Robinhood Markets has repeatedly said that its clients are maturing into cautious investors who buy and hold stocks. Enthusiastic cryptocurrency trading dominated the second-quarter statistics released on Wednesday.
Options and cryptocurrencies are far more heavily weighted in Robinhood’s revenue model than stocks, and it’s unclear whether that will change in the coming months.
If Robinhood (ticker: HOOD) is intended to be a site for individuals to invest their retirement funds, its customer model for the first two quarters of 2021 does not indicate it. in a quarter without the buzz of GameStop or the rise of Dogecoin, the company’s profitability could be disastrous. It could be disastrous.
According to Robinhood, this is on track to happen by the end of this quarter. After experiencing rapid growth at the beginning of the year, Robinhood expects a “significant decline in new funded accounts” and a “decline in revenues” in the third quarter. On Thursday morning, the company’s stock was down 9 percent.
Cryptocurrency trading accounted for 41 percent of Robinhood’s revenue, up from 17 percent in the first quarter, while Dogecoin accounted for 62 percent of total revenue, more than double all equity trading combined.
Cryptocurrency and options trading accounted for 63% of Robinhood’s transaction-based revenue in the first half (overall, trading accounted for 80% of Robinhood’s revenue, with the remainder coming from interest rates and subscription services).
Robinhood’s goal is to increase the total number of people investing in the market. However, this expansion is not the only benefit. The company’s performance is more dependent on volatility than on the expansion of its customer base.
This is reflected in the company’s second-quarter results. While the number of customers more than doubled year over year to 22.5 million versus 9.8 million, Robinhood’s revenue from equity trading declined year over year.
As a result, it became inefficient to model results based on the number of customers. Instead, Robinhood is becoming an app for investment enthusiasts who rely on buzz to drive trading volume.
According to CFO Jason Warnick, volatile trading has become “a very big tailwind,” but “it’s extremely difficult to predict whether this will continue or recur. As such, Robinhood does not provide detailed financial forecasts for the coming quarters.
One of the optimistic arguments for the stock is that as Robinhood’s young traders get older and richer, they will put more money into the project.
That’s one of the main reasons Red Barn analyst Charles Bendit issued a buy recommendation this week. However, it is unclear whether Robinhood will be able to retain its key customers.
Stephen Chuback, an analyst at Wolfe Research, said on the call that Robinhood appears to be losing larger accounts to rival brokerages who have moved money out of Robinhood using a technology called ACATS.
People who move their money out of Robinhood using a technology called ACATS have about four times the assets of the average Robinhood customer. ACATS, or Automated Customer Account Movement Service, allows people to move money automatically from one broker to another.
According to securities filings, 206,000 customers used ACATS to move $4.1 billion out of Robinhood in the first quarter, with an average account value of $19,900. This equates to 5% of Robinhood’s assets under management. A typical Robinhood customer has $4,500 in their account.
In response, CEO Vlad Tenev said, “The number of ACATS seems high because people with a large number of accounts tend to use the system, but people with a small number of accounts can transfer funds in other ways. In addition, Robinhood only allows ACATS transfers outside the platform, not within it.
It plans to allow inbound transfers soon. Wernick added that the company’s “churn” (customer turnover rate) shows no demographic trends to worry about.
The first question Robinhood investors asked on the call was whether the company would soon offer some kind of retirement plan, and Tenev said there are several types of accounts “on our radar,” but when they will be introduced he gave no timeline for when they would be introduced.
Shortly, Robinhood may expand into new markets. When asked about product expansion plans for next year, Wernick mentioned the addition of securities lending, a cash management platform, and new cryptocurrencies.