If there's one company that's proven itself to be adaptive and valuable in the course of the pandemic, it's Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX). In fact, over the past five years, the company's share price has shot up from about $86 to an astounding $529.

If you're interested in buying Netflix, today's share price may be too high for your budget. But that doesn't mean you have to give up on owning it. Here's how to add Netflix to your portfolio -- even if you don't have anywhere close to $529 to spend per share.

Get a piece of the action

These days, a growing number of brokerage accounts will let you purchase fractional shares if you can't swing a full share of a given company, or you simply don't want to spend that much. Fractional shares allow you to buy a piece of a share of stock rather than an entire share. Then, if the value of that company goes up, you profit proportionally.

Two people on couch with bucket of popcorn looking at TV across the room

Image source: Getty Images.

There are definite benefits to buying fractional shares. First, they allow you to buy the stocks you want without having to save up the money and wait.

We don't know if Netflix's share price will continue to rise, but given its trajectory over the past five years, that's a distinct possibility. If you don't have $529 today to snag a share of Netflix, you can buy a portion of a share -- before it becomes more expensive.

Another upside of fractional shares is that they can help you build a nice diverse portfolio. If you've previously shied away from specific companies because their share prices have been too high, you can move forward with pieces of shares instead and expand your holdings so you're invested across a wider range of market segments.

Now it's worth noting that not all brokerages offer fractional shares, but plenty of them do, so if you're interested in buying Netflix, it pays to do some digging. In fact, if you eventually want to own a full share of Netflix, you can buy fractional shares on a weekly or monthly basis until you hit that goal.

Of course, any time you buy fractional shares, you should do your research on the companies behind them before diving in, the same way you should vet any stock before buying a full share of it. Take a look at Netflix's earnings and see how well its managing its cash. Also, pay attention to how rapidly its user base is growing. Finally, read up on what the company is doing to offer more value and expand its list of subscribers.

Netflix may be a popular stock, and it's a company you may be familiar with because you use the service yourself. That's not a bad starting point to work with, but dig into Netflix before buying it in any form. And if you do decide to move forward, know that you don't have to commit upward of $500 to add it to your investment mix. Instead, you can buy a portion of a share of Netflix at a more affordable price point and see where that takes you.