Webull Review: Should You Consider this Platform?

Webull review

In May 2018, the company launched the Webull mobile app, one of the newer online brokers. This launch reflected the most prominent target market for Webull: millennials. Webull is targeting newer and more active traders and users drawn to a platform where they can trade stocks/ETFs and their options commission-free and multiple cryptocurrencies. 

In contrast to competitors offering extensive services, Webull is more for self-directed investors. Overall, Webull customers get more than their money’s worth: an excellent platform loaded with helpful tools, features, and competitive margin rates. 

Let’s explore Webull in depth to determine whether it is a good fit for your portfolio.

Webull’s Target Audience

Webull platform is for investors who want to begin trading on financial markets with no minimum account size and commissions. Due to Webull’s lack of a full-service broker, some aspects of portfolio management require a DIY approach. 

Webull’s customers are younger than other brokerage firms, and its no-fee model may appeal to active traders. 

Also, active traders will particularly appreciate Webull’s free options trading because other brokerages, including Schwab, which offers free stock and ETF trades, still charge commissions for options transactions.

Top Recommended Platforms

MIN. DEPOSIT

$50

EXCL. OFFER

USER RATING

9.8

4.9/5

78% of retail investor accounts lose money trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

MIN. DEPOSIT

$100

EXCL. OFFER

USER RATING

9.7

4.8/5

Trading forex or CFDs on margin involves a high degree of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. There is a possibility that you may suffer a loss equal to or greater than your entire investment.

MIN. DEPOSIT

$250

EXCL. OFFER

USER RATING

9.6

4.5/5

CFDs are complex instruments and involve a high risk of losing money quickly because of the leverage effect. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Webull Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Commission-free stocks/ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies
  • No fees or minimums for account setup or options approval
  • Real-time streaming quotes for free
  • An easy-to-use platform with excellent content
  • Extended trading hours and premarket access

Cons

  • The toolkit for portfolio management is limited.

A brief explanation of the benefits

  • Webull’s no commission stock, ETF, option, and cryptocurrency trading appeals to traders who do not need much assistance. Traders can profit more from trading strategies with lower implementation costs.
  • There are only a few steps to opening an account. Once your account and options trading is approved, it takes only a couple of minutes to set up ACH transfers and add your bank account. Setting up your account may take a few days for the funds to transfer, but you will receive purchasing power in your account when it does. 
  • Level 2 Advanced quotes are free for three months with Webull’s real-time streaming quotes. There is a service called Nasdaq TotalView that provides in-depth insights on bids, securities, and market depth information. On the NASDAQ Market Center, you can find information about auction crossings for NASDAQ-NYSE and regionally listed stocks.
  • Despite Webull’s newness, its desktop, and mobile applications have a refreshing, intuitive design. All the trading tools in the applications are accessible to the user, making them an excellent choice for traders. 
  • In addition to news and essential information about companies, the customizable workstation platform has watchlists, stock screeners, charts, and aggregate analyst ratings. Even with the amount of data, everything works effectively in a streamlined manner.
  • Webull customers have access to extended hours for pre- and post-hour trading, which is popular with active traders. Non-regular trading days allow traders to choose when their orders are active.

Cons explained

  • On Webull’s platform, traders have access to several useful tools; however, portfolio management tools are lacking. Investors/traders must make their own investment/trading decisions with Webull. Research or analyst reports on stocks are not published daily or intra-day and no daily or intra-day market letters are published. 
  • No financial advisors are available at Webull, nor does it offer rebalancing recommendations, control of tax lots, or dividend reinvestment programs (DRIPs). There is no fractional stock option offered by Webull, though the broker announced that it plans to add fractional stock shares soon.
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Webull’s UX

Using Webull is easy, thanks to its intuitive navigation and clean design. Websites, desktop workstations, and mobile apps all feature minimalist and well-designed designs. As recent as these platforms are, they all have a modern appearance and feel. 

The desktop workstation and website both have a set of buttons down the left side. The buttons allow you to launch customizable quote boards, stock pages, and market overview pages. 

Account tabs with stock screeners and trading screens provide users with a wealth of information about their accounts, including balances, positions, buying power, performance, margin leverage risk level, and paper trading options. 

Workstations and websites differ in some small ways, and the website is only capable of supporting single legs. 

The mobile app differs from the website and workstation to handle the smaller screens in primary features. On the app screen, the menu buttons change based on the current content.

All platforms support watchlists’ creation directly from stock screeners’ results. The watchlists on the desktop, web, and mobile apps are consistent, eliminating the need to set them up on multiple platforms. It is easy to enter orders, and traders can customize information such as order type and share amounts based on their preferences.

Webull Trade feature on desktop

With Webull’s workstation, you can share stock and ETF trade templates, trade options, day trade, and trade cryptocurrencies. 

In addition, traders can create their layouts by using widgets. News, fundamentals, options, time & sales, and order entry are all included in the widgets. 

Through the marked tabs at the top of the window, you can access the different widgets to save screen space.

A highly customizable user interface is also possible with the trading configuration, including hot buttons, a home page that loads automatically, preset stock and option orders, and commonly used share quantities. 

The workstation offers a degree of adaptability and personalization. Many trade page templates on the website were unavailable to the workstation via the internet or the learning center. When necessary, the system will direct you to different sites, such as the stocks window, where you may read information unique to a stock, news, options, charting, and an overview of analyst ratings.

Using Webull to place an order is simple. The stock order entry screen provides contingency orders for stop-loss or profit-taking levels. 

Additionally, clicking on a market’s bid or offer will automatically enter that information into the trade order widget, allowing you to create order tickets directly from the account holdings. 

Trade feature on Mobile

While some slight differences exist between the website and the workstation, all platforms share consistency. Despite its similarities to the website and workstation, the mobile app’s design can fit smaller screens now. 

The main functionalities you will likely require are via menu buttons that adjust to the content screen you are now viewing. Charting on mobile devices also allows trading immediately from the chart and displays your open positions. 

Additionally, Webull’s sketching capabilities were easy to use than many other brokers’ mobile charting apps. Webull’s stock screener is not accessible through the mobile app, but you may turn search results from the website or workstation into a watchlist that will sync with the mobile app.

Variety of Services

Webull only provides personal, and IRA accounts in the US and concentrates on trading US stocks, ETFs, and listed options. Webull’s product selection may not be as extensive as that of full-service brokers. Still, it satisfies the needs of its younger clientele, who are less interested in fixed income. Webull offers trading in several cryptocurrencies for as little as $1, unlike many full-service brokers. No fixed income, mutual funds, futures, or conventional foreign exchange trading is available.

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Order Types

Webull offers market-limit, stop-limit, and trailing stop order types. Additionally, there are specialty orders like one-cancel-the-other (OCO), one-triggers-an-OCO (OTOCO), and one-triggers-the-other (OTO). That enables traders to set up a conditional order in which a filled limit order establishes an OCO that attaches both a stop loss and a profit-taking level. 

Webull does not offer market-if-touched, market-on-close, or comparable orders. The Webull trading system uses the first in, first out (FIFO) system, which does not give traders control over tax lots on sales. Webull doesn’t support backtesting and automated trading.

Trading Technology

Although Webull’s trading software is straightforward, it does the job. There was an improvement in the net price of Webull’s shares and options contracts of 0.0056 and $1, respectively. Trading automation, backtesting, and smart order routing are all unavailable. However, the broker follows a bare-bones approach to keep costs low.

Estimated costs

Webull is a free broker, not a cheap one. They provide commission-free trading in stocks, ETFs, and listed options, and they don’t charge more for their feature-rich platforms and tools or account minimums. The margin rates at Webull are also competitive. When we refer to “commission-free trading,” we imply that Webull does not charge for trades but does pass along Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) transaction fees and other exchange and regulatory fees, which are typically cents or fractions of a cent per contract. The costs for Webull are as follows:

  • There are no commissions for online stock, ETF, or OTCBB trading.
  • Exchange-traded options are not subject to commissions.
  • No fees for trading cryptocurrencies
  • Leverage and short sales are both eligible for margin, and margin rates are determined by account size. By breakpoint, the percentages are as follows: 6.99% under $25,000; 6.49% up to $100,000; 5.99% up to $250K; 5.49% up to $500K; 4.99% up to $1M; 4.49% up to $3M; and 3.99% thereafter.
  • ACH deposits and withdrawals are free; wire transfers cost $8 for domestic deposits and $12.5 for international transfers and $25 for domestic withdrawals, and $40 for international transfers.
  • Charges for print statements include $2 for each confirmation, $5 for each account statement, and $2.5 for each prospectus distribution.

Research and Account Features

Webull provides a wide range of account information and research tools, such as fundamental data, news, and charting, to assist traders in selecting stocks to trade and informing their investment decisions. 

Stock Screener

Webull features a stock screener on its desktop and website but not on its mobile app. Despite the easy-to-use interface and the fact that it only covers stocks, it lacks some features that competing brokers offer.

Charting

Webull developed its charting technology, which is a good service. Due to the lower screen size, charting on mobile apps is slightly different from that on the web and workstations, but it is still relatively simple. 

On a chart, you can easily add Bollinger Bands®, moving averages (SMA/EMA), relative strength indices (RSI), average trading ranges (ATR), and multiple stochastic variations. Directly from charts, you can create order tickets and alerts. Again, it is puzzling that neither the 50-period MA nor the 100-period MA is among the program’s default values.

Both platforms’ charting tools have a magnet function that makes it simple to position trend lines at the precise high or low for a selected period. The mobile app charting also features a helpful button that shows the trader if the stock is marginal or shortly, with the associated leverage multipliers. 

Charts also display open orders and cost basis information if available. Most traders who use charts to support investment and trading decisions and to help them choose when to enter and exit trades should find Webull’s charting a helpful tool.

Traders should be aware that Webull does not currently offer an API to allow third-party charting programs access to its price data. These traders should use different software if they want customizable program trading, pattern recognition, more advanced market analysis, and charting techniques. Most stocks have stock data that only goes back to June 2019, which severely limits technical analysis of longer-term trends.

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News

News is delivered daily to all customers via the Benzinga Newswire, a simple, scrollable window containing headlines, business items, and economic news. Selecting a particular news line will allow you to retrieve stories. The stock chosen for research inside the stocks tab will be specific to the news screen.

Portfolio Analysis

Although Webull does not give a comprehensive set of portfolio analysis tools, it offers what most self-directed investors require. 

You can download tax forms, account statements, confirmations, and account performance indicators on the account page and view tax forms and account statements on the web or desktop platforms. 

There’s also real-time data, including realized and unrealized profits, interest income, and lots more.

Education

Webull offers a variety of how-to guides for using its platforms and services, primarily in the form of text and screenshots. It provides an overview of the workstation, explains frequently used features, shows how to customize the layout, and highlights the trading tools that are accessible.

Webull has a paper trading option to help traders become accustomed to placing orders and trading, but the features are relatively limited.

Consumer Service

Since Webull’s service is towards younger, tech-savvy, self-directed clients primarily interested in its no-cost trading opportunities, it offers limited customer support. Webull does not employ financial counselors, but if a customer is willing to wait on the phone for more than two hours, they can speak with a live broker.

  • Only available by phone during trading hours.
  • During working hours, live chat online with a representative.

Reliability and security

  • All platforms support two-factor authentication.
  • Mobile devices can use fingerprint or facial recognition to biometric login.
  • For an extra degree of security, there is a unique six-digit numerical passcode for trading access.
  • There were no significant platform outages on Webull.
  • In the last four years, Webull has not experienced a data breach.
  • Webull has purchased an additional insurance policy that provides protection totaling $150 million.

Transparency

Webull’s pricing is entirely transparent and very simple. According to its price page, which also includes a link to its SEC rule 606 disclosure, payment for order flow (PFOF) is the company’s primary source of revenue. 

The website’s prominently stated pricing page consists of a complete list of additional expenses. According to Webull, they pass through a regulatory, exchange, and SEC fees, typically pennies or less per volume traded.

The price page for Webull clearly states the tiered margin rates and corresponding buying power, but it was more challenging to locate website disclosures regarding margin trading dangers. Webull does, however, offer a helpful account risk measurement that shows a trader whether they are more likely to face a margin call.

Webull has adopted an intriguing strategy, with its free business model relying heavily on its candor regarding paying for order flow. The company is telling customers up front that they may either have a free platform or no payment for order flow, but not both, in contrast to some other brokers who have buried it in the fine print.

Final thoughts

Webull is a fantastic option for active traders or investors who don’t want guidance. Additionally, the fact that there are no additional expenses makes it appealing to people who wish to attempt trading. Margin rates are competitive; there is no minimum account size, and there are no commissions on stocks, ETFs, options, or cryptocurrencies. Additionally, you have free access to well-designed, user-friendly trading platforms for desktop and mobile devices that offer beneficial trading tools.

Webull is a competitive alternative for margin users and active options traders who may otherwise find Webull’s options trading tools somewhat lacking. However, full-service brokerage firms like Charles Schwab offer commission-free trading in stocks and ETFs. These firms charge $0.65 commission per option contract and higher margin rates (but are still functional). Most traders will be happy with Webull because technology allows it to fill limited orders and other order types quickly. NASDAQ Level 2 quotations won’t attract dedicated day traders who need the best price execution or control over routing their orders.

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