The advent of low-fee stock trading platforms like E-Trade brought a rush new money into the market. For better or worse, online self-service equity trading platforms opened up the stock market to droves of new investors. These services have only grown more accessible over time, with many such as TD Ameritrade and E-Trade advertising entry-level commissions of $10 per trade.
$10 per trade is a tremendous value compared to traditional services, but now there's a newer service that offers an even better value for budding investors.
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We first covered an app called Robinhood back in May. The first-of-its-kind service allows investors to place unlimited stock trades for free. Yes, it's really, truly free and people are taking advantage. Robinhood says its 1 million users have rung up more than $12 billion in transactions so far, and have saved $200 million in commission fees.
Robinhood doesn't provide the same level of support as the larger firms, nor does it provide investors with as many tools or capabilities. The company's free product is geared toward young investors looking to make basic trades. On Thursday, however, Robinhood addressed a number of key shortcomings with a new product called Robinhood Gold.
For $10 per month, Robinhood Gold subscribers will gain three new features. First, they will be able to buy and sell stocks during the morning and evening after-hours sessions. Second, Robinhood will double Gold subscribers' buying power by issuing short-term lines of credit. Finally, users will be able to invest funds instantly when making a deposit from an outside account, rather than having to wait up to three days for the money to clear.
The new Robinhood Gold product is a great option for investors looking to get a bit more bang for their buck than they might with other firms, but it's still not an option for more seasoned investors. While the new features available with Robinhood Gold will be welcomed by many users, Robinhood still doesn't support short selling, OTC market stocks, or many other features that more advanced investors might want to utilize. The company did tell BGR that additional features will be added to Robinhood Gold down the road, though no specifics were provided.
Robinhood Gold is rolling out beginning Thursday, and there is a free trial period available. Users will need at least $2,000 in their Robinhood accounts in order to subscribe to Gold.
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