Robinhood vs. Vanguard

Robinhood vs Vanguard Vary of Choices
Asset Robinhood Vanguard
Quick Gross sales  No Sure
No-Load, No-Payment Mutual Funds  0 3,100+
Bonds  No Sure
Futures/Commodities  No No
Futures Choices  No No
Advanced Choices  4 legs 2 legs
Robo Advisory No Sure
Cryptocurrency  Sure No
Worldwide Exchanges 0 0
Foreign exchange  No No
Fractional Shares  Sure Solely through dividend reinvestment
OTCBB and Penny Shares No Sure

Order Sorts

Robinhood and Vanguard supply the identical fundamental order sorts, together with market, restrict, and stop-limit orders. Neither dealer helps any conditional orders similar to OCOs or OTOs.

Buying and selling Know-how

Robinhood didn’t share its order routing know-how, fee for order circulate (PFOF) particulars, or commerce execution speeds. Nonetheless, the corporate reviews a mean web worth enchancment of $0.0109 per share.

Robinhood’s Type S-1 Registration Assertion filed with the SEC on July 1, 2021, signifies PFOF represented 81% of Robinhood’s whole income within the first quarter of 2021, up from 75% in 2020. This needs to be regarding to buyers. In line with a press launch from the SEC, “Certainly one of Robinhood’s promoting factors to prospects was that buying and selling was ‘fee free,’ however due largely to its unusually excessive fee for order circulate charges, Robinhood prospects’ orders have been executed at costs that have been inferior to different brokers’ costs.”

Vanguard doesn’t use sensible order routing know-how, and prospects cannot route their very own orders. Nonetheless, the dealer reviews a mean web worth enchancment of $0.0159 per share for eligible marketable orders. We didn’t discover any particulars about Vanguard’s execution velocity, which isn’t shocking contemplating the dealer’s goal buyer is enjoying the lengthy recreation (and unlikely to be involved about nanoseconds). Though Vanguard’s method to routing is fundamental in comparison with many different brokers, it scores factors for not accepting fee for order circulate. Total, Vanguard will get a stable win for buying and selling know-how.


Robinhood’s buying and selling charges are simple: You’ll be able to commerce shares, ETFs, choices, and cryptocurrencies free of charge. The corporate says broker-assisted trades run $25, however we could not discover a solution to truly attain a stay dealer.

In the meantime, Vanguard expenses $0 commissions for on-line fairness, choices (there is a $1 per contract price), OTCBB, and ETF trades for U.S.-based prospects. Dealer-assisted trades value between $0 and $25, relying in your account stability. There’s additionally a sliding price of $0 to $50 for broker-assisted mutual fund trades that fall outdoors the no-transaction-fee household.

Total, it is difficult to select a winner for prices because the brokers do not supply the identical buying and selling merchandise. Nonetheless, Robinhood has the sting when you’re buying and selling the same old suspects—equities and choices—because it does not cost a per-contract price for choices trades.

Account and Analysis Facilities

Predictably, Robinhood’s analysis choices are restricted. You will not discover any screeners, investing-related instruments, or calculators, and the charting is fundamental. Nonetheless, information is out there from a number of retailers, and you may entry Morningstar analysis when you’re a Robinhood Gold shopper ($5/month subscription).

Vanguard gives screeners for shares, ETFs, and mutual funds, and you may view fixed-income merchandise in a sortable listing. There’s information supplied by MT Newswires and the Related Press, together with a number of instruments targeted on retirement planning. Charting is restricted, and there isn’t any technical evaluation, however once more, that is not shocking for a dealer that focuses on buy-and-hold investing and retirement planning.

Vanguard comes out forward on this class on account of a greater diversity of instruments and sources.

Portfolio Evaluation

Robinhood’s portfolio evaluation instruments are considerably restricted, however you possibly can view your unrealized positive factors and losses, whole portfolio worth, shopping for energy, margin info, dividend historical past, and tax reviews. 

Vanguard gives entry to real-time shopping for energy and margin info, inner price of return, and unrealized and realized positive factors. It additionally provides tax reviews, and you may mix holdings from outdoors your account to get an general monetary image. Total, Vanguards has the sting over Robinhood within the portfolio evaluation division.


Robinhood’s academic articles are simple to grasp, however do not anticipate any deep dives. It may be arduous to seek out what you are searching for as a result of the content material is posted in chronological order (and never organized by matter). There are no movies or webinars, however the each day Robinhood Snacks publication and 15-minute podcast supply helpful and vigorous info.

The main focus of Vanguard’s academic content material is that can assist you set and attain your monetary objectives. A lot of the content material is within the type of articles. Nonetheless, you may additionally discover commentary and analysis papers, movies, and webcasts on funding merchandise, retirement, trade information, monetary planning, and the economic system.

Total, we discovered Robinhood’s content material to be extra participating, whereas Vanguard’s was extra informative.

Buyer Service

Vanguard is the clear winner in the case of customer support. Robinhood handles its customer support by means of the app and web site, and you may’t name for assist since there isn’t any inbound cellphone quantity. Vanguard provides cellphone assist from 8 a.m. to eight p.m. (Jap) Monday by means of Friday. Reside chat is not supported, however you possibly can ship a safe message through the web site.


Vanguard’s safety is as much as trade requirements. You’ll be able to log into the app with biometric (face or fingerprint) recognition, and also you’re protected towards account losses on account of unauthorized or fraudulent exercise. Vanguard carries extra Securities Investor Safety Company (SIPC) insurance coverage (supplied by London insurers) that gives every shopper with $49.5 million for securities and a money restrict of $1.9 million per buyer. There’s an combination restrict of $250 million for all purchasers.

Robinhood’s technical safety is as much as requirements, however it lacks the surplus SIPC insurance coverage. Nonetheless, your money and securities are protected by commonplace SIPC insurance coverage as much as $500,000 (together with $250,000 for money claims). By Sept. 2021, neither dealer had any vital knowledge breaches reported by the Identification Theft Analysis Heart.

It is value noting that Robinhood derives most (81% as of the primary quarter of 2021) of its income from fee for order circulate. The SEC just lately introduced it’s contemplating a full ban on fee for order circulate practices as a result of it creates “an inherent battle of curiosity,” in line with SEC Chairman Gary Gensler. Bans are already in impact in Australia, Canada, and the U.Ok.

It is also value noting that Robinhood faces dozens of class-action lawsuits over buying and selling halts and platform crashes that reportedly led to monetary losses for tens of millions of Robinhood customers.

Our Verdict

With an easy app and web site, Robinhood does not supply many bells and whistles. In case you’re model new to investing and buying and selling a small stability, Robinhood might be a great place to realize expertise earlier than you turn to a extra versatile dealer. When you’ve got considerations about Robinhood’s outages and commerce restrictions, there are different zero-fee brokers on the market which will supply a extra predictable and dependable buying and selling expertise. Total, we haven’t been followers of Robinhood’s efforts to gamify investing, and a few of these considerations come out in these comparisons.   

Vanguard will not be as flashy as Robinhood, however buy-and-hold buyers will worth the dealer’s simplicity and reliability. Vanguard can also be a greater match for buyers who need entry to extra asset courses, together with a few of the finest (and lowest value) funds within the enterprise. We expect younger buyers trying to enter the market may very well be higher served by Vanguard so far as their long-term outcomes in comparison with the kind of buying and selling habits Robinhood nudges them in the direction of—and that goes for all different sorts of buyers as properly.

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Investopedia is devoted to offering buyers with unbiased, complete critiques and scores of on-line brokers. Our critiques are the results of months of evaluating all points of a web-based dealer’s platform, together with the person expertise, the standard of commerce executions, the merchandise obtainable on its platforms, prices and costs, safety, the cell expertise and customer support. We established a ranking scale primarily based on our standards, accumulating hundreds of information factors that we weighed into our star-scoring system.

Learn our full methodology.

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