Robinhood Free Stock Trading – Broker Review 2018

Recommended for those wanting free stock trades who want to keep it super simple (basic even), who do not need strong technical and fundamental analysis of stocks and do not want to use a PC.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Trades & Commissions
Brokerage Trading Platform
Customer Satisfaction
Account Opening Balance
Research & News Score
Regulation FINRA & SIPC Insurace

Robinhood Free Trading App

Robinhood was really the first Brokerage to offer free stock trading, started in 2013 it has now raised through private venture capital over $500 million to fund the business.

With over one million registered accounts it is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with.

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★ $0 Commissions
★ Simple Trading App
★ Simple to understand Margin Fees
★ Happy Customer Base
✘ No Technical Analysis Possible
✘ No Fundamentals or Screening
✘ Web Application is Basic

 

Trades, Commissions & Account Minimum – Robinhood

Free trading refers to $0 commissions for Robinhood Financial self-directed individual cash or margin brokerage accounts that trade U.S. listed securities via mobile devices.  As Robinhood is a mobile-first company, this means if you trade from your smartphone on the Major U.S. listed stocks available through Robinhood then the trade has no cost.

Account minimum is $0, but of course, you will need money to trade.

Trading Platform

The Simple & Effective Design of the Robinhood App
The Simple & Effective Design of the Robinhood App

Mobile first refers to the fact that Robinhood started only as an app on a phone and not a fully fledge trading platform.  This means you have to do everything via the phone including opening, funding, and trading.

The Robinhood blog also suggests they are moving more and more functionality form the app to the web.

The Robinhood App.

Clean simple and intuitive, the app design and interface would make Steve Jobs happy, so simple in fact the company claim that no user manual is required to use it.

So, all good so far.  But if you are a serious trader or investor, Robinhood will be good for executing the trades, but any serious amount of technical analysis or even analysis of the fundamentals of a stock is impossible and would require other stand-alone applications, such as:

Of course, stock screening is also impossible on a phone, so you would want to select a great stock screener to use in conjunction with Robinhood. You can also read our review of the best stock market apps for smartphones

Options Trading & Crypto Trading on Robinhood

Trading Multi-leg Options with Robinhood App
Trading Multi-leg Options with Robinhood App

If you thought stock technical and fundamental analysis is tough on a smartphone, then get ready for Options Trading.

With the huge selection of options trading strategies and the real requirement to be able to map each play out in term of risk and reward, you really need to have a strong graphical interface on a well-built application.

The power of Firstrade’s OptionsPlay web application as mentioned above cannot be easily replicated by current big screen competitors, nevermind on the small form factor screen of Robinhood.

Again for execution it probably works, but again you will need a third party software provider to fill in the gap.

However, as a relatively new contender to the brokerage business, Robinhood does still have issues with the availability of the service.  I am sure they are working to iron these issues out, but you cannot expect an always available solution right now.

Customer Support, Research  & Education – Robinhood

Robinhood has a host of raving fans and we must give credit where it is due, Robinhood are the first broker to start the free stock trading revolution.  The fans love it because they buy into the idea that stock trading is now possible for everyone not just the rich.  Take a look at this no doubt sponsored tweet.

The problem is that, while this “stock trading is only for the rich” message plays on the emotions, the fact is for the past 20 years you never had to be rich to invest in stocks. As we know 52% of Americans already have money in the stock market, one cannot claim they are all rich.  In fact, with the major stock brokerage houses hovering at $5 per trade this is hardly going to break the bank even for a low-income earner.

In terms of investor education, there is not really much of note available.  As we know as serious investors, good research costs money and because Robinhood only makes money from people who want to use the gold service for margin trading, it cannot afford to offer any of the services offered by Firstrade, namely free access to Zacks Research, Morningstar Research & Ratings + Breifing.com.

Open an Account with Robinhood

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Commission Free Stock Trading Review Closing Thoughts

While Robinhood was the pioneer of free stock trades and has a loyal following of supporters and customers, the impetus of the value offering has now dissolved with the move of Firstrade into this market.

In terms of free stock trades, both Firstrade and Robinhood are more or less equal.  But it is not just about free trades.

When it comes to a powerful stock and options trading platform Firstrade is leagues ahead.  When we think about research and customer support, Firstrade wins hands down.

Firstrade’s move is an industry disruptor and game changer.

Read the Head to Head Comparison of Firstrade vs Robinhood

Visit Firstrade

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Notes on the Review

Customer Satisfaction Score (Star Ratings)

The customer satisfaction score was compiled using the following methodology.

The Twitter Accounts of the Brokers was scanned back for the 1 year for any negative feedback from customers.  Also, TrustPilot UK and USA were reviewed and any negative comments counted against the broker.  These two sources of information were combined to provide the star rating you see below.

Partnerships & Special Bonus

How to Avoid the Next Stock Market Crash - eBook & Video Training
How to Avoid the Next Stock Market Crash - eBook & Video Training

Liberated Stock Trader has partnerships with most of the service providers in this review.  This means if you find the review useful and purchase any of the services mentioned we will receive a small payment which goes towards funding the research and work we do. 

As a thank you for using our reviews and purchasing any of the services mentioned we would like to offer you a special bonus of the highly rated Liberated Stock Trader "How to Avoid the Next Stock Market Crash" eBook and Video Course worth $29.-.  Simply contact us specifying which service you signed up for and we will send you your gift.

Review Methodology

Hundreds of data points were collected during this review.  Brokers change services, terms, and commissions on a regular basis.  If you represent a Brokerage House or are a client and you spot an inaccuracy, please leave a comment or contact us here and we will endeavor to correct it.

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