Webull is an investing app that offers no-commission trading. Before the recent onslaught of brokers dropping their online trading commissions to zero, Webull was one of the few options available, along with Robinhood, for true commission-free trading. Now that the competitive landscape has shifted, investors will have to dig deeper into Webull’s overall offerings to determine if it’s the best available option. Here’s a look at the inner workings of the Webull app to help you determine how it ranks compared to competitors and if it wins the Webull vs. Robinhood debate.
Webull offers a complete, commission-free trading platform in the palm of your hand. Its array of research tools sets Webull apart as one of GOBankingRates’ picks for the Best Investment Apps of 2019-2020. But the cluttered interface isn’t ideally suited for newer investors, and the newly widespread availability of commission-free trading from major brokers pushes Webull down in the rankings.
|Promotion||Open and fund account to receive two stocks valued at up to $1,000; receive up to $1,500 for transferring accounts from another broker|
- About Webull
- Pros and Cons of Webull
- Webull at a Glance
- Individual Services Reviews
- What Webull Is Best For
- Where Webull Falls Short
- Current Promotions
- Comparison: Webull vs. Other Brokers
- Should You Invest With Webull?
Webull was founded for the purpose of merging technology and finance, which is evident in one of the firm’s slogans: “Enjoy tech. Enjoy investing.” To that end, the company has developed a self-directed, all-in-one investing platform that provides advanced technology for zero commissions. The brokerage arm of the firm, Webull Financial LLC, is a registered broker-dealer with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is also a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Webull offers users access to in-depth charts and analyst ratings, which is in part why it’s among GOBankingRates’ Best Brokers of 2019-2020.
Webull’s main strength is its mobile-based, commission-free trading. But the firm also has some capabilities in addition to some drawbacks.
- $0 commission
- No account minimums
- After-hours trading
- User interface is not optimal for beginners
- Investors currently can only buy or sell stocks, exchange-traded funds and American depositary receipts
Here’s a quick overview of the features and costs of Webull:
|Webull at a Glance|
|Option Commission||Options are coming soon but are not currently available|
|Commission-Free ETFs||All listed ETFs|
|Zero-Transaction-Fee Mutual Funds||No mutual funds available|
|Investment Selection||Stocks, ADRs, ETFs; options coming soon|
|Customer Service||24/7 online chat assistance|
|Mobile App||You can only open accounts and trade by downloading the mobile app|
|News and Research||Users have access to extensive news and research on stocks|
|Current Promotion||Open and fund account and receive two stocks valued at up to $1,000; receive up to $1,500 for transferring accounts from another broker|
Although Webull offers a limited overall experience compared with many of its online competitors, it does provide a competitive product in certain key areas. Here’s a look at how Webull delivers in several important investment categories.
The Webull trading experience is optimized for its mobile app, although desktop and web versions are also available. All options provide access to the complete Webull experience, including advanced charting capabilities and 24/7 help.
Extended-hours trading is a nice feature of the Webull platform, offering full premarket and after-hours trading. These extended trading hours run from 4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Eastern time and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Free real-time quotes are another advantage of the Webull platform. Other features available on the platform include analyst ratings, financial calculators and in-depth charts.
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Webull has no account or investment minimums.
Commissions and fund expenses are simple at Webull. Investors don’t pay any commissions for any trades. Granted, the investment roster at Webull is still quite limited, as investors can only buy or sell stocks, ETFs and ADRs for the time being. Unlike many other firms, Webull has no roster of no-fee mutual funds. But commissions for all trades remain at $0.
Webull routes orders in an attempt to improve the price that customers receive on their orders and the overall quality of the execution.
In exchange for this process, Webull might receive payment, known as payment for order flow. This is a standard policy in the industry as a whole and is one of the ways that no-commission firms like Webull can still remain profitable.
Webull has plenty of advanced capabilities for expert traders, including charting and analysis tools. The interface isn’t very user-friendly, though. Newer investors, especially those trying do-it-yourself trading for the first time, might find Webull a bit complicated to use.
Webull is based around merging technology and investing, and to that end, the primary way to access the Webull trading platform is via an app that is also downloadable for use on desktops. Although users can log in to their accounts using the Webull webpage, all trading capabilities are app-based.
Webull is primarily a stock trader’s app. Although users can buy or sell ADRs and ETFs, there are no other trading capabilities. Unlike with most other firms, this means you can’t use the Webull app to buy common investments such as mutual funds or bonds, but the firm has indicated that options trading will soon become available.
Webull provides extensive news and research on stocks, but you’ll have to dig a bit to get to it. For each stock, the Webull app pulls up an advanced, customizable chart providing numerous data points. On the right side of the screen, users have access to data tabs for quotes, news, financials, press releases and analysis. The analysis tab alone has a wealth of information, providing everything from analyst ratings and price targets to short interest data and institutional holdings info.
On the upside, Webull offers 24-hour customer service with live representatives. On the downside, this 24/7 live help is accessible only via online chat.
Webull clears all of its trades through Apex Clearing, which provides the security for the account. Apex’s security protocols are typical within the industry and include encryption technology, firewalls and user authentication systems such as passwords and personal identification numbers. Apex also employs access control mechanisms to restrict access to systems and data.
One of Webull’s major strengths is its low costs. Commission-free trading is an important part of Webull’s identity as a broker. Webull also has no account minimums or maintenance fees.
As with most firms, Webull charges additional fees for various services. Most are typical, such as fees for outgoing wire transfers, the mailing of paper statements and for transferring out an account. However, Webull also charges fees for incoming wire transfers.
Margin rates at Webull run from 6.99% for loans of up to $25,000 to 3.99% for loans of at least $3 million.
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Webull performs best in the following categories:
- Mobile and emerging tech
- Commissions and fund expenses
- News and research
- Account and investment minimums
Webull is lacking on a relative basis in the following areas:
- Customer service
- Range of offerings and investment selection
Webull currently offers three concurrent promotions, two of which involve free stock. When you first open an account, you’ll receive a stock valued at up to $250. Then, after funding your account, you’ll receive an additional stock with a value of up to $1,000. The final promotion applies to incoming account transfers, which generate an Amazon gift card in the following amounts:
- $30 for incoming transfers of $2,000-$10,000
- $50 for incoming transfers of $10,000-$24,999
- $250 for incoming transfers of $25,000-$99,999
- $350 for incoming transfers of $100,000-$249,999
- $700 for incoming transfers of $250,000-$499,999
- $1,500 for incoming transfers of $500,000 or more
Webull will also reimburse outgoing transfer fees of up to $100 from your prior firm when you transfer at least $2,000.
October 2019 was a time of dramatic transformation in the online brokerage world, as most major firms now offer $0 commissions. As this used to be one of the prime differentiators for Webull, the firm is starting to fade relative to its competitors. Here’s a look at how Webull now stacks up against its competitors when it comes to three important criteria: account minimums, stock commissions and new account promotions.
|Broker||Stock Commission||Account Minimum||Promotion|
|Webull||$0||$0||Open and fund account and receive two stocks valued at up to $1,000; receive up to $1,500 for transferring in accounts|
|E-Trade||$0||$0||$100 to $2,500 for transfers from at least $5,000 to at least $1 million|
|Merrill Edge||$2.95||$0||Up to $600 in cash with new account deposit|
|Firstrade||$0||$0||Up to $200 in transfer fee rebates|
|Robinhood||$0||$0||1 share of free stock when your brokerage application is approved|
|TD Ameritrade||$0||$0||Up to $600 in cash with new account deposit|
Webull was one of the pioneers of the new age of online brokers, offering completely commission-free stock trading from a smartphone. When it was launched, Webull was one of the only apps available with this type of capability, along with competitor Robinhood. But Webull’s main attraction has faded in relevance, as most major online brokerages also offer $0 commissions.
To determine if you should use Webull, you’ll have to dig a bit more under the hood. The app does still provide some major benefits, including full after-hours and premarket trading, real-time quotes and advanced charting capabilities. There are also no account minimums or fees. But the interface can be a bit cumbersome and even overwhelming for those who are new to investing.
Overall, there are definite pluses to the Webull experience. Those already familiar with the app’s interface and capabilities might well be happy continuing to enjoy the no-cost platform, but despite Webull’s suitability for knowledgeable, active stock traders, others might prefer different options. Newer investors, for example, might prefer similar zero-cost trading from more well-known competitors. Those looking for more diversified portfolios might also bemoan the relative lack of investment choices available on the Webull platform.
You can find information on other top online brokerages, the best retirement accounts and other information on investing in these articles:
- Best Brokers 2019-2020
- Best Online Brokerages of 2019-2020
- Best IRA Providers of 2019-2020
- Best Roth IRA Providers of 2019-2020
- Best Online Stockbrokers for Beginners 2019-2020
- Best 401(k) Companies of 2019-2020
- Best Day Trading Platforms of 2019-2020
- Best Investment Apps of 2019-2020
- Best Robo-Advisors of 2019-2020
Information is accurate as of Oct. 25, 2019. This content is not provided by Webull. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Webull. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.