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If you’re using the Robinhood app for investing, you might be considering switching or just testing out something different. After all, there are many Robinhood alternatives these days, thanks to new fintech companies looking to make it easier for anyone to invest. Yet, with all the investing platforms and apps out there, which are some of the best ones to choose? Below you’ll learn a bit about the Robinhood app, alternatives to Robinhood, and which might be right for you.
What is Robinhood?
If you are already using Robinhood, then you know exactly what this investing app and trading platform does, so feel free to skip to the next section. However, if you are on this post considering Robinhood and its alternatives, then stick with me briefly. Robinhood provides free stock trading, options, ETF, and cryptocurrency trades, and to get started there is no account minimum. The challenges are that Robinhood currently does not offer mutual funds or bonds and you can only invest in taxable accounts. In the early days, Robinhood was the only platform to offer commission-free trades, which was revolutionary at the time. But many financial companies have now offered that too.
Is Robinhood really free?
Robinhood is the pioneer in commission-free trading, which means you retain more of your gains. However, the company makes money through their data and research subscription, SEC trading fees, and selling customer orders to trading firms.
Is Robinhood good for investing?
Robinhood can be a good investment option for those looking to get started in day trading, options trading, cryptocurrency, and ETFs. You can invest in fractional shares for as low as $1 and everything is commission-free.
Recent Robinhood Issues
While the Robinhood app has become a darling in the fintech world, valued currently over $7 billion dollars, they have run into a few issues over the years. This has caused many people and investors to further seek out Robinhood alternatives. In 2019, the company was fined $1.25 million by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The reason was they did not ensure users received the best prices possible from October 2016 through November 2017. The company neither denied, nor confirmed the claims.
And in March 2020 while the stock markets were plummeting, Robinhood’s platform suddenly went offline and no one could access their accounts. While server issues can happen to any company, Robinhood struggled to get everything back up in a timely manner (over 24 hours) and communication about the downtime was a bit poor. Many customers were obviously frustrated as the market decline caused many to not trade or be able to safeguard their investments in time. You can read more about it in the NY Times.
More recently, Robinhood has suspended trades on a few stocks, which you can read more about here. But if that’s the last straw for you, there are better Robinhood alternatives to consider.
Why You Might Want to Check Out Robinhood Alternatives
There are still many customers and good reasons to use Robinhood as an investor. Like the intuitive app, no trading fees, fractional investing, no account minimum (except for margin accounts), and they even offer a high-yield savings account now. However, as you expand your investing, your needs and interests may grow. Additionally, you might be frustrated based on the issues above or it does not offer what you need anymore. Personally, the downsides I see with the company beyond their past issues are they do not offer retirement accounts currently; you can’t invest in mutual funds or bonds, and minimal customer support. If you are looking for low-cost trading and more features for investing, then some of the below Robinhood alternatives might be great options for you to consider.
The Best Alternatives to Robinhood
Each of these alternatives to Robinhood offers similar and different features compared to one another. Pending your investing and financial goals, one may suit you better than others.
Acorns is a popular finance app that also lets you invest in multiple trading options at $0. On their investing side, you have some neat options. They are a micro-investing account, which allows you to invest your spare change. You can invest for retirement when they recommend an IRA and portfolio that is tailored for you specifically. Acorns then will update it and handle it to match your goals. And they offer a checking account with a debit card that saves, invests, and earns for you. You get free bank-to-bank transfers, no overdraft or minimum balance fees, and unlimited free or fee-reimbursed ATMs nationwide. Depending on which tier you choose, Acorns costs either $1, $2, or $3 a month. Super affordable for access to numerous financial products.
2. M1 Finance
M1 Finance is a free brokerage and financial platform that offers “automated investing.” When you invest with them, you’ll be able to invest in fractional shares of stocks or even ETFs. But what is unique to M1 Finance is their Pie-based investing interface, to help you build and manage your investment portfolio much easier. Once you sign-up, the app will ask you for your details and goals. From there, M1 Finance creates a pie that features over 6,000 stocks and funds. You choose which pie best fits your goals and then you are diversified. This simplifies your investing strategy as you don’t have to research or figure out what funds are best. Just rebalance a bit as needed and continue investing! There is plenty more to get into, which you can read in this full M1 Finance review.
Another investing app to consider is Stash, which you’ll have access to banking, investments, retirement, and saving all in one. While not free to use, you can easily get started with their beginner level that costs just $1 a month. If you want to up the ante, you can go with their $3 or $9 a month option that provides other great benefits. Like some of the other Robinhood alternatives, Stash lets you invest with any dollar amount because of their fractional sharing options. There are more than 400 stocks and funds that you can choose from, which include stocks, bonds, and ETFs.
Stash also offers a traditional IRA or Roth IRA to invest for your retirement. And even custodial accounts, which allow you to open an investment account for your kids. Of course, I’m merely scratching the surface of their investing platform, but you can learn more here and open an account with a $0 balance, but $5 is required to begin investing.
Many people love no commissions or no fees, which is why many investing apps offer that service. And Webull is no different. The investment company offers $0 Commissions and no deposit minimums. Diversify your portfolio with a comprehensive suite of investment products such as stocks, options, ETFs, and ADRs. And it’s good for any level of stock trading knowledge, so whether you are a beginner or a pro, Webull can be a great platform for you.
There are some fees, which include the SEC fees required by law and some wire transfer fees, but there are no service or management fees! What makes Webull a strong alternative to Robinhood, is the app offers a deep analysis of the investment options you have. This helps you make better investment choices and trades while trying to help you lower your risk. Additionally, they have a practice trading app where you can test out investments without any real money. Helping you learn and perfect your investing. Quickly, Webull is growing to become a major player in the investment and trading app space.
5. Ally Invest
Ally Invest may sound familiar because it’s another product from the widely popular Ally Bank. However, you do not need to be a banking customer to have access to their investing platform. With Ally Invest you have two trading options, self-directed trading, and managed-portfolios.
Here is a quick breakdown from their site:
- No commission fee on U.S. listed stocks and ETFs.
- No commissions on option trades and competitive contract fee of just 50¢ per contract.
- A wide variety of investment choices built with the do-it-yourself investor in mind.
- In-depth research and market analysis tools to support all types of investment strategies Investment choices.
- Commission-free stocks, Commission-free ETFs, Commission-free options.
- Bonds and Mutual funds.
- Margin account.
Managed Portfolio (robo-advisor):
- Get started with $100.
- No advisory fees, annual charges, or rebalancing fees, and 30% of your portfolio is set aside as an interest-earning cash buffer.
- We recommend and manage a professionally designed portfolio based on your personal goals, timeframe, and risk tolerance.
- We’ll monitor and automatically rebalance your portfolio to make sure your plan stays on track.
- Includes a mix of low cost, diversified exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Ally Invest is a great Robinhood alternative because it has more investment options and trading tools to help you succeed.
While most of these alternatives to the Robinhood app offer free commission trades, Stockpile is different. The company charges $0.99 per trade, which is still a fairly solid price. However, there are no monthly fees or minimums required! But Stockpile can be a good option for you and has some cool features.
First, is their fractional shares investing, where you can invest in over 1,000 stocks and ETFs with any amount. If you download the Stockpile app, you can learn about stock trading via their mini-lessons One unique aspect of Stockpile is they are the only brokerage where you can give an e-gift or physical gift card that is redeemable for stock. You can give the gift of stocks without even having an account with them! Lastly, you can also open an account for kids or teens, which you have control to approve to ensure they do not go wild in trading.
While I personally am not investing in cryptocurrency just yet, many people are and want these options. Additionally, many are using Robinhood to buy and sell digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and many others. But if you are looking for an alternative for crypto investing, then eToro might be an option worth considering. This platform has quickly become one of the most popular crypto destinations that offer access to the best coins, with no hidden fees. The minimum deposit is $50 and that can get you started buying and trading on their platform. Additionally, eToro offers what they call “Copy Trading,” where you can copy other top traders at no extra charge. Those top traders get paid directly as part of their Popular Investor Program.
8. TD Ameritrade
One of the older stock trading platforms on this list is TD Ameritrade, which is now owned by Charles Schwab. This is a great platform for new investors or day traders who are active in stock market trading. There is something here for those looking to buy and hold as an investing strategy for retirement.
In 2019, TD Ameritrade went commission-free. Pretty much all platforms have some sort of free commission structure as more fintech companies pushed for fewer fees in recent years. Additionally, there is no account minimum to get started. TD Ameritrade might be a good choice for you because it has more stock trading options than Robinhood. This includes investment choices like mutual funds, forex, bonds, and others.
One of the big wins is their tools and educational materials. I used these in the past when I was interested in more day trading. Their thinkorswim platform and mobile trading will give you plenty of practice and knowledge about investing.
When I was doing the research for various alternatives to Robinhood, I came across Firstrade. I have not heard of them much before, but the online broker looked intriguing. Firstrade offers investors the traditional brokerage account or retirement account with various assets to consider investing in. For example, mutual funds, ETFs, options, stocks, etc.
What I like about this company is the amount of educational material and tools to help investors grow and build wealth. They have reports provided by Morningstar, Benzinga, and other known stock marketing investing websites. And like many others on this list, they offer free trades and no hidden fees. This is key with any broker option you choose and ensures you are keeping as much money as possible.
One of the older investing platforms in the game is E-Trade, which also recently had to match other investing platforms with $0 commission trades. If you plan on trading stocks more often, E-Trade is a popular choice and more enticing with its better features and fee structure changes. You can open various accounts like traditional brokerage, IRAs, managed portfolios, they even have savings and checking accounts as well. With your trading accounts, you have access to stocks, bonds, futures, options, ETFs, mutual funds, and prebuilt portfolios to make your life easier.
The investing platform offers extensive collections of information, covering everything beginners and advanced investors need to know or may have questions about. Since pricing is the most important, based on looking for Robinhood alternatives, E-Trade has stepped up their game and offers $0 fees on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as minimal fees for other investing types I’m not going to dive in too much here, because E-Trade covers a lot. So if you are intrigued or want to learn more, I highly recommend exploring their website further and watching some of their videos to understand all the benefits.
Out of all the Robinhood alternatives on this list, Public takes on investing slightly differently. The commission-free trading platform focuses on companies that are added to different themes like companies in American Made, Fighting Disease, etc. You don’t have to invest in companies by theme, but it’s an interesting option. Public offers thousands of stocks and ETFs that are currently available as fractional shares — this means you can invest in companies with less money.
Additionally, Public is built like a social media platform. You can share your trades with friends and follow well-known investors to see how they are trading. And the platform also has a blue-check option to help ensure you are following the real verified public figures.
Is There a Better App Than Robinhood?
There you have the best Robinhood alternatives that you might want to consider. As you can see, there are more options that offer commission-free stock trading and keep fees to a minimum. However, which trading app you choose depends on your investing style and features that will best help you succeed.
Personally, I don’t think Robinhood is the worst option, but it’s important to understand what the platform offers and any of the issues the company has faced recently. And while free or a $0 platform may sound great, choosing it just based on price could compromise your results because you wanted to save a few bucks a year. While Robinhood is free and has some solid features, other apps like Acorns, Stash, Ally, and M1 offer more product features and services that can take your investing to the next level.
Find out why you should be saving for your retirement as early as possible in our article, Start Saving For Retirement In Your 20s: Here’s Why & How.
Author: Todd Kunsman
Founder of Invested Wallet and featured in Time, Business Insider, & HuffPost. Self-educated on personal finance and investing. He’s passionate about financial freedom, investing, side hustles, and helping others realize they too can transform their finances.
Financial freedom begins with good habits.Rebecca & Tiago, theloadedpig.com