Robinhood Philippines – Expansion Plans and Alternatives for 2022

Franklin Silva| Updated January 17th, 2022
Robinhood Philippines - Expansion Plans and Alternatives for 2022 1

You have probably heard about the Robinhood app on YouTube and want to know if it’s available in the Philippines, right?

Robinhood is a modern and easy-to-use investment app from the US, which has introduced the concept of commission-free trading in financial products such as stocks and ETFs.

Do you want to know if the Robinhood app is available in the Philippines, its expansion plans, and the alternatives available in the Philippines? We’ve got you covered!

What is Robinhood?

Robinhood was founded in 2013. Since then, it has played a major role in disrupting the brokerage industry by allowing US retail investors to trade with no commissions, alongside its biggest rival, Webull. Robinhood is defined as a commission-free online broker that offers the possibility of trading stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies.

The results are clear: over 18 million users! The competitors of Robinhood have been monitoring this exponential growth closely, and, in October 2019, some major well-established brokers in the US, such as E-TradeTD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab, announced in quick succession that they were eradicating trading fees. 

Is Robinhood Available in the Philippines?

Unfortunately, Robinhood is not yet available in the Philippines, nor any other country outside the US.  It had planned to open in the UK in 2020, but it was postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19. Their global expansion has taken no step further since then.

But do not lose hope! You will find some alternatives in the Philippines that have proven reliable (and perhaps even more reliable than Robinhood!).

The covid-19 stock crash during the first quarter of 2020 showed some vulnerabilities of the Robinhood platform. The app collapsed several times, and investors could not trade during the most volatile markets in history (examples are Gamestop, and more recently, Dogecoin). The company is facing some lawsuits due to these outages.

Besides, Robinhood has already faced some security breaches revealing sensitive information about its clients, and, at one point, it even allowed “infinite leverage” that was shortly corrected afterwards. Still, it did not avoid major losses for some clients.

Robinhood Philippines Alternatives

To help us answer this question, our assumption was only to focus on low-cost brokers available in the Philippines. Given that, here are our suggestions:

eToro

Commission-free stock and ETF trading. You can also copy other traders/investors. Slick, modern, and easy for anyone to use. It is trusted by over 20 million clients worldwide.
Disclaimer: 67% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Interactive Brokers

Targeted for more experienced investors, Interactive Brokers offers a wide range of products from many exchanges worldwide.

1# eToro

Robinhood Philippines - Expansion Plans and Alternatives for 2022 2
Visit eToro
67% of retail CFD account lose money.

eToro at a glance

0% Commissions(Stocks and ETFs)
Mobile App
ProductsCFDs, ETFs, Stocks, Commodities, Forex, and Cryptocurrencies
Minimum Deposit$200
RegulatorsCySEC, FCA, and ASIC

Founded in 2006, eToro is a well-known worldwide fintech startup and the leader in the social trading field (follow other people’s trades), with over 20 million users worldwide. You can also invest in other products such as CFDs, ETFs, stocks, commodities, Forex, and cryptocurrencies through their platform, which is intuitive and simple to use, making it a good choice for beginners. Plus, they have started offering commission-free stock and ETFs trading in the Philippines (not all ETFs are commission-free).

Opening an account and depositing is easy, and you can even try it out with virtual money. On the downside, the only currency accepted is the USD, so you’ll pay currency conversion costs upon deposit and withdrawal if you use PHP, and spreads can be high for some products, like cryptocurrencies. A full review of eToro in the Philippines is available here.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

2# Interactive Brokers

Robinhood Philippines - Expansion Plans and Alternatives for 2022 3
Visit Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, Options, Futures, Currencies, Commodities, Bonds, Funds, ETFs.
Minimum deposit$0
RegulatorsCySEC, FCA, SEC, CSSF, CBI, MNB.

If what you’re looking for is an online broker with a wide range of products from different markets, and a sophisticated trading platform, then Interactive Brokers might be a good alternative to the Robinhood broker.

Founded in 1978 and publicly listed in NASDAQ since 2007, Interactive Brokers is a global online broker that offers access to dozens of markets worldwide, not only US-listed assets. Besides the low costs, this is one of their main differentiators.

They also offer an educational area with free resources for financial education.

Which platform should you choose?

Some factors you should know when choosing an online broker are the fees charged if it is regulated by top-tier institutions such as the FCA in the UK, the range of products it allows you to trade (not all platforms allow you to trade EU stocks), among others.

The best online broker in your specific case will depend on your profile, preference, and objectives. Explore the websites above and decide for yourself!

A reminder that the above should not be seen as investment advice and should be considered information only. Investors should do their own research and diligence about the best-suited services and opportunities for their risk, returns, and impact strategy.

Hope we helped, and leave your comments below.

Happy investments!

Other FAQs

Is Webull available in the Philippines? Can I use Webull in the Philippines?

No, Webull (Robinhood’s biggest competitor in the US) is also not available in the Philippines. Due to compliance rules, Webull is not able to do trading besides the USA and Hong Kong.

Does Etrade work in the Philippines? Can foreigners use Etrade?

No, Etrade is not available in the Philippines either. Only US citizens/Green Card holders can open an account on this platform (some exceptions apply).

What about other US-based investment platforms? Are Acorns or M1 Finance available in the Philippines?

No, Acorns and M1 Finance are not available in the Philippines either. Only US citizens/Green Card holders are eligible to open an account on these platforms.

How exactly does Robinhood make money?

The online broker earns money from interest earned on customers’ cash balances (money in your account not invested) by selling order information to third parties (high-frequency traders, for instance) and margin lending.

Regarding selling orders, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is still investigating Robinhood for not fully disclosing its practice of selling clients’ orders to high-speed trading firms.

Until October 2018, Robinhood would not clearly state that it was receiving payments for order flows. By law, any financial company must reveal all the material facts an investor would want to know before making any investment decision.