There are a few things that every investor looks for when choosing a brokerage firm to execute a trade or transaction. Commission costs, account fee’s, customer service, investment research, product selection and diversity of products are usually at the top of that list. The actual cost to execute the trade – also known as the commission is usually what I look for first. But this will vary from person to person. For some people, the most important thing might be customer service. For others, the firms access to current and relevant research on companies and funds.
I’ve been doing this a long, long time. So all I care about is execution and the cost of that execution. That’s it. I can do my own research. And they do a great job of that, especially with it being done primarily on a smartphone app.
What Robinhood.com offers is zero commission costs and fee’s.
Thats why I’m recommending Robinhood.com to you, the first time novice investor.
Robinhood.com allows you the ability to invest and not pay any commissions — or fee’s for that matter. Thats right. Zero fee’s on commissions! I think I have your attention now.
I also enjoy that I can execute trades and handle transactions from my mobile phone or tablet with a smartphone app available for both Android and iOS devices.
The number #1 reason I like Robinhood.com is they don’t charge commissions to execute a trade.
WHAT CAN I BUY ON Robinhood.com?
This is what I copied directly from their website.
Investments You Can Make with Robinhood.com
With Robinhood.com you can make your money work for you. (Hey, that sounds familiar doesn’t it!!!). We offer a variety of assets that you can invest in, from stocks to cryptocurrencies. You can invest in over 5,000 stocks on Robinhood Financial, including most U.S. equites and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listed on U.S. exchanges. We’re also excited to offer options trading, cryptocurrency trading, and over 250 global stocks not listed on American exchanges.
So for you, the beginner this is great! This is just what you need to get started in investing. Stocks and ETFs.
Now let me be clear. I’m not going to talk about margin accounts or trading options or cryptocurrencies or ETFs or things like that in this article. I’ll save that for another time. I’m writing this for the first time, beginning investor. Thats why most of the material on this blog is basic and for the beginning investor. So lets not talk about options and margin accounts just yet.
(I’ll write something on ETF’s, Options and cryptocurrencies in another article).
I’m going to be talking about basic stuff here — buying a publicly traded companies stock without paying a commission.
There are many options available for the average independent retail investor. Charles Schwab, Fidelity, Etrade, Merrill Lynch, etc. But they all charge you a commission fee for each transaction. And again, let me be clear. We aren’t talking about retirement accounts like your SEP-IRA. We are talking about your everyday brokerage account that you might use to “BUY” and “SELL” retail stocks.
A few of the above companies offer programs where if you transfer a certain amount of money to their account, you get a certain number of trades for free. Check into them. They may work for you.
No company is going to be perfect.
There are things that are going to work for some and not for others. Thats just the way it is. I’m sure I’ll hear about them in the comments section.
For the beginner/novice investor, my suggestion – BUY and HOLD. Then Learn, Read, ASK QUESTIONS, Study and Watch your investments. Be smart, not greedy.
What I don’t like.
One of the things I don’t like is the absolutely horrible customer service. I’m fortunate that I’ve only had to use it a few times, but thats because I’m an experienced investor. For the first time investor however this could be problematic. If you have questions and as a first time investor you will – this is where Robinhood.com will fail you. You send an email to their customer service – and then you wait, and wait, wand wait for a response.
It seems you can never talk with a live person. I’ve tried. They only seem to respond to email. If anyone out there has been able to talk with a live person please let me know about it in the comments section of this article.
That would be a No! And if your a beginning investor – you don’t need to “short sell” period. At least thats my opinion.
How do they make money then?
Robinhood.com is a for-profit company, not a non-profit. Backed by angel investors and venture capital funding. And they want to make a return on their investment.
So how do they make money?
Robinhood.com doesn’t pay you any interest on your money left in the cash account. They make money collecting the interest on the money you keep in the cash account. They also charge interest on margin for accounts that choose to trade on margin. (Again, new investor – you don’t need to do this).
I (really) like Robinhood.com for the beginning investor. Its easy and simple to use. It connects easy with your bank account. The research tools are limited – so you will have to find your own information and use other sources for your research, but for free trades – I think its worth it.
YOU GET A FREE SHARE OF STOCK!
Free, free, free! We all like free right?
Well, they offer you and me (if you click the link at the end of this article) one FREE stock for referring someone to Robinhood.com. I like that. Now its not like I’ve gotten Apple (AAPL) or Microsoft (MSFT) stock – I’ve gotten an energy company and a gaming company for the few people I’ve referred, but I like it. I’m not a licensed securities professional – so when I refer someone to the site, its nice to get something back for my referral.
The site is not without its limitations. The research is limited. But I like the lay out and ease of use of the app and the color scheme is easy on the eyes (for me). Knowing Silicon Valley like I do – I know that they spent some money talking with “experts” about what colors to use on the site.
They have links to other financial resources like Yahoo Finance. Nothing serious. So if you are a day trader, or you like lots of research with your site or you like sitting at a desk to make your trades – Robinhood.com is not for you.
I’ve recommended it to people who have never bought a stock in their life and are new to investing. Thats who I think it works best for. Again, my opinion.
The company is still only a few years old and I believe they are constantly trying to make the site, the company and the app more robust. New features are being added all the time it seems. For example – this year they added cryptocurrency and a crypto wallet to the product offerings. They have around 5 or 6 coins available for purchase at the time of this article.
Get in the game! Start investing! Today, don’t wait. Old or young – there is no time like right now to start. Pick good solid companies based on good research. I’ll give more advise on stock picking in future blog posts.
Start today! You will thank me in a few years.