- Frustrated traders occasionally show up at Robinhood’s California headquarters, The New York Times reported.
- According to the paper, things got so bad that Robinhood eventually installed bulletproof glass near the entrance.
- Update: A Robinhood representative clarified that the glass is not technically “bulletproof,” as the Times said, but more widely available protective barrier.
- The app pioneered free stock trading, but its gamelike interface and availability of highly risky products have put it under intense scrutiny.
So many frustrated traders have showed up at Robinhood’s Silicon Valley headquarters that the stock-trading app installed bulletproof glass, The New York Times reported this week.
An explosion of stock-market volatility as the global economy grapples with a pandemic, coupled with record unemployment, has caused a surge in interest for the app, which pioneered commission-free stock trading for a much younger audience than traditional brokerages.
But as Robinhood grew, it added more complex products that are inherently risky. Those products, combined with Robinhood’s gamelike interface and relative lack of educational features that are prominent on older platforms, mean there’s real risk of massive losses for the platform’s traders, who are about 31 years old on average. The company declined to share user portfolio performance with the Times.