Money Analysed

Robinhood: The Pros and Cons of Commission-Free Trading

In recent years, Robinhood has become one of the most popular platforms for commission-free trading, especially among younger investors. Robinhood’s approach to investing has revolutionized the financial industry by offering commission-free trading with no account minimums.

The platform has been instrumental in attracting new investors to the stock market and has increased the accessibility of investing for the masses. In this article, we will take a closer look at what Robinhood is, its founding, and the revenue streams that make it possible.

What is Robinhood? Robinhood is a free-trading app that allows users to trade stocks, ETFs (exchange-traded funds), and cryptocurrency without paying any commissions.

The company was founded in 2013 by Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, two former Stanford roommates who were frustrated by the high fees associated with trading securities. They envisioned a platform that would allow everyone to invest in the stock market regardless of their income level.

Commission-Free Trading and Focus on ETFs and Cryptocurrency

Commission-free trading is Robinhood’s flagship feature. The company’s business model is based on earning interest on customer cash balances and payment for order flow.

Robinhood makes money by collecting small sums from investors’ orders and trading them with professional buyers called market makers. The app’s fee-free model has made stock trading more accessible to small investors, particularly millennials.

Robinhood’s platform is designed to meet the needs of modern investors. The app offers a streamlined interface that is user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Robinhood is also known for its robust API, which allows users to build customized trading tools and algorithms. It’s no secret that cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Robinhood has been quick to respond to this trend by offering crypto trading on its platform. The app’s cryptocurrency service currently supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Revenue Streams through Interest and Order Flow Sales

While Robinhood does not charge any commissions on trades, it does earn revenue from its users’ cash balances. Robinhood earns interest revenue on customer cash balances and by lending securities from customers’ accounts.

The company manages to keep fund overheads low through its lean business model, which allows them to keep costs down. Payment for order flow is another way that Robinhood makes money.

A significant portion of their revenue comes from high-frequency traders who pay for the privilege of buying or selling shares before the rest of the market. Robinhood has been criticized for this practice, with some questioning whether the app prioritizes market makers over its users.


Robinhood is an ambitious platform that has expanded to serve the needs of modern investors. Its no-commission trading platform has made investing more accessible to all, and its interest-free cash accounts have taken off in popularity.

Robinhood’s focus on ETFs and cryptocurrency has set the platform apart from its competitors. However, the payment for order flow model has drawn criticism, leading some to question if Robinhood’s interests align with its users.

Despite this, Robinhood remains one of the most popular platforms for retail investors, and its user-friendly website and mobile app continue to attract new investors every day.

Setting Up a Robinhood Account

Robinhood is a commission-free trading platform that enables seamless access to investing in stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. Opening a Robinhood account provides an entirely new world of investment opportunities to users of all backgrounds.

Here are some steps to follow while setting up your Robinhood account.

Sign-up Process and Verification

Opening a Robinhood account is relatively simple and can be done in a matter of minutes. To sign up for a Robinhood account, follow these steps:


Visit the Robinhood website or download the mobile app from the App Store or Google Play Store. 2.

Provide your name, email address, and create a username and password. 3.

After signing up, Robinhood will verify your identity and ask for personal information that includes your social security number, residential address, and date of birth. 4.

Verification can take a few days, and once complete, you will be able to link your bank account and start funding your account to trade.

Access through Web and Mobile App

Robinhood is a web-based platform that can also be accessed and used through a mobile app. The Robinhood app is supported both on Android and IOS devices.

It offers an intuitive interface giving users a clear overview of their portfolio performance, current trading and investment options. With the app’s push notifications and alerts service, users can stay informed about the movements of stocks they have invested in or ones that they have in their watch list.

Who is Robinhood Best For?

New Investors and Beginners

Robinhood has been a game-changer for people looking to invest in stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrencies for the first time because it has helped to remove a significant barrier- commission costs. Robinhood allows new investors to start trading without any commission fees or account minimums.

This can be particularly appealing to millennials and those looking to invest in small amounts, allowing them to get started without having to take on significant risk. Additionally, Robinhood’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for beginners to navigate the app, learn about investing, and make informed decisions about their investments.

Fractional Shares and DRIP Program

Fractional shares are a recent development that Robinhood has integrated into the app. Theyre pieces of full shares that go to investors for a fraction of the price.

This is especially advantageous for investors who are either starting out on their investment journey or only have a small sum of money to invest. Investing in fractional shares gives an opportunity for investors to expand their holdings and diversify their portfolio.

Additionally, Robinhood offers a dividend reinvestment program (DRIP), which allows investors to reinvest their dividends in the company. Reinvesting dividends in fractional shares of a stock could lead to significant gains over time.

Robinhood Gold for Margin Traders

While Robinhood’s free account works perfectly fine for most investors, more experienced traders seeking more functionality can use Robinhood Gold, a premium option. This premium account provides advanced features such as research reports, access to extended trading hours, and an increase in buying power with the use of margin trading.

It is an excellent option for investors who need the flexibility to invest with higher amounts in a single day or to access helpful tools for investment research.

Cryptocurrency Traders

Cryptocurrency trading has become a mainstream investment vehicle, and Robinhood has embraced this growing trend. The app supports trading of popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

The intuitive interface that Robinhood offers comes in handy for cryptocurrency trading first-timers, allowing them to invest, buy and sell securely and easily.


Robinhood is a renowned trading platform that offers investors a cutting-edge user interface and new investment opportunities. The free trading structure, fractional shares, and commission-free trades make Robinhood accessible while Robinhood Gold serves advanced traders.

Investors seeking to diversify their portfolios can also take advantage of the DRIP program, while cryptocurrency traders can invest in popular digital currencies securely. With features like push notifications and an unlimited watchlist, Robinhood provides its users with all the necessary resources to make informed investment choices.

Who is Robinhood Not For? Robinhood has brought the world of stock market investing to a new level of accessibility and opportunity.

However, there are certain types of investors who may not find the platform the best suited for their investing needs. Investors Interested in Retirement, Mutual Funds, or Bonds

Robinhood’s focus is providing access to individual stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.

While this makes it a great platform for people interested in those investment channels, it may not be the best fit for those seeking retirement strategies. Robinhood does not support IRAs, 401(k)s or mutual funds, which can be an essential component of a diversified retirement portfolio.

Robinhood also does not provide investors with access to traditional fixed income securities like bonds, which can be useful for preserving capital in uncertain markets.

Limited Diversification Options

While Robinhood does support investing in individual stocks and ETFs, the platform may not provide access to some of the smaller stocks that may be of interest to investors. In addition, the platform does not offer access to international stocks.

Robinhood also doesn’t allow fractional shares of every stock, which can limit the diversification benefits of using the app.

Customer Service Needs Improvement

Robinhood has received criticism in the past for its customer service. While the platform has improved its customer support offerings in recent months, it still has issues with lags in processing information and complaint handling.

The platform has struggled to keep up with the massive influx of new investors, which has resulted in longer wait times for support and limited communication options. Robinhood Review: Key Points

Pros: Free Trading, Easy-to-use Mobile App, Instant Access to Funds

Robinhood’s most significant draw is the fact that users can trade stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies without any trading fees.

Robinhood stands out among the competition, who typically charge commissions for the same trading services. The user-friendly mobile app offers instant access to trades and provides users with frequently updated information about their portfolio and market trends.

Robinhood also offers instant access to funds from qualified bank transfers, which can enable quick trading opportunities. Cons: Customer Support Needs Improvement, Cryptocurrency Spread, Involvement in GameStop Frenzy

Robinhood has been criticized for a lack of customer service options.

The platform has struggled to keep up with the massive influx of new investors, which has resulted in slower response times and limited problem-solving abilities.

In addition, Robinhood has a wide cryptocurrency spread, which can lead to higher costs for users.

The platform also came under fire for its involvement in the game-stop frenzy, when Robinhood halted trading on retail investors’ accounts. This led to accusations that the company was siding with Wall Street interests over those of the retail investors.


Robinhood has brought the world of investing to new heights of accessibility. The zero-commission approach and intuitive mobile app interface have democratized the investment process for younger and newer investors.

However, the platform’s limited investment options, struggled customer support system, cryptocurrency spread, and the controversy behind Gamestop trading halt suggest that the platform may not be the best fit for all investors. It is critical for investors to identify their investment goals and determine whether Robinhood meets them before fully embracing the platform.

Robinhood Gold and Cash Management

In addition to its free trading offer, Robinhood also offers a premium service, Robinhood Gold, which provides further features. Robinhood Gold also expands the services that the original platform offers, like extending trading hours and providing extra buying power.

Another of Robinhood’s premium offerings, the cash management service, is an FDIC-insured account that enables users to earn on their uninvested cash balances. Let’s look at these services in more detail.

Robinhood Gold Offerings and Fee Structure

Robinhood Gold is a premium service that expands on the features available on the free platform. Robinhood Gold subscriptions start at $5 per month, where users get features like margin trading and instant access to funds.

As members move up to higher levels of subscription, they can access more services, including larger instant deposits and free Morningstar reports. The fee structure varies depending on the level of subscription.

Margin trading is the most notable feature of Robinhood Gold. It enables users to trade with borrowed money to make larger investments.

This increased buying power, which is substantial, can allow traders to take on more significant positions than they would typically be able to on the free trading service. In addition, users of Robinhood Gold have access to after-hours trading once the market has closed.

This feature expands the trading opportunities to users when regular sessions have finished.

Robinhood Cash Management Account Features

Robinhood Cash Management is an FDIC-insured account that allows users to earn interest on their uninvested cash balances. The account offers 0.30% annual percentage yield, which is reasonable in comparison to other banks.

It should be noted that the money held in the account is not invested and may not generate substantial returns. In contrast, the account assists users in earning a small yield on their uninvested cash.

This service differs from the Robinhood Gold subscription service, which provides features to trade with borrowed money. Instead, the cash management account is a separate account where users can store their uninvested cash without the need to use outside banks.

Robinhood Trading Platforms and Tools

Usability and Simplicity

Robinhood’s ease of use is perhaps its most significant draw. The platform offers a streamlined process for opening accounts, transferring funds, and making trades.

The app’s intuitive graphic interface means that new users can easily navigate the platform, even if they are not experienced traders.

Trading Experience and Resources

Robinhood’s trading experience is straightforward and convenient. The platform provides users with a broad range of stock, ETF, and cryptocurrency investment options.

It also offers up-to-date market trends and news, which can assist users in making informed investment decisions. The platform also provides a watchlist feature, which enables users to keep an eye on potential investment opportunities.

Range of Offerings, Including Cryptocurrency

Robinhood has an ever-increasing range of investment products that investors can access. Along with stocks, ETFs, and fractional shares, the platform provides commission-free trading of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

This introduction into the cryptocurrency market has probably attracted some new and younger investors, who could view the investment in cryptocurrency as a chance to hedge against market risk.


Robinhood offers a wide range of features and tools to investors of all levels of experience. Robinhood Gold premium service and cash management account are attractive to consumers who need additional features or want to save money on fees.

The platform’s intuitive interface, up-to-date market news and trends, and watchlist features provide an accessible trading experience. Robinhood’s accessible range of offerings, including cryptocurrency, has made investing more accessible to the masses.

Other Companies Similar to Robinhood

Robinhood has significant market share in the investment platform industry, but it is not the only commission-free platform. Several other companies offer alternative services, aimed at different niches of the investment market.

Investment Platform Alternatives

M1 Finance and Betterment are two popular alternatives to Robinhood. These platforms allow users to invest in stocks, ETFs, and other assets without incurring commission fees.

Both platforms have a more hands-off approach to investing and offer services more suited for long-term investments. M1 Finance vs.


M1 Finance offers commission-free trading, but in addition to that, customers can automate their trading strategies through M1 Finance’s “pie” feature. Users choose ETFs and stocks they’d like to invest in, and they can set up pie charts that establish weightings and allocate funds evenly among the chosen investments.

The auto-invest feature helps investors to stick to their goals without the need to actively monitor their portfolios. Robinhood, on the other hand, is more suited to active traders interested in making individual trades.

Robinhood also includes commission-free cryptocurrency trading on its platform, but M1 Finance does not. Betterment vs.


Betterment is a robo-advisor that invests your money in a pre-made portfolio of ETFs. Unlike Robinhood, Betterment doesn’t give users the

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