Investing could be a great way to grow your wealth over the long term. Some people prefer to take a passive approach and invest in index funds or have a robo-advisor handle their investing for them. Others like to take a more active approach and pick investments that they feel could outperform the market.
If you’re looking for an investing app, chances are you’ve come across two of the more popular options in this space — Webull and Robinhood. Both offer individuals the ability to actively or passively invest depending on the investor’s goals. But there are also important differences between the two services.
Here’s what you need to know about these two trading platforms before deciding whether Webull vs. Robinhood is a smarter option for you and your financial goals.
Webull vs. Robinhood
Webull and Robinhood both offer services that allow you to invest in the markets. While they have many great features in common, some differences may help you decide to choose one over the other.
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|Best for...||People looking for more advanced options and IRA accounts.||People looking for commission-free fractional share trading.|
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How does Webull work?
Webull is an investment trading tool created with the self-proclaimed goal of providing individuals with better information and tools at a lower cost. Signing up for a Webull account is free and there is no minimum investment required. Webull is available as a desktop platform as well as a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices.
Webull focuses on the investor by charging zero commissions and offering extended-hours trading. Once you have an account, you can trade stocks, options, ETFs, or cryptocurrency. You can trade in a traditional taxable brokerage account or open an IRA.
Webull doesn’t have any complicated pricing or service levels that come with additional monthly fees. You could sign up for a margin account if you’re interested in trading on margin, but you will need a $2,000 minimum account balance. Margin interest costs vary based on the size of the margin loan, and generally decrease as the margin loan size increases.
How does Robinhood work?
Robinhood is well known for offering commission-free trading, which has become a significant movement within the industry. Robinhood focuses on making investing easy for individuals and even offers many educational materials to help people learn how to invest money.
You can open an account with Robinhood for free and with no minimum initial investment. You could even get started investing with just $1, thanks to Robinhood offering the option to purchase fractional shares.
Robinhood also makes building investing habits easy. They allow you to set up automated dividend reinvestment by toggling a switch as well as orders for recurring investments. These options make investing easier because once you set them up you don’t have to keep remembering to take these actions.
You can only open a taxable brokerage account with Robinhood, but that keeps things simple for new investors. Within these accounts, you can purchase stocks, ETFs, options, or cryptocurrency.
If you want access to more powerful investing tools, you can open a Robinhood Gold account. For a fee of $5 per month, this gives you access to margin trading (with a $2,000 account minimum) and research reports. Robinhood also offers a cash management account that pays interest on any cash you don’t have invested.
Read our Robinhood review for more details.
What both investment platforms excel at
Webull and Robinhood both have some compelling features in common.
Both firms offer commission-free trades on their platforms. By taking advantage of commission-free trades, more of your money goes to the act of investing. This can help you grow your investment account even more than investing with a firm that charges commissions on trades. You will have to pay regulatory fees when you sell investments, but you’ll have to do that anywhere you trade.
No minimums to get started
Neither firm requires you to make a minimum initial investment to get started. Some firms require you to deposit $100, $500, or more just to open an account. Requiring no minimums lowers the barrier of entry for those interested in beginning to explore the world of investing.
Robinhood and Webull offer their customers a variety of assets, including stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrency, and options trading. When it comes to cryptocurrency trading, Webull lets you invest in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Robinhood offers cryptocurrency investing in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin. Neither firm offers mutual funds, though.
Webull also tries to offer IPO shares of companies when they go public. They are not always able to get all IPO stocks, especially those in high demand. Robinhood does not offer IPO shares of stocks but allows you to place limit orders to attempt to buy shares after a stock does go public and starts trading.
8 important differences between Webull vs. Robinhood
Despite sharing strengths, Webull and Robinhood are very different investing platforms with their own unique features.
When investments pay out dividends, some firms allow you to automatically reinvest them into the investment that paid them out. This enables you to keep your money in the market, allowing it to grow.
Robinhood allows automatic dividend reinvestment while Webull does not. You can still reinvest dividends with Webull, but you must do so manually. Additionally, you cannot purchase partial shares with Webull, which means you may not be able to invest your entire dividend check without adding additional funds.
Fractional share investing
Fractional share investing allows you to buy parts of a share instead of having to save up to purchase a whole share. This can help people invest in stocks with high share prices, such as $1,000 per share, even if they don’t have enough cash to buy an entire share. It also makes it easier to spread out your portfolio across several investments to increase diversification and lower your concentration risk in any one investment.
Robinhood’s platform supports fractional share trading but Webull’s platform doesn’t.
When you first start investing, building an investment habit is essential. Many of the best investment apps, including Robinhood, offer the ability to set recurring transactions to help you invest on a schedule. Commonly, people set up recurring investments to match their paydays so they don’t forget to put that money into the market.
Unfortunately, Webull doesn’t offer a recurring investment option.
Extended hours trading
Both Robinhood and Webull support extended hours trading, but Webull’s extended trading hours are more extensive. Robinhood allows extended trading from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET and from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. Webull’s extended trading hours last from 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET and from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
Robinhood offers taxable investment accounts and cash management accounts that pay interest. This is sufficient if you don’t want to invest for retirement outside of a workplace retirement account.
Webull’s options include a taxable investment account, traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and rollover IRA. Webull offers more investment account options than Robinhood but does not have a cash management account that pays interest.
Charting and investing tools
Robinhood and Webull both offer charts to help you identify investment trends and view market data and technical indicators, but Webull’s reports and research tools are more advanced than Robinhood’s. Additionally, Webull features a paper trading platform. This trading simulator lets you practice trades without putting real money at risk.
Margin interest rates
Robinhood charges $5 per month to get access to Robinhood Gold if you want to open a margin account. This does include $1,000 of margin interest-free. Webull’s platform doesn’t charge a monthly fee to access margin, but their margin rates are higher. Both firms require you to have at least $2,000 minimum in your account before you can trade on margin, which is actually a requirement by the regulatory agency FINRA.
Cash management account
Robinhood offers a cash management account to store your cash when you aren’t using it. It pays you interest on that money, but the APY isn’t great compared to some of the best savings accounts. That said, Webull doesn’t offer a cash management account that pays interest at all, so Robinhood’s APY is better than nothing.
Which investment app should you choose?
Choosing between Webull and Robinhood could be a simple decision for some people and a more difficult decision for others.
Robinhood is likely the better choice for new investors just getting started. Fractional share investing allows you to start with as little as $1. You could build a diversified portfolio without having to save up enough money to buy just one share of each company you’re interested in. Other features, such as dividend reinvestment and recurring investments, make Robinhood much friendlier for someone who wants to start building good investing habits.
With Robinhood, margin traders also can access margin at cheaper interest rates than Webull offers. But you must account for the $5 monthly Robinhood Gold fee to get an accurate comparison since Webull doesn’t charge a fee to access margin.
Webull focuses on, and would likely be a better fit for, more advanced traders since they offer more detailed investing tools. Webull’s extended trading hours are more robust, so active traders and day traders who may need to respond to market volatility may find that appealing as well. Webull also offers IRAs for people who want to build their nest egg rather than put money into a taxable investment account.
Is Webull or Robinhood better for beginners?
While beginner investors could use either platform, Robinhood’s platform offers features that beginner investors would likely find more beneficial. Robinhood offers fractional share investing, automatic dividend reinvestment, and recurring investments which are all key features beginner investors should look for.
Can I have both Webull and Robinhood?
Yes, you can open accounts with both Webull and Robinhood. There are no restrictions that would prevent you from doing so.
Does Webull affect my credit score?
No, applying for or having a Webull account should not impact your credit score. They do run a soft credit check for background check purposes. However, a soft credit check is not a scoring factor that should negatively impact your credit score.
Can you short shares on Webull or Robinhood?
You could short shares on Webull as long as you have a margin account with the company. At this time, short selling with Robinhood is not an option even if you pay for Robinhood Gold, which gives you access to a margin account.
In the battle of the best brokerage accounts, Webull vs. Robinhood, neither company comes out as a clear winner overall. Instead, Robinhood offers features more important to beginner investors while Webull’s features likely attract more advanced investors.
Consider why you want to start investing in the stock market and what tools you need to meet your investing goals. Then, compare the features each firm offers. After doing this, you’ll likely have a clear answer of whether Webull or Robinhood is the better investment app for your stock trading needs.