Lots of people are migrating from the popular investing app Robinhood after the Great Meme Stock Debacle of ’21. While Robinhood still remains a great option for a lot of newbie investors, it’s not the only one out there, and you might be looking to jump ship.
Heads-up if you’re a current customer looking to switch, though: there’s a $75 fee to transfer your account to a new brokerage. If you’re OK with that or if you’re looking to start anew with another Robinhood alternative, check out our recommendations.
What Made Robinhood So Great?
It’s difficult — and dare we say it, boring — for the average Joe to get started with investing. You’ll need to learn a lot of new, abstract terms, deal with confusing and clunky interfaces, and have a big chunk of cash to allocate your portfolio properly.
Robinhood changed all of that. It makes investing accessible to just about anyone, and it does it in a pretty package too. It does this in a lot of different ways, starting with the cost of investing. In a time when the average trading fee is $9, it offers free trades. It allows you to buy fractional shares, so you don’t need hundreds of dollars to buy a single high-profile stock. And it offers a slick user interface along with lots of explainers so you can learn as you go.
You might be fretting if you’re worried about losing those things. The good news is that there are plenty of Robinhood alternatives that offer these features — and more — as long as you’re willing to sort out what you really need from the noise.
What Are the Best Robinhood Alternatives?
Here are our top recommendations if you’re looking to switch investing platforms:
|Robinhood||Stash||Public||Stockpile||SoFi Invest||M1 Finance||Webull|
|Trading fees?||$0||$0||$0||$0.99-$3.99 plus a 3% debit/credit card processing fee||$0 for stocks and ETFs. 1.25% for crypto trades.||$0||$0|
Stash is geared more towards newer investors who are looking to hold their investments long-term, rather than veteran stock pros trying to do complicated things like day trading or options contracts. It offers stocks and ETFs that you can invest in, but don’t expect to go hog-wild: there are only 250 options. You will get some assistance in picking which choices are best for you, though, which is why it’s better suited for people looking for a simple experience.
It also offers a really unique feature we haven’t seen with other Robinhood alternatives: a debit card that actually offers bits of stock as a reward. It’s like cash-back rewards cards but it’s a debit card, and it rewards you with 0.125% – 5.000% back in stock from the big companies you buy from.
The GameStop meme stock craze started out on an obscure subreddit forum, but it’s not the only social media site that offers investing advice. The investing app Public takes investing into the…well…public by offering a place where you can connect with other investors (even your friends and family) to nerd out together about stocks.
You can build your portfolio right through the app, too. Public allows you to invest in fractional shares of stocks and ETFs, and even offers free stock for signing up and for referring friends to the platform just like Robinhood.
Fractional shares of stocks are all the rage right now, but Stockpile was actually one of the first investing companies to roll this out. While you can use Stockpile for most of your newbie investing needs, it’s really marketed more as a gift card service, of all things.
You can buy gift cards and “gift” fractions of stocks for interesting companies like Disney — or yes, even GameStop — and give them to friends and family. In this way, it’s also a handy method to get kids interested in the stock market and investing.
SoFi Invest offers two different types of investing options: Active Investing, for people who want to DIY everything, and Automated Investing that acts more like a robo-advisor.
Active Investing is geared towards novice investors who want to play around a bit with buying and selling, but who aren’t big-time investors yet. For example, fractional shares are only traded once per day, during which time its price may change. With Automated Investing, SoFi Invest helps guide you through creating and implementing an automated investing plan based on your goals.
If you like more of a set-it-and-forget it approach, consider M1 Finance. It offers another well-designed app that centers around Pies: simple pie charts that show your portfolio for each account type. You can create your own Pies with a custom mix of stocks and funds, or use one of M1 Finance’s pre-set Expert Pies, similar to how a robo-advisor would recommend a portfolio for you.
To invest, all you have to do is add money into your M1 Finance account and it’ll automatically divvy it up among the investments in your Pie. It’ll also rebalance your portfolio for you, so there’s essentially no work needed on your part aside from adding money in and updating your Pie if needed. Thus, it’s not a good choice for active day traders, but it’s a perfect choice for buy-and-hold investors.
If you’ve already taken the first steps as an active investor and don’t need as much hand-holding, Webull is probably one of the closest Robinhood alternatives. It offers all of the things you’d expect from Robinhood, including more advanced margin trading and options. It also offers extended trading hours, so it’s perfect for day (or night) traders.
The only downsides are that its margin rates are a bit more expensive (3.99% – 6.99% vs. 2.50%), and it doesn’t offer fractional shares. It also offers fewer options for learning the ropes, so you’ll either need to know these already or seek out other learning sources.
The Investing World is Your Oyster
If you’re like many people, chances are you got in on the Robinhood craze without really doing a full scan of the types of brokerages out there for different investing styles. The reality is that there are many types of brokerage beyond what we’ve shown you here as the best Robinhood alternative.
But have you asked yourself — is a Robinhood-style brokerage what you really need? Make sure you do your research to understand all the types of online brokerages out there, so you can make sure you’re signing up for the best match for your needs.