While Robinhood led the way in commission-free trading, Webull is a newer competitor that’s quickly turned heads. Both platforms offer stock and option trading, but they differ in many of the other features that traders want – such as account types and technical analysis tools.
If you’re wondering whether Webull or Robinhood is the better brokerage for placing your trades, this article will cover everything you need to know.
About Webull and Robinhood
Robinhood set a new standard for brokerages when it introduced commission-free trading on a mobile-only platform in 2014. Over the past six years, the brokerage has amassed more than 6 million users. It’s also introduced options trading, margin trading, fractional shares, and cryptocurrency trading, all of which increases its usefulness for a wide variety of investors.
Webull was launched in 2018 as a direct competitor to Robinhood. The platform offers commission-free trading on stocks, options, and ETFs. In contrast to Robinhood, Webull places a greater emphasis on technical analysis and market monitoring tools. Somewhat surprisingly, Webull claims to have surpassed Robinhood’s user base in just two years – the company boasts more than nine million users.
How Are Webull and Robinhood Similar?
Webull and Robinhood are similar in many of the most important ways. Both platforms are commission-free brokerages with no account minimums. They each allow you to trade stocks, options, and ETFs, as well as support margin accounts. While Webull and Robinhood are primarily built as mobile apps, each platform has developed a web interface for trading as well.
Another similarity is that both Robinhood and Webull have integrated news feeds into their platform. Webull’s is a little more in-depth since it includes IPO, earnings, and dividend calendars. But, Robinhood allows you to search for news around individual stocks.
How Are Webull and Robinhood Different?
One of the major differences between Robinhood and Webull is what types of accounts they offer. Robinhood only offers individual brokerage accounts at this time. Webull, on the other hand, offers individual brokerage accounts as well as traditional and Roth IRAs.
It’s also noteworthy that Webull is one of the only commission-free brokerages to offer a trading simulator. You can have a paper trading account alongside your real investment accounts, giving you the chance to try out new trading strategies before putting money on the line.
Another area where Robinhood and Webull diverge is in what you can invest in. Robinhood has the upper hand here, as you can trade fractional shares of stocks and major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Webull says it’s working on allowing cryptocurrency trading, but it’s not there yet.
Technical and Fundamental Analysis
Where Robinhood and Webull differ most, though, is in how they approach stock analysis. Robinhood largely lacks tools for technical and fundamental analysis. There are no bar or candlestick charts, no indicators, and no overlays. It offers an overview of analyst ratings and earnings relative to expectations, but only the bare minimum of stock fundamentals.
The idea behind this interface is that Robinhood wants to remain friendly to beginner investors. Line charts don’t require a wealth of market knowledge to understand, even if they’re not all that helpful to traders who are hungry for information.
Webull, on the other hand, offers much more in-depth tools for analysis. There are technical charts with multiple bar types and around 30 popular indicators, which can be customized and saved as indicator sets. You can compare two stocks on the same chart or modify the timescale of a stock chart.
Even better, Webull helps traders by offering alerts, watchlists, and a basic stock screener. The app and desktop interface offer detailed fundamentals, including graphs of cash flow and income. Plus, Webull does a better job than Robinhood at providing information about analyst ratings by displaying price targets and a more nuanced ratings breakdown.
So, Webull’s interface is targeting active traders and long-term investors who have a strategy and need the relevant information to implement it. It’s by no means the most technical platform for advanced traders, but it has all the common tools that intermediate technical and fundamental traders need to make decisions.
Webull vs. Robinhood: Pricing Comparison
Both Webull and Robinhood are almost entirely free to use. But, there are some costs around margin trading.
To trade on margin with Robinhood, you’ll need a Gold account for $5 per month. Robinhood Gold also allows you to access a larger portion of your deposited cash instantly and gives Morningstar research reports and Level II data from the Nasdaq exchange.
Webull provides a margin account for free, which is pretty unusual. But, you will pay a margin rate that ranges from 4% to 7%. Other than that, you’re unlikely to run into any costs for using Webull.
Is Webull or Robinhood Better?
Whether Webull or Robinhood is the better brokerage platform depends on what you need. To start, if you’re interested in trading fractional shares or cryptocurrency, Robinhood has those as options while Webull doesn’t. On the other hand, if you want to open an IRA to invest for retirement, Webull is the obvious choice.
But, looking more broadly, the biggest difference between Webull and Robinhood is the level of technical and fundamental analysis that the platforms support. Robinhood may be more friendly to beginner traders because of the lack of technical charts and fundamental data. Line charts make it simply to see how a stock’s price has trended over months to years, and the fact that Robinhood automatically suggests related stocks is nice.
Experienced traders may find the lack of detailed stock information and price charts more frustrating than helpful. In that case, Webull is clearly the better option. It’s not the most comprehensive stock analysis platform on the market, but for a free brokerage it does a nice job of putting basic technical charts, fundamental data, and price alerts at your fingertips.
Webull is also the better choice if you’re thinking about trading on margin. Whereas you’d have to pay $5 per month to open a margin account on Robinhood, it’s free on Webull.
Alternatives to Webull and Robinhood
Webull and Robinhood are just two of many commission-free brokerages. Charles Schwab, E*TRADE, Ally Invest, and TradeStation all offer commission-free stock and ETF trading with both mobile and desktop clients.
TradeStation stands out as a particular competitor to Webull, since it includes a more powerful technical charting with an abundance of overlays and studies. You can also trade futures and cryptocurrency with TradeStation. The only downside is that the brokerage requires a $2,000 account minimum.
When it comes to choosing between Webull and Robinhood, it’s hard to go wrong. Both brokerages offer commission-free trades with no account minimums and plenty of user-friendly features. But, for all but entry-level traders, Webull has a lot of advantages that are hard to overlook. The platform allows you to open an IRA, offers far more information about the stocks you’re trading, and even supports paper trading to help beginners and advanced investors alike try out new strategies.