Robinhood, Webull and Fidelity are three popular brokerages, each with its own set of features. While all three offer solid trading platforms, they tend to appeal to different investors because they vary quite a bit in terms of what users can trade on each. There are also differences in the extent of other services they offer, such as banking features and educational materials. We’ll take a closer look at Robinhood, Webull and Fidelity based on usability, trade experience, offerings and cost. If you’d prefer a fully automated investing solution then you’ll likely be better served working with a financial advisor.
Overview of Robinhood, Webull and Fidelity
Robinhood, Webull and Fidelity are three major contenders in a crowded field of trading and investment platforms. However, your trading and investment needs can help determine which one is most suitable for you.
Robinhood is a trading and investment platform established in 2013. Robinhood prioritizes its mobile trading experience, offering a seamless way to trade stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrency. It doesn’t offer much in the way of educational materials and lacks mutual funds, but it works well for executing basic trades.
Webull is the newest of the three investment platforms; it has been around since 2017. Compared to Fidelity and Robinhood, it is something of an in-between. It lacks the full suite of services you can find at Fidelity, but it has more robust research and charting tools than Robinhood.
Fidelity is the oldest and most well-established of the three. It was founded in 1946 and has a full suite of services. As such, it is one of the largest investment managers in the world with tens of millions of customers and trillions in assets under management.
Robinhood vs. Webull vs. Fidelity: Fees
Robinhood has almost no fees of any kind. This includes no commission, trading fees or inactivity fees. It’s free to put your money into and take it out and to move assets around within your account. There are no fees or commissions on each trade. Nor does Robinhood charge inactivity fees or other transaction fees for the most common activities such as depositing or withdrawing money. You’ll only pay fees if you choose to trade on the margin, meaning with borrowed money, and that carries an 11.5% margin interest rate. The main fee that Robinhood charges is $5 per month to subscribe to Robinhood Gold, which allows margin trading at a reduced 7.5% interest rate and – as of April 2023 – 4.4% APY on idle cash.
Webull charges no trading fees at all, nor does it charge for inactivity, deposits, withdrawals or any other standard interactions. Certain non-standard transactions will come with fees on the Webull platform. For example users can pay extra to get additional data, or can engage in margin trading with interest rates that start at 9.49% for balances under $25,000, and drops to 5.49% for balances over $3 million. The firm offers commission-free options trading. Mutual funds and fixed-income securities can’t be traded on Webull. Rates charged for margin trading loans are 6.99%.
Fidelity generally has low fees, including no trading commissions, no account fees and plenty of free educational materials on its site. It also offers thousands of mutual funds with no transaction fees. Fidelity charges $49.95 to trade funds that aren’t on its no-fee list. It charges $0.65 per contract on options and a 0.50% – 1.50% fee from dedicated advisors. There is a zero expense ratio for four Fidelity funds. The Depository Foreign Trust Company foreign settlement fee is $50 per trade.
Robinhood vs. Webull vs. Fidelity: Services and Features
Robinhood allows you to trade stocks and ETFs and supports margin trading. It also lets you trade fractional shares, so you can put all your money to use. Robinhood also supports cryptocurrency trading, but only if you create a separate account on Robinhood Crypto. The firm only has brokerage accounts, margin accounts and cash accounts. It tends to appeal to younger traders who want to place a few trades without spending hours researching stocks.
Webull is a trading and investment platform with robust trading tools, both on mobile and desktop platforms. It also supports paper trading, which lets you trade without using real money. This allows you to test various trading strategies before going all-in. It also supports fractional shares, so you don’t have to buy full shares. Webull works well for those who want to trade actively but want to spend more time researching stocks and trading strategies than Robinhood users. This is due to Webull’s more robust charting features and paper trading.
Fidelity has an extensive suite of products and services, such as brokerage accounts, IRAs and SEP IRAs, Solo 401(k)s, 529 plans and cash management accounts. It offers help from financial advisors starting with its Fidelity Personalized Planning and Advice service, but it requires a minimum of $25,000 invested. Fidelity tends to appeal to more traditional investors, but it has taken steps to modernize its platform. It also launched cryptocurrency trading, allowing customers to trade digital currencies.
Robinhood vs. Webull vs. Fidelity: Online and Mobile
Robinhood arguably has the most enjoyable user experience of the three, which may help explain its rapid rise in popularity. It has a sleek mobile app that is easy to navigate, letting you view some basic stock charts as you buy shares of either stocks or ETFs, which can come in fractional shares. Robinhood’s desktop app is much the same as its mobile app with similar aesthetically pleasing charts and graphs. Its app is rated 4.2 on the Apple App Store and 3.9 on Google Play.
Webull has an enjoyable experience both online and on mobile and offers some advanced trading tools. For example, Webull has stock alerts and technical studies in its charts. It also supports advanced features such as level 2 quotes and index overlays. Both its desktop and mobile app are clean and consistent. Its app has strong ratings on both Apple and Google at 4.7 and 4.4, respectively.
Fidelity has worked hard to improve its user experience, and that includes both its online and mobile experience. For example, in 2022, it launched its new Daily Dashboard, which is ideal for active traders. Its app was updated recently to improve its trading and portfolio monitoring experience via mobile. Its app is rated 4.8 on the Apple App Store and 4.2 on Google Play.
Which Platform Is Right for You?
Fidelity, Robinhood and Webull all have a lot to offer, but which you will prefer depends on what you need as a trader or investor. Fidelity has just about every feature you could ever want, although its offerings could be overwhelming for some, such as for those who just want to execute a few trades. For those users, Robinhood might be ideal, as its clean mobile and desktop interfaces make it easy to buy and sell stocks. However, its research and charting tools are a bit minimal.
Those who want more might prefer Webull. Its educational materials aren’t up to par with Fidelity’s, but it offers more advanced trading tools than Robinhood. All three have their place, but your individual needs will determine which one is most suitable for you.
All three investment options between Fidelity, Webull and Robinhood can be strong choices, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but all are respected and highly praised by many of their customers. If you’re looking for a fully automated solution to your asset allocation or portfolio management then you may be better served by finding the right financial advisor t work with instead.
Tips for Investing
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