Vanguard vs Robinhood 2024

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf


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In the world of online brokerages, both Vanguard and Robinhood are giants. Vanguard, renowned as a pioneer of low-cost index funds, caters mostly to long-term investors. Robinhood, on the other hand, disrupted the stock market with its commission-free trading platform.

As curious investors seek the best platform – it’s time we dive deep into Robinhood vs Vanguard.

Vanguard is Better for:Robinhood is Better for:
Best for long-term, buy-and-hold investors.Excellent for commission-free stock trading.
Perfect for those seeking mutual funds and retirement accounts.Ideal for active traders and younger demographics.
Ideal for investors who prefer a legacy investment firm.Perfect for crypto enthusiasts.

Introducing the Platforms


Vanguard is an established name in the investment world. With its wide range of mutual funds, ETFs, and other investment vehicles, Vanguard has long catered to the buy-and-hold investor. Their platform prioritizes long-term financial goals, providing an impressive array of tools to help achieve them.


Robinhood shook up the individual investor services market with its user-friendly interface and promise of commission-free trades. Targeting a younger demographic, it offers a unique blend of stock, options, and cryptocurrency trading services. It’s the go-to app for those desiring control of trading without being bogged down by fees.

For a closer look at Robinhood, read our comprehensive review of the platform and all of its features, pros, and cons.

Vanguard Logo Robinhood logo
Type of Service Legacy brokerage with mutual funds Modern stock trading app
Best Use Long-term investments Active stock and crypto trading
Customer Support Email, phone, limited chat feature Email, Robinhood Snacks
Investment Minimum Varies by fund $0
Current Promotion

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Modest Money Overall Rating
3.7 rating based on 5 ratings
4.0 rating based on 5 ratings

Factor 1: Range of Offerings

Robinhood offers a unique mix of stocks, options, and crypto

  • Vanguard boasts an expansive list of mutual funds and ETFs.
  • Robinhood wins with diverse trading options.

Vanguard is known for its wide variety of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. Catering to buy-and-hold investors, the platform offers investment access to everything from bond funds to international stocks. This impressive array is particularly beneficial for those aiming to diversify their portfolios.

Robinhood, though newer, provides a refreshing selection of individual stocks, options, and even cryptocurrency trading. It appeals to those who desire a more active trading environment. The ability to engage in commission-free stock trading and crypto trading in the same app gives Robinhood a distinct edge.

Factor 2: Fees and Costs

Robinhood offers commission-free trades and has no maintenance fees

  • Vanguard has management and maintenance fees.
  • Robinhood leads in cost-saving for traders.

While Vanguard is a powerhouse, it does come with its own set of fees. Depending on the investment fund or service chosen, investors might encounter management or maintenance fees. Although many of its mutual funds have a reputation for low costs, it’s essential to be aware of the expenses.

Robinhood, in stark contrast, revolutionized the industry with its commission-free trading. Whether you’re trading stocks, options, or cryptocurrencies, Robinhood ensures you aren’t weighed down by additional fees. For the cost-conscious trader, this platform is a clear winner.

Factor 3: User Interface and Tools

Robinhood sports a sleek, modern design with real-time data and technical indicators

  • Vanguard offers a traditional, functional interface with investment calculators.
  • Robinhood is favored for its intuitive and user-friendly design.

Vanguard’s platform provides a stable, no-frills experience. The tools available, such as investment calculators and research materials, assist investors in making informed decisions. Though functional, its design leans more toward the legacy brokerages.

Robinhood dazzles with its modern design. The platform provides real-time data, coupled with technical indicators, making it ideal for active traders. Its ease of use, especially for the tech-savvy generation, makes it stand out in the crowd.

Factor 4: Customer Support

Vanguard offers a mix of traditional support avenues

  • Robinhood provides more modern methods, including Robinhood Snacks.
  • Vanguard edges out slightly due to its broader range of support channels.

Vanguard is built on the traditional model of customer service. They offer phone support, email, and a limited chat feature, making it relatively easy for investors to reach out with questions or concerns. The strength of Vanguard lies in its legacy approach, providing a touch of personalization.

Robinhood, while modern in its trading platform, does face criticism for its customer service. While it has unique methods like Robinhood Snacks, a digestible financial news source, it has been flagged for slow response times and poor customer service in some user reviews. It’s a tech-forward approach, but some users might miss the personal touch.

Factor 5: Investment Types and Flexibility

Robinhood shines with its variety, including stocks, options, and crypto trading

  • Vanguard is recognized for mutual funds and long-term investment vehicles.
  • For flexibility and diversity, Robinhood takes the lead.

Vanguard has carved its niche in the world of mutual funds. The platform’s strengths are its wide range of mutual funds, ETFs, and long-term investment vehicles. For those seeking a diversified portfolio, especially for retirement, Vanguard is a trusted name.

Robinhood, with its fresh approach, offers traders a diverse array of investment choices. From commission-free stock trading to the buzz of cryptocurrency trades, Robinhood caters to a different audience. Active traders, particularly those looking to dabble in stocks, options, and crypto, will find Robinhood more aligned with their needs.

The Verdict

When putting Robinhood vs Vanguard on the scales, both have their unique strengths. Vanguard, with its rich history, caters to the long-term, buy-and-hold investors. It’s the go-to platform for those eyeing retirement and a diversified portfolio. Its strength lies in its legacy and a vast array of mutual funds.

Robinhood, on the other hand, is the poster child of modern online brokerages. Its commission-free trading model, coupled with an intuitive user interface, appeals to the newer generation of traders. Active traders, especially those keen on diversifying across stocks, options, and cryptocurrency, will find Robinhood more attuned to their rhythm.

For traders seeking a fresh, modern approach with a plethora of choices, Robinhood emerges as the preferred choice. Whether you’re a beginner investor or an active trader, Robinhood offers an experience that’s hard to beat. Click here to sign up today and embark on your trading journey with a platform that’s reshaping the world of online brokerages.

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Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He’s a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.