Fractional Share Trading

Overview: 

Trading fractional shares allows you to invest in companies which you may not be able to afford the full share price. It also makes it easier for you to diversify your portfolio by allowing you to purchase fractional amounts in multiple companies when you otherwise may have only been able to purchase whole shares in one or two companies.

If you enable your account to trade in fractions, we will buy or sell a fraction of a share based on the amount of cash you specify. For example, if you want to spend $500 but one share of the stock you want to buy is currently $1000 you would end up with 0.5 shares.

Who is eligible for fractional share permissions?

All individual, standalone accounts (except those who reside in Israel, Canadian RRSP/TFSA accounts and Interactive Brokers Securities Japan Inc. ("IBSJ") entity accounts) are eligible for fractional share permissions.

Financial Advisors, Money Managers, and Introducing Brokers may enable their clients on an all-or-none basis.

How do I enable fractional shares?

If you are eligible then you can enable fractional share trading in Client Portal. Click the User menu (head and shoulders icon in the top right corner) followed by Settings. Under Account Settings find the section Trading and click on Trading Permissions. Scroll to "Stocks", click +Add and check the box next to "Global (Trade in Fractions)" and click on SAVE. Then click CONTINUE and follow the prompts on screen. You will then be able to trade in fractions in eligible stocks for which you have permission to trade. To trade fractions of eligible U.S. stocks, you will need to sign up to trade U.S. stocks, and to trade fractions of eligible European stocks, you will need to sign up to trade European stocks.

Please note, TWS Build Version 979 or later is required to trade fractional shares. This feature currently supports most order types.

What products can I trade in fractions?

We offer fractional share trading on eligible U.S. and European stocks and ETFs*.

A list of eligible stocks that can be traded in fractional shares is available via the following link. Please note, this list is subject to change without notice:

http://www.ibkr.com/download/fracshare_stk.csv

*Under EU regulations, EU retail clients generally cannot trade U.S. ETFs, in whole or fractional increments.

Can I short fractional shares?

IBKR does support short sales in fractional shares of eligible stocks as long as you have margin and approved trading permissions to trade fractional shares of stocks listed in the U.S. or in Europe.

What are the fees associated with fractional shares?

There is no additional fee to use fractional share trading. Standard commission rates (both IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro, where applicable) apply.

What order types can I choose for fractional trading?

IBKR will only accept certain types of orders for fractional shares (e.g., market orders, limit orders, stop orders, stop limit orders, etc.). If you choose to place an unmarketable limit order with a fractional share component, the fractional component may not execute until the order becomes marketable (and therefore may not execute at all), even if the order might have executed earlier if submitted for a whole share quantity.

How does IBKR handle fractional shares orders in European stocks?

Depending on the size and nature of the order, IBKR will direct orders in European stocks that include a fractional share component to a pool of execution venues which might be different than those utilized for other order types. You should review the applicable order execution policy for more details.

Can I transfer fractional shares to IBKR?

IBKR does not accept fractional shares through a position transfer.

Are fractional shares eligible for the Dividend Reinvestment Program (DRIP)?

It is not possible to receive fractional shares for a reinvested dividend through the Dividend Reinvestment Program (DRIP) at this time. We hope to offer this in the future.

Please note the above does not apply in the event of mutual fund dividends, which can be re-invested and may result in holding fractional shares of the fund.

Will I receive a fractional share position from a corporate action?

If your account has been approved for trading fractions and a US or European corporate action issues fractional shares, the fractional shares will remain in your account. However, if your account does not have permissions to trade in fractions or the corporate action is issuing non-eligible shares, the fractional shares will be liquidated.

Will I have voting rights for fractional shares in my account?

You will not have voting rights for any of the fractional shares held in your account, you will not be able to make voluntary elections on any corporate action (including, without limitation, any tender offers or rights offerings) with respect to such fractional shares, and we cannot provide you any other shareholder documentation for any holdings of less than one share.

Do I receive dividends on my fractional shares?

Your fractional shares positions are eligible to receive dividends in the same manner as your full positions on the same stocks.

Is fractional trading available for the API?

Fractional trading is not supported via API or FIX/CTCI at this time.