Robinhood came on the investing scene like a freight train. They disrupted the traditional brokerage platform with something new: unlimited free stock & ETF trades! Their low costs coupled with their sleek, gamified user interface has led to explosive growth since their founding in 2013.
Webull started much later – in 2017. In a lot of ways they were able to copy Robinhoods path for growth – free trades, a slick mobile app, and a passionate community. Since then they’ve created even better tools for market analysis and education.
So which investment app is better?
Fees & Expenses
Since both Robinhood and Webull both offer free stock, option and ETF trades the actual cost you pay will be similar.
Adam says: Webull’s trades aren’t completely free. You’ll pay $0.0000221*Total $ Trade Amount (Min $0.01). In other words, you’ll pay $0.01 for most trades under $1,000. If you make a $1 million transaction, you’ll pay $20.
Who Executes Trades?
The difference is how the trades are executed. With Robinhood, your trades are sold to other brokerages to execute. This allows them (both Robinhood and the middleman) to make money off of your purchase or sale.
This may seem like a small thing, but it’s extremely significant! Since Robinhood isn’t executing your trades directly, they’re at the mercy of a 3rd party to fulfill orders. If their 3rd party can’t (or won’t) execute a trade, then it won’t go through.
In early 2021 Robinhood came under a lot of heat when they disabled buying and selling Gamestop and a number of other companies.
Webull, on the other hand, executes their own trades. This means they’re in control and can decide what to shut off any company. They also shut off access to Gamestop, AMC, and other highly speculative for a few days.
These both offer similar priced trades, but since Robinhood’s transactions go through a 3rd party, you’ll likely pay slightly more in the end.
Best for Beginners
Of these two platforms, Robinhood is easier to get started with. After creating an account and making a deposit, you’ll be able to trade even before the money is transferred from your bank account to Robinhood. They allow this for the first $1,000 of your account.
Getting started on Webull takes longer. You can’t purchase stock until you transfer funds from your bank account. This can take anywhere from 2-5 business days.
Webull does offer one thing that Robinhood does not – a simulator for you to test out trades. Often called “paper trading”, this allows you to try out your investing ideas without putting real money on the line.
Best For Retirement?
Robinhood does not offer any retirement accounts – 401(k)’s, IRA, or Roth IRAs. Until you’ve maxed out these accounts, I wouldn’t recommend investing with Robinhood.
Webull recently began offering Roth IRA and IRA accounts. This means you can trade as much as you want in this account and not need to pay any taxes at the end of the year!
Keep in mind that every time you sell funds in your brokerage account on Webull or Robinhood you’ll need to pay taxes on the gains.
Best Overall Place to Invest?
Robinhood has a more pleasant interface, slightly lower fees and a nicer onboarding experience. If you can get past that, then Webull is the much better platform overall.
The main reason? Taxes! Ok, taxes aren’t the most fun topic, but they matter much more than fees. If you’re planning to day trade, I’d recommend doing it with Webull inside your IRA or Roth IRA.