Does Robinhood Offer Mutual Funds?

2020: does Robinhood offer mutual funds from Vanguard or Fidelity? Robinhood mutual funds review: top no load, index funds, U.S. stocks and target retirement funds selection, fees, cost of trading.

Robinhood Mutual Funds

Right now Robinhood does NOT offer investing in mutual funds. Only about 5,000 stocks and ETF's are available to Robinhood customers. Options and crypto currencies trading is also provided. For funds investing you can use another $0-commission broker - Firstrade - that not only offers mutual funds but also DRIPs, bonds and excellent website trading.

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Other Securities Robinhood Does Not Provide

Robinhood does NOT support investing in Foreign domiciled securities, OTC equities, Preferred Stocks, Tracking Stocks, Warrants, Mutual Funds, Bonds and fixed income trading, and Foreign Exchange.

Robinhood Complaints

Investors who have tried Robinhood's ultra-low-cost investing service have enjoyed the company's $0 commissions. But they have developed many objections to some of the broker's rules. Let's take a look at these policies, and see which brokerage firms offer better services.

Money Transfers

Some Robinhood clients have criticized the broker's ACH system for taking too long to process requests. The Robinhood help section states that it “takes about 4-5 trading days” for an ACH to process.

By comparison, Fidelity customers usually see outgoing transfers (from Fidelity) take no more than two business days; while incoming transfers (to a Fidelity account) take up to four business days to be available for security purchases. This schedule does seem a little quicker than what Robinhood promises. And Fidelity charges just $0 for stock and ETF transactions. The broker also has a list of commission-free ETF's.

Customer Service

Many Robinhood traders have complained about the broker-dealer's lackluster customer support. Representatives are available only during regular market hours. The company's phone number isn't toll free, which is rather odd. Robinhood has a Twitter account, but it's not very active. Because the brokerage firm doesn't have any brick-and-mortar locations, these are the primary avenues of contacting the company. It does have a fax number and a service e-mail address. It took two days for Robinhood to return our test e-mail.

Needless to say, many other low-cost brokers provide better customer service. For example, Schwab has associates on the phone (toll-free) 24/7. There are agents who speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Portuguese, and Vietnamese. Plus the broker has on-line chat, which Robinhood lacks. Schwab also operates a nationwide network of branch locations. All of this comes with a very low $0 stock and ETF commission. For most investors, this would probably be a better value.

Application Approval Process

Some Robinhood customers have complained that it takes the broker several days to approve an account application. On Robinhood's website, the broker states that the approval process could take anywhere from less than an hour to up to five market days. Like all other broker-dealers, Robinhood must carry out government-required examinations of applications to ensure conformity with the USA Patriot Act.

Other brokerage houses must go through similar procedures to ensure compliance with government protocols, so there's no guarantee that other places won't have the same amount of bureaucracy.

Lack of Trading Platform

A major grievance that Robinhood customers frequently have against the broker is the lack of a trading platform. In fact, Robinhood doesn't even provide a website with login credentials. The brokerage firm's site is used for account sign-up and for hosting customer service FAQ's.

Besides not offering a desktop platform, there is also no browser-based platform, either. Many broker-dealers today have both. TradeStation, for example, has a desktop trading system and a simpler platform that remains within a browsing window. The broker does not charge any fees for these programs within a per-trade account. Under this pricing schedule, stock and ETF trades are $5 each. In terms of value — software versus trading costs — WeBull seems to offer a better deal.

So where do Robinhood traders submit orders? On the broker's mobile app, which is available on Apple and Android devices. But the charting is very simple, and stock research is very elementary. Other brokers offer much more advanced investment tools for mobile traders. TD Ameritrade, for instance, offers a very advanced mobile app with a charting program that integrates 400 technical studies. Also available on the app is live streaming of business news, something that the Robinhood trading platform doesn't have. TD Ameritrade's advanced technology translates into a $0 commission. This is well below average today.

Education and Research

Not only does Robinhood lack trading technology, it also fails to provide security education and research tools. The broker's customers are forced to go elsewhere if they need to research securities or study any important financial topics. The broker, which emphasizes trading in stocks, does not even have a stock screener.

E*Trade customers do have access to a stock screener, and much more. The broker's website has advanced search tools for bonds, ETF's, options, and mutual funds. There are videos and articles on a wide range of investment topics, from retirement planning to tax-efficient trading. The brokerage firm charges $0 for equity transactions.

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Lack of Banking Features

Robinhood customers have complained about the brokerage firm's lack of cash management features. There are no checks available to the broker's customers, nor is there a debit card. Many brokerage houses do offer banking tools today, including TD Ameritrade and Merrill Edge ($2.95 trading fee). Merrill charges nothing for its cash management tools.

Other Robinhood Trading Complaints

Robinhood offers no DRIP service, which is a significant inconvenience for many of its clients. Other firms offer this important feature at no cost. These brokers include Firstrade and TD Ameritrade.

Incoming ACAT transfers are not possible at Robinhood for some strange reason. Most brokers do provide this service, and it's usually free.

Robinhood is one of the few brokerage firms not to offer trading in mutual funds, options, or bonds. The vast majority of brokers do provide trading in these products, although Capital One Investing does not offer fixed-income securities. Robinhood also does not provide trading in futures or forex. TD Ameritrade clients can invest in both. Advanced order types are not available at Robinhood, but they are at other firms, including Interactive Brokers and TradeStation.

Robinhood Broker Complaints Summary

Robinhood has successfully reduced its trading fee as low as it can possibly go. But it hasn't accomplished this feat without sacrificing in other important areas. Traders who need these services will have to go to better brokers.