Robinhood says people are tired of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger acting like they’re the only oracles of investing

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Robinhood cofounder Vlad Tenev, Warren Buffett, and Charlie Munger. Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch/REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Robinhood on Monday hit back at statements that Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger made at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting on Saturday.

Both veteran investors had accused the trading app of conditioning retail traders to treat the stock market as a casino and enabling speculation among them.

The brokerage said the two had insulted a new generation of investors.

“If the last year has taught us anything, it is that people are tired of the Warren Buffetts and Charlie Mungers of the world acting like they are the only oracles of investing,” Jacqueline Ortiz Ramsay, Robinhood’s head of public policy communications, wrote in a blog post. “And at Robinhood, we’re not going to sit back while they disparage everyday people for taking control of their financial lives.”

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The Wall Street Journal reported that millions of amateur traders downloaded the Robinhood app in the first quarter of 2021, dashing in to experience the financial democratization it promises.

But Buffett described Robinhood traders who entered the stock market over the past year and a half as “casino participants” and accused the app of taking advantage of gambling instincts. He criticized it for offering commission-free trades and routing its orders to high-speed traders.

Munger said it was “god-awful that something like that would draw investment from civilized man and decent citizens.”

The brokerage has said its platform opens up investing to people who don’t need huge sums of money to make stock trades.

“It is clear that the elites benefited from a stock market that kept many families sidelined from participating while they amassed huge wealth from decades of investing – driving a deep wedge between the haves and have-nots,” Ortiz Ramsay said.

“Suddenly, Robinhood and other online trading platforms have opened the doors of financial markets to everyday people, deeply unsettling the old guard who will fight to keep things the same.”