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I can only speak from personal experience, but I love Robinhood.

I am an amateur trader for pure hobby because of Robinhood.

Many years ago, I tried to create an etrade account and it was an insanely long process (it may have changed now). I don't even remember what I did after I got an invite from a friend, but I was up and running right away.

I started trading $300 just to see what it was like. The first three months, I learned a bit and lost some money. Fast forward 1 year to now, and I have around 54k in there and am up 16.05% - and that includes the crazyness of December. I have invited some friends and they all trade between $300 to 10k AFAIK. I am in no way rich, but I compare the performance of my retirement portfolio to what I do with a few ETFs, and honestly it has demystified the whole process. Before, I used to login to Clash of Clans when I had a few minutes to spare, now I spend that time browsing Robinhood. To me Robinhood was a game changer for this and many other reasons.

I'm trying to not be condescending, but I have a strong feeling that will change when the market eventually crashes.

I say this because I honestly don't see how anyone who is serious about financial planning can use Robinhood for anything besides "play market". Case in point: the graphs in Robinhood show no y-axis values. This is insane if you actually care to see how your portfolio has been doing. Yet this is obviously intentional by Robinhood, so it must be designed to obfuscate what is really going on.

When things really start to go south (which they inevitably always do) there is going to be a run on the bank at Robinhood.

So people will do that, but why would I just not sit out and keep stocks like my Berkshire or SP500 ETFs during it? Why would I just not double down and wait a few more years during those dips? Or am I not expected to do that because I bought it in Robinhood as opposed to having bought it in E-trade?

> I have around 54k in there and am up 16.05%

and where would you be if you'd just stuffed all your original cash into VTI and not fiddled with things?

15.52, according to Yahoo.

Does that include the dividend yield? (~1.8% iirc)

It does not. Otherwise it would be higher.

Oh, and I forgot that includes my mess ups of the first three months when I was learning. Otherwise I would be outperforming an ETF of the SP500 by 3% without doing much work.

You've got to think about more than just whether you're beating the S&P500 ETF at any given time. The point of the S&P 500 is that when a recession comes you're protected. The point is that the S&P500 is a diverse portfolio of companies so that whilst it will be affected by a recession you aren't going to be over-exposed to the companies that are hit the worst. I suspect it's quite difficult for you to reproduce that kind of diversity in your portfolio manually. It's also very difficult for you to put a value on that risk - you've outperformed by a couple percentage points. But you're probably overexposed to some extent, those two things have value - but there's a reason why hedge funds spend millions of quants and still lose out to the market in the long run.

> and that includes the crazyness of December

You mean when the market dipped and completely recovered in two months? Hardly crazy.

Well, everyone in my family thought I was crazy for constantly looking at Robinhood during Christmas to snatch good deals.

+1 on easy sign up. Robinhood was the third platform I tried. The first one refused me for being on a work visa. The second had a very complicated process where I would have to send in dead-tree forms. Robinhood was just simple and easy.

Unlike the stereotypical Robinhood user, I buy and hold a 1-fund portfolio, and I think it works pretty well for that.

Are you actively trading ETFs?

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