Robinhood and eToro have several things in common. Both are online discount brokers created to provide platforms for everyone to have access to trading without excessive fees. Both brokers also focus on providing simpler self-directed investing by incorporating innovative technology. Finally, both brokers were industry disruptors with eToro entering the industry in 2007 and Robinhood following a few years later in 2013.
There are, of course, important differences beyond this. While transparency is part of eToro’s culture, Robinhood has been slow to lift the veil on some of the ways it makes money. Moreover, while neither eToro or Robinhood offer a robust collection of advanced research and trading tools, eToro does offer more than Robinhood in this area. On the flipside, Robinhood customers can trade cryptocurrencies for free, but eToro charges a 1% trading fee for crypto trading. We’ll look deeper at these two trading platforms to help you decide which one is a better fit for your portfolio needs.
On January 12, 2023, Robinhood announced that Robinhood Retirement, which launched via waitlist in December, is now available to all eligible customers.
- Account Minimum: $10 for stocks and ETFs, $200 for CopyTrader
- Fees: 1% crypto trading fee, no-fee stock, ETF, and options trading
- Account Minimum: $0
- Fees: $0 commissions for stock, ETF, options, and cryptocurrency trading
Both Robinhood and eToro offer streamlined platforms, which makes it easier for investors of any experience level to find information. Both brokers offer a website and mobile app platform. Robinhood’s platforms have similar layouts and near identical experiences. Investors can customize both platforms and can customize the price charts in each platform. Robinhood has partnered with NASDAQ to provide investors with access to real-time streaming stock quotes on both platforms. It should also be noted that Robinhood has improved its web platform beyond simply mirroring the mobile experience, taking advantage of more space and testing the waters with better charting.
In eToro’s platforms, investors can customize charts and access to drawing tools. In August 2022, eToro announced the rollout of its customizable advanced charts tool. These charts allow you to apply technical studies as well as use common drawing tools, putting eToro’s charting capabilities ahead of Robinhood. Investors can also benefit from eToro’s Smart Portfolios tool, a form of automated investing using a “predetermined strategy,” as well as CopyTrader, which is a tool allowing investors to copy trading strategies of more experienced traders. Though, it is noteworthy that users are not able to short stocks when using this function.
Robinhood and eToro both have user-friendly platforms. However, eToro leads in this category because its users have access to more robust features in the mobile app and website platforms.
Robinhood and eToro have streamlined website platforms. Both brokers keep things simple for their users and do not provide a robust collection of advanced research and trading tools. However, eToro provides features that Robinhood does not provide such as screening, a trading journal, access to proprietary research, and access to international exchanges. eToro is a leader in online social investing and has some interesting features for investors like One-Click Trading, which allows traders to quickly open positions with preset parameters. These more advanced features make eToro the winner in this category.
Both eToro and Robinhood are strong choices for investors who favor user-friendly mobile trading platforms. eToro’s mobile users have access to a drawing tool in the charting feature, but Robinhood lacks in this area by not offering a drawing tool in either platform. There are some areas where eToro and Robinhood tie. Both brokers’ mobile apps support the same order types and provide access to the same asset classes as their website platforms. Additionally, both brokers’ mobile platforms provide real-time streaming stock quotes and real-time portfolio reports. Overall, Robinhood and eToro have all the features in their mobile app platforms to meet the needs of new and passive investors. However, more active traders may prefer eToro’s mobile platform due to the availability of more tools.
Range of Offerings
Robinhood offerings include stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, cryptocurrencies, fractional shares trading for stocks and ETFs, fractional cryptocurrency trading, and a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) for stock and ETF dividends. Robinhood offers the Robinhood Cash Card (debit card) and is currently developing a beta site called web3 wallet for customers who want to trade more advanced digital assets such as NFTs. eToro’s offerings include stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, options, limited fractional share trading, eToro Money account, and automated investing through Smart Portfolios.
Robinhood and eToro have limited offerings in comparison to other brokers. Neither Robinhood nor eToro allow short selling, but Robinhood offers a margin account. eToro wins in this category because although limited, its offerings may work better for more advanced traders. Additionally, eToro offers a demo account with a virtual balance of $100,000 for investors to practice in before making a commitment.
Robinhood’s order types are based on the asset class. Limit and market orders are available for cryptocurrencies. Limit and stop limit orders are available for options. Market, limit, stop, stop-limit, and trailing stop orders are available for stocks. Some stocks can be placed as good-for-day (GFD) or good-til-canceled (GTC) orders. eToro provides the basic order types such as market, limit, and trailing stop loss. Additionally, eToro offers One-Click Trading with predetermined factors such as leverage, take profit, and stop-loss.
Robinhood edges out eToro in this category due to the availability of more order options.
Robinhood is continuing to provide new and improved trading tools to meet customers needs. Some examples include the charting tools introduced in 2022 and the upcoming web3 wallet platform for advanced cryptocurrency trading. Robinhood seeks the best order execution for customers and routes orders accordingly to obtain prices at the National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO) or better. Both Robinhood and eToro receive payment for order flow (PFOF). eToro has an agreement with Apex Clearing, which handles the order routing and discloses PFOF that was on the low end—although it is hard to know what is specific to eToro flow. Robinhood publicly discloses its order execution quality statistics, and these were on the high end for all brokers analyzed.
Both eToro and Robinhood offer a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) and fractional share trading in all platforms. In terms of innovation, eToro offers CopyTrade and Smart Portfolios, which are somewhat automated features that allow users to copy other investors’ investing behaviors and choose options from portfolios that are already diversified. These are the closest options to having a robo-advisor. As an added benefit, eToro has a dedicated team that monitors the portfolio's performances and assists with other actions such as rebalancing.
Robinhood, as of August 2022, has introduced advanced charting tools less a drawing tool. eToro offers users the ability to customize charts, offers a trading journal, and some screening tools. Neither broker offers backtesting features. This category is a tie. Depending on what is most important to investors, either broker could meet their needs.
Both brokers provide commission-free stocks, options and ETFs. eToro charges a 1% commission for cryptocurrencies. Robinhood’s margin rate is 9.75% and Gold subscribers get a lower rate. eToro does not have a traditional margin account, although leverage can be accessed on certain investments for fees. eToro requires a minimum investment of $200 to use the CopyTrader feature. Robinhood provides more cost savings for investors and therefore is the leader in this category.
Both Robinhood and eToro are lacking in this area in comparison to the advanced tools provided by other brokers. Platform research features that are available to investors are user-friendly but limited. Neither broker provides calculators or trading idea generators in either of their platforms. These are missed opportunities to meet their customers’ research needs. Robinhood does not offer proprietary research and charges a fee for third-party research information. On the other hand, eToro offers its customers free proprietary and third-party research information. Both brokers offer investors daily market reports. While eToro offers screening and watchlist features, Robinhood does not offer either of these features. The winner in this category is eToro simply for having a screener feature to assist investors in their search.
Robinhood and eToro both have limited portfolio analysis tools. Robinhood offers a sector allocation monitor, which is a portfolio tracking feature. When it comes to portfolio reports, both brokers offer these reports to investors in all platforms. Neither broker offers backtesting strategy features. Other than normal access to daily balances, positions, etc., there are no advanced analysis tools. In this category, Robinhood and eToro tie.
Neither Robinhood nor eToro’s educational resources compare to the options provided by other brokers. eToro Academy is eToro’s free online investing education platform. In this platform, customers can find educational information on various financial topics as well as additional insight on some of eToro’s trading tools.
Robinhood’s educational resource, Robinhood Learn, is a library of investing education including the basics of investing, various investing terms, financial literacy, taxes, entrepreneurship, and more. Robinhood Learn content is in the form of articles, videos, and in-app course modules. Additionally, Robinhood offers its customers a three-minute read newsletter called Robinhood Snacks that is emailed to subscribers on a weekly basis. Each broker seems to focus on educating new and passive investors, but eToro Academy has a feature that allows users to obtain more educational information for more advanced investors. eToro Academy makes eToro the winner in this category.
Limited direct access to customer service is an issue for both Robinhood and eToro. Both brokers offer a Help Center containing answers to common questions on their website and mobile platforms. Only current Robinhood customers have direct access to customer service, which is available after logging into their accounts on the website or mobile platforms. Support is available through live chat and telephone, but only via the in-app callback feature. eToro offers visitors an option to open a customer service request ticket on the website. There is no clear leader in this category because neither broker makes it easy for customers or non-customers to get immediate help.
Robinhood and eToro both offer two-factor authentication, encryption, and biometric logins on all trading platforms. Robinhood and eToro’s customers’ assets are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) for up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for cash).
Transparency has previously been an issue for current and prospective customers for Robinhood due to an outage on both platforms in March 2020 and a data security breach on November 3, 2021. eToro states that their systems are monitored and protected 24/7 by a professional security operations center (SOC). eToro edges out Robinhood in this category with no reported outages or data security breaches.
New and passive investors seeking streamlined, simple platforms will most likely be satisfied with either Robinhood or eToro. Both Robinhood and eToro will appeal to investors who prefer mobile investing because both brokers' mobile app platforms offer the same features as their website platforms. Investors with a passion for socially responsible investments will be happy to learn about eToro’s focus on SRI with its green score offering a quick metric. Moreover, eToro continues to be a leader in social investing, allowing new investors to follow and copy more experienced hands. Investors looking for retirement accounts would have to look at Robinhood, as they now offer IRA and Roth IRA retirement accounts with a 1% match, up to the federal contribution limit, for funds held for five years, while eToro does not offer retirement accounts.
Neither Robinhood nor eToro have calculators or other advanced research and trading tools available at larger brokers. More advanced and active traders will likely bypass these two in favor of more advanced trading platforms. An advantage that Robinhood has are its offerings and cost savings. Not all brokers offer commission-free (base commission) options and direct trading for cryptocurrencies, but Robinhood and eToro both do. eToro has social and innovation advantages with its Smart Portfolios, CopyTrader, and social trading platform features. Overall, eToro slightly edges out Robinhood because it offers more tools and research, and offers investors a trial run with a free Virtual Portfolio demo account.
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