Coolest Brands 2016: Robinhood

Cracking the Millennial Code

  • Philip Ryan
  • February 16, 2016
  • 1

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / merydollaNo one’s quite sure how to win over those pesky, penniless, yet prized customers known as millennials — except Robinhood already has. When the equity-trading-for-free app launched in March 2015, it had already amassed a waiting list of 800,000 people. The average age of an account holder is 26, according to a report from CNN Money — not bad for an investment product.

Robinhood was created by a pair of Stanford University grads mistrustful of the financial system. But banks and credit unions would do well to look at what makes Robinhood so popular (free, free, free!). One — BankMobile, also on this list — already has. And the founders of Robinhood have their eyes on enterprises. Their pitch? We know millennials better than you do, and we know how we are going to make money despite charging consumers ziltch (expect Robinhood to offer its customer margin accounts later this year). Few traditional investment houses could credibly argue that they have attained the expertise exhibited by Robinhood.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism. He can be reached at

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Cracking the Millennial Code

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