Robinhood gives you free stock, ETF, options, and cryptocurrency trading. Yes, free! It isn’t a full-service brokerage, but it does a great job of making the financial markets accessible.
Robinhood is an online-only brokerage that is working to turn stock market norms upside down. It offers stock, ETF, option, and cryptocurrency trades at no charge. Using the web-based platform or app, you pay zero trade commissions and no account fees on the basic Robinhood account.
The site doesn’t offer a large pool of accounts, education resources, or research compared to some of the big, discount brokerages, you can’t beat the price.
Robinhood does not charge any fees for its core account. A premium account is available for $5 per month. There are no trading commissions charged on any product with Robinhood.
Robinhood is the first major brokerage to offer stock trading with no commissions. Outside of regulatory fees and some uncommon transactions fees, everything you do with a basic Robinhood account is free of charge.
The premium Robinhood Gold account costs $5 per month. This is a margin account. It charges 5% for borrowing above $1,000.
Robinhood offers two accounts, a basic account and a Gold account. There are no retirement, joint, or other accounts at Robinhood.
Robinhood only offers taxable brokerage accounts. You can choose the basic, free account that offers no-commission trading or a premium Gold account that also includes margin and other features.
Robinhood Gold offers extra features to sweeten the deal if you pay $5 per month. In addition to margin, the account offers bigger instant deposits, Morningstar research reports, and Level II NASDAQ market data (coming later in 2019).
With a Gold account, $1,000 of margin is included in the $5 per month rate. If you use an additional margin, you’ll pay 5% APR calculated daily and charged monthly. The first month of Robinhood Gold is free.
Robinhood supports trading stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies.
You don’t have to worry about a fee-free ETF list at Robinhood. They are all fee free! So are all of the assets you can access at Robinhood, if you missed that above.
Robinhood allows you to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, options, and digital cryptocurrencies. You can’t own mutual funds, bonds, futures, forex, or other assets in a Robinhood account.
Robinhood accounts are online-only. You can open in the Robinhood app or on the Robinhood website.
Robinhood accounts are easy to open online in just a few minutes. You’ll need a valid Social Security number or US tax ID and be a legal US resident. Accounts are not available outside of the United States except for active military personnel.
The best experience comes on a mobile device, though you can also sign up on the web. The entire process takes less than five minutes in most cases.
In some cases, you may need to submit additional identity verification documentation to open an account.
Robinhood offers a basic trading platform in the mobile app and on the Robinhood website.
Robinhood’s apps work well for most trading needs outside of very active and expert-level traders. While you can’t beat the price, some may argue that you get what you pay for from the trading platform.
The homepage features a watchlist and quick access to popular lists of stocks and other market news.
Trades are entered from the asset listing page. You can enter the number of shares in the box at the top right of the page.
Options chains are clear and easy to read and trade.
The system isn’t all the impressive compared to some of the premium desktop trading platforms you’ll get at some of the top discount brokerages. But considering you don’t pay any commissions, you can’t expect a first-class experience on all aspects of the service.
The most active and expert traders will probably find it worth paying more to trade on another platform. That said, beginners and casual traders should do well at Robinhood.
Robinhood was built mobile-first. That means the mobile experience is the primary experience and the web came later on. The mobile experience and web experience are nearly identical.
Robinhood supports the most common, basic order types. It does not allow conditional or complex traders.
Robinhood makes the stock market accessible, but it only caters to the most common types of trades. For stocks, that means market, limit, stop limit, and stop orders. You can add good-for-day or good-til-cancelled criteria as well.
For options, only limit orders are available. For cryptocurrencies, market and limit orders are supported.
Robinhood does not offer a bank account. It announced a forthcoming cash management account after recently pulling back from a plan to launch a bank-style account with SIPC coverage.
Robinhood does not currently offer any type of bank account. On its website, it shares that a cash management account is “coming soon.”
This is an area where Robinhood had a bit of a flub. Robinhood announced a “checking and savings” offering with coverage similar to FDIC coverage, but offered by the SIPC. The only problem was that they hadn’t asked the SIPC about it and it turned out that the accounts wouldn’t be covered.
They later backtracked on the new accounts and replaced them with the upcoming cash management account. There are few details on what this account will offer.
Robinhood support is easiest to reach by email or Twitter. Phone support is available during market hours.
Robinhood customer support is optimized for people who like an online experience. The easiest way for most people to reach customer service is through email. Twitter is another quick method for help.
The company offers phone support during market trading hours as well.
Robinhood currently offers two different promotions for new users of its standard account and for new Gold accountholders.
Robinhood currently offers two types of perks for new users. If you follow a referral link, you can qualify for a free share of stock once you open a new account. Shares are picked from a list of about 150 companies and may be worth between $2.50 and $200.
For new users of Robinhood Gold, you get the first 30 days, which includes $1,000 of margin, at no charge.
Robinhood is a legal and regulated brokerage in the United States. It is regulated by the SEC and is a member of FINRA.
Robinhood is a member of FINRA and registered in all US states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. Accounts are insured by the SIPC and the company is regulated by the SEC.
Cryptocurrency products are offered by Robinhood Crypto, a separate legal entity. These products are not covered by SIPC insurance or oversight.
Robinhood offers basic research on most covered assets. It does not offer an in-depth education section.
Robinhood offers some research and education resources but overall is somewhat light in these offerings. Listing pages offer basic details as well as some analyst ratings and average trade prices.
As far as education goes, Robinhood has a blog and a digital investor newsletter, though most of the blog’s content is focused on features and Robinhood news.
Research details for a stock on Robinhood
Robinhood Gold account holders also get access to Morningstar research reports.
Robinhood is useful for traders of all backgrounds and is particularly attractive to beginner and casual traders.
Robinhood doesn’t have advanced trading tools. That means it is best for beginners and traders who don’t have a high benchmark for what they need from a platform.
The trading experience is somewhat basic on both the mobile app and web platform.
Is Robinhood regulated?
Where is Robinhood based?
Menlo Park, California
When was Robinhood founded?
How does Robinhood make money?
Margin loans, premium accounts, interest
How do I deposit in Robinhood account?
ACH (electronic funds transfer)
How do I withdraw money from Robinhood?
How do I open an account with Robinhood?
Mobile app or website
Does Robinhood offer margin accounts?
Are funds at Robinhood secured or insured?
While Robinhood doesn’t offer everything you may want in a brokerage, the pricing can’t be beaten. It offers a decent account with incredible pricing.
Robinhood is a great platform to learn the basics of investing and trading. If you have relatively simple needs, it could be your primary brokerage for non-retirement account funds. While its offerings are limited, it offers the best possible pricing you could have with a brokerage: free.
For most people, it won’t be the only brokerage you need. But it does offer a way to get into the markets with no costs and the basic tools you need to start on a successful investing or trading strategy. For its corner of the market, it’s the best at what it offers.