Webull was founded in 2017 and is a mobile app-based brokerage. The app features commission free stock and ETF trading and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
We’ve all heard about Webull offering free shares to new account holders, but many of us are thinking if this is just a good marketing plan to get the inexperienced traders on board, or a way to persuade members of other brokerages to transfer over. Either way we need to know what to expect, if it’s safe, and if Webull is actually any good.
I am going to give an in depth description and analysis of the Webull system and what is on offer on this 100% free brokerage platform.
In short, this app has fantastic research features and is great for more advanced day traders. This is not the app to plan your long term investments, better apps for that are M1 Finance and Trading 212.
- This app is 100% free, no commission and no account fee.
- Offers margin without a subscription for short selling or options trading.
- Both technical and fundamental analysis tools built into the app.
- Extensive research tools such as financial documents and cash flow models.
- Free stock worth up to $1,200 once the account is open and funded.
- Press releases and news updates available in the app.
- Extended trading hours.
- Analyst recommendations and insider holdings and transactions.
- Limited account types, only cash and margin accounts available.
- Only available to those in the US and limited securities traded.
- No credit/debit card transactions for funding accounts.
- Very little online support, there is no live chat and poor telephone support.
- Mutual funds, forex, bonds, CFD, and cryptocurrency trading is not available.
- No fractional shares, prebuilt portfolios, or dividend reinvestment available.
Webull’s Bonus Offer
As I mentioned before, Webull offers all new account holders a free stock worth up to $500. Once you open the account and fund it with $100, you are then eligible to get another free stock worth up to $1,200.
Most of the accounts I’ve seen, including my own have been stocks worth between $4-$10 when the account is opened, and between $10-$15 once the account is funded. I’m not sure how the stocks are issued, but the more valuable stocks must be less likely to be allocated. So don’t base your decision of signing up on the free stocks.
You have to think… Is signing up for a new broker worth that $14? I would not turn down $14 for doing 5 minutes of work.
You can claim this bonus offer by using our unique affiliate link: Get Bonus Offer!
To use and trade through Webull is 100% free. Open your account, fund it and trade 100% free. This is their entire marketing message.
However there is a way Webull can charge you money…
If you trade on margin or short sell securities, you need finance from a lender to place the trade. You borrow money or stocks from your broker to trade. When you borrow money you need a finance rate to pay it back, these are Webull annual financing rates:
|Account Balance||Rate %|
|$25,001 – $100,000||6.49%|
|$100,001 – $250,000||5.99%|
|$250,001 – $500,000||5.49%|
|$500,001 – $1,000,000||4.99%|
|$1,000,001 – $3,000,000||4.49%|
My number one piece of advice for anyone getting started in the stock market is to only trade with money you have to lose. If you borrow money to invest, and you have a 7% finance charge per year, that means you are already 7% down on your trades. Not a great place to start.
One more way you are charged is by withdrawing your money. Reference the table below, these are charges to your account when you perform these transactions:
|Wire Transfer Type||Transfer Fee|
|US Domestic Deposit||$8|
|US Domestic Withdrawal||$25|
Safety When Investing
Webull is very safe. Webull is covered by the SIPC and the type of insurance they have protects customers up to $500,000 of securities held in an account, or $250,000 cash.
The insurance does not cover investors against any losses within your account.
In addition to that, you are also protected through their clearing firm Apex Clearing. According to Webulls terms and conditions, the cover provides protection for securities and cash up to a total of $150 million, subject to limits of $37.5 million for any one customer’s securities and $900,000 for any one customer’s cash.
Finally your personal details are fully protected and never shared based on what is said in Webull’s terms and conditions. Your account is protected by a 4086 bit encryption data, which is required by law for all financial service websites.
- Research tools
This broker has by far the most extensive and informative resources available for research. The fundamental and technical analysis tools are second to none. I would open an account just to use these features.
When performing your fundamental research you will look at such metrics as PE ratios, cash flows, EPS and more. All of which are available in Webull. You can view a number of financial documents as well as see graphs to show trends and moving averages.
You can also compare companies or industries on any metrics. If you want to do your research from within the Webull app, these are the answers you are able to find:
- Is the company beating earnings expectations?
- Are profits and revenue increasing?
- How does the overall valuation of the company compare to others in the industry?
- What are the assets to liabilities comparisons, and cash flow statements?
You can also see analysts recommendations, these are based on over 100 analysts that are independent investors not associated with Webull or the companies that are traded.
If you prefer technical analysis as your base to find good investments you can easily search through the app’s metrics to find general inflows and outflows, trends, moving averages and many more.
Webull offers over 20 different technical indicators on the platform. You will not find this many indicators on another platform. Popular indicators are Bollinger bands, volume, candlestick charts, MACD, RSI, and analyst reports.
- Extended trading hours and price alerts
The stock market has trading hours like any other business, these hours are 9:30am to 4:00 pm EST with weekends and public holidays off. Most trading platforms operate during these hours, meaning these are the hours you can place and get out of trades.
Webull has a unique offer for its customers. You can now place trades pre-market and post-market, the hours run 4:00am to 8:00pm EST and still have weekends and holidays off. This is a great feature because it gives you the ability to execute trades straight after the bell has rang, or if you want to get in on a stock that posts its earnings report pre-market.
Price volatility can be higher during market hours, so if the daily trend is a dip towards the end of the day, you can get in on a stock post-market after all this has happened.
- Real time data and news alerts
Depending on your notification settings you can set specific news alerts for specific companies. You can also access real time data and earnings for each company.
You can start a watchlist of companies that you can keep your eye on. You can also set price alerts to track growth and position.
This is not unique to Webull, but the research and news facilities in the app are far more advanced than the competition.
What you need to know
When you sign up for these ‘free’ services or products, the quote is usually ‘if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product’. This is true in the case of free stock trading apps, you make the decisions, you make the money.
So how does Webull make money?
Webull makes a large portion of their revenue through a practice called payment for order flow. In other words, large market making firms will pay Webull to interact with their clients’ order flow before the rest of the market. They are basically selling your transactions.
Many would say this is unethical or an invasion of privacy. But I think it’s simple non-invasive research performed to make sure the market is remaining fair.
This is a practice performed by Webull and Robinhood, they are the only two brokers that reveal their earnings through order flow marketing.
I think Webulls research facilities are well worth opening an account. Just being able to use the metrics is why I have an account.
However for investing or day trading in stocks and ETFs there are much better free apps, look at our reviews of M1 Finance and Trading 212 for more information, but these are the true market leaders in free trading apps.
Also because of the lack of assets you can trade it makes it very hard to diversify your portfolio. There is no forex, cryptocurrency, or mutual funds available to trade. Most other brokerage accounts offer a more extensive library of tradable assets.
Check out Webull and their bonus offer!