What Brokerage Is Webull
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. 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.
- Webull does not charge commissions for stock, ETF or option trades. There are no minimum account requirements. Margin trading is available to accounts of $2000 and higher.
- 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 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 is possible in multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Dodgecoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Who is Webull 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.
- 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 trading hours that are extended and pre-market
- 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
- No access to fixed income, mutual funds, foreign exchange, or futures markets
- 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. Trading strategies are easier to profit from because they have lower implementation costs.
- 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. 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. 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 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 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. 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 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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Webull is simple to use with intuitive navigation. Webull has a website, a desktop workstation, and a mobile app that are all similarly 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 launch customizable quote boards, a stock page with a wealth of information on a single stock or ETF, a broad market overview page, a stock screener, a trading screen that is highly customizable on the desktop platform, an account tab showing balances, positions, buying power, performance, risk level related to margin leverage, access to bank transfers into and out of the account, and 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.
You can easily create watchlists across all platforms from stock screener results. Watchlists also remain consistent between the desktop, web, mobile app, so you don’t need to set these up on multiple platforms. It’s easy to order and traders can customize the trading ticket information, such as share amounts and order type.
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. 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. 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.
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 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. Menu buttons adapt along with the content screen you are on, serving up the main functions that you are likely to 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.
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. Although Webull’s product offerings are not as extensive as full-service brokers, they can meet the needs for younger customers who are less interested in fixed income. Unlike many of the full service brokers, Webull offers trading in multiple cryptocurrencies for as little as $1. There is no fixed income, mutual fund, futures, or traditional foreign exchange trading available. 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 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.
Although Webull’s trading technology may be basic, it can 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. That said, this is in keeping with the broker’s bare bones approach to keep costs down.
Webull is a no cost broker, not a low cost 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. 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:
- Online trades in equities or ETFs are free of commissions
- No commissions on exchange traded options
- No commission on 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
With the race towards no commission trading, understanding how brokerage companies generate revenue has become more opaque. 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 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. 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.
Webull has a stock screener, available on the workstation and website but not the mobile app. The screener is limited to stocks and is easy enough to use, but it does not offer all the functionality that rival broker screeners offer. 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 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 cannot be screened for SRI (socially responsible investing). 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.
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 does not offer fixed income on their platform.
Webull built 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. It also offers trade alerts and market commentary from industry experts, so that traders can be assured of their 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. You can trade anywhere in the world in less than five minutes!
Webull allows traders to buy and sell securities with 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. 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. 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 have asked us why webull is better than traditional trading platforms. We can tell them that webull allows investors to conduct 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. 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. Because webull has a counterparty protection feature, it is impossible for anyone but the authorized user to modify, change or close your accounts. Webull offers true asset protection. This is far better than any other system that doesn’t offer this level 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. 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. Because there are no commissions or fees to pay, the investor has complete control over how much he/she trades. Webull is hard to beat.