Best answer


Payment for order flow is controversial because while traders using Robinhood get some amount of what’s known as price improvement,they may not get the best possible price. This usually amounts to cents,or even fractions of a cent,per share,but as you can see from Robinhood’s revenue,all those tiny amounts of money add up pretty quickly.

People also ask


  • Is payment for order flow a good or bad idea?

  • This practice is a good idea for the brokerages and trading firms that profit from the practice. However, for most individual investors, it isn鈥檛 a good thing. Payment for order flow introduces conflicts of interest that ultimately have the potential to cost you money.

  • What would happen if brokers didn’t pay for order flow?

  • One of the biggest benefits of payment for order flow for retail investors is price improvement, many brokers say. Without it, liquidity for trades would decrease and spreads would increase, which could mean worse pricing for retail investors, said Bob Cortright, CEO at DriveWealth, which provides trading software for fintech.

  • What is pay order flow (PFOF)?

  • Payment for order flow (PFOF) is the compensation and benefit a brokerage firm receives for directing orders to different parties for trade execution. The brokerage firm receives a small payment, usually fractions of a penny per share, as compensation for directing the order to a particular market maker.

  • Should market makers be paid for order flow?

  • A key to profitability for a market maker is the ability to play both sides of as many trades as possible. In a particular payment for order flow scenario, a broker is receiving fees from a third party, at times without a client’s knowledge. This naturally invites conflicts of interest and subsequent criticism of this practice.