at 250, but by the end of the day it had rallied by 50% (:joy:), would there be a push notification along the lines of “The share price has moved significantly since you placed your order, do you still want to proceed?”

(Vladislav Kozub) #12

This would have been splendid, maybe not at the start but at some point.

The broker I use has a similar algorithm (but not as useful as per Tommy’s example) of notifying you when a stock on you watch list has over 10% intraday price change or over 20% monthly price change. It is “nice to know” but does not seem essential.

With Freetrade’s EOD (End Of the Day) orders, notifying users of such changes would be very courteous. Especially if they would (hypothetically) no longer want to buy that notorious RBS at 50% premium - they would very much appreciate the warning and have time to cancel (30-60 minutes before the execution maybe?) :wink:

(Alex Sherwood) #13

You’d need to be able to buy fractional shares before you could set a specific £ value for your order.

Yes it would but bear in mind that :point_down:

(Alex Sherwood) #14

There will :smile: we’ll share some more details about this at a later date.

(Eve) #15

Realised this was suggested in almost every post in the first thoughts thread so thought it warranted its own topic.

I would really like to be able to select the number of shares I want to buy, rather than specifying the amount of money to spend on my order. It’s counterintuitive and the current amount doesn’t remind you of stamp duty so you fiddle about with the amount until it’s deemed valid to go through, and it’s a bit of a faff when trying to buy numerous shares. I also kept forgetting to select basic trade and kept jabbing at the button like why! won’t! it! go! through! before realising why my calculations were off.

I also really like the idea @Peter suggested- having the app calculate/ suggest the maximum amount of shares allowed, maybe in a drop down list/ MAX button based on the amount you have available in your balance.

Will this functionality be coming soon? :pray:t3::heartbeat: it would make our lives so much easier :blush:

(Denislav) #16

I personally think that being able to pick the number of shares would be much easier for the user and as one would say more “user-friendly”. It may take some more work for the engineering team to do but those wonderful people are miracle makers anyway. This suggestion definitely has my vote :slight_smile:

(John) #17

I’d that both ways are user-friendly depending on the user. When buying Apple shares a user might just want to buy £50 instead of the whole share?
Still waiting for my invite to start trialling the app though. :star_struck:


This is something I mentioned a week or so ago. I really want to by an amount of shares rather than a £ amount. If I want to buy 10 shares of something then I can simply put that in and let it go through at the end of the day. That’s more intuitive to me.

(Rob Nicholson) #19

Perhaps there are complications if the share was to jump suddenly by 10-20% as then a user might have insufficient money in the account :thinking:

Definitely a good one to sort out, whereby they could get the number of shares they can afford…

Freetrade is Out :fire: Share your first thoughts once you get access!
(Joseph Goh) #20

Hi :wave: user #466 here ! Just made my first trade today and I totally agree that it will be great to have another option for us to purchase in terms of number of shares.