Webull is the latest online broker to focus on commission free trading. Unlike some of their competitors, Webull is really targeting technical traders.
Their app focuses not only on commission free trades, but has a large amount of technical research for individuals looking to trade stocks.
- Commission free stock trading app
- Access to in-depth stock market research
- Powerful technical charting
Min Account Balance
Cash and Margin
Who Is Webull?
Webull is a mobile app that offers free stock trading. The company’s legal name is Webull Financial LLC. They are a registered broker-dealer with the SEC and a member of FINRA and SIPC. The company was founded in 2016 and is a privately held, venture capital-backed company.
Webull announced its app on May 30, 2018, in a press release. Its CEO is Anthony Denier. Webull’s clearing firm is Apex Clearing Corporation.
“Webull believes that everyone should have an equal opportunity to control their own financial future,” said Denier, in a press release. “This is why we have created a professional-level informational and trading platform that previously was only available to professionals or the super wealthy. Webull strives to keep its vast depth of news, real-time market data, analysis tools, and trading commissions completely free. We pride ourselves on continually improving our platform and bringing exciting and useful tools to help everyone make smarter financial decisions.”
Setting up a new account with Webull is done through their app, which you can download at Webull.com. Most account applications are approved within one hour. It can take longer if your application needs further verification.
From there, you can fund your account with an ACH bank transfer. There’s no minimum deposit required unless you are going to trade on margin. Margin accounts require a minimum $2,000 deposit. Currently, there is no way to set up an account through the website. The platform is fully on Webull’s mobile app.
You may have heard of Robinhood, who is currently in hot water over its announcement to offer checking accounts. Robinhood also offers free trading and is a competitor to Webull. However, Webull’s platform has more tools than Robinhood. Let’s take a look at Webull’s feature set.
What Do I Get?
Features that most brokerages charge for are free in Webull. News, real-time market data, analysis tools, and trading commissions are all free. There are some features that charge a fee, which we discuss further below.
For beginners and anyone who wants to see how the platform works, you can open up a paper trading account, which doesn’t require real money. The following are all included in the app.
- Exponential moving averages
- Bollinger Bands
- Money Flow Index
- Level II data (available for a fee)
Investment research tools:
- Press releases
- Analyst recommendations
- Historical EPS
- Revenue data
- Insider holdings and transactions
- Financial calendars
- Stock screeners
- Watchlist and alerts
Other features that you normally see on larger platforms:
- Margin trading
- Extended-hours trading
- Customer service (email, chat, phone)
- Ability to sell short
As noted above, you also get access to customer service. Calls are answered fairly quickly at this point. That will probably change as Webull’s customer base grows.
If you want to short stocks, you’ll need margin account approval and a $2,000 deposit. Webull allows 4X margin intraday and 2X overnight. Keep a watchful eye on the account’s balance. If it falls below $2,000, the account may be forced to liquidate its holdings in order to cover position drawdowns.
One thing Webull does not offer is options trading. This is one area where its competitor, Robinhood, does have an advantage.
Are There Any Fees?
While commissions are free in Webull, there are some activities you’ll be charged for. On trades, the SEC and FINRA charge fees, which are small. There are also margin fees. These range from rates of 3.99% to 6.99%. The larger the dollar amount, the smaller the margin fee.
Charging for transfers is standard on brokerage platforms. Webull is no exception. The normal ACH bank transfer doesn’t cost anything on Webull’s side, although your bank may charge a fee. The first incoming, domestic wire transfer doesn’t cost anything. Over $25,000 costs $8. Outgoing domestic wire transfers will cost $25.
Is My Money Safe?
Webull is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which protects the securities of its members’ customers up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash).
Apex Clearing Corporation provides an additional insurance policy. From Webull’s website, “The coverage limits provide protection for securities and cash up to an aggregate of $150 million, subject to maximum limits of $37.5 million for any one customer’s securities and $900,000 for any one customer’s cash. Similar to SIPC protection, this additional insurance does not protect against a loss in the market value of securities.”
While Webull’s charting features are powerful, some might find charting a little difficult to use on a mobile app. On the other hand, if you find yourself always on the go but need access to in-depth stock market research and charting capabilities, Webull is definitely for you.
In the free investing app space, Webull's main competitor is Robinhood (check out our Robinhood review here). The big differentiator is that Webull supports stock trading, while Robinhood does not.
However, Webull is missing some key features that would really make it powerful. They currently do not support options, mutual funds, bonds, OTC Bulletin Board or Pink Sheets stocks. Stocks that are under $1 and/or have a mkt cap of $10 million or less are restricted as well.
If you're looking to get started trading stocks, Webull has a compelling offer - commission free trading. You won't find that anywhere else (as of now).
However, if you're a long term buy and hold investor, we think that there are better options elsewhere. Also, if you need access to other investments - like mutual funds - this isn't the platform for you.