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As recently as 15 years ago stock splits were rather common. Why is that no longer the case? Has Warren Buffett managed to impose his will on the entire market?

Stock splits kept the unit share price low thus allowing buyers to purchase larger lots of stocks in even multiples, 100, 500, or 1,000 shares. Have splits disappeared because with the advent of computer trading, there is no longer a penalty for small and/or odd lot trading?
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Stock splits offer no meaningful benefit for shareholders. First, there is no need to buy shares in lots of 100, 500 or 1000. Second, while a share split lowers the price of a share, it also reduces the value of that share. In other words, a 2-for-1 split of a $100 share of stock results in 2 shares of $50. So if someone buys a share post-split, they are only getting $50 worth of that company. While this may increase volatility, it doesn't have any effect on the market movement of the company.

One trap many fools fall into is thinking too much about how many shares they own and not enough about the value of those shares. They think they are somehow doing better buying a lot of shares of cheaply priced stocks rather than just a few shares of more expensive companies.

But the market price of a share of stock is completely dependent on the total market value of the company divided by the number of outstanding shares. The higher the market value, the higher the stock price. The more outstanding shares, the lower the stock price. However, neither market value nor the size of the shareholder pool is a measure of performance.

Regardless of whether you own 1000 shares at $1 per share, 100 shares at $10 per share, 10 shares at $100 per share or 1 share at $1000 per share, you still own $1000 of that company, and if the share price goes up 10%, you've gained $100 any way you split it. If there's a company in which you would really like to invest but is too expensive for your available cash, just wait until you can save enough for a share.

Fuskie
Who considers share splits as investor non-events...

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Stock splits offer no meaningful benefit for shareholders.

That's only true when your time horizon is infinite. In this case, it doesn't matter whether you buy 1,000 shares at $1.00 or 1 share at $1,000.

Let's assume that the share value gains 10% per year. Ten years later, each share is 2.59 times greater in value. Which shares would be more marketable? The 1000 shares that are valued at $2.59 per share or the single share that is now valued at $2,593.74?

I suspect that if you needed only a portion of the proceeds to pay for an expense that you incurred that you would find more people willing to buy shares that you offered for sale at $2.59 per share than you would offering 1 share at $2,593.74.
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Thank you. Was aware of most facets of your comments, but appreciated the line "One trap many fools fall into is thinking too much about how many shares they own and not enough about the value of those shares. They think they are somehow doing better buying a lot of shares of cheaply priced stocks rather than just a few shares of more expensive companies." The psychology of buying stocks with larger unit values feels more daunting.
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Thank you MCCrockett. The marketability of lower unit value stocks is a good consideration that I hadn't considered. I appreciate your comments.
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And the ability or ease of selling a fractional portion of ones holding without necessarily incurring a larger reportable gain (hopefully) of a single very high value share. Points taken. Thank you.
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Thank you. Was aware of most facets of your comments, but appreciated the line "One trap many fools fall into is thinking too much about how many shares they own and not enough about the value of those shares. They think they are somehow doing better buying a lot of shares of cheaply priced stocks rather than just a few shares of more expensive companies." The psychology of buying stocks with larger unit values feels more daunting.

True enough, but when I first started investing seriously, about the time I discovered The Motley Fool and read their first book, I also read Lowenstein's book about Warren Buffett* and thought I would like to get him to manage my investments. Since he did not take private clients, the only way I could get him to work for me was to buy a few shares of what is now BRK.A @$32,000 a share with about 1/4 of my capital. I have made more money with those shares than any other investment I have ever made. I have those shares in my safe deposit box at my bank. I had thought to have one of them framed and put on my wall at home, but I do not have the nerve to do that.

If I needed some of that money, I guess I would convert one share at a time into B-shares and sell as many as I needed to. Another option would be get a loan from my credit union and use a share as collateral. Right now, those shares are going for about $310,000.

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* https://www.amazon.com/Buffett-American-Capitalist-Roger-Low...
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