Trouble brewing over Freetrade fractionals implementation?

Well this escalated quickly.

Just received a thousand year suspension over on Freetrade’s forum for suggesting they could ‘shove’ their implementation of fractional shares.

I cannot believe how thin skinned this looks.

No warnings, just a straight ban, with no prior strikes against me.

And you lot think the Monzo forum is heavy handed!

Viktor striking quite an agressive tone with a few others on there. Trouble at Freetrade towers brewing?

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People on that forum are asking for them to heavily subsidise (at a significant loss) their fee-free trading by removing the various limits on fractional shareholding.

This is why they’re going to the crowd to raise another round of crowdfunding.

A strange stance. Not a forum-centric approach by any means.

Your “shove it” post suggests there’s more to the topic than I could see (but then I don’t understand the significance of the FT decision and it’s impact on investors).

Victor should definitely step back from the forum - or tone it down a tad :flushed:.

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I don’t understand what the problem is with how they’ve implemented fractional shares. It’s not like going to the shops and buying tins of beans - when you invest, surely the important thing is the amount you’re investing, not the number of actual shares you receive? If you want to invest £1500 in Google, you’ll have around 1.1 shares and the full £1500 invested. Without fractional shares, you’d have 1 share and only £1370 invested.

If you want to invest in Google but can’t/don’t want to invest £1370 (the current price of one share), then fractional shares allow you to do that.

Not sure what the issue is? :man_shrugging:t2:

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From my point of view, it’s my money, so I should get to choose how I invest it.

If I want to buy part of a share, and they are willing to sell me that part then great. If I don’t want to buy parts of a share then I shouldn’t have to, simply because they couldn’t be bothered/couldn’t figure out how to code a workflow that gives me the choice.

I’m not the biggest investor, and Freetrade will not loose any sleep over me going elsewhere, but if it’s a choice of me sticking with a company who will suddenly force me to organise my investments in a way I do not want to (after a couple of years of being just great) or moving to a competitor who ‘get it’. It’ll be so long, Freetrade - and that’s a shame, because it’s a nice product and I want it to work.

Viktor really doesn’t do himself many favours either to be fair.

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I agree with what you say but I think there is potential for transfer out of holdings to be problematic with fractional shares (since most other platforms don’t support it). So for me it depends on how they implement transfer out whilst simultaneously supporting fractional shares.

Seems a bit heavy handed, they had issues before with team members being overboard in that regard.

I think part of the problem is that they’ve never supported buying a number of shares (despite the fact that you sell in number of shares, and equally there’s a box for number of shares you just can’t enter a number), it’s just never surfaced as a major problem until now.

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Exactly this.

In the past the only slight irritation was when the price went up and ticked over the value you’d set between confirming the trade and executing at 3pm. This is not really a problem with the free instant trades.

Any left over funds just go back in your pot. This is like buying anything else.

After all, you don’t go around the supermarket splitting packs to make up to an arbitrary figure you’re willing to spend on any particular item.

There have been a couple occasions however when I have tried to buy a specific number of shares. The UI doesn’t make it clear that you can only interact with the amount in £ field and the number of shares is simply for info.

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Yeah. You’d have to change the amount to get the number of shares you wanted, it’s a work around. And I expect it’s a work around they weren’t aware people were using until now.

Silly as it seems like it shouldn’t be to complex an option to add, it’s just eh opposite of what they do now.

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I had a chat with them about this is this was my main concern too. Apparently whole shares will still be treated as such and will be transferable out, while remaining fractionals would be sold.

Poor communication seems to be plaguing this more than anything else. I hated their approach when I was added to the beta last night, but after talking to them this morning to understand why they did it the way they did, the more I’m liking it.

They say it would cost them too much to build it in such a way that you could choose the number of shares you want, but other then platforms do it this way, and I would still have preferred that approach as an option, even as something to pay for by way of their premium account, or a one off fee like they used to charge for instant transactions.

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This doesn’t make any sense. This is how they operated before fractional shares, you just didn’t get the option to select the share amount. They said you you instead we’ll get 10 shares for your £100.

It should cost exactly the same for them to get 10 shares you asked for and charge you the amount.

It doesn’t make much sense to me either, but that’s their reasoning for it, so if true, I’m not going to take issue with them not offering the option for free.

I think it’s more to do with your balance being stored in £ and the fact they have to do convert it, and then would need to convert it back if it failed or to return leftover funds. Probably less of a cost issue when dealing with whole shares, or they just deduct the FX fee when returning the leftover funds. That’s the only explanation I can think of that would make some sense, given that with Revolut, who do let you choose the number of shares you want, hold your investment funds in USD.

I didn’t like the way they were going to implement it, so I tried out Trading212. With fractional shares and limit orders already there I am probably just going to sell my FreeTrade shares once they’re not making losses and go with T212 full time.

It wasn’t so much the lack of features (and I wouldn’t mind paying for an ISA) but the development time has been very slow. That and pre-COVID I was thinking of moving abroad this year and FreeTrade T&Cs don’t let you keep the account open.

I have to say, when I first used Freetrade I found this really weird and expected the number of shares to be a clickable field, so it seemed like a bug. I then read that it wasn’t.

To extend your supermarket analogy a bit, I suppose it is a bit like saying “I have exactly £1.73 I am willing to spend on cheese”.

Then, a number of shares approach would be like numbers of cheese blocks. If each one was 50p, you could buy up to three. The rest would just be change.

A fractional shares + amount-based approach is a bit like going to the cheese counter and saying “please sell me exactly £1.73 worth of cheese”!

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Which is exactly what you can do at the deli counter! :wink:

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In an ideal world you could buy a number of shares of a monetary value of shares.

I’m liking the idea of fractional shares, I like nice round figures when spending and this helps.

I do find freetrade have been horrendous at explaining everything which has caused a lot of confusion. They do need to bring in the ability to buy whole shares though.

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Cynical me thinks this is engineered to make it harder to transfer out.

Of course, I’ve been banned from the Freetrade forum for so long, I’ve forgotten why I was banned by a certain former employee… Still 99999998 years to go. Haha

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What is with this banning nonsense ?!

I didn’t realise this forum of ours was riddled with such bad boys. :rofl::joy:

(It feels like it could become a badge of honour…)

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Some irony in this post.

Actually the ‘bad boys’ here were got rid of some time ago.

There may even have been bans involved there too, but I may be misremembering.

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