August 5, 2021

Robinhood takes E*Trade lessons almost to heart

The Robinhood App is displayed on a screen in this photo illustration January 29, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Illustration

NEW YORK, July 22 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Robinhood Markets has made playing the stock markets easy. Pinpointing the digital broker’s own value is anything but. Next week Robinhood will sell shares to investors in an initial public offering that puts its price tag at $33 billion. The problem is that Robinhood’s business, and valuation, is jacked up by the speculative fervor of the moment, which may not last. Investors have seen this tale before.

Predicting Robinhood’s future is hard because it has grown dramatically and suddenly, driven by an explosion of disposable income and speculation by retail investors, many of them first-timers who were cooped up by Covid-19. As the company’s customer accounts doubled to 22.5 million over the past year and…

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