Webull is one of the latest fintech companies that’s offering zero-free or discount brokerage services. Below we provide a thorough Webull review outlining; pros, cons, whether or not Webull is for you, how you can get started as well as how Webull compares to its competitors.
Since its foundation in 2017, Webull has helped more than 2 million investors engage in free stock trades. Webull is fast gaining traction in the market. Webull is regulated by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is a safe trading platform with top-tier financial authorities regulate it. The platform offers investor protection to a maximum of $500,000. It also provides a $250,000 limit for cash as delineated by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation’s (SIPC) protection scheme.
Webull Review – Pros and Cons
Webull gives users commission-free U.S. stock and ETF options for trading with no activity fees. Account opening is fast and secure. Moreover, the usability of the site is top-notch. The platform makes it easy for both professionals and beginners to watch-the-market, including specific stocks’ performance using their computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Webull’s technical tools will satisfy most, if not all, traders. Its charts are high-quality and user-friendly. You can choose from various charts, eg., such as bar charts, line charts, candlestick charts and Heiken Ashi. An exciting feature in their charting is their capital flow analytics. This chart provides you with insight into how big money is positioned in the short-term.
The site’s cons include a limited product portfolio as the platform only covers U.S. stocks and ETFs. Your entire experience on the site is online, and this may be a turn off as your user experience is confined to the app. Furthermore, you’re on your own in terms of building and managing your portfolio. Customer support is quite limited as the site offers no live chat and poor phone support.
The only customer support option available is via email and you are likely to wait for at least one hour before getting a reply to your email. The site’s FAQs page is also another option for customer support. The FAQ page gives you detailed information on opening an account, transfer of cash and stocks and funding. The page also has trading on the Webull section with information about tradable assets, commissions, and fees. The FAQ section has answers to basic questions. But if you need more details, you have to send an email or try to reach out to a Webull agent via phone.
|– Commission-free U.S. stock & ETF options |
– Account opening is fast and easy
– No minimum balance requirement for account opening
– Allows short-selling User-friendly app
|– Limited product portfolio|
– Only bank transfer for withdrawals & deposits
– Limited customer support
– Some advance features require membership
– You are on your own in building and managing your portfolio
Who is Webull For?
Webull is ideal for:
Young investors – The site is rich with research, making it easy for young investors to find the information they need without leaving the site. Moreover, Webull’s easy-to-use interface makes it ideal for those starting with investing.
Active investors – The app’s dashboard and research tool make it the best for those who don’t want to waste time managing their investment. You don’t have to log in every day to check your investments. Still, it is advisable to monitor your progress on an ongoing basis, and the platform makes it easy to do that.
You shouldn’t use Webull if you:
Want direction – If you want a platform where you set up your profile and the app handles everything else, Webull is not the best. Webull is a self-directed trading app designed for those who want a hands-on approach to building and managing a portfolio.
Want international investment opportunities – Webull specializes in U.S stocks. As such, if you want global options, you will not find opportunities on the platform. However, you can still get the best of both worlds by combining your Webull with other international investment strategies.
Like personal management – Traditional investing included having a trusted broker do the job of building and managing your portfolio. If you still prefer this traditional approach, then Webull is not the best for you.
Getting Started on Webull
First of all, setting up a Webull account requires you to be at least 18 years of age. Secondly, you cannot set up an account if you are outside the U.S. Your first step will be signing up by either using your mobile number or email. A verification code will be sent to you once you do that. Your next step will be filling in the ‘personal information’ segment, eg., your names, gender, date of birth, marital status, social security number, etc. Next, you will have to provide employment information or the student option if you are a student.
As you proceed with the signup, you’ll come to a phase that requires you to provide a bit of information about your investment strategy. The questions are relevant even if you’ve never invested before to help the site understand your strategy. Lastly, you’ll need to provide information about your finances, for instance, your annual income and total net worth. Once you’ve provided all the information, you’ll have to verify your identity.
Webull Features and Benefits
Although there are other apps out there for investing, we prefer Webull because of the following:
Low cost – You will never get stressed about fees with Webull. There aren’t any commissions or monthly deposit minimums, which gives you the chance to put more money into your portfolio.
Account approval is quick and easy – As long as you have a state-issued ID, account approval is easy and will only take you a few minutes.
Building your portfolio is easy – The site walks you through the process as you build your portfolio, depending on your goals and preferences.
Top-quality resources are available – When you join Webull, you get access to a dashboard that gives you real-time information about how the market performs. We found it eye-catching that as a user you have the ability to add stocks to your watchlist and keep an eye on them while considering your next move.
Pre-market & after-hours trading – Webull helps you gain an edge over the competition by offering pre-market and after-hours trading. If you are green in the field of investing, then you can check out the benefits of after-hours trading here. This option is unavailable on Robinhood, Webull’s biggest competitor, as you have to subscribe to Robinhood Gold to get this option.
Digital current investment – Webull plans to allow its users to invest in cryptocurrency. For now, you can sign up to be notified when it’s available.
Webull Review for Pricing & Fees
Webull has no required minimums and charges no commission for trading. However, just like any trading platform, you have to pay regulatory fees for certain transactions. Overall, Webull’s fee levels are low as they do not include advisory fees.
To get an idea of what those fees are, you need to understand two basic terms:
- Trading fees: Fees that occur when you trade, such as commissions, conversion fees, financing rates and spreads.
- Non-trading fees: Charges not related to trading, eg., withdrawal and inactivity fees.
In the case of stock investing, the only fee you’ll get is commission. The table below gives you an idea of the charges.
|Trading type||Fees||Applies To|
|Stock,ETF, options||$0.0000221 * Trade Amount (Min $0.01)||Sells|
|Stock/ETF||$0.000119 * Trade Volume Min $0.01 per – Max $5.95 per||Sells|
|Options||$0.002 * Number of Contracts (Min $0.01)||Sells|
|Options||$0.0388 * Number of Contracts||Buys & Sells|
|Options||$0.055 * Number of Contracts（Max $55 per Trade||Buys & Sells|
As you can see Webull’s trading fees are generally low. The platform has the same no-commission structure as Robinhood and Fidelity. Also, their margin rates are similar to those of most U.S brokers.
Webull Annual Margin Rates
|Margin Rate in $||7.0%||8.3%||5%|
Note: The margin rate varies depending on the size of the margin loan.
Webull Annual Margin Rates
|Less than $25K||6.99%|
|$25,000.01 – $100,000||6.49%|
|$100,000.01 – $250,000||5.99%|
|$250,000.01 – $500,000||5.49%|
|$500,000.01 – $1,000,000||4.99%|
|$1,000,000.01 – $3,000,000||4.49%|
|More than $3Million||3.99%|
We tested ACH (electronic) transfer and found that there are no deposit or withdrawal fees. However, wire transfers attract a high fee and Webull charges $75 a fee when you transfer securities from their platform to your account.
Webull vs. Competitors
Webull’s top competitors are Robinhood, Ally Invest, and E*Trade. Here’s how Webull performs compared to its competitors.
E*Trade – Similar to Webull, Etrade lets you invest. You have the option of self-managing your portfolio or having someone else manage it for you. You can get started with at least $500, with fees varying depending on the asset you’re trading. There are commissions for stocks, ETFs and options. Still, option trades start at $0.65 and futures at $1.50. Webull versus E*trade online reviews state that E*trade is better than Webull.
Ally Invest – This is another platform that lets you manage your portfolio or have the app do it for you. You need $100 if you want the latter. Also, opting for the managed option means that 30% of your investment is set aside as a cash buffer. On the other hand, the self-directed option lets you pay no fees except on option trades that come with a $0.50 contract fee. Check out this detailed Webull versus Ally Invest here.
Robinhood – Similar to Webull, Robinhood offers commission-free trades with a $0 account minimum required. The platform makes it easy for any beginner to get started with investing. Robinhood also has an effective platform that allows you to keep an eye on your investment.
One added advantage with Robinhood is that it lets you invest in fractional shares. You can build a portfolio based on the stocks you choose. You also don’t have to frustrate yourself with the math. All you have to do is decide how much you want to invest and let the platform handle dividing the funds into your preferred shares. Webull is better than Robinhood as it offers an easy-to-use trading platform, which makes it ideal for beginning investors.
Can We Trust Webull?
A popular question in the minds of most people is whether Webull is safe or legitimate? As stated earlier, Webull is regulated by top-tier financial authorities and has SIPC insurance that covers up to $500,000 for each account. The insurance protects you from the loss of cash and securities held at a brokerage firm.
Webull is registered with FINRA and has a clean broker check record. Whatsmore, the company has partnered with Apex Clearing, which is a leading and trustworthy clearing firm. Apex Clearing ensures that your money goes to the right place. Lastly, Webull’s high-encryption key keeps your information and account safe and secure.
Webull is the right brokerage for anyone who wants to invest in stocks, ETFs, and options but has little or no capital. As you can see, the platform is safe and legit as they have implemented the best practices.
What’s The Catch, Really?
Financial experts warn that if you are not paying for something, then you are definitely the product. This saying is true for free stock trading apps. However, Webull earns its revenue through a model known as payment for order flow. This means that large market-making firms will pay companies like Webull and Robinhood to associate with their client’s order flow before the rest of the market.
So how are Webull and Robinhood able to give their clients commission-free trading? The answer to that is order flow. A recent analysis showed that Robinhood makes more than ten times per dollar of order flow, unlike big brokers like TDAmeritrade and E*trade.
The truth is that Webull lacks some key features that would make it a force not to reckon with. They currently do not have support options like mutual funds, OTC OTC Bulletin Board, or Pink Sheets bonds. Stocks under $1 or a marketing cap of $10 million or less are also less restricted.
The Bottom Line
Since its foundation, Webull has made significant strides towards establishing its authority in the niche. The app has become quite popular with millennials and has managed to win over young frugal traders dissatisfied with Robinhood. Webull has features that outshine its competitor’s current offerings. Still, the choice between Webull and the rest of the apps ultimately comes down to your trading product preferences. If you want a variety of trading options, you’ll have to settle for the other apps. But if you only want stocks, then Webull is the best in the market.