Free investing apps make it easier to trade stocks and avoid fees. Until recently, many of these fee-free investing platforms lacked in-depth research tools.
Webull can be one of the best investing apps, whether you “buy and hold” stocks and ETFs or make short-term trades. In addition to paying no trade commissions, you can simulate trades and access other advanced investing tools.
Webull Review Summary
Another well-done investment app. The technical analysis and charting tools are above-average. Both taxable and retirement accounts are available with a $0 minimum initial deposit. Having a minimum initial deposit of at least $100 lets you get one free stock worth up to $1600.
Ease of Use
- No trading fees
- Extended hours trading window
- Trade stocks, ETFs and options
- Advanced research tools
- Desktop, web and mobile
- No fractional investing
- No robo-advisor option
- Cannot buy or sell mutual funds
- Customer support slow response
In This Article
- How Webull Works
- Key Features
- Research Tools
- Customer Support
- Is Webull Safe?
- Is Webull Worth It?
- Positives and Negatives
How Webull Works
Webull is an investing app that launched in 2017 for trading stocks, ETFs and options commission-free. You can also short stocks on WeBull.
Cryptocurrency trading and a robo-advisor are also launching soon. Both options can be available by mid-2021.
While Webull isn’t one of the oldest stock brokerages, there is a popular following among DIY investors as they have no trade fees and advanced research tools.
Active investors who regularly trade stocks and options can benefit the most from Webull for its advanced research tools, after-hours trading and minimal platform fees. Casual investors may also prefer Webull to other investing apps for its extra features.
Who Can Join Webull?
You must be a US resident at least 18 years old to join Webull. Plus, you will need a valid Social Security Number with a legal residential address in a US state or territory.
It’s possible to join Webull from their online website or install the mobile app to create an account. After entering your details, you can link a bank account and verify two micro-deposits to start funding your investment account.
You can fund your Webull accounts in three different ways:
- ACH transfers from a linked bank account
- Wire transfers from domestic and overseas banks
- Stock transfers from an existing brokerage account
Linking your bank account and scheduling an ACH transfer is free, but you may have to wait up to five business days for your funds to settle. These multi-day transfer times are standard for all brokers.
Webull may provide a provisional credit of up to $1,000 to start investing before your cash transfer settles. Also, you can invest your funds the same day they arrive as long as it’s before 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.
Webull uses Apex Clearing to transfer your bank funds and provide your tax documents. Apex is the same service that many other micro-investing apps use, including M1 Finance.
If transferring an existing investment account to Webull, you will get a reimbursement credit of up to $100 to offset your transfer fees.
Individual investors can open these taxable and retirement accounts:
- Individual taxable accounts
- Traditional IRA
- Roth IRA
- Rollover IRA
Webull offers cash and margin accounts for taxable accounts. You can open one of each taxable account if you want to trade options.
Open a cash account if you only want to buy stocks and ETF shares and don’t plan on shorting stocks or trading options.
To open a Webull IRA, you must first open a taxable cash account. You can have one IRA with Webull.
Plus, you will need to use a different brokerage to open a joint taxable account or a custodial account for your children.
Minimum Account Balance
There isn’t an initial deposit requirement or necessary minimum account balance to maintain for taxable accounts and IRAs. However, you will need to make an initial deposit of at least $100 to receive one free stock share as a signup bonus.
Other investing apps may require a minimum balance for IRAs but not for taxable accounts.
Your margin account must have at least $2,000 to start shorting stocks. Other margin account balance requirements apply when trading options.
Webull has enough investment options for most investors.
Below are the equities you can invest in using Webull:
- US stocks
- Foreign stocks (American Depositary Receipt [ADR} tickers only)
You won’t be able to trade Over-the-Counter stock tickers that tend to have volatile stock prices and don’t list on a standard stock exchange.
Individual bonds and mutual funds are also not available on Webull as these investment options tend to have more fees. You will need to use a full-service broker like TD Ameritrade to have access to the full suture of investment products.
You can place orders on-demand during regular and extended market hours. A “market order” executes your order at the current buy or sell price.
It’s also possible to place advanced order types like limit orders, stop orders and stop-limit orders to only trade if a stock has a specific share price.
It’s possible for investors to never pay trading fees for these buy and sell orders:
- US stocks
- Foreign stocks (ADRs)
There are no per contract fees for options trades, which is impressive.
Like other commission-free brokers, you will still pay a few cents in FINRA and SEC fees for equity and options trades. These government fees are the same for every broker. You can expect to pay approximately $0.02 in fees when buying or selling stock.
Your margin account can also have an annual margin rate as high as 6.99%, with an account balance of $25,000 or less. The rate decreases as your account balance increases.
Other Webull Fees
Webull doesn’t charge account service fees or trade commissions, but you encounter a fee by using Webull’s optional services. Even the free investing apps have to make money, after all.
One platform fee that active investors might pay is $1.99 for Nasdaq TotalView Level II data. Webull is currently offering free Level II data for the first three months before you pay.
Incoming wire transfers cost $8 from US banks and $12.50 from international banks when you don’t want to wait several days for funds to arrive from your bank fee-free. Standard ACH bank transfers are free but can take several business days to complete.
If you decide to close your Webull account, plan on paying a $75 transfer-out fee.
Webull tends to offer more features than most free investing apps. These advanced features and lack of fees are why investors flock to platforms such as Webull or Robinhood instead of a traditional online broker.
If you want an investing app with the following trading capabilities, Webull can be worth it.
Webull doesn’t charge trading fees to buy or sell stocks, ETFs and options. Some brokers still charge an upfront fee to trade stocks and options. Not paying trade commissions makes it easier to invest small amounts of money instead of keeping your cash on the sidelines.
The lack of fractional investing to buy partial shares of partial stocks is one downside of investing with Webull. Your minimum investment amount per trade is the cost of one share of stock. Robinhood, among other apps, offers fractional investing with a $5 minimum purchase.
Another potential downside for dividend-focused investors is the lack of a dividend reinvestment program (DRIP). Any dividend income you receive deposits into your cash account instead of reinvesting and buying more shares.
Advanced investors may appreciate fee-free access to options trading. Call and put options are available between 9:30 am and 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on market trading days.
Level I (covered calls and cash-secured puts) and Level II (long calls and long puts) options trading is available with Webull.
While Level III (options spread trading) isn’t available yet, Webull states this feature is coming at a future date.
Webull currently doesn’t support bracket orders or trailing stop orders for options trades.
As trading options can be risky, not every investor should trade them. You can expect Webull to require approval before you can start trading options.
Extended Hours Trading
One advantage of using Webull is the ability to trade in extended hours. Most investing apps only let you trade during regular market hours when stocks are the most liquid, and the spread between the bid and ask price is the narrower.
Below are the Webull extended hours trading windows:
- 4:00 am to 9:30 am EST
- 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm EST
There is less liquidity during pre-market and after-hours trading, but day traders and swing traders may use the volatility to capture gains.
You can buy or sell stocks and ETFs during extended hours but not options.
Active investors with a margin account may like the ability to short stocks as an alternative to trading options.
Being able to simulate trades is another unique feature that most investing apps don’t offer. You can use “fake money” to practice trading stocks and options to improve your investing skills and test new strategies.
Both new and experienced investors can benefit from the paper trading feature.
High-frequency traders can benefit from downloading the Webull desktop platform for Mac and Windows devices. A Linux version is in the works as well.
You can also invest using Webull’s web-based platform or their mobile app for Android and Apple devices. Each platform gives you access to your Webull trading accounts, but the desktop version offers more customization.
There are 45 different widgets you can add to your display. Webull also lets you rearrange the layout and supports multiple screens to see your information.
One advantage of using the desktop platform for complex trading and research increases the platform reliability and has faster speeds. As a data lag can impact the profitability of a trade, the desktop platform is worth considering.
Webull has a mobile-first trading app for Android and Apple devices. The app has full functionality to trade and research stocks. You get the entire user experience using the downloadable desktop software, but the mobile app makes it easy to invest.
Like other free investing apps, Webull plans on rolling out a platform to invest in cryptocurrency. It will be possible to buy and sell Bitcoin and potentially other altcoins as well.
Webull offers a variety of research tools that rival a full-service broker. Most free investing apps don’t go beyond a basic price quote, brief company background and recent news headlines. The advanced research tools are one reason why active investors open a Webull account.
Webull Tool Belt
The Webull Toolbelt is a market dashboard that presents a plethora of ticker activity. You can quickly see the advance/decline line to see how many tickers are up for the day and how many are down.
Similar to an investment site, you will see the stock tickers making notable intraday gains and losses. There’s also a “heat map” to spot the biggest gaining stocks by industry.
You will also see an economic calendar listing upcoming initial public offerings (IPOs), dividend ex-dates and earnings releases.
What you won’t see are third-party research reports like Morningstar Premium offers. When doing in-depth research for a specific stock or ETF, you will see the key fundamental metrics.
These metrics let you quickly find important financial data, press releases, analyst ratings, short interest and options legs.
Most full-service online brokerages do a better job of serving fundamental data than Webull. However, Webull is better than most free apps and does a good job balancing fundamental and technical analysis tools.
Webull offers extensive research options for technical traders for day trades and swing trades. Even fundamental investors may use a technical chart to avoid investing too soon.
There are more than 50 technical indicators and 12 charting tools available. If you currently trade on Robinhood, Webull offers far more indicators and charting tools.
It’s possible to modify the values and colors of the technical indicators. Most traders will set up a distinct color for a 50-day, 100-day and 200-day simple moving average.
Some of the other possible indicators include:
- Exponential moving average (EMA)
- Bollinger bands
- Relative strength index (RSI)
- Parabolic SAR
- MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence)
You can view chart bars in one-minute increments on the web, mobile and desktop platforms. The desktop version can offer the most indicators simultaneously, but charting on the cloud-based platforms is more than sufficient for most investors.
These technical tools are better than most free stock screeners. Of course, you may decide to use a premium stock screening tool if you’re a frequent trader. Then you can use Webull for its free trades and extended hours trading windows.
Admittedly, Webull’s charting tool can be a little challenging to use for novice investors initially. But after running several charts, you can learn how to navigate the toolbars and interactive charts.
Level II Advanced Quote Data
Successful short-term trading largely depends on securing the best entry and exit prices. However, knowing the price point that other investors are willing to buy or sell their position can help you spot a trend.
By default, Webull and other investing apps provide real-time Level I quote data. You see the last sale price to buy stock (bid price) or sell stock (ask price).
Level II quote data lets you see the highest bid price (the most a buyer is willing to pay) and the lowest ask price (the least a seller is willing to accept).
WeBull uses Nasdaq TotalView to show Level II advanced quote details for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NYSE American and Nasdaq exchanges. A monthly subscription costs $1.99, but new WeBull members get the first three months free.
Your TotalView subscription also shows the Net Order Imbalance Indicator (NOII). This metric helps calculate the opening and closing prices for Nasdaq tickers.
Hong Kong Level II data is also available if you want to buy shares of Hong Kong-listed ADRs. All other international markets use Level I data.
There is an adequate stock screener to find potential stocks and the ability to make a watchlist.
You can screen stocks by these categories:
- Region: United States, Canada and China
- Stock exchange: NYSE, Nasdaq, etc.
- Industry sector: Transportation, mining, energy, etc.
- Quotes indicator: Market cap, share price, volume, % change, etc.
- Financial indicator: Earnings per share, dividend yield, debt-to-asset, etc.
- Technical indicator: MACD golden cross, RSI oversold, etc.
- Analyst rating: Strong buy, buy, hold, underperform, sell
It’s also possible to screen stocks for margin trades.
Notably, you won’t see premade screener themes that some brokerages offer. The screener is easy to use, but having a set of specific metrics you use to research ideas is good.
Webull won’t win an award for having the best customer service. Still, it’s of a similar caliber to other free investing apps. The best way to get help can be using the in-app support button. You can also call a toll-free number for immediate assistance, but wait times can be lengthy.
For non-urgent questions, there’s email support and an online FAQs section.
If you want high-quality customer support, consider using a full-service online broker such as Ally Invest.
Is Webull Safe?
Minus the normal market risk for investing in stocks, ETFs and options, Webull is as safe as other investing apps. Your brokerage account has SIPC Insurance of up to $500,000, including $250,000 for cash assets. This coverage protects your liquid wealth if Webull goes out of business.
One concern for some investors is that Webull’s parent company is Fumi Technology, with headquarters in China. However, Webull has corporate offices in New York as well.
Is Webull Worth It?
Webull is a good option for many investors. If you’re still not sure, here is a quick summary to help you decide whether or not to use Webull.
Who Should Use Webull?
Webull is a good option for active investors who rely on technical analysis and charting to trade stocks and options. You can trade during regular market hours and extended hours.
Long-term investors who only want to buy stocks and ETFs can also benefit from Webull’s advanced research tools and lack of trade commissions.
Who Should Avoid Webull?
You might also choose a different brokerage if you want access to mutual funds, individual bonds or want to use a platform that offers investing and banking services.
Positives and Negatives
- No trading fees for stocks, ETFs and options
- Extended hours trading
- Technical analysis and charting tools
- Paper money trading simulator
- No minimum initial deposit for taxable or IRA accounts
- No robo-advisor option for “hands-off” investors
- Limited customer service
- No fractional investing
- Some premium features cost money
Webull is an exciting free investing app for short-term and long-term investing. The advanced research tools rival the best online brokers. If you’re comfortable self-managing your investments, you can open taxable and retirement accounts, and you can get one free stock.
Do you invest using Webull? If so, what’s your favorite Webull investing feature?