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Robinhood vs. Vanguard
One is best for buy-and-hold investors — the other for active traders.
Both platforms offer commission-free stocks and a similar lineup of tradable securities but are equipped to serve two very different types of investors.
Which one is better?
- Choose Robinhood if you’re a new or active investor looking to execute your own trades.
- Choose Vanguard if you’re a long-term investor executing a buy-and-hold strategy.
Besides commission-free stocks and a similar asset lineup, Robinhood and Vanguard have little in common. And that’s because these two trading platforms are designed with different investors in mind.
Is one better than the other? It depends on your trading strategy.
Active investors — investors that buy and sell securities in an attempt to beat the market through short-term price fluctuations — will get more from Robinhood. It’s a beginner-friendly platform with no commissions and basic charting and stock screening software. Its research and analysis tools are too rudimentary to tempt day traders, but its offerings work for those who are new to trading or who feel confident performing research through third-party providers like MetaStock or NinjaTrader.
Long-term investors — especially those executing a buy and hold strategy — will prefer Vanguard. The platform is owned by investors, and offers a hearty selection of in-house mutual funds and ETFs. Investors with at least $50,000 on hand gain access to certified financial advisors by email, phone and video chat.
|Research and tools|
We awarded a bonus star for Vanguard’s client-owned structure.
To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read the methodology at the bottom of the page.
How do Robinhood and Vanguard compare?
A breakdown of features, fees, customer feedback and more:
Robinhood is a trading platform for beginners that offers easy-to-navigate software, no account minimums and no commission fees. Research and analytics tools are somewhat limited, but investors can bump up their brokerage account to Robinhood Gold for $5 monthly to receive Morningstar research reports, Nasdaq Level II Market Data and instant access to deposits of $5,000 to $50,000.
Vanguard is an investor-owned brokerage that specializes in low expense ratio ETFs. Its tiered investment services are best suited to long-term investors with high account balances, as it offers a personal advisor service for investors with at least $50,000 on hand. Investors that purchase its mutual funds and ETFs don’t pay commissions and become part-owners of the company.
|Stock trade fee||$0||$7|
|Option trade fee||$0||$1|
|Minimum deposit to open||$0||$0|
|Tools and research|
|Reputation and customer reviews|
|Apple App Store reviews|
|Google Play Store reviews|
Robinhood is best for new or active investors, while Vanguard is best for long-term investors. The best platform for your portfolio boils down to your trading experience and preferred investment strategy. Compare your brokerage account options with multiple providers to find the account that best fits your investment goals.
Frequently asked questions
How we rate trading platforms
★★★★★ 5/5 — Excellent
★★★★★ 4/5 — Good
★★★★★ 3/5 — Average
★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar
★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor
We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability.
For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms.
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