When new investors sign up to trade with Webull or other brokerage platforms, they will notice a myriad of questions are thrown their way. These questions range from a user’s address, to their social security number. All of these questions are in the attempt to keep accurate records and provide suitable investment advice to clients.
While many of these questions are seemingly self-explanatory, just why do brokerage platforms need to know who your employer is? For this answer and more, keep reading. But first, let’s understand just what Webull is and how they differentiate themselves from other brokerages.
Webull is a commission-free trading app that prides itself on giving its users a research-driven experience. With Webull, users have access to technical analyses and equity reports that are otherwise unavailable with popular platforms like Robinhood (see our Webull vs Robinhood review).
Not only do they offer unique and helpful educational resources, but they also offer a wider variety of assets. Webull allows users to trade stocks, ETFs, options, save for retirement, and participate in short selling. All of these set Webull apart from the pack in terms of functionality and asset availability.
One area where Webull falls short is in its lack of fractional shares. This is a big one for new investors because it allows them to purchase any company share they desire without paying full price. Investors who purchase fractional shares find it easier to diversify their portfolio with limited cash.
For more on Webull, check out our full review here.
As mentioned earlier, new investors will be met with a barrage of questions regarding their current status. One of these questions could be about employment. Now, before you get uptight about giving out this information, it should be understood that Webull does not contact your employer about your trading activity. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
So then, what do they use your employment information for?
Webull and other brokerages are under strict protocol to record as much detail as possible about their investors. This is seen as more of a protection for themselves, and the SEC, then a threat to users. Webull needs to create a full financial picture of who is investing so that they can protect themselves if they come under question about their actions or the actions of an investor. All of this information must be kept accurate and up to date, which is why you might be prompted to confirm information every so often.
Webull and other brokerages also want to confirm that you are trading for your own personal gain and not for business purposes. Webull is set up for personal use, not business. If Webull determines that you are a professional investor and are using their platform to do work for clients, they might have some additional questions for you. Ultimately, Webull is made for personal and not professional use.
Finally, Webull is out there to catch bad guys. Well, not really. But they are focused on assisting the SEC with preventing fraud and other shady business deals. By collecting information about your employer, Webull is creating a solid picture of who you are financially and is also protecting themselves against potential investigations.
Before you begin investing, it is wise to understand what may be required of you. In this instance, you may be required to give up information about your employment status. Know that this is all in a good faith effort to protect the institution and not to target Webull's users.
Other information that could be required is a user’s SSN, address, date of birth, and full name. If you are uncomfortable with giving up any of this information, please read this article by the SEC for more details.