Webull Review: Free Stock and Crypto Trading App for Experienced Traders
Rating as of based on a review of services August 30, 2022.
Webull is a popular investing and trading app that offers free trading of stocks, ETFs, options contracts, and even cryptocurrency.
- Those who are eager to learn
- Active investors
- Hands-on investors
Trading stocks and crypto for free. On your phone.
What seemed like an impossibility from an episode of the Jetsons not too long ago has become the reality for investors today. And while most financial firms offer free stock trading, most crypto exchanges do not.
Webull has decided to change that by offering both (for free) within a single app, and they also throw in free options trading to boot.
Webull is a trading app aimed at intermediate and experienced traders who want access to no-fee trading on stocks and cryptocurrency. Webull has also designed an intuitive mobile app that makes it easy to buy and sell assets, but also offers some great advanced trading features, such as integrated charting tools, multi-leg options trading, and even built-in market research tools and live videos.
We’ve reviewed the Webull platform to help you evaluate its trading tools, security, fees, features, and everything else you need to know to decide if Webull is for you.
What is Webull?
Webull is a popular stock trading app that offers free trading of stocks, ETFs, options contracts, and cryptocurrency. Created for experienced traders, the Webull platform offers a more advanced trading experience, with full-featured desktop and mobile apps, as well as a live community feed, allowing you to interact with other Webull users.
Webull also offers free options trading while most other platforms charge fees on a per-contract or per-leg basis. This can save serious money, as Webull offers complex options trades with up to four legs. Experience traders will also appreciate the advanced charting with drawing tools, technical indicators, and side-by-side chart comparison views.
For users with smaller account balances, the ability to purchase fractional shares of stocks and ETFs means that users can invest with as little as $5, even if the stock or ETF price is hundreds (or thousands) of dollars. And for user education, Webull has built-in analysis and investment research, including a stock screener, news feed, and analyst rating and reports from Nasdaq TotalView and Reuters.
For trading on the go, the Webull mobile app brings over most of the same trading features as the desktop version, including charting and trading tools, as well as research and analysis.
Pros & Cons of Webull
- Advanced trading tools — Advanced charting, live order books, and a customizable dashboard make this a great tool for active traders.
- Free stock, ETF, and options trading — Stocks, ETFs, and options contracts are free. Especially notable is the options trading, as most firms charge a per-contract fee.
- Slick mobile app — Webull brings most of its trading tools on the go with a great mobile app for both iOS and Android.
- Too advanced for beginners — Newbies may have a tough time getting used to the platform, as there is no “easy version” available.
- Hidden crypto fees — Webull offers no-fee trading of crypto, but in reality, there is a 1% markup on all crypto sales.
- Completely self-guided — You’re on your own as you build and manage your portfolio.
How Does Webull Work?
You can sign up for a Webull account using an email address and a password (or with your Facebook or Google ID). After verifying your email address and signing in, you will need to enable two-factor authentication via SMS.
Once signed in, you can browse the platform, but cannot place trades or deposit funds without verifying your identity and applying to open an account. This requires providing the following information:
- Full name.
- Identification number (such as SSN).
- Picture of a photo ID (like your driver’s license).
Approval for account opening may take one to two business days.
Once the account is created and verified, you can deposit funds via ACH or wire transfer. After the funds are deposited, you can start buying and selling stocks and crypto with no commissions or fees.
Webull doesn’t charge any commissions for trading on the platform, offering free stock, ETF, crypto, and options contract trading.
There are some account fees to mention, though, including a “transfer out” fee for moving funds off the platform. There are also very small regulatory fees for fractions of a cent when selling. And while crypto trading is “free,” there is a markup on each trade of 1%, so you will pay more to purchase crypto on the Webull platform.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the fees on Webull:
- ACH transfer: Free.
- Wire transfer: Free.
- Trading fee: Free.
- Crypto trading fees: 1% spread fee.
- Accounts fees: $75 transfer out (partial or full).
- Regulatory transaction fee: $0.0000229 * total $ trade amount (min $0.01; sells only).
- FINRA trading fee: $0.000130 * total trade volume (min $0.01 per trade – max $6.49 per trade; sells only).
- Options regulatory fee: $0.02915* no. of contracts (buys and sells).
- Clearing fee: $0.02 * no. of contracts (max $55 per trade; buys and sells).
Options trading has its own unique regulatory fees as well, and proprietary index options fees for different index fund options trades. Fees range from $0 to $0.67 per contract. A full list of fees can be found on the Webull website.
Webull is a low-fee platform for experienced traders, with advanced trading features for both desktop and mobile users. Here are a few of the best features of the platform:
Webull Trading Platform
Webull offers an advanced trading platform for experienced traders, with advanced charting with dozens of drawing tools and indications, live order books, depth charts, and customizable orders. You can access thousands of stocks and ETFs, as well as crypto trading on the platform.
Webull also offers a built-in news feed for each asset, allowing users to quickly see the latest on the asset they are looking to trade. In addition, Webull makes it easy to find research and analysis on any stock, detailing company financials, analyst ratings, press releases, and even corporate actions, such as dividend payments and stock splits.
There is a desktop app that offers a full-featured trading experience, a web app for online users, and a mobile app that carries over almost all of the trading tools and features as the desktop platform. Overall, Webull is a decent trading platform for active traders.
Webull offers access to over 60 cryptocurrencies for trading, provided by partner Apex crypto. While there are no transaction fees charged, there is a 1% spread fee built into the price of the crypto that is charged to users. This fee is lower than other popular U.S. exchanges, but higher than others. Users can trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and other popular crypto on the platform.
While trading crypto is available on Webull, users cannot take custody of the cryptocurrency. Webull does not offer outgoing transfers to your digital wallet, so all crypto buying and selling must happen on the Webull exchange.
In addition to trading stocks, ETFs, and crypto, Webull offers options contract trading. Designed for more advanced users, Webull options offer simple trades as well as multi-leg strategies, charging no fees. Users can also access up to 5x leverage when trading options with margin.
You can open call or put positions, utilizing the options table with weekly expirations. You can quickly view the open interest, volume, and bid-ask prices on each options contract. Overall, the options trading feature is basic enough for intermediate traders, but advanced users may desire more features.
Read more: How Call Options Make Your Money Go Further
My Experience With Webull
After signing up for Webull and downloading both the mobile and desktop applications, I can see the appeal for traders. The dashboard layout is completely customizable, and market news and analysis helped me quickly learn the latest about any stock I clicked on.
As an intermediate-level trader, the charting tools felt familiar, though not as nice as using TradingView. The order form gave me multiple ways to customize my order, allowing both market and limit orders, as well as the ability to set take profit or stop orders. This is ideal for controlling a trade and managing risk, all which active traders will appreciate.
The crypto selection was bigger than I thought it would be, though the built-in markup of 1% is a bit of a bummer for a “free” trading app. Overall, Webull is a solid platform for experienced traders who want access to stocks and crypto trading on one platform.
Who Is Webull Best For?
Webull is designed for advanced traders, period. If you haven’t studied a candlestick chart or placed limit orders in the past, you may be overwhelmed with all of the features on Webull. Advanced traders who want access to no-fee trading of stocks, ETFs, and options contracts will enjoy this platform. But be aware of the 1% markup on crypto trades.
Webull offers a larger selection of crypto trading than most other stock trading apps (including Robinhood), so crypto enthusiasts will enjoy the ability to trade both under one roof. As mentioned before, there is a 1% markup on crypto purchases, but this fee isn’t too far off from most major crypto exchanges.
Who Shouldn’t Use Webull?
Webull will look fairly complicated to new users, and if you’re a new investor, it may be difficult to fully grasp how to use the platform. We suggest looking for a more beginner-friendly platform, such as M1.
Webull vs. Competitors
While Webull is a strong app for experienced investors, those who are still new to investing or, conversely, are looking for more comprehensive trading tools, may benefit from checking out the competition.
- Fees: No fees on stocks, ETFs, options, or crypto trades. Robinhood does collect a “spread” fee, which is the difference between the buy and sell price of a trade.
- Account minimum: $0.
- Investment types: Stocks, ETFs, options, American Depository Receipts (ADRs), IPOs (for certain companies), crypto.
Robinhood is a stocks and crypto trading platform that offers no-fee trading and a simple-to-use mobile app. It is similar to Webull as it offers free options trading and access to margin, but it is a much more user-friendly app, designed for beginners. There aren’t many advanced trading tools available, but Robinhood excels and helps new traders learn, with built-in tutorials explaining how to use the platform.
Robinhood has come under scrutiny for its hidden “spread fees” and payment for order flow (PFOF) commissions. This may result in users paying more for an asset than its current value. But Robinhood’s ease of use and overall low cost trading make it an approachable platform for newbies who want to learn the ins and outs of trading stocks and crypto.
- Fees: None on stocks, bonds, ETFs. $0.65 per options contract. $2.25 per futures contract. $25 broker-assisted trade fee. Up to $74.95 on mutual funds.
- Account minimum: $0.
- Investment types: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, options, American Depository Receipts (ADRs), forex, IPOs (on certain accounts).
TD Ameritrade is a large online broker with two platforms, one for beginners, and one for advanced traders. It offers fee-free trading of stocks and ETFs, and low-cost options trading with much more comprehensive trading tools than Webull.
Beginners can quickly invest with the TD Ameritrade standard app, and can even access automated investing with the TD Ameritrade Essentials Portfolio robo-advisor. Professional traders can use the thinkorswim app to place advanced trades on the desktop or on the go. Overall, TD Ameritrade is a trusted low-fee broker with tools for any trader.
Webull is a decent trading platform that offers low fees and a wide range of trading tools for intermediate and advanced traders. While new investors may want to steer clear of Webull until they learn a bit about trading, active traders will benefit from the fee-free trading of stocks and options contracts.
Honestly, crypto traders should avoid the platform due to the hidden 1% markup on purchases, but if you want access to everything under one roof, Webull is a solid option.
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Advertiser Disclosure – This advertisement contains information and materials provided by Robinhood Financial LLC and its affiliates (“Robinhood”) and MoneyUnder30, a third party not affiliated with Robinhood. All investments involve risk and the past performance of a security, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Securities offered through Robinhood Financial LLC and Robinhood Securities LLC, which are members of FINRA and SIPC. MoneyUnder30 is not a member of FINRA or SIPC.”