How Webull Makes Money

How Webull Makes Money

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 as a platform that can serve active traders and other people who are drawn to a platform that offers a wide range of services at no cost, including commission-free trading of stocks/ETFs or their options and multiple cryptocurrencies. Webull is more geared towards self-directed investors and offers a smaller range of services than its full-service competitors. That said, Webull customers get a lot of bang without the buck: a nice platform with a wide range of helpful tools and features, along with 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 won Investopedia’s Best Broker for Low Cost Options Trading, Best Day Trading Platform and Best Low Cost Options Broker in our 2021 Best Online Brokers Review.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Webull doesn’t charge commissions on stock, ETF, or options trades and has no account minimums. 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 simple to use and offers excellent trading functionality. It also has a wide range of tools and functionality, including news and fundamental analysis and stock screeners.
  • Webull is not the broker that people should use if they are looking for more products such as managed accounts, mutual funds, fixed income, and mutual funds. If you are looking for live trading assistance and prefer to work with an investment advisor, then look elsewhere.
  • Fractional cryptocurrency trading in multiple cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Dodgecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, ZEC, and XLM commission free.

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. Webull customers have skewed younger than at other brokerage companies. The broker’s no cost model will also appeal to active traders. Webull’s no-cost options trading will be particularly appealing to active traders. This is because all other brokers, including those that offer free stock and ETF trades such as Schwab, still charge commissions for each leg.

Pros

  • No commissions on stocks/ETFs, options, or cryptocurrencies
  • Easy account setup and options approval, and no fees or minimums
  • 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)
  • Limited range of tools for portfolio management
  • No access to fixed income, mutual funds, foreign exchange, or futures markets

Pros Explained

  • Everyone wants something for free, and that is exactly what Webull delivers. 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.
  • The account opening process only takes a few minutes. It takes only a few minutes to get approval for account and options trading. You can also add your bank account or set up an ACH transfer free of charge in a matter of minutes. 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 offers free real-time streaming quotes, and a three month free subscription 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. The applications are packed with helpful tools for trading, especially considering all the tools are free to the user. The customizable workstation platform provides news, fundamental information on companies, and has watchlists, a stock screener, charting, and aggregate ratings from multiple analysts. Despite all the information, it is organized in a way that makes it easy to use.
  • 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.

Cons Explained

  • Webull customers receive no interest on cash balances in their account. Webull does not support mutual fund trading so customers cannot proactively invest any cash in a money-market fund. In today’s low short-term interest rates, this may not seem to be a problem. However, the potential loss of interest on cash could be more apparent if rates rise.
  • Webull can offer trading and all other services for free because it receives payment for order flow (PFOF). This fact may reduce Webull’s price execution quality. This is not a major issue for most traders today, but it may be a problem for day traders or those who rely on execution quality to fill orders quickly and accurately.
  • 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 daily or intra-day market letters, and no research or analyst reports on stocks outside of 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. Webull does not offer fixed income investments, mutual funds or international equities, options, or foreign currency offerings. What you see is what you get.

Usability

Webull is easy to use, with clean and intuitive navigation. Webull offers a website, desktop workstation and mobile app. They are all well-designed. Because they were built so recently, the platforms have a modern look.

The website and desktop workstation are almost identical. They share the same menu and window layout. This main set of buttons is located on the left side of your 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.

Watchlists can be easily created across all platforms directly 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. Order entry is straightforward, and traders can even customize trading ticket information such as order type and share amounts they most commonly use.

Trade Experience

Webull’s workstation can be customized to suit your needs. There are templates for day trading, stock trading, ETF trading, options trading and cryptocurrency trading. Traders can switch between these different template pages, and can build their own page layouts from scratch through widgets. The widgets contain different information, such as news, fundamentals, options, as well as order entry, time & sales, and so on. The widgets can be combined to save screen space, with the different widgets accessible through marked tabs at the 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.

Trading setups allow for highly customizable user experiences, such as hot keys, home page loaded at startup, default stock, option orders and commonly 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. The system will guide you to different pages when appropriate, such as taking you to the stocks window to see stock-specific information, news, options, charting, and an analyst ratings overview.

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

Although there are minor differences between the workstation and the website, there is an overall consistency across all platforms. The mobile app has the same basic features as the website and workstation, but there are design differences to handle the smaller screens. Menu buttons adapt along with the content screen you are on, serving up the main functions that you are likely to need. Mobile charting allows you to trade directly from the chart and shows you your open positions. 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
  • US Listed Options on stocks and ETFs
  • 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.

Trading Technology

Webull’s trading technology is basic, although it does get the job done. Webull reports a net price increase of 0.0056 per share and $1 for each option contract. No smart order routing, trading automation, backtesting, or route control are available. This is in line with the broker’s basic approach to keeping costs low.

Costs

Webull is a no cost broker, not a low cost 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. Webull’s commission-free trading means that we don’t charge for trades. However, they must pay Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), transaction fees and other regulatory fees. These fees are usually pennies to fractional pennies per contract. These are Webull’s costs:

  • Online trades in equities or ETFs are free of commissions
  • No commissions on exchange traded options
  • There is no commission for cryptocurrency trading
  • Margin is available for both leverage and short sales, and margin rates are based on account size. Breakpoint: Below $25K 6.99%, $100K 6.49%, $250K 5.99%, $500K 5.49% and $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.
  • Paper statements charges: Confirmations are $2 per confirm, account statements $5 per statement, and prospectus fees $2.5 per mailing

How This Broker Makes Money From You and for You

It has become harder to understand how brokerage firms generate revenue in the age of no commission trading. Webull is unabashed in telling investors how they make money that allows them to provide a sophisticated platform 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. When you have cash in your account, the interest generated by Webull is kept by Webull.
  • Stock Lending Program: Webull does offer a stock lending program, sharing the revenue generated with the investor lending the securities. The market demand for your securities determines the interest rate.

Account and Research Amenities

Webull provides a wide range of account information and research facilities, including news and fundamental data. This helps traders make informed investment decisions as well as 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.

The technical indicators are easy to use, but somewhat limited. 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 cannot be screened for SRI (socially responsible investing). You can save a customized search and convert it 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 does not offer an ETF screener, and they do not offer mutual funds on their platform at all.

Option Screener

Webull doesn’t have a screener that can identify potential option trade opportunities. However, they have tools to help you construct the most popular one, two and four leg options 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 does not offer fixed income on 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. Charts can be used to create alerts and order tickets. You can also add analysis such as Bollinger bands(r), moving or exponential moving averages, relative strength index (RSI), average trade range (ATR), multiple stochastics variants, and other commonly-used analysis to your chart. It seems strange that the 50, 100, and 200-period MAs were not included in the six defaults.

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. You can also get market commentary and trade alerts from industry experts to help you make informed investment decisions. A demo account with the webull trading app is required for investors to get a feel of how the system works and to determine its suitability for their investment goals.

 

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 is designed for both iOS and android devices and comes loaded with over one million product images and a large 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 mathematical algorithms and sophisticated algorithms to identify good opportunities and prevent losses. It analyzes market signals and actions and then makes trades. For example, once the app identifies that the peak volume for a given security may be on the rise, it immediately alerts traders so that they can take action before the price starts to move. The best thing about trades is their ability to be customized. This means that traders can set limits on how much they would like to invest, the maximum strike amount, and also what type of stop loss they want to use – a custom, or an automatic, limit set at the time the investor thinks the investment is under 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. Traditional trading requires that you wait until the end to complete a transaction. This will be reflected in your profit or loss statement. With webull, you can determine the time when you want to do a transaction, and this will be reflected in your trading Profit and Loss Statement. Trading with webull allows you to set a limit on how much money you are willing and able to lose. This gives you more control over your investments and accountability.

 

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. Webull can also be used by investors 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. Because there are no commissions or fees to pay, the investor has complete control over how much he/she trades. Overall, it is hard to beat webull.

 

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