How Does Webull Make A Profit

How Does Webull Make A Profit

Webull is one of the newer online brokers, forming in just 2017 and launching with just a mobile app in May 2018. This mobile first launch was reflective of Webull’s most important target market: millennials. Webull is positioning itself to serve newer and more active traders, and others drawn to a platform offering a broad range of services for free, including no account minimums, commission free trading of stocks/ETFs and their options, and multiple cryptocurrencies. Webull does skew towards the self-directed investor, with a less comprehensive offering than full service competitors. Webull customers still get a lot for their money. Webull offers a great platform with many useful tools and features as well as competitive margin rates. We’ll take an in-depth look at Webull to help you decide if it is the right broker for your portfolio needs.

Webull was Investopedia’s winner for Best Broker for Low-Cost Options Trading, Best Low-Cost Day Trading Platform, and Best Low-Cost Options Broker in our 2021 Best Online Brokers Review.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Webull does not charge commissions for stock, ETF or option trades. There are no minimum account requirements. Margin trading is available for accounts with a minimum of $2000.
  • Webull offers options, stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrencies. This is a smaller selection of assets that Webull offers to better serve younger customers who are more tech-savvy and want information on the move.
  • Webull is easy to use, providing good trading functionality and a broad package of tools and functionality including news, fundamental and technical analysis, and stock screeners.
  • Webull is not the broker for people looking for a broader range of products, such as fixed income, mutual funds, or managed accounts. Investors who prefer working with an investment advisor and want access to live trading assistance should look elsewhere.
  • Fractional cryptocurrency trading is possible in multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Dodgecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Who Webull Is For

Webull is an investment platform that allows investors to trade without commissions and open up new avenues for trading. Webull is not a full-services broker, so its customers need a bit of a DIY approach on some aspects of portfolio management. Customers at Webull are generally younger than customers at other brokerage firms. Active traders will be attracted to the broker’s free model. In particular, Webull’s free options trading will catch the attention of active options traders because other brokers, even those that have gone to free stock and ETF trades like Schwab, continue to charge commission on each leg of options trades.

Pros

  • There are no commissions for stocks/ETFs, options or cryptocurrency
  • No minimums or fees, easy account setup
  • Free real-time streaming quotes
  • Simple to use platforms that provide excellent content and tools
  • Access to trading hours that are extended and pre-market

Cons

  • No income on excess cash
  • Potential give up on execution due to payment for order flow (PFOF)
  • Portfolio management tools are limited in number
  • No access to fixed income, mutual funds, foreign exchange, or futures markets

Pros Explained

  • Webull offers something free of charge. No commission stock, ETF, option, and cryptocurrency trading is particularly appealing to traders that don’t need their hands held. Lower implementation costs makes it easier for traders to profit off a trading strategy.
  • It takes only a few minutes to open an account. You will receive account and options trading approval very quickly and it only takes a couple of additional minutes to add your bank account and set up a free ACH transfer. Once the transfer is set up, you can receive buying power on the account even though the fund transfer may not be complete for a few days.
  • Webull provides free streaming quotes and three-month free access to Level 2 Advance quotes. The service is Nasdaq TotalView, and it provides a greater depth of bids and asks on a security as well as information showing market depth. There is also auction crossing information for all NASDAQ-NYSE and regional listed stocks on NASDAQ Market Center.
  • Webull’s mobile and desktop applications platforms are both relatively new. It has an intuitive design, is simple to use, and it is fresh. All the tools available are free and packed with useful tools to trade. The customizable workstation platform provides news, fundamental information on companies, and has watchlists, a stock screener, charting, and aggregate ratings from multiple analysts. Despite the information density, all of this is set up to work effectively in a streamlined way.
  • Webull customers have access to these hours, which is a popular choice for active traders who trade the market during the pre- and/or extended trading hours. Traders have the option to make their orders available during non-regular trading hours.

The Cons

  • Webull customers receive no interest on cash balances in their account. As Webull doesn’t support mutual fund trading, customers can’t proactively invest their unused cash in a money market fund. This may not be too much of an issue in today’s ultra-low short term interest rate environment, but the lost opportunity for generating interest on excess cash might be more noticeable if rates move higher.
  • Webull is able to offer free trading and all its other services because it is receiving payment for order flow (PFOF). This may affect Webull’s execution quality. The speed and precision that orders are generally filled at today somewhat lessens this as a significant issue for most traders, but day traders and those using other strategies highly dependent on execution quality may be at a disadvantage.
  • Webull offers a number of useful tools for traders, but the portfolio management tools are not as good. Webull customers are expected to be self-sufficient in making their own investing/trading decisions. There are no intra-day or daily market letters and no analyst reports or research on stocks other than aggregated analyst statistics. Webull does not offer financial advisors, recommended portfolios for rebalancing, control of tax lots on sales, or offer a dividend reinvestment program (DRIP). Webull currently doesn’t offer fractional shares. However, the broker stated that they are working on adding fractional stock shares.
  • Stocks, ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies make up the entire menu at Webull. There are no fixed income investments, mutual funds, international equities, futures, or foreign exchange offerings at Webull. You get what you see.

Useability

Webull is simple to use with intuitive navigation. Webull offers a website, desktop workstation and mobile app. They are all well-designed. The platforms share a modern look and feel because of having been built so recently.

The desktop workstation and website are nearly identical, with the same menu and window setup that focuses on a primary set of buttons down the left side of the screen. These buttons allow you to launch customizable quote boards. A stock page that provides a wealth information about a single stock, ETF or stock, as well as a market overview page and stock screener. An account tab shows balances, positions and buying power. You can also access bank transfers to and from your account. There is also a dedicated paper trading area. There are some minor differences between the website and the workstation, and the website only supports single leg options.

The mobile app uses primary features in a way consistent with the website and workstation, but there are design differences to handle the smaller screens the app is used on. The menu buttons on the bottom of the app screen change to be relevant to the content shown at the time. An example of this is the options button, which appears at the bottom to show an individual stock/ETF.

You can easily create watchlists across all platforms from stock screener results. You don’t have to create watchlists on different platforms. Watchlists are also consistent across all platforms, including the web, mobile, and desktop. It’s easy to order and traders can customize the trading ticket information, such as share amounts and order type.

Trade Experience

Webull’s workstation is highly customizable, with templates available for trading stocks and ETFs, options trading, day trading, and for cryptocurrency trading. Trader can toggle between the different templates pages or create their own layouts using widgets. Each widget contains different information such as news, basics, options, order entry, sales, time, and so forth. To save screen space, the widgets can be combined. The different widgets are accessible via marked tabs at top of the window. Widget windows can also be grouped together so a stock entered in one of the widgets will automatically update in the other widgets in the group.

The trading setup also allows for a highly customized user experience, including hot keys, home page loaded on startup, default stock and option orders, and frequently used share quantities. You can do the most customization and flexibility on your workstation. Website did not include all the templates for trading pages on the workstation. The learning center was also not accessible via the website. When necessary, the system will direct you to other pages, such as the stocks window, which allows you to view stock-specific information, news and charting.

Webull makes it easy to place an order. You can add the order screen to other screens. The stock order entry screen also includes contingency orders that allow for profit taking and stop loss levels. You can also create order tickets directly from the account holdings, and clicking on the bid or offer of a market will automatically enter that information into the trade order widget. Trading was also available directly from the charting program, with active positions and orders clearly shown on the chart.

Mobile Trade Experience

As mentioned, although there are some minor differences between the website and the workstation, there is a basic consistency across all the platforms. The mobile app has the same basic features as the website and workstation, but there are design differences to handle the smaller screens. The menu buttons adjust to the content screen, so you can access the most important functions you need. Mobile’s charting also shows your open positions and allows trading directly from the chart. Webull’s drawing tools were also easier to use than the mobile charting software of many other brokers. Although the Webull stock screener is not available on the mobile app, you can convert search results from the website or at work into a watchlist which will be synced to the app.

A wide range of offerings

Webull focuses exclusively on U.S. Stock, ETF and U.S.-listed options. Webull offers only personal and IRA accounts within the United States. Webull’s product offerings may not be a match for the breadth of offerings available at full service brokers, but they meet the needs of their younger customer base less interested in fixed income. Unlike many of the full service brokers, Webull offers trading in multiple cryptocurrencies for as little as $1. Webull does not offer traditional forex trading, fixed income, mutual funds, futures or traditional foreign currency trading. Investors using Webull can trade the following:

  • US Stocks/ETFs, long and short (2,0005 stocks) are currently listed on Webull’s easy-to-borrow list for short sales
  • Stocks and ETFs Listed in the USA
  • Cryptocurrency trading with Bitcoin, Dodgecoin and Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoins, ZEC, and XLM
  • Note: NY State is the only US state that has not yet approved cryptocurrency trading on Webull, but the company expects the approval shortly.

Types of Order

Webull offers the most commonly used order types, including market, limit, stop, stop limit, and trailing stops. There are also specialty orders such as one-cancel-the-other (OCO), one-triggers-an-OCO (OTOCO), and one-triggers-the-other (OTO), allowing traders to setup a conditional order where a filled limit order establishes an OCO attaching both a stop loss and a profit taking level order once the initial position is established. Webull does not offer market-if-touched, market-on-close, or similar orders.

Webull does not offer traders the ability to control tax lots for sales to close long stock positions. Instead, they use the first in and first out (FIFO), methodology. Webull also lacks automated trading, backtesting of strategies, and the ability to stage orders.

Trade Technology

Webull’s trading technology is basic, although it does get the job done. Webull reports net price improvement of 0.0056 a share and $1 per options contract. No smart order routing, trading automation, backtesting, or route control are available. That said, this is in keeping with the broker’s bare bones approach to keep costs down.

Costs

Webull is not a low-cost broker but a free broker. They offer commission free trading in stocks, ETFs, and listed options, and they do not charge a fee for account minimums or for their robust platforms and tools. Webull’s margin rates are also competitive. When we talk about commission free trading, that means Webull does not charge for trades, but they do pass through Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) transaction fees and various exchange and regulatory fees, which are typically pennies or fractional pennies per contract. Webull’s costs are as follows:

  • No commissions for online trades in equities, ETFs, or OTCBB trades
  • Exchange traded options are free of commissions
  • There is no commission for cryptocurrency trading
  • Margin is available for both leverage and short sales, and margin rates are based on account size. By breakpoint: Under $25K 6.99%; $100K 6.49%; $250K 5.99%; $500K 5.49%; $1MM 4.99%; $3MM 4.49%; and >$3MM 3.99%
  • Money transfers: There is no charge for ACH deposits and withdrawals. Wire Transfers cost $8 for US deposits and $12.5 if you are international. $25 for withdrawals within the US, and $25 for international withdrawals.
  • Charges for paper statements: confirmations are $2 for each confirm, account statements are $5 a statement; and the prospectus fee is $2.5 per mailing

How this broker makes money for you and from you

It has become harder to understand how brokerage firms generate revenue in the age of no commission trading. Webull is not afraid to tell investors how they make their money, which allows them provide sophisticated trading platforms and zero-fee trading.

  • Payment from Order Flow: Webull clearly wants to be the first to offer no commission trading. Options are now free to trade on Webull. Webull’s pricing page is very clear and states that PFOF is the reason they are able to offer no commission trading. Webull receives an average of $0.00024 per share for its order flow, and an average of $0.525 per options contract; Webull’s price execution improvement averages are $0.0056 per share, and $1 per option contract.
  • Interest on Cash: Another important revenue stream for Webull is its ability to generate income from cash in its traders’ accounts, as the company does not pay interest on cash balances. Webull keeps the interest earned by Webull if you have cash in your bank account.
  • Stock Lending Program: Webull offers a stock lending program. The investor who lends the securities shares the revenue. The interest paid through the lending program depends entirely on the market demand for your securities.

Account and Research Amenities

Webull offers a broad array of account information and research amenities, including fundamental data, news, and charting to help traders make informed investment decisions and identify stocks to trade. However, Webull does not provide the types of tools and information available at full-service brokers, such as daily market reports or individual analyst reports or in-depth portfolio analysis tools.

Stock Screener

Webull has a stock screener, available on the workstation and website but not the mobile app. Although the screener can only be used for stocks, it is simple enough and offers some functionality not offered by other broker screeners. You can select from the United States, China, and Canada only; Webull provides data and charting for US, Honk Kong, Canada, China, and India markets, but it appears U.S. account holders are limited to trading in U.S. markets. For the U.S., you can select the exchanges to include (NYSE, AMEX, NASDAQ), and can filter by more than 25 industry sectors, financial information such as EPS, P/E, Dividends, and by nine pre-set technical indicators including overbought/oversold and moving average crosses.

Although the technical indicators are simple to use, they are not very comprehensive. We could not screen for stocks that moved beyond 200. Additional filters include a consensus analyst rating of five grades (strong buy/buy, hold/underperform, sell), and whether the stock can be traded with margin. Stocks can’t be screened for socially responsible investing (SRI). A customized search can be saved and converted to a watchlist. Choosing any of the stocks on the search results provides key statistics and financial information and an order window for that stock on the same page.

ETF and Mutual Fund Screener

Webull doesn’t offer ETF screens and does not offer mutual funds.

Options Screener

Webull does not have a screener to identify specific option trade opportunities, but they do have tools to help construct the most common one, two, and four leg option strategies (vertical spreads, straddles/strangles, butterflies/condors, etc.) using a drop-down menu on the option chain table to select the strategy. You can then bring up the payout graph at maturity for the strategy, and use tools to further customize the strategy through different order types or adjusting the width between strike prices in multi-leg strategies.

Fixed Income Screener

Webull doesn’t offer fixed income through their platform.

Charting

Webull developed its own charting functionality and it is a solid offering. Mobile app charting is a bit different than on the web and workstation because of the smaller screen size, but it is very intuitive. Order tickets and alerts can be created directly from charts, and analysis like Bollinger Bands(r), moving and exponential moving averages (MA/EMA), relative strength index (RSI), average trading range (ATR), multiple stochastics variations, and other commonly used analysis can be easily added to a chart. Again, it seems odd that neither the 50, 100, or 200 period MA was included in the set of six defaults in the program.

Webull is a new web-based trading platform that has made waves in the Forex market. Fumi Technology, a Chinese online holding company, operates Webull. It allows clients to buy and sell a variety of virtual assets such as shares, ETFs and derivatives as well as commodities like gold, dogecoin, and shiba coin. It also offers trade alerts and market commentary from industry experts, so that traders can be assured of their investment decisions. Investors will need to open a demo account to see how the system works and determine if it is suitable for them.

 

The Java-based software platform used for desktop trading platforms is the basis of the webull trading app. The webull platform allows access to real time quotes of stocks and options as well as to fundamental data such as market depth, price and volume. The webull desktop trading platform can be used on both iOS and Android devices. It comes with over 1,000,000 product images and a wide variety of media files. To use the webull app, first download the free trial web version and install the webull trading platform on your phone. In less than five minutes you are all set and ready to trade from anywhere in the world!

 

Webull allows traders to buy and sell securities with real money. Webull trading doesn’t require any special knowledge to execute trades. The app uses sophisticated algorithms and mathematical algorithms to detect good opportunities and prevent losses by analyzing market signals and actions. The app alerts traders immediately if it detects that a security’s peak volume is rising. This allows them to take immediate action before the price moves. The best part is that all trades are fully customizable. Trades can be customized to allow traders to set investment limits, strike amounts, and stop loss types. This allows them to set custom or automatic limits at the time they feel the investment is at risk.

 

Trading with webull requires a minimum deposit of just $500, and the maximum is Unlimited. Once investors have created an account with webull, they can start depositing funds into their new account. Traders can start either holding a ‘buy’ or’sell’ option, and they are able to do transactions in two ways – using cash transactions or using credit card transfers. Credit cards are recommended for smaller investments due to the higher transfer fees.

 

Many people asked us why they should use webull instead of traditional trading platforms. Webull allows investors to do two types of transactions, buying and selling. In traditional trading, you need to wait until the end of the day to complete a transaction, and this will be reflected on your profit or loss statement. You can choose the time you want to make a transaction with webull. This will be reflected on your trading Profit and Loss Statement. Additionally, trading with webull will allow you to set a limit to the amount of money you are willing to spend or lose, thereby providing you more control and accountability for the money you are investing.

 

Webull’s financial trading platform offers investors real-time protection against third parties. This is another reason why webull is superior than other systems. Webull’s counterparty protection feature makes it impossible for anyone to modify, change, or close your accounts except the authorized user. Therefore, webull provides you with true asset protection, which is much better than any system that does not provide this type of protection. Webull can also inform investors that they are not legally required to pay taxes on gains from investments in the U.S. as webull contracts or investment deals are not considered income.

 

Many traders use webull as their main trading platform, but there are many others who also use it for back-testing, fundamental tests, and even for their margin calls and transactions. In addition, investors can also use webull for their custom trading needs. For instance, some brokers provide webull trading as a free service to their clients. Some webull brokers may charge a small fee for this service. Regardless, webull is an excellent product for all investors, both large and small, because of the benefits it offers.

 

Webull is a great platform for both new and experienced traders. It offers a low-cost, hands free, transparent way to trade on an equity market. The investor can decide how much he/she trades because there are no fees or commissions to pay. Webull is hard to beat.

 

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