Robinhood is an immensely popular investment app, reaching nearly 22.9 million monthly active users as of June 2022. However, its popularity has waned recently, with fewer people using the app after users experienced issues with outages and access to stocks.
If you’re looking for other apps such as Robinhood that allow you to quickly and easily invest your money, there are several alternatives, including Acorns, Betterment, E*TRADE, and M1 Finance.
Which is best for you depends on your level of investing experience, personal finance goals, and the types of securities you’re interested in.
What is Robinhood?
Robinhood is a leading investment app designed to be more accessible to beginner investors. It was founded in 2013 with the goal of “democratizing finance for all.”
Robinhood started offering commission-free trading in 2015, which was uncommon at the time. Other brokerage firms, such as Charles Schwab, later copied this structure.
Robinhood’s popularity also owes to its simple design and functionality and user-friendly interface that allows even novice investors to buy and sell securities. With no account minimums and commission-free stock trading, Robinhood removed some of the barriers to traditional investing.
What does Robinhood do?
Through Robinhood, investors can buy and sell stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs), and trade cryptocurrencies with no trading fees or management fees. The company also lets investors purchase slices of securities (or fractional shares) in addition to whole shares.
Although the app doesn’t replace a financial advisor, investors can subscribe to Robinhood Gold to access professional research tools, reports, analysis tools, and educational resources from the financial services firm Morningstar for just $5 per month.
Gold membership also offers greater instant deposit limits and margin trading, which lets you borrow money from Robinhood to use for buying stocks.
Currently, Robinhood only offers taxable investment accounts. It does not offer retirement accounts or college savings accounts — yet. However, in July 2022, the company announced plans to add retirement accounts to its list of offerings.
Despite its useful features, Robinhood has faced criticism and regulatory issues for several things in the past:
Service outages: The Robinhood platform experienced stock trading service outages in March 2020. The platform also suffered partial cryptocurrency service outages in April and May 2021 due to surges in cryptocurrency orders.
Restrictions on stocks: Due to increased deposit requirements from Robinhood’s broker-dealer, Robinhood restricted customers from buying certain stocks in 2021. This included GameStop — which was experiencing intense interest at the time — and resulted in significant negative media attention and backlash from customers.
Regulatory issues: Robinhood has also faced legal proceedings and investigations from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on its system outages and customer communications. Multiple state attorney general’s offices also filed requests for information from co-founder and CEO Vladimir Tenev and other Robinhood employees.
For more information about Robinhood’s features and past issues, check out our full Robinhood review.
Best Robinhood alternatives
If you’d rather not use Robinhood, there are many alternatives that may be a better fit. We chose 11 other apps similar to Robinhood that make it easy to start investing money.
Note: these mobile apps are available for both iOS and Android devices.
Acorns allows you to start investing with just $5. You can even get that amount from spare change Acorn sets aside for you with its simple round-up feature.
Unlike Robinhood, Acorns invests solely in ETFs. It creates diversified portfolios of ETFs based on your risk tolerance and goals, and it manages your portfolio for you. As a result, Acorns could be a good choice if you’re new to investing or prefer a more passive investment strategy.
In addition to a range of established ETFs, Acorns recently launched a Bitcoin ETF to give customers exposure to cryptocurrencies. You can also get started in values-based investing with sustainable environmental, social, and governance (ESG) portfolios.
Unlike Robinhood, Acorns lets you open a retirement account and automatically make contributions. The platform will even recommend the type of IRA you should choose based on your goals. Acorns also offers a checking account with a debit card and lets you earn bonus rewards when you shop at certain retailers.
Acorns offers two plans:
The individual plan for $3 per month.
The family plan for $5 per month.
Read our full Acorns review
Easily invest with your spare changeLearn More
Betterment is designed to help long-term investors build custom diversified portfolios.
It doesn’t permit users to invest in individual stocks but acts as a robo-advisor, investing your money in pre-selected portfolios of ETFs.
Portfolios are automated based on your goals, age, and risk tolerance. However, customers do have the option of meeting with a certified financial planner (CFP) for an additional fee.
Although Betterment says it will launch a cryptocurrency option in the future, there isn’t one available, so you can’t get exposure to cryptocurrencies through Betterment right now.
Betterment’s investing fees range from 0.25% for its digital investing option to 0.40% for its premium option.
The platform also allows you to open IRAs or 401ks to save for retirement or taxable investment accounts, and it even offers checking and savings accounts.
Read our full Betterment review
Smart Investing for the Long TermLearn More
Through E*TRADE, you can invest in individual stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds. However, E*TRADE doesn’t allow investors to buy or sell cryptocurrencies.
In addition to offering automated investment accounts, you can also choose accounts fully managed by E*TRADE’s financial professionals. Managed portfolios require an account balance of $25,000 to $250,000, depending on the level of service you desire.
E*TRADE also offers checking and savings accounts, and a choice of IRA accounts.
Read our full E*TRADE review
4. M1 Finance
M1 Finance provides customers with commission-free investing and automated portfolios. You can invest in stocks and ETFs with more than 60 curated, diversified, and customizable portfolios of stocks and ETFs. However, M1 does not offer options for cryptocurrency investing.
There is no account minimum to open an account, but there is a $25 minimum threshold to trade. When your cash balance meets or exceeds $25, M1 will automatically invest your cash balance into your portfolio.
If you want access to additional features such as low-interest loans and a cashback checking account and credit card, you can sign up for M1 Plus for $125 per year.
Read our full M1 Finance review
All In one Finance AppLearn More
If you are an experienced investor, Moomoo offers additional features and real-time financial news that could be useful as you expand your portfolio.
As with Robinhood, Moomoo boasts commission-free trading. Users can buy and sell stocks, ETFs, American Depository Receipts (ADRs), and engage in options trading. However, Moomoo doesn’t have cryptocurrency options.
As part of its investment platform, users can engage with other Moomoo users and build an investment community.
Read our full Moomoo review
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts may find Robinhood too limiting. As of August 2022, Robinhood only allows users to buy and sell 15 cryptocurrencies. For those who want more options, Public could be an appealing choice.
With Public, you can buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. Although its selection of cryptocurrencies is still growing, Public currently allows users to buy and sell more than 25 forms of currencies. There’s a 1% to 2% markup on all crypto trades.
You can open a Public account with as little as $1, but the only account option is a taxable investment account.
Read our full Public review
Get $3-$300 in free stockLearn More
Originally a student loan refinancing company, SoFi has expanded its business to include banking and investing services, which makes it a one-stop financial platform.
Through SoFi, you can invest in stocks, ETFs, IPOs, or cryptocurrencies. SoFi has options for both novice and advanced traders. You can choose an automated investing option if you want to be a hands-off investor, or you can opt for active investing to manage your portfolio yourself.
As with Robinhood, SoFi doesn’t charge commissions on trades and also allows fractional share investing. There is a $5 minimum to open an account. You can also open traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs with SoFi.
Read our full SoFi review
Become An Investor Without Account FeesLearn More
Whereas Robinhood only has taxable investment accounts, Stash offers investment accounts, retirement accounts, 2 and even accounts to save for your child’s college education. 1
Although you can invest in individual stocks and bonds, Stash doesn’t allow you to invest in individual cryptocurrencies. However, some portfolios do provide some cryptocurrency exposure.
With Stash, you can purchase fractional shares and get investment advice. However, the platform is geared toward long-term investing and only gives you four trading windows per day. Stash offers three plans, with prices ranging from $1 to $9 per month. 3
Get $10 To Start InvestingLearn More
9. TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade is a leading investment firm that has a range of account options, including retirement accounts, 529 plans, taxable brokerage accounts, Coverdell education savings accounts, and UGMA/UTMA accounts.
Experienced investors who want access to more advanced investment options such as FOREX trading, margin accounts, and futures may prefer TD Ameritrade over other platforms.
TD Ameritrade doesn’t currently offer cryptocurrency trading, but you can engage in margin or FOREX trading.
Read our full TD Ameritrade review
Trade Commission-free With The #1 Online BrokerLearn More
For active traders who want to manage their own portfolios or use more advanced investing strategies, TradeStation could be a solid choice. It offers taxable investment accounts, retirement accounts, margin accounts, and commission-free trading with no account minimums.
Through TradeStation, you can buy and sell stocks, ETFs, futures, and mutual funds. TradeStation does have some cryptocurrency options, but the list of available tokens is currently shorter than Robinhood’s.
Read more in our full TradeStation review
Webull is suitable for experienced investors. It offers detailed data and advanced charting that may be intimidating to new investors. Weibull customers can open retirement accounts, taxable investment accounts, and margin accounts.
Through Webull, you can invest in stocks, ETFs, options, ADRs, and cryptocurrencies. Webull has more cryptocurrency options than Robinhood, so users can buy and sell popular coins such as bitcoin and ethereum, as well as stellar lumens, apecoin, and the uniswap protocol token.
Webull is a commission-free trading platform and offers educational resources you can use to improve your investing knowledge.
Read our full Webull review
Get up to $2300 in free stockLearn More
Who is Robinhood's biggest competitor?
E*TRADE is Robinhood’s toughest competitor overall, with more than $600 billion of assets under management. In the cryptocurrency space, however, Coinbase is likely Robinhood’s main rival. Coinbase allows users to buy and sell hundreds of cryptocurrencies, whereas Robinhood offers just a small selection.
Which stock app is the best?
When it comes to stock and trading apps, there’s no single app that’s right for everyone. When considering online brokerage apps other than Robinhood, evaluate the following factors to find the best mobile app for your needs:
Investment account types: Robinhood only offers taxable accounts. If you want to save for other goals, such as retirement or a child’s college education, look for an investment app that offers IRAs, 529 plans, and custodial accounts.
Investment options: Although Robinhood allows users to invest in stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrencies, other apps may have different options. Think about the type of securities you want to invest in when choosing an app.
Account minimums: Some investment companies have high account minimum balance requirements, which can be a barrier for new investors without a significant amount of cash to invest.
Active vs. passive management: Although Robinhood requires customers to actively manage their own portfolios, other apps offer more passive or automated investment options. Which type is better depends on your level of investing experience and how much time you want to dedicate to managing your portfolio.
Robinhood has been a wildly popular investment app with millions of users. Due to some controversies and regulatory issues, however, some customers are looking for alternative online broker providers.
If your goal is to automate investing with purchase roundups and automatic retirement contributions, Acorns is a good choice. Similarly, if you prefer to build your wealth using automated investing using only pre-selected portfolios of ETFs, Betterment might be the way to go.
Finally, if you want greater control and customization of your portfolios, E*TRADE and M1 Finance are both good options.
If you want to invest but are looking for other apps such as Robinhood, check out our selections for the best investment apps.
More from FinanceBuzz:
This article Robinhood Alternatives: 11 Investment Apps You Should Consider originally appeared on FinanceBuzz.