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Robinhood vs. Acorns
The ideal platform depends on whether you’re a passive or active investor.
Both platforms are practical choices for first-time investors, but their individual offerings are markedly different from one another.
Which one is better?
- Choose Robinhood if you’re seeking a self-directed brokerage account.
- Choose Acorns if you’d like to invest through a robo-advisor.
Robinhood and Acorns offer drastically different investment services. Robinhood is an online trading platform that offers self-directed brokerage accounts. And Acorns is a robo-advisor for hands-off investors seeking automated portfolio management.
Active investors ready to buy and sell their own securities will want to explore Robinhood. The commission-free trading that made Robinhood so popular has been emulated by many of its competitors — but there’s more to the Robinhood name than low-cost trading. The platform has one of the most intuitive trading interfaces in the industry, positioning itself as one of the most popular beginner-friendly platforms. But multiple service outages have been reported and some traders report feeling frustrated with its lack of advanced research tools.
Passive investors looking to have their money managed for them will want to explore Acorns. Investors select from one of five portfolio options, fund their account and Acorns’ robo-advisor takes care of the rest. While ideal for a passive set-it-and-forget-it investor, the platform’s fee structure favor’s investors with high account balances and the available asset classes are limited.
How do Robinhood and Acorns compare?
|Overview||Robinhood is an online trading platform that offers self-directed brokerage services. Investors can trade commission-free stocks, ETFs and options with 24-hour access to 17 different cryptocurrencies. It’s well-suited to new investors looking to start buying and selling their own stocks.||Acorns is a robo-advisor that offers individual investment accounts, retirement accounts, custodial accounts — even a checking account that comes with a free Visa debit card. When investors sign up, they select one of Acorns’ five investment portfolios crafted by industry experts under the guidance of Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. Harry Markowitz. Platform services are available through three distinct service tiers with accompanying monthly fees. It’s best suited to buy-and-hold investors who want their money managed for them.|
|Stock trade fee||$0||N/A|
|Option trade fee||$0||N/A|
|Minimum deposit to open||$0||$0|
|Tools and research|
|Reputation and customer reviews|
|Apple App Store reviews|
|Google Play Store reviews|
Robinhood and Acorns tailor their investment offerings to new investors with educational materials and easy-to-use platforms. Robinhood’s commission-free trading and instant deposits feature is ideal for investors who want to actively trade, while Acorns’ robo-advisor is designed to help passive investors manage their portfolio.
Before you sign up, explore your account options with multiple providers for the broker best suited to your investment needs.
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