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Written by Logan Robison on November 21, 2020
Category: 
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Robinhood vs Webull vs TD Ameritrade 2021: Which Is Best?

This review is dedicated to three of the most well known trading platforms to date; Robinhood, Webull, and TD Ameritrade.

Both Webull and Robinhood are newcomers on the block while TD Ameritrade is an old school brokerage that has been around for decades.

We will be covering the similarities, differences, pros and cons between each of these brokerages.

FeatureRobinhoodWebullTD Ameritrade
Commissions$0 for stocks, ETFs, and options$0 for stocks, ETFs, and options$0 for stocks, ETFs, and options (plus 4,100 mutual funds without transaction fees)
Fractional SharesYesNoNo
Physical BranchesNoNoYes
Educational Resources LowMediumHigh
Tradable SecuritiesStocks, ETFs, Options, Cryptocurrencies, ADRs Stocks, ETFs, OptionsStocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, ETFs, Options, Futures, Forex, Foreign ADRs, and IPOs for Qualified Accounts
Account Minimums$0$0$0
Best ForCasual InvestorsIntermediate InvestorsAdvanced Investors
Free Stock PromotionsYes (free stock when you sign up worth$2.50 - $200)Yes (free stock when you sign up worth$2.50 - $250 plus 2 more for qualifying deposits)No

Summary: Webull vs Robinhood vs TD Ameritrade

  • All three platforms are free from account minimums or trading commissions
  • TD Ameritrade is the only platform to offer mutual funds
  • Webull and TD Ameritrade offer retirement accounts but Robinhood does not
  • TD Ameritrade is the only one with physical branches you can visit
  • Webull and TD Ameritrade allow you to simulate trades without using real money
  • Robinhood and TD Ameritrade allow fractional shares while Webull does not
  • All are good for beginners but Webull and TD Ameritrade are more suited for active trading
  • Investors can earn free stock on Webull and Robinhood
  • TD Ameritrade doesn't have a sign up bonus
  • You can trade crypto with Webull and Robinhood
  • TD Ameritrade has a lot more tradable assets than Robinhood or Webull

What Is Robinhood?

Robinhood is a beginner friendly investing app without minimum account balances or commissions.

This platform was founded in 2013 and is the pioneer of democratized investing. Robinhood believes investing should be accessible and available to everyone, regardless of their account size.

This brokerage is famous for a crisp and clean user interface. Users love Robinhood’s trading platform because it contains a sufficient amount of data for the average investor. However, advanced investors may find it a bit underwhelming.

Robinhood Features

This brokerage aims to be the most attractive and user-friendly app out there for commission-free trades.

No Account Minimums/Commissions

Robinhood was one of the first, but certainly not the last. Almost all investing platforms now allow users to begin investing with no minimums. This was largely unheard of before Robinhood and now it’s the norm.

That being said, if you are interested in margin investing, there is an account minimum of $2,000. This type of account will allow you to borrow additional funds from Robinhood for a fee.

Robinhood lets investors trade stocks, ETFs, options, and crypto with no commissions.

Robinhood Gold

Without paying the $5 per month, users need to wait upwards of 3 business days for their funds to finally settle from the bank. However, all users get up to $1,000 settled instantly for investing. 

With Robinhood Gold, users can access cash instantly, review level II market data, utilize margin investing, and study professional research from Morningstar on 1,700+ stocks. 

Investors that are on the fence can choose to take advantage of a free 30-day trial of Robinhood Gold when they sign up.

High-Interest Savings Account

Robinhood offers a high-interest savings account for those who want their money to grow but don’t want to risk losing it all. Keeping your uninvested cash working for you is a must and the savings account offered by Robinhood allows investors to do just that.

Users that store their money with Robinhood also have access to an optional debit card and 75,000 ATMs where you can withdraw your cash for free.

YieldAs Of
0.30% APY11/17/20

Fractional Shares

Robinhood allows investors to purchase a dollar amount of a company instead of complete shares. With this feature, you will be able to purchase shares of stocks and ETFs in $1 increments.

robinhood fractional shares

Cryptocurrency

Robinhood allows you to trade a variety of popular cryptocurrencies 100% commission free. 

It is important to recognize that Robinhood Crypto is not a part of Robinhood Financial LLC. As such, cryptocurrencies are held in a different account which is not regulated by FINRA or insured by the FDIC.

Here's our full review of Robinhood crypto.

Robinhood Pros

  • 100% commission-free stock and ETF trading
  • Access to cryptocurrency
  • Top of the line user interface that is easy to navigate
  • Dividend reinvestment plan
  • Fractional shares make it easy to buy the stocks you love
  • High yield savings account for excess cash
  • Longer track record
  • Get a free stock when you sign up

Robinhood Cons

  • Limited research & data
  • Only offers brokerage accounts and not tax-advantaged retirement accounts
  • Customer service is only reachable online, not over the phone

What Is Webull?

Webull is a popular brokerage that was one of the leaders of the charge toward commission-free stock and ETFs.

Webull founders embarked on a mission to rid the world of barriers that prevented beginner investors from entering the market. Founded in 2017, Webull has risen head and shoulders above competitors with its stellar, user-driven trading platform.

They followed the same model as Robinhood, but instead offered a more research oriented platform for intermediate to advanced traders.

Webull Features

Though similar to other mobile-only trading platforms like Robinhood, Webull offers some features that other leading brokerages lack. Mainly, they offer data and research that is largely above what other free investing apps offer.

Commission-Free Trades

There are no commissions for trading stocks, ETFs or options with Webull. Options also come without any contract fees which is outstanding. They also offer taxable and retirement accounts with a $0 minimum.

However, if you are interested in margin trading, there is a $2,000 minimum account balance. They are also launching cryptocurrency trading very soon.

Retirement Account Options

Webull retirement options include Traditional, Roth, or Rollover IRAs. These are a great starting point for investors hoping to set aside cash for their retirement years. These options allow investors to save on taxes and sets Webull apart as a brokerage account with appeal to a wider swath of investors.

One of the common gripes about the commission free trading app Robinhood is that they do not offer retirement accounts.

Data & Research Tools

The main thing that sets Webull apart from other brokerages is that they are a research and data-oriented platform. You will find a wide variety of advanced tools and data all in a very user-friendly app. In many cases, you won't need to go anywhere else to get the indicators and information you need to make trades.

That being said, all of this data available at your fingertips might make this a bit overwhelming for a beginner.

webull paper trade

Extended Hours Trading

Typically, when buying and selling stocks, you're limited to only trading during market hours of 9:30am EST to 4:00pm EST.

With Webull, you're able to extend that trading window to 4:00am - 8:00pm EST. Keep in mind that stock prices tend to be more volatile outside of normal trading hours because there are typically less trades happening.

Webull Pros

  • Advanced research tools help traders make informed decisions
  • Stock screener allows traders to focus in on potential investments in seconds
  • Access to commission-free stock, ETF, and options trading
  • Ability to take advantage of tax-deferred retirement accounts
  • Paper trading helps beginners learn the basics in a low-stakes setting
  • Free stocks when you sign up

Webull Cons

  • No fractional shares on the platform
  • No rebalancing offered on the platform

What Is TD Ameritrade?

TD Ameritrade is probably a company you have heard of many times before. That’s because this titan of the financial industry has been around since 1971. That’s quite a long time to learn the system and understand how to make a truly incredible product.

As of 2020, TD Ameritrade had over 12 million client accounts and roughly $1.2 trillion under management. The company is in fact so robust that it handles 2.1 million trades per day. With those kinds of stats, you know this company is worth a look.

TD Ameritrade Features

This platform is well-suited for the everyday beginner investor as well as the professional trader. Its free and extensive data, friendly minimums and fees, variety of tradable securities, and more make this platform truly hard to beat.

Data & Research

This company truly has it all in terms of data and research. Anyone from young to old, from novice to professional can find nuggets of knowledge on this platform. TD Ameritrade hosts both virtual and in-person events at their 175+ branches which dot the country. So, whether you want to learn online or prefer to meet in-person, TD Ameritrade has an option for you.

In addition, there are numerous webcasts, articles, slideshows, and even a chatbot to help you get all the information you need to make wise decision. In fact, stockbrokers.com has ranked TD Ameritrade the #1 brokerage for education for the past eight years in a row.

TD Ameritrade stocks

Minimums & Fees

In late 2019, TD Ameritrade finally got on the investor’s favorite bandwagon – the one with no fees. TD Ameritrade slashed all its commissions in order to compete with the competitors that were attracting the new generation of investors.

TD Ameritrade has increasingly become more investor-friendly and currently boasts no trade minimums, $0 data fees, $0 platform fees, and of course, no trading commissions. This has of course, allowed investors who don’t have a ton of cash in the bank to open up their own account.

These commission-free trades apply to stocks, ETFs and options. Though options come at a price of $0.65 per contract. These no-commission trades are of course if you do them online. Having a broker assist you with a trade will cost $25.

Tradable Securities

With TD Ameritrade, you can have access to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, futures, forex, foreign ADRs, and IPOs for qualified accounts. This is many more than is currently available at Robinhood or Webull.

In addition, traders with TD Ameritrade have access to over 4,100 mutual funds without a transaction fee. This is one reason that Robinhood has often been criticized. Plus, investors can access 11,000 mutual funds with expense ratios of 0.50% or less, and 10,000+ mutual funds with investment minimums of $100 or less.

TD Ameritrade Pros

  • No fees or account minimums
  • Large array of tradable securities
  • Mutual funds available
  • Mobile and web-based trading
  • Great for beginners and active traders
  • Extensive and free education
  • Large branch presence (+175)

TD Ameritrade Cons

  • Mobile and web-based platforms are more complex than competitors
  • $0.65 fee per option contract

The Final Verdict: TD Ameritrade vs Webull vs Robinhood

While each of these brokerages are truly great, they are all uniquely positioned for various types of investors. It is important that you do the research necessary to choose the platform that meets your goals.

If you are more of a casual investor and enjoy watching the market, then Robinhood may be a great choice. If you are more of an intermediate to advanced trader, Webull or TD might be a better option.

Whatever platform you choose, you can try them all for free and make your decision based on experience with each one.

Best Free Stock Promotions

BrokeragePromotionLink
Robinhood Logo1 Free Stock (Up To $200)Download
Webull Logo4 Free Stocks (Up To $3,700)Download
Firstrade trading platform3 Free Stocks (Up To $600)Download
Public LogoFree $10 Stock SliceDownload
M1 Finance Robo AdvisorGet $30 When You Deposit $1,000Download

Robinhood vs Webull vs TD Ameritrade 2020: Which is Best for You?
Article written by Logan Robison
Logan graduated with a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and currently works as a financial analyst for a large retailer. His love for personal finance inspired him to start a YouTube channel, Finance for Normals, where he hopes to give everyday people the basic finance knowledge they need to succeed.

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