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Robinhood is a mobile-only, online trading platform that aims to increase accessibility to the financial markets. The platform is popular since it doesn’t require a minimum account balance and offers commission-free trading. Robinhood has gained a reputation as an affordable, easy option to start investing money, particularly among millennials.
However, many investors are choosing other brokers due to the negative publicity that Robinhood received when they decided to freeze GameStop trading in early 2021. This article evaluates the top Robinhood alternatives making it easier for investors to determine which platform will work best for them.
- 1 Robinhood: A Overview
- 2 Why Robinhood Might Not Be Your Ideal Platform
- 3 Top Alternatives to Robinhood
- 4 Factors to Consider
- 5 Conclusion
Robinhood: A Overview
With over 3 million brokerage accounts presently using its platform, a $0 account minimum for standard taxable accounts, and being credited with bringing about a significant transformation in the trading sector by eliminating transaction commissions, Robinhood has established itself as a formidable new player in the investment world.
The platform continually releases new products and provides a sleek, simple method to trade options, stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. By paying a monthly account maintenance charge, traders can access pre- and post-market trades and margin trading options through Robinhood’s paid account, Robinhood Gold.
Robinhood became the target of legal actions and protests from the public and complaints filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over failing to satisfy the duty of best execution and misleading customers about revenue sources. The company paid roughly $70 million in fines and compensation in June 2021, making it the highest financial penalty the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has imposed.
Why Robinhood Might Not Be Your Ideal Platform
There are some areas where Robinhood might need improvement, and traders may not see them as the ideal platform because of it. They include the following:
Candlestick Charting Features
Robinhood’s UI prioritizes simplicity and elegance, but using its candlestick charting features on a mobile device might be challenging. Like other brokers, Robinhood utilizes the traditional green and red candle scheme, but the white background of the Robinhood mobile app makes shadows difficult to see. This UI could make traders seek out other alternatives.
Tools and Analytics
Online brokerage firms want their traders to be successful and usually include a large library of trading information and educational resources. However, Robinhood offers very little in the way of educational resources beyond the ability to create watchlists and analyze real-time market data. New traders find these educational resources helpful when trading, and they may want to try other alternatives since Robinhood doesn’t offer much trading information.
Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
Using an alternative broker is recommended if you plan to open an IRA to save money for retirement. No IRA or solo 401(k) accounts are available through Robinhood; instead, the company only offers individual taxable accounts.
Top Alternatives to Robinhood
Highlighted below are the top alternatives to Robinhood.
- M1 Finance
- TD Ameritrade
- Interactive Brokers
E-Trade vs Robinhood
E-Trade is regarded as one of the most sophisticated trading platforms available. Its trading platform is incredibly user-friendly and allows you to trade mutual funds in addition to stocks and ETFs. Another advantage of using E-Trade is the access you have to educational resources that show you how to make investment decisions, perform analysis, and diversify your portfolio.
With each E-Trade program, you have access to a dashboard where you can manage your accounts, make investments, and execute transactions. However, E-trade does charge a modest fee of $0.65 for options contracts, and you can open a retirement account.
- Excellent array of investment options
- Commission-free treasuries and mutual funds
- Automatically designed mutual fund and ETF portfolios
- Separate applications for casual users and power users
- Fractional shares aren’t widely available
- Absence of direct cryptocurrency trading
Public vs Robinhood
This platform is a free stock app geared toward young adults interested in making investments that reflect their social views. Like many of its competitors, Public offers fractional investing, which lets you purchase a portion of a share of a certain stock rather than the full amount.
As a result, you can invest in some of the leading companies with high costs per share, such as Tesla, Microsoft, and Apple. You can also keep tabs on other users’ investments and get live market news from industry experts.
- Trades stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, collectibles, and a list of alternative assets
- Has social feeds, educational resources, and live events
- Provides decent free data and resources for research and analysis
- Limited account types
- No advanced charts
Webull vs Robinhood
Webull is a trading platform created for novice and experienced investors. With the exception of a few wire transactions and SEC fees, it has no fees or commissions. As a result, it serves as a great Robinhood alternative.
Webull’s app has a useful feature that analyzes investments for you depending on your financial position and helps you choose the best investments. Doing this allows you to make efficient, informed decisions rather than spending the entire day deliberating on each investment.
- Access to cryptocurrency
- Low costs
- Advanced tools
- Easy-to-use platform
- Fast and easy account opening
- Thin educational support
- No mutual funds
- Limited product portfolio
M1 Finance vs Robinhood
M1 Finance provides its customers with standard investment services and expert investment advice. M1 Finance does not impose a fee for assets under management (AUM), making it one of the safest investing apps for new investors.
The method you use to choose the index funds and stocks you invest in for your portfolio is another significant factor that sets this company apart. You can select them directly or from more than 80 well-curated portfolios.
- No commissions
- Dynamic rebalancing
- Fractional share trading
- Low account minimums
- No account management fees
- Low expense ratios
- No access to human advisors
- Not suitable for active traders
- No tax-loss harvesting
Acorns vs Robinhood
Acorns is primarily designed for long-term savers, which makes it a totally different offering. It functions as a robo-advisor, savings account, and full-service brokerage. They also have three service tiers for three different flat monthly costs. They are:
- Acorns Personal – $3/month
- Acorns Personal Plus – $5/month
- Acorns Premium – $9/month
The only investment choice with Acorns are pre-built portfolios, which the app will assist you in selecting based on your risk tolerance. While these diversified portfolios are a good long-term investment strategy, they won’t provide you with the same level of freedom and investing experience on a more active platform.
- Educational content available
- Cash back at select retailers
- Straightforward pricing
- Limited investment options
- No tax-loss harvesting
TradeStation vs Robinhood
TradeStation is the best option for experienced traders. The trading platform is designed for professional traders who prefer to trade in large volumes on a wide range of products and have access to a dynamic investment research software platform.
TradeStation surpasses other platforms by providing various investment classes and a wealth of educational resources to help users become better, smarter traders.
- Intuitive trading interfaces and tools
- Professional trading features and capabilities
- Competitive pricing for trading volume
- Comprehensive research
- Advanced tools
- Pricing and plans can be confusing
- Mediocre customer service
TD Ameritrade vs Robinhood
TD Ameritrade is a commission-free broker offering a generally positive experience for new, intermediate, and experienced investors. They provide a wide variety of trading options, such as those for forex, bonds, futures, and mutual funds and several educational resources and tools are available making it simple to research, choose stocks, and make other investments.
- Good customer support
- Large investment selection
- Commission-free stock and ETF trades
- No account minimum
- Free research
- High-quality trading platforms
- No fractional shares
- No cryptocurrency trading
- High margin rates
Interactive Brokers vs Robinhood
If you’re a regular trader who appreciates Robinhood’s cost-saving features but requires more research tools and efficiency, there’s a good chance you’ll love Interactive Brokers.
IB offers some of the lowest market trading fees, an equally impressive mobile app, and stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, and a plethora of other asset classes.
- Low margin rates
- Commission-free trading
- Extensive research and education tools
- Robust trading platform
- Complicated pricing structure
- The website is difficult to navigate
- Fees for some research tools
Fidelity vs Robinhood
Fidelity provides commission-free stock, ETF, options trading, and self-directed investment. Fidelity is perfect for users who want to go beyond simply trading stocks because it provides more account options than several trading platforms, advanced trading options, and an abundance of research resources. Unlike Robinhood, Fidelity accepts CDs, bonds, and mutual funds.
- High-quality mobile app
- Offers fractional share investing
- Commission-free stock and ETF trades
- Strong customer service
- Competitive robo-advisor
- No access to futures trading
- Higher margin rates
Moomoo vs Robinhood
You’ll enjoy the advantages of low fees because Moomoo was created as a platform for savvy trading. Moomoo has a different strategy from platforms that value simplicity and usability. This trading platform accommodates new and experienced investors by providing an integrated platform packed with efficient tools to improve trading insights and capabilities.
With the use of its AI technologies, Moomoo makes tracking and research simple. It also offers free resources to help you develop your market awareness and understanding.
- No minimum deposit when opening an account
- Comprehensive charting tools
- Paper trading is available
- No commission when trading options, stocks, and ETFs
- No chat support
- Limited investment opportunities
- Only supports individual taxable accounts
- High margin rates
Factors to Consider
Identifying your investment goals and choosing a broker who will assist you in achieving them is crucial when it comes to choosing the best broker. Here are some factors to consider.
Since Robinhood paved the way for $0 commissions, you might wish to look for a brokerage firm that provides free trading. Even while it’s difficult to match Robinhood’s free trades, you can buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and bonds at a number of brokerages at affordable rates. You can also invest in mutual funds or index funds at some brokerages without paying a fee.
If you wish to buy stocks for long-term holding, opening a regular or Roth IRA rather than a taxable brokerage account (such as those offered by Robinhood) will help you lower your tax liability.
The fact that Robinhood’s mobile app makes investing fun is one of the reasons why it dominates the market for ease of use. Before choosing a brokerage firm, make sure you’re familiar with the layout of the app and online trading platform by watching a few YouTube lessons that explain how to use it.
We hope that this list of Robinhood alternatives proved useful to you while you made your choice. Keep in mind that no two brokerages will be precisely the same, so choose one that provides the services you require, including the kinds of investments you wish to include in your portfolio.
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