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Did the movie “The Big Short” go right over your head? Does Nasdaq sound more like a foreign country than a stock market index? When you hear about bear markets and bull markets, do you envision adorable cartoon mammals browsing for fresh produce at a local farmers market?

You’re not alone.

The stock market can be confusing, and if you’re not a financial wizard in the Wall Street inner circle, you might be tempted not to bother with stock and options trading at all. But you’d be missing out.

That’s where apps like Robinhood come in. In this Robinhood review, we’ll discuss how Penny Hoarders can go from novice traders to expert stock market gurus, no matter how much or how little they have to invest.

What Is Robinhood?

Robinhood offers a unique brokerage account with commission-free investing from your smartphone. Robinhood has been around for the better part of a decade — the company launched April 18, 2013. Its two founders, Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, met at Stanford University as roommates and eventually moved to New York City to build finance companies.

Upon seeing firsthand how Wall Street insiders and powerhouse firms paid almost nothing when trading stocks while average Americans had to pay a commission fee for every trade, they instead headed to California to develop a financial product that allowed everyone to trade easily and affordably.

The resulting financial product, of course, was Robinhood. The company today is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

Robinhood has not been without its challenges. It’s famous for serious outages during market surges in 2020 and its role in the early 2021 market chaos related to the Reddit forum called r/wallstreetbets, where it restricted member access to securities like GameStop, Nokia and AMC. More recently, Robinhood laid off 23% of its staff, just one example of the massive tech industry layoffs in 2022, and also has been in the news for questionable trades.

However, Robinhood’s overall mission to make stock market trading accessible for everyone is admirable, and it is one of many investment and trading tools that seeks to put power back in consumers’ hands to elevate the financial status of the average American.

That’s a product that, even with its flaws, we can get behind.

What Tradable Securities Does Robinhood Offer?

The Robinhood platform is a great solution for free(!) trading of stocks, options, ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and ADRs (American Depositary Receipts), as well as cryptocurrency trading. The trading platform requires no minimum balance, offers fractional shares and includes plenty of educational resources. While Robinhood is most known for trading stocks and crypto, you can also use it for cash management.

Robinhood does not, however, offer access to mutual funds and bonds.

In 2021, Robinhood began to offer IPO access, meaning investors could purchase shares of stock in new companies at the IPO price before they go public. And in 2022, it introduced individual retirement accounts, or IRAs.

What Can You Trade on Robinhood?

  • U.S. exchange-listed stocks
  • U.S. exchange-listed ETFs
  • Options contracts for U.S. exchange-listed stocks and ETFs
  • ADRs for more than 650 globally listed companies
  • Cryptocurrency

What Can’t You Trade on Robinhood?

  • Foreign-domiciled stocks
  • Select OTC equities
  • Preferred stocks
  • Tracking stocks
  • Stocks that trade on foreign exchanges
  • Royalty trusts
  • Units
  • Closed-end funds
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Fixed-income trading
  • New York registry shares
  • Limited partnerships
  • Chinese securities affected by the Nov. 2020 executive order
  • Spanish ADRs

How to Get Started with Robinhood

To sign up with a Robinhood brokerage account, simply visit the website and press the black “sign up” button.

Hot Tip: Robinhood is currently offering one free fractional share upon signup. There are 20 fractional shares available to choose from. To generate its 20 offers, Robinhood chose the two largest S&P 500 companies within each of the top 10 sectors based on market cap.

To open an account with Robinhood, you have to meet a few individual requirements:

  • You must be 18 or older.
  • You need a valid Social Security Number (Note: You may not use a Taxpayer Identification Number).
  • You must be a legal U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident or have a valid U.S. visa and have an address in the 50 states or Puerto Rico (exceptions made for members of the U.S. military stationed outside the country).

The Robinhood trading platform is accessible via the web or app (iOS and Android).

The process of activating your account can take some time. You’ll start by submitting an application. While Robinhood reviews the application, you can queue one deposit to fund your account, but you won’t be able to use that money to make trades until account approval.

Typically, Robinhood will take a few days to either approve your application or request more information. If they request more information or documentation, be prepared to allow five to seven days for review.

How Much Does Robinhood Cost?

Trading with Robinhood is free. That’s the whole reason its founders launched the company: free stock trading for regular people. That means you won’t pay commissions on equity trades or options trades. However, you could wind up having to pay account transfer fees, wire fees, check fees and live broker fees, among others.

In addition, Robinhood Gold allows you to trade on margin at a 7.75% annual rate (11.75% for non-Gold members). It also allows you to make bigger deposits with faster fund access. This fee for the margin account is $5 per month.

Robinhood Gold, Explained

Margin trading means trading with borrowed money. If you invest in a bad stock and lose money on the investment, you’ll owe that money back.

For example, say you borrow $500 to invest in a stock worth $500. But that stock plummets to $100. You will still owe the remaining $400 back to Robinhood. That’s what makes margin trading a little too risky for novice traders.

Not only that, but if you borrow more than $1,000 to trade on margin, you’ll owe 7.75% yearly interest on that borrowed money above that $1,000.

Because Robinhood is targeted at new investors — and margin trading is a risky practice that can break even the savviest stock market gurus — we recommend that you invest with your own money, and make sure it’s money that, if lost, will not financially ruin you.

In fact, one of our biggest stock trading tips for beginners is to stay away from margin trading.

So How Else Does Robinhood Make Money?

If Robinhood is commission-free and not everyone uses Robinhood Gold, how does Robinhood make money off you? Robinhood spells this out transparently on its website:

  • Rebates from market makers and trading venues: Robinhood has developed relationships with market makers and trading venues that pay Robinhood rebates for directing orders to those makers and venues. In the industry, this is known as payment for order flow (PFOF).
  • Stock loans: Robinhood can loan stocks held in your account to traders and hedge funds for short selling. Robinhood gets to keep the money it makes from this; you as the investor do not share in the wealth.
  • Income from cash: If you have idle cash sitting uninvested but haven’t moved it into a cash management account, Robinhood earns interest on that cash.
  • Cash management account: Every time you use the debit card for your cash management account, Sutton Bank (the card issuer) earns a fee, which it shares with Robinhood.
  • Robinhood Gold: Robinhood makes money off every Gold subscription, both from the monthly fee and from margin interest.

Robinhood Review: Key Features

In this section, we will break down some of the hallmark features of Robinhood.

Robinhood: At a Glance

Feature Details More Details
Trading fees $0 n/a
Account minimum $0 n/a
Tradable securities Stock options ETFs ADRs; crypto
Mobile app rating 4.2 on App Store 4 on Google Play
Customer support Talk to a live agent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 30-minute guarantee
Other key features Fractional shares IPO access
Beginner perks Educational resources Free stock at sign-up


Robinhood’s schtick has long been that it offers commission-free trading. That means you will spend $0 for stock trading and $0 for options trading. ETFs also are commission-free.

This was the original mission of the founders, but in the time since launching their revolutionary idea, some of the bigger, traditional players, like Fidelity and Charles Schwab, have latched onto the same idea — and are backed by a better customer support system and a better-supported platform.

That has meant the Robinhood trading platform has had to find new ways to differentiate, like cryptocurrency and fractional shares. More on these below.

No Account Minimum

Of course, you will need to put money in your account to invest, but Robinhood does not have an account minimum, nor does it charge you for having a low or zero balance. And with fractional shares being an option, you can get started investing with as little as a dollar in your account.

Note: To purchase a security on margin (through Robinhood Gold), you need to have at least $2,000 in your account. This is not a Robinhood requirement but rather a regulation set by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Cryptocurrency Trading

Cryptocurrency is still a foreign concept to many investors, but just because something is new and scary (also, it’s been around since 2009, so it’s hardly new anymore) doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest. Not all brokers allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrency, but Robinhood offers support for multiple cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ethereum, with Robinhood Crypto (open 24/7).

In keeping with the whole “Robinhood is free” theme, Robinhood charges 0% for crypto exchanges. Some competitors charge up to 4%.


Not only does Robinhood offer free trades on stocks, options, ETFs and ADRs, it also has no account fees, inactivity fees or ACH transfer fees. Robinhood Gold, as mentioned, currently costs $5 a month.

Mobile App

Robinhood was created in the heart of Silicon Valley in Menlo Park, so, unsurprisingly, its mobile app is streamlined and easy to use. At the time of writing, the Robinhood app had 4.2 stars in the App Store based on more than 4 million reviews.

Its website, too, is streamlined. It doesn’t have a lot of extras, which is great if you are a novice trader. A more senior investor may find the site lacking, however.

Customer Support

While Robinhood offers customer support, this seems to be the biggest issue raised by members. Customer review sites often are littered with complaints that customer service is virtually nonexistent, especially pre- and post-market.

In an effort to improve its relatively low-rated customer support options, Robinhood rolled out a new customer service feature in 2021. This allows customers to request a call back, 24/7. Robinhood promises an agent should call within 30 minutes.

No Mutual Funds and Bonds

While commission-free stocks, options, ETFs and even crypto are a big pro of Robinhood, its lack of mutual funds and bonds can be frustrating for traders who want to diversify. As far as retirement accounts go, mutual funds are a key part of a retirement investment strategy.

Fractional Shares

True to its goal of making growing financial wealth more accessible to average Americans, Robinhood released fractional share options in late 2019. This means, if you can’t afford an expensive stock valued at, say, $1,000, you could instead buy a fraction of the stock, maybe $100 worth of it, or even just $10.

Right now, Robinhood allows you to buy as small as one-millionth of a share. Just like full shares, trading of fractional shares can be done in real time and is commission-free.

Recurring Investments

Another tool that Robinhood has introduced in recent years is recurring investments, which is a nice pairing with a fractional share investment strategy. For example, if Company X’s stock hovers around $200, you can set up a recurring investment in a fractional share at $25/week. Within roughly eight weeks, you could own a full share.

Most brokers structure recurring investments as buying by the share, which typically leaves your account funded with some uninvested cash. But Robinhood’s recurring investments are structured as buying by a dollar amount, which makes the best use of all your invested cash.

IPO Access

New in 2021, Robinhood gave customers access to purchase stocks in upcoming IPOs (initial public offerings) at the IPO price. No minimum account balances or special status requirements are necessary.

Cash Management Account

Another cool feature of Robinhood is the associated cash management account. You can have your paycheck deposited here, use it to pay bills and deposit checks, and, of course, fund your account. Like a proper bank account, this account gives you access to more than 75,000 fee-free ATMs (pretty much everywhere Mastercard is accepted) and comes with a debit card. And the best part: It earns 1.5% APY (4.65% APY for Gold members). For reference, the FDIC says the average interest rate for a savings account is 0.33% APY. And because the account is operated through a network of banks, you’ll get more than the typical $250,000 FDIC insurance; instead, the account is insured up to $1.25 million.

Educational Resources

A lot of now-outdated Robinhood reviews mention the lack of educational resources. We couldn’t find anything to be less true of Robinhood. Perhaps in response to some of those reviews, Robinhood has stepped up its game, with plenty of online resources on the website as well as a daily financial newsletter called Robinhood Snacks. Robinhood markets it as a “3-minute newsletter with fresh takes on the financial news.”

Pro Tip

Serious investors keep up with this kinds of news. It may not have the same appeal as celebrity gossip, but it will help you make wise decisions investments decisions.

Robinhood makes it easy to access news from Reuters, Cheddar, WSJ Markets, etc. Upgrading to Robinhood Gold gets you access to Morningstar, Nasdaq and Nasdaq Totalview Level 2 Market Data.

What Customers Are Saying About Robinhood

Because of Robinhood’s role in the recent GameStop market chaos and following layoffs in 2022, many angry investors and emboldened Redditors spoke their minds online, meaning Robinhood’s current ranking on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Google Play is suffering. This is more a reflection of reviewers’ overall criticisms of capitalism, hedge fund managers and the 1% than it is on Robinhood, which, if you take a step back, is really trying to help the average investor.

Pros and Cons of Robinhood

There’s a lot to love about Robinhood, especially if you are a new trader. More experienced traders may prefer a different approach to trading, however. Weigh these pros and cons before deciding on a Robinhood brokerage account.


  • The educational content is great if you are new to the stock market and want to learn the language.
  • The cash management account makes it easy to fund your investments and earns a decent APY.
  • You can strategize by combining fractional shares and recurring investments to diversify your assets and minimize uninvested cash, no matter how much you have to invest.
  • The commission-free trading and no account minimum truly make this accessible to anyone who wants to invest.
  • Robinhood gives you the option of investing in cryptocurrency and access to IPOs.
  • The mobile app and online trading platform are known for their ease of use.
  • There are no account or trading fees, nor are there account inactivity or ACH transfer fees
  • Robinhood is running a promotion wherein you get free fractional share upon signing up.


  • The role Robinhood played in limiting investments in squeeze stocks (like GameStop) in early 2021 brought the original mission of the company into question. The 2022 layoffs didn’t help.
  • Customer support is lacking, especially compared to larger brokers. Robinhood customers complain that customer service is especially challenging pre- and post-market.
  • Robinhood lacks mutual funds and bonds.
  • By not charging investors commission, Robinhood instead makes money through the payment for order flow, a common standard among online brokers. Some critics say this is a conflict of interest.

Are There Alternatives to Robinhood?

If you want to stay away from major players like TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab, Robinhood is arguably the most popular trading tool.

Its most notable competitor is Webull. Both Robinhood and Webull have their advantages; it truly comes down to your personal preferences. But Robinhood and Webull aren’t your only options. In fact, we’ve rounded up the best investment apps currently offered; choosing the right app depends on your own specific needs and investment strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Robinhood

Still have questions about opening a Robinhood account? We’ve provided answers to some of the questions our readers are most commonly asking.

Is Robinhood Safe?

Yes, Robinhood is a safe platform for investing. Robinhood is a member of the SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation), meaning your funds are insured up to $500,000. Robinhood also is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Is Robinhood a Brokerage Account?

Yes, Robinhood offers a brokerage account as its key offering, but you can also open a cash management account with Robinhood.

Does Robinhood Pay Dividends?

Robinhood processes your dividends automatically, crediting cash to your account by default.

Is Robinhood Gold Worth It?

Most investors will be fine with Robinhood’s free investing accounts. Being a Robinhood Gold member is ideal for margin trading, but we don’t recommend this unless you are a more seasoned investor.

Timothy Moore covers banking and investing for The Penny Hoarder from his home base in Cincinnati. He has worked in editing and graphic design for a marketing agency, a global research firm and a major print publication. He covers a variety of other topics, including insurance, taxes, retirement and budgeting and has worked in the field since 2012. Freelancer Lauren Richardson contributed to this post. 




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The average cost of homeowners insurance in Mississippi is $2,510 per year, or about $210 per month, according to a NerdWallet analysis. That’s considerably higher than the national average of $1,820 per year.

We’ve analyzed rates and companies across the state to find the best homeowners insurance in Mississippi. Our sample rates are for a homeowner with good credit and $300,000 dwelling coverage, $300,000 liability coverage, and a $1,000 deductible. But, of course, your rates will be different.

Note: Some insurance companies in this article may have changed their underwriting practices and no longer issue new policies in your state.

Why you should trust NerdWallet

Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our writing and data analyses. You can trust the prices we show you because our data analysts take rigorous measures to eliminate inaccuracies in pricing data and may update rates for accuracy as new information becomes available.

We include rates from every locale in the country where coverage is offered and data is available. When comparing rates for different coverage amounts and backgrounds, we change only one variable at a time, so you can easily see how each factor affects pricing.

Our sample homeowner had good credit, $300,000 of dwelling coverage, $300,000 of liability coverage and a $1,000 deductible.

The best homeowners insurance in Mississippi

If you’re looking to buy homeowners insurance from a well-rated national brand, consider one of these insurers from NerdWallet’s list of the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies.

More about the best home insurance companies in Mississippi

See more details about each company to help you decide which is best.


State Farm

Well-established insurer with a lengthy list of coverage options.

Coverage options

More than average

Average set of discounts

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected


State Farm

Well-established insurer with a lengthy list of coverage options.

Coverage options

More than average

Average set of discounts

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

State Farm is a great choice for homeowners who like to work directly with a company representative, as the company sells policies through a vast network of agents. And its attention to customer service has paid off; the company has fewer customer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.

State Farm offers a free Ting device as a perk for home insurance policyholders. Ting is a smart plug that monitors your home’s electrical network to help prevent fires.



Those seeking benefits like diminishing deductibles and claims forgiveness may want to consider Farmers.

Coverage options

More than average

Average set of discounts

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected



Those seeking benefits like diminishing deductibles and claims forgiveness may want to consider Farmers.

Coverage options

More than average

Average set of discounts

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Homeowners policies from Farmers may include two valuable types of insurance: extended dwelling and replacement cost coverage. Extended dwelling coverage gives you extra insurance for the structure of your house, while replacement cost coverage offers higher reimbursement for stolen or destroyed belongings.

Some Farmers policies also come with perks that can save you money. For example, with claim forgiveness, Farmers won’t raise your rate for a claim as long as you haven’t filed one within the past five years.



For shoppers seeking a broad range of coverage options, Nationwide may fit the bill.

Coverage options

More than average

Great set of discounts

NAIC complaints

Close to expected



For shoppers seeking a broad range of coverage options, Nationwide may fit the bill.

Coverage options

More than average

Great set of discounts

NAIC complaints

Close to expected

We like Nationwide for its wide variety of coverage options. For example, its standard homeowners insurance policy generally includes ordinance or law coverage, which can help pay to bring your home up to current building codes after a covered claim. In addition, you can add other coverage for things like identity theft and damage from backed-up sewers and drains.

Depending on how much personal assistance you need, you can get a quote for homeowners insurance on the Nationwide website or work with a local agent instead. You can also use the website to pay bills, file claims or check claim status.



Offers perks and affordable rates for the military community.

Coverage options

Below average

Average set of discounts

NAIC complaints

Far fewer than expected



Offers perks and affordable rates for the military community.

Coverage options

Below average

Average set of discounts

NAIC complaints

Far fewer than expected

USAA sells homeowners insurance to veterans, active military and their families. If you fall into one of those groups, you might want to look into USAA’s offerings. The company’s homeowners policies include some unique perks, such as deductible-free coverage for military uniforms and coverage for identity theft.

Homeowners in Mississippi can participate in the company’s Connected Home program, which gives you a discount on your policy if you buy and install approved smart home devices. These include water leak sensors, cameras and thermostats.

How much does homeowners insurance cost in Mississippi?

The average annual cost of home insurance in Mississippi is $2,510. That’s 38% more than the national average of $1,820.

In most U.S. states, including Mississippi, many insurers use your credit-based insurance score to help set rates. Your insurance score is similar but not identical to your traditional credit score.

In Mississippi, those with poor credit pay an average of $5,640 per year for homeowners insurance, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis. That’s more than twice as much as those with good credit.

Average cost of homeowners insurance in Mississippi by city

How much you pay for homeowners insurance in Mississippi depends on where you live. For instance, the average cost of home insurance in Jackson is $2,815 per year, while homeowners in Gulfport pay $3,650 per year, on average.

Average annual cost

Average monthly cost



Ocean Springs

Olive Branch


The cheapest home insurance in Mississippi

Here are the insurers we found with average annual rates below the Mississippi average of $2,510.

What to know about Mississippi homeowners insurance

Mississippi sees a wide range of severe weather that homeowners should consider when shopping for the best homeowners insurance in the state.


On the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi is vulnerable to hurricanes. These fierce storms can cause damage from strong winds, storm surge and flooding. If you’re in a coastal area, ensure you have enough wind and flood damage coverage. Read more about hurricane insurance.

Wind damage is typically included in a standard homeowners insurance policy. However, residents of coastal areas may have windstorm exclusions or a separate wind deductible. These are often a flat rate, such as $1,000 or a percentage of your dwelling coverage. For example, your policy may have a $1,000 deductible for most claims and a 1% deductible for hail or wind claims. So if your house has $250,000 worth of dwelling coverage, you’d have to pay for the first $2,500 of hail damage yourself.

If wind damage is not covered in your policy, you may be able to purchase separate wind coverage from the “windpool,” or the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association.


Flooding is a common hazard in Mississippi, particularly in areas near rivers or other bodies of water or due to hurricanes and tropical storms. Flood damage is not typically covered by standard homeowners insurance; you’ll need to buy a separate flood insurance policy.

To find out if you’re at risk, check out the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood maps or visit, a website from the nonprofit First Street Foundation. Even if your property is deemed low risk, it may be worthwhile to purchase flood insurance for extra peace of mind.

Remember that while you can purchase flood coverage anytime, there’s typically a 30-day waiting period before the insurance takes effect. Here’s more information about flood insurance and waiting periods.


Tornadoes are not uncommon in Mississippi, and they seem to be increasing in frequency. The past five years have averaged 86 tornadoes a year, up from an average of 33 a year. Much like hurricanes, the force of wind from these storms can cause significant damage to homes.

Thankfully, standard homeowners insurance will cover tornado damage, but you’ll still want to review your policy carefully. There may be a separate deductible for wind damage, as described in the hurricane section.


Severe thunderstorms that produce hail are common in Mississippi. In 2022, there were 108 reports of hail-producing thunderstorms. Hail can cause significant damage to roofs, windows, and siding. The good news for homeowners is that hail damage is often covered by standard policies.

However, as with wind damage, you may have a separate deductible for hail claims, so read your policy carefully to ensure you know what’s covered.

Mississippi insurance department

The Mississippi Insurance Department oversees the state’s insurance industry and provides consumer protection and resources. For example, its website includes guides to shopping for homeowners insurance in Mississippi, a hurricane insurance checklist and other disaster preparedness information.

You can file a complaint against your insurance company with the Mississippi Insurance Department; you can do so by mail, fax or online form. If you have questions about filing a complaint or need help, you can request assistance by email at [email protected] or toll-free at 800-562-2957.

Amanda Shapland contributed to this story.

Frequently asked questions

Is homeowners insurance required in Mississippi?

Homeowners insurance isn’t legally required in Mississippi, but your mortgage lender may require you to buy it.

Does Mississippi homeowners insurance cover flooding?

A standard homeowners policy typically doesn’t cover flooding. That means you may want to buy separate flood insurance if your home is in a high-risk area. Learn how to find the best flood insurance.

How can I save money on home insurance in Mississippi?

There are several ways to save money on homeowners insurance in Mississippi:

  • Shop around to make sure you’re getting the best rate.

  • Choose a higher deductible. In case of any claims, you’ll pay more out of pocket, but your premiums will be lower.