TastyWorks versus RobinHood - compare IRA, commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account pros and cons. Which online broker is better?


Overview of RobinHood and TastyWorks

If you’re thinking about opening a brokerage account at Robinhood because of its ultra-low-fees, you really need to see what a little extra can get you at rival firm tastyworks. Founded by the educational company tastytrade, the new brokerage firm offers a different style of trading at low cost. Let’s see how these two compare.


Broker Fees

Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Tastyworks $5 ($0 to sell) na $1.00 per contract ($10 max, $0 to sell) $0 $0
Robinhood $0 na $0 $0 $0


Services

Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Tastyworks
Robinhood


Which Firm Has the Better Trading Tools?

In the past, Robinhood only provided a very simple mobile app with zero computer trading. Today, it has a browser platform that, while still simple, does offer many normal trading functions. For example, we found news articles, earnings histories, simple charting, a watchlist, and a basic order ticket.

Unfortunately, charting doesn’t come with any tools, and there’s only one graph style. The broker’s order ticket offers market, limit, and stop orders. There is no direct-access routing, nor are there any complex order types. Robinhood does not offer a desktop platform and probably never will.


Robin Hood vs Tasty Works


Features on the browser platform we can speak highly of include analyst ratings and a feature that shows what Robinhood customers are paying for a stock.

Moving to tastyworks, we get a desktop platform. It offers very advance charting with drawing tools, technical studies, multiple graph styles, and more. We liked the inclusion of a profit & loss diagram that shows the probability of a price movement by a certain amount.


tastyworks Traders


The order ticket isn’t overly complicated, but it does offer more features than Robinhood’s very simple system. Besides type and time-in-force choices, we were able to submit multiple legs in one trade, something that’s not possible with Robinhood’s stock order ticket.

While transitioning to a browser platform is usually a step down at most places, there actually isn’t much difference between the two programs at tastyworks. The order ticket and other features are pretty similar. One noticeable difference is in the quality of charting. There is no emphasis on charting in the browser system; so if you are a technical trader, you’ll definitely want to stick with the desktop program.

tastyworks’ website has zero trading capability. It is used for promoting the company. There is a login, but it only provides account management.

Neither broker provides direct-access routing.


And What About Mobile Apps?

When we logged into the Robinhood app, the first thing we noticed is how similar it is to the company’s browser trading environment. Charting has the same style, although a candlestick format is available in addition to line. Other features are exactly the same as they are on the browser system. The app’s trade ticket offers the same duration and order types.


Robin Hood Chart


The tastyworks platform offers free access to tastytrade, an investment educational platform. Other nice features include a watchlist, alerts, and a list of recent trades by tastyworks customers. Charting is non-existent, however, and there aren’t any news articles. Both apps fail to provide mobile check deposit, which we consider mandatory for any financial app.


tastyworks Mobile App


Robinhood has a platform for Apple Watch that is able to submit securities orders. tastyworks offers nothing for smart watches.


Does Either Broker Provide Trading in Options?

For several years, Robinhood has been trying to bring option trading on board. It finally has succeeded. During our testing of its software, we found three multi-leg strategies (straddles, strangles, and iron condors) in addition to calls and puts. Neither its mobile app nor its browser system has traditional option chains, although we didn’t find Robinhood’s system difficult to use.

tastyworks offers more multi-leg strategies (about 9), and these can be traded on any of its platforms. One feature that tastyworks offers in this category is a graphical style of derivative searching. A chart on all three platforms shows a standard deviation (68%) chance of reaching a certain price by the contract’s expiration.


And Other Investment Vehicles?

Because Robinhood is a very low-cost broker, it doesn’t offer many other investment products. There are no bonds, mutual funds, or futures. tastyworks doesn’t offer bonds or mutual funds, either, but it does provide trading in futures.

One fascinating service that Robinhood has recently launched is trading in cryptocurrencies (just bitcoin and Ethereum for now). tasty doesn’t provide any type of currency trading.


Do They Provide Extended Hours?

tastyworks customers can trade securities starting an hour and a half before the market opens, and for another two hours after the closing bell.

While tastyworks charges nothing for access to these extra-market periods, Robinhood customers must pay $10 to trade during extended hours. Robinhood’s pre-market session is only thirty minutes, while its after-hours period overlaps with tastyworks’ session.


How About Level II Quotes?

If you need Level II data, forget about tastyworks or Robinhood. For some strange reason, neither broker offers them, not even for a fee.


What if I Plan to Trade on Margin?

If you want to amplify your trading, buying on margin is a great way to do it. Robinhood charges $10 a month for an account with borrowing privileges, and there are no interest charges. tastyworks doesn’t charge a monthly fee, although interest is assessed on debit balances.

tastyworks offers 4:1 leverage for maintenance on long stock positions. At Robinhood, maintenance levels vary by stock. At both brokers, initial is 2:1.


Promotions

TastyWorks: Open account and pay no commission when selling stocks/ETFs/options.

RobinHood: Open account and get FREE stock.



Our Judgment

Now we get to the essence of this survey. Who is the better firm for what activities?

For option traders, we recommend tastyworks over Robinhood. The latter broker’s derivative tools just don’t compare to tastyworks’ software.

Technical analysts and chart-driven traders should definitely go with tastyworks. Robinhood’s charting is dreadful.

For new investors, we also propose tasty over Robinhood. Because Robinhood emphasizes low-cost trading, it simply doesn’t offer enough learning materials.

Budget-conscious traders should stick with Robinhood.

For IRA’s, we have no choice but to recommend tastyworks. Robinhood doesn’t offer any.

Small investors will be well served at either brokerage house, as neither one has a minimum opening deposit requirement.


RobinHood vs TastyWorks Summary

tastyworks and Robinhood both offer low-cost trading, but it seems that tastyworks manages to offer a lot more at slightly higher cost.


Open TastyWorks Account


Open TastyWorks Account

Open RobinHood Account


Open Robinhood Account


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