Webull Seeking Alpha

Webull Seeking Alpha

Webull is one of the newer online brokers, forming in just 2017 and launching with just a mobile app in May 2018. Webull’s primary target market, the millennials, was reflected in this mobile launch. 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. 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 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 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 smaller selection of assets is meant to serve a client base that skews towards younger, self-directed customers comfortable with technology and wanting information on the go.
  • 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 isn’t a full-service broker. Its customers require a DIY approach to 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. 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

  • 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 extended hours and pre-market trading

Cons

  • Excess cash does not earn you any income
  • Potential give up on execution due to payment for order flow (PFOF)
  • Portfolio management tools are limited in number
  • Access to fixed income, mutual funds or foreign exchange is not available.

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. 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. Even though the transfer might not be completed for several days, you will receive purchasing power.
  • Webull provides free streaming quotes and three-month free access 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. There is also auction crossing information for all NASDAQ-NYSE and regional listed stocks on NASDAQ Market Center.
  • Webull’s desktop and mobile application platforms are relatively new, so it has a fresh, intuitive design and is easy to use. All the tools available are free and packed with useful tools to trade. 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 all the information, it is organized in a way that makes it easy to use.
  • 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.

The Cons

  • Customers of Webull do not receive interest on any cash balances. As Webull doesn’t support mutual fund trading, customers can’t proactively invest their unused 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 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. 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. Customers of Webull are expected to be able to make their own trading and investing 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.
  • Webull offers a wide range of stock, ETFs and options, as well as cryptocurrencies. There are no fixed income investments, mutual funds, international equities, futures, or foreign exchange offerings at Webull. What you see is what you get.

Useability

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. The website has some differences from the workstation. It 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.

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 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. The widgets contain different information, such as news, fundamentals, options, as well as order entry, time & sales, and so on. 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.

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. The most flexibility and customization is available on the 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.

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. Order tickets can be created directly from your account holdings. Simply click on the market bid or offer to automatically add that information to 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 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.

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 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.

Types of Order

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 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

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.

Prices

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 also are 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 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: 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 offers a stock screener. It is available on the website and at the workstation, but not in 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.

Although the technical indicators are simple to use, they are not very comprehensive. We were unable to screen for stocks above their 200 moving. Other filters available include a consensus analyst rating with five grades (strong buy, buy, hold, underperform, sell) and if the stock can be traded on margin. Stocks cannot be screened for SRI (socially responsible investing). You can save a customized search and convert it to a watchlist. You can choose any stock from the search results to view key financial and technical information, as well as an order window.

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 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. 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. Webull, which is operated by Chinese online holding business Fumi Technology, enables clients to purchase and sell an assortment of virtual assets, such as shares, ETFs, derivatives and commodities such as gold, dogecoin and shiba inu 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 provides access to stock and option prices in real-time, as well as fundamental data such market depth, price, volume and price. 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. You can trade anywhere in the world in less than five minutes!

 

With webull, traders can buy and sell securities using real money. This means that webull trading does not require any particular expertise in order to execute trades. The app uses sophisticated algorithms and mathematical algorithms to detect good opportunities and prevent losses by analyzing market signals and actions. 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.

 

Trading with webull requires a minimum deposit of just $500, and the maximum is Unlimited. After investors have created an account at webull, they are able to deposit funds into that account. Traders have the option to either hold a ‘buy or’sell’ option. They can also do transactions using cash or 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. 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.

 

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. Webull can also be used by investors for their custom trading needs. Some brokers offer webull trading as an optional 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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