Thursday, March 4, 2021

Michael Bolton invites Robinhood users to break up with their app

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A rival to Robinhood is encouraging users to dump the stock-trading app in favor of its own — and it’s tapping Michael Bolton to seal the deal.

Public — a New York-based startup that’s looking to capitalize on Robinhood’s recent trouble with regulators and customers alike — tweeted out a video on Tuesday of the breakup balladeer singing a version of his 1989 hit “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?”

The new track, “How Am I Supposed to Trade Without You?” follows an acrimonious end to the “Reddit Rally,” in which users accused Robinhood of tanking shares of companies like GameStop and AMC Entertainment with surprise trading restrictions.

In the new lyrics, a straight-faced Bolton delves into accusations that Robinhood sells “order flow” to big hedge funds like Citadel Investments whose financial interests aren’t aligned with those of mom-and-pop investors.

“I could hardly believe it, What I saw on Reddit today,” Bolton croons as a piano tinkles in the background. “Was hoping that I’d get it straight from you. They told me ’bout ‘order flow,’ So I Googled, now I know — I think I gotta find somebody new.”

“So tell me all about it — tell me who you sell my trades to,” Bolton belts out, perched in a recording studio amid spliced-in stock footage of flaming roses, a shattered wine glass and a guy walking alone on a beach.

“Tell me how am I supposed to trade without you? My stocks been in your app for oh so long.”

Public, which currently claims 1 million users versus Robinhood’s 13 million, allows customers to buy fractional shares of stocks and ETFs. On Wednesday, Public said it had raised a new $220 million funding round from existing investors.

The company also said it no longer engages in payment for order flow, and that it is now routing its trades directly to exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange while encouraging users to tip on their trades.

“I think it’s time I must be moving on,” Bolton sings, closing out the pitch. “Gonna transfer all my stuff and I’ll be gone!”



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