With so many new investing apps and trading platforms available today, it can be difficult to choose which one is the best for you. Recently, a variety of trading platforms have emerged. In this article, we are going to review two of the top free investing platforms available today; Acorns and Webull.
Acorns is a popular spare change round up app that makes saving and investing completely painless.
Webull is a commission free stock trading app that offers a lot of advanced tools and features.
While there are some similarities, these are largely two entirely different platforms. The choice between the two comes down to your investment strategy.
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Webull is a commission-free stock and ETF trading platform that also offers options and short selling. It is a great platform for the active trader who is looking for a more dynamic user interface.
This app has a variety of features that benefit traders such as technical indicators, research agency ratings, financial calendars, and free margin trading as well as short selling. With easy access to margin, research tools, and live data, Webull has built an ideal platform for active traders.
Webull is a platform that caters to the intermediate trader who already has some experience with the stock market. If you are a complete beginner, you may experience information overload. If you are a somewhat experienced trader, Webull will give you all of the data you will likely need.
Technical Indicators: Webull has a variety of technical indicators available on the platform. You can choose from up to 22 technical indicators such as moving averages, relative strength indexes and more.
Virtual Trading Simulator: Webull has a useful feature called the virtual trading simulator. This feature lets you create a virtual portfolio with fake money to test out strategies before risking real money. This is an ideal feature for someone just starting out, who may need to gain more investing knowledge and know how before investing real money.
Smart Alerts: Webull lets you set a variety of alerts for different holdings. You can get an alert when a price level is hit, or a rate of change has hit a defined level. There are also alerts for volume levels or changes, this can be useful for traders get a sense of where the stock may be headed in the short term.
Financial Calendar: The financial calendar feature keeps you informed on all the latest and upcoming financial news. Important events such as upcoming IPOs, dividend payouts, and earnings releases are all provided to you in a calendar format on the Webull platform.
Margin Trading: Webull allows margin trading on its platform to certain users. You must have a minimum account balance of $2,000 for margin trading access.
After Hours Trading: Webull offers after hours and premarket trading. You can trade securities from 4 am to 8 pm on the Webull platform offering more flexibility in placing trades.
Commission Free Short Selling: There are no trading commissions to short a stock in Webull. Short selling occurs in a margin account, but all trades are completely free.
Webull is a great platform for active traders who focus on investment research. Webull provides an array of research tools for both the technical and fundamental investment researchers.
That being said, in most cases, this platform is best for those with some prior investment experience. If you are completely new to investing in the stock market, you may feel information overload by the number of research tools available to you.
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Acorns is an online robo-advisor that helps you save and invest a portion of your debit and credit card transactions. Acorns will round your purchases to the next dollar and send the difference to your brokerage account to be invested.
The Acorns platform is simple and aims to help more people begin investing their extra cash. Once the cash is in your account it will be automatically invested into your Acorns portfolio. Acorns aims to help the beginner investor who would like to invest but has a hard time diligently saving.
The biggest difference between Webull and Acorns is that Webull is free while Acorns charges $1 to $3 per month.
Acorns Spend: This is an Acorns provided debit card. A checking account that has Acorns built in and will save and invest for you. Fees are $3 per month for Acorns spend.
Acorns Later: Acorns offers Individual Retirement Accounts. Both Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.
Acorns Earn: Partnerships with brands and other retailers. Acorns partners include Nike, Apple, Airbnb, Blue Apron, Macy’s, DirecTV, Lyft, Walmart and more. When shopping with an Acorns partner, you can earn an extra 5% to 10% of the transaction in cash back. This cash is then sent to your Acorns brokerage account and invested.
Acorns Grow: On Acorns grow you can access a variety of educational content that will help you learn more about investing and personal finance. The Acorns grow feature aims to educate beginner investors and guide them through the learning process.
Acorns Lite is just $1 per month and comes with an individual investment account.
If you are looking for a bit more, Acorns Personal is $3 per month and comes with a retirement account as well as the Acorns Spend debit card.
Once you create your account, Acorns will ask you a series of questions for your investment objective. You can choose from five different options:
Once you choose your objective, Acorns will suggest a portfolio that aligns with your investment objective.
Portfolios on Acorns were designed by Economist Dr. Harry Markowitz and are based on Modern Portfolio Theory. Each portfolio uses a stock and bond allocation that represents its level of risk. Conservative portfolios hold more bonds which tend to be less volatile when compared to stocks.
Aggressive portfolios will hold more stocks which may generate higher returns over time, but are more volatile when compared to bonds. Acorns also offers a variety of Vanguard and iShares ETFs on their platform.
All portfolios hold low-cost ETFs which have much lower fees when compared to actively-managed mutual funds.
There are no individual stocks or custom portfolios on Acorns.
Acorns is a suitable platform for beginner investors who would like to begin saving and investing over time.
The biggest advantage Acorns has over other platforms is the automation of micro savings into your brokerage account over time. You may not realize it, but these small amounts add up over time.
For other investors who schedule automatic deposits from their bank account into their investment accounts every week or month, this feature may not be as useful. Acorns gives you the option to invest in five prebuilt portfolios. You cannot customize your portfolio or pick individual stocks or ETFs.
Acorns and Webull are investing apps both offering completely different services to their users. Webull offers an intermediate to advanced trading platform geared towards the research-oriented active trader.
Acorns is offering an automated investment solution to those who are forgetful or have a hard time saving money. If you fall into that category, Acorns might be a better fit for you.
If you are a more advanced investor who would like to buy and sell individual investments, Webull is likely a better fit for you.
However, neither platform has a minimum investment so beginners can start on both platforms with as little as a few dollars.