The Pros and Cons of Passive Investing on Robinhood


Passive investing has gained significant popularity in recent years, with many individual investors turning to platforms like Robinhood to embark on their investment journey. This method of investing involves buying and holding a diversified portfolio of assets, usually through low-cost index funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), rather than actively trading individual stocks. While passive investing offers several benefits, it also comes with its own set of drawbacks. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of passive investing on Robinhood, one of the leading online brokerage platforms.

Pros of Passive Investing on Robinhood


Passive investing on Robinhood is incredibly simple and straightforward. The platform offers easy access to a wide range of low-cost index funds and ETFs, allowing investors to build a diversified portfolio with just a few clicks. This simplicity makes passive investing a suitable option for beginner investors who may not have the time or expertise to actively trade stocks.


Passive investing on Robinhood is also cost-effective. The platform offers commission-free trading, meaning investors can buy and sell assets without incurring any trading fees. Additionally, the availability of low-cost index funds and ETFs allows investors to minimize their expense ratios, as these passive investment vehicles typically have lower management fees compared to actively-managed funds.


One of the key advantages of passive investing is its ability to provide diversification. By investing in a broad market index fund or ETF, investors gain exposure to a wide range of stocks or other asset classes. This diversification helps to mitigate the risk associated with individual stock holdings and reduces the impact of any one particular investment on the overall portfolio.

Long-Term Approach

Passive investing on Robinhood encourages a long-term approach to investing. Rather than trying to time the market or chase short-term gains, passive investors take a "buy-and-hold" strategy. They aim to hold their investments for an extended period, allowing their portfolio to benefit from long-term market growth. This approach is particularly suitable for investors with a low tolerance for risk or those seeking consistent, gradual returns.

Cons of Passive Investing on Robinhood

Lack of Control

One of the primary drawbacks of passive investing on Robinhood is the lack of control. Passive investors rely on the performance of their chosen index funds or ETFs, which are typically designed to track a specific market index. This means they have little control over individual stock selection or portfolio allocation. For investors who prefer an active role in managing their investments, this lack of control can be a significant drawback.

Limited Customization

Robinhood's passive investing options are mostly limited to index funds and ETFs. While these investment vehicles offer broad market exposure, they may not align with specific investment goals or preferences. Investors seeking more customization, such as investing in specific sectors or themes, may find the available options on Robinhood too restrictive.

Potential for Underperformance

Although passive investing aims to match the returns of a particular market index, there is still a potential for underperformance. Factors such as tracking error or lackluster performance of specific assets within the index can lead to slightly lower returns compared to the benchmark. While the impact may be minimal in the long run, some investors may be dissatisfied with anything less than market-beating returns.

Market Volatility

Passive investing exposes investors to market volatility. As index funds or ETFs track specific market indices, they are subject to the ups and downs of the overall market. During periods of market downturns or increased volatility, passive investors may experience significant declines in their portfolio value. This volatility can be unsettling for investors who prefer more stable investments.


Passive investing on Robinhood offers several advantages, including simplicity, cost-effectiveness, diversification, and a long-term approach. It is particularly appealing to beginner investors or those seeking a hands-off approach to investing. However, there are also drawbacks to consider, such as the lack of control, limited customization options, the potential for underperformance, and exposure to market volatility.

Ultimately, the decision to engage in passive investing on Robinhood should be based on an individual's investment goals, risk tolerance, and personal preferences. It is important to thoroughly research and understand the pros and cons before diving into passive investing. Seeking advice from a financial advisor or utilizing educational resources provided by Robinhood can help investors make informed decisions and maximize the potential benefits of passive investing.

25 October 2023
Written by John Roche