Robinhood vs Interactive Brokers


Interactive Brokers IBKR vs Robinhood—which is better in 2022? Compare IRA/Roth accounts, online investing fees, stock broker mutual fund rates, and differences.


Overview of Interactive Brokers and Robinhood


At first glance, Robinhood and Interactive Brokers don’t have much in common. They intentionally provide a different type of investment experience. Nevertheless, active traders may be interested in these two firms because their commission schedules are geared towards frequent trading. Let’s check them out and see if one broker comes out ahead.


Fees


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
IB $0 $14.95 $0.70 per contract $0 $30
Robinhood $0 na $0 per contract $0 na
WeBull $0 na $0 per contract $0 $0


Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
IB
Robinhood
WeBull


Promotion Links


Interactive Brokers: Use this referral link to get up to $1,000 of IBKR stock for free!

Robinhood: Get one FREE stock when you open an account.

Webull: 6 FREE stocks valued $34-$12,600 give-away at Webull.



Range of Investments


In the past, Robinhood only offered stocks and ETF’s. Now the broker has rolled out option trading and cryptocurrencies. We’re glad to see this enlargement; but unfortunately Robinhood still does not offer bonds, mutual funds, futures, forex, preferred stocks, and some OTC securities.

Interactive Brokers outperforms Robinhood in this category. In fact, IB has one of the largest selections of tradable financial instruments of any broker we’ve come across. Interactive Brokers customers have access to warrants, forex, futures, structured products, mutual funds, options, stocks, ETF’s, cryptocurrencies, and a wide range of global securities. In total, there are about 30 countries, 100 foreign markets, and 20 currencies available.


Mutual Funds & ETF’s


We just noted that Robinhood doesn’t offer mutual funds (at least not yet). Interactive Brokers does not specialize in mutual funds, but it does offer them. We counted roughly 25,000 mutual funds at IB that are open to new investors. Over 4,100 have zero transaction fee. Some funds on this list have no load. Obviously, Interactive Brokers is going to be the better choice for mutual fund investors. But what about ETF’s?

Both brokers offer all U.S. ETF’s. But Robinhood fails to deliver any foreign ETF’s, which are available through IB’s substantial global network.

Interactive Brokers also does a better job of providing ETF search tools, which Robinhood has neglected.


Portfolio Management


As an ultra-low-cost broker, Robinhood does not branch out into managed accounts. Given its tech savvy nature, we think the addition of a robo-advisory service in the future would be a wise move.

Interactive Brokers does not provide managed account services directly on its platform. But it does have a large collection of independent money managers who offer investment advice for a fee. It’s not possible to locate these advisors through IB’s website or platform. But they do exist, which is more than we can say about Robinhood.


Trading Tech


The primary tool to buy and sell investments at Robinhood is the broker’s mobile app. Running on Android and Apple devices, it offers trading in all the products the broker-dealer offers. However, we were disappointed in the platform’s simplicity and lack of advanced features.


Robinhood versus IB


For example, although charting is available, there are no drawing tools, technical indicators, comparisons, or company events. A big improvement Robinhood recently made was adding candlesticks as a display format, in addition to line. Overall though, you would be better off just using Yahoo’s charting program.

There is also very limited information on securities. For instance, a stock’s profile page will show very brief information, such as the day’s high and low prices. Robinhood recently added news articles to a stock’s profile page, and this does improve things a bit. Some of the providers include CNBC and Seeking Alpha. Earnings releases along with earnings predictions are also shown in a graph format.

Perhaps the biggest improvement Robinhood has made in this category is the launch of a browser-based trading platform. It has the same features as the mobile app. It’s basically just a bigger version. So unfortunately, we don’t get any new features on the laptop or desktop; but it is a first step.


Robinhood or IB


Going from Robinhood to Interactive Brokers in this category produces a huge change. IB has much better trading technology. We will start with the broker’s mobile app. It offers very good charting, with multiple graph styles and technical studies (we counted over 50).


Robinhood vs IBKR


The app’s order ticket offers several order types, including trailing and on-close (Robinhood isn’t so advanced here). The Interactive Brokers app also provides more information on securities.

Going from the IB mobile app to the broker’s very advanced desktop trading system is another big leap. Called Trader Workstation, it offers many powerful tools, including full-screen charting with over a hundred technical indicators.

The trading box in the upper-left generates many different instruments after entering a ticker symbol. For example, if you enter ‘GM’, the software will return stocks, bonds, options, and even foreign securities for the symbol.

Both Robinhood and Interactive Brokers have apps for smartwatches. One gizmo that IB has that Robinhood doesn’t is a skill for Amazon Echo and Echo Show. It is able to provide stock quotes and market updates.


IB mobile


Customer Service


Robinhood notoriously has mediocre customer service. The brokerage firm is only open during market sessions (basically weekdays), and it has a history of disappointing its customers in this arena.

Interactive Brokers offers more extensive hours, and it has different departments for a variety of services, such as a trade desk. IB also has a futures trading department that is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Neither company offers any physical locations. Interactive Brokers has an online chat feature; while Robinhood has a (difficult-to-use) search feature on its website.


Security Research and Financial Education


In the realm of investment education, Robinhood offers very little. As noted earlier, there is limited information on securities on its platform plus news articles. Interactive Brokers goes well beyond this. Its website has educational videos that cover many investment topics. Additionally, its desktop software includes scanners for many securities, including options, bonds, and stocks. There is a dividend calendar and a volatility lab as well.

IB’s mobile app also has good research tools. It’s possible to search not only for American stocks but also foreign equities.


Promotion Links


Interactive Brokers: Use this referral link to get up to $1,000 of IBKR stock for free!

Robinhood: Get one FREE stock when you open an account.

Webull: 6 FREE stocks valued $34-$12,600 give-away at Webull.



Robinhood vs Interactive Brokers Judgment


In our survey, Interactive Brokers (IB Review) performed better than Robinhood (Robinhood Investing Review) in every category except Pricing. Although Robinhood has zero commissions on the few investments it offers, Interactive Brokers is very competitive for active traders. And IB clients end up with many more resources. For $0 commission trading Webull is also a great choice.


About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for Brokerage-Review.com, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.