Robinhood Review - Don't be Robbed by Fees, Invest for Free
High trading fees are highway robbery. But justice prevails in the form of Robinhood–not the guy who robbed from the rich to give to the poor, but a trading platform with a feather in its cap… it’s free!
- Saving money
- Trading options
- Easy to use app
Robinhood is a trading platform that is entirely free. If you are interested in trading stocks or other assets, then you likely know how expensive the fees can get.
Most trading applications charge trade fees that will add up to a lot of money at the end of the year. Robinhood is different, as it seeks to eliminate the negatives of trade fees by offering a truly free experience.
This all sounds amazing, but is Robinhood really a good trading app that you can trust? Look at this Robinhood review so you can learn everything that you need to know.
You can figure out if this platform is right for you or if it is something that you should ignore. It’s always smart to look into opportunities that can save you money, so dig in and get the necessary information to make an informed decision.
The features of this application are actually impressive. It does lack some of the advanced trading tools you will get with more prevalent trading apps, but it’s fully featured for something that’s free.
Robinhood recently announced they’ve received a license to sell cryptocurrency in the state of New York. There are now 39 total states where you can invest in crypto, and “you can invest in seven cryptocurrencies on Robinhood Crypto: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and Dogecoin.”
Robinhood Gold has been a premium option for a while, but they’ve recently improved it significantly. According to their blog,
“In addition to margin investing and bigger instant deposits, it now includes new premium features like in-depth research and data.”
The premium features you’ll get include:
- Morningstar Research Reports
- Nasdaq Level 2 Market Data
Gold costs $5 per month and you’ll get access to bigger instant deposits and a margin account. You can learn all about the new and improved Robinhood Gold here.
Robinhood also recently acquired a media company called MarketSnacks, which had a financial news podcast and newsletter. They’ve relaunched under the name Robinhood Snacks, which gives you “digestible and easy to understand financial news you’ll enjoy.”
Trade Multiple Investment Types
You can trade stocks, cryptocurrency, and more using this convenient trading platform. This can be done from your mobile phone.
Intuitive Mobile Platform
This is one of the best trading platforms for people on the go. The mobile interface is intuitive, and it feels comfortable to navigate. Having a smooth experience while trading makes things that much better. You won’t fumble around in menus while trying to figure things out. This app just clicks with people easily, and it makes your trading time more pleasant because of it.
You will also enjoy solid research tools when using this app. It makes getting information simple so you can go into a trade with confidence you are making a move right for you.
The most appealing thing about the Robinhood app is there are no associated fees. Most trading platforms make use of trade fees, but Robinhood has a different philosophy. It’s a free app that allows you to trade without having to worry about lining someone else’s pockets.
There are minor trading fees, though, which is required by the SEC. Here’s what Robinhood has to say about their fees:
Investing with Robinhood is commission free, now and forever. We don’t charge you fees to open your account, to maintain your account, or to transfer funds to your account.
However, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) do charge a small fee for stock sell orders. They charge these fees for all sell orders, regardless of the brokerage. Robinhood doesn’t benefit financially from these charges, and we pass them along to the relevant regulatory agencies when we collect them.
- SEC: $13.00 per $1,000,000 of principal. This fee is rounded up to the nearest penny.
- FINRA Trading Activity Fee (TAF): $.000119 per share. This fee is rounded up to the nearest penny and no greater than $5.95.
Signing up for Robinhood will be simple. You just need to make sure you have at least $2,000 to open an account. From there, you can create an account using the typical information.
You’ll need to provide your social security number, personal information, contact information, and a method to fund your account.
After that, you can trade fast, and everything can be done from your mobile phone.
Go into the Robinhood trading app with full confidence. The safety of this app is outstanding. This app is monitored carefully by professionals, and there is a deep commitment to ensuring that the trading is done safely and securely.
According to Robinhood, they’re an:
“SEC-registered broker-dealer, and a member of both the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). This means stocks and options in your account are protected up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). For details, check out the SIPC website, and for more information on Robinhood Financial, you can find us on FINRA Broker Check.”
They also take your information protection seriously. Robinhood’s website states the following as examples of how they protect your information:
- Your account password is hashed using the industry-standard BCrypt hashing algorithm, and it’s never stored in plaintext.
- Sensitive details, such as your social security number, are encrypted before they’re stored.
- Our mobile and web applications securely communicate with our servers using the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol with the most up-to-date configurations and ciphers.
- We don’t store your online banking credentials, and we never will. Your banking credentials are used once to authenticate and verify that the specified account belongs to you.
Robinhood is tailor-made for mobile users, so the mobile support will always be top tier. You can enjoy a fully-featured application that makes trading as easy as it can be. Accessing your trades and account information from anywhere is a real convenience. It gives you the power to make trades and significant moves whenever you need to.
The flexibility of the Robinhood app deserves to be commended. This is very accessible and easy to navigate the application. It should work well for both trading veterans and those who are new to trading. If you have been looking for a new platform to help you facilitate your trades, then this one will be worth your while.
Most of the Robinhood review submissions by customers will show you that the customer service and support of the Robinhood trading platform are only passable. This won’t be the most robust customer service you’ve ever seen.
You can rely on support staff if you need to, but you might not get the same level of attentiveness as you would with some of the larger platforms. Robinhood handles everything through email customer support, and this may not be ideal. This manages to cut out many fees and other associated costs of trading.
That being said, Robinhood has a deep help center that has tons of information about using their platform and trading in general. So if you’re good with self-support, it might be enough.
If customer service is imperative to you, then stick to one of the bigger trading platforms on the market. This will allow you to have a more traditional experience and that might be ideal in your situation. Consider the factors before you jump into anything.
Robinhood Pros & Cons
- You’ll save a lot of money: The most obvious positives about the Robinhood trading platform are that you can eliminate many fees you’re used to paying. The reason for the naming convention is that it is all about helping people to trade while hanging onto as much of their money as possible. Whether or not this is taking from the rich and giving to the poor is up to you to decide. If you do your best to use this app to its full potential, then it may wind up saving you a lot of money.
- Trading options: This app can provide you with 100% commission-free stock trading. You can also trade cryptocurrency, options, and ETF in the same fashion. Account fees are kept to a minimum on this platform, and this saves you more money eventually. Trading stocks and other things without being forced to pay lots of fees will be a real benefit to your bank account.
- Low minimum balance requirement: Even the minimum portfolio balance will be easier to handle when using Robinhood. Most trading platforms require you to keep a large sum of money in an account, but Robinhood is different. All you will need is a portfolio of at least $2,000 to create an account. After this, you will never have to deal with any account minimum ever again.
- Easy to use app: This app is easy to use with a very streamlined interface. Signing up will be a quick process, and it will only require necessary information such as your social security number, contact details, and a way to fund your account. Once you get things going, you'll have a smooth experience using the mobile app to trade. This is one of the most convenient methods to trade when you want things to be easy and affordable.
- Customer service: The cons come into play when you think about customer service. Overall, the customer service for Robinhood is okay. They do things through email and do not even publish a phone number for you to contact them. This makes things somewhat tough, but the app is well made and should not give you many problems, to begin with.
- No mutual funds: Also, mutual funds and bonds are not supported by this trading platform. This will make people feel like their options are being limited. If you want to trade in bonds and mutual funds, then this will not be the trading platform for you. Turning to one of the larger and more well-known trading platforms will likely work out better.
- Only one account: It should also be noted that you can have only one single individual tax account. This may not work out well for people who want to invest using a tax-advantaged account such as a 401(k). Keeping this in mind, you have to weigh the positives against the negatives. Depending on your needs, this platform will either be fantastic or something that will not work for you.
There are two alternatives you will want to consider using. The most popular alternative will likely be E-Trade. E-Trade is a popular trading platform working for people for many years. They have a more robust customer support team and offer many more options. There will be more fees and other problems to deal with, but it will be a more traditional experience you can count on. You can expect the trade fees to be set at $6.95 per trade and there is a $500 account minimum.
You may also want to think about trying out Ally Invest. Many people actually prefer to use this trading platform as opposed to E-Trade. It offers you a $4.95 trade fee and does not have an account minimum. If this sounds good to you, then it might be the best option that lies somewhere between Robinhood and E-Trade.
Determining whether Robinhood is right for you will be tricky. It actually comes down to what you expect and what you need out of a trading platform. If you value not paying fees and not having to worry about account minimums, then Robinhood is very appealing. It offers you a convenient way to trade from a mobile platform and using the interface always feels intuitive.
This is an excellent trading app that does have a few drawbacks. Not trading bonds or mutual funds might be a dealbreaker for some. You merely need to ask yourself what your needs are so you can move forward with confidence.
For some people, a more traditional trading experience will be ideal. If you want access to robust customer support options and a conventional trading structure, then you should go with one of the tried and true platforms. Those who want to try something new and like avoiding fees will wind up loving Robinhood.
Robinhood is a fantastic trading platform convenient for mobile users. You can trade stocks, cryptocurrency, options, and ETFs easily. Avoiding fees and not having to worry about account minimums will be great. It is not as good for customer service as most other apps, but it is a secure platform you can trust.
If you have no plans to trade in mutual funds or bonds, then it is easy to recommend that you give Robinhood a shot. The potential for saving money is there when you use this app. It feels good to use and is likely to improve. Remember it if you are fed up with some of the bigger trading platforms and are looking to make a change.