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Robinhood has come on leaps and bounds since it was founded back in April 2013 by Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, two New York-based financial developers. The name, of course, is a nod to Robin Hood, the historical outlaw of Sherwood Forest, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. The founders are quoted as saying they want to ‘provide everyone with access to the financial markets, not just the wealthy’. Did they achieve what they set out to?
Let’s find out…
- Commission-free stock, ETF and options trading, fractional shares trading, and free cryptocurrency trading — what more could a serious trader want from their exchange? Perhaps recurring investments, well, fortunately, Robinhood is introducing those too, so long-term strategists will feel very comfortable on this platform.
- Robinhood was the first platform of its kind to remove commission fees for their users, helping them to stand out and establish themselves in the marketplace. The idea grew wings and placed Robinhood as a thought leader, with other major platforms now following suit and coining the term ‘zero-fee trading’.
- The minimum account balance is $0, so you don’t need to make a deposit in order to open the account. This is another feature that has helped them attract around 10 million account holders!
- Web and mobile trading are both enabled, with the setup taking just a few minutes to accomplish. Users must have a Social Security Number to sign up and verify their account, which can be done in less than an hour (rather than days like many crypto exchanges!). Of course, an SSN is something only an American will have, so if you’re outside the US, no matter how great this platform is, it’s not going to help you.
- Despite having one of the broadest ranges of options for traders and investors, the platform is incredibly simple to use, allowing them to serve as a comprehensive marketplace for beginners.
- Instant access to deposited cash, however, price quotes on the site are delayed, rather than streamed, so the market prices are not always accurate.
- You can claim a free stock to get started!
- Security on the site is very good, with no significant breaches reported. Biometric logins, 2-Factor Authentication, and text codes sent out when trying to log in from a new device all suggest individual privacy is well-valued here.