Robinhood review

Robinhood (not that one) has arrived in the UK, offering commission-free investing on thousands of US stocks.

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Robinhood

America’s answer to Revolut and Freetrade, Robinhood lets customers invest in a large rank of US-based stocks and ETFs, with no commission or foreign exchange fees.

What is Robinhood?

Robinhood is a US financial services company founded in 2013 that offers commission-free stock investing and cryptocurrency investing. It currently lets customers invest in over 3,500 US stocks and another 1,000 global stocks, and has recently launched with early access in the UK.

How does Robinhood work?

To use Robinhood in the UK, you currently need to sign up for early access by submitting your email via the Robinhood website.

Once you’ve been given access, you’ll be able to download the Robinhood app. You’ll then be able to add money to your account via debit card or mobile payment. You can deposit using pounds, which are then exchanged for US dollars at the current exchange rate, with no additional fees or charges. There is also no minimum account limit.

Once your account is funded, you’ll be able to buy and sell US stocks directly through the app. This includes stocks listed on the NYSE and Nasdaq, as well as a range of OTC stocks. You can also access the latest business news, stock watchlists and get performance summaries via the Robinhood app.

UK customers are currently unable to access some of the products offered to Robinhood customers in the US, including cryptocurrency trading, ETFs, options and cash management.

Robinhood trading hours

As you’ll be investing in the US stock market, you’ll only be able to make trades based around US market hours. However, Robinhood offers extended trading hours to those using the app, which means you’ll be able to trade during the following hours:

  • 2pm to 11pm GMT

Robinhood UK waitlist

In order to get access to Robinhood in the UK, you’ll first need to enter your email on the Robinhood website. You’ll then be notified when you can access the app once Robinhood launches in the UK in early 2020.

If you refer a friend who then also joins the waitlist, you’ll be moved up 1,000 spots in the queue, meaning you’ll be given access to Robinhood sooner. There is no obligation or commitment for joining the waitlist.

What else does Robinhood offer?

Robinhood Gold. If you want access to Level II market data, professional research reports and margin trading, you can upgrade to a Robinhood Gold account. You will need to pay a monthly fee in order to upgrade.

Robinhood fees and charges

Robinhood charges no commission or foreign exchange fees. While your money will be converted into dollars when you make a deposit, there will be no additional conversion fees or commissions.

  • Robinhood Gold. There is a $5 per month charge to upgrade to Robinhood Gold.

Am I eligible?

If you want to get a Robinhood account in the UK, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • You’re at least 18 years old.
  • You have a valid National Insurance Number.
  • You’re a UK resident.

Pros and cons of Robinhood

Pros

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use app
  • £1 account minimum
  • No commission or foreign exchange fees
  • Investing may offer better returns than savings account
  • Can buy US stocks and ETFs, as well as some global stocks

Cons

  • Your capital is at risk
  • Mainly limited to US exchange stocks
  • Trading based on US market hours
  • Your money must be converted into US dollars in order to trade
  • Some products not currently available in the UK
  • No ISA or pension option

Is Robinhood safe?

Robinhood is authorised and regulated by the FCA and is a member of SIPC, meaning your investments are protected up to $500,000 (including $250,000 in cash) if the company was to fold.

As with any form of investing, there is no guarantee of returns, and you may end up with less than you initially invested.

Frequently asked questions

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest.

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