The Robinhood and Webull investing platforms are frequently discussed in the same breath, yet these companies are fundamentally different in many ways. Webull, founded in 2017, recently launched Webull 8.0 with massive additions to the platform. Webull 8.0 includes more technical charting and indicators, deeper market news, ways to compare company earnings, and additional options features. Robinhood, on the other hand, leans towards a more basic platform that is best suited for new and beginner investors. Robinhood is older than Webull, having launched in 2013, and its Learn vertical stands out as a strong feature in the app aimed at the newest investors. While both platforms offer good user experience, Webull provides more features than Robinhood for experienced investors. We’ll explore the similarities and differences between each platform to help you decide which is the best fit for your investment needs.
On January 12, 2023, Robinhood announced that Robinhood Retirement, which launched via waitlist in December, is now available to all eligible customers.
- Account Minimum: $0
- Fees: $0 commissions for stock, ETF, options, and cryptocurrency trading
- Account Minimum: $0
- Fees: $0 commissions for stock, ETF, options, and cryptocurrency trading (small markup is priced in)
Fortunately for investors, both Robinhood and Webull offer good usability for mobile and desktop users. Robinhood caters to new investors with easily accessible dashboards and menus for mobile and desktop users alike. The intuitive main menu and search functions enable investors to view portfolio value and positions. All the investing, research, and educational functions can be tapped easily from the home screen. Trading is straightforward, although there’s not much in the way of customization at Robinhood.
Both beginner-level and intermediate investors will appreciate the Webull website, desktop trading platform, and streamlined mobile app. The recent launch of Webull 8.0 packs in even more functionality to the already comprehensive Webull platform. Users of the mobile platform can access most features, along with a view designed for the smaller screen. The user interface is accessible throughout the web-based, downloadable, and mobile apps. Selected dashboard menu items include detailed stock quotes, customizable trade screen, and account tab. Unlike at Robinhood, Webull users can customize a quote board, stock page, asset screeners, trading screen, and view deep insights into the account.
Both Robinhood and Webull offer good usability, but the target customer is broader at Webull than Robinhood. The added customization at Webull makes it our pick for user experience.
Robinhood and Webull offer distinct desktop trading platforms, as the breadth of the tools and services is far stronger at Webull compared to Robinhood. The desktop trading experience on Robinhood’s web platform is fast, simple, and streamlined. Users can quickly access watch lists, quotes, charts, analyst ratings, and news. Experienced investors might miss the lack of customization features on Robinhood’s web platform
The Webull web-based and downloadable trading experience is more comprehensive than Robinhood’s. The trade experience benefits from Webull’s more expansive lineup of tools and features. The desktop trading experience is highly customizable at Webull with access to templates for stock, ETF, options, day, and cryptocurrency trading. The launch of Webull 8.0 this year places the trading platforms in competition with more established competitors. A sample of the new features includes 20 additional technical indicators, expanded market news, added tools for both technical and fundamental analysis, and advanced charting. Investors who perform in-depth research and trade frequently will find a range of features at Webull. Beginners will be okay at Robinhood, but may quickly outgrow the more limited platform.
Robinhood is a mobile-first brokerage specifically targeting new investors who want a simple app to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrency. Robinhood mobile is good for basic trades and investing education. The app recommends investments and provides simple charts. Unlike many other stock trading mobile apps, Robinhood’s mobile app has minimal customization and no chart drawing tools nor the ability to trade from the chart. Users report occasional problems with the app, but overall, the reviews are relatively positive.
The added features of Webull 8.0 enhance the mobile experience as well. The app provides customizable charting, alerts, options trading, and financial reporting. The mobile app is similar to the desktop version but is carefully designed to work better on a smaller screen. This attention to small-screen functionality can be missing from some of the larger trading platforms. Active traders benefit from the smart trading tools, including 50+ technical indicators, 12 charting tools, and the ability to place orders directly from the chart.
Like the overall platform, the mobile experience on Webull is more comprehensive than that of Robinhood. Beginning investors will be fine with the Robinhood mobile app, while those that delve into advanced technical stock and ETF trading, fundamental analysis, and options trading will prefer Webull.
Range of Offerings
Both Webull and Robinhood offer stock, ETF, cryptocurrency, and options trading. Robinhood offers roughly 5,000 U.S. stocks and ETFs for trading, while Webull users have access to nearly all of the 7,000 U.S. traded stocks and ETFs. Neither offer bonds, mutual funds, or other asset classes.
In keeping with the greater breadth of features, users who are seeking over-the-counter or less popular stocks and ETFs will prefer Webull. Those looking for the basics should be okay at Robinhood.
Robinhood has only the basic market and limit orders, and no conditional orders. Webull goes beyond the basic order types and includes specialty conditional orders like one-cancel-the-other (OCO), one-triggers-an-OCO (OTOCO), and one-triggers-the-other (OTO).
Webull wins the category again for active intermediate and advanced traders who need the flexibility of conditional orders to control position entry and exit.
At this point, it is important to zoom out a bit and recognize that, while both these platforms are innovative in the sense of making trading easier and more accessible via mobile app, Webull and Robinhood aren’t at the same level as the larger, more established brokers. The top brokers for advanced traders, like Interactive Brokers, offer far more control over trading technology than either of these platforms. For the average investor seeking a low cost platform, however, sophisticated trading technology isn’t usually the top priority. Robinhood claims that its trading systems are designed automatically to receive the best price for the trade. Robinhood reports that 84.67% of orders are executed at National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO) or better. The net price improvement per 100 shares is $1.74.
Webull's trading technology is sufficient for most investors and includes a net price improvement of 0.0067 a share on a 100-499 order size. There’s no smart order routing, trading automation, backtesting or way to route your own orders at either Webull or Robinhood. For most investors seeking low-cost trading, this shouldn’t be a problem. Both Robinhood, Webull, and many other investment brokers receive payment for order flow (PFOF). A key point to note here, however, is that Webull and Robinhood were the top two brokers in terms of PFOF. Webull had the highest per share PFOF $0.01088 during the period we analyzed to $0.00499 per share at Robinhood.
Overall, Robinhood has the edge in this category with better price improvement and lower PFOF per share.
Nearly all financial firms offer commission-free stock and ETF trading now. Robinhood goes beyond the norm by adding commission-free options and cryptocurrency trading. Although, when trading crypto at Robinhood, there may be embedded spread charges which mean that you might pay a higher fee when buying and receive a lower price when selling compared to the market quote. Limit orders will keep the pricing in check. Robinhood Gold costs $5.00 per month for lower margin rates (5.75% vs 9.75% for standard as of Sept. 2022), higher interest on uninvested cash (3.75% vs 1.5% for standard as of Nov. 2022), and Nasdaq Level II market data. On Dec. 16, 2022, Robinhood is raising interest rates for Gold members to 4.15%.
Webull also enables commission free stock, ETF, and options trading. While commissions aren’t charged for cryptocurrency trades at Webull, there is a 1% spread when you buy or sell crypto. As of Dec. 2022, Webull has lower margin rates than Robinhood’s standard offer, charging 6.99% for balances up to $1 million and stepping down in tiers all the way to 5.49% on balances over $3 million.
With apologies to heavy margin users, it is a tie in practical terms between Robinhood and Webull when it comes to costs.
When contrasting the platforms with big players like Fidelity and Interactive Brokers, neither Webull nor Robinhood would win any awards for their research offerings. Robinhood and Webull provide basic market information and detailed quotes. The research at both sites is fine for most beginning to intermediate investors. Robinhood Gold members can access premium Morningstar research reports and Nasdaq Level II market data for $5 a month. Webull investors can also access Nasdaq Level II quotes for a $2.99 per month subscription. Webull doesn’t provide third party research but does provide more advanced and customizable charting than Robinhood.
For technical and day traders seeking advanced and customizable charting, Webull is best. For everyone else, either platform is adequate for basic research. Fortunately, investors can access other online sources for additional research.
Robinhood’s portfolio analysis features are slim and lack asset allocation, internal rate of return, or tax impacts of a planned trade. Webull offers more analytical measurement features such as account performance with realized and unrealized gains and losses, income from dividends and interest, and internal rate of return. Robinhood and Webull users receive information on margin and buying power.
For comprehensive portfolio analysis, you’ll need to visit other platforms that also enable outside account linking. In the head-to-head contest, Webull is a notch ahead of Robinhood in the basic portfolio analysis features.
Robinhood is making steady progress in their investment educational content. The Robinhood Learn vertical is well organized with foundational articles in Investing 101 and options trading, along with hundreds of articles spanning investment and business topics. We like the simplicity and comprehensiveness of Robinhood’s educational content. The “First Trade Recommendations” is a helpful guide for new investors in the construction of a diversified ETF portfolio. Robinhood also offers Snacks, a daily newsletter, a podcast, and video content to enhance users' knowledge.
Webull’s investor education is adequate and includes short courses and articles. The educational topics span stocks, ETFs, trading, options, and cryptocurrency. The Webull Learn portal includes several explainer videos and information about how to navigate the platform.
In totality, Robinhood’s educational content is superior to that of Webull. Here again, though, the educational resources at both brokers still pale in comparison with larger rivals.
Neither platform can compete with the larger financial platforms like Fidelity, Wells Fargo, or Schwab when it comes to comprehensive customer service. Robinhood lacks a chatbot and a direct phone to call for help, although users can request a call back. Webull offers telephone access during trading hours, but wait times can be long. The online chat with a live agent at Webull during business hours gives Webull the win over Robinhood in terms of customer service.
Today, the vast majority of financial platforms have excellent security protocols in place. Both Robinhood and Webull provide two-factor authentication and biometric login with additional security measures when logging on from an unrecognized device. Robinhood provides basic SIPC insurance up to $500,000, including $250,000 cash protection.
Webull offers industry-beating security protocols including a discrete six-digit passcode for trading access. The Webull additional SIPC insurance covers account holders up to $37.5 million including $900,000 in cash. Webull’s extra SIPC insurance makes this platform best for larger investors. Robinhood and Webull clients should feel confident that their data, investments, and privacy are protected at either platform. No investment firm offers protection from the normal price declines in the markets.
Robinhood only offered individual taxable brokerage accounts (both cash and margin accounts) until January 2023, when the company introduced both IRA and Roth IRA retirement accounts to eligible customers. The new retirement accounts even pay a 1% match, up to the federal contribution, if funds are held in the account for five years.
- Taxable brokerage accounts
- Roth IRA
Webull also offers cash and margin individual taxable brokerage accounts. Webull offers IRA, Roth IRA, and Rollover IRA retirement accounts:
Webull’s account choices, which include IRAs, are superior to the single account offered at Robinhood.
Although Robinhood and Webull are seen as similar, there is a clear winner in the head-to-head comparison. The trading platform, range of stock and ETF choices, and transparent cryptocurrency trading cost gives Webull a leg up on Robinhood. Webull ran the table for our Best Broker for Low-Cost Options Trading, Best Low-Cost Day Trading Platform, and Best Low Cost Options Broker categories. There is a lot to like with this upstart investment broker. While both Robinhood and Webull are easy to navigate, there is significantly more depth to the Webull offer and demo account access as well. The customization and advanced charting tools put Webull in a class with much larger trading platforms. Only the educational vertical is superior at Robinhood.
Ultimately, beginners who want a simple investment platform with basic educational resources may still prefer Robinhood. If opening a retirement account, the 1% match may have appeal over WeBull’s retirement account. The bulk of investors and traders, however, will appreciate Webull's larger slate of tools and more developed trading platforms.
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