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Webull vs. E*Trade: How They Compare


Webull and E*Trade are two popular online investment platforms. Webull is a relatively new online brokerage that deals mostly in liquid assets and offers securities for investors who trade frequently. It’s a favorite of the millennial generation and is excellent for beginning investors interested in becoming active traders. E*Trade is easy to use for beginners but powerful enough for active traders. We compare Webull vs. E*Trade regarding fees, services, online experiences, mobile features and more. Consider working with a financial advisor to pick the online platform that best suits your goals and interests.

Webull vs. E*Trade: An Overview

Webull is a U.S.-based fintech startup, regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is a relatively new online brokerage launched in 2017. Initially, it was primarily a mobile app, but now it has a desktop and web-based version. It’s especially popular with the millennial generation. Webull has grown rapidly and it is one of the most popular online brokerages. Webull has a limited line of investment products, but they do allow trading in cryptocurrencies.

E*Trade, which is a full-service online brokerage, has been around since 1982 and was one of the first brokerages to establish an online presence. It made its first online trade in 1983 and went public in 1996. E*Trade, which began offering commission-free trades in 2019, has something for everyone. It has an innovative trading technology that appeals to advanced traders, and it has a vast wealth of educational resources for beginning investors. It has no or low fees and investment securities that span the broad market.

Webull vs. E*Trade: Products

Webull offers four types of investment securities, equities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options and cryptocurrencies. They have a limited offering of digital tokens and you must sign up for the privilege of trading cryptocurrency on Webull. Webull also offers the trading of fractional shares, which often appeals to young investors.

Webull’s account types include cash and margin accounts. IRAs are available if you already have an individual account with Webull. They support traditional and Roth IRAs along with rollover IRAs.

The products that Webull offers often appeal to young investors and speculators because they encourage frequent trading. It doesn’t offer long-term investment products like bonds and other fixed-income securities.

E*Trade’s product offerings are similar to many other full-service online brokerages and attract both passive investors and active traders. It offers stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options and futures. It does not offer cryptocurrency directly, but you can trade Bitcoin futures. If you are interested in forex or international investing, E*Trade may not be the brokerage for you because it does not offer these investment vehicles, but neither does Webull.

Webull vs. E*Trade: Fees

Webull offers no-commission trading and no minimum deposit or balance for accounts except a $1 deposit fee for cryptocurrency accounts. It requires a $2,000 deposit to open a margin account. Webull’s margin rates start at 9.49%. They also assess a trading account fee (TAF) of $0.000145 for sells only. They also have a maximum of $7.27 per trade. Unlike E*Trade, there is no charge for options contracts.

Webull charges $8 in the U.S. for each wire transfer (and $12.50 for international wires). The brokerage also charges $25 for withdrawals in the U.S. and $40 abroad. Webull does not charge an inactivity fee.

E*Trade offers no-commission trades and no account deposits or minimums except for margin accounts. The margin accounts require a $2,000 deposit like Webull. There is no minimum investment for an IRA. Options contracts are $0.65 per contract although if you make more than 30 trades per month, the rate is $0.50 per contract. There is no transactions fee for no-load mutual funds. Futures contracts carry a $1.50 per contract. E*Trade’s margin rates start at an 8.95% annual percentage rate and go down from there.

Webull vs. E*Trade: Education and Research

SmartAsset: Webull vs. E*Trade

Webull can’t compete with E*Trade regarding its educational material. It does have some educational material for investors, but it doesn’t compare to E*Trade’s vast library. Webull has a reasonably strong research presence on its platform. It specializes in technical analysis with some tools available for fundamental analysis. However, even some necessary technical indicators are a paid upgrade. Webull does have a strong investor dashboard with alert and watch lists available along with real-time streaming quotes and analyst reviews. Portfolio management tools are lacking.

E*Trade has a huge library of educational material aimed at beginning investors, but useful for more advanced investors as well. They offer a podcast called “Thoughts on the Market” that is full of timely information along with online investing courses. E*Trade’s market research and data are widely known to be among the best in the business.

Webull vs. E*Trade: Platforms and Online Experiences

Webull’s platform has mobile, web-based and desktop capabilities. Since it is relatively new, it’s fresh and interactive. Investors find it intuitive and easy to use. There is a customizable workplace station that provides news, technical trading tools like charting, fundamental analysis, a stock screener and ratings from analysts. Webull also offers extended trading hours which are particularly important to many investors. E*Trade does not have this feature. To use Webull, investors have to be relatively knowledgeable and self-sufficient since it is lacking in portfolio management tools. Webull does not offer robo-advisors, a dividend reinvestment program (DRIP) or recommended portfolios. E*Trade offers all three. It can be difficult to reach customer service by phone, and there is no chat feature.

E*Trade has two mobile apps, a web-based platform and a desktop program. Its platforms are among the best in the business. E*Trade has a long-standing commitment to beginning investors. Their E*TRADE platform supports beginning investors with market research and data, basic trading instruments and the ability to buy and sell most financial instruments. POWER E*TRADE is more advanced and includes charting tools and other technical analysis instruments, risk analysis and powerful portfolio management tools. POWER E’TRADE is aimed at more sophisticated investors and active traders to meet their needs. E*Trade’s Core Portfolios are a robo-advisor offering.

Webull vs. E*Trade: Mobile Apps

Webull offers a good mobile app that is consistent with web-based and desktop platforms. There are some design differences to accommodate the smaller screen. Watchlists can be created through the mobile app as easily as on the other platforms. You don’t need to set up multiple platforms. You can also customize trading ticket information on the mobile app. Research is available when you use the mobile app.

E*Trade may have the most efficient mobile app. The POWER E*TRADE is geared toward active day traders. You can access market research and educational material. It supports trades directly from the app. You can even deposit a check into your bank by taking a picture of it. The E*TRADE mobile app is for more inexperienced traders and investors. It has basic trading tools and excellent access to market research. E*Trade’s platforms are considered some of the best of all online brokerages.

Bottom Line

SmartAsset: Webull vs. E*Trade

Webull is more for active traders and speculators. E*Trade also attracts active traders, but also long-term investors. The E*Trade platform is for all levels of investors and traders while Webull has more speculators and active traders. Webull offers a limited range of investment products and they appeal to the active trader audience. E*Trade is a full-service brokerage that offers most investment products. They, like Webull, do not offer international investing. Both companies offer no-commission trading and no minimum account balances except for margin accounts. Both offer highly usable mobile apps. E*Trade is superior in the research and education area as well as customer service.

Tips on Investing

  • Consider obtaining professional help in choosing the right online brokerage for you. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • When investing, always consider the capital gain’s effect on income taxes. Use SmartAsset’s capital gains tax calculator to assist you.

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