Fixed number of shares


Sorry this may sound stupied but I am trying to buy 20 shares of plug power but It is not allowing me to no of shares I want to buy.

Rather I can only input price and it calculates the number of of shares I can purchase which inculde fractional shares but I do not want to buy any fractional shares and purchase a whole share. Please help. Thank you

Long story short - you can’t do that any more for US shares.

In short I have to buy fractional shares. It is very annoying to see random numbers after the round number. Like 11.477.

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In the last AMA, the head of product said whole share orders would be possible via limit orders, but also suggested limit orders might be available to premium accounts only (£10/month). Food for thought.

I was wondering the same since fractional shares were introduced - I would think this is a pretty basic feature for any stockbroker. Hopefully both options (fixed number and fractional) could co-exist in the near future


buy £2-£3 more than you need then sell the remainder to get to whole share(s)

yes there are extra fees, but it’s currently the only way

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I think it is was big mistake for Freetrade to have made such an oversight when implementing fractional shares. It’s such a basic feature to be able to buy 10 shares not 10.307 or whatever that I can’t get my head around why it was never implemented from the start. Until it is fixed I will have to buy US stocks with a competitor which is annoying


Basically, shares are just a meaningless % of a company

So why not just own £X of a company instead

Out of curiosity why 20 over 19.998 or 20.001
Why not just invest the amount you want and ignore the exact number of shares?

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Read the thread I posted. Their argument was that they had always done this, you always typed in a number of pounds, then it rounded it to a whole number. Now it doesn’t. Stupidly pedantic but they did say they were going to implement choosing number of shares (but technically it’s a new feature).

You’ve never been able to buy x number of shares, Freetrade just always rounded down before.

The feature might come in the future.


I’ve been over this a few times and I appreciate FT are fixing this. But stating that buying whole shares was never possible is false. Following your logic then fractional shares have been available since day 1. So I’ve no idea what the “fractional share” update did then.


Not sure how that logic works?

Fractional shares allowed buying by value to be more accurate.

There’s two main ways to buy, by value, and by number of shares. The latter was never an option, Freetrade has only ever supported buying by value. Because they never supported fractional shares when buying by value it always rounded down to the nearest whole number.

The fact that it only ever bought whole shares does not mean you were buying shares by number of shares. You always entered a monetary amount, and it always fulfilled that monetary amount to the nearest whole number it could fulfil.

If there was a time you were able to enter an option to buy ‘x shares’ then I stand corrected. In which case you should still be able to do so now.


That’s my point…

Exactly, so regardless of method it was only possible to buy whole shares. This is in contradiction with your statement that buying whole shares has always been impossible on FT.

I understand that you and probably FT now retrospectively consider whole share purchases to be a bug. Doesn’t change the fact that it was possible.

Meaningless or not, the reality is that is how the market is structured. For a broker not to have that functionality when faced with competitors Who offer both is a massive omission unless you have a very compelling story.

At the simplest level it is less features, at a slightly higher level it goes against FT’s aims of making investing easier to understand for new investors (hence the various threads on this topic).


old system: you put in amount in pounds, you get shares rounded down to nearest whole number of shares

new system: you put in amount in pounds, you get a number of shares rounded down to a like 8 decimals or whatever it is.

that was what the fractional update did

I think your missing the point. The result was you got whole shares, but you never went to buy whole shares.

You can only buy shares by value. I’m not sure how else to make that clearer. You have never and cannot buy shares by number of shares.

What you want to be able to do is specify x shares and buy that amount. That’s not a thing that Freetrade has ever offered.

They have only ever offers buy by value. You just happened to be gaming the system to enter values until you got the number you wanted, that is not buying by number of shares.

It’s a basic feature Freetrade should have had as they knew fine well people were manipulating the system to get a certain amount of shares. But that still doesn’t mean you were ever buying by number of shares, from your perspective.

That’s what I said :smile:

if you did, I misunderstood. I was responding to this:

edit: i replied to the wrong person, sorry!

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I get your point. My point is that the result was in line with what was expected from most other brokers and was obviously what was expected by at least some FT customers. My point still stands that some people went in with the intention of buying whole share, and received whole shares. There is really no dancing around that point.

So this is false, because it literally happened.

I agree with this statement though [quote=“Eden, post:17, topic:21880”]
It’s a basic feature Freetrade should have had as they knew fine well people were manipulating the system to get a certain amount of shares. But that still doesn’t mean you were ever buying by number of shares, from your perspective

And disagree again as this is exactly what people were buying, receiving. Whole shares. Given that FT was pretty barebones at that point I don’t think it’s fair to say customers were manipulating the app. Customers were tolerant and understanding that a startup has missing features and worked around this. So removing the ability to round to nearest whole share, as you put it, is still the removal of functionality even if a new function was added.

We are debating the difference between intention and fact unfortunately. In summary, purchase by value was intended by FT, but whole shares were received as fact by the customers.

So the fractional update added the ability to buy fractional shares.

Ergo they weren’t available before, so whole shares were always purchased and therefore possible.