Webull Review (2020): What We Did (and Didn’t) Like

Webull Review

Webull offers $0 commissions with no deposit minimums, smart trading platforms, and is highly-regulated, but they lack in one key area that might put some traders off.

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Webull - Reviews & Ratings

Webull is an online discount broker, best suited to stock and ETF traders who rely on technical analysis, offering great research and charting tools, and advanced trading platforms. The company trails competitors, though, in terms of research and investor education.

FAST FACTS:
• Regulation: FINRA & The SEC
• Account Minimum: $0 for cash accounts
• Commission: $0
• Promotions: Free stock up to $300
• Demo Account: Yes

Investor Warning: Trading of stocks and all other investment products involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for every investor. The value of stocks may fluctuate and as a result, clients may lose more than their original investment. Options involve risks and are not suitable for all investors as the special risks inherent to options trading may expose investors to potentially rapid and substantial losses. Options trading privileges subject to Webull Financial LLC review and approval.

Overview and Summary

  1. Webull offers lows fees with $0 commission on US stock and ETFs, and no inactivity fees, certain activities fees do apply.
  2. Webull’s trading platforms are excellent, smart, well-designed and easy to use.
  3. Webull is an all-in -one investment platform founded in 2018 that started out as a research platform in 2016.
  4. Webull offers all the features that traditional brokers offer but they’re free
  5. Webull helps traders accurately research, follow market trends, and review market history.
  6. Webull is ideal for traders looking to trade stocks and ETFs without incurring any commission fees, but anyone looking for extra support or educational material should consider other brokers.

A Top Global Broker & Their Two Year Anniversary Celebration

On Tuesday January 14th 2020 at 4:00 PM EST, Anthony Denier, Chief Executive Officer at Webull, a leading global broker for investors, rang the Nasdaq Closing Bell.

This event was to signify and celebrate the two year anniversary of the trading app, Webull.

After the app’s release, in January 2018, the $0 trading platform seen incredible growth, and today boasts over 10 millions customers globally, ranging from beginners to professional.

Speaking about ringing the Nasdaq Closing Bell, Anthony Denier said;

“We are both thrilled and honored to ring the Nasdaq Closing Bell in celebration of our two year anniversary. Since our inception, we have worked hard to provide our users with the best tools to allow them to make informed financial decisions, and are constantly utilizing new technologies to improve the trading process for our customers.”

“We thank everyone for their continued support and confidence in Webull, particular our employees, and users, and look forward to all we will accomplish in this new decade.”

Since its explosion to the market in 2018, Webull has worked to offer traders more than that of a traditional online trading platform and most recently, it launched Webull IRA (Individual Retirement Account) offering.

Webull IRA Account

This feature puts IRA accounts at the tips of customers fingers, and at the same time it helps them create a diverse retirement portfolio by offering individual investment that they will have full choice and control over.

Speaking about Webull’s IRA feature, Denier said,

“With the introduction of Webull IRA, we are utilizing our innovative technology to provide users with the power to choose their own investments for their future.

Our easy-to-use platform allows individuals to have more direct control over their retirement funds and ultimately, play a larger role in shaping their long-term finances.”

Webull also offers advanced investment tools, a platform suitable for all levels, and zero commission fees, to name a few.

Webull: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

A quick run through of the positives and negatives of Webull would look like this:

On the bright side, Webull offers customers $0 commission on US stock and ETFs, and charges no inactivity fee.

In addition to this, Webull’s trading platforms are excellent, smart, well-designed and easy to use.

The bad side includes Webull’s limited product portfolio offering, and the fact that the broker offers stocks and ETFs to US traders, only.

The broker’s lack of accessible and responsive customer service also makes the con list, as they don’t offer any live chat, or phone service, and are not the most helpful, overall.

Lastly, you might want to skip this broker if you’re looking to learn because, similar to Robinhood, educating their customers does not seem to be a focus for them.

There is no ugly, the title just sounded cooler that way.

Pros 

  • $0 stocks and ETFs
  • Excellent trading platforms
  • Easy to open an account

Cons 

  • Limited product portfolio
  • Limited educational material
  • Customer support could be improved

What is Webull, Exactly?

Okay, so you have a broad picture, but now to narrow it in a bit, what exactly is Webull and how will they help you?

Webull is an all-in-one investment platform that offers $0 stock trading. The company started out as a research platform (which comes through in their investment platform) with brokerage services offered by Webull Financial LLC.

Webull Homepage ScreenshotThe company is a registered broker-dealer with the SEC and a member of SIPC and FINRA, and was founded in 2016, two years before the announcement of the Webull app.The company outlined its beliefs and mission during the announcement of its launch, stating,

“Webull believes that everyone should have an equal opportunity to control their own financial future,”

“This is why we have created a professional-level informational and trading platform that previously was only available to professionals or the super wealthy. Webull strives to keep its vast depth of news, analysis tools, real-time market data, and trading commissions completely free.

We pride ourselves on continually improving our platform and bringing exciting and useful tools to help everyone make smarter financial decisions.”

Webulls biggest competitor is namely, Robinhood, who has just been fined 1.2million by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and whose penny stocks recently hit new highs. Robinhood offers a commission free app, too, but Webull does beats them on the tools front. Let’s take a look at exactly what Webull offers.

What Does Webull Offer?

Webull offers all the features that traditional brokers offer but they’ll leave more change in your pocket with its commission free services. However, this isn’t as unique as it once was, since the industry move towards zero fees in October 2019.

Nonetheless, users will have free access to market data, analysis tools, and a news feed, to name a few.

If you want to test out the platform before committing, Webull offers a demo account, with some virtual money.

Here’s a list of some of the features you’ll have access to in the mobile app.

Technical indicators:

  • Exponential moving averages
  • Bollinger Bands
  • RSI
  • MACD

Research tools for investors:

  • News-feed & PR
  • Recommendations from analysts
  • Revenue data
  • Historical EPS
  • Financial calendars

More features offered that are a bit more of an industry standard include;

  • Margin trading
  • Full extended market trading hours
  • Short-selling option

Overall the company has quite impressive features, but where do they stand out from the crowd? Let’s dive into Webull’s best features.

What Webull Does Best

A Smart Trading Platform

Webull’s trading platform is great, and suitable for both beginners and advanced traders. It’s clearly laid out and easy to use, but also offers more advanced features, like several order types.

Webull’s trading platform is easy to use, clean, and clearly laid out. It’s highly customizable and offers both English and Chinese content.

Webull Smart Trading Platform Download PageWhen searching for stocks, you simply need to type either the company’s name or the asset ticket. This is made easier by the auto-suggestion that appears once you start typing.

One of the best features on Webull’s app is probably its range of order types. These include;

  • Market
  • Stop
  • Limit
  • Stop limit
  • Bracket orders

Users can also get some use out of two order time limits:

  • Good ‘Til Cancelled (GTC)
  • Day

Traders who want to get notified or set alerts about stocks can do so by searching the stock in mind, and clicking the bell icon on the top right of the screen. Then just filter your request by including things like your price.

Portfolio and fee reports are another great app feature and you can access them easily by clicking the account menu on the left side bar. These are also really clear and easy to understand, so you won’t have to spend much time learning how to read them.

Webull’s Mobile Trading is One of the Best

Webull’s mobile trading is top notch, and one of the best out there. It’s clear, easy to use, with progressive features and importantly, a two-step login.

Similarly to the trading platform, Webull’s app is available on iOS and Android and can be translated to both English and Chinese.

Webull’s mobile app is all clearly laid out and well designed. It gives you that safety you need with apps like this through its two-step login.

The search function on the app are great, users just type the name of the assets and the ticker to help you find what you’re looking for.

You’ll get the same order types on the app as you get with the trading platform, and setting alerts can be done with the click of a button.

While Webull offers powerful charting features, it might be a bit difficult to use them on the app.

Webull is the Product of a Research Company, & it Shows

When a platform emerges from a research company it’s bound to offer great research, right?

Screenshot of Webull Reasearch ToolThe company offers a great range of research tools and some top notch market data not only for equities and ETFs, but for forex, indices, and futures, and some impressive charting tools, too.

Looking for some inspiration? You can check out Webull’s trading ideas under its analysis section.

As Sir John Templeton once said, “The four most dangerous words in investing are: ‘this time it’s different.'”

Traders should ideally choose a broker that helps them accurately research and follow market trends, and review market history. Webull can help you do just that.

That said, Webull’s research features are not perfect; its news section could make some improvements. Right now, it offers links to third party websites, like Reuters and Yahoo Finance.

Other Features You’ll Love

Webull’s Stock Cleaner Helps Narrow Your Search

Sometimes, the sheer amount of stocks that appear on your screen can be overwhelming to get through.

Webull’s Stock Screener feature makes it a little easier. The feature helps you  filter your search by; market cap, price, percentage change, volume, turnover rate, and listing date. Once you’ve ticked the boxes that apply to you they’ll appear below for you to modify them as you wish.

But, while there are a lot of great aspects about the broker, it has its downfalls. Let’s take a walk on the dark side.

Where Webull Could Improve

A Lack of “Options”, Literally

Webull’s portfolios are limited to US-based stocks and ETFs.

The company doesn’t offer options, mutual funds, or bonds.

Webull does have an advantage over its biggest competitor Robinhood, by offering stock trading, but it falls in comparison by failing to offer a diverse portfolio, something that would really help take it to the next level.

Webull Trading OptionsThat said, the company does state that options trading will be offered soon.

Looking at this from a glass half full perspective; if you are more experienced and were to take the advice of Warren Buffet, widely known as the best investor ever, then you might agree with his perspective that,

“Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.”

Buffet believes that diversification is relevant at the start, but once you gain more confidence and experience, you should adjust your portfolio in accordance and place bigger bets.

And who are we to doubt the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ anyway?

Visual Learners Need Not Apply

Webull’s educational offerings are limited. While it does offer some good educational content it doesn’t offer it through any visual platforms, like videos or webinars.

You can make your way through their articles, but they aren’t updated as often as they could be. Although, Webull’s FAQ’s section will help guide you through some of the basics.

Will My Money Be Safe with Webull?

The short answer is yes, Webull is considered safe because it is fully regulated by top-tier financial authorities, including FINRA and the SEC.

The company is also a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) which provides a maximum protection of $500,000, including up to $250,000 for cash claims as part of the SIPC protection scheme.

Webull’s Fees: Is it All Free Everything?

While Webull does have trading fees, they are low (mostly), transparent, and clearly laid out.

Webull 0 percent CommissionsAs you might have gathered by now, Webull offers $0 commissions on stock and ETFs, similarly to Robinhood and Fidelity.

The company does not charge for withdrawals or ACH transfers. But wire transfers will incur a high fee of $25 for domestic, and $45 for international.

The company’s financing rates are one of the few other typically high rates. While they are only charged when you hold your leveraged positions overnight, they can really eat into your costs if you’re not aware of them.

To use Webull’s leverage/short in margin accounts you’ll need to have a minimum of $2,000 in your account.

You won’t need to worry about inactivity fees or account fees.

Activity fees, however, are another story. The SEC and FINRA charge fees on trades. Margin fees can range between 3.99% to 6.99%, depending on the amount you are trading; the larger the trade the smaller the fee.

Overall, Webull’s fees are pretty great.

Limited Webull Support: Beginners Beware

Unfortunately, and traders looking to get some helpful customer support might be at a loss with Webull. The company doesn’t offer the usual quick and efficient channels of communication that are generally on offer, like phone and live chat.

Webull’s email service is quite inefficient and they don’t tend to answer the questions asked.

A better way of contacting customer service is through their message centers, which are more responsive.

Opening A Webull Account is Seamless

Opening a Webull account can be done quickly and seamlessly, but there are both positives and negatives to the experience.

Webull Signup Page ScreenshotWe’ll give you the good news first:

Accounts are typically verified quickly, within one business day.

The bad news, Webull states that accounts are only available to traders in the US, China, and India. Confusingly though, when you try to open an account, there are only two options to choose from, the US and China. It’s unclear why this is and it’s an obvious glitch on Webull’s part.

That said, if you think Webull is the broker for you, here’s how to open an account:

  1. Once you install the platform, simply register by hitting the account button.
  2. Give personal information like your name, address and social security number.
  3. Give some employment and financial information.
  4. Confirm your identity with photo ID such as a driver’s licence
  5. Choose from two account types: Cash or Margin
  6. Review information given
  7. Hit submit

These steps should only take you about 5 minutes, and new account owners will receive some free stock worth up to $300 as a welcome gift – it couldn’t be better!

No Minimum Deposits Required

To top it off, Webull doesn’t require any minimum deposits for cash accounts. You might need one if you plan on trading on margin, shorting, or would like unlimited day trading options.

Is Webull the Ideal Broker for You?

Now that we’ve looked at Webull as a whole, you’ll need to figure out if they are the right option for you.

To summarize, if you are looking to trade stocks and ETFs without incurring any commission fees, then Webull could be a good option for you.

In the opposite field, long term investors, and beginners looking for some support or learning material, might be better off looking at other brokers.

Interested in opening a Webull account? Click here to get started.

About Author

Tim Fries Tim Fries is the cofounder of The Tokenist. He has a B. Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Tim is also the co-founder of Protective Technologies Capital (protechcap.com).