If you’re considering using Robinhood, the investing platform that lets you trade stocks, ETFs and options commission free, you might be wondering “Is Robinhood app safe to use?” In this article, learn about how Robinhood works and the behind-the-scenes processes that are in place to look after your money and your personal data.
Robinhood bills itself as a “no fees” investing platform for beginner and expert traders alike. Using the app, you can invest in more than 5,000 stocks on Robinhood Financial, including ETFs and most U.S. equities listed on American exchanges. Options trading is also available along with 250 global stocks that aren’t listed on U.S. exchanges.
Depending on where you live, you may also be able to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies too. “Robinhood Crypto” is only available in specific U.S. states.
Some assets aren’t supported by this app, including mutual funds, preferred stocks, bonds, and most foreign exchanges. There is no account minimum to get started, making this app accessible to anyone who is interested in investing.
How does Robinhood make money?
Robinhood earns revenue through a service called “Robinhood Gold”. This is a premium margin account which starts at $6 per month; it gives investors access to additional buying power. Robinhood also collects interest on cash and stocks held in customer accounts.
According to Robinhood’s website, the platform is trusted by millions in the U.S. The app itself seems popular, having received more than 373K ratings in the App Store, where it scores a confident (4.8 / 5). On Google Play, the app scores (4.6 / 5) with more than 60K ratings.
On the whole, the Robinhood app receives many good reviews, although there are several reports of poor customer service – some users experiencing issues have reported a delayed response. Be sure to check out the reviews in full via the app stores (linked above) before you proceed in getting the app.
When you sign up for a Robinhood account, you’ll have to share your personal information, since Robinhood needs to comply with U.S. government laws and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules. The information you’ll be asked for includes your name, phone number, email address, date of birth, address and social security number.
Robinhood uses cutting-edge technology to encrypt your personal information. You can use touch and facial ID or a custom pin to secure your account as well as two-factor authentication. Robinhood Financial never stores your online banking details.
Is your money safe?
Robinhood Financial is a member of FINRA and the Security Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), meaning that the securities (stocks and options) in your account are protected up to $500,000. This protection includes $250,000 for cash claims. Additionally, this company is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Could you lose money using the Robinhood app?
In short, yes! All investment carries risk, and the value of assets can go up or down over time. Since you’ll need to build your own portfolio (Robinhood won’t suggest one for you), you’ll need to know what you’re doing or at least be prepared to learn about trading investments from the ground up so that you don’t end up losing lots of money. The Robinhood website contains plenty of resources that you may find useful if you’re a beginner.
Unlike some other investment apps, Robinhood won’t recommend a portfolio for you. It’s a brokerage account where you’ll pick and choose the funds you want to invest in, with no advice on hand. If you would prefer a more hands-off approach, the Betterment app or the Wisebanyan vs Wealthfront articles may be good resources to explore.
If you’re looking to trade stocks and options without paying any fees or you’re a beginner looking to test out the stock market for the first time, Robinhood could well be worth checking out. However, one point to note is that advanced traders may find the range of available assets on Robinhood Financial a little limiting.
*Remember, as with all investment platforms, you could lose money as well as make a profit.
**The above information is deemed correct at the time of publishing. Please note this article does not constitute professional financial or investment advice.