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Robinhood is giving away $100,000 to recruit new investors - USA TODAY

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Robinhood, a popular online trading site that recently went public, is giving away $100,000 to recruit new investors. 

Robinhood — which reported a $501.7 million, or $2.16 per share, loss on Wednesday for the second quarter — is giving $500 away to 200 users who join or refer friends to the site.

Those who join by Monday must be approved by the company and link their bank account to the site by Aug. 27. 

The company said it will notify the 200 winners by Sept. 16 by email. The prize cannot be claimed for 30 days. 

The company has previously enticed new traders to join by giving away a share of stock to various other publicly traded companies.

Critics contend Robinhood's site engages in gamification, using  bright colors and congratulatory messages that can encourage impulsive and emotional investing behavior.

Robinhood, which became a publicly traded company on July 29, has altered some of its prior practices that drew criticism, and it does not allow minors to trade as all of its investors must be 18.

The company this summer was fined $70 million over outages and misleading and exposing customers to risky trading tools. The firm approved thousands of customers for options trading, but those customers did not satisfy the firm’s eligibility criteria, according to federal regulators. 

Robinhood, in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing prior to its initial public offering, said it had settled a wrongful death suit after Alex Kearns, a 20-year-old customer, died by suicide after believing he lost a significant amount of money by trading in options on the investment platform.

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