Support for fractional shares

Agreed–not all of us are trying to be algo day-traders–we just want to run our own ETFs with steady earnings given target ratios of stock, and this is much easier with fractional shares.

I want fractional shares as well. What is the ETA on this?

+1, Is this being considered, building my own ETF would be the prime usecase for moving me over.

Support for fractional shares broadens the availability of more of the market to more investors.

Checking in 5 months later. What is the status here? Beginning to lose faith and look for other options. I’d at least like an update from the platform.

It was indicated that you do have this feature planned: “Since Alpaca does not currently support fractional shares (though we are working on adding this feature!),” an update would be nice! Thanks!,of%20your%20desired%20thematic%20exposures.


Fractional trading is also a must for me!

+1 on this feature. Being able to incrementally purchase stocks on a daily or weekly basis rather than all at once is an incredibly powerful feature for creating good long term investment habits. I currently do all my investing via fractional shares with short time spans. I invest quite a lot and being able to choose exact amounts as well as times is a must for me and allows me to turn much higher profits.

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+1. I’ve been building a product that would serve as an Alpaca tool, but I’m now trying to find another service because of the lack of support for fractional shares.

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Hello, just joined your forum, been looking for a broker that offers fractional trading. Apparently I have to keep looking.

Edit: Actually, just found out Interactive Brokers allows fractional shares. :+1:

I was excited to start using Alpaca but since there is no response on this thread from the company for almost a year, I’m worried. Should I invest all my money in an API with a company that doesn’t respond to legitimate feature requests?

you meant non-legitimate

Checking in again. Is there any update to this request? Is work on providing access to fractional share purchase still ongoing? Or has it become a deprecated effort?

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Also checking in again. This is the make or break for me using Alpaca vs another system, and I assume there are a number of other investors with similar preference sets. Any official update from Alpaca?

I would love to see this feature.

Low-priority feature. Adds complexity, attracts non-serious users. Many higher-priority things for Alpaca eng to work on – including features other brokerages do not offer.

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I can see the benefit for those wanting to properly balance/re-balance portfolios of all account sizes. This is optimal in Friends & Family accounts, like IB has, or even financial advisors who have some smaller accounts. If you create an algo that can generate long signals on 20 stocks, say SPY’s top 20, then an account is mandated to have around a 10k minimum to even get a position of AMZN/GOOG along with equally weighting smaller prices, like AAPL at 132.
Having these small accounts often leads to other, bigger accounts. The FA’s with the most AUM I know are always willing to take on small accounts for this purpose.

@clumma I disagree that it attracts non-serious traders. I agree Alpaca can’t be building features for every 1k account that comes on-board, but I don’t often find API capable traders who don’t have the technical sophistication to be serious; just that they may still be working to accumulate wealth.

Here is Alpaca’s own outreach regarding hedge funds and why Alpaca is beneficial for them. It isn’t often someone is a fully registered hedge fund from day 1. A common process to becoming a fund is:

  1. Personal success ->
  2. Small family/friends success ->
  3. Financial advisor success ->
  4. Dedication to a full hedge fund

This is what IB has in place for the up-and-comers. Steps 1 & 2 require the usage of smaller accounts.
P.S. is there a forum/way for Family & Friends accounts? I see the closed ticket for multiple sub-accounts for paper trading, but nothing explicit on a master account.

We’ve certainly listened. Fractional shares have been on Alpaca’s list for awhile now and fit’s into our mission of ‘democratizing trading’ by allowing more diversification options for individuals with smaller accounts. Alpaca hasn’t set an official date for launching fractional shares, but shooting for first quarter 2021. Not all shares will be ‘fraction share’ tradable just a subset of approximately 500 securities to begin with.

Stay tuned.


In my Alpaca account I currently hold 53 names in 5 subportfolios, each of which I rebalance weekly. Among the 53 names are 17 ETPs with AUMs ranging from $1T down to $140M. The stocks have market caps ranging from $500B down to $75M. Two of the stocks are ADRs. I have broad sector exposure. I have over a dozen names with $500 target positions currently. Trading in whole shares has never been an issue in this account.

But you’re probably right: it will not attract non-serious traders since they are already at other brokerages.

Alpaca should spend its development resources (and complexity budget) on features that make it unique. There are more than a few features it could build, which NO other brokerage currently offers, which would be FAR more useful to traders of all stripes than fractional shares.

I wrote:

features it could build, which NO other brokerage currently offers, which would be FAR more useful to traders of all stripes than fractional shares

Just to give some examples:

  • It could fix the margin bugs I’ve encountered. I’m sure there are more.
  • It could add subportfolio tracking so I don’t have to do it in Excel.
  • It could implement real time-weighted and IRR return tracking, per subportfolio and even per name.
  • It could display other portfolio metrics, such as Sharpe ratios and CAPM statistics.

I think you misinterpreted the AUM I was referencing. I was saying the legitimate size of someone’s account, not the AUM of the funds being traded.
Example: I trade for family and friends. Many are MD residents with $10,000 in their accounts. So their accounts are small today, but in 1-2 years their accounts will be larger. Right now, if I try to equal weight/rebalance a long signal on 20 individual stocks I can only send 5% of my cash to each position. 10k * 5% = $500 max price per position. I can’t even buy 1 whole share of AMZN.
Fractional shares solves that, which Dan alluded to. Thanks Dan.

I’m in agreement that major bugs for margin take priority.
As for the other metrics, they all exist in Python.
Pyfolio has a bulk of these metrics: rolling portfolio beta, volatility, sharpe, underwater, drawdowns, cum alpha, beta, tail-ratio, skew, kurtosis, etc…