Webull vs. Robinhood: Which Commission-Free Broker is Better?

Webull vs. Robinhood

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Over the past decade, commission costs for stock trading have gone down considerably. Commission-free trading is available on almost every platform.

In the beginning, Robinhood was already offering free investing and a variety of mobile tools to traders. In 2017, Webull came along and started offering zero-fee mobile app-based brokerage services, too.

Both apps changed the face of trading and allowed younger, newer investors to get in on the action, offering new ways to learn how to invest.

While each has their own approach, we looked at how these apps helped their traders with research tools, investment options, trading simulators, and low-cost trading.

Investor Warning: All securities trading, whether in stocks, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), options, or other investment vehicles, is speculative in nature and involves substantial risk of loss. Robinhood Financial encourages its Customers to invest carefully and to use the information available at the websites of the SEC at http://www.sec.gov and FINRA at http://FINRA.org.

Webull vs. Robinhood – Quick Comparison 

Both Webull and Robinhood offer low-cost trading, but which offers the most cutting-edge platform for today’s investors?

Webull

  • Traders can access commission-free US stock and ETF trading without any fees through the mobile app
  • It’s fast and easy to open an account with funding from ACH transfers
  • Intuitive, simple platform allows you to access some research tools and technical analysis within the app
  • You can only access the US market and place some order types
  • Investors can see trading ideas, look at data on asset fundamentals, and see some news, but charting is not as interactive

Start with Webull.

Robinhood

  • Robinhood was the first mobile trading app to offer commission free trades
  • You can trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency completely free
  • Traders have access to the lowest margin rates with Robinhood Gold, but it costs $5/month
  • The mobile app is quite simple and features a few research tools like synced watchlists, alerts, candlestick charts, and custom news feed

Join Robinhood.

Fees and Commissions

Robinhood offers users the ability to trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency for absolutely zero commissions. The app was a pioneer in free trading when it arrived on the scene in 2013; still today, there are no strings attached, and you pay $0 per contract for options.

Robinhood Commission FeesThe only fee that Robinhood charges are for Robinhood Gold, which is their margin trading account. Investors pay $5 per month to access margin trading at a 5 percent rate and some advanced tools, such as Morningstar Reports and NASDAQ level II quotes.

The margin rate is the lowest of all brokerages we have reviewed. Robinhood Gold accounts do require a $2,000 minimum deposit.

There are also no minimum account balances, inactivity fees, or other fees. If you want to invest in fractional shares, you can spend $1 to buy a small fraction of a stock or ETF.

Like Robinhood, Webull is an absolutely free trading platform that operates on a mobile app. The brokerage does not charge any fees, and investors do not need to have a minimum balance to activate an account. However, if you want a margin account, a minimum deposit of $2,000 is required.

Commission-free trading with Webull is available for 5,000 US stocks and ETFs, but you cannot access options or mutual funds. There are no fees for account maintenance or inactivity.

Winner: More options are available for investing with Robinhood, but each app has zero-fee investing with a subscription plan for margin accounts.

Investment Selection

Both apps are limited in their investment offerings, but that is by design to keep costs low. Investors who want to access funds, bonds, and forex will not find what they are looking for with these simple mobile trading apps.

Robinhood offers investors access to stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency through its mobile app and website. Digital currencies supported include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and Dogecoin.

Webull offers investors the ability to trade in US-based stocks and ETFs only.

Both apps offer the ability to trade on margin. With Robinhood Gold, you can invest $2,000 and get a 5% margin rate. You can use Webull the same way with the same deposit, but if you fall below $2,000, you may be forced to liquidate and cover your positions.

Winner: While both are limited by design, Robinhood offers the ability to invest in options and multiple cryptocurrencies in addition to stocks and ETFs. Webull only caters to US markets for stocks and ETFs.

Online Advisors and Educational Offerings

There are no robo-advisory tools for either app, but they do have some research tools and basic trading idea resources.

Robinhood Research and Education Tools

In the past year, Robinhood has tried to improve its research offerings and knowledge base, but it still pales in comparison to other brokerages. The latest tools include analyst ratings, top mover lists, earnings calendars, earnings calls, candlestick charts, and watchlists. However, there are no streaming quotes or real-time data tools.

You can view popular stocks and also see “People Also Bought” recommendations. There are no simulators, trading ideas, or in-depth guides to trading practices. Most traders will have to do their in-depth technical analysis somewhere else.

Webull Research and Education Tools

Investors can use Webull for research with recommendations and fundamental data available. While the charting tools are not that advanced, you can access news flows and customize your watchlists in the mobile app.

Screenshot of Webull Reasearch ToolOn the website, you can access trading ideas for certain stocks under the “Analysis” tab. This allows you to see what analysts think about buying, holding, and selling different stocks and ETFs. You can also see price targeting. However, the analysis does not go too deep.

The charting tools are just average for Webull, but you can edit them and add up to 20 technical indicators.

The stock screener tool is the best resource from Webull. You can use the filters to find the best stock trends using financial indicators, such as PE ratios or EPS.

Winner: Webull’s charts and trading ideas are a bit more in-depth than the basics you get with Robinhood.

Trade Experience and Security

Beginners will like the simplicity of these brokerages. Both of these brokerages started out as mobile stock trading apps, but they eventually expanded into web platforms. Webull also provides a downloadable desktop platform.

Webull’s web trading platform is easy-to-use and offers a simple design with a clear navigational structure. You can customize the screen to show whatever you like, but it defaults to basic charts.

Webull Trading App

There are a variety of order types including market, limit, stop, stop limit, and bracket orders such as take profit and stop-loss.

Robinhood is even less complex and offers an easy-to-use platform that new investors will be able to navigate easily. Unfortunately there are no education tools or guidance offered on how to make difficult trades, which may lead traders to make costly mistakes. It supports market orders, stop limit orders, limit orders, and stop orders.

The biggest advantage is the “collections” feature, which groups stocks by sector and category. For example, you may want to only invest in tech stocks or entertainment industry companies, you can search and compare these collections side-by-side.

Investors can also use the bar at the bottom of the website to access quick portfolio values, transaction history, account statements, and watch lists.

Security is a bit lacking on the website for Robinhood, which does not have a two-step login as of yet. In comparison, Webull offers a two-step login and security codes that trigger if you login from a separate device.

Winner: Both are pretty simple and limited, but Robinhood offers more trading opportunities with their web platform.

Mobile and New Trade Tech

Webull Mobile Trading AppBoth mobile platforms are designed to give you the basics, so savvy investors can make trades quickly. However, Webull offers way more research than most mobile trading apps, but the interface is not as streamlined and fast.

For example, you can access real-time candlestick, bar, and line charts in Webull’s app with data going back for five years. You can use indicators like exponential moving averages, RSI oscillators, and Bolling Bands to money flow indexes. It’s clear that effort was put into research, but the app does crash and can be slow.

There are also several more fundamental analysis tools including news streams, press releases, analyst recommendations, revenue data, and company profile pages. Stock screeners and financial calendars are also available within the app.

Robinhood offers some analytical tools like analyst ratings, earnings, calendars, links to earnings calls, and candlestick charts. You can also see “People Also Bought” recommendations for new ideas for trades. However, most of these tools are pretty simplistic and do not give you a deeper look into technical patterns and market movers.

Winner: Webull offers more research tools overall within the mobile app, but Robinhood allows you to trade in more asset classes. Ultimately, your choice will be based on whether you want to trade with Robinhood, which has options and cryptocurrencies in addition to stocks and ETFs.

Frequently Asked Questions: Robinhood vs Webull 

What are Webull extended trading hours?

Webull is one of the only online brokers to offer extended trading hours, and the company takes it to the extreme. You can start trading at 4:00 AM (Eastern).

This is the earliest pre-market time that any online broker offers. Investors can also access the regular session of trading hours from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM, but the company provides extended hours after the market closes until 8:00 PM (Eastern).

Can you day trade with mobile apps like Robinhood and Webull?

Many new age traders are looking for mobile apps that allow quick orders on mobile. Most traders bemoan Robinhood’s policy on day trading, since it’s not allowed, and your account will be locked for up to 90 days if the system detects that you’re day trading.

You can read their policy here: pattern day trading, though many users have expressed confusion about Robinhood’s policy and how it’s enforced.

However, Webull welcomes these trades with its zero commission day trader. While this guide stipulates you need a minimum account equity of $25,000, other account holders report that you can day trade with less.

The way to do this with Webull is through a cash account. You can trade as much as you like with these accounts, although you have to wait for the funds to transfer from each trade, which means it’s not exactly as active as a true “day trade.”

Was Robinhood fined for its trade execution quality?

Yes, Robinhood was fined in the US for $1.25 million for its supposed “best execution” policies. FINRA stated that the company did not place its customers’ equity orders correctly and that there were supervisory failures that began in October 2016 and ended in November 2017.

FINRA found that Robinhood violated Rule 5310, which guarantees “best execution,” and it requires brokers to use diligence to find the best market for the order so that the resulting price is in favor to the customer. However, Robinhood was found to focus only on execution and not the quality of the trade.

Is your money safe with Webull?

Yes. Webull is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). This means that if you are a victim of fraud, you are protected for up to $500,000 including $250,000 for cash claims.

Webull SIPC DisclaimerThere’s also additional coverage provided by Apex Clearing Corporation. This means that that you are covered for securities and cash up to $150 million.

If technical difficulties matter to you, Webull has had some complaints of the app not updating in real-time and bugging out. Pricing updates in real-time, but the app can be slow and stall out.

Is Robinhood Gold a good deal for margin traders?

For those who want to trade on margin, you may be enticed by the 5% margin rate, which is honestly the lowest out of any brokerages that we have researched. However, you will pay $60 a year to access this account type, and it does not offer much more in terms of research tools than the free Robinhood account.

There are much better tools available through TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity. It’s best to stick to the free trade side of the platform if you want to save money.

Does Webull or Robinhood offer better customer support?

Robinhood and Webull are both limited in their customer support. You won’t find any phone numbers or live chat options. They do have some help information and email address where you can send questions.

Which One is Right for You?

Both of these mobile apps are pioneers in the mobile trading space, and have similar features and interfaces.

Webull provides a bit more in terms of research, charting, and education, but it lacks the ability to trade in options or cryptocurrencies. Investors can buy and sell Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum among other digital currencies within Robinhood’s app.

Day trading is welcome on Webull for margin accounts and others with equity over $25,000, which is awesome for new school investors who want to trade much more actively on their phones.

However, Robinhood has some unpopular policies in regards to day trading and many experienced investors have had their accounts limited or permanently banned even though they were not day trading.

While Webull is limited, it does offer 5,00 stocks and ETFs. There are also ADR investments, and Webull did announce it was adding options soon.

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).