In my last journal entry I finished by saying I was excited to see what happened on Monday. It sure was exciting! The DOW had it’s biggest one day move up since 2009. There was so much momentum, so much potential, so much money that could have been made . . . unless you have Robinhood as your broker.
Within the first half hour of the market bell, Robinhood seemed to be freezing up. Quotes weren’t loading and my option prices stopped fluctuating with the market. At first I wasn’t too concerned as Robinhood has it fair share of quirks. It’s not unusual for the platform to be a bit laggy or delayed. However, this went on for longer than normal and no amount of reloading the app was fixing the issue.
Still I was not overly concerned. I’d had no plans to open any new positions, and the positions I had open were moving in the right direction. Later in the morning, I checked Twitter and discovered the truth of the matter. Robinhood had crashed big time and was experiencing major outages. This would be bad enough anytime, but this happened on one of the biggest trading days of the last decade!
Needless to say, I found a lot of upset people on Twitter about Robinhood’s crash. Traders with orders they needed to cancel, traders who couldn’t get orders filled in order to participate in this crazy momentum in the market; they were all raging and powerless. And they raged all the harder for that. The threats of lawsuits piled high. The more real threats of leaving Robinhood poured in. I imagine even as I’m writing this that customers are streaming away from Robinhood by the hundreds.
The craziest thing is that this outage of Robinhood’s platform did not just last a few hours. (And that would have been bad.) No, this outage lasted the ENTIRE day! I tried to imagine the chaos, the screaming, the panic, at Robinhood HQ yesterday . . . it must have been a nightmare to work there yesterday.
While I was not panicked at all yesterday, I did realize I no longer have any confidence to trade with size with Robinhood. This is the second time in as many weeks that I’ve been grateful for the small size of my account. What does this mean for me? It means I will keep on trading, and growing, and learning with my current micro-account of $200. But if I grow this account bigger, or as I have the opportunity to add more funds, I will not be adding them to Robinhood.
I was fine yesterday. I did not lose money. My sky did not fall, but I realized that as I grow into a serious trader, I will need a serious trading platform and brokerage to trade with. Robinhood is not that. I’m grateful to Robinhood for all that it has allowed me to learn so cheaply, and I don’t think I will ever close my account. However, I don’t know if I can trust this company anymore with a significant amount of money. At the very least, any future recommendations I give to people to use Robinhood will come with a big disclaimer.
I’m interested to see where this story goes from here, and how Robinhood will handle this huge hiccup in their progress as a company. If you have any thoughts, questions, or comments about all of this I would love to hear them. Please leave a comment below!