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- Signing up for Robinhood is user-friendly, and you can transfer funds and investments easily.
- While you can get plenty of value out of a free account, Robinhood Gold is a good deal with lots of features.
- Robinhood is independent, which is good news as other brokerages consolidate.
While there’s nothing wrong with entrusting your money to a professional money manager, it’s easier than ever to take charge of your own future with self-directed asset trading — and if you’re already managing your own portfolio, it’s a great time to reassess your strategy.
Whether you prefer stocks, exchange-traded funds, or other investments like options, there are brokers that allow today’s investors to place trades wherever there’s an internet connection.
Among the trailblazers of the self-directed personal-finance revolution of the 21st century is Robinhood, a broker that pioneered zero-commission trading. Robinhood’s intuitive interface offers a user-friendly alternative to the cluttered and complicated apps that some other online brokerages provide. It combines simplicity with access to all the features you’ll need.
The ability to buy and sell stocks and other asset types from your smartphone without paying commissions is certainly appealing, and there are plenty of other reasons to choose Robinhood as your go-to app-based brokerage. As other brokerages consolidate into large conglomerates, Robinhood’s independence means it will be better equipped to focus solely on what you need out of it.
$0 ($1 for fractional shares; $2,000 for margin trading through Robinhood Gold)
0% ($5/month for Robinhood Gold)
- Free stock, option, ETF, and cryptocurrency trades; 1.50% APY on uninvested cash for non-Gold users and 4.90% for Gold members
- IPO investing available
- Cash management accounts available
- Website is easy to navigate; advanced charts for all users
- Lack of investing research and trading tools; can only take advantage of professional research if you’re a Robinhood Gold member
- No joint accounts, education savings accounts, or mutual funds
- App store rating: 4.2 iOS/4.0 Android
- Consider it if: You want to trade crypto and invest in a wide range of stocks and ETFs.
It’s easy to switch to Robinhood
When you sign up for a Robinhood account, you get phone and chat support, and no commission fees — after all, that’s what the platform is famous for.
When you open a new investing account, Robinhood will give you one free stock to get started. But of course, you’ll still want to fund your account in order to get started buying and selling stocks, ETFs, and so on.
Now, you might be wondering whether this stage of using Robinhood is really free, especially if you’ve got investments tied up in another platform. After all, don’t brokerages typically charge their customers for incoming money transfers? Maybe some of them do, but you can transfer eligible assets from other financial accounts into your Robinhood account through the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service.
Through ACATS, you can electronically transfer cash, stocks, and other eligible assets from other brokerages to your Robinhood account. ACATS allows you to transfer all or part of an outside account. Furthermore, if the other brokerage charges you for the outgoing transfer, Robinhood’s got you covered. In fact, Robinhood will reimburse the transfer fee assessed by the other brokerage for up to $75 on incoming ACATS transfers of $7,500 or more.
And if you’re using another brokerage, it’s a good time to make the switch. Robinhood is independent, and it’s not owned by a larger asset-management company. Meanwhile, brokerages like E-Trade and TD Ameritrade are being bought up or merged by larger companies. When your brokerage gets bought out by another company, that’s could be a sign to start looking to greener pastures — moves like that rarely result in a better, more affordable experience for regular people.
Fair pricing with Robinhood and Robinhood Gold
While Robinhood is famous for not charging commissions on purchases and sales of assets, you’ll be surprised to discover what else is either free or low-cost at Robinhood. It’s nice to know that Robinhood currently doesn’t charge for incoming wire transfers, electronic statements and trade confirmations, and instant bank transfers (for deposits coming in).
Robinhood also currently maintains a reasonable 12% standard margin rate for traders who choose to borrow money on margin. With margin, you can borrow money to increase your buying power, if eligible. Robinhood’s full fee schedule covers the details of all its fees.
In a time of high US interest rates for most financial products, Robinhood’s margin rates are about as low as you could reasonably expect. Plus, you might get an even lower margin rate if you upgrade your account to Robinhood Gold, which offers more features than a standard account.
Getting Robinhood Gold is optional, and a standard Robinhood account still offers plenty of freebies and low-cost features. However, $5 a month gets you access to 4.9% APY on uninvested brokerage cash and a bevy of other benefits.
Even while Robinhood keeps everything low-cost or reasonably priced, it continues to provide a variety of intriguing ways to invest. With Robinhood, you may be eligible to get early access to investment opportunities through IPOs, setup recurring investments, and even purchase fractional shares, which allow you to own virtual slices of certain high-priced stocks for as little as $1.
Robinhood Cash Management Account – Gold Member
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Minimum Deposit Amount
- Competitive APY
- No minimum opening deposit
- No monthly service fees
- No out-of-network ATM fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- No overdraft fees
- No physical branch locations
- Must have a Robinhood brokerage account to qualify
- Doesn’t reimburse any fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers
- No wire transfers
- No way to deposit checks or cash
- No option to overdraw your account
- Free access to over 75,000 ATMs
- Sign up for the sweep program for Robinhood to sweep uninvested cash from your brokerage account into your Cash Management Accounts; you’ll earn interest on the swept money
- Interest compounded daily, paid monthly
- Deposits are FDIC insured through partner banks for up to $1.25 million
- Get even more with Gold for only $5 per month
Now might be the right time to make the switch
Even if you’re a successful financial trader, high commission costs and various exorbitant fees can eat away at your returns over the years. Therefore, it makes sense to switch to Robinhood today instead of putting it off, as every penny saved from unnecessary fees is a penny earned.
Besides, there’s really no excuse since Robinhood has made it super easy to make the switch from your phone, laptop, or other device. And when you’re ready to step up to the gold standard of self-directed trading, take a look at Robinhood Gold for robust features at a stunningly low price point.