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Written by Ed Canty, CFP® on November 11, 2021
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Webull vs E*TRADE 2023: Which Is Better?

When it comes to investing in the stock market, you have many different brokerages to choose from. In the past, most brokerages were known for charging hefty commissions to investors and high fees for trades.

Now, much to the benefit of retail investors, many of these brokerages have adopted a commission-free model instead!

In this article, we will compare the "old school" brokerage E*TRADE to the "new school" brokerage known as Webull. Take the time to do the necessary research and you'll thank yourself later!

Webull vs E*TRADE: The Basics

Webull is a commission-free investing app that has been growing rapidly over the past few years. The Webull app is tailored to short-term traders and provides significant research and data tools. Beginners will likely have an easy time getting started on the platform though they may be overwhelmed by the data available.

E*TRADE is one of the original discount online brokers and has been around for decades. It also provides commission-free trading, however, it is tailored more to higher net-worth traders.

All in all, traders who are looking for a well-established broker will typically lean toward E*TRADE. On the other hand, investors who want to stay on the cutting edge of research tools and data will likely prefer Webull. As a younger company, it is able to move faster and adapt to market trends.

In this article, we will outline the core differences between Webull and E*TRADE.

Account Minimum$0$0
Trading Commissions$0$0
AssetsStocks, ETFs, Options, Short SellingStocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, ETFs, Options, Futures
Options CommissionsNone$0.65 Per Contract
Sign Up Incentive2 Free StocksNone
Account TypesTaxable, RetirementTaxable, Retirement, Savings, Managed
Fractional SharesYesNo

E*Trade vs Webull: Summary

  • Both apps allow investors to trade stocks, ETFs, and options commission-free
  • E*TRADE also offers bonds and futures for investors
  • Webull supports 24/7 trading of a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum
  • Both platforms have a $0 minimum to get started
  • E*TRADE also offers managed accounts for fully hands-off investing
  • Webull offers fractional shares
  • Both platforms offer mobile apps for trading as well as desktop options
  • Webull has a much more responsive and user-friendly app than E*TRADE
  • Webull offers 2 free stocks to new investors who join the platform

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What Is Webull?

Webull is a commission-free stock and ETF trading platform designed for active traders who are looking for a dynamic user interface. It builds upon the basic features offered by the popular trading app Robinhood.

Robinhood is the pioneer for commission-free stock and ETF trading. Webull took things a step further by creating a robust, research-oriented commission-free trading platform.

This app picks up where Robinhood leaves off and takes a more data-driven approach. Many users who love Robinhood's sleek user interface but are unimpressed by the data available will find Webull to be a great alternative.

Webull is a platform that is designed for the intermediate trader who already has some experience with the stock market.

Webull has a variety of features that are designed for traders such as technical indicators, 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.

Check out our full review of Webull here!

If you are a complete beginner, you might feel like you're getting hit with information overload. However, if you are an experienced trader, Webull will give you all of the data you will likely need! Not only that, but it is also all neatly packed into a mobile app that is very user friendly.

Webull also has an advanced desktop platform available for investors called Webull Desktop 4.0.

Webull App Features

Real-Time Market Data

Webull offers real-time market data for all US markets.

This ensures you are viewing consistent real prices in real-time. This feature helps you make the right investment decisions based on accurate data. This feature is extremely important for active traders who need price accuracy down to the penny.

Many other free investing platforms will provide data that is 15-20 minutes old, meaning you may end up overpaying on your trades. This is a big deal for active traders who are taking advantage of relatively small price fluctuations.

Users can also access real-time global market data on the Webull platform for a monthly fee. This is charged on a monthly subscription basis and the fee differs by market. This is one of the ways that Webull is able to make money.

You do not have to pay any money for real-time data on US markets.

News Stream

Webull offers real-time financial news through the news stream feature.

Articles from Reuters and Bloomberg and other financial institutions are available through this feature. This can be extremely helpful in getting the most up-to-date news articles and making important trades on breaking news for specific companies.

This feature provides a single location to view financial news as well as provides a mixed collection of high-quality content, giving you a variety of different points of view on specific topics.

Webull Free Training Shortcode (#8)

Webull Free Training

We put together a free 30 minute video training that walks you through the entire process, step by step. This training will help you get up and running in no time at all.


Extended Hours

All Webull users have access to extended hours trading on the Webull platform. This means that you're not restricted to placing trades only when the markets are open.

Most platforms will restrict your trading to between 9:30 am - 4 pm on weekdays. With extended hours trading you're able to trade from 4 am - 8 pm EST. This can be a big advantage to swing traders looking to take advantage of pre-market price swings or day traders looking to close out their positions in the evening.

Traders should keep in mind that there is typically more volatility in pre-market and after-market trading. This is because there are fewer traders buying and selling stocks. The lack of liquidity and volume means that large trades could have an outsized impact in extended hours.

Fractional Shares

The opportunity to purchase partial shares at a reduced price has broken down many barriers that kept cash-poor investors on the sidelines for years. Now, with fractional shares, users can invest in dollar amounts instead of whole shares. This means that newer investors can afford to invest in expensive stocks like Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway.

By using fractional shares, users will own percentages of whole stocks in proportion to the amount invested. This feature is not available on E*TRADE.

Note that by purchasing fractional shares, you are not decreasing your risk exposure. However, you are allowing yourself to diversify across many other assets and industries by reducing the amount of capital spent on one particular stock.

Virtual Trading Simulator

This is one of our favorite features on Webull.

Webull offers a virtual trading simulator on their platform in order to learn new investing strategies without any risk. This is a valuable feature if you are trying out new trading strategies that you haven't used before. It can also be helpful in testing out a simulated portfolio before risking any real money.

Anyone new to investing should start out using a trading simulator. Through this feature, you can gain experience and knowledge without taking any real risk. Webull is one of the first platforms to offer a built-in trading simulator.

Every user has access to a dummy portfolio with $1,000,000 of fake money to practice with.

After you've got the hang of it, you can move on to making real trades with your hard-earned cash.

Agency Ratings

Another feature offered by Webull is the ability to track and see professional analyst ratings on certain stocks.

Rated stocks will have several ratings by professional rating agencies and firms. They will rank the company as a buy, sell, or hold and sometimes ratings in between. It is very easy to see and analyze these different ratings in the app.

Stock Screener

A stock screener is an important tool for traders to rapidly identify stocks that fit their buying criteria. By using a screener, you can filter thousands of stocks down to only a few that match your specific set of requirements in a matter of seconds.

With this feature, you can easily keep an eye on potential investment opportunities without having to do detailed research into one stock at a time. If you know what you're looking for, it's extremely easy to create a shortlist in no time.

Smart Alerts

Webull gives you the ability to set a variety of smart alerts that will notify you if a specific holding hits a defined price, moves a defined percentage, or has reached a specific volume level. These smart alerts can provide a system for executing trades at a certain price level or after a series of volume or price changes.

Tools like this allow traders to be more effective and efficient when executing trades over a long period.

When combined with the stock screener, traders can quickly act on new investment opportunities without keeping their eyes glued to the screen.

Financial Calendar

Webull offers a financial calendar that keeps you informed of upcoming financial news for the month.

The financial calendar tool keeps track of upcoming IPOs, earnings releases, and which companies are about to pay out dividends. This tool provides a consolidated calendar of events, keeping you informed on upcoming market events all on one screen.

Important events like IPOs and earnings calls often lead to significant price moves in stocks, so staying on top of these is a must.

Margin Trading

Webull offers easy access to margin trading on the platform. You must have a minimum account balance of $2,000 to be approved for margin trading.

When trading on margin you are essentially pledging the assets within your account as collateral to borrow money and invest it in more securities.

Webull will lend you these funds for a fee at a specific interest rate. If your account drops below $2,000 you run the risk of a margin call and forced liquidation of your funds. Margin creates leverage which increases returns but carries significant risk as it also amplifies losses.

Technical Indicators

Webull prides itself on the usability of its platform for serious traders. Many traders use technical price indicators to indicate ideal buy and sell levels. The platform gives you access to 44 technical indicators for developing trading strategies.

In addition to these indicators, Webull provides investors with 12 charting tools to allow you to quickly identify patterns and execute on them.

With these tools at your disposal, you will likely have all the functionality you need to be a successful trader. If you are able to research, plan, and make trades all without leaving the app, you can rest assured that you are receiving a top-of-the-line experience.

Options Trading

A relatively recent addition to the Webull trading platform is commission-free options trading. This is a higher-risk investment that is not suitable for all investors.

To trade options with Webull, you have to request the feature in the app. The app will ask you a series of questions about your financial situation and investment experience. If the company thinks you are a good fit for options trading, you will be able to access this feature.

There is a tiered system for access to options on Webull. At first, you will likely be given access to a lower tier and as time goes on you can request access to higher tiers.

With the higher tiers, you'll have access to more advanced options techniques. However, for investors that are brand new to options, it's generally wise to steer clear until you've done some serious research and fully understand what you're getting into.

Stock Lending Income Program

A feature unique to the Webull platform is the ability to make money by lending your shares to Webull. You can choose to lend any of the stocks you own to Webull and they will, in turn, lend these out to short sellers and pay you daily interest.

For investors looking to generate income from their portfolio, this can be a great option because it is totally passive.

The interest paid to you is calculated as follows:

Daily Interest Earned = Number of Shares on Loan *Stock Price* Annualized Interest Rate / 360 * 15%

To see this in a real example, let's say you own 10,000 shares of company stock XYZ. If stock XYZ is trading at $100 per share and gaining interest of 10%, then you are set to earn the following:

         Daily Interest Eared = 10,000*100*.10/360*.15 = $41.67

Retirement Accounts

Another key differentiator between Webull and other commission-free trading apps is that Webull supports retirement accounts.

Currently, they offer:

Just like with the traditional taxable account, these retirement accounts are commission-free with no minimum account balances. In addition, you'll be able to take advantage of the significant tax savings that retirement accounts have to offer.

Webull Crypto

With the release of Webull Crypto, investors can now buy and sell popular cryptocurrencies on the Webull platform. This includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more!

Unlike the stock market, the crypto market never sleeps. That means you can trade crypto 24 hours a day!

However, it's important to note that any crypto you buy on Webull has to stay on Webull. You won't be able to transfer your crypto out to any other platform or an external wallet.

For this reason, serious crypto traders will likely be better served with a dedicated cryptocurrency platform like Coinbase.

Webull Pros

  • Zero commissions on all trades
  • User-friendly trading platform ideal for younger traders
  • Access to tax-advantaged retirement accounts
  • Fractional shares
  • $0 minimum account balance (including retirement accounts)
  • Paper trading with $1,000,000 of fake money
  • Stock Lending Income Program to generate extra income
  • 40+ technical indicators & 10+ charting tools
  • Stock screener to quickly identify potential investments
  • Access to trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin
  • 2 Free stock signup bonus

Webull Cons

  • Limited access to educational materials
  • No robo-advisor offering
  • No dividend reinvestment plan

What Is E*TRADE?

E*TRADE is one of the top investing platforms available today. With over $360 billion in assets under management, E*TRADE has become one of the most popular options for investors looking for discount online brokers.

E*TRADE is a full-service brokerage that allows you to invest in stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Futures, and Forex. Recently, E*TRADE switched to a commission-free business model (for common asset trades) in order to keep up with the intense competition.

E*TRADE has a $0 minimum account balance requirement for regular brokerage accounts. The E*TRADE platform is one of the most dynamic investing platforms available today. From executing orders as a day trader to having your investments managed for you, there is a tremendous amount of flexibility on the E*TRADE platform.

  • Stocks and ETFs trade commission-free
  • Options contracts are $0.65 apiece
  • Futures contracts are $1.50
  • Bond trades are $1 per bond


There are a number of features that make E*TRADE stand out from the competition.

Managed Accounts/E*TRADE Capital Management

This is full-service portfolio management offered by E*TRADE if you have a minimum account balance starting at $500.

E*TRADE will build a portfolio of ETFs and mutual funds that matches your risk, time horizon, and goals. E*TRADE will handle all the rebalancing of your account as well as tax management in your portfolio. There are 4 tiers of management; Core, Blend, Dedicated, and Fixed Income.

Core Portfolio

  • Minimum $500 investment
  • 0.30% flat fee
  • ETFs only
  • Tax-Sensitive Portfolios
  • Socially Responsible Investments
  • Smart Beta Investments
  • Help from a managed account specialist

Blend Portfolio

  • Minimum $25,000 investment
  • 0.65%-0.90% blended annual fee
  • ETFs and Mutual Funds
  • Tax-Sensitive Portfolios
  • Socially Responsible Investments
  • Smart Beta Investments
  • Help from a Financial Consultant and a managed account specialist

Fixed Income Portfolio

  • Minimum $250,000 investment
  • 0.35%-0.75% blended annual fee
  • Investment-Grade Corporate Bonds, Municipal Bonds, US Government Bonds
  • Taxable And Tax-Free Portfolios
  • Professionally Managed Bond Portfolio
  • Actively Managed Portfolios Adjusted To Respond To Market Conditions
  • Ongoing one-on-one relationship with a financial consultant

Dividend Reinvestment Plan

All E*TRADE investors have access to a DRIP or "dividend reinvestment program". This allows investors to choose whether to receive their dividends as cash or to automatically reinvest them into shares of a company. This feature is not available on Webull.

By choosing to reinvest their dividends, investors can take advantage of the wonders of compound interest and grow their portfolios exponentially. Reinvesting dividends also reduces the cash drag of your portfolio by ensuring you are always fully invested in the market.

E*TRADE Trading Platforms

One of the key factors contributing to E*TRADE's popularity is its robust trading platform. The company has created one of the most immersive and feature-rich experiences for traders of any free platform available.

E*TRADE Web Platform

For most people, the E*TRADE web-based platform has more than enough features and tools available to investors. You can research companies, use screeners, access third-party research, news, live quotes, and charts.

Advanced Trading Via OptionsHouse

E*TRADE purchased investing company OptionsHouse to offer an advanced trading platform within their scope of service. You can trade stocks, options, ETFs, and currencies within OptionsHouse. You have the option to choose from idea-generating ideas such as options chains or trading laters all with real-time data.

Two Mobile Apps

Within E*TRADE there are two mobile apps that users can take advantage of. The E*TRADE mobile app is focused on a user-friendly experience. We believe this mobile app could be one of the best and most dynamic out of all the investment platforms we have reviewed so far.

On this app users can trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options. They can also manage their cash and pay bills.

The Power E*TRADE app is for advanced traders who are looking to really score with day trading. Options strategies come complementary and there are countless resources for news outlets and other insights.

E*TRADE Account Types

  • Individual Taxable
  • Joint Taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Simple IRA
  • Coverdell
  • Trusts
  • Custodian
  • Solo 401(k)


  • Significantly larger and more well-established company
  • Access to additional asset classes including bonds, mutual funds, futures, and forex
  • More advanced trading platform for experienced traders
  • Much more variety in account types available
  • Full-service portfolio management offering
  • Dividend reinvestment plan to take advantage of compound interest
  • Multiple trading platforms for investors to take advantage of
  • Ability to work with a financial professional 1-on-1


  • Small commission fee charged on options trades
  • Interface is somewhat clunky and not as responsive as Webull
  • No free stock signup bonus for new users
  • No fractional shares

E*TRADE vs Webull: Final Thoughts

Overall, E*TRADE is a superior trading platform. It has a more sophisticated options trading platform and a wide variety of assets and account types. If you are looking for a full-blown brokerage, this is likely your best choice of the two.

E*TRADE also appeals more to beginners due to the increased educational resources on its platform when compared to Webull. Webull has a small collection of educational videos and materials, but the content offered by E*TRADE is much more comprehensive.

That being said, Webull does have an app that is more sleek and user-friendly, making it more popular among millennials. If that is a priority to you, then Webull should be on your list of considerations.

Webull is also on the cutting-edge of innovation in the space and is adding new features and capabilities faster than older brokerages like E*TRADE. If you're someone that wants to get in on new features first, you'll likely be better off opening a Webull account as well.

Lastly, Webull has a generous sign up incentive of two free stocks while E*TRADE does not offer anything for free.

Article written by Ed Canty, CFP®
Ed is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. At his day job, Ed helps clients plan for retirement, manage their investments, and navigate their tax situation. In his free time, Ed enjoys golfing, traveling, fishing, and wrenching on his old car.

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