The well-designed stock-trading app that’s good for beginners.
If you’re looking for a stock and option trading platform that’s easy to use and doesn’t charge commissions, then Robinhood might fit the bill. However, experienced traders may bump into obvious limitations.
In this review, I discuss the popular Robinhood app, and not the Robinhood website.
Setting up Robinhood
I downloaded Robinhood to my iPhone after hearing it promoted on a podcast that told me if I used its signup code, I’d receive a free stock “like Apple or Ford”. After I opened the app, I was prompted to meet and fill out the respective information for four requirements before I could move forward:
- At least 18 years old
- Valid Social Security number
- Legal resident of the US
- Citizenship status
Robinhood verified my information, and I received an email with approval. I was now free to deposit money into my account from my bank and start buying stocks. A few days later, I received my free stock and (spoiler alert!) it was neither Apple nor Ford.
Immediately, I noticed how well-designed the app is. It’s simple and easy to navigate.
Robinhood’s user interface is divided into three main sections:
- A home screen that shows you how well the stocks you own and the stocks you’re watching are doing.
- A Browse page, where you can search stocks, see Top movers, and read Recent news.
- A profile page, where you can see your Account summary, transfer money into your brokerage account and get other miscellaneous information you might need.
I suggest becoming familiar with the app before using it to buy and trade stocks to minimize confusion once you get rolling.
Buying stocks on the Robinhood app
The experience of purchasing a stock on Robinhood is quick and painless, outlined in the steps below.
Selling stocks on Robinhood
Selling stocks on Robinhood is just as painless as buying them. Select the number of shares you’d like to sell, review your order and submit it. Like “buy” orders, sell orders also come with varying types:
Sells your security for the current market price.
Sells your security at your designated minimum price.
Executes your sell order at the current market price once your minimum target price is met.
Executes your sell order at your designated stop price once your minimum target price is met.
Pros and cons of Robinhood
- No commission fees
- Intuitive interface
- Invite friends for free stocks
- No minimum account balance
- You can’t invest in mutual funds or bonds
- Requires upgrade to Robinhood Gold to invest more than $1,000 at a time
- Stock prices lag, which can make it difficult for day traders to get the best price
- Lack of well-researched info on companies within the app
The Robinhood app is a solid jumping-off point if you’re just getting into active investing or want to avoid commission fees. But an oversimplistic design comes with clear trade-offs, such as a lack of resources and in-depth research on the companies you’re investing in, which you might find on more complex platforms.
Overall, the Robinhood app delivers when it comes to user experience and core functionality.
Would you recommend Robinhood to a friend?
Definitely. Robinhood deconstructs everything that’s scary and intimidating about investing within a mobile app, and it’s beautifully designed to a nearly cartoonish degree. I’ve recommended this app to a couple of my friends who are thinking about getting into investing. And what’s more: I got free stocks for referring them!