You have probably heard about the Robinhood app on YouTube and want to know if it’s available in France, 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.
Want to know if the Robinhood app is available in France, its expansion plans, and the alternatives available in France? 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-Trade, TD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab, announced in quick succession that they were eradicating trading fees.
Is Robinhood Available in France?
Unfortunately, Robinhood is not yet available in France, nor any other country outside the US.
It had planned to open in the UK in 2020, but it was postponed indefinitely.
Most recently, in early 2022, Robinhood has set aggressive goals to “open their crypto platform to customers internationally”. With this in mind, Robinhood has signed an agreement to buy Ziglu, a London-based crypto trading app, to help accelerate their international expansion, both in the UK and across Europe.
But do not lose hope! Meantime, you can still find some Robinhood France alternatives 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. The company is facing some lawsuits due to these outages.
Besides, Robinhood has faced several security breaches in 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 significant losses for some clients.
Robinhood Alternatives in France
To help us answer this question, we focused on low-cost online brokers available in France. Given that, here are our suggestions:
With over 30 million users, eToro is the leading social investing platform (copy and follow other traders/investors). It offers commission-free stock trading.
Disclaimer: 81% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Founded in 1978, IBKR is one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers. It offers an enormous range of financial products (stocks, ETFs, Options,…), and low currency conversion fees (FX fees).
💡 Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for novice investors.
A recent broker that offers commission-free stock and ETF trading in France. Very transparent and regulated by AFM, the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets. New users will receive one free share worth up to €200.
free stock trading up to 100.000€ monthly volumes in France. It also allows you to invest in CFDs, cryptocurrencies, and forex with low fees.
Disclaimer: 81% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
A European broker known for its exclusive offering of new stocks at their IPO (initial) price with an average return of 52% in three months. It also offers shares and ETFs on major American, Asian and European exchanges, the lowest price for US stock options in the EU, and the USD savings account with 3% interest and daily accrual.
Disclaimer: Capital is at risk.
One of the leading online brokers in Europe due to its low-cost structure and wide range of products and markets covered. Users pay €1.00 per transaction.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.
All the companies here mentioned are regulated and/or registered in the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
XTB at a glance
Founded in 2002, XTB presents itself as a market player with extensive worldwide experience, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The platform offers 0% commissions on stocks. However, its software is more oriented to CFDs and forex trading with competitive costs when compared with its competitors.
XTB also offers other financial products such as commodities and cryptocurrencies. XTB charges high commissions on CFDs of cryptocurrencies but low costs for Forex. Besides, you will face an inactivity fee of 10€/month after one year of non-trading and if you have not made any deposit in the last 90 days. Opening an account and transferring money is a quick and hassle-free process (demo account available).
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investors accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this broker. It is important to understand how CFDs work and the risks involved in trading, like losing all the invested capital.
eToro at a glance
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 30 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, not to mention that they started offering commission-free stock and ETF trading in Europe (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, spreads can be high for some products. The only currency accepted is the USD, which means that you’ll be charged currency conversion fees upon deposit and withdrawal if you deposit in another currency.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% 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.
3# BUX Zero
BUX Zero at a glance
BUX Zero is an online broker launched in 2019 that has positioned itself as an affordable way for Europeans to increase their savings. It brings a simple and elegant way to start investing.
It allows users to trade US and EU stocks (Dutch, German, Belgian, French, and Austrian) and 30+ ETFs. New users will also benefit from one free share worth up to €200 (terms available on page 31 of the Bux Zero Client Agreement). You also have access to fractional investing, making it easy to invest in companies with big share prices (Amazon, Tesla, Alphabet,…) starting for as little as €10.
BUX Zero is very transparent in its pricing structure: it charges no commission for Zero, Market and Limit Orders for US stocks, but it will cost you 1€ per Market or Limit Order in EU stocks and ETFs (Zero Orders are free). Besides, it also earns money through an FX markup (currency conversion fee) of 0.25%.
On the downside, the only place to trade is its mobile app (no desktop or web trading platform available), the products available are limited and it has no demo account.
BUX Zero is regulated by the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten – AFM). If you want to learn more, check our Bux Zero Review.
Along with BUX zero, BUX’s flagship platform, you can use BUX X to invest in CFDs and BUX Crypto if you only want to buy cryptocurrencies. Note that both of these services are expected to be combined with BUX Zero for consolidation processes as the company progresses to create a single destination for investors.
Investing involves risks. You can lose your deposit.
4# Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers at a glance
Founded in 1978 and publicly listed in NASDAQ (ticker: IBKR), Interactive Brokers is a global online broker which surpassed major financial crises, showing resilience and a rigorous risk management process.
Interactive Brokers offers an advanced investment platform that includes a wide range of products (stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, bonds, and currencies) from 150 markets, solid trade execution (IB SmartRouting), and a set of technical and fundamental tools to help you in your investment decisions.
Beginners and intermediate investors have educational tools to explore, but the learning curve will be steep. That´s why we mainly endorse it to more advanced traders. Besides, the customer service gives crystal clear answers to your doubts, so there is no need to go back and forth.
On the downside, Interactive Brokers’ fee structure is quite complex, the registration process is lengthy but fully online, and the broker doesn’t offer commission-free trading. However, when considering FX fees, narrower spreads, and the stock loan program, Interactive Brokers’ clients still get significant savings compared to most brokers.
Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for beginner investors. Some of the features of IBKR GlobalTrader include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares, demo account, and more.
Want to know more about Interactive Brokers? Check our Interactive Brokers Review.
Freedom24 at a glance
Founded in 2015, Freedom24 has already offered to its 400,000+ worldwide clients the stocks of 260+ new companies at the IPO price, as well as 40,000+ stocks, 1,500+ ETFs, 800,000+ US Stock Options, and 147,000+ bonds on the largest exchanges in Europe, Asia, and the US.
Freedom24 trading platform can be accessed through PC and mobile App versions. Both trading platforms are adequate for executing trades. They are well designed and intuitive but lack customization options. You are provided with additional features such as “InvestIdeas” and “News”.
Freedom24 flagship product is clearly its offering of the new stocks at the IPO price to hundreds of companies awaiting their opportunity to trade on major stock exchanges. There is excitement around this feature since it was only available for institutional investors.
In addition to the above, all Freedom24 clients have D-accounts – USD saving accounts at 3% per annum, which is higher than most European saving accounts (let´s be fair, we are comparing to EUR accounts that are at 0%). Besides, the customer service gives understandable answers to your doubts, so there is no need to go back and forth.
On the downside, it requires a minimum of $2,000 for IPOs participation, charges €7 per withdrawal, and presents an above-average currency conversion fee.
Want to know more about Freedom24? Check our Freedom24 Review.
Disclaimer: Investments in securities and other financial instruments always involve the risk of loss of your capital. Buying stocks at IPO prices may involve additional restrictions.
DEGIRO at a glance
Founded in 2013, Degiro is a low-cost brokerage firm that has become very popular due to its low rates! With over 2 million users, the innovative platform has become widely known for its “do-it-yourself” philosophy in the sense that you have everything at your disposal to start investing on your own. It offers a wide range of financial assets to trade, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures contracts, warrants, investment funds, and some leveraged products (not quite the same as CFDs. More info here).
For instance, you can trade some stocks and ETFs for free (a €1.00 flat handling fee – external costs – still applies). You also have a list of 200 ETFs where you may trade once a month completely free with no minimum amount required. The web trading platform is basic, but it is efficient and straightforward to use. In a matter of minutes, you get used to it. The same applies to its mobile app. On the downside, there is an absence of any significant fundamental research, a €2.50 connectivity fee applies and pricing alerts are missing.
Regarding security, Degiro is the Dutch branch of flatexDEGIRO Bank AG (a German regulated bank). In the unlikely event that the segregated assets cannot be returned to clients, Degiro falls under the German Investor Compensation Scheme, which compensates any losses from non-returned assets up to 90% (with a maximum of €20,000), so do bear this in mind if you are planning to invest much larger volumes. Furthermore, any money deposited on a DEGIRO Cash Account with flatexDEGIRO Bank AG will be guaranteed up to an amount of €100,000 under the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
Still any doubts? Go through our Degiro Review!
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, BaFin in Germany, or AMF in France, the range of products it allows you to trade (not all platforms allow you to trade French 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 due diligence about the services and opportunities best suited for their risk, returns, and impact strategy.
Hope we helped, and leave your comments below.
Other FAQs about Robinhood
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 the selling of 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.