Robinhood Review: Mobile First Trading Platform

In its early days, Robinhood distinguished out as a saint in the brokerage sector. Its main competitive advantage was that it did not charge commissions for stock, option, and cryptocurrency trading.
Robinhood Review: Mobile First Trading Platform | Coinscreed

That advantage has been offset as the majority of the brokerage business has agreed to eliminate commissions.

Despite growing cost competition, Robinhood has created a strong brand and niche market with young, tech-savvy investors thanks to a simple design and user experience that concentrates on the fundamentals.

In an effort to attract new consumers and deepen the financial relationship with existing customers, the broker recently implemented cash management services and a recurring investment function.

Although Robinhood’s user base has grown tremendously in recent years, the company’s success has increased attention.

In recent years, the platform has also been rebuked for unexpected outages and purposeful trade limits in the midst of market turmoil.

Many people suspected a conflict of interest, which sparked class-action lawsuits and drew the attention of lawmakers. We’ll look into some of these when we examine Robinhood and whether it’s a good fit for your portfolio.

Read our full Kraken Review here.

Important Information

  • In June 2021, Robinhood agreed to pay $70 million to settle regulatory probes involving customer misinformation, approving unqualified traders for dangerous tactics, and frequent disruptions hurting users’ ability to access the platform.
  • Robinhood stated on April 7, 2022, that it had distributed Crypto Wallets to every qualified person on the WenWallets waitlist of over two million people. All eligible clients who signed up for the waitlist, according to the business, will be able to send and receive any of the cryptocurrencies now offered on Robinhood.

Key Takeaways

  • New investors are drawn to Robinhood due to its minimal costs, $0 balance requirement to start an account, and user-friendly design.
  • Robinhood has a limited selection of services. Customers can trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency, but no fixed income, mutual funds, forex, or futures trading is available.
  • Customers must subscribe to Robinhood Gold for $5 per month in order to trade on margin, examine market statistics, and receive in-depth research reports from Morningstar.
  • Most brokers make their trading statistics available to investors so that they may compare payment for order flow. This information is not made available to the public by Robinhood.

Who Was Robinhood Made For?

With over 13 million users and an average age of 31, it is evident that Robinhood has positioned itself to be excellent for younger investors who want to get a piece of the action, even if it is in modest amounts via fractional shares.

The general simplicity of Robinhood makes the app and website simple and easy to use.

If you want to try your hand at cryptocurrency investing, Robinhood can assist. You will be able to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies on their platform.

Robinhood has also improved its options trading platform, making the broker a viable option for options traders, albeit there are worries about trade execution quality.


  • Very easy and simple to use
  • Low trading costs, access to fractional shares, and cryptocurrency offerings
  • Good cash management and recurring investments features


  • Limited research and educational resources available
  • Limited investment offerings
  • Lack of transparency around payment for order flow

Pros Explained

  • The Robinhood smartphone app is really simple to use. Despite the fact that the broker offers a web-based platform, it is a mobile-first enterprise. This is a significant point of distinction between Robinhood and its competitors. The smartphone app isn’t very robust. In reality, its properties are fundamental. However, for investors who know exactly what they want, the platform is more than adequate for efficiently moving from screen to screen and placing transactions.
  • Stocks, ETFs, options contracts, and cryptocurrency can all be traded for free. Robinhood lets you buy fractional shares for as little as $1. If you enable the dividend reinvestment program (DRIP) in your account, Robinhood will automatically reinvest any dividends earned from stocks or ETFs, assuming the positions permit fractional share trading.
  • The cash management capabilities of Robinhood will help you to earn. The annual percentage yield is 30%. You also don’t have to pay ATM fees at any of their 75,000+ ATMs. The recurring investment option allows you to invest a fixed dollar amount on a regular basis, such as once a month.

Cons Explained

  • Customers have little research or instructional tools at their disposal when using Robinhood. If you want more than just stock quotes, you’ll need to sign up for Robinhood Gold. Even still, especially compared to its competitors’ products, Robinhood lacks resources.
  • Robinhood does not provide mutual funds or fixed-income investment products, and you will be unable to trade commodities, currencies, or futures. Furthermore, Robinhood only accepts taxable brokerage accounts.
  • Brokers typically publish payment for order flow figures. It is the most effective method for comparing and ensuring accurate and quick transaction executions for investors. Robinhood fails to share this critical information with the public and hence loses points for lack of transparency.


Robinhood is really simple to set up and utilize. Robinhood is an easy pick for investors who primarily use devices to manage their accounts, thanks to a mobile app with a clean design that concentrates on the basics.

You can also utilize the web-based platform, which looks and feels similar to the app. The same order types and asset classes are supported by both platforms.

When you first open the app, you’ll see a line chart that displays the worth of your portfolio as well as your purchasing power.

The primary menu is located at the bottom of the screen, where you can quickly utilize the search tool to bring up a stock’s chart across several time frames.

You’ll see stock information such as highs and lows, market capitalization, and the P/E ratio. Robinhood also offers a news feed, a ranking of analysts, and a company profile.

When you’re ready to buy or sell, the trade button scrolls with the page, allowing you to place an order at any time.

Overall, the user experience with Robinhood is pleasant, and the app runs smoothly.

One downside is that you have very limited control over personalizing or customizing the app to your preferred trading experience.

There are no graphing or in-depth research capabilities available in the mobile app.

During the late February and early March 2020 market surges, Robinhood’s mobile apps and website experienced significant downtime

In a blog post, the founders stated that their systems could not withstand the stress of the unprecedented load, and they promised to beef up their systems.

Trade Experience

The trading experience on Robinhood’s web and mobile platforms is quick, easy, and efficient. Robinhood provides the capability required for beginning investors to trade, but more experienced investors may notice that familiar features are lacking.

Robinhood offers basic watch lists, stock prices with charts and analyst ratings, recent news, and live streaming Bloomberg TV, all in addition to a straightforward trade input method.

Because there are no tweaks on the online or mobile platform, what you see is what you get with Robinhood. There are no options for setting default order sizes, time periods on charts, or anything else.

Mobile Trading Experience

Robinhood is a mobile-first brokerage geared toward investors who desire a straightforward trading app with no frills.

The broker does not provide the same in-depth tools as larger, more traditional brokers.

You cannot trade straight from the chart, the platform does not enable conditional orders, and you cannot enter several orders at the same time or stage orders for later entry. However, you can utilize trailing stops and stop-limit orders.

Robinhood’s quote information is updated in real-time, and you can view real-time quotes on various devices at the same time.

Recurring Investment is a new feature that Robinhood has recently launched.

This function allows you to set up recurrent automated investments in thousands of stocks and ETFs, potentially assisting you in growing your investments for the future.

Variety Of Offerings

Robinhood’s product offering is fairly limited, with only stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency trading available.

Robinhood does not support mutual funds or fixed income products, and it does not allow you to trade commodities, currency, or futures.

If you use Robinhood as your broker, you can invest in the following:

  • Stocks, long-only. No short selling.
  • Stocks worth over $1.00 per share with a market capitalization of over $25,000,000 are eligible for fractional share orders. The broker offers both stocks and ETFs.
  • Single and multi-leg options
  • Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC)
  • As mentioned, no mutual funds, no fixed income, no futures, no forex, and no futures options.

Order Types

Robinhood offers a restricted number of order types. For the offered assets, you can place market orders or limit orders. You will be unable to place conditional orders.

This small selection may not feel constrained to newer investors or even experienced investors with simple tastes.

In terms of tax lot selection, the default cost basis selection for shares is first-in, first-out (FIFO).

Contact Robinhood customer service to change the default cost-basis method for your account or to specify different tax lots for liquidation.

Trading Strategy

Because Robinhood, unlike many other brokers, does not publish its trading statistics, it is difficult to compare its payment for order flow data to those of its competitors.

The manner in which your order is routed by a broker impacts whether you are likely to acquire the best available price at the time your trade is placed.

This best price is referred to as price improvement. Robinhood also does not provide its pricing improvement information.

Nonetheless, Robinhood has said that its algorithms are designed to deliver your order to the market maker who is most likely to provide you the best price based on historical performance.

Because of this lack of transparency, as well as recent incidents regarding trading limitations, investors may question whether Robinhood is truly looking for the best pricing for consumer trades.

Robinhood does not allow you to automate a trading strategy or do backtests, in keeping with its basic approach to investing.


Robinhood, like the majority of its competitors, does not charge trading fees. Other costs that are not related to trading are listed below.

  • All equity trades (stocks and ETFs) are commission-free.
  • No fees for options trades
  • Trading on margin requires a Robinhood Gold subscription at $5 per month, which includes $1,000 of margin. Margin usage above $1,000 is charged 2.5% interest, which is relatively low.
  • There is a $75 account transfer
  • There are no domestic or international wire fees.
  • There are no account opening, account maintenance, or account inactivity fees.
  • Check fees: $20 to send a domestic check overnight.

How Robinhood Makes Money From You And Gives It Back To You

With no fees for equity and options trades, Robinhood must earn income in order to be a viable business.

Customers can see the fees and commissions indicated above, but there are additional techniques that are not as obvious.

The internet broker has a dedicated website where you can learn about the numerous ways it makes money.

Interests paid on cash: Robinhood earns money from uninvested cash that isn’t swept into the cash management network of program banks, typically by putting it in interest-bearing accounts.

Payment for order flow: Many brokers earn money by receiving payments from market makers in exchange for routing their customers’ equity and options to certain trading venues. This is known as payment for order flow (PFOF).

We already noted Robinhood’s lack of openness on PFOF, which looks to be a significant revenue source for the broker.

Stock loan programs: By lending margin securities to counterparties, Robinhood’s stock loan service generates revenue for the broker. Robinhood keeps all of the money it makes from lending your shares and does not share it with you.

Margin interest: Robinhood’s margin interest rates are significantly lower than the industry norm. It’s also worth noting that using margin necessitates joining their Gold program, which costs $5 per month.

Portfolio margining: Robinhood does not offer portfolio margining, which might reduce the amount of margin required.

Customer Service

  • All customer service is done through the app or the website.
  • Robinhood has chatbot capability.
  • There is no telephone number so you cannot call Robinhood for assistance. However, you can enter your own phone number for a callback. As a customer, you can also contact the support team on social media.


  • Mobile app users can log in with face or fingerprint recognition or with a custom pin.
  • Robinhood encourages users to enable two-factor authentication.
  • New logins from unrecognized devices also need to be verified with a six-digit code that is sent via text message or email in case two-factor authentication is not enabled.
  • Robinhood is a member of SIPC, which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Unlike other brokers, Robinhood carries no excess Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) insurance.
  • Robinhood has reported data breaches within the past 4 years. The most recent was in 2021 impacting more than 5 million customer accounts, without financial losses to these accounts.


Robinhood’s education initiatives aren’t as comprehensive as they should be for a broker whose ideal client is new to investing.

Snacks, a podcast, newsletter, and video series that provides the day’s top financial news headlines to Robinhood users every weekday, is now available.

As of August 2020, there were more than 20 million users enrolled in the weekly email and 2 million monthly active podcast listeners, according to the broker.

Robinhood recently included video as a new medium for their Snacks content, with the goal of providing entertaining and useful graphics to make financial news less daunting.

Robinhood has also included a Learn section that provides financial information, definitions, and market explainers to help you understand financial terms and concepts.

Since January 2020, Robinhood claims to have published over 650 articles on Learn and has seen a more than 250 percent increase in average unique daily traffic to their Learn site.


Robinhood was previously a game-changing fintech player in the brokerage business, assisting youthful investors in entering the market. The company’s motivations are now being called into question, and the issues revolve around data, openness, and trust.

The SEC penalized Robinhood $65 million in December 2020 for misleading customers regarding income sources and failing to satisfy the duty of best performance.

They also found that Robinhood failed to disclose to customers between 2015 and 2018 that its primary revenue stream was obtained from the market makers to whom it directed customer orders.

This is a technique that has resulted in trades that have netted customers less money than they would have received from other brokers. Given this, it’s not surprising that the broker doesn’t publish payment for order flow statistics.

Robinhood also erroneously claimed on its website that the quality of its execution was comparable to or better than that of its competitors.

The SEC concluded that Robinhood’s lower trading costs cost investors on its platform $34.1 million.

In January 2021, Robinhood was thrust back into the spotlight after it opted to restrict access to specific equities like GameStop, AMC Entertainment, Nokia, and others during the market frenzy around the Reddit short squeeze on the companies.

Citadel Clearing, one of Robinhood’s key market makers, owns a stake in the hedge fund Melvin Capital, which was one of the largest short sellers of GameStop and other companies.

Many people suspected a conflict of interest when the decision to limit customer buy orders for these stocks was made, prompting class action lawsuits and the attention of some members of Congress.

Final Verdict

If you’re new to investing and have a little balance, to begin with, Robinhood could be a good place to start. The mobile-first broker has an easy-to-use app and website that provides a smooth on-ramp to investing in equities and ETFs.

Although the user experience cannot be changed, the app and website contain all of the necessary information for a new investor.

Robinhood’s recent issues may have tainted its reputation among some of the younger investors it seeks, but the business still offers commission-free stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency, as well as a borderline addictive app to trade them on.

Before making a decision, new investors should evaluate the lack of transparency in paying for order flow and other difficulties.

However, if you are a serious investor or trader, there are many better solutions on the market because Robinhood does not support complex charting, screeners, and so on.

Although most brokers charge for options contracts and some still charge for stock trades, in exchange you will get access to research, data, trading tools, customer support, and instructional offerings.

Even if you are a beginning investor who is merely interested in purchasing and keeping stocks, there are other zero-fee brokers with additional tools to explore.