Robinhood burst onto the scene a few years back and has quickly become one of the most popular trading apps for retail investors.
In the past year or so, however, Robinhood has had several unfortunate blowups that have caused people to reconsider using the brokerage.
There were several very big outages where the site went down or wasn’t available for users when they wanted to make trades at a very volatile time, in early March 2020. At the time the economic effects of the Covid-19 virus were just becoming apparent and there were some dramatic swings in the market, and Robinhood users were left on the sidelines.
Then this week there has been added outrage as retail investors have tried taking on hedge fund short sellers over the Gamestop ($GME) stock. Investors from the Reddit Wall Street Bets discussion board had successfully run up the stock price on GME causing several of these hedge funds with short positions on the stock to lose their shirts. As this was happening Robinhood apparently stopped allowing retail investors to buy more of the GME stock, along with several other stocks. They were only allowed to close out their positions. This caused the stock price to drop and allowed some of the hedge funds to regroup.
Some investors were so up in arms that they decided to sue the company. A class action complaint was filed in New York.
While some people have argued that there were legitimate reasons to suspend trading on those stocks, a lot of folks have lost trust in Robinhood and are looking for an alternative.
In this article, we’re going to look at some of the best Robinhood alternatives for you to consider.
What To Look For In A Robinhood Alternative
If you’re looking for an alternative to Robinhood there are probably quite a few things that you’ll be looking for. Robinhood does have a lot of attractive selling points that you’ll want to find in your new brokerage.
Low Or No Commissions Or Fees
Robinhood has $0 trades, and on the basic account, there are no account maintenance fees. Not all brokerages offer free trades, but thankfully more of them are making that available.
If you are going to be trading on a regular basis and doing trades during busy days in the markets, you want to make sure that your brokerage has a good track record of being reliable, even on the most volatile days of trading.
An Easy-To-Use Platform
It’s important to find a platform that is easy for you to use, that has a good and intuitive app and website experience, and that has all the tools and educational resources that you need for where you are in your investing journey.
If you’re a newer investor, versus a hardened veteran, you may need a simpler platform with better educational tools. If you’re the veteran, you may want a site with more in depth financial tools, trackers, etc.
You’ll want to decide if you want to use an investing service that allows for more active trading on a day-to-day basis, or if you want to be more hands-off and allow automated investing to take place, like through a robo-advisor.
The Best Robinhood Alternatives
So what are some of the most popular online brokerages that can give you an experience similar to Robinhood, with low costs to trade stocks or ETFs? Here are a few of our favorites.
Public is a commission-free brokerage where you can invest in stocks and ETFs, and even fractional shares for some companies that might be out of reach financially otherwise. You can start investing with as little money as $5.
Getting started with Public is easy. Just follow the link on this page, set up your account, and you can be investing in no time.
When you open your account you can claim a free stock by signing up for a new account through our link. You’ll find a $10 bonus in your cash account once you’re approved. If you’re signing up on desktop you can just enter your phone number and they’ll send you a download link to get the app on your phone. (The service is all app-based).
Read our comprehensive Public app review.
Webull is a great platform for commission-free trading, and you can start trading in no time.
They have a $0 minimum investment for a cash account, and they have taxable accounts, IRAs, and rollover IRAs available.
The service has great apps for iOS and Android, as well as standalone desktop versions.
You can receive 1 free stock when you open an account and make an initial deposit of at least $100. The stock you receive is awarded randomly and can range in value from about $8 to $1,600.
Once you have opened an account they sometimes offer ways you can earn even more free stock. You’ll have a referral link in your account, so you can share the service with your friends. Anyone opening an account using your referral link will get free stock, and you will as well.
You can leave your free stock in your account and watch them grow, or cash out, per the terms of the deal.
Webull changes up their offers periodically, so make sure you look closely when signing up to see what the current free stock offer is.
Read our comprehensive Webull review.
3. M1 Finance
M1 Finance is an app that allows you to trade stocks commission-free, similar to Robinhood.
The platform is a great choice for beginners with an easy to use interface with over 80 expert created portfolios (called “Pies”) pre-built for users to invest in.
The platform is very flexible, and you can invest in a basket of hand-picked ETFs, REITs and stocks, or if you prefer you can choose a pre-built investment pie.
M1 Finance also offers fractional share investments which means you can invest in fractional pieces of a single stock, in case you want to add small amounts of money to invest at a time.
M1 Finance currently offers a $20 referral bonus once you sign up for your account where you can give $20 to a friend and receive $20 if they sign up and fund an account.
Read our comprehensive M1 Finance review.
Firstrade is a low-cost brokerage that gives you free commissions on trades and allows you to trade stocks, ETFs, options, and over 11,000 mutual funds with no hidden fees.
They were listed by Kiplinger’s as one of the “Best Online Brokers in 2020”, and as a top options investing pick.
They also have $0 contract fees and no exchange, exercise or assignment fees.
Firstrade also has bonuses from time to time and right now they have an offer to get 3 free stocks and the chance to win a new iPhone when you sign up. You can also refer friends to the service and when they sign up you’ll get a free stock.
You can earn up to $500 in free stocks from Firstrade.
Nvstr is a brokerage and investing site that offers 1 click portfolio optimization based on Nobel Prize winning research and years of institutional investing experience.
It’s free to open an account with Nvstr, and anyone 18 years or older in the U.S. can open an account. There is no minimum account size, so the accounts are good for just about everyone.
Currently, if you’re signed up for the $4.99/month subscription with the service you get 25 free trades every month. If you don’t have a subscription or trades outside of the initial 25 will cost $4.50. Most people go with the subscription.
Nvstr is now offering a cash bonus for new accounts. When you open your account, they’ll fund the account with a random amount of cash, once the account is approved. You’re guaranteed to get at least $10, and you could receive anywhere up to $1000. Their site lists the actual odds of receiving the different amounts.
I received $12 when I opened my account, and my most recent referral for a friend netted me $24. So the amounts can add up over time.
Read our comprehensive review of Nvstr.
6. Stash Invest
Stash Invest is a micro-investing platform and bank account that allows you to invest in a risk-adjusted portfolio of stocks, via ETF index funds, or via individual stocks.
You can invest as much or as little as you want since Stash allows you to buy fractional shares.
Stash has a low minimum investment, you can start investing with as little as $5.
Stash Invest is also offering a $5 bonus if you sign up and fund your account with at least $5.
The beginner account does start at $1/month, so if you want you can use your bonus for the monthly fee, and then earn your Stock Back rewards to get free stock.
Read our comprehensive Stash Invest review.
Acorns is another investing app that allows you to invest at a low cost, $1/month. There are no minimums in order to have an account, and you only need $5 to invest.
This service would be categorized as more of a robo-advisor as it chooses a diversified portfolio for you, and it doesn’t allow you to pick individual stocks like a typical brokerage.
When you sign up via our link you’ll get a $5 account bonus. You can use that bonus to pay for their $1/month account management fee.
Read our comprehensive Acorns review.
Groundfloor is a real estate crowdfunding and investing platform where you can invest in real estate investments, typically short term loans for real estate investors and entrepreneurs.
Most of the people taking on loans are renovating and flipping or renting the properties that you’re investing in.
Most of the loans have terms of 6 or 12 months, and they say you’ll earn on average about 10% in interest on these loans.
I’ve been using Groundfloor for a year or two now and I’m making about 9% on the money I have invested there.
While Groundfloor isn’t your typical brokerage, it is an interesting investing site to give a try.
Read our comprehensive Groundfloor review.
dough is another low cost, app-only brokerage that allows you to do commission-free stock trades, without a lot of fancy features of frills.
There are no minimums to open an account, and while they don’t offer a desktop version or a lot of charting tools or trading functionality, if you’re looking for an easy to use interface from which you can trade stocks, dough is worth a look.
dough is offering a free stock for new users currently in order to attract new users. To get the free stock you just have to click on a referral link from an existing Dough customer, like the one below, download the app, and then complete the application for a brokerage account.
Read our comprehensive dough app review.
10. Ally Invest
I’m a long time customer of Ally Bank as our family has 3 goal-based savings accounts with them. In addition to the banking products they also have a well-respected brokerage that ticks all the boxes for what you might need in an alternative.
With Ally Invest you can buy and sell stocks, ETFs, bonds, and options, and they’re all commission-free. They also have no minimum to start an account.
If you deposit a large amount (over $10k) you can get an account bonus. See their site for details.
They have an easy to use trading platform, as well as a mobile app, so you can trade at home or on the go. Definitely worth a look.
11. SoFi Invest
They have student loan refinancing, insurance, a cash management account (with a debit card), personal loans, and more. They also now have a brokerage and Robo-advisor.
If you’re looking to manage your own investments and trade stocks and ETFs, as well as cryptocurrencies, you can begin trading with as little as $1 with SoFi Invest. You can also trade stocks and ETFs with no commission, it’s free of charge.
If you want to be a bit more hands-off, SoFi also has their Automated Investing product that lets you choose from one of five different investing strategies, based on your risk tolerance and goals. It will automatically rebalance your allocations regularly to maintain your target allocation. Like the invest product, it is also free of charge.
Moomoo is a trading app that, while it’s new, more than stacks up to much of its older competition.
The app allows you to trade stocks with no commissions, they have no minimum deposit, and they have plenty of tools and research for novice and expert investors.
The app gives you a comprehensive suite of trading tools, free level 2 quotes (which most apps charge for), pre and post-market trading, paper trading, and more.
The app can be downloaded on your Android, iOS or Windows device.
Sign up through our link below and get free stocks valued up to $1,000. The only criteria are that you have to deposit at least $100 to receive the stock. Once you deposit $100 you will receive a stock valued between $4 and $200. If you deposit at least $1,500 you will get another higher price free stock valued between $10 and $1,000.
Best Robinhood Alternatives
If you’re looking for a worthy alternative to Robinhood, the choices we would recommend include the following:
Have your own investing apps or brokerages that you would recommend as a replacement? Tell us what they are in the comments.
Don’t forget to check out these sites that give free stock!