Program Name: Webull
Sign-Up Website: Webull.com/sign-up
Type of business: Investment/Trading Brokerage
Price: $0 – You get free stocks
Owner: Wang Anquan
Overall Rank: 4.0 stars
What Is Webull?
Many of you may have already heard about the Webull stock app and what it’s for. If you don’t know, Webull is a brokerage where you can buy and sell stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, and Options all commission-free. They also allow for American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) trading for a small commission. They are registered with the SEC and a member of FINRA and SIPC.
Webull is a subsidiary company of Fumi Technology, a multinational Chinese Company. Webull started off in 2016 as a simple research firm and launched in 2018 as an online brokerage firm headquartered in the United States.
Webull is known for having one of the most generous incentive programs that separates it from most brokerages. It is currently giving out four free stocks valued up to $3700 for opening an account. The value of these stocks and the number of free stocks given can vary depending on the promotion they are having at a given time.
Webull is a research-oriented platform available on Mobile and Desktop with free in-depth market data. There is no minimum requirement to open an account on Webull. It is currently only available for citizens and residents of the United States, India, Brazil, Turkey, the Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, China, and Korea.
Webull offers customer support via email, 24/7 chat, and phone support. However, there have not been all positive experiences with their customer support service.
How Safe Is Webull?
As investors, when we sign up for an investing account, it is crucial that we can have the peace of mind that our investments are safe in the case that the brokerage was to be going out of business. Although this scenario is very unlikely, it has happened before with other brokerages.
This is why it is important that the investor is aware of how safe their cash and securities are in the case that this was to happen to Webull.
Webull is just as safe as Robinhood. In short, your money is insured. Webull is a member of The Security Investment Protection Corp (SIPC). This means that it has SIPC Insurance, which covers up to $500,000 for securities and $250,000 for uninvested cash, all per individual account. Be careful not to confuse this with FDIC insurance, which is coverage offered by the federal government.
Webull also runs its transactions through Apex Clearing House. If you’re unaware of what this means, a Clearing House is simply an institution that takes on the risk of a transaction between two parties and makes sure that it is settled to everyone’s satisfaction. Apex Clearing has purchased an additional insurance policy, this coverage provides protection of $37.5 million for any one customer’s securities and $900,000 for anyone customer’s uninvested cash.
Please bear in mind that for both forms of insurance, SIPC and Apex Clearing, they do not cover individual losses for poor investment activity. This means that if you lose money from a bad trade, that loss will not be covered. This is the case with any brokerage out there.
To begin investing and/or trading with Webull, you must provide your personal information to get verified. This information includes your personal identification, your social security number, your residential address, and a funding method (bank account). These are all pieces of information that are required to start investing with any brokerage. Webull does not sell any of this information, and it is safely encrypted before being stored.
How Does Webull Make Money?
You’re probably wondering: if Webull is free, how does it even make money? And no, it is not a non-profit organization, it does make money. But how?
Similar to Robinhood, they found that it wasn’t necessary to take the traditional route of charging commissions to make money from customers. Instead, they found that there are ways in which they can make money without charging commission fees to customers for transactions.
Webull makes money through a variety of other means. They include the following:
- Paid Subscriptions
- Interest On Uninvested Cash
- Margin Interest
- Directing Order Flow
- Short Selling Fees
- Wire Transfer Fees
- ACAT Fee
- Regulatory Exchange Fees
- ADR Fees
These have allowed for your transactions to be completely commission-free. Thus, saving the investor a lot of money in the long run.
Webull Services & Features
Webull offers free access to a variety of services, including the following:
- Domestic stocks
- IRAs (Traditional, Roth, Rollover)
- Trading on margin
- Options trading
- Short selling
- Pre-market and after-hours trading
These are only a small variety of their services. Let’s go more in-depth though.
Real-Time Data: As stated earlier, Webull first started off as a simple research platform. It wasn’t until later that they became an investing platform. Stemming from its research-centered origin, Webull has FREE real-time US market data available for all its investors.
Trading Simulator (Paper Trading): A great feature by Webull is that it gives you access to a trading simulator with $1,000,000 of fake money. Here you can practice your trading or investment skills and familiarize yourself with the platform and its usability. And guess what, this is also a free feature!
Analyst Recommendation: If you are interested in a specific stock, you can find aggregate reports of analyst recommendations. This will help you get a view of what experts are saying about a stock.
Margin Trading: Margin trading is when you borrow money to buy more securities. This can magnify your gains and losses. In order to open a margin account, you must have a minimum of $2,000 on your account. Webull also charges percentage fees on margin accounts.
Extended Trading Hours: Believe it or not, the stock market has its own hours of operation, similar to a regular business. These hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm EST. Webull allows you to make trades from 4:00 am to 8:00 pm EST Monday through Friday for free! Bear in mind that volatility tends to be much higher during extended hours.
IPO Opportunities: A service that is not commonly provided among brokers is the opportunity to buy Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). An IPO is when a company’s stock first goes public. Volatility tends to be a lot higher for IPOs.
Short Selling: Unlike many of its investing app competitors, Wbull offers its users a short-selling feature. If you are unfamiliar with short selling, this is basically when you borrow money to buy a stock, sell it, then buy the stock back at a lower price for a profit and return it to the lender. When the stock goes down in value, you make a profit because you sold it when it was at a higher price. Keep in mind that in order to complete short sale transactions, it must take place within a margin account.
Stock Lending Program: Webull has a great feature where it gives you the opportunity to earn income from lending fully-paid stocks to Webull and having them pay you interest for borrowing your stocks.
Community Tab: Webull gives this to its users so that they can share their ideas and thoughts on potential investment opportunities in the market.
Learning Center: If you go to the ‘Help’ tab Webull’s app or website, they provide educational resources that will help you learn about different investments.
Stocks Screening: This in-depth screening tool gives the opportunity to narrow down your selection of stocks based on a number of different features that you may be paying attention to.
Cryptocurrency Trading: Webull gives its users the opportunity to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Similar to Robinhood though, your crypto funds cannot be moved out of their platform into a separate wallet, this means you don’t have complete control of your cryptocurrency.
Fundamental Data: Although Webull may not be the best for long-term investors, investors looking for fundamental data can find great benefit in using Webull. Webull offers data such as Balance Sheets, Cash Flow Statements, Income Statements, EPS estimates, PE Ratios, comparison tools, and more!
Not Beginner Friendly: Although Webull may seem like it has it all, it is certainly not perfect. One common complaint from newer investors is that they find the overload of information on Webull to be overwhelming. Webull’s interface is also not the friendliest out there! Robinhood may still be a better option for newer investors.
No Fractional Shares Or Dividend Reinvestment Plan: Long-term investors may also not be too fond of Webull, as it does not offer any fractional shares or automated dividend reinvestment plans for users. If you want to purchase a share, you must buy it in full and your dividends cannot purchase the share either, as they will likely not be enough to cover the full cost of a share.
Limited Securities & No Pre-built Portfolios: You must build your own portfolio from your own selection of securities. Webull does not offer any mutual funds or bonds either.
No Cash Account: Webull does not offer you a cash account where you can use your uninvested cash as if it were in a checking account. It also does not pay any interest on this cash as Robinhood does.
Complaints About Customer Support: Common complaints on the internet have talked about Webull’s lack of customer support, even for the over-the-phone service. Customers have complained about waiting for long periods of time over the phone and multiple days via email, and on top of that, receiving very vague responses to their inquiries.
No Recurring Deposits: Several investors like to have a ‘set it and forget it’ system for their investments. This is not the case for Webull. If you want to deposit money or buy securities on Webull, you must do this actively. As stated before, Webull is not the best option for long-term investors.
Non-Residents Have No Access: This one speaks for itself. Only people in the following countries have access to Webull’s services.
- United States
Limited Account Types: Joint accounts, trusts, and custodial accounts are not available on Webull.
Withdrawal Issues With Large Sums Of Cash: There have been many complaints from users stating that they run into technical issues when withdrawing large amounts of money from Webull. It takes a lot of time for customers to complete their withdrawals. This could be an issue if you need to have access to liquid cash. So, word of advice for this issue is: if you have a large sum of cash that you want to withdraw from the platform (say, $25,000), make smaller withdrawals one at a time ($5,000 withdrawals every week or every two days) to avoid this issue.
Who Is Webull Best For?
Webull is great for intermediate to active investors looking for a large volume of fundamental and technical data. A newer investor who may not be too familiar with all the data on Webull might find it a lot easier to get their feet wet and familiar with the basics via a platform like Robinhood.
That’s not to say that there is no room for newcomers on Webull, they would simply need to be prepared to be open-minded on the platform and absorb as much as they can. Getting thrown straight to the wolves has pushed people to learn a lot more in a shorter time period, just don’t be irrational about it.
Take advantage of their tools, especially their paper trading tool with $1,000,000 of fake money. Familiarize yourself with the platform and make sure to not trade or invest on emotional rationale. Or, if you just want to sign up with them to get the free stocks, sell them, and keep the money to do whatever you want with it, hey, go right ahead.
I have personally had a good experience with Webull, I have not had any issues with it since I started using it. I’m also very happy with the generous sign-up bonuses I got with them. After using the platform myself, the biggest flaw I experienced with their platform was that their interface is not as user-friendly as other platforms out there, they can certainly improve on that but it’s also not terribly hard to figure out how it works.
In order to find more flaws on Webull, I had to conduct more in-depth research, for multiple reasons, 1. I did not have issues with it, other than getting to know how everything is set up on their interface, and 2. There are a lot of positive things about Webull all around the internet that it is very tough to find the negatives. To find all the cons of Webull, a lot of in-depth research had to be conducted. So if you’re still planning on getting started with Webull and you’re grateful to finally run into an honest review that doesn’t sugarcoat it, I’d appreciate the support by having you sign up here. It’s a win-win, you get free stocks, up to $3700 in value, you help this website out for creating this review, and you get started building your investment future with this app!
If you’ve made it this far, please let me know any thoughts or questions you still may have about Webull. I will respond to each one of them, and I would also like to hear the experiences from those of you who happen to be on this page and already use Webull.