Webull Review (2024) Ideal for Skilled Investors, Not Beginners

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Webull Quick Summary

Webull is a feature-rich, zero-commission stock trading platform. It's a good option if you want to put a small portion of your investment assets in individual stocks, with the goal of complementing a well-thought-out financial plan.

Its fee-free high-interest cash management account also stands out, thanks in part to $250,000 of insurance through the SIPC and an industry-leading annual percentage rate (APR) of 5%.

However, beginner and intermediate investors should be wary of the easy access Webull provides to advanced tools like margin accounts, options trading and short sales, as these strategies are difficult to implement effectively and can significantly amplify any losses in underlying holdings.

Webull Pros:
  • No minimum deposit or subscription fees.
  • Has both an app and a fully-featured desktop platform.
  • Provides access to extended hours trading (pre-market and after-hours).
  • Offers a wide range of tradable assets, including stocks, ETFs, options, ADRs (foreign shares) and cryptocurrencies.
  • Provides free real-time market data and Level 2 Advance (Nasdaq TotalView) quotes.
  • Offers full extended hours trading, both pre-market (4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. EST) and after hours (4 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST).
Webull Cons:
  • Gives you easy access to speculative investment tools like margin and options trading, which most people should avoid.
  • Provides so much data that beginning investors may find it overwhelming or intimidating.
  • As with Robinhood, Webull makes money through payment for order flow (PFOF), which can create conflicts of interests.
  • Owned by a Chinese firm that has not been widely vetted or scrutinized.
  • No mutual funds or done-for-you portfolios are available, limiting its usefulness for long-term (passive) investors.

What Is Webull?

Webull is a mobile brokerage app (it’s also available on desktop via the web) that offers zero-commission trading of individual stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options and cryptocurrencies.

There are no fees to open an account, no account maintenance fees, and no subscription fees. 

The company was founded in 2016 and the Webull app debuted in 2018. Webull is owned and operated by the Chinese firm Hunan Fumi Information Technology Co., and is a registered broker-dealer with the SEC as well as a member of FINRA and SIPC.

In 2024, the company announced its plans to become publicly traded through a SPAC, with a valuation of 7.3 billion.

Webull’s platform has appeal beyond its commission-free trades. Both the desktop version and app version offer a robust suite of useful tools, including:

  • Analyst ratings
  • Financial calendars
  • News and press releases
  • Real-time market data
  • Revenue data
  • Stock screeners
  • Technical research tools
  • Watchlists and alerts

Later in this review we’ll compare Webull to Robinhood, its main competitor. However, the list of features above is the primary point of differentiation between the two platforms.

Robinhood aims to help beginning investors get into the stock market, and as a result its app is simple and streamlined. On the other hand, Webull provides access to a significant amount of technical information (much of which you would normally have to pay for) that will appeal to intermediate and advanced investors.

Webull Tools and Features

Like many platforms, Webull allows you to buy and sell individual shares of U.S. stocks on demand and free of charge. What sets Webull apart from the pack is its suite of analysis tools and extra features.

Stock Screener

Webull’s stock screener allows you to filter for basic company information like EPS (earnings per share), P/E ratio (price to earnings) and market cap, as well as more complex technical indicators.

Here's the Financial Indicators Webull has available inside their stock screener. There are dozens more options available, ranging from technical trading to patterns.
This screenshot shows some of the financial indicators Webull has available inside its stock screener. There are dozens more options available, ranging from technical trading to patterns.

Good screeners usually cost at least a few dollars per month, so having a solid one built right into the platform is a valuable benefit.

Trading Simulator

Simulated trading (also called paper trading) lets you practice buying and selling stocks without risking actual money. This is great for new investors but also useful for experienced investors looking to test out new strategies.

You get $1,000,000 in your paper trading account, and can reset it at any time.
You get $1 million in your paper trading account, and can reset it at any time.

Options Trading

Like Robinhood, Webull offers triple-zero options trading: there are no commissions, no contract fees, and no assignment or exercise fees.

Users must manually request the ability to trade options and be approved by Webull. To enable this feature, just open the app and go to Home > More > Options Trading and provide the requested information.

Webull Margin Accounts

Webull offers investors margin accounts. Let’s start this section by making one thing clear: if you’re new to investing, then you should not be using margin. Investing with margin can amplify your gains but can also multiply your losses.

When you buy stocks on margin, you’re essentially buying shares of stock with borrowed money while using the cash in your Webull account (or shares of stock you previously bought with cash) as collateral. Webull offers up to 4X day-trade buying power and 2X overnight buying power, which I’ll explain below.

How Webull’s Margin Leverage Works

Webull’s 4X and 2X margin leverage is a bit complicated, but here’s a simplified explanation.

If you have a $2,000 account balance (the minimum for a margin account), you can buy up to 4X that amount — in this case, $8,000 — worth of stock for day trading.

The overnight leverage is only 2X. That means that if you have $2,000 of your own money invested, you can buy up to 2X that amount — in this case, $4,000 — worth of stocks to hold indefinitely.

If you use the 4X leverage and fail to sell those shares before the end of the trading day, your account will be subject to a margin call (which means that you’ll need to either deposit more money or sell some of your own assets).

Webull margin accounts also allow for short selling, a unique feature not available on Robinhood.

Commissions and Fees

Webull does not charge account or trading fees, but there are fees that the SEC and FINRA charge (1 cent per sale for most transactions). There are also fees for using margin, which vary depending on the prime rate. 

If you fund your account via ACH bank transfer, there’s no fee to deposit money. Domestic wire transfers cost $25 and international transfers are $45.

WeBull vs. Robinhood

Robinhood has positioned itself as an app for beginning investors who don’t have a lot of money to invest. 

It’s intuitive and easy to use, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of research and analytical tools. This makes it a less-than-ideal choice for more experienced investors seeking to conduct a more in-depth technical analysis. 

Those tools are where Webull shines, and the main difference between the two platforms.

Aside from that, it bears noting that Robinhood is a publicly traded American company. Webull, on the other hand, is owned and operated by a Chinese holding company and has a much more opaque public presence. It’s also newer than Robinhood and hasn’t faced the same public scrutiny.

However, both platforms are registered and regulated according to American standards, and are as financially-safe as any other broker. The nature of Webull’s ownership is more noteworthy from a privacy and data-collection perspective.

Aside from all this, the biggest difference between the two platforms will be felt by more active traders. Robinhood offers instant provisional settlement after you sell a stock, but Webull does not.

When you sell stock via Webull, it takes a few days (typically two) for the firm to process the transaction. Robinhood credits the sale to your account instantly, which allows you to use that money to make other investments.

Both Webull and Robinhood make money through a practice called payment for order flow (PFOF), which means they route their users’ trades through market makers, who pay the brokers for the right to execute those trades. 

While this allows Webull and Robinhood to offer commission-free trading, it also creates a potential conflict of interest, as the brokers may be incentivized to route orders to the market makers who pay the most, rather than those who offer the best prices for their users. 

If you’re looking for a broker that doesn’t engage in PFOF, consider Public (see our Public Review), a commission-free trading app that has taken a stand against this practice and instead makes money through optional tipping and other transparent methods.

Comparison Table: Webull vs Robinhood

Stock TradingYes (free)Yes (free)
Options TradingYes (free)Yes (free)
Fractional SharesYesYes
Mutual FundsNoNo
Short SellingYesNo
Margin AccountYesYes
Margin Cash Minimum$2,000$2,000
Margin Leverage4X for intra-day, 2X for overnight2X for all trades
Extended Hours Trading4 a.m. to 9 p.m.8 p.m. Sunday until 8 p.m. Friday
Stock ScreenerYesYes
Cash Management AccountYesYes. High APY offered with Robinhood Gold.
Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP)YesYes
Retirement AccountsYesYes

Webull Review: Final Verdict

With its commission-free trading, Webull is an excellent platform for advanced traders and those looking to invest in individual stocks. But therein lies the downside: the fact is, most people should not be buying and trading stocks frequently, because very few investors win with such a strategy over the long-term.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in investing 5-10% of your total investment assets in companies you believe in, Webull is certainly a legitimate and wise option.

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R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss, founder of The Ways To Wealth, has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ since 2010. Holding a B.A. in finance and having completed the CFP® certification curriculum at The American College, R.J. combines formal education with a deep commitment to providing unbiased financial insights. Recognized as a trusted authority in the financial realm, his expertise is highlighted in major publications like Business Insider, New York Times, and Forbes.

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