Webull Or Thinkorswim
Webull, one of the newest online brokers, was founded in 2017 and launched with a mobile app only 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 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 will take a detailed look at Webull in order to help you determine if it is the right broker.
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.
- 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 stocks, ETFs, options, 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. If you are looking for live trading assistance and prefer to work with an investment advisor, then look elsewhere.
- Fractional cryptocurrency trading is possible in multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Dodgecoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Who Webull Is For
Webull is for investors who want to get into financial markets with no minimum account sizes and commission free 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.
- There are no commissions for stocks/ETFs, options or cryptocurrency
- Easy account setup and options approval, and no fees or minimums
- Free real-time streaming quotes
- Easy to use platforms with excellent content and tools
- Access to extended hours and pre-market trading
- Excess cash does not earn you any income
- Potential for execution to be halted by payment of order flow
- Limited range of tools for portfolio management
- Access to fixed income, mutual funds or foreign exchange is not available.
- Webull offers something free of charge. There is no commission stock or ETF option. Cryptocurrency trading is especially appealing for traders who don’t want their hands tied. Trading strategies are easier to profit from because they have lower implementation costs.
- The account opening process only takes a few minutes. 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. Even though the transfer might not be completed for several days, you will receive purchasing power.
- Webull offers free real-time streaming quotes, and a three month free subscription to Level 2 Advance quotes. This service is Nasdaq TotalView and provides more information about market depth as well as a deeper range of bids and questions on security. You can also find auction crossing information for all NASDAQ NYSE stocks and regionally listed stocks on NASDAQ Marketplace Center.
- Webull’s desktop and mobile application platforms are relatively new, so it has a fresh, intuitive design and is easy to use. The applications are packed with helpful tools for trading, especially considering all the tools are free to the user. You can access news and fundamental information about companies through the customizable workstation platform. Charting is available, as well as watchlists, stock screeners, charts, aggregate ratings and aggregate ratings from multiple analyst. Despite the information density, all of this is set up to work effectively in a streamlined way.
- Many active traders like to trade the market in the pre and/or extended hour trading periods, and Webull customers have the ability to access these hours. Traders can choose whether they want their orders active during the non-regular trading day times.
- Customers of Webull do not receive interest on any cash balances. 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 may affect Webull’s 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.
- While Webull provides a lot of helpful tools for traders on its platform, the portfolio management tools are lacking. 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, recommend portfolios for rebalancing, control over 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.
- Webull offers a wide range of stock, ETFs and options, as well as cryptocurrencies. Webull does not offer fixed income investments, mutual funds or international equities, options, or foreign currency offerings. You get what you see.
Webull is simple to use with 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.
Although the mobile app has the same primary features as the website and workstation websites, there are design differences that allow for smaller screens. 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.
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. You can group widget windows together to ensure that stock entries in one widget will update in all other widgets.
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. The most flexibility and customization is available on the workstation. The website did not have all of the trading page templates available on the workstation, and the learning center was not accessible from 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.
It is easy to enter an order through Webull. 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 possible directly from the charting program. The chart shows active positions and orders.
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 charting allows you to trade directly from the chart and shows you your open positions. Webull’s drawing tools are also much easier than many other brokers’ mobile charting software. The mobile app doesn’t allow access to Webull’s stock screener, but you can convert search results done on the website or workstation into a watchlist that will sync to the mobile app.
Range of Offerings
Webull focuses on U.S. Stock and ETF trading, and U.S. listed options and offers only personal and IRA accounts in 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. Webull allows trading in multiple cryptocurrency for as low as $1, which is a departure from many full-service brokers. Webull does not offer traditional forex trading, fixed income, mutual funds, futures or traditional foreign currency trading. Webull investors can trade the following:
- US listed Stocks/ETFs long and short (2,085 stocks are currently on Webull’s easy to borrow list for short sales
- US Listed Options on stocks and ETFs
- Cryptocurrency trading in Bitcoin, Dodgecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, ZEC, and XLM
- Notable: Although New York State is the only US state to not have approved cryptocurrency trading on Webull yet, the company anticipates that it will soon be approved.
Webull offers most of the most popular order types such as market, limit and stop, stop limit, stop limit, trailing stops, and stop limit. 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 doesn’t offer traders control over tax lots on sales to close a long stock position; they use the first in, first out (FIFO) methodology. Webull also lacks automated trading, backtesting of strategies, and the ability to stage orders.
Although Webull’s trading technology may be basic, it can get the job done. Webull reports net price improvement of 0.0056 a share and $1 per options contract. There is no smart order routing, no trading automation, no backtesting capabilities, and no way to route your own orders. That said, this is in keeping with the broker’s bare bones approach to keep costs down.
Webull is not a low-cost broker but a free broker. They offer commission-free trading in stocks, ETFs and listed options. There is no fee for minimum account requirements or access to their powerful 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:
- No commissions for online trades in equities, ETFs, or OTCBB trades
- No commissions on exchange traded options
- There is no commission for cryptocurrency trading
- Margin can be used for leverage or short sales. Margin rates vary depending 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: No charge for ACH Deposits and withdrawals; Wire Transfers are $8 for deposits in the US and $12.5 if international, and $25 for withdrawals in the US and $40 if international
- 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 is clearly all-in on the continuing race towards no commission trading – even options are free to trade on Webull now – and they are very transparent in stating at the top of its pricing page that PFOF is the primary reason they can offer no commission trading and no fees for access to their well-built platforms. Webull gets an average $0.00024 per share from its order flow and $0.525 per option contract. Webull’s average price execution improvements are $0.0056 per shares and $1 per option contract.
- Interest on Cash: Webull’s ability to generate income through cash in its traders’ accounts is another important revenue stream. The company doesn’t pay interest on cash balances. Webull keeps the interest earned by Webull if you have cash in your bank account.
- Stock Lending Program: Webull does offer a stock lending program, sharing the revenue generated with the investor lending the securities. 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.
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. Only the United States, China and Canada can be selected; Webull offers data and charts for US, Honk Kong and Canada markets. However, U.S. account holders have limited access to trading in U.S. market markets. You can choose to filter the U.S. exchanges (NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ) and you can filter by more that 25 industry sectors, financial data such as EPS and P/E, Dividends and nine pre-set technical indicators, including overbought/oversold, moving average crosses, and overbought/oversold.
The technical indicators are easy to use, but somewhat limited. We were unable to screen for stocks above their 200 moving. 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 does not offer an ETF screener, and they do not offer mutual funds on their platform at all.
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.) Select the strategy by using the drop-down menu in the option chain table. The strategy’s payout graph will be displayed at maturity. You can also customize it by choosing different order types and adjusting the strike price ranges in multi-leg strategies.
Fixed Income Screener
Webull doesn’t offer fixed income through their platform.
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. Again, it seems odd that neither the 50, 100, or 200 period MA was included in the set of six defaults in the program.
If you have heard about Webull before, it is the new web based trading system that has just 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 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. First, download the free trial web edition and then install the webull trading app on your phone. In less than five minutes you are all set and ready to trade from anywhere in the world!
With webull, traders can buy and sell securities using 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 part is that all trades are fully customizable. 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.
Webull requires a minimum deposit to trade. The maximum amount 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. Using credit cards is recommended for smaller investments because there are more 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. 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. Webull offers true asset protection. This is far better than any other system that doesn’t offer this level of protection. We can also tell investors that by using webull, they will not be legally obligated to pay taxes on the gains from their investments in the U.S., as webull contracts and investment deals are not considered income for the taxable year.
Webull is used by many traders as their main trading platform. However, there are many others who use it for back testing, fundamental tests, 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. Webull is a great product for investors large and small because of all 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.