Robinhood is an established stockbroker whose story began nearly a decade ago at California’s Stanford University. The brokerage was founded by two classmates, Vlad and Baiju, who went on to build 2 finance companies. They also developed and sold trading software.
Thanks to their newly acquired knowledge of trading and finance, Vlad and Baiju soon realized that stock brokerages paid next to nothing to trade stocks. Meanwhile, the average customer was expected to pay significant charges to open trading positions for stocks.
This gave rise to the idea of launching a trading site that pioneers zero-commission trading. Come to think about it, the name of the trading site Vlad and Baiju came up with, Robinhood, is rather suitable in this context.
Today, Robinhood is one of the most respected brokerages, boasting a comprehensive range of investing commission-free trading options, including stocks, options, cryptocurrencies, and commodities like gold. The US-regulated brokerage is mobile-compatible, giving traders a choice from a browser-based mobile version and two dedicated apps for a free download from Google Play and the App Store.
Robinhood Mobile App Account Types
Mobile traders can register accounts at Robinhood as long as their devices are compatible with the brokerage’s apps. Apple users can access the trading platform via a free downloadable application that runs smoothly on iPhones and iPads that use iOS 11.0 and above. Being a modern brokerage, Robinhood also supports access via Apple Watch devices that operate on watchOS 4 or higher.
The trading platform is also readily available to Android users. They can install the dedicated Robinhood application on their smartphones and tablets but the app’s compatibility and size vary depending on what Android device one uses. Robinhood offers three main account types to suit the needs of different investors. We discuss them in further detail in the paragraphs below.
Robinhood Instant Accounts
New traders who register via the Robinhood mobile app can automatically begin trading via the so-called Instant accounts. This account type allows them to enjoy instant deposits as well as extended trading hours.
There are tons of cool things about instant accounts at Robinhood, starting with the fact the brokerage treats new registrants to a surprising free stock bonus upon registration. The free stock is in Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Ford Motor, GE, Kinder Morgan, or Visa and is awarded on a random principle for friend referrals.
Another cool thing is there is no need to immediately top up your balance to receive the free stock. The maximum you can get in free stock amounts to $500 per calendar year. It can be claimed within a period of sixty days. Also important is to note that traders who receive this free stock cannot sell it before two full days have passed after the redemption.
The free stock can be claimed by customers from the United States only since Robinhood is a US-facing trading app. As for the cash value of the free stock, customers can request to withdraw it no sooner than thirty days after they have claimed it.
Instant accounts are rightfully named so since the deposits customers process are immediately and automatically credited to their accounts. Those who register such accounts can transfer as many as $1,000 to their live trading balance at a time.
Robinhood Gold Accounts
Mobile customers of Robinhood can also set up the so-called Gold account. This is basically an upgraded version of the initial Instant account, which translates into more purchasing power, longer trading hours, and higher limits of the instant deposits you can transfer to your balance.
Those interested can upgrade from Instant to Gold accounts via the dedicated mobile apps of Robinhood or directly via the broker’s website. Perhaps more mention-worthy is the fact that the mobile brokerage gives traders the chance to test the Gold account at no cost for a period of thirty days. Once the free trial is over, Gold account users are charged at a rate of $5 per month. Keep in mind this sum does not cover the customers’ margin interest, though.
If you are looking to upgrade from an Instant account to a Gold account, you can conveniently do so by tapping the account icon positioned at the bottom right corner of your touchscreen. Then you need to tap the icon with the three bars and open the settings menu where you must tap the Gold account option.
The upgrade is well worth it, especially if you consider yourself a serious investor. It unlocks a variety of useful premium features. If you are reluctant to trade on margin, you can turn this feature off and still use your Robinhood Gold account. As for those who intend to use margin, they must have funds of up to $2,000 in their balance for this purpose due to federal regulations.
Robinhood Cash Accounts
The third option for mobile registrants at Robinhood is the Cash account. The main drawing attraction of this account type is that it allows you to trade without any commissions. This applies to both trading within the standard and the extended trading hours. However, there is one downside to using the Cash account – it does not enable instant settlements and funding of your balance.
It is possible to downgrade from an Instant or a Gold account to a Cash one by logging in on mobile and navigating to the main settings of the app. You must also get in touch with the brokerage’s customer support staff to request the change. Further information for downgrading to a Cash account is available in the broker’s troubleshooting guide.
Robinhood Mobile App Trading InstrumentsAs befits a mobile broker with one such name, Robinhood is fair and generous to retail traders, allowing for cost-effective, no-commission trading with a decent enough range of financial instruments. Some of the options you can trade with while on the go include stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies. These are available via the brokerage’s innovative proprietary trading platform.
Smartphone users, who join Robinhood, are granted hassle-free access to the stock markets. There is the option to invest without commissions in the stocks of individual companies but trading ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) bundles is also a possibility.
Traders can decide on the amount they are looking to invest and Robinhood will convert it from USD to parts of a share. There are thousands of stocks to choose from, with customers being able to invest as little as $1 in the stocks they are interested in.
Here you have a choice from the stocks of some of the largest companies in the US. Some of those include Sony, Microsoft, Amazon, Uber, Nike, Facebook, DraftKings, Visa, and PayPal, among numerous others.
What sets Robinhood apart from the crowd is that it is among the very few brokerages that enable clients to invest in part of a share rather than buying a whole share. This is great for small-scale retail investors since it enables them to trade hundreds of stocks at sums as small as $1.
By contrast, the majority of stockbrokers in the industry enable you to invest $500 per each share you purchase so you need to have this minimum amount to open a stock position. By trading shares in fractions at Robinhood, investors can also diversify their trading portfolios.
In addition to stocks, Robinhood gives its customers the chance to trade with a massive variety of cryptocurrencies, over 17, in fact. Some of the available options from this category include buying and selling Litecoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, Doge, Ripple, Stellar, Dash, and Qtum.
Before you dive into cryptocurrency trading at Robinhood, we would like to warn you that investing in these decentralized currencies is a very volatile venture. As such, it can cause you to incur significant losses if you are not careful and inexperienced. The cryptocurrencies’ prices are altogether driven by supply and demand, which is why investing in them is associated with a high level of risk and significant price swings.
Robinhood allows you to trade options without commissions and contract fees to boot. This enables more experienced investors to purchase or sell stocks at a given price within a specific timeframe. Options trading is associated with more flexibility since you may choose not to sell or purchase the stocks at the respective date and price. The prices for options are updated every couple of seconds so that traders can get the most accurate information about pricing.
Robinhood Mobile App Fees and Spreads
As previously mentioned, Robinhood attracts players with its lack of commissions on open positions. Here you can set up an account at no extra cost whatsoever. There are no charges for account maintenance and neither there are monetary penalties for inactivity.
One thing to keep in mind is that you may be charged extra if you happen to make a transaction in USD from a foreign debit card. The card issuer may impose a fee for currency conversion in this case. Another thing to note is that if you open a Robinhood Gold account and enable the margin, you will have to pay interest provided that you fund your transactions from your margin.
Maintaining a Robinhood Gold account will cost customers $5 each month. However, it is worth mentioning that this is but a small price to pay for one such premium product. The Gold account gives you access to a variety of useful features that can greatly improve your experience and success as a trader.
It gives you access to detailed financial reports issued by the accredited Chicago-based financial services company Morningstar. Said reports contain in-depth information about over 1,700 stocks. On top of that, you can make larger real-time deposits to your Robinhood balance and get to enjoy real-time Level II pricing that comes directly from the Nasdaq.
Note that if you use a margin that exceeds $1,000, the monthly cost for your Robinhood Gold account will amount to 5%. Here you also have the wonderful opportunity to invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and options at no per-contract costs whatsoever.
Robinhood Mobile App Banking
Another great thing about trading on the go via the Robinhood app is the absence of account minimums. The brokerage’s app makes the entire process of account funding a piece of cake. Also important is that registered traders can have their full peace of mind since this is a well-regulated brokerage that protects both their payments and personal data.
|No Minimum||No Fees||Instant|
|No minimum||$25||3 business days|
This brokerage is rather friendly to traders looking to deposit into their accounts since all transfers to customers’ balances are immediate. Furthermore, you can instantly verify your deposits with major banks. You can transfer up to $1,000 into your account right away, with the remainder being transferred a couple of days later.
The brokerage states in its help section that larger deposits might take up to five working days to complete. However, the precise timeframe depends on each customer’s individual payment history. There is a ceiling on deposits of $50,000 per working day.
Another benefit is that clients can connect their bank accounts directly to their trading accounts at Robinhood to deposit and cash out quickly. The brokerage itself advises customers to connect a checking rather than a savings account. This could spare you from experiencing any hassles associated with reversals of your money transfers.
Once you successfully register, the brokerage would prompt you to deposit into your balance. You simply need to select your bank from the list of available options. If you fail to see it there, you can always use the search engine.
Some of the listed banks Robinhood works with include the Bank of America, Navy Federal, USAA, US Bank, Fidelity, Huntington, Ally Bank, SunTrust, BB&T, and Citizens Bank. Once you tap on your bank’s logo, the platform will prompt you to enter your user ID and password.
The brokerage does not work with mailed checks. One feature that attracted our attention is the option to set up automatic deposits via the Robinhood mobile app. Just sign into your account, tap on the Transfers section, and then on Automatic Deposits. You can choose to initiate weekly, monthly, and quarterly automatic deposits.
Bank transfers are an option for traders looking to cash out from their Robinhood accounts. Certain rules are in place when it comes to withdrawals, starting with the fact each trader can request no more than $50,000 per working day. Bear in mind that you should have no pending deposits (remember larger sums may take several business days to transfer) into your account before you can ask for a withdrawal.
Customers, who upgrade to Robinhood Gold premium accounts and activate their margin, must have at least $2,000 in their balance at any given time. Provided that one is looking to cash out less than $2,000, they will have no other choice but to deactivate their margin from the settings menu.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you will have to undergo an additional verification should you decide to cash out funds from your balance to a different bank account than the one you have initially deposited from. You can seek assistance from the Robinhood support team for this purpose.
It would be necessary to provide the support staff with some additional information, including the reason why you cannot or do not want to cash out from your previously linked account. Also needed is a copy of the front and back of an identification document alongside a bank statement that proves you are the rightful owner of the linked bank accounts.
As we told readers in the beginning, Robinhood is a US-facing mobile trading platform, which is why the brokerage is licensed and permitted to sell securities to traders based in this jurisdiction only. The mobile apps are available to US citizens who can trade there as long as they are over 18 years old.
Speaking of regulations, Robinhood has received authorization to operate in the US from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, abbreviated as FINRA. The company also boasts a membership in the Securities Investor Protection Corporation or SIPC. In this vein, this protects the securities of Robinhood clients with up to $500,000.
The mobile trading app can legally service traders from all fifty states and people from the US Virgin Islands. Prospective registrants are required to be permanent residents of the country and have a legal address there.
Robinhood Mobile App FAQ
1. How does Robinhood protect me?
2. Can US registrants access their Robinhood accounts from abroad?
3. Are there any promotional perks for Robinhood clients?
4. Where do I find the native apps of Robinhood?
5. Are there Islamic accounts at Robinhood?
Mobile retail traders whose priority is to execute stock orders at low costs should consider giving Robinhood a test drive. The brokerage is suited mostly to the needs of trading novices who are seeking a simplified and user-friendly trading experience on the go. Seasoned stock investors should consider choosing a more sophisticated mobile platform with a greater range of advanced trading tools and more resources.