Scottrade vs Robinhood

Compare Robinhood versus Scottrade - who is the better broker in 2021? Cost, IRA accounts, online trading platforms, mutual fund offerings comparison.

Scottrade is now TD Ameritrade

Scottrade has been assimilated into TD Ameritrade which does run a new client incentive right now.

Promotion Links

Scottrade/TD Ameritrade: Get $0 commissions and ACAT fee reimbursement.

Robinhood: Get free stock with $3-$7 value when you open an account.

Scottrade vs RobinHood Intro

Investors seeking a low-cost broker might want to consider Robinhood and Scottrade. While both firms attract traders who want exceptional value in investment services, they do have some significant differences between them. This article will try to determine which is better - Robin Hood or Scottrade?

Tech Tools

The Scottrade website has a lot of useful features on it. Charting is easy to use, and a graph can be detached to form its own window. There are several technical studies available, and comparisons can be made to indexes and other securities. A handy trade ticket appears at the bottom of the browsing window. It can be used to place orders for stocks, ETF's, and option contracts. A more advanced desktop platform can be accessed by traders who meet minimum account requirements.

Robinhood's site has only promotional material and an account sign-up form. It has no account management, security research, or trading capability. The broker's customers place trades on the Robinhood mobile app, which can be used on Android and Apple tablets and phones. Charting on this platform is very simple. There are no drawing tools or technical studies. The only option for graph display is a line format. Since there is no charting on the firm's website, traders don't have a lot to work with here. Robinhood does provide a platform for Apple Watch.

Compared to Robinhood's mobile app, Scottrade's has more features. Scottrade customers can transfer funds, deposit a check, or pay bills, all free of charge. Scottrade doesn't offer a platform for any smartphone, but it does have a mobile web site, which Robinhood lacks. Charting on the Scottrade mobile platform is also more advanced.

Scottrade wins the first category.

Investment Research & Education

There are several helpful resources at Scottrade that can help investors learn more about investing and find suitable securities for purchase. The broker provides independent stock reports to its clients at no cost. These are courtesy of Thomson Reuters, MarketEdge, and S&P Capital IQ. One section of the website called Knowledge Center maintains educational material on a variety of financial topics. Some of these resources are in video format. Surprisingly, Robinhood offers no research or educational tools for its customers.

Robinhood fails again.

Compare Scottrade and Robin hood

Trading Funds

Exchange-traded funds can be bought and sold with either broker. However, Robinhood does not offer trading in mutual funds. Scottrade, on the other hand, has over 11,300 mutual funds that are open to new investors. Approximately 2,000 of these carry no transaction fee and no load. Scottrade also has effective screeners for both ETF's and mutual funds, which Robinhood lacks.

This category is awarded to Scottrade.

Commissions and Fees

With $0 commissions, Robinhood can't be beat in terms of cost. The broker receives income by charging $5 for hard copy statements and $2 for mailed trade confirmations. However, this rock bottom pricing only helps stock and ETF traders. Robinhood does not offer bonds or options. The firm also charges for exchange and regulatory fees. Placing a trade over the phone with a live rep costs $10.

Although not free, Scottrade clients nevertheless receive a low price on stock and ETF transactions—just $0. The broker charges $2 for paper statements, and receiving a trade confirmation in the mail costs $1. Using a living, breathing agent to place a trade over the phone costs $32.

Robinhood takes the victory here.

Promotion Links

Scottrade/TD Ameritrade: Get $0 commissions and ACAT fee reimbursement.

Robinhood: broker does not offer promotions.

Cash Management Features

Investors who want cash features with a brokerage account can get them at Scottrade. The broker operates its own bank, which is FDIC insured. It offers checking, savings, and CD accounts. The company requires at least $500 in a trading account in order to apply for a deposit account. A debit card can be added to a checking or savings account, and a checking account can also have checks. Robinhood clients can't receive any of these features, because the broker doesn't offer any cash management services.

Scottrade wins again.

RobinHood or Scottrade

Customer Service

Scottrade customers can talk to a representative over the phone during the day and evening Monday through Friday. The broker has more limited hours on the weekend. For investors who want more personal service, the firm operates one of the largest networks of offices in the country, currently boasting more than 500 locations.

During regular market hours Robinhood has customer service agents on the phone. However, the number is not toll-free. There is a service e-mail address, but the company took 2 days to respond to our inquiry.

Once again, Robinhood is defeated by its rival.

RobinHood vs Scottrade Summary

Scottrade (Scottrade Review) won five categories, and Robinhood (Robinhood Trading Review) succeeded once. Scottrade wins the contest easily. Apparently, trading with no commissions comes at a steep cost when analyzing the overall investment process. Without research and educational resources, and with very limited trading tools, Robinhood certainly cannot be recommended for beginning investors.


Scottrade was acquired by TD Ameritrade last year. TD Ameritrade plans to fully integrate Scottrade by September of this year. For this reason it makes more sense to open an account with TD Ameritrade directly and skip possible transition inconveniences. New customers could take advantage of TD Ameritrade's promotion that allows them to trade for free for two months.