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A comprehensive review of Robinhood

Security, trading fees, tradable assets and more

4/5 star rating

Robinhood is an American stockbroker established in 2013, and is widely regarded as a great place in particular to invest and trade low-value stocks. This is because the broker allows users to trade these and other assets free of charge. Robinhood, inspired by the figure after whom the broker is named, is on a mission to democratise the financial system. 

Robinhood provides access to a wide range of financial products, including stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, gold, and cryptocurrencies. It is a regulated stockbroker and one of the best places to find and trade penny stocks, and also offers banking services to its customers. This guide will take you through everything you need to know before using Robinhood’s services.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Free stock and ETF trading
  • Free deposits and withdrawals (on some payment methods)
  • Offers banking services to its customers
  • Great mobile and web trading platforms
  • Fast and fully digital account opening (no meetings or paper!)
Cons

  • Limited product range
  • Not much educational material for beginners
  • Credit/Debit card payments not available
  • Depositing above £1,000 comes with timely delays

What can I do with Robinhood?

Robinhood users can trade and invest in cryptocurrencies, ETFs, stocks, options, and gold. The company provides financial services to over 6 million customers worldwide, and in April 2013 became the first service to introduce commission-free stock and ETF trading. As of December 2019, Robinhood users can use banking and cash management services through the broker, along with having access to a wide range of assets to trade.

Which assets can I trade?

You can trade the following assets on Robinhood:

  • Stocks 
  • ETFs
  • Options
  • Crypto
  • Gold

Robinhood Payment Methods

Robinhood doesn’t provide investors with many options in terms of depositing and withdrawing funds. At the moment, Robinhood only supports payments by bank transfer, and are yet to integrate credit/debit cards and electronic wallets on their platform. 

Robinhood has both withdrawal and deposit limits. The limit is $50,000 per business day for both deposits and withdrawals.

What devices can I use Robinhood on?

The Robinhood trading platform can be used on multiple devices. The platform can be accessed via its website on any browser, and the service also has a mobile app to ease the trading process for its users. You can easily access the Robinhood trading platform on the following devices:

  • Computers: desktops and laptops
  • Android Phones
  • iPhones

How easy is it to use Robinhood?

Robinhood is one of the easiest stock trading platforms around today. This is because it mostly focuses on investment rather than day-trading, and their website’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for users to access all the financial products available to them. Their app and the website are similar in look and feel, thus making investing via any of the interfaces easy. Robinhood also allows clients to open and fund their accounts via the mobile app. 

When you start looking at a stock, option, or cryptocurrency on the platform, an order ticket pops up to help make the buying and trading process as easy as possible. All the assets available on the Robinhood website can be traded via their mobile apps. The prices of the assets update in real-time. 

On the down side, Robinhood doesn’t have as wide a range of trading tools as some other leading brokers, and the platform also has a disappointing educational section. Although they have various articles to help new investors, they are not properly arranged to make it easy for the users to navigate. In general, Robinhood is an excellent platform for investment and trading various assets, but you might have to go elsewhere to learn the basics.

Countries supported

Robinhood is a global investment and trading platform and is available in every country besides the following; Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Crimea.

Regulation 

Robinhood is a regulated stockbroker in the United States. Despite its global presence, Robinhood is not regulated or authorised by any other major regulator outside the United States. The platform is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). 

Robinhood Account Verification

As a service regulated by the SEC and a FINRA member, Robinhood has to follow the KYC and AML regulations. Robinhood will verify your account by asking for the following documents. 

  • ID Verification: Robinhood members will be asked to verify their ID They need to provide proof of ID such as driving license, state ID, international passport, or national ID documents. If you are a U.S citizen, they could also ask for a copy of your social security card.
  • Proof of residency: to verify your address, Robinhood will need you to submit a scanned copy of your bank statement, permanent residency card, or utility bill from the past three months. 

Customer support

One of the drawbacks with Robinhood is their limited customer support. You can only reach the Robinhood customer support team via email. For a platform that offers cryptocurrency trading services, it is disappointing that there is no 24/7 support available. They also don’t support phone calls or have a live chat feature. 

Robinhood Stockbroker

First impression

Robinhood is a platform for trading and investing in a wide range of financial assets such as stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. Although it is a young stockbroker, Robinhood doesn’t have many technical tools to support the active trading of stocks and other financial assets. Regardless, Robinhood has attracted over 6 million users globally thanks to the ease of use of its platform and the commission-free stock and ETF trading they offer. Their registration process is swift and fully digital. 

The Robinhood mobile app and the Robinhood website have similar features, which means you can easily trade on any device you desire. Robinhood has an expansive learning center where people can find relevant trading and investment articles. 

In general, Robinhood is a very good platform for trading or investing in stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, options, and gold. 

What currency pairs can be traded?

Robinhood doesn’t support forex trading yet. However, the platform does support the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. Here are the cryptocurrencies you will find on the Robinhood platform: 

  • BTC/USD
  • BCH/USD
  • BSV/USD
  • ETH/USD
  • ETC/USD
  • LTC/USD
  • DOGE/USD

Are there fees for trading?

Robinhood doesn’t charge anything for stock, ETF, options, and cryptocurrency trading on their platform. They also don’t have inactivity fees. 

However, for margin trading, Robinhood charges 5% annual financing rates for stocks and options.

What is the minimum spread on Robinhood?

Minimum Spread is the smallest difference between the buy and sell prices of an asset. Robinhood has a 0.3% minimum spread for stock trading.

Can I trade assets with leverage?

Yes, you can. Robinhood supports trading assets with a maximum leverage of 2:1. This means that you could make $20 for a trade of $10 if you use leverage on Robinhood. However, we caution traders to use leverages less often as they pose more risk, especially when trading cryptocurrencies. The crypto market is highly volatile, which means prices can swing in any direction within a few minutes. Thus, it is highly recommended to trade with as little leverage as possible to lower the losses. We’ve also created a list of high leverage forex trading sites, in case if that is what you want.

What are the margins required?

On Robinhood, the margin requirement differs for each stock and investor. Each stock, crypto, or options an investor owns have their own maintenance requirement. The margin requirement is based primarily on an asset’s volatility. For the Robinhood Gold margin service, the lowest tier costs $6 per month, which allows traders to use up to $1,000 of margin to buy more stock than they could with their cash balances.

Can I open long and short positions on Robinhood?

Yes, Robinhood supports going long and short on assets through its platform. In trading, having a long or short position means betting on an asset to either go up in value or drop value over time. Traders that are bullish on the price of an asset buy it and wait for it to increase. When that happens, it is called going long. Also, shorting is when an investor is bearish on the price of an asset and sells it in order to buy it at a cheaper rate later. 

Are there withdrawal and deposit limits?

Yes, there are withdrawal and deposit limits on Robinhood.

  • Withdrawal limit: $50,000 per business day
  • Deposit limit: $50,000 per business day.

Summary of Robinhood

Robinhood is an excellent platform for people who wish to trade and invest in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies for free. Robinhood provides financial services to millions of customers around the world. Both their website and mobile app are intuitive and easy to navigate. They don’t have many trading tools, but their learning centre contains various articles to help people learn more about trading and investment. 

Conclusion

Robinhood has gained wide popularity because it was the first platform to introduce commission-free stock and ETF trading back when it launched in April 2013. They have a global reach and allow people to trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies for free. Robinhood is regulated by the U.S SEC and is a member of the FINRA.

The drawbacks to consider with Robinhood are that their customer support is poor, as they can only be reached via email, and they also don’t support any payment method besides bank transfer. 

How to open an account with Robinhood

If you wish to get an account with Robinhood, follow these steps: 

  1. Visit the Robinhood platform.
  2. Navigate to the ‘SIGN UP’ section on the top right corner of the site.
  3. Insert basic details such as name, email address, and password. 
  4. Answer short questions about your trading experience.
  5. Verify your ID using your driver’s license/identity card/passport. A photo of the documents can be snapped with your mobile phone.
  6. You would also be required to provide other details such as social security number, proof of residency, and others. 
  7. Once you have verified your Robinhood account, you’re all set and ready to start trading.
By Harry Atkins
Harry joined us in 2019 to lead our Editorial Team. Drawing on more than a decade writing, editing and managing high-profile content for blue chip companies, Harry’s considerable experience in the finance sector encompasses work for high street and investment banks, insurance companies and trading platforms.
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