Robinhood Markets, Inc. is an American financial services company headquartered in Menlo Park, California, known for pioneering commission-free trades of stocks, exchange-traded funds and cryptocurrencies via a mobile app introduced in March 2015.
It is a commission-free trading platform that offers different types of accounts for different purposes as per customers’ needs. However, users can change their Robinhood account to Cash Account or Gold Account whenever they want to.
When you signup for an account with Robinhood, you will be issued an Instant account by default. Users with an Instant account on Robinhood have instant access to up to $,1000 in deposits for trading and they can trade with unsettled funds.
With time, as you gain more experience on the platform, this instant account will be limited for you. As such, you will want to go in for a Gold account which lets you make marginal trades and access all kinds of advanced features of Robinhood. The Robinhood Gold account lets users get a margin or borrow money from Robinhood.
Products and services offered by Robinhood
Stock and ETF trading
Robinhood’s original product was commission-free trades of stocks and exchange-traded funds. In February 2016, Robinhood introduced instant deposits, crediting users instantly for deposits up to $1,000; previously, funds took three days to appear via ACH transfer. In September 2016 they launched Robinhood Gold, a premium subscription plan that offers up to $50,000 in instant deposits, margin trading, and more market analytics. As of February 2017, the company had executed over $30 billion in trades. In August 2017, the company began offering free stocks in exchange for referring new users. In December 2017, options trading was introduced. Services not offered include retirement accounts, mutual funds and bonds.
Robinhood typically only supports trading stocks and ETFs listed on the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange, and normally does not support over-the-counter securities such as those traded on OTC Markets. In August 2018, Robinhood introduced support for American depositary receipts, adding 250 highly searched international stocks. Robinhood has prohibited its users from purchasing some high-risk penny stocks, such as banning purchases of Helios and Matheson Analytics, the owner of MoviePass, in August 2018.
In October 2019, several major brokerages such as E-Trade, TD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab announced in quick succession they were eliminating trading fees. Competition with Robinhood was cited as a reason. Although, Charles R. Schwab said that it was within his brokerage’s intentions to eventually eliminate trading fees, as the firm had historically been a discount broker. Support for purchasing fractional shares and automatic dividend reinvestment was introduced in December 2019. Automatic recurring investments were introduced in May 2020. Access to initial public offering (IPO) shares was introduced in May 2021.
In March 2022, Robinhood announced it was adding four additional hours to extended trading for clients. In a push to eventually provide 24/7 equities trading, Robinhood said it will be available from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.
On January 25, 2018, Robinhood announced a waitlist for commission-free cryptocurrency trading. By the end of the first day, the waitlist had grown to more than 1,250,000. Robinhood began offering trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum to users in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Montana in February 2018. In May 2018, Robinhood expanded its trading platform to Wisconsin and New Mexico. By 2021, cryptocurrency trading was available in every state except Hawaii and Nevada.
Robinhood later added trading for Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin. In September 2021, automatic recurring investments were introduced. Robinhood does not support cryptocurrency wallets and deposits or withdrawals of cryptocurrencies, but it is planning to introduce these features and launched a waitlist in September 2021. CEO Vladamir Tenev stated that Robinhood may add more coins, saying, “We feel very very good about the coins that we’re currently listing on our platform and any new coins that we add we want to feel equal, if not better.” In April 2022, Robinhood added trading for Shiba Inu, Solana, Compound and Polygon.
In June 2018, it was reported that Robinhood was in talks to obtain a U.S. banking license, with a spokesperson from the company claiming the company was in “constructive” talks with the U.S. OCC. In December 2018, Robinhood announced checking and savings accounts, with debit cards issued by Ohio-based Sutton Bank would be available in early 2019. Robinhood claimed the accounts would have a 3% annual interest rate; at the time of the announcement, the highest interest rate on a savings account from a licensed bank was 2.36%. Robinhood initially claimed the accounts would be SIPC insured, which the SIPC denied. The products were rebranded as “Cash Management” the next day. In January 2019, the waitlist and sign-up page were removed from the app.
A new Cash Management feature was announced in October 2019, with FDIC insurance from various partner banks and an annual 2.05% interest rate, though lowered before launching to 1.8% after a federal rate cut. The feature launched in December 2019.
- Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinhood_Markets#Products_and_services,
- Official website: https://robinhood.com/