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When it comes to buying stocks online, many think of Robinhood first. But how do other apps compare? Review these popular Robinhood alternatives.
- Coinbase: Best for Crypto
- Acorns: Best for Young Investors
- Public: Best for Fractional Shares
- Webull: Best Analytical Tools
- Stash: Best for Invesment Guidance
Most retail investors will know the name Robinhood. Few apps have earned more name recognition in the investing world.
But they’ve seen a lot of negative press lately, as well as scrutiny from the SEC. Plus, Robinhood’s had at least one class-action lawsuit and been fined by FINRA.
So, what other options are out there? And who’s best for crypto, fractional shares, and stocks?
In this list, review the top 5 alternatives to Robinhood for every kind of trader. Plus, see which other apps made our list of honorable mentions.
What is Robinhood?
Robinhood has done a lot to popularize stock trading for average investors by making it quick and easy to do.
By offering commission-free trades and fractional shares, they’ve removed many of the financial barriers for retail investors to get into stock trading.
Robinhood is based in Menlo Park, California. Investors in the United States can trade stocks listed on the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange, along with a range of popular stocks from international exchanges.
Robinhood makes its money by directing user orders to market makers who then execute the trades. They also earn from Robinhood Gold subscriptions, lending of margin securities, interest from uninvested cash, and interchange fees from the Robinhood debit card.
According to their CEO, this was due to insufficient capital to process all the trades being ordered. Since then, they have been subject to investigation by the SEC, a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York, potential investigations by the New York and Texas attorneys general, and at least one class-action lawsuit.
Robinhood Pros and Cons
While Robinhood has some things going for it, there are plenty of to consider other investment platforms. Review these pros and cons to know what you’re looking for in a competitor.
- 100% commission free
- No minimums
- Fractional shares
- Easy to use
- Real-time market data
- Extended trading hours
- Free cash management account
- SIPC protected
- Crypto trading (although it’s limited)
- Limited research and tools
- Only individual taxable account available
- No mutual funds or bonds
- Poor customer service
Top 5 Robinhood Alternatives
Choosing your trading platform depends on whether you want to trade stocks, or crypto, or a combination of both. Also, ask yourself how much you want to invest. And do you value privacy more than security, or vice versa?
1. Coinbase: Best for Crypto
If you’re interested in trading crypto rather than stocks, you might want to look at Coinbase. While Robinhood does offer a limited range of cryptocurrencies (7, at time of writing), crypto is what Coinbase is known for. They offer over 65 coins to buy sell and trade, with more added regularly.
New investors will find Coinbase just as easy to use as Robinhood, and in fact, their interfaces are quite similar. Coinbase is known for being one of the easiest places to start trading crypto.
In addition to their crypto exchange, Coinbase has a variety of other features. You can earn up to 6% interest by staking certain coins. If you own a large amount of Bitcoin, you can use it as collateral for a crypto-backed loan.
Coinbase has partnered with Visa to offer a crypto rewards card that will get users up to 4% cash back on purchases.
The Coinbase Wallet offers users a safe place to store their crypto as well.
It is important to keep in mind that Coinbase does have relatively high fees.
- Trade over 65 cryptocurrencies
- Earn crypto while you learn with Coinbase rewards
- Earn interest by staking
- Buy via credit, debit, bank, or wire transfer
- Cash holdings FDIC insured
- Security: Most crypto held in cold storage
Those with some experience looking to save may consider Coinbase Pro, Coinbase’s expert-oriented app with lower fees.
2. Acorns: Best for Young Investors
Acorns is an app that aims to make it easy for average people to level up their finances. They got started offering people an easy way to save by rounding up the spare change on their purchases and putting it away to save or invest.
They offer quick setup on investment accounts for the whole family, as well as retirement and checking accounts that users can add to in increments.
Users can take advantage of portfolios designed by experts that automatically adjust to keep their investments on track.
Their accounts do require a monthly fee of $1, $3, or $5 a month.
- Round up spare change
- Investment, retirement, and checking accounts
- Prebuilt portfolios of stocks, ETFs, and bonds
- Investor risk assessment
- Investing for kids
3. Public: Best for Fractional Shares
New York-based Public is an investing social network. Their goal is to make investing accessible by promoting financial literacy and offering fractional shares of expensive stocks. Like Robinhood, they focus on the trading of stocks and ETFs.
Public is free to download and commission-free as well. Where it stands out from Robinhood is the ability to see what others are trading.
Users can also follow curated themes. These are groups of stocks that support a central cause. Examples include: The Crypto Revolution, For the Win! (gaming and eSports), Women in Charge, and Growing Diversity.
- Over 3,000 stocks and ETFs
- Curated theme-based portfolios
- Collaborative community
- Commission-free trading
- Fractional shares
- Fund account with debit card
- SIPC insured
Get a Free Slice of Stock
- Invest in Stocks and ETFs, Commission-Free and No Account Minimums
- Follow other investors, share insights, and build your financial literacy within a transparent community
- Offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. There may be other fees associated with trading. See Public.com/disclosures/
4. Webull: Best Analytical Tools
Webull is considered a major competitor to Robinhood with millennials. They offer a wide range of investment options, including stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies—all commission-free.
A feature that sets Webull apart is its extensive research and analytical tools, something that many retail investor-oriented apps aren’t known for.
It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that they don’t support fractional shares, which may price out some investors.
Webull also offers a free paper trading account that allows you to play around with $1M fake dollars. Users get 3 trades per 5-day period, a restriction lifted for accounts over $25,000. Short selling and options trading are also available.
- Commission-free trades
- No account minimums
- Free extended trading accounts
- Free margin account with $2,000 minimum
- Trading Simulator
- Advanced research tools and charting
- Stocks and crypto
- No fractional shares
Stash: Best for Investment Guidance
Stash is a micro-investing app geared toward beginners to the world of investing. While they aren’t a robo-advisor, they do offer a lot of guidance to those who are still finding their feet when it comes to choosing what to invest in.
They offer more than 400 stocks and ETFs, which they’ve organized by risk to help you pick the investments that suit your goals and personality, whether you’re a conservative or ambitious trader.
They offer traditional and Roth IRA accounts for those interesting in saving for retirement as well.
Their accounts come at a range of rates, from $1, $3, and $9 a month. If you’re only investing small amounts, be careful not to let the fees eat up all your earnings.
- Guidance for beginners
- 400+ stocks and ETFs
- Invest in themes
- Risk assessment
- Retirement accounts
- Fractional shares
Sign Up and Get $5
- Sign up, add at least $5 to your account and get a $5 bonus.
- Invest with fractional shares
- Get portfolio recommendations
More Robinhood Alternatives to Try Out
A familiar name among online brokerages, TD Ameritrade is now also offering commission-free trading on stocks, ETFs, and options. If you’re looking for an extensive range of analytical tools, this platform may be for you.
They offer heat maps and earnings calendars, as well as the ability to do backtesting, a research technique involving testing investment strategies against historical market data. Best of all, there are no account minimums required to access the top-tier features.
Fidelity is another well-known broker that has something to offer for beginners and experts alike. With in-depth research tools as well as articles and videos to get you started, every trader will find something that works for them.
Traders can invest in stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, bonds, and CDs, and open IRA accounts, 529 college savings accounts, or cash management accounts. Normal trades are commission-free.
E*Trade is a popular online brokerage that caters to low-frequency traders and beginners, offering helpful guidance and even access to investing professionals for advice. They offer a wide range of investments like stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds.
Traders can also open checking accounts and IRAs, or apply for a mortgage through E*Trade. Keep in mind, there is a $500 minimum required to open an account.
For those looking to trade a wide range of cryptocurrencies at low fees, Binance has a lot to offer. Consistently one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges by volume, Binance is available all over the world, with Binance.US for residents of the United States.
They offer over 50 currencies in the U.S., and more than 250 worldwide, not to mention staking accounts that let you earn interest on your coins.
Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange that offers good rates on an extensive number of trading pairs. They use an advanced market interface that may not be ideal for beginners to the crypto space.
The difficulty to fund an account may have some investors looking for other avenues, but those who use Kraken will find competitive pricing compared to many other popular exchanges.
If you think that Robinhood isn’t the place you want to be trading, don’t worry. There are plenty of platforms offering comparable services for retail investors.
It doesn’t matter if you want to buy stocks and bonds, crypto or ETFs, invest in a mutual fund, or save for retirement with an IRA.
Whether you want an easy app or desktop access, helpful guides or friendly advice, analytical tools or just to take your hands off the wheel and let someone else decide, there’s an investment platform that’s right for you.
And in most cases, sign-up takes just a couple of minutes. Why wait?
Jeremy Harshman is a protector of art and writing at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.
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CreditDonkey is a paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.