Webull® review 2021

James F. Royal, Ph.D., is a senior reporter on investing and wealth management at Bankrate. He was formerly a stock analyst for The Motley Fool and a writer for NerdWallet. He is the author of The Zen of Thrift Conversions, a book about how to invest in hidden bank stocks. He believes in the power of education to help individuals make smart financial decisions that can markedly improve their lives. Royal is regularly quoted on investing topics in national news media, such as CNBC and Forbes. He holds a doctorate in literature from the University of Florida, where he was an award-winning instructor.

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Webull Logo

Best For

  • No-commission trading
  • Cryptocurrency trading 
  • Mobile trading

Though newer upstart Webull has more than 11 million global users, it may not receive the fanfare of Robinhood, recognized as the “poster child” for no-fee trading apps. Yet Webull is at least as capable and may even make a better mobile or web-based trader than its popular rival. Too bad that’s the first comparison many traders will make when thinking of mobile-first brokers. Webull brings free trading on stocks, ETFs and options, as well as beautiful charts and tools. Plus, it offers commission-free trading on a handful of cryptocurrencies. Webull is an attractive proposition for mobile trading, though it’s not without downsides such as limited research and you can’t buy fractional shares. 

Webull at a glance

Star Rating

3.5
  • Cost: 3.5 of 5
  • Accounts and trading: 3 of 5
  • Research and Education: N/A
  • Mobile: 4 of 5
  • Customer Experience: 5 of 5
  • Minimum Balance:
    $0
  • Cost per stock trade:
    $0
  • Cost per options trade:
    $0
  • Promotion:
    Free shares of stock
  • Commission-free mutual funds or ETFs:
    All
  • No-transaction-fee mutual funds:
    None
  • Securities tradable:
    Stocks, ETFs, options, cryptocurrency
  • Customer service:
    Phone and email support 24/7, chat in mobile app
  • Account fees:
    $75 transfer out fee
  • Mobile app:
    Webull offers mobile apps on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon devices.

Top features you’ll love

Feature-rich mobile app

Webull brings a solid mobile app with a feature set that’s richer than key rival Robinhood’s offering. The app’s overall presentation feels impressive, and you’ll be able to use charting tools to analyze the trading action (more below). Each stock has a comprehensive page that links out to third-party news articles and a company’s press releases, while a comments page shows what Webull members are saying about the stock, so you can get a feel for sentiment here. 

The app also offers high-level financials, and you’ll be able to access a detailed look at the order book and order flow distribution. A trade button sits at the bottom of the screen and a quick click pulls up the trading screen where you can input the trade details and go. If you’re trading options, hit the link at the bottom of the page and you’re inundated with options quotes. Click the options strategy and setup you want, and you’re ready to trade. 

Finally, you’ll be able to place trades using your voice with the AI-enabled voice feature. It all feels really sci-fi, even if you’ll want to double-check to make sure you’re making the right order. 

Pros: Where Webull stands out

Free trading and no account minimum

Webull’s top feature might be its ability to trade stocks and ETFs without a commission. Admittedly, that’s nothing out of the ordinary these days, since the whole industry has gone to commission-free trading, but it’s still important to have. You’ll get full extended hours trading and three complimentary months of Nasdaq Level 2 quotes when you sign up. 

But Webull does the industry one better, with no-cost options trading, which was added to its capabilities in early 2020. And it’s truly free – no base commission nor a per-contract fee. That’s as good as it gets, and of the major players only Robinhood offers a similar proposition. 

Webull makes it easy to get started too, as there’s no account minimum — which is similarly standard for the industry nowadays. 

Cryptocurrency trading

If you’re looking for another differentiator between Webull and most brokers, crypto is one place. Webull allows you to trade cryptocurrencies directly, rather than as futures as some of the top brokers require. You won’t pay an explicit commission for this service, but you will pay a spread markup of 100 basis points (i.e. 1 percent of your purchase price) on either side of a trade. 

You’ll be able to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin with a $1 minimum, and you’ll be able to do so around the clock, seven days a week. You can get price quotes on other cryptos as well, even if you’re not able to trade them. The broker added this feature in November 2020, so it’s a relatively new entrant to the space. 

Charting tools

Whether you’re using the web-based client or the mobile app, Webull provides you with a set of charting tools that will help you analyze the price action. You’ll be able to use your preferred charting method (candlesticks, for example), and you’ll also get a detailed look at the day’s trading action (volume analysis and Nasdaq Level 2 quotes, if you have the service). In total, you’ll have access to a few dozen indicators or technical studies. It’s a detailed experience that looks impressive on the suave mobile app with its all-black background, too.

Paper trading

Webull offers a paper trading account that you can click into quickly, so quickly in fact that you might not realize you’re in it. On the web-based platform, for example, the real money trading platform may have nearly the same layout as the paper trading account. It’s a cool feature that mimics the real process and starts you off with $1 million in virtual money so you feel like a player.

Instant funding

Webull offers instant funding on deposits up to $1,000, something that rival Robinhood also offers. It’s a cool feature that gets you in the game immediately, though the funds might not actually clear until four or five days later. For longer-term investors, instant funding won’t be a clincher, but many traders want the funds to be there now and it’s a “nice to have” anyhow. 

Quick comparison of Brokerage options:
Brokerage Overall Rating Avg. Cost Per Trade Accounts and Trading
Webull logo
$0 3 of 5
Robinhood® review 2021 logo Read Our Review
$0 3 of 5
E*Trade® review 2021 logo Read Our Review
$0 4.5 of 5
Ally Invest® review 2021 logo Read Our Review
$0 3.5 of 5

Cons: Where Webull could improve

Fractional shares

Webull does not offer fractional shares, either as purchases or dividend reinvestments, which is a downside for some investors. It’s somewhat surprising, given the nature of the tech-enabled broker. That puts it at a disadvantage to its most obvious rival, Robinhood, as well as other full-service brokers such as Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments

Nevertheless, the company has promised that it will add this feature soon, so those who need the feature and otherwise like Webull will want to keep an eye out for it.

Limited account types and tradable securities

Webull gives you access to only individual accounts, whether that’s the basic taxable account or a traditional IRA, Roth IRA or rollover IRA. It’s missing many account types typically found at other brokers: joint accounts, custodial accounts or self-employed accounts, such as a SEP IRA or solo 401(k). That makes it a better option for solo traders rather than longer-term investors.

Along the same lines, the broker does not offer mutual funds, which may make it a deal-breaker for some investors, but likely won’t be a detriment to short-term traders. Nor does it offer bonds, forex or futures. These elements may not matter to most investors, but they’re worth noting.

Limited free research

Webull doesn’t provide a lot of free fundamental research, a place where its major broker rivals excel. That’s not exactly a surprise given the low-cost nature of the app, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely left out with what the broker does provide. You will get tons of detailed trading data, some basic financials and key statistics as well as news feeds on your specific tickers. 

Again, the available information is solid for what it is, but it won’t supplant the analytical work you’ll want to do if you’re investing in individual stocks. On that front, Webull (like Robinhood) makes a better fit for traders who know what they want to do rather than truly new investors. 

Bottom line

Webull makes an able competitor to Robinhood, a comparison that’s something of a disservice to the broker, since in some areas it competes favorably when stacked up against some larger brokers. But in many other areas, it’s no match for those rivals, though it will be a good fit for a trader who wants a mobile app that can do more than Robinhood at the same price point.

  • Webull offers free stock, ETF and options trades, a combo that none of the big brokers offers (yet). It even offers cryptocurrency trades with no direct out-of-pocket expense. 
  • Webull’s charting and analysis tools are a “nice to have,” but so is fractional share investing, which the broker does not yet offer. 
  • Investors looking to expand their relationship with the broker may be hard-pressed to do so beyond a basic taxable account and IRA, making Webull more suitable for traders looking to get their game on. 

Investors who need a more full-service experience at a still-low cost could turn to Charles Schwab, Fidelity or Merrill Edge. Robinhood is a clear alternative for traders needing a highly competent mobile app, but so are E-Trade and TD Ameritrade

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