Webull Review [2021]: No-Commission Trading for Experienced Investors

Webull provides several features experienced investors may want access to, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
Last updated Aug 31, 2021 | By Lance Cothern
Woman reviewing her investment portfolio

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Deciding to invest is often the first step down the exciting road to attempting to grow your wealth. Before you start investing, you have to determine your investment goals, what assets might help you meet those goals, and develop a plan.

After you develop a plan, it’s a good time to find a brokerage that might help turn your plan into a reality. Webull may be the online broker to help you. Our Webull app review shares what you need to know to help decide if it’s the right fit.

In this Webull review:

What is Webull?

Webull, founded by Wang Anquan in 2017, is an investment trading platform that believes individual investors shouldn’t be ignored. The company focuses on offering an all-in-one platform to trade investments with advanced research tools and services at lower costs. In 2020, Webull had over 11,000,000 users.

Webull
Minimum investment
  • None for brokerage accounts and IRAs
  • $2,000 for margin accounts
Management fees None
Asset classes
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Cryptocurrency
  • American depository receipts (ADRs)
Account types available
  • Taxable investment account
  • Roth IRA
  • Traditional IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • Margin accounts
Features
  • Commission-free trading
  • Extended hours trading
  • Advanced charting
  • Paper trading
  • Mobile app and desktop trading platforms
Best for... Active traders who want access to commission-free trading
Visit Webull

What does Webull offer?

Webull is designed for intermediate-level active traders rather than beginners or experts. You can access their platforms through their iOS app, Android app, desktop platform, or the web. The company offers the standard account types you may want to use to trade, including taxable brokerage accounts, and Roth, traditional, and rollover IRAs. They do not support more advanced account types, such as custodial accounts or specialized retirement account types like SEP IRAs for self-employed individuals.

One of the key benefits of using Webull is its commission-free stock trading policy. You won’t pay commissions to Webull, but you may come across other fees you’d likely incur at any other brokerage. These might include regulatory and other fees like SEC or FINRA trading fees, options exchanges, or Options Clearing Corp fees. You might also encounter ADR fees and wire transfer fees.

Webull does not require a minimum deposit to open an account, which is user-friendly. It also supports fractional share investing for both stocks and ETFs. Webull does not support automatic dividend reinvestment plans at this time, though.

Traders on Webull with a net account value of at least $2,000 may request access to trade on margin, which is the process of borrowing money to invest. Margin trading is risky since you need to pay interest to borrow the money. Webull’s interest rates for margin start at 6.99% for a $0 to $25,000 loan and decrease to 3.99% for a $3,000,000 or higher loan (as of June 9, 2021.)

Trading on margin could potentially be profitable if your gains exceed the interest costs. However, you would still owe the original debt plus the interest accrued if your investment decreases in value.

New investors can use Webull’s paper trading platform, which doesn’t make trades with real money. Instead, it allows you to make simulated trades to see how your investments might have performed without risking real money. This might help beginners feel more comfortable with their trading strategies without committing real money from the start.

Asset types

When you’re ready to start trading on Webull, you have the option to invest in several asset classes. These include stocks, options trading, ETFs, and ADRs. One potential drawback is that mutual funds are notably absent from the list of available investment options.

Webull recently launched the ability to trade specific cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, DogeCoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, ZCash, and XLM. If you're not an experienced crypto trader, it can help to learn how to buy cryptocurrency before jumping into the deep end with Webull. 

After-hours trading

Investors get a real-time view of market performance and access to after-hours trading when using the Webull platform. Typically, trading occurs during standard market hours of 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. However, Webull allows its users to trade from 4:00 to 9:30 a.m. ET for pre-market trading and 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET for after-hours trading. This can allow you to trade immediately after breaking news and earnings releases rather than waiting for the markets to reopen.

Technical analysis tools

To assist with your investing decisions, Webull offers in-depth technical analysis tools. Tools the platform provides include advanced charts, a stock screener, and multiple technical indicators. The company also supports advanced Level 2 stock market data with NASDAQ TotalView, which gives you more information on bids and offers for trades at a cost of $1.99 per month. The desktop platform provides plenty of insight, as well. It allows you to build and consolidate watchlists and place orders. Together, all of these tools could help you identify potential investments and make trades.

Pros and cons of Webull

Using Webull could have several benefits or drawbacks depending on your reasons for using the platform. Pros include:

  • No minimum deposit requirement
  • Zero commissions on trades
  • Fractional share trading available for stocks and ETFs
  • Several asset classes available to trade, including cryptocurrency trading
  • After-hours trading available
  • Advanced charting
  • Level 2 data from NASDAQ available for a fee
  • Traditional, Roth, and rollover IRAs available
  • App, web, and desktop platforms available
  • Paper trading

No investing service is perfect. Here are some of the drawbacks of using Webull:

  • Automatic dividend reinvestment not available
  • May be intimidating for new investors
  • Mutual funds not available
  • Joint and custodian account types not supported

Who can open an account with Webull?

To open an account with Webull, you need to meet the following four requirements:

  • Be age 18 or older
  • Have a valid Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Have a residential address in the U.S. or its outlying territories
  • Be a U.S. resident, have a U.S. permanent residency card, or hold a valid U.S. visa

People who want access to commission-free trades for various asset classes with more advanced features, such as charting and Level 2 data, may find Webull a good fit. Ideal Webull users would have enough money to purchase a diversified portfolio of whole shares of investments.

Webull won’t be a good fit for all investors, though. Even though Webull has no minimum deposit requirements, it doesn’t offer many educational materials to help new users beyond the company’s limited FAQs section. There are likely better platforms out there for new investors.

How much can you earn with Webull?

Webull allows you to choose your investments. As such, your returns will vary based on what you decide to invest in, and the times you buy and sell the assets. All investments come with risk. You might end up losing your entire investment if the company you invest in goes bankrupt.

That said, your investments could also provide reasonable returns if they do well. Diversification, or buying several investments rather than just one or two, could help you mitigate some of your risk. This way, if certain investments perform poorly, other investments’ positive returns could potentially offset the poor performers.

Webull doesn’t charge management fees or commissions on trades, so you won’t have any significant costs to incur other than the regulatory fees you’d likely need to pay at any brokerage. That said, margin investors do have to pay interest charges, which could impact their returns.

FAQs about Webull

Is Webull legit?

Webull is a legitimate brokerage you can use to invest in stocks, ETFs, crypto, ADRs, and options. It is registered with the SEC and is a member of FINRA, SIPC, NYSE, NASDAQ, and Cboe EDGX. As a SIPC member, Webull’s customers get up to $500,000 of coverage in case the brokerage fails and your securities go missing. It does not protect you from the loss of value of your investments.

Which is better, Webull or Robinhood?

Whether Webull or Robinhood is a better fit for you depends on your experience, circumstances, and investing goals. Both brokerages offer the ability to invest with no minimum deposit.

Webull is generally a better fit for experienced investors with enough money to invest in a diversified portfolio. Webull’s advanced charting features and longer extended trading hours may appeal to these investors.

Robinhood generally works better for new investors. Robinhood even dedicates a section of its website to helping new investors learn the ins and outs of investing. Robinhood also supports automatic dividend reinvestment.

How does Webull make money?

Webull doesn’t make money from trade commissions which makes many people wonder how the company makes money. Webull makes money from the following revenue streams:

  • Payment for order flow: A complicated system of routing transactions that results in Webull earning small amounts of money on each transaction.
  • Stock loans: Webull may lend securities and profit from lending those securities. Your securities are still available if you need them.
  • Interest on free credit balances: Cash sitting in your account doesn’t pay interest to you, but Webull can earn interest on it.
  • Margin rates: This represents interest paid to Webull when people borrow money to invest.

Is Webull good for beginners?

Webull could be a decent option for well-educated beginner investors that understand investments in concept but have not started trading yet. New investors who are learning how to invest money would likely be better suited by other platforms that offer more educational resources. Completely new investors may prefer robo-advisors that guide them through the investing process.

How to open a Webull account

If you want to open a Webull account, it's free and easy. You need to upload a copy of your driver’s license, passport, or an eligible visa with a valid Social Security Number or individual taxpayer identification number. You’ll also need basic information, such as your date of birth.

Webull will ask about your investing experience, your financial status, and some regulatory questions. Then, they’ll audit your application and approve your trading account if there are no issues. Approval can be automatic but may require additional verification in some cases. Webull might also require that you link a bank account to fund your investment account.

Other investing platforms to consider

Webull’s platform may work for many investors, but it isn’t a good fit for everyone. Consider our picks for the best investment apps and best brokerage accounts if Webull doesn’t feel like the right choice for you.

Beginner investors that want help learning how to invest money and build a portfolio may prefer a robo-advisor, such as Betterment. Betterment can help you develop and maintain a portfolio by asking targeted questions. Then, it uses technology and algorithms to do most of the work, which generally results in lower fees than what you’d see with a traditional financial advisor. Read our Betterment review to learn more.

If you prefer to pick your own investments but want access to important features such as fractional share investing and automatic dividend reinvestment, you might prefer a stock trading app like Robinhood. Robinhood offers both of these features, no deposit minimums, and educational resources for new investors. It also offers no commissions, which makes it a good option for day trades. Read our Robinhood review to learn more.

Webull Benefits

  • Buy and sell stocks before and after market hours
  • Stunning, easy to use interface
  • A stock trading app that grows with you
  • Average 4.7 stars across 228,000 App Store reviews

Author Details

Lance Cothern Lance Cothern, CPA is a personal finance writer and founder of MoneyManifesto.com. Lance's work covering several personal finance topics has been published in U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, Credit Karma, Investopedia, and several other publications.