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Interactive Brokers vs Robinhood

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Interactive Brokers and Robinhood are leading online brokers. Interactive Brokers is the best choice for professional traders outside of the United States because it is not authorized to operate in the US. It offers a premium trading platform, excellent learning tools for inexperienced traders, and a digital reference library for inexperienced traders. We do not recommend Interactive Brokers for traders based in the USA. 

Robinhood is the best mobile platform for traders inside the United States because it is only available to US residents. It is the recommended choice for long-term US investors because the entire platform is free to use, has no fees, offers fractional shares, but has restrictions on day trading. We do not recommend Robinhood for inexperienced traders based in the USA. 

Both online brokers have strengths and weaknesses. This article discusses the differences between Interactive Brokers and Robinhood. 

Broker NameInteractive BrokersRobinhood
Year Founded19782013
RegulationSEC (USA), FCA (UK)USA
Tradable AssetsStock, ETF, Forex, Fund, Bond, Options, Futures,
CFD, Crypto, Warrants, Structured Products
ETF, Stock, Crypto, Options
Min Deposit$0$0
Min Trade$0
PlatformsTraders Workstation (TWS)iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac
DepositYou can open account without depositFree of charge
WithdrawalsFree of charge for the first withdrawal in calendar monthFree of charge

Top findings from the Interactive Brokers vs. Robinhood review: 

  1. Interactive Brokers is the most reliable online broker for beginner and professional traders based outside of the United States.  
  1. Robinhood is the best choice for long-term investors with limited budgets. 
  1. Interactive Brokers has a better investment offering than Robinhood. 
  1. Both brokers have no fees for stock, ETF, and options trades. The minimum deposit fee for these brokers is $0. 

We recommend Interactive Brokers for non-US-based traders of all levels of experience. Robinhood is a better choice for US-based professional traders because it has few educational resources or analysis tools. 

Level of experience 

The best choice for beginners is Interactive Brokers because of its robust educational offering. It offers Paper Trading, Videos, Webinars, articles, and platform tutorials. Robinhood provides no direct educational pieces on stocks or options but does offer limited access to curated articles. 

Fees 

Interactive Brokers and Robinhood have similar pricing structures, but Interactive Brokers has more fees. Robinhood has no fees of any kind, while Interactive Brokers charges $0.65 per contract. 

Assets 

Interactive Brokers has a broader range of investment options than Robinhood. It offers stock trading, fractional shares, options trading, futures trading, ETF trading, forex, mutual funds international trading, and OTCBB/Pink Sheets. Interactive Brokers provides access to 11080 mutual funds, while Robinhood offers 0. 

Robinhood is the best option for Bitcoin trading in the US with hyper-accurate price tracking and instant trades. It offers access to stock trading, fractional shares, and options trading with zero fees.

Trading platform 

The Interactive Brokers trading platform is better than the Robinhood platform. It has excellent trading tools, an impressive trading experience, a massive asset offering, and market research capabilities. It has a reliable mobile trading app with access to professional charting tools. Web trading and desktop platforms are professional quality. 

Robinhood began as a mobile trading app designed to execute specific proven strategies for long-term investors. It provides customizable watch lists and basic charting but lacks the standard day trading functions that the Interactive Brokers platform has.

The Robinhood web platform is user-friendly but less powerful than the mobile version. There is no desktop platform. 

Banking services 

Banking services represent a benefit for traders of all levels of experience. Interactive Brokers and Robinhood offer free debit cards and checking accounts to active users. 

Transferring between your Robinhood account and another linked account is free but takes three business days. Interactive Brokers charges a fee for account withdrawals. 

Final verdict 

Interactive Brokers and Robinhood are some of the leading online brokers. Both have advantages and disadvantages depending on your trading needs and geographical location. For US-based investors, we recommend Robinhood. For the rest of the world, our top choice remains Interactive Brokers because of its comprehensive offer, trading tools, and education materials.

For full review please visit:
Interactive Brokers
Robinhood


Methodology 

The mission of Business24-7 is to provide comprehensive, unbiased ratings and reviews of online providers. User experience, the mobile experience, customer service, costs and fees, security, the quality of trade executions, the products available on their platforms are all part of our six-month evaluation of a providers’s platform. The rating scale was based on thousands of data points that have been weighted into the scoring system.

Providers were also required to fill out a multi-point survey regarding every aspect of their platform. In-person demonstrations and evaluations were provided by the majority of the online providers we reviewed.

Stefan Grasic, along with our team of industry experts, conducted our reviews and developed this methodology for ranking what form is used in online investing.

Business24-7 maintains high editorial standards and provides the best advice and recommendations. The products and companies that we review may compensate us when you click on the links on this website. Click below to find out more about our review process and methodology.

Disclosure

All trading involves risk. More than 80% of investors lose in spread bet and CFD trading. As these complex instruments allow for the use of leverage, there is a high risk of losing more money than you have deposited. Before attempting to participate in spread bets and CFDs, consider how well you understand them and if you can afford to lose your money.

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Braden Chase is an investor, trading specialist, and former research specialist for Forex.com who helps aspiring investors develop the confidence and habits they need to make an income from the market. Braden has served as a registered commodity futures representative for domestic and internationally-regulated brokerages and has also spoken & moderated numerous forex and finance industry panels across the globe.

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