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I don't understand why you believe paying fees "usually" results in smaller spreads. Most of the brokerages you pay trading fees to are doing what Robinhood does, because retail order flow is made to be internalized, and firms like Citadel do a better job of it --- for customers --- than the firms that run the brokerages do; the job of a typical brokerage is to make a pretty web UI, keep some servers running, staff a bunch of brick-and-mortar locations, and answer the phones, and the job of actually executing trades is specialized in a different direction. More likely, the firm you're paying trading fees to is handing your order off to an internalizer, getting rebated for it, and pocketing both the rebate and the trade fee.



It's from my experience and I've heard the same from many others. Maybe better spread is from better speed, and maybe the speed is a result of better software platform. The fees are also negotiable though, and responsive support is good to have and helped when I needed it.

If it was that simple then I find it strange that these brokers don't offer free starter accounts to new users to compete against Robinhood. They must know something we don't about the real value of the company and how much competition they're adding.


"If it was that simple then I find it strange that these brokers don't offer free starter accounts to new users to compete against Robinhood. They must know something we don't about the real value of the company and how much competition they're adding."

Or it just may be an example of how changes don't happen instantly. If they lose enough customers, they may cut commissions, even to zero. As long as it isn't a big problem, they won't.

It seems to me that a lot of brokers are providing an increasing number of commission-free securities, and you also see promotional deals where a new account of sufficient size gets several hundred free trades.




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