Charles Schwab says it will soon let its retail investor clients buy partial shares of S&P 500 companies. The news comes nearly seven months after the firm said it planned to move into fractional shares, or dollar-based investing.
Rival Fidelity introduced this service for its investor clients in late January for both stocks and ETFs, while Robinhood did so in mid-December. Folio Investing, though, started selling fractional shares in 2000.
Schwab gave the example of a retail investor being able to buy partial shares of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix for as little as $25 total vs. buying a full share of each stock, priced at about $4,500 as of Monday.
As for RIAs, “Independent advisors told us that the ability to trade fractional shares on behalf of their high net worth clients is not a critical capability,” the firm said in a statement.
“But for their end clients who are interested, we do expect to make fractional shares available in the brokerage accounts of independent advisors’ end clients (via Schwab Alliance) in the next month or so,” it added.
Schwab Stock Slices is set to start on June 9 and will let retail clients buy partial shares of a single stock or up to 10 stocks at once with no commissions.
“Even with the recent volatility, we’re seeing high levels of engagement from many who see this as an opportunity to get into the market, and fractional shares trading through Schwab Stock Slices will provide an easy platform to do that,” according to Neesha Hathi, executive vice president and head of Schwab Digital Services.