Webull vs. Robinhood [2024]: Is One a Clear Winner for You?

INVESTING - BROKERAGES & ADVISORS
Webull and Robinhood both allow you to invest in the markets without paying traditional commissions, but which investing app could be a smarter fit for you?
Updated April 11, 2024
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Webull vs. Robinhood

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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.

In this article

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.

Webull

Robinhood
Minimum investment
  • Basic accounts - $0
  • Margin accounts - $2,000
  • Basic accounts - $0
  • Margin accounts - $2,000
Account fees None
  • Basic account - none
  • Margin account - $5 per month Robinhood Gold subscription
Asset classes
  • Stocks
  • Exchange-traded funds
  • Options
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Stocks
  • Exchange-traded funds
  • Options
  • Cryptocurrency
Account types available
  • Individual taxable brokerage account
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • Individual taxable brokerage account
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
Features
  • Commission-free trades
  • Margin trading
  • Fractional share investing
  • Multiple investment account types
  • Full extended-hours trading
  • Analysis and charting tools
  • Paper trading
  • Commission-free trades
  • Margin trading with Robinhood Gold subscription
  • Fractional share investing
  • Automatic dividend reinvestment option
  • Limited extended-hours trading
  • Recurring investments
  • Robinhood Cash Card
Best for... People looking for more advanced options and IRA accounts. People looking for commission-free trading wiht some helpful automations.
Visit Webull Visit Robinhood

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. Fractional share investing is available for both stocks and ETFs. 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.

Visit Webull

... Or read our Webull review.


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 open a taxable brokerage account or a Robinhood Retirement IRA account.

The taxable account gives you access to stocks, ETFs, options. You can also open a crypto account to trade digital currencies.

The Robinhood Retirement account can be a Roth IRA or traditional IRA, and it gives you access to stocks and ETFs. It also provides a distinct advantage of a 1% match on eligible deposits, which is not often found on other investment platforms.

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 recently added a cash card that is linked to an FDIC-insured spending account. The card allows you to automatically invest your change in stocks or cryptocurrencies. When you opt in for this feature, Robinhood will round up your transactions to the nearest dollar and invest the difference in assets of your choice.

Visit Robinhood 

... Or read our Robinhood review.

4.2

Robinhood Benefits

  • Earn more interest on your uninvested cash with 5.00% APY
  • Get up to $50K of your deposits instantly, so you can jump on investment opportunities faster
  • Borrow money to increase your buying power with margin investing at 8% (as of Nov. 15, 2023) APY for Gold members
Join Robinhood Gold here

What both investment platforms excel at

Webull and Robinhood both have some compelling features in common.

Commission-free trades

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.

Fractional share investing

Both platforms offer fractional investing which is great for newer investors who don't have a lot of money to spare. This means instead of having to save up to buy one entire share of a company (which might cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars), investors can get started with just a few dollars. This gives you the ability to put your money to work for you right away.

Investment choices

Robinhood and Webull offer their customers a variety of assets, including stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrency, and options trading. When it comes to how to buy cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency trading, Webull lets you invest in bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, and litecoin. Robinhood offers cryptocurrency investing in bitcoin, bitcoin cash, dogecoin, ether, 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 goes public and starts trading.

6 important differences between Webull vs. Robinhood

Despite sharing strengths, Webull and Robinhood are very different investing platforms with their own unique features.

Dividend reinvestment

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.

Recurring investments

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.

Account types

Robinhood offers taxable investment accounts, including normal brokerage, crypto, and margin accounts. It also offers tax-advantaged Robinhood Retirement accounts, which it offers as traditional or Roth IRAs.

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.

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 also offers fractional investing, but it 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.

FAQs

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. Both platforms offer fractional share investing, but Robinhood also offers automatic dividend reinvestment and recurring investments which are 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.


Bottom line

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.

FinanceBuzz is not an investment advisor. This content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

4.2

Robinhood Benefits

  • Earn more interest on your uninvested cash with 5.00% APY
  • Get up to $50K of your deposits instantly, so you can jump on investment opportunities faster
  • Borrow money to increase your buying power with margin investing at 8% (as of Nov. 15, 2023) APY for Gold members
Join Robinhood Gold here

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.

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