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Webull vs. Robinhood 2021: Zero Commission Trading Battle

Webull and Robinhood are two online brokers offering zero-commission trades to active traders and DIY investors.

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Webull and Robinhood have emerged as two of the strongest US-based retail trading platforms, with a combined 20 million-plus investors currently using their interfaces to conduct their transactions.

The following review compares the services of these two providers by putting each of their features and characteristics face-to-face — to let you decide which of them is a better fit for your trading and investing needs.

Webull vs. Robinhood: Overview

Webull and Robinhood are relatively new retail brokers, though Webull is the youngest between the two.

These services have disrupted the industry, and millions of Americans have flocked to their platforms to enjoy their inexpensive trading services.

Webull Logo
4.0
4/5

In A Nutshell: Webull is an online broker offering commission-free ETF, stock and options trading. Webull provides full extended hour trading, real-time market data, in-depth analysis tools, margin trading and short selling. 

Robinhood Logo
3.8
3.8/5

In A Nutshell: Robinhood allows you to make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, ETFs, options and crypto. You can access professional research reports, trade on margin, and make bigger instant deposits with Robinhood Gold for $5 a month.

About Webull

Webull was founded in 2017, and the service has taken advantage of the zero-commission trend that has disrupted the brokerage industry in the United States. With zero-commission trades, retail traders can access cutting-edge trading systems, real-time quotes, and extended-session transactions.

Check out our full Webull review to learn more.

About Robinhood

Robinhood was founded in 2013 by two former high-frequency traders who saw the opportunity to change dated industry practices through the introduction of inexpensive brokerage services and instruments, like fractional shares and cryptocurrencies, along with low-cost margin trades.

Both Webull and Robinhood  have boosted their user base by making investing much more accessible and affordable for retail traders. Amateur and seasoned investors are flocking to these services, shunning traditional brokers that have yet to shift with industry trends.

Read our full Robinhood review to learn more about Robinhood.

Robinhood commission free trading

See Also: 12 Best Investment Apps: For Beginners & Pros

Webull vs. Robinhood: Main Features

Webull is focused more on amateur and experienced traders, while Robinhood has designed its features to benefit both buy-and-hold investors and high-frequency traders. 

Webull Logo Robinhood Logo
Minimum Investment $0 $0
Trading Fees $0 $0
Investment Types Stocks, ETFs and Options Stocks, ETFs, Options and Cryptocurrencies
Account Types Individual Taxable, Traditional IRA and Roth IRA Individual Taxable​
Platforms Web Platform, Mobile (iOS and Android) ​ Web Platform, Mobile (iOS / Android) and Watch (watchOS)​
Promotions Two Free Stocks One Free Stock
Margin Accounts
Fractional Shares
Banking Features
Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP)
Paper Trading
IPO Investing
Best For Intermediate Investors Beginners

Webull

A user-friendly platform, access to cutting-edge trading technology, a wide range of available instruments to trade, and multiple types of accounts — along with zero-commission trades — make up just some of the things that have made Webull stand out above other providers in the industry.

Webull provides real-time market data for multiple asset classes, including global equities, indexes, Forex, and futures (although Forex and futures  cannot be traded through their platform).

Webull also offers users a demo account called “paper trading” which allows the user to invest virtual money in the market before depositing real money into their account. This feature is particularly useful for beginners or for people who would like to try out the platform before putting money into an account.

Margin trading is possible with this provider, and margin rates start at 6.99%. A minimum account balance of $2,000 is required. Once the margin account is approved, investors can enjoy 4x day trading buying power during regular market hours, and 2x buying power during extended sessions.

Main Features Overview

  • Platform Customizability: The platform is fully customizable to make it suitable for beginners and experienced investors alike.
  • Real-Time Market Data: Webull offers free real-time market data for various worldwide markets and 100+ exchanges.
  • Technical Indicators: With Webull, you get live data on a number of technical indicators, including volume, Bollinger bands, MACD, and more.
  • Knowledge and Research Tools: Webull offers an array of knowledge and research tools that are easy-to-use, including recommendations, charting tools, and fundamental data.
  • News: Webull offers a live news service dedicated to relevant stock and ETF traders.
  • Revenue Data: Webull uses the most recent data from the companies they list.
  • Stock Screeners: Stock screeners allow you to filter your stocks based on the metrics you choose.
  • Virtual Trading (Paper Trading): Webull offers the opportunity to make paper trades. This lets beginners use virtual money to invest in stocks and see the results of different scenarios. 
  • Extended Hours: Webull allows you to trade from 04:00 to 09:29. After hours, you can trade from 16:00 to 21:29.
  • Margin Trading: The platform allows you to 4x your day-trade buying power, or 2x your off-hours buying power.
  • Shorting: Shorting allows more options for investors.  

To learn more about Webull and its features, check out our full Webull review.

Robinhood

Along with their zero-commission approach, Robinhood also offers the possibility of trading fractional shares (something not yet available through Webull)  while users can also open a Robinhood Gold account to trade on margin.

Margin trading with Robinhood has an added advantage — the first $1,000 in margin doesn’t generate an interest charge, while any additional borrowing will pay a highly competitive 5% flat annual interest rate.

The firm also offers the possibility to have deposits cleared instantly, which is a great feature for investors who would like to step in fast to take advantage of real-time market opportunities. 

Another feature offered by Robinhood is real-time access to Level II market data from the Nasdaq stock exchange. It shows the volume of buy and sell orders and their respective bid/ask prices. This information is best used to support advanced trading strategies.

The Robinhood Gold account also provides access to advanced features, including more advantageous margin rates, a higher threshold for the instant deposits feature, and the option of being enrolled for Robinhood’s Cash Management solution.

As for the trading platform, Robinhood’s platform is not the most advanced in terms of features and the complexity of its technical interface.

However, traders can enjoy an accessible platform and use third-party trading systems to support their analysis, while conducting inexpensive trades through Robinhood.

Main Features Overview

  • Fractional shares: Along with their zero-commission approach, Robinhood also lets users trade  fractional shares, a feature not currently available through Webull. (Fractional shares allow investors to buy a fraction of a stock.)
  • Margin trading: Margin trading with Robinhood has one advantage —the first $1,000 in margin doesn’t generate an interest charge, while any additional will come with a highly competitive 5% flat annual interest rate.
  • Instant deposits: This feature allows investors to get their deposits cleared immediately.
  • Real-time access to Level II market data: This feature shows the volume of buy and sell orders and their respective bid/ask prices, straight from the Nasdaq stock exchange. This information is mostly used to support advanced trading strategies.
  • Advanced features for Robinhood Gold accounts: These include more advantageous margin rates, a higher threshold for the instant deposits feature, and the opportunity to be enrolled in Robinhood’s Cash Management solution.
  • Easygoing platform: Although Robinhood’s platform lacks certain advanced charting features, investors can still enjoy a user-friendly trading platform while relying on third-party services to conduct this kind of analysis.

To learn more about Robinhood and its features, check out our full Robinhood review.

Robinhood fractional shares

See Also: 12 Best Robo-Advisors: Automate Your Investments

Webull vs. Robinhood: Investment Options

Although both platforms offer similar types of instruments, there are slight differences in the number of cryptocurrencies made available by each. 

Webull 

Webull currently allows traders to operate with a wide range of instruments, including US-listed stocks, options, ETFs, American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), and a small selection of cryptocurrencies that include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

OTC products, bonds, Forex pairs, and penny stocks cannot be traded with this provider. 

Robinhood

Robinhood offers access to a selection of more than 5,000 US-listed ETFs and stocks, including American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). Fractional shares are also available for any US-listed stock worth more than $1 and which has a total market capitalization of over $25 million.

Additionally, the firm offers the possibility of trading options — including complex strategies — with no cost involved, which makes it an attractive choice for options traders.

The selection of cryptocurrencies currently supported by Robinhood includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.

Foreign stocks, Forex pairs, bonds, and OTC securities cannot be traded with this provider.

Webull vs. Robinhood: Account Types

Robinhood lacks in this department compared to Webull, as the former does not offer retirement accounts (as of this writing), while Webull supports different types of individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

Webull

Webull currently offers two types of accounts:

  • Individual brokerage account – a regular investment account that offers access to margin for users with an account balance higher than $2,000.
  • Individual retirement account (IRA) – a tax-deferred retirement account through which users can place trades and make investments while enjoying the benefits of not having to pay taxes on their gains unless they withdraw money from the account. Traditional, Roth, and rollover IRAs are currently supported by this provider.
Webull main features

See Also: 7 Best Micro-Investing Apps

Robinhood 

As of this writing, Robinhood currently only supports taxable individual investment accounts. 

There are various types of accounts that give traders a certain degree of access to the different features offered by this provider. These are:

  • Robinhood Cash – The basic account offered by Robinhood that allows the user to trade all the products offered by the firm during regular and extended market hours. This account does not provide access to margin trades. 
  • Robinhood Instant – A taxable margin account that gives traders access to the instant deposit feature, along with a margin balance that varies based on the account’s balance.
  • Robinhood Gold – This is Robinhood’s premium account, which offers traders access to Level II market data, a higher margin balance, and a higher threshold for instant deposits.

Webull vs. Robinhood: Sign-Up Bonus/Promotion 

Sign-up bonuses and referral programs have become fairly common in today’s retail brokerage landscape, and both Webull and Robinhood are regularly launching promotions that, in most cases, include stock bonuses.

Webull

At the time of writing, Webull is offering a limited-time promotion that entitles newly enrolled users to 2 free stocks valued between $2.5 and $250 and another two stocks valued between $8 and $1,600 if the user deposits a total of $100 before the offer expires.

These stocks will be credited to the client’s account in a period of 15 days after the promotion has been claimed, and users have 30 days after their initial deposit has been cleared to claim their stock bonus.

Robinhood

Robinhood offers two types of bonuses: registration and referrals.

The registration bonus consists of a free stock valued between $1 and $213.57, which is credited to the user’s account after the sign-up process is complete. (Keep in mind that the firm discloses that there’s a 98% chance that you will end up getting a stock valued between $2.50 and $10.)

Robinhood’s referral program offers a total compensation of up to $500 in stock for users who invite and get their friends to open an account with the firm. Each friend that joins will also receive a free stock as a registration bonus.

Webull vs. Robinhood: Fees & Pricing

Margin rates are the main difference in terms of pricing between Webull and Robinhood. Both of these brokers currently offer zero-commission trades for all of the instruments they provide access to.

That said, Webull does charge higher non-trading fees.

Webull

Webull does not charge a commission for trading any of the instruments supported by their platform. 

Margin rates with Webull start at 6.99% for accounts with a balance lower than $25,000. The rate progressively goes down to 3.99% if the account balance is higher than $3 million.

Other non-trading fees include an $8 fee for deposits made via wire transfer and a $25 fee for withdrawals made via wire transfer.

Additionally, international transfers generate a $12.5 fee for deposits, and a $45 fee for withdrawals.

Webull full extended hours trading

See Also: 12 Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading

Robinhood

Like Webull, Robinhood does not charge any fees for trading the instruments offered within their platform; their margin rate is a flat 5%, regardless of the account balance. However, for foreign shares, custodial fees may apply.

Robinhood’s Gold account and all of its features can be accessed by paying a $5 monthly fee.

Webull vs. Robinhood: What We Like (Pros)

Each of these brokers have several similarities, but they also have fairly unique strengths. Following are some of them. 

Webull

  • Highly regulated US-based brokerage firm.
  • Zero-commission trades for US-listed instruments including stocks, options, ETFs, and ADRs. Certain cryptocurrencies can also be traded with this provider.
  • Retirement accounts can be opened with Webull.
  • Top-notch sophisticated trading platform with multiple research tools.

Robinhood

  • Zero-commission trades for all the instruments offered by this provider.
  • Fractional shares are available for thousands of US-listed stocks and ETFs.
  • Robinhood is a US-based, highly regulated trading platform.
  • Competitive margin rates.
  • Bonus stock is gifted upon registration.
  • Interesting referral program that allows users to receive up to $500 in stock bonuses.
  • The instant deposits feature is very convenient to increase buying power almost immediately after depositing money.

Webull vs. Robinhood: What We Don’t Like (Cons)

There is much to love about Webull’s and Robinhood’s services, but there are some downsides, such as the lack of certain asset classes within their platforms and the absence of educational tools.

Webull

  • Bonds, OTC securities, and foreign stocks cannot be traded with this provider.
  • Webull charges high fees for domestic and international wire transfers (both incoming and outgoing).
  • Multiple asset classes cannot be traded with this provider, including Forex and futures.
  • The firm is relatively young, with less than 3 years in operation.
  • There are no educational tools available.
  • The firm’s customer service is reportedly slow or hard to reach.

Robinhood

  • Forex or futures trades cannot be made with this provider.
  • The firm has experienced downtimes during extreme market volatility.
  • This provider does not support any type of retirement accounts.
  • Robinhood’s customer service is only accessible via email, which is a bit disappointing.
  • Although the firm offers some written educational materials, no videos or tutorials are offered by the platform to further assist users in growing their investing and trading skills. 
Webull vs Robinhood review

See Also: Robinhood Review: Commission Free Investing

Webull vs. Robinhood Security

As for regulatory coverage, Webull and Robinhood are both heavily regulated US-based entities.

Webull

Webull is a heavily regulated US-based firm that is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The firm is also a member of the SIPC, which means that investment accounts are protected for up to $500,000 — including $250,000 in cash — while Webull’s clearing firm, Apex Clearing Corp, has also purchased a private insurance policy that provides protection for up to an aggregate of $150 million – including $900,000 in cash held in customers’ accounts.

Robinhood

Like Webull, Robinhood is a FINRA and SEC-regulated broker. Additionally, the firm is also a member of the SIPC, which means that Robinhood users enjoy the same $500,000 coverage for their accounts – including $250,000 in cash.

Webull vs. Robinhood: Trading Platform and App

The design and features of each of these brokers’ trading platforms are perhaps the most prominent differences between the two. 

Here’s a summary of what each of their interfaces has to offer.

Robinhood

Robinhood’s trading platform is very user-friendly and primarily designed for beginner investors rather than professional traders.

This is reflected by the limited customizability seen in both the web version and the mobile app,  though there are certain features that are quite handy, including alerts and push notifications sent to the user when different events occur. 

Those events include corporate actions, earnings announcements, dividend payments, and price movements. 

The research tools provided by Robinhood include basic fundamental data for individual stocks, analysts’ ratings and reports for multiple securities, and a newsfeed.

The charting tool is fairly basic compared to Webull’s advanced systems. That said, Robinhood Gold account holders can access Level II market data if they would like to perform an in-depth analysis of an instrument’s supply and demand levels.

The types of trade orders supported by Robinhood’s platform include market, limit, stop-loss, stop-limit, and trailing stop orders.

Webull

The Webull trading platform features a fully customizable interface that provides access to real-time market data for five different asset classes, including equities, ETFs, indexes, Forex, and futures.

Additionally, the interface comes with a live news feed filled with articles provided by top-notch media outlets such as CNBC, Seeking Alpha, and Benzinga.There is also a charting tool that features more than 45 technical indicators and multiple drawing tools.

Fundamental data is also provided for most stocks and ETFs, and the firm also offers a trading ideas hub that investors can browse for inspiration.

A useful feature called the Stock Screener can be used to filter thousands of US-listed stocks based on fundamental and technical criteria so the user can identify instruments that fit their particular investing/trading methodology.

Webull currently supports market, limit, stop-loss, stop-limit, and bracket trade orders.

See Also: Webull Review 2020: Is Webull the Ultimate Free Investing App?

Who is Robinhood for?

Robinhood can be used by both day traders and buy-and-hold investors. Each can gain from the inexpensive brokerage services on offer.

However, when it comes to charting tools and other similar advanced technical studies, traders may find that Webull may be a better fit for their needs.

That said, it is important to note that fractional shares remain a competitive advantage for Robinhood, as Webull has not yet made this feature available to its users.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: Zero-commission stock, ETF and per-leg options trading 
  • Promotion: 1 free stock

Who is Webull for?

Webull’s advanced trading system and cutting-edge technology make it stand out among experienced traders who are much more drawn to technical information they can act on to place their trades.

That said, compared to Robinhood, Webull lags behind in that they don’t offer fractional shares, their margin rates are higher, and they do not offer an instant deposit feature (which is a great asset for active traders).

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: Zero-commission stock, ETF and per-leg options trading
  • Promotion: 2 free stocks

Final Thoughts

Although Webull and Robinhood provide fairly similar services — including zero-commission trades — each provider has its own strengths.

Webull may be a better fit for active traders, although it lacks some of the features offered by Robinhood, like instant deposits and cheaper margin trades,  both of which are advantageous for traders. Webull’s trading platform and advanced systems make it a much more suitable provider for experienced traders who rely on technical analysis to pick their trades.

Robinhood’s Level II market data, along with the features highlighted above, make this provider stand out as a top pick in the retail brokerage space.

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