“Freemium” Stock Trades

I’ve been using the Robinhood app to buy and sell stocks for about 6 months now. Most of my money goes into low-cost index funds for the long-haul, but I wanted to research some stocks and get an experience trading, so I’ve been using Robinhood.

Unlike most traditional brokers, Robinhood doesn’t charge a fee to trade. The no-frills app lets anyone start trading with just a few bucks, making the stock market much more accessible.

CEO Vladimir Tenev says the company’s edge is its ability to keep overhead costs low — it has 80 full-time employees, shuns marketing and has automated some tasks — while continuing to grow through social media and word-of-mouth…Robinhood plans to gradually add features that can bring in revenue via its Gold plan that costs a minimum of $10 a month — more for larger balances — and lets users make trades after hours and borrow capital.

Many on Wall Street are skeptical, but maybe it’s time for stock-trading to be a commodity item? Index funds are increasing in popularity, and robo-traders seem to be the only ones making money in individual stocks anyway. Maybe the question is really, “Why would you buy individual stocks?”

If you do want to try Robinhood, here’s some free stock for you.

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