In this review, we will show you a side by side comparison of Robinhood vs Vanguard. The two online brokers will be compared for fees, trading platforms, safety, mobile apps, and more.
Robinhood vs Vanguard: Popularity
|Number of users (approximate)||13m||30m+|
|Website traffic (estimated)||42.6m||23.3m|
|# results on web||29.7m||112m|
|Search volume Google||40k||1.22m|
|How popular on mainstream media?||High||High|
|Negative media?||High||Very low|
|Notable awards||Most innovative company by Fast Company (2015), Top 50 by Fast Company (2016)||2019 U.S. Morningstar Award for Investing Excellence for Exemplary Stewardship, Best New U.S. Equity ETF, Best New International/Global Fixed Income ETF, Best New Active ETF|
By any criteria, Vanguard is the more popular and bigger broker and it has almost three times more clients. But to be fair, Robinhood has only been in existence only since 2013, 38 years later than Vanguard.
Robinhood vs Vanguard: User Rating
|# users rated on user platforms||77 on TrustPilot, 46 on SiteJabber||45 on SiteJabber|
|Percentage of positive reviews out of user reviews||20%||91%|
|Common compliments||Great design and user interface, good app||Good investment platform, low fees|
|Common complaints||Poor customer service, difficult to communicate with, not trustworthy||Sometimes poor customer service|
|Positive feedback on Twitter?||Constant inflow of positive comments||Great information and analysis|
|Negative feedback on Twitter?||No complaints over the past 14 days||Hard to receive help from support|
|App rating (summary)||4.6 / 5||Almost 5K reviews with an average rating of 3.1 / 5|
A lower percentage of positive feedback for Robinhood on sites like TrustPilot and SiteJabber, but with a lot more reviews online. That being said, on Twitter, Robinhood seems to be highly appreciated. Considering that almost 80% of Twitter’s active users are Millennials, we can see that it is performing well in the category it wants to market to.
Robinhood vs Vanguard: Background Information
|Revenue Data||180m on Q2 of 2020||$48.5 billion in Q1 of 2020|
|CEO and bio||Vladimir Tenev, Standford graduate, left his PhD in maths for robinhood. Prior to robinhood, he created a high frequency trading company.||Mortimer J. Buckley – earned a BA degree in economics in 1991 from Harvard College and an MBA degree in 1996 from Harvard Business School|
|Number of employees||1,281||17,600|
|Notable investors (private companies)||SEQUOIA, Index Ventures, CapitalG, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital||None|
Here we can see again the big differences between the two companies when it comes to size. Vanguard is the larger broker when it comes to revenue and number of employees.
Robinhood vs Vanguard: Security
|New device extra security?||Yes||Yes|
Robinhood vs Vanguard: Fees & Offering
|Account fixed fees||None||$20|
|Margin costs||5% per day||Varies|
|ETF buying fees||None||None|
|Stock buying fees||None||None|
|Option buying fees||None||$0 + $1-per-contract fee|
|Short selling fees||Not available||None|
|Futures buying fees||Not available||Not available|
|Future options buying fees||Not available||Not available|
|Cryptocurrency fees||1% on buying, 5% on selling||Not available|
|Fixed income fees||Not available||None|
|Mutual funds fees||Not available||None|
As we already saw before, Robinhood is targeting the younger generation of investors that have lower sums to invest and are focused on new technologies. Allowing its customers to buy fractional shares and invest in cryptocurrencies has allowed the company to grow exponentially in the last couple of years.
Vanguard, on the other hand, is more traditional and caters to older investors with bigger budgets and long term views for which the minimum and fixed account fees don’t really make a difference.
Robinhood vs Vanguard: Trading App
|Android app # installs||10m+||1m+|
|Android app # reviews||155k||4756|
|iPhone app # reviews||2m||29|
|Android app rating||4.3 / 5||2.1 / 5|
|iPhone app rating||4.8 / 5||4.1 / 5|
|Common compliments on app||Smooth app, easy for beginners, free stock promotion, low fees||Easy to use and navigate once you get used to it.|
|Common complaints on app||Slow, laggy, freezing upon high activity||No fingerprint support, the app feels dated.|
|Weighted average app rating||4.6 / 5||3.1 / 5|
Being focused only on the app, Robinhood is clearly the winner over Vanguard in this category. It is smooth and easy for anyone to understand, and has millions of downloads and great ratings on both mobile app stores.
Robinhood is the better choice for the younger generation of investors who are interested in actively managing their portfolio and are looking to make short term trades. Vanguard is best for the opposite type of investors. Those who want to invest long term and have their investments backed by a big brokerage firm.