This easy investment tool encourages teens to dabble in trading, but there are potential risks. Stock investing has recently joined the ranks of tasks that can be completed with a few clicks, thanks, in large part, to Robinhood: Investing for All. As its name implies, the user-friendly finance app invites anyone to play the stock market like a seasoned Wall Street shark. And, with its simple setup process and incredibly streamlined, intuitive interface, Robinhood pretty much lives up to that promise. Toss in free trades, interest back on uninvested balances, and the ability to kick-start a portfolio with mere pennies, and it can feel like an offer you can't refuse.
The hurdle-free process of becoming a player in the stock market can almost feel video game-like, where gains and losses are reflected quickly, right alongside your spiking -- or dropping -- adrenaline. But Robinhood's low barrier to entry, ease of use, and ability to deliver real-time thrills are a double-edged sword. For novice investors looking to cautiously dip their toes into the market -- while also smartly supplementing their financial schooling beyond the app's bare-bones tools -- Robinhood can serve as a great place to start. But inexperienced investors with a fresh paycheck, a penchant for gambling, and some unfounded confidence could quickly find themselves in over their heads. In the right, responsible hands (you must be 18 or older to open an account), Robinhood's accessibility makes it one of the best options for new investors. That same lack of obstacles, however, could open a path to financial ruin for anyone who approaches the stock market as they would a quick game of Candy Crush Saga. So, parents will want to take an active interest if their teen is using the app.