The stock trading app Robinhood, notorious for its actions against GameStop and other “meme stock” investors, has kicked off a nationwide effort to convince students to trade stocks using its app, including a $20,000 giveaway offering to young people.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Robinhood, the online stock trading app, is kicking off a nationwide campaign to appeal to younger traders. The company is attempting to convert college students across the country into Robinhood customers, offering them $15 to trade when they sign up with their school email address and entering them into a $20,000 giveaway.
Robinhood rose to prominence earlier this year as retail investors rushed to buy and sell shares in GameStop Corp. as the companies value appeared to skyrocket. Robinhood reported earlier this year that its media user age was 31 years old and that more than half of its customers had not previously opened a brokerage account. Currently, Robinhood boasts more than 3.8 million student customers. Robinhood was harshly criticized after it stopped customers from trading GameStop and similar meme stocks, a movie that ultimately resulted in Congress calling the company’s CEO to testify about his actions.
But trading activity has started to slow across the industry and Robinhood has seen the daily average number of stock trades remain flat for most of the second quarter in comparison to a year earlier. Robinhood’s product chief, Aparna Chennapragada, said that the marketing efforts are part of a continuation of Robinhood’s mission to make investing easily accessible to people who have not previously participated in trading.
Chennapragada said that the campaign is about “meeting the next generation where they are” and informing college students that by investing young they can see the benefits of compound interest over decades.
However, some are not happy with Robinhoods courting of students and its gamifying of stock trading that could encourage inexperienced investors to take risks they don’t fully understand. Robinhood settled a wrongful-death lawsuit earlier this year taken against the company by the family of a college student who committed suicide after incorrectly believing that he had racked up massive trading losses on the app.
Robinhood paid almost $70 million to resolve allegations from regulators that it approved ineligible traders for risky strategies. Robinhood neither admitted nor denied the claims.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org