Overall Ranking: 3.78 stars out of 5
Ease Of Use: 4.8 stars out of 5
Costs: 5.0 stars out of 5
Educational Resources & Customer Support: 3.0 stars out of 5
Research & Analysis Tools 3.9 stars out of 5
Range Of Product Offerings: 2.2 stars out of 5
Summary: An app and web based trading platform designed to be functionally similar to Robinhood, but with a few basic research and analytic tools that make it more useful.
Recommended For: Novice and casual traders, though note that if you’re serious about investing, you’ll probably outgrow it before long.
WeBull began life as a research company, and in 2017, branched into brokerage when they introduced the WeBull app for both Android and iOS devices, and slightly later, added a web-based interface with the same functionality. It’s designed along the same lines as the Robinhood app, with its main attractions being its simplicity and the fact that the platform offers free trading.
Between the two, Robinhood had First Mover advantage, and as such, it has more name recognition and a larger user base, but as you’ll see in the review that follows, WeBull has some powerful advantages over Robinhood and is its main competitor, primarily targeting millennials who are interested in getting into investing.
The central question is, is it right for you? This review seeks to help you answer that question, and in the sections that follow, we’ll give you an overview of everything the app has to offer, and we won’t be bashful when it comes to describing the platform’s shortcomings so you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision. Let’s take a closer look
Ease Of Use (4.8 stars out of 5)
Like Robinhood, the app that WeBull was designed to compete against, the platform was designed to be intuitive and easy to use, and the development team did a great job on that front.
The Market Tab, which is the app’s main screen gives you a view of the market macrostructure, which is a big picture view that allows you to see, at a glance, which direction the market is trending in. By being able to see the net cash inflow to stock indexes, it gives you a powerful leg up when deciding what to invest in and exactly how to invest. That’s huge.
Buying and selling is easy (much easier than it is on Robinhood, which is definitely a nod in this platform’s favor), but you’re still limited to basic order types only. You won’t have the ability to set up complicated or exotic order types (one follow another, one cancels another, etc.). That’s not the end of the world, given that this app is aimed primarily at novice investors but like Robinhood, before long, you’ll probably start feeling some frustration at the constraints imposed by the system.
Overall, although WeBull is well designed, it is slightly more complex than Robinhood, but that’s the inevitable consequence of the fact that it offers a bigger and better tool set, which we’ll talk about later in this review.
Costs (5.0 stars out of 5)
We said it in the Robinhood review, and we’ll reiterate it here. You can’t get better than free, and that’s what WeBull offers. Commission free trading in more than 5000 stocks and ETFs, no account maintenance fees, no minimum deposits required (note: you do need a $2000 minimum if you want to trade on the margin), and no charges to maintain your account. That’s awesome, and when WeBull was first introduced, there weren’t many major brokers offering anything like it.
Now that some of the bigger and better-established brokers are also offering free trades though, it has somewhat diminished the allure of apps like WeBull and Robinhood. They’re still useful, and they’re certainly still worth considering as an investment platform, but they’re no longer unique on the free trades frontier.
Where free platforms are concerned, there’s always a catch though. After all, the company has to make money somehow, right? In WeBull’s case, although the trades are free, the company does charge for data. There are several plans to choose from:
- The Taiwan Stock Exchange, Level 1 Data Plan: $2.99/month
- The Nasdaq Basic Data Plan: $2.99/month
- The Deutsch Borse, Level 1 Data Plan: $9.99/month
- The National Best Bid and Offer Data Plan: $9.99/month
- The London Stock Exchange, Level 1 Data Plan: $16.99/month
- The Toronto Stock Exchange, Level 1 Data Plan: $24.99/month
- And the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Level 2 Data Plan: $59.99/month
You can get these at a discounted rate if you pay by the year, rather than monthly, but note that you’ll only need these is you utilize time and sales in your trading. If you’re just starting out and want to occasionally buy and sell something, you don’t need one of these plans to do that
Educational Resources & Customer Support (3.0 stars out of 5)
Educational resources are quite limited, and mostly center around help files and how-tos that relate to the use of the app itself.
The company does offer a small collection of trading courses and a trading simulator (with real-time data), but if you’re a novice investor who’s interested in learning the basics, you’re likely to exhaust these resources fairly quickly, and will then need to look elsewhere.
WeBull’s customer service is on par with that offered by Robinhood, which is to say, it’s present but certainly not world-class.
The company has built a decent FAQ, and with a bit of patience, you can actually communicate (via email, 1 hour response time) with a knowledgeable human being if you need to. There aren’t many customer service horror stories about WeBull’s support, but there aren’t many glowing recommendations, either.
Research & Analysis Tools (3.9 stars out of 5)
This is where WeBull really outshines Robinhood. Remember, the company began life as a research firm, and they’ve incorporated a surprisingly robust set of tools into the structure of their app.
They did incredibly well with charting, and the charts you can create are slick looking and easy to modify to suit your needs. Granted, WeBull isn’t world-class in this regard, and you’ll find better charting capabilities on offer by some of the bigger and better-established brokerage firms, but kudos to the company for offering a robust tool set and for making those tools delightfully easy to use.
Unfortunately, the company only offers the most popular and widely used indicators, so you won’t have access to things like RSI or ADX. Even so, the app has the basics well-covered, and for a novice, or even an intermediate investor, that’s almost always enough.
In addition to surprisingly good charting capabilities, you’ll find a decent stock screener on tap (again, not world class, but with a few filters and a handful of customization options.
In addition to that, WeBull gives you access to revenue and earnings per share data on everything you can trade, a basic news feed and analyst recommendations. There’s enough here to perform basic fundamental analysis, but as you gain trading experience, it won’t be long before you find yourself wanting more.
Finally, you can build a basic watchlist and track Canadian stocks, US stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, futures, options, commodities, and indices. In other words, you can track a lot more stuff than you can currently invest in. While we have no proof of this, we see the tracking capabilities currently built into the app as a preview of things to come.
Our sense of it is that WeBull wouldn’t bother to allow you to track all of the above if the longer term plan wasn’t to expand their product offering to include those things. Again though, that’s just a guess. There has been no official word on that from the company.
Range Of Product Offerings (2.2 stars out of 5)
WeBull’s range of products is more limited than Robinhoods, with slightly more than 5000 stocks and ETFs on offer. There’s no cryptocurrency access and no options trading yet, although options trading is coming soon. Again, this is fine, bearing in mind the fact that the platform was designed with novice users in mind but as you gain investing experience, you’ll probably start getting frustrated by the limitations.
Pros And Cons
WeBull is a pleasant surprise. We feel that the company succeeded in their mission to outshine Robinhood, and overall, they’ve built a superior product, even though Robinhood offers a slightly larger product catalog at this point.
The biggest reasons to consider using the platform are that it’s super easy to use and it offers free trading.
As with the Robinhood app, the biggest negative is that although the company offers some research and analytic tools and has some educational materials on offer, these are nowhere nearly as advanced as those you’ll find offered by bigger and better-established brokers, many of whom are now also offering free trading.
There’s no doubt about it, WeBull is an impressive trading app, and we were pleased at the time and care the company put into building analytic tools into the framework.
While it’s true that the presence of those tools make it more complicated than Robinhood, those are also the elements that make it a viable trading platform, rather than just a teaching tool. We recommend WeBull for novice and casual traders, but with the proviso that you’ll probably outgrow it before very long.