Let’s be blunt: Oneshare is not a great way to invest. Let’s also be blunt: It’s a great way to gift and get someone started in investing.
That’s it. That’s all you really need to know about it. The biggest mistake most investors make is that they pay too much for the privelage of buying shares and buy too few shares to make that cost worthwhile.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you only have $100 to invest. So find the cheapest broker you can think of to open an account and select 1 share of Company XYZ. That share is priced at $100. Let’s say your cheapest broker charges you $5 a trade. Once you complete the buy action of that trade you are already down 5% because of the cost of that trade. To fix that you need to find a broker that is completely free like Loyal3 or you can choose to buy more at a time so that the $5 fee is only 1-2% of an expense, but that’s not realist for many of us.
So do I think you should buy Oneshare to invest? No, but it makes a great gift for anyone. Someone who is passionate about a particular company would be proud to have a framed certificate of that company in their home. They are often beautiful stock certificates and definite conversation starters. The other option is to give them as gifts to someone who is stubborn about saving or investing as a bridge to a new trend.
Another option, which might go overlooked is to consider buying a share through One Share to take advantage of the requirement that many companies have of ownership of one share in order to enroll in their DRIP programs. Buy the one share and then you can make cash contributions any time without the use of a broker. But keep in mind that trading fees will likely still apply.