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Robinhood vs. Vanguard

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

Order Sorts

Robinhood and Vanguard supply the identical primary order varieties, 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 stream (PFOF) particulars, or commerce execution speeds. Nevertheless, the corporate reviews a median internet value 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 complete income within the first quarter of 2021, up from 75% in 2020. This must be regarding to buyers. In keeping with a press launch from the SEC, “One in every 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 stream charges, Robinhood prospects’ orders had been executed at costs that had been inferior to different brokers’ costs.”

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


Robinhood’s buying and selling charges are easy: You’ll be able to commerce shares, ETFs, choices, and cryptocurrencies without spending a dime. The corporate says broker-assisted trades run $25, however we could not discover a approach to truly attain a reside dealer.

In the meantime, Vanguard costs $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 price 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.

General, it is difficult to choose a winner for prices for the reason that brokers do not supply the identical buying and selling merchandise. Nonetheless, Robinhood has the sting for those who’re buying and selling the standard suspects—equities and choices—because it would 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 primary. Nonetheless, information is offered from a number of shops, and you’ll entry Morningstar analysis for those who’re a Robinhood Gold shopper ($5/month subscription).

Vanguard offers screeners for shares, ETFs, and mutual funds, and you’ll view fixed-income merchandise in a sortable record. There’s information offered by MT Newswires and the Related Press, together with a number of instruments centered 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 as a consequence of a greater diversity of instruments and assets.

Portfolio Evaluation

Robinhood’s portfolio evaluation instruments are considerably restricted, however you’ll be able to view your unrealized positive aspects and losses, complete portfolio worth, shopping for energy, margin data, dividend historical past, and tax reviews. 

Vanguard offers entry to real-time shopping for energy and margin data, internal rate of return, and unrealized and realized positive aspects. It additionally provides tax reviews, and you’ll mix holdings from outdoors your account to get an total monetary image. General, Vanguards has the sting over Robinhood within the portfolio evaluation division.


Robinhood’s instructional articles are simple to grasp, however do not count on any deep dives. It may be exhausting to seek out what you are in search of 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 every day Robinhood Snacks e-newsletter and 15-minute podcast supply helpful and energetic data.

The main focus of Vanguard’s instructional content material is that can assist you set and attain your monetary targets. 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, {industry} information, monetary planning, and the economic system.

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

Buyer Service

Vanguard is the clear winner with regards to customer support. Robinhood handles its customer support by way of the app and web site, and you’ll’t name for assist since there isn’t any inbound telephone quantity. Vanguard provides telephone assist from 8 a.m. to eight p.m. (Japanese) Monday by way of Friday. Stay chat is not supported, however you’ll be able to ship a safe message by way of the web site.


Vanguard’s safety is as much as {industry} requirements. You’ll be able to log into the app with biometric (face or fingerprint) recognition, and also you’re protected towards account losses as a consequence of unauthorized or fraudulent exercise. Vanguard carries extra Securities Investor Safety Company (SIPC) insurance coverage (offered 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. Nevertheless, your money and securities are protected by normal SIPC insurance coverage as much as $500,000 (together with $250,000 for money claims). By Sept. 2021, neither dealer had any vital information breaches reported by the Identity Theft Research Center.

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

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

Our Verdict

With a simple app and web site, Robinhood would not supply many bells and whistles. If you happen to’re model new to investing and buying and selling a small stability, Robinhood could possibly be a very good 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 that will supply a extra predictable and dependable buying and selling expertise. General, we haven’t been fans 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 lessons, together with a few of the greatest (and lowest price) funds within the enterprise. We expect younger buyers seeking 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 conduct Robinhood nudges them in the direction of—and that goes for all different sorts of buyers as properly.

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The provides that seem on this desk are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation might affect how and the place listings seem. Investopedia doesn’t embody all provides obtainable within the market.


Investopedia is devoted to offering buyers with unbiased, complete critiques and rankings of on-line brokers. Our critiques are the results of six months of evaluating all elements of a web based dealer’s platform, together with the person expertise, the standard of commerce executions, the merchandise obtainable on their platforms, prices and charges, safety, the cellular expertise and customer support. We established a score scale based mostly on our standards, amassing over 3,000 information factors that we weighed into our star scoring system.

As well as, each dealer we surveyed was required to fill out a 320-point survey about all elements of their platform that we utilized in our testing. Most of the on-line brokers we evaluated offered us with in-person demonstrations of their platforms at our places of work.

Our staff of {industry} consultants, led by Theresa W. Carey, performed our critiques and developed this best-in-industry methodology for rating on-line investing platforms for customers in any respect ranges. Click here to read our full methodology.

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