Updated January 11, 2020

Webull Review: Free Trades From a Robinhood Competitor

Stocks

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Webull isn’t your grandfather’s broker — for one thing, it’s commission free. It also offers technical analysis, educational courses, and a robust trading platform… all on a mobile app. If this sounds appealing, keep reading our Webull review for more information.

Unlike other free competitors such as Robinhood, Webull is geared toward intermediate and advanced traders. But that’s not to say novice traders can’t learn how to use this platform too. However, anyone who uses Webull should be comfortable with technical analysis — the research you’ll find here definitely isn’t watered down.

This Webull review will explain everything you need to know about the platform before signing up. Webull is currently offering a free stock to users who create a new account, plus another free stock when you make your first deposit of at least $100.

Sign up now to take advantage of this special offer.

What Is Webull?

Once upon a time, investors had to visit or phone an actual stock broker to place a trade. Today, much of the market’s trading is done online.

With the Webull app, you can trade at your own pace and save a ton of time and money. The online format also allows brokerages to run with less overhead, removing the need for commissions. Beyond its trading tools, Webull also provides more advanced tools to help you reach your investment goals.

Webull was founded in 2016, so it’s a relative newcomer. Its headquarters are located right on Wall Street in New York City.

Although the company doesn’t have brick-and-mortar branch offices like a traditional broker, it’s just as secure. The platform is registered with the SEC as a broker-dealer, and its extended SIPC coverage gives you protection for up to $500,000, or $250,000 for cash claims.

Beyond standard SIPC and SEC coverage, Webull users are protected by an additional policy from the Apex Clearance Corp. This insurance covers the application for up to $150 million total, although this is limited to $37.5 million for individual investors and only $900,000 per user in cash.

Webull Review: How Does It Work?

Webull users can view and manage their accounts from either a computer or the mobile app, which is available on iOS and Android. You won’t be charged for commissions, fees, or your initial deposit, and there’s no minimum balance unless you’re trading on margin.

Free online trading is a great way for new investors to get started.

That said, FINRA and the SEC charge extremely small trading fees on all transactions. These costs represent a fraction of a percent and are the same across all platforms. Webull doesn’t earn any income on SEC or FINRA charges.

The entire service runs online, so you can make changes at nearly any time. Webull users can trade within business hours or during pre-market (4-9:30 a.m. Eastern) or after-hours (4-8 p.m.).

Since Webull is free to use, you can try the application out for yourself before making a commitment. If you feel comfortable with its features, sign up today to earn a free stock.

Webull Review - Signup
Although Webull isn’t the easiest trading platform to use, its signup process is very straightforward.

Webull Review: Pros

Free trading is a draw on its own, but that’s not all that Webull offers. In fact, the application provides tools that match or even exceed those of some paid platforms. These are some of the most noteworthy features available that we found when working on our Webull review.

Market Data

Updated information is critical for success as an investor, and Webull gives you the data you need to make informed decisions. Every user has access to real-time market information along with analyst ratings and the full financial calendar. You’ll also be able to view any upcoming IPOs and other events.

Basic market data is free for every Webull user, although you can pay for additional insights.

Webull provides more technical indicators than most other online investing platforms. These might be difficult to understand if you’re new to trading, but they’re incredibly valuable for experienced investors. Access to technical indicators is one of the top benefits of Webull compared to its competitors.

Webull users have access to real-time information on more than 25,000 stocks across more than 90 regions. You can also track roughly 3,000 commodities, 1,000 currency pairs, and 100,000 funds, although real-time data for these is not currently available.

Once you grow more comfortable with Webull’s market data, you can create your own information settings. Users have the ability to set up automatic stock alerts via either email or text. You can receive notifications for any stock on your watch list, and Webull makes it easy to configure alerts based on your preferences.

Customizable notifications allow you to stay updated on major changes for a variety of stocks, and you won’t have to worry about missing the latest developments.

Webull Review - Help Center
Webull’s Help Center can answer most of your important questions.

Free Stock

Webull’s free stock offer gives you an immediate return on investment before you even start trading. The free share is guaranteed to be worth at least $8 and ranges up to $1,000.

Plus, once you deposit at least $100 into your Webull account, you’ll score an additional free stock. If you take advantage of that offer, you’ll have generated a return of at least 16% on your first $100.

You might not think of $100 as enough to begin investing, but the truth is that you can get started with a small initial deposit. The important thing is to continue contributing to your account and growing your portfolio. An additional two free stocks put you that much closer to your investing targets.

Margin Trading

Webull offers low-cost margin trading with no monthly fee and financing rates as low as 3.99%. While you won’t be able to margin trade bonds, mutual funds, or other investment options, you can use these features on a wide range of stocks.

Webull’s margin trading tool allows you to invest with more than the balance in your account, potentially leading to larger gains (or larger losses). Users can margin short sales for up to four times their account balance on same-day trades, or twice the balance if the trade is held overnight

Keep in mind that Webull requires users to maintain a minimum balance of $2,000 in order to access margin trading. You can turn your existing account into a margin account as long as you have at least $2,000.

Furthermore, the 3.99% rate is available only for users with account balances over $3,000,000. If you’re trading less than $25,000, for example, you’ll pay 6.99% in interest. Rates continue to decrease as you invest more money. Keep in mind that margin trading is worth it only if you can beat the interest rate with your return.

Users with at least $25,000 in their account can also access unlimited day trading.

Education

Webull provides features and analytics, but it also offers educational materials that allow users to learn more about investing. If you’re interested in day trading, for example, you’ll have access to an informative course to help you get started. Webull’s educational tools are one of its top selling points, especially for less experienced investors.

Trading Simulator

One of Webull’s most unique and valuable features is its robust trading simulator. This gives you the ability to run a trading account without investing any money. You can use a simulated account to experiment with new strategies without taking on any additional risk. Simulation tools are especially hard to find with a free brokerage.

Webull Review: Cons

Although the app offers a variety of helpful tools, while writing this Webull review, we found some limitations that new users should be aware of. These may not be relevant for every investor, but you may prefer another platform if any of these things could affect your investing experience.

Limited Customer Support

Customer service is important for any investment platform. Aside from a Help Center data base and an email address, there’s no option to phone a living, breathing representative.

Although that’s a negative when compared to the white-glove service you get from more traditional brokers like Schwab or Fidelity, it’s par for the course with younger, free platforms.

However, truth be told, when working on our Webull review, we found answers to all of our pressing questions in the Help Center. Between this informative feature and email support, customer service should be adequate for most users.

Narrower Investing Options

The Webull app allows you to trade most stocks, but it offers a smaller range of choices compared to some alternatives. Mutual funds, one of the most popular options for long-term investment, aren’t supported. You also won’t find bonds, or stocks with a share price of under $1 (penny stocks).

While these limitations don’t affect users who simply want to trade stocks on the major exchanges, it’s an important limitation if you’re looking to make other investments.

On the other hand, Webull does offer support for a growing range of investments. You’ll soon be able to invest in Canadian stocks, futures, cryptocurrencies, commodities, options, and more.

That said, the application itself currently isn’t available in Canada. Today, you can access it in the U.S. and U.K., although Webull doesn’t specify which other countries it supports.

 

Although Webull itself doesn’t charge regular fees, you’ll still need to pay just a tiny fraction to regulatory agencies.

Less Flexibility

Webull has both a website and a mobile app, but you’re required to trade on the app. The website doesn’t offer trading support, although it does give you access to live quotes. The app is available on both the App Store and Google Play.

Trading with the Webull app is relatively simple, but it’s tough to manage an entire investment account on a mobile device. You’ll probably end up switching between the website and app for different functions, which makes it less convenient than some competitors.

This issue is compounded by the fact that the mobile app is somewhat confusing. The website is significantly easier to navigate, so using the app for every transaction is a major inconvenience.

No Expert Portfolios

Some investing applications give you the option to invest in pre-made portfolios developed by experts. Unfortunately, Webull doesn’t provide any expert portfolios, which makes it less approachable for new investors. Pre-made portfolios help you diversify and minimize risk without having to do all the research yourself.

If you feel confident in your ability to build a portfolio, the lack of expert portfolios won’t be an issue. On the other hand, pre-built options make it much easier for new investors to get into trading. You should consider using another platform if you want to invest with a pre-built portfolio.

Tricky to Use

Webull gives you all the investing tools you need to succeed, but it can be overwhelming for new users. If you don’t have experience investing, it may be tricky to figure out how to use Webull’s vast array of features and information effectively. With that in mind, the application may be best for experienced traders.

Furthermore, the application itself has a slightly confusing design, and you’ll need time to learn how it works. Don’t expect to understand everything as soon as you download the app. Understanding all of its features will involve some trial and error, especially if you’re new to investing.

That said, you’ll get a lot out of Webull’s data once you’re used to its interface. The application looks sleek and modern, and its learning curve is less steep for those who are accustomed to investing. Experienced traders will feel at home using either the Webull app or website.

Webull Review: The Bottom Line

Webull is an extremely popular trading application, and its range of features make it perfect for more experienced investors. New traders might find it more confusing than some other services. In addition, casual users may prefer to use an online broker that sticks to more basic functionalities.

That said, Webull’s educational tools will help you learn quickly if you’re willing to put in the time.

Sign up for a few different sites to see which service you’re most comfortable with. You can register for Webull without depositing any money, so there’s no risk involved.

You can also transfer your balance from another brokerage account to Webull if and when you want to switch.

If you’re interested in investing, you should start trading now to start earning gains as soon as possible. Some people think they don’t have enough to make investing worthwhile, but you can start trading with $100 or less. As long as you continue to make contributions, your portfolio should generate significant returns over time.

Sign up for Webull today to open a new investment account and earn up to two free stocks.

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in July 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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