If you’re a do-it-yourself investor who wants to execute hassle-free trades without paying commissions, Robinhood is the app for you. Launched less than 10 years ago, this fintech company changed the investing game for retail investors who couldn’t open accounts at big-name brokerage firms with large deposit requirements.
With over 10 million users and nearly a billion dollars in funding, the Robinhood app is one of the most prominent digital investing apps today. With its free trades, no account minimums, access to cryptocurrencies and real-time market data, this digital trading platform is the go-to DIY finance app for many younger investors.
When you download the app and create your account, you get your first share of stock for free. In many cases, your free stock will range in value from $50 to $200. From there, you can start buying and selling individual stocks, options, ETFs and cryptocurrencies. If you’re a new investor, the app provides educational tools and materials to help you start making profitable trades. You also get real-time market analysis and ratings from some of the top investment firms on Wall Street.
It only takes a few minutes to open an account, and you can usually start executing trades in an hour. And, the money you deposit – even if it’s less than $1,000 – is instantly available for your use.
Robinhood also offers cash management tools to pay bills, send checks, deposit your paycheck and more with no commitment. If you have any uninvested cash in your account, you can earn up to 0.30 percent APY from banks that participate in the program.
If you’re an options trader who constantly moves in and out of positions, you know fees can start to add up. With Robinhood’s option-free trading, you don’t need to worry about hidden brokerage fees and added contract fees other brokers charge after you execute a trade. Additionally, Robinhood provides access to over 2,000 no-fee ETFs (exchange-traded funds).
For investors who like to trade stocks on margin, they’ll need to open a gold account. When you trade on margin, you’re borrowing money from a broker to buy and sell stocks and other assets. At $5/month, you not only gain access to margin investing, but you also get real-time bid and ask prices to figure out demand levels for ETFs and stocks at those prices. You also gain access to bigger deposits, in-depth stock research from professional investors and more.
If you’re the type of investor who likes minimal exposure to the markets, Robinhood app ability to let you buy fractional shares may be appealing. The app’s recurring investment capabilities automatically invests fixed dollar amounts into fractional shares of stock. Additionally, Robinhood offers dividend reinvesting (any money you earn from stocks or ETFs that pay dividends are automatically invested back into those stocks or ETFs).
You also gain access to the Robinhood Snacks feature when you open an account, which is a podcast and newsletter that summarizes each day’s market action in easy-to-understand terms. A debit card is also available with instant access to over 75,000 ATMs that accept MasterCard.