It can be done!
Last week we wrote a post about buying Japanese stocks. In it, we mentioned the minimum lot size for buying and selling stocks, which has been standardised at 100 shares. This makes it very expensive to buy shares in many companies.
However, there is an alternative way to buy shares that allows you to buy them one at a time.
Here is how it works at Rakuten, SBI, and Monex.
The key term seems to be '単元未満株式'.
Rakuten does have a system for buying single shares, but you can only buy shares that you already own. Better than nothing, but not particularly useful.
SBI has the single stock option built into their order screen (see below):
Monex has a separate order screen for the single share option, called 'ワン株買':
Other brokers and banks may also provide this option. Just look for '単元未満株'. A bit disappointing that Rakuten doesn't match the others in providing this service, but to be fair I didn't even know about this option a week ago ;)
Keep in mind though that for most people investing using passive index funds and automating their finances will yield better results, take less time, and be less risky than buying individual stocks.
One compromise is to keep most of your investments in indexes and have a small portion of your portfolio as 'play money' or 'gambling money'. This is what I do. It allows me to be sensible with most of my funds while pretending to be Warren Buffett with a small amount.
How about you? Do you buy individual companies and stocks as part of your portfolio?