App-a-Day: Robinhood

By Andy Feng on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015


Happy hump day everyone! Welcome back to App-a-Day, a mini-series of blogs where I introduce a different innovative mobile app everyday for your reading pleasure.



Today in App-a-Day we’re going to talk stocks. As in tools that help you better navigate the financial landscape and assist in your investment activities. We’re going to continue with this theme all throughout next week because there’s a multitude of great financial apps that I want to introduce to you guys that might help with your investment process.  



Today, we’re starting with the very basics. I’m looking for a simple tool to help me buy and sell stocks. Now, instead of diving into what’s already available, let’s take a step back and approach this problem in a different way. Let’s take a look at what the ideal solution would be. In an ideal world, if we could build a stock trading system from scratch, build it from the ground up, using today’s technology and disregarding all previous restraints and entrenched processes. How would you build it?



Let’s see… First of all, it would have to be really easy to use, super efficient, and highly secure. A lot of time should be spent on perfecting the user experience, making it ridiculously easy and quick to deposit and withdraw funds from my account. The trading process itself should be streamlined to minimize the number of clicks required to finalize the deal, accompanied with a concise and intuitive interface to display investment statistics and metrics. We would have easy access of all these functions straight from our mobile devices and lastly… In an ideal world… It would all be FREE!



It seems a little far-fetched, but ideally, that’s more or less what we would want out of a modern trading platform. And for those of you who are interested in or already investing in the stock market, I’ve got great news..


Introducing.. Robinhood! An all-in-one mobile stock trading service designed for the modern world. Robinhood encompasses everything I've described above and is completely free to use. There is currently a waiting list but generally speaking, you simply download the app, create your account, deposit some money into your account, and within a few minutes you can buy and sell stocks straight from your phone, all for free!! Robinhood offers zero dollar trades. Zero. Ziltch. Nada…



How do they do it you ask? How can they sustain such a seemingly ludicrous business practice? Well, it’s actually quite simple. Robinhood re-imagined and simplified the stock trading process, building their product from the ground up, bypassing traditional inefficiencies and designing it with common sense, for modern users. They’re an agile start-up that leverages technology to innovate and disrupt traditionally static industries, filling in the gap between what can happen and how things are happening. Other companies fitting this profile? Uber, Tesla, AirBNB perhaps?



Robinhood is the new kid on the trading block, targeting younger, relatively inexperienced traders with the goal of making stock trading easy and accessible to everyday folks. Their strategy is to first perfect their system and build up their user-base by offering convenient, free stock trading and eventually monetizing their efforts by charging for premium services such as commodities trading, futures trading....etc. They want to get the millennial generation on board first with their simple, mobile-first, free stock trading app and then as those initial users mature into more seasoned traders, provide them with a selection of more advanced premium features at a cost.



Overall, Robinhood is a great stock trading app for beginners, or for any experience level really… It’s totally free to use and easy to set up. The service is currently only available in the US and Australia but they’re working hard to expand into other overseas markets in the near future. From what i see, innovative companies like Robinhood, although relatively small today, have the potential to redefine and reshape entire industries, significantly impacting the way we live our lives in the future. Will Robinhood live up to its promise and truly shake up the financial landscape? Only time will tell. One thing’s for sure though... In this day and age, no company or industry is immune to disruption. We live in a world where it’s no longer the strongest who survive. Today, it’s whoever’s the most adaptable that get to live on… because change is the only constant… and from the looks of it,  things are changing very quickly.



That’s it for this edition of App-a-Day and thanks for reading. Please follow Hanhai Studio’s Facebook page to stay up to date with new postings and check out our official blog page to see all previous editions of App-a-Day. Tomorrow we’ll be talking about billionaires and how you can see what stocks they’re buying.