Back to Basics: Robinhood Debuts In-App Learning Tools

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Robinhood, after being accused last year of luring inexperienced investors to open accounts and make trades, on Tuesday launched new educational tools on its trading app.

The “Learn the Basics” modules are the first in a series to help customers understand the fundamentals of investing before making their first trade, the company said in its blog. The course explains why people invest, what the stock market is and how it works, and how to define investing goals. The new in-app tools complement the company’s online resource hub “Robinhood Learn,” which offers articles on financial terms, concepts, and timely market trends.

The push to provide its traders with more education comes after Robinhood Markets last month filed confidentially for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It also addresses some of the concerns Massachusetts securities regulators had over the company’s practices. The Massachusetts Securities Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth filed a complaint against the company in December, accusing it of aggressively marketing its trading platform to naive investors and gamifying its app to keep them trading.

Among other things, Massachusetts regulators called out the confetti that rained down on users’ apps whenever a customer achieved a trading milestone, like a first trade or first account deposit. Last week, Robinhood replaced the confetti with less party-like animations.  

In addition to introducing new learning modules, the company says it has started rolling out phone support for issues related to options trading and account security through a new in-app contact feature. With a tap on the phone, users can request to speak with a registered financial representative by phone and get help with transfers, such as withdrawing money, and issues with selling.