Webull is a relative newcomer in the online brokerage industry, whose name may sound foreign to many. The platform has been in operation since 2018 following the launch of its mobile app and is steadily making a name for itself.
Here are 21 of the most important things you should know about them.
After signing up, account verification and approval typically take about 1 hour. Webull’s own website even goes so far as to state that “your application is approved automatically”. This, however, is more of a generalized timeframe and doesn’t guarantee the same experience for everyone.
A more accurate answer would be that it could take anywhere between 30 minutes to about a week, and various factors may affect the time it takes for your account to get approved.
To set proper expectations, below are some of the most common reasons for delays in account approval:
To clear up any confusion, it’s always best to get in touch with Webull’s customer support team. More often than not, this is going to solve the problem.
The main difference between a margin and cash accounts can be summed up in one word: leverage. This refers to the use of debt (borrowed funds) to amplify returns from an investment and is used to increase your buying power.
That’s what having a margin account can do for you. You can leverage the funds and securities you already own to purchase additional resources.
On the other hand, a cash account is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a “brokerage account”. It requires the investor to pay the full amount for securities purchased. In other words, your money, however much it may be, is your buying power.
While it seems like having a margin account comes with more privileges, it also runs the risk of magnifying your losses. If you don’t know what you may be getting into, it will benefit you to take the time to educate yourself first before moving forward.
It’s normal to have questions and concerns regarding safety and security where money is involved, but you can rest assured that Webull is thoroughly safe and legit.
On top of being regulated by the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission), FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), and the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, it’s also an SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) member, which means that you are covered should Webull ever run into some financial hiccups in the future.
And if those aren’t enough, they are also partnered with Apex Clearing, which ensures that your money and investment end up where they should.
Webull, as it is today, is owned by Webull Financial LLC and is headquartered in New York City.
While it’s true that Webull’s parent company is Chinese-owned Fumi Technology, Webull itself is a US company whose operations are governed by the laws of the United States. It was first established as a limited liability company in Delaware in 2017, which was always a US company.
Webull has built a reputation for having some of the lowest fees amongst brokerages. That, however, already suggests that it isn’t free. Or, at least, not completely.
Sure, some things are free, like creating an account, trading, and the fact that they don’t receive a commission on stock and exchange-traded funds. But having said that, of course, there are still certain fees associated with trading that would always exist, as mandated by regulatory boards.
Webull makes no money for charging per-transaction fees to its clients, so their primary revenue stream comes from selling order flows to market makers.
Some other ways Webull generates income are through fees on short-selling, interest on margin accounts, and subscription fees, to name a few.
Let’s look at these other methods one by one:
Payment for Order Flow
Whenever you place an order on Webull’s platform, that order is sent to a so-called market maker, like an HFT (high-frequency trading firm) which compensates Webull for bringing in its trades to it.
For every $100 worth of transactions Webull executes on behalf of their clients, they earn $0.01 for payment-for-order-flow. The more investors Webull has on its platform, the more money they make via this method alone.
Webull is known for providing users with advanced trading and charting tools, like the NASDAQ TotalView, which gives its traders access to Level 1 and Level 2 market-depth data.
Level 1 data is free of charge, but Level 2 comes with a minimal $1.99 per month fee. This isn’t available on other brokerages, especially not for such a small price.
Interest When Lending Out Securities and Cash
Webull profits from idle deposits and funds sitting in your account by lending these assets to other traders on margin. Doing so allows them to earn interest from the borrowing counterparty. The same principle applies to both margin trading and short selling.
There are two ways to fund your Webull account: electronic or ACH transfers or wire transfers. They have different time frames.
Electronic or ACH transfers take 1-3 business days to fully clear. On the other hand, a wire transfer depends on whether you’re doing it inside or outside the US. Domestic wire transfers only take 1-2 business days, while international wire transfers can take 5 business days.
When you’re in the US and looking to deposit funds into your account as soon as possible, a wire transfer is the fastest way, as it typically clears within the next business day. However, note that Webull’s bank or the bank processing the transfer (not Webull themselves) charges fees on them. Domestic wire transfers are $8, and international ones are $12.50.
All stock trade transactions on Webull take two business days to settle (T+2 settlement period, or the trading day plus two business days), while options take only one (T+1 settlement period, or the trading day plus one business day).
A benefit that Webull gives its users who are waiting for their deposits to settle is instant buying power. This allows you to trade immediately using provisional credit from Webull and can be used to trade stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.
The only thing you can’t trade just yet is options since it requires fully settled funds.
The aforementioned provisional credit or the maximum instant buying power depends on a few factors, like the amount of your deposit, cash balance, the market value of your positions, your credit score, etc.
Currently, the limit for newly-funded accounts is $1000, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s also the instant buying power you will get.
If your in-flight deposit is less than $1000, your instant buying power will most likely be equal to it.
If your in-flight deposit is more than $1000, you are still only eligible for that limit. This limit increases the higher your account value becomes.
Webull does offer pre-market trading from 4:00 AM to 9:30 AM EST.
Note that prices tend to be more volatile during these extended hours, both pre and after-market, so consider limiting prices when placing orders.
Similarly, they offer after or post-market trading from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST.
Webull also included a disclaimer, which states that it’s their sole prerogative to temporarily or permanently suspend these extended trading sessions and all the securities traded therein without giving any prior notice at any given moment.
Webull points are awarded by Webull to users who can correctly predict the future rise and fall of individual stocks, which are redeemable for entries to paper trading competitions where users can win real money by trading virtual portfolios.
They came up with it to engage everyone within the community without requiring them to actively trade.
Nowadays, however, it’s unknown whether they serve any real purpose other than as “bragging rights”, as a few users have cheekily suggested in forums.
Alternatively, you can save them up for any possible contests of similar nature in the future.
The possibility of Webull issuing debit/credit cards in the future has sparked some interesting discussions among its users, but to this day, there hasn’t been any official word from Webull on whether or not debit/credit cards or any other cash management features will ever become available on their platform.
However, a few other brokerages offer this feature for emergency liquidity purposes and overall convenience, so it’s not entirely unlikely that Webull might decide to follow their lead someday.
SMA (or the Simple Moving Average) is one of the most popular technical trading indicators, illustrating the trajectory or the “simple average” of a stock or other security over a specified period. It can either be long-term or short-term.
Webull has a Moving Average (MA) indicator, and it functions similarly to a simple moving average. This can be accessed when you click on the little hexagon at the top right corner of a chart in line with all the time frames listed.
This opens a chart settings menu where you can tap on “Frequently Used Indicators” to show all the indicators currently selected, and wherein you can also add more, like MA and EMA (or the Exponential Moving Average).
The Net Account Value would be the overall value or worth of all your assets and positions, including cash balance if you liquidated them at a particular point in time. On Webull, this can be affected by the amount of cash available for withdrawal plus dividends or interest rates from margins, which is why you may sometimes see fluctuations, or even a smaller value compared to, say, the market value.
At the moment, Webull does not support paper trading using cryptocurrency. However, there are other platforms and apps that you can look into that offer crypto paper trading.
Paper trading options on Webull is yet another one that the platform currently does not support. Options trading is a more advanced trading strategy and is contract-based, which is likely the reason.
The ID Number that Webull asks for during the sign-up process is whatever method of identification you have selected to provide them.
You simply have to input the number you see on the card, which Webull would then use to check and prove the document’s legitimacy. It could be your Driver’s License, Passport number, or State ID number.
They need your ID number in order to comply with SEC and FINRA regulations, as this is a vital part of verifying your identity and filtering out potential fraud.
There is no need to worry, as Webull takes every measure to keep all of your personal information confidential.
Asking for the Social Security Number is standard procedure among all US-based financial companies during the account registration process. Just like providing identification, it’s also based on industry regulations.
However, if you’re unable to provide a Social Security Number (only US citizens and noncitizens authorized to work in the US by the Department of Homeland Security can have SSNs), Webull also accepts a valid passport number, an alien registration card number, and other government-issued IDs.