Who loves FREE! It is why I chose Robinhood as my primary online stock portfolio building platform back in 2015. Before selecting this trading platform, I was paying around $16 to buy and sell stocks. While this may not sound like a lot of money to some, it adds up very quickly and can hurt your portfolio's performance growth.
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It was then that Robinhood launched! A free online trading platform was unleashed, and this new platform had online brokers rolling their eyes. They thought it was a fluke and would fail. "Give it six months," they said. Fast forward to today since its 2013 launch, and it has become a recommended choice for many.
The platform isn't perfect but highly reliable and saves customers a lot of money from fees/commissions. As an avid trader and having college degrees in investments and portfolio management, it is not the most intuitive trading platform; however, I still recommend it.
Their research options and insights are indeed minimal. Don't expect to find high-quality resolution videos streaming CNBC or back modeling strategies (something expert traders do). Robinhood wasn't launched to be the best research platform. Their design was to eliminate fees. It is why I use them. They make it very simple to buy and sell stocks. While they do offer a $5/month Gold premium feature, most traders can still get the most out of their free membership. You can try the Gold membership for 30 days which gives you access to instant deposits meaning you can trade faster versus waiting for three days for your funds to become available. You'll gain access to Morningstar professional research and access to margin investing (which I don't recommend to new investors). There are many haters out there, not loving the platform named after the heroic English outlaw. While you are not stealing from the rich, it does hurt online brokers.
Starting today, October 7, Charles Schwab has announced zero commissions on U.S. stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). As a trader, this is a game-changer and expect to see many other firms do the same. While I use finviz.com to conduct my research and utilize Robinhood to buy and sell my stocks, Mr. Schwab provides access to some of the top-of-the-line software research available, next to Bloomberg. This excites me and will sign up for an account to test it out. While I am not pushing you to try these platforms, I do recommend you take a look at your commissions and see how much you are paying. I will add another blog or update after Charles Schwab's free platform and get a great feel for it. In the meantime, I continue to love and use Robinhood.