The Internet has created a mentality that everything should be free. People don't want to pay for anything anymore it seems, and that is especially true of millennials.
In the world of stock trading, investors have never had it so good. I guess the vast majority don't remember the time (before the Internet) when you had to physically go into a broker, talk to someone, and hand them a check to open an account. Making a trade meant you had to pick up the phone and again actually talk to a real person who would place the trade. The cost? At least $30 with the cheapest brokers and higher for others.
Full service brokers (which are still around) charge A LOT more than that per trade because you get to talk to your personal financial expert at any time plus you get access to the companies proprietary research. But I assume full service brokers are a dying industry which just caters to old, rich folk.
Online Discount Brokers Made It Very CheapNow in 2017 we have had online discount brokers for a good 15 years or longer and the trading fees for those keep going down. Most charge between $4.95 and $9.99 per trade which is dirt cheap compared to prices of yesteryear. Thats significantly cheaper than it used to cost and you can do it all online by yourself and make the trades almost instantly.
But even cheap isn't good enough anymore so Robinhood had to give free trading a go. Free is always better with the younger crowd and so the service is doing well I hear in getting customers. But is Robinhood a real stock broker where you would want to put serious savings and retirement money?