RobinHood – my Favorite phone game

For the most part my video game play max leveled with Mario cart 64, expect those few times I beat a Halo with Trenton or Clint or Ty Ty. In the last three months or so I’ve finally found a game on my phone that’s entertaining to me. It’s called Robin Hood, which is a fee free stock trading broker app. Robin’s only interface is mobile; they do not offer phone supported trades, or have a traditional website interface, yet. What they do offer is 100% commission free trading which has completely changed how I buy stocks.

When you reach a certain asset level fidelity can be convinced to offer you a handful of free trades every year. Otherwise you’re looking at 7$ fee for each trade. Other companies offer similar fee based trades, I use fidelity. Because of the fee to buy and sell I generally think and calculate trades and wait to have enough money involved to offset the cost. 14$ total in and out of the trade means you need to make that much plus 15-25% tax on the gain to break even so you better be buying 10, 100, or 1000 shares of something. Unless you trading out of your IRA then the tax can be ignored.

With Robin hood the trades are free, so you don’t need to calculate the cost. This morning I bought one share of NFLX and had 11$ left over. In the past I’d let 11$ sit there until it was enough to buy something. 11-7 = no buying power.

Robin Hood is rad for tiny Stocks

With robin hood 11$ means you can purchase 11$ in stocks. My new game has been finding what I call filler stocks. Finding the filler stocks has been the fun part of the game for me. I currently use stocktwits and a few other sources to search sub 4$ NYSE or NASDAQ stocks to buy. My 11$ of left over money became three more shares of LYG this morning. For budgeting and buying wife gifts with money she does not know about reasons, I deposit a few hundred dollars every pay period into my “play” account. The left overs in this account I invest at the time of the next pay period unless I’ve saving up to get Michelle some brilliant surprise.

Unless I’m being extremely diligent, or saving, or I do the rare selling of a stock I’m only transferring 20-200$ into the robin hood account at a time. I’d like to be buying AMZN every time they drop but they’re a 500$ stock so I don’t own any in the Robin Hood account yet. I do have a few TGT shares because I can purchase one of those and a few filler stocks with a transfer. Right now I appear to suck at the robin hood game; down 13% year to date. But I don’t really mind the short term drop.

Like looking at the scale every day sometimes you have a bad day. It’s the long term trend that matters to me. This year has been a bad year across the board anyhow. I’m ok with a month or two of drop because I’m long term and long term it means good stocks are cheaper now. If I could I’d buy more.

Prosper is Long term

Last year all of my left overs were transferred to where you can buy parts of loans. Prosper has shown a pretty consistent 11% return for me over the last few years but the investment is not liquid at all. To get your money out you have to take a big hit selling your loan pieces second market or you have to wait up to 5 years for the loan to pay out. Generally, I’m a long term value investor but last year we built a house with cash and needed to be more liquid. The liquidity need caused me to become annoyed with prosper and find robin hood. We’ve now setup a HELOC on the finished house and don’t need the liquidly as much, but I still don’t plan on putting any more into prosper.

Might not be adding but I will continue to reinvest the payments I receive back into prosper loans for the next 10 years. Then I’ll slowly take the payments out to roll down prosper to zero for the age 55 retirement goal. Or I might keep it going and use the monthly payments as some monthly income. Not 100% sure here. I have a decade or so to think about it I guess.

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