Compare ZacksTrade and Robinhood: IRA, commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account differences, pros and cons. Which online broker is better?

Overview of Robinhood and Zacks Trade

Investors at Zacks Trade and Robinhood have low prices, an array of financial vehicles, and an assortment of software programs. This article will give you all the details you need to pick the right company for your trading regimen.

Broker Cost

Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Robinhood $0 na $0 $0 $0
ZacksTrade $3+ $27.95 $0.75 per contract $0 $0

Services

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

Promotions

Robinhood: Open account and get one free $3-$6 value stock.

ZacksTrade: Trade stocks, options & ETFs for as low as $1 for a full year.


Range of Tradable Investments

Zacks Trade clients have a large variety of assets they can buy and sell. The brokerage house offers exchange-traded funds, stocks, options, mutual funds, and bonds. At Robinhood, traders get stocks, ETF’s, options, and cryptocurrencies.

Zacks Trade has a slight edge in this category.

Websites

At Zacks Trade, we found a website with lots of information on the broker’s investment services. There is an online chat service, which is a great tool for quickly getting a hold of someone. The broker offers an online portal, which facilitates account management; it also has a simple order form. The third and final website tool Zacks Trade offers is a browser platform, which is capable of sending orders to the major exchanges with direct-access routing.

Robinhood’s site isn’t nearly has thorough as Zacks Trade’s. We didn’t find an online chat tool, for example. There also isn’t as much information on Robinhood’s site. What Robinhood does offer is a browser platform. It has more advanced charting than Zacks’ browser software; but it lacks direct-access routing and multi-leg option strategies.

We like Zacks Trade better here.

Desktop Programs

Although we didn’t care for the charting on Zacks’ browser platform, the broker does much better with its desktop software. There are several drawing tools and technical indicators. A chart can be displayed the width of the monitor, right-click trading is possible, and a chart can be saved for later use. The trade ticket provides many advanced features, including multiple duration options, direct access to specific market makers, and several order types.


Zacks Trade vs Robin Hood


Robinhood has no desktop platform and so loses another category.

Mobile Apps

Robinhood does offer a mobile app. It is modeled after the company’s browser platform. The app has the same order ticket with the same order types (market, limit, and stop). Although direct-access routing isn’t an option, extended-hours trading is. Charting on the app is quite elementary, with no tools, indicators, comparisons, or horizontal mode.


Robin Hood Chart


Things improve dramatically at Zacks Trade. The broker’s app offers the ability to rotate a graph. The software also includes technical indicators and more graph styles (3 instead of 2). The order ticket has several order types, including trailing and market if touched. Another highlight is iBot, an AI.


ZacksTrade

Zacks Trade wins again.

Extended Hours

Zacks Trade has a pre-market session that starts at 4 in the morning, more than 5 hours before the market opens. Its late-nights session closes at 8 o’clock. Robinhood’s early-bird period begins at 9 am. Its after-hours period ceases at 6 in the evening.

Zacks is the victor again.

Level II Data

Zacks Trade offers Level II data on its desktop platform. Robinhood fails to provide the quotes even for a fee on any of its software.

Another loss for Robinhood.

Margin Policies

Zacks Trade offers regular margin accounts that charge between 4.68% and 5.88% for loans. Robinhood has departed from the traditional system of brokerage margin; instead of charging by the dollar amount, it charges a $5 monthly fee for borrowing capacity. This price is valid for a maximum $1,000. Greater borrowing ability results in larger monthly fees.

We like the traditional system better because traders only pay if they borrow.

Option Trading

As we saw in the opening category, both brokerage firms in our review provide trading in derivatives. Robinhood’s browser and mobile systems don’t offer traditional chains. Instead, the user has to click or tap on an option type (call or put) and then select a strike price.

Zacks Trade provides more advanced tools than this. Its browser system offers multi-leg strategies like butterflies; while the desktop software offers many professional-level option search tools.

Robinhood loses again.

Security Education and Research

As for investment education, we found minimal resources at Robinhood. The broker’s website hosts a FAQ with questions about trading with the firm. Stock profile pages include data on recent earnings, current dividend, and average trading volume. News articles are available on individual stocks and the market in general.

The Zacks Trade website hosts a how-to section on its site that contains many videos that explain how to perform a variety of functions, such as make a transfer or subscribe to market data. The broker’s desktop software offers many research tools, including a stock screener that can scan many foreign markets.

Zacks wins again.

Global Trading

Robinhood offers trading in American Depository Receipts and a small number of over-the-counter securities. This is the extent of the company’s foreign offerings. Zacks Trade offers much more. The broker has a larger selection of OTC equities. Plus, it provides access to a wide range of global markets. These include Mexico, Canada, the UK, many EU countries, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia. One downside is that commissions are quite a bit higher.

Robinhood suffers yet another failure.

Other Services

Zacks Trade offers dividend reinvesting, but charges a commission, only provides whole shares, and requires an entire account to be enrolled. Robinhood offers no type of DRIP service.

Individual Retirement Accounts can only be opened at Zacks.

Although Zacks Trade does offer mutual funds, it doesn’t provide an auto investing program, one of its few weaknesses in this investigation.

Zacks wins this category.

Our Recommendations

If you’re new to the world of investing, we recommend Zacks Trade. Although it’s not the best broker for beginners, it does provide more guidance than Robinhood.

If you plan to invest in mutual funds, open a retirement account, or take a long-term outlook, then of course go with Zacks.

If you think you’ll trade mostly stocks and ETF’s, either broker could be a good choice. Robinhood is ideal for budget traders, while Zacks is a good pick for traders who need cutting-edge software.

Promotions

Robinhood: Open account and get one free $3-$6 value stock.

ZacksTrade: Trade stocks, options & ETFs for as low as $1 for a full year.


ZacksTrade vs Robinhood Summary

Although Zacks Trade is the clear winner of this survey, Robinhood remains a good value.





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