Robinhood launched at the end of 2014 with a waitlist of over half a million people. The mobile-only online brokerage app, which aims to make financial markets more accessible, continues to be popular today. People like Robinhood for its commission-free trades and no minimum account requirement. 

Especially among millennials, Robinhood has become well-known as an affordable and easy way to start investing money.

However, since Robinhood has debuted as an alternative to incumbent brokerages, other online brokerages have changed policies to become more appealing to new investors and a batch of new competitors has cropped up.

Depending on your needs, these Robinhood alternatives might be better options for you. 

While there are many advantages to the Robinhood app, it doesn’t have the extensive trading analysis tools others provide nor the possibility to open an individual retirement account (IRA) or other accounts for tax advantaged investment

Further, the stock recently halted trading in several active stocks, causing a major backlash from users. As a result, many have looked for alternatives to Robinhood in light of this development.

Many might see the company’s mission of “democratizing finance” as hypocritical after these actions. They saw how Robinhood only allowed users to sell certain securities they owned would stand to benefit Wall Street hedge funds- not mom-and-pops who have wielded this app.

This article looks at the top apps like Robinhood you might consider opening instead. But first, let’s look at Robinhood as an app and why it might not be right for you.

What is Robinhood?


robinhood

Robinhood is a free stock trading app that became the first to offer commission-free investing to the masses. The service, aimed at democratizing finance, targets younger investors who may not have much money to invest at once and feel drawn to free trading.

The Robinhood service offers free stock, ETF, cryptocurrency and options trading but lacks the full-service trading platform other brokers provide. Their platform has an intuitive and visually-appealing look, attracting many seeking an alternative to a larger brokerage.

Robinhood offers a paid account, Robinhood Gold, which provides higher instant deposit limits, pre- and post-market hours trading windows and the ability to trade options. You must maintain a minimum $2,000 account balance with a Robinhood Gold subscription.

Why Robinhood Might Not Hit the Mark for You


If you think Robinhood offers only a basic trading setup, know you won’t find yourself alone. When looking for a Robinhood alternative that offers a more sophisticated system, consider the following features which Robinhood does not provide:

Analysis and Tools

Robinhood does basic trading very well. It offers an easy-to-use interface and doesn’t complicate it with a significant level of analytical insight or investment tools. Instead, it keeps it simple and places the power of making informed trades squarely in your hands.

Robinhood alternatives aim for a higher level of information know-how, providing ample investing tools, analysis and educational resources to inform your investing decisions.

Robinhood allows you to create basic watchlists and view real-time data, but lacks educational resources, something its target market sorely needs.

Instead, it mostly gives you the keys without guiding you on what to do. If you don’t need the bells and whistles and only want a free stock trading platform, Robinhood might be best for you.

But if you want above the basic functionality, you’ll need to look at other apps like Robinhood to meet your needs.

Tax-Advantaged Accounts

Robinhood does not offer tax-advantaged investment accounts. They only offer taxable accounts at this time. Therefore, if you have retirement account needs, skip Robinhood for now.

Mutual Fund Access

Many brokers don’t offer the ability to purchase mutual funds. Count Robinhood in that number. Some brokers, like Firstrade, allow you to purchase mutual funds.

What Can I Use Instead of Robinhood?


Before moving into the best Robinhood alternatives you should consider, let’s review some of the major characteristics which affect most people’s decisions to invest with a specific broker:

ItemDescription
FeesUndoubtedly, firms often compete on price. For brokerages, that means fees, commissions, or other related expenses for maintaining and using a brokerage account. Brokerages can assess multiple types of fees and both the number and the size of these fees may vary significantly from broker to broker. Looking forward to how these fees could impact your potential performance, both of these fee considerations can impact your returns and your overall experience. Because Robinhood does not assess trading commissions, as a baseline, you may wish to consider a similarly low-cost Robinhood alternative.
Account OpeningIn the past, many brokerages required a minimum opening account deposit. Because this might pose a barrier to entry for some, it can limit the attractiveness for certain brokerages. Thanks to the advance of FinTech companies like Robinhood, Webull, and many others, account minimums and opening balances have become less common. Further, the amount of time from account opening to ability to make your first trade matters as well. Many brokerages now offer instant, same day account credit to begin trading once you authorize a deposit into your account instead of waiting for the funds to settle in your account.
Markets and ProductsDepending on the types of investments you would like to make, (e.g., traditional investments in stocks and bonds, alternative investments, etc.) different brokerages may become more attractive. As a baseline, many offer trades in stocks, bonds, and index funds like Robinhood. However, investors should know the specific products of interest and whether stocks, forex, mutual funds, and other products are available at the targeted Robinhood alternative.
Deposits & WithdrawalsBreaking down barriers to entry has been a hallmark of the FinTech movement. Therefore, many of the best Robinhood alternatives offer multiple means for depositing or withdrawing funds from your account. Be cautious, however, because some investment brokerages do allow deposits with credit cards, which can act as a costly method for funding your account.
Trading PlatformAs a final common element for consideration, be sure to understand the types of platforms available to you, whether through a desktop application, mobile app (iOS, Android), or other access point. Make sure you select a user-friendly trading platform which offers many useful resources for increasing your trading confidence and decision-making.

Additionally, recent outages have some current users looking elsewhere for their investing strategies.

Not to mention, Robinhood recently halted trading in many popular stocks creating a significant amount of market activity like GameStop (GME), AMC Theaters (AMC), Express Outfitters (EXPR), Nokia (NOK) and more.

Traders looking to jump ship for other apps that allow unfettered trading in these stocks will find a lot of comfort in this list of options.

Is There a Better App than Robinhood?


Yes, in a nutshell. Depending on your individual investing needs, you might find other apps to be more worthwhile and capable of handling your investing needs.

Robinhood offers simplified investing but lacks what many other services offer for free or at low prices. If you’re looking for an alternative to the Robinhood app, consider the following options:

App Rating (out of 5)FeesBest ForPromotions
Webullwebull logo4.7Free tradesSelf-directed investors and intermediate tradersTwo free stocks with $100 deposit, valued between $11 - $1,850
SoFi Wealth: iOS, Android and Desktop4.6Free tradesFee-free active trading and automated investingFree stock worth between $5 - $1,000
Publicpublic logo4.5Free tradesNew investors with limited capital$10 of free stocks for signing up
eToro4.6Free tradesU.S. investors focused on crypto-tradingNone
TradeStation4.6Free tradesAdvanced traders, Options and Futures traders, Active stock tradersNone
Firstradefirstrade logo4.5Free tradesMutual fund and target date fund investorsFree account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
M1 Finance4.3$0 trading or automated investingPassive investors$30 sign up bonus with $1,000 deposit
Stash4.6$1/month - $9/monthYoung investors looking for a complete personal finance platform$5 stock bonus for making a deposit of $5 or more
Acornsacorns logo4.8$1/month - $5/monthInvestors in college looking for a complete personal finance solution; custodial Roth IRAs$10 sign up bonus when making first deposit at account opening
eTrade4.5Free tradesOptions tradersFree account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
TDAmeritrade4.6Free tradesTraders interested in more asset classes like Forex and FuturesFree account bonus commensurate with contributed funds

1. Webull


webull sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best For: Self-directed investors and intermediate traders
  • Price: Free stock/ETF trades

Similar to Robinhood, Webull’s stock trading platform is commission-free. There also isn’t any minimum threshold for investing in trades.

Superior to Robinhood, its analytic tools like Level 2 Advanced Quotes help with your trading decisions. In fact, Webull can also be considered the best stock analysis app for its cost (free).

Webull educates investors about the market. It has a unique option that allows you to try out new strategies and learn through the app before trying out an approach with real money. 

This paper trading can allow you to gain real-world experience without putting your money at-risk. You can even experiment with penny stocks on Webull with the paper trading feature.

They provide detailed information about any option you’re considering and their data charts have information in real-time. A financial calendar reminds you of important dates and stocks worth looking at.

You can also use the app to track stocks as well with customizable alerts and notifications.

Further, Webull allows short selling, subject to certain conditions, whereas Robinhood does not offer this functionality at this time. That means you can short stocks like GME, AMC, EXPR and more!

Read more in our Webull review.

 

2. SoFi Invest – Is SoFi Better than Robinhood?


sofi invest free stocks

  • Available: iOS, Android, Desktop
  • Best For: Investors looking for automated investing already using SoFi’s other personal finance products
  • Price: Free stock/ETF trades

SoFi Invest is an app that allows you to track and trade your money. The service is the latest from the SoFi financial wellness platform and offers free trades on stocks, ETFs, cryptos and more.

The service allows you to be an active trader by buying and selling offered assets on a daily basis or passive through its automated investing service.

This last part answers the question: Is SoFi better than Robinhood? On that account, the automated investing service is superior to Robinhood.

The company wants to serve all customers who have an interest in improving their financial situation alongside participating in their other personal finance products like student loans, money management, credit cards and more.

 

3. Public – Social Investing App


public sign up screen

  •  
  • Best For: New investors with limited capital
  • Free stock/ETF trades

Public is another free stock app catering toward young adults intent on investing in accordance with their social preferences. This stock investing app, much like many of its peers, offers fractional investing, or the ability to buy smaller amounts of a stock than one share.

This lower cost makes investing in some big name companies (e.g., Amazon, Google, Apple) more accessible to the retail investor.

The company argues this feature provides for a more inclusive stock market.  Further, the app’s social feed allows people to invest alongside friends and other well-regarded investors who might offer useful investing insights.

To aide investors sort through investing thought leaders, Public marks verified public figures on the platform with the standard blue check mark logo. This investing feed provides visibility into the trade activity of these verified investors.

To get you started, the service offers a free $10 sign up bonus for making an initial deposit as well as the ability to gift free stocks (fractional shares) to referrals you make inside the app.

→ Public Breaks with Monetizing Payment for Order Flow (PFOF)

Public recently announced a change in its revenue model, breaking with how many free stock apps generate income. They no longer generate revenue from Payment for Order Flow (PFOF) and will introduce a tipping feature in the app, acting as a de facto (optional) commission.

The company believes they have a responsibility to lead the industry in a different direction, and no longer receive compensation for routing orders to market makers for trade execution.

With the Robinhood blow up, we saw how this created a conflict of interest between brokerage and customer.

By doing this, Public will better align their financial incentives with the best interests of their customers.

If this sounds like an interesting investing app, open an account and make an initial deposit to see if the app meets your needs.

 

4. eToro – Robinhood Alternative for Crypto


etoro sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best For: U.S. investors focused on crypto-trading
  • Price: Free trades

Some people use the Robinhood app not to invest just in standard stocks, but to invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin. If you’re looking for a different trading app than Robinhood for trading cryptocurrencies, eToro is an option to consider. 

eToro is the world’s leading social investing platform, offering a social trading feature where you can learn and copy the strategies of other traders. If you are a profitable trader, you can have eToro users follow you and turn your skills into income generating assets.

The platform offers multi-asset trading capabilities with over 2,000 instruments available through the brokerage. You can trade crypto and other assets in 14 exchanges worldwide.

eToro can fulfill your needs as a Robinhood alternative for crypto by offering commission-free trading on 17 cryptocurrencies and other assets. Opening an account is simple and only takes $50 to start. 

The bad news is that the forex fees are high and there is a $5 withdrawal fee charged.

Transacting in virtual currencies is subject to various risks, such as price volatility, and is therefore not suitable for everyone. Your capital is at risk.

Related Top Investment Apps to Consider



 

5. TradeStation – Robinhood Alternative for US & Non-US Citizens [European, APAC, North America]


tradestation

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best For: Advanced traders, Options and Futures traders, Active stock traders
  • Price: Free stock/ETF trades, $0.60 per options contract, $1.50 per futures contract

If you are a serious trader and want a high-powered Robinhood alternative for non-US citizens, you may want to consider TradeStation. The service is also available to Americans, but can also be a Robinhood European alternative as well as for APAC residents.

This app is a top-of-the-line choice for those who think of themselves as advanced traders on stocks, options and futures.

The trading platform is geared toward the experienced trader who wishes to trade in high volumes on a diverse range of products and have access to a powerful investment research software platform.

To learn more about the app providing industry-leading trading technology alongside exceptional customer service and commissions, click the link below. Open your account to see what TradeStation can do.

 

6. Firstrade – Robinhood Alternative for Non-US Citizens (& US)


firstrade sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best For: Mutual fund and target date fund investors
  • Price: Free stock/ETF trades

Firstrade is a leading online brokerage firm offering a full line of investment products and tools designed to help investors improve their financial position through sound investing practices.

Firstrade provides high value and quality services meant to inform your investing strategies and build long-term wealth.  And it does so with free trades.

Firstrade combines proprietary trading technology with an intuitive user interface, available customer service and sleek mobile applications.

In short, the platforms offers access to over 11,000 different investments, including index funds, stocks, bonds, target date funds, mutual funds, and more.

One unique feature of Firstrade is that it allows teenagers to invest (with a custodial account managed by their parents).

As a result, I feature this as one of the best investing apps for minors who want to learn the stock market and start compounding their money from a young age.

Additionally, you can open an international account with Firstrade, allowing you to use this as an app like Robinhood, but outside the US.

Firstrade offers a comprehensive solution for all of your investing needs, whether you are just learning how to start investing money or an active day trader, Firstrade commits itself to excellence and putting customers first.

 

7. M1 Finance


m1 finance

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best For: Passive investors
  • Price: Free stock/ETF trades

M1 Finance differs from Robinhood as it acts as a free automated investing tool, also commonly referred to as a robo-advisor. However, despite this description, it does vary in a few ways in terms of features and functionality.

For example, robo-advisor services like Betterment assess fees for managing your assets.  Instead, M1 Finance, does not charge a fee for assets under management (AUM). This makes it one of the best investing apps for beginners.

Another major feature of M1 Finance which causes it to differ from Robinhood (and robo-advisors) is how you select the specific stocks and index funds you invest in for your portfolio.  You can select them directly or you can opt to choose from 80+ expert, curated portfolios

Such examples include a death care stocks termed the Gray Wave Portfolio, but they also offer ones that include target dates, asset categories, growth mandates, income-oriented investments and portfolios that mimic famous investor’s methodologies.

→ Fractional Shares

One more difference with M1 Finance comes with its ability to purchase fractional shares of stock.  This can come in handy for those stocks with very high share prices.

For example, if you cannot afford to buy an entire share of a company with a high share price (e.g., Google, Berkshire Hathaway Class A, etc.), M1 Finance allows you to buy fractional shares of any investment offered on the platform.

→ M1 Borrow – Margin Loans

M1 Finance also offers margin loans through its M1 Borrow product.  This product provides low-cost funding for those interested in leveraging their investments either for greater investment capacity or for an alternative financing source.

Using this line of credit of up to 35% of your portfolio’s value can cost as low as 2%- some of the lowest margin interest rates available in the market.  Access to this rate requires an M1 Plus Account, whereas a Standard Basic M1 Account still provides a low 3.5% interest rate.

As I said above, however, this money doesn’t need to go toward leveraging your investments. In fact, it could be a cost-effective way to eliminate high interest debt like those rates seen on student loans, credit card debt or even auto loans.

This cheap source of capital takes advantage of your long-term investments through the platform and offers you a lower cost of capital, should you need it.

→ Upfront Portfolio Selection, Long-Term Automation

Finally, investing with M1 Finance can be as simple as depositing money, setting your stock and index selections and having the platform automate your investments on your behalf. 

Choose your desired portfolio allocation upfront and let M1 Finance handle the rest for your investment portfolio. Follow along with this app’s stock news feature over time.

When selecting to use the platform in this way, you can set M1 Finance to rebalance your portfolio in line with your stated asset allocation targets. This can remove yourself from making emotionally-charged decisions, leaving your investments alone.

Read more in our M1 Finance review.

 

8. Stash – Micro Investing App


stash sign up

  •  
  • Best For: Young investors looking for a complete personal finance platform
  •  

 

For those looking to combine investing and banking in one place, Stash offers several benefits you might find attractive for your needs:

by making

 

9. Acorns – Micro Investing App


acorns

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best For: Investors in college looking for a complete personal finance solution
  • Price: Acorns Invest: $1/mo, Acorns Later: $2/mo, Acorns Spend: $3/mo

When you sign up for Acorns, you’ll be asked a few questions so the app can help you choose the best investment option. In one way, Acorns works differently than all the other investment apps mentioned.

Rather than you choosing a certain amount to invest (which you can also do), the app connects to a credit or debit card, monitors your purchases, and rounds the amount up to the nearest dollar figure and invests it in the app. 

You can also use Acorns Spend to create your own Acorns bank account with branded debit card and added stock accumulation features. I count this as one of the best money apps for kids as a result of its multi-purpose financial services.

As an example for how Acorns Invest works, if one day you use a designated credit card to buy $23.64 in gas and then later $4.95 on coffee, that day you invest 41 cents (+$0.36 and +$0.05, respectively). That may not seem like much, but long-term those numbers can add up.

Similar to Robinhood and other apps mentioned, you can invest in multiple trading options for free. 

Acorns, however, does charge monthly fees (learn more about how Acorns makes money) unless you have a .edu email address (making it a great investing app for college students) or are under the age of 24, making it one of the best investments for young adults.

Acorns also has a “Found Money” feature. When you shop with their partners, they automatically invest in your Acorns account. A few of the well-known brands they work with include Airbnb, Barnes & Noble, Lyft, Walmart, Walgreens, Nike and more.

 

10. E-Trade


e-trade sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best For: Options traders
  • Price: Free stock/ETF trades

One of the benefits of E-Trade is the access you receive to educational resources that help teach you how to choose from investing options, conduct analysis, and diversify your portfolio. They have additional trading options and data as a result of acquiring OptionsHouse.

It also offers retirement planning. 

E-Trade has three platforms. All are free and have no minimum investment limit.

  1. Power E-Trade offers investors real-time data and studies. 
  2. E-Trade Web provides live market commentary and stock analysis. 
  3. E-Trade Pro gives you strategy scanners and back-testing. 

Each program gives you access to a dashboard where you keep track of your accounts, investments, and make your trades. E-trade does have small fees for options contracts and some fees involved with retirement accounts.

 

11. TD Ameritrade


tdameritrade sign up

  • Available: Play Store, iOS, Desktop
  • Best For: Traders interested in more asset classes like Forex and Futures
  • Price: Free stock/ETF trades

TD Ameritrade is great for novice investors, day traders, and people trying to save for retirement. In 2019, it went commission-free. There is no account minimum. 

It offers many more trading options than Robinhood, including forex, futures, bonds, and mutual funds. There are plenty of educational materials available and it’s easy to research and pick stocks and investment options with their tools.

The only downside is that if you want to do broker-assisted trades, those will get pricey.

Related Questions on Robinhood Alternatives


Is Robinhood Only for US Citizens?

You will need to be a US citizen or resident or have a valid U.S. visa with a U.S. residential address if you want to apply for a Robinhood account. Specifically, you will need to meet the following requirements in order to open and trade within a Robinhood account:

  • Be 18 years or older;
  • Have a valid Social Security Number;
  • Have a legal U.S. residential address within the 50 states or Puerto Rico (exceptions apply for military members stationed abroad); and
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or have a valid U.S. visa.

If you don’t meet all of these requirements, I highlight three of the best online brokers for non-US residents or for Americans living outside the US:

Is Robinhood a Rip Off?

While Robinhood might not always represent the best investing app available, it should be easily recognized as the company leading change across its industry. Becoming the first company to offer commission-free trading deserves recognition.

Based on the apps described above, you should choose the app that best fits your needs as an investor. If you’re still unsure, try out a few apps to see which is the ideal one for you.

To recap the list, here are the same apps like Robinhood listed above:

As you decide on the best brokerage for your needs, also consider tracking all of your accounts in one comprehensive investing tool like Stock Rover.

Evaluate All Your Apps Like Robinhood


Robinhood is an amazing app for many of its users. However, if you want a Robinhood alternative, there are plenty of other options available which offer more functionality, features and options.

Robinhood led the way in slashing commissions and fees charged by established trading platforms and has established its legacy as a market leader as a result. 

Many investors can thank the company for its bold strategies and innovative thinking as other brokers have had to adapt their business models to remain competitive in the field.

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About the Site Author and Blog

In 2018, I was winding down a stint in investor relations and found myself newly equipped with a CPA, added insight on how investors behave in markets, and a load of free time.  My job routinely required extended work hours, complex assignments, and tight deadlines.  Seeking to maintain my momentum, I wanted to chase something ambitious.

I chose to start this financial independence blog as my next step, recognizing both the challenge and opportunity.  I launched the site with encouragement from my wife as a means to lay out our financial independence journey and connect with and help others who share the same goal.

Disclaimer

I have not been compensated by any of the companies listed in this post at the time of this writing.  Any recommendations made by me are my own.  Should you choose to act on them, please see the disclaimer on my About Young and the Invested page.

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