Webull® review 2023
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Webull: Best for
- Commission-free trading
- Cryptocurrency trading
- Mobile trading
Webull gives investors who are looking for a high-quality and low-cost mobile experience a solid broker option that in many ways is superior to its more famous rival Robinhood. You’ll get commission-free trading in stocks, ETFs and options and won’t pay a direct fee on crypto trades. However, those looking to trade crypto will need to use a separate app called Webull Pay, which the broker launched in 2023. The main mobile app makes it easy to trade on the go or just track prices and news for securities you’re following. Webull introduced fractional shares in 2021, allowing you to buy certain stocks and ETFs for as little as $5. The broker has also beefed up its educational content by offering courses that teach new investors the ins and outs of the investment world.
Unfortunately, Webull only offers a handful of individual accounts, so you’ll likely need to turn to a more traditional broker such as Schwab or Fidelity if you’re looking for a joint, custodial or self-employed retirement account. Webull also doesn’t offer much of the research that is available through more established brokers.
Webull: In the details
Pros: Where Webull stands out
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 there.
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 options tab 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.
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.
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.
However, Webull recently moved crypto trading to a separate app called Webull Pay in response to the Securities and Exchange Commission suing the largest crypto trading platforms, Binance and Coinbase. Webull says it created Webull Pay to protect the rest of its business from potential litigation.
You’ll be able to trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu 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 all of them. The broker added this feature in late 2020, so it’s a relatively new entrant to the space. Webull says it’s working on adding more cryptocurrencies to the eight that are currently available to trade.
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.
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 make a difference, but many traders want the funds to be there now and it’s a “nice to have” anyhow.
Webull joined the ranks of brokers offering fractional shares in July 2021. It had been a notable and surprising shortcoming for the tech-focused broker, so the addition is an improvement. For a minimum of $5, investors can purchase fractional shares in stocks and ETFs, but be sure to check that the companies you’re interested in are available because Webull says the list of available investments is subject to change. One thing still lacking in the offering is that fractional shares are only available for new purchases and not reinvested dividends.
Cons: Where Webull could improve
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 lacks 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.
Robinhood recently announced that it would offer a 1 percent match on customer contributions to IRAs beginning in 2023. The “match” doesn’t count against the annual contribution limit of $6,500 for people under age 50 and could provide an account boost of as much as $65. Webull does not offer an IRA match to its customers.
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 certain 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 the broker does provide some useful information for investors. 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.
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