Many investors, both experienced and beginners, are looking for trading platforms with little to no commission fees. These fin-tech companies are proving to be some of the most worthwhile, and customers are taking note and flocking to them.
Webull is one of those fin-tech companies popular in the United States that offer commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs.
But how does it fare in Canada? Are there any alternatives that have a similar platform? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and how Webull shapes up.
- Commission-free trading
- Real-time market data and analytical tools
- Extended trading hours
- Not available in Canada
- Poor reviews that complain about customer service and speed of transactions
What Is Webull?
Webull is an investment platform where you can trade stocks, ETFs (exchange-traded funds), American Depositary Receipts (ADR), and cryptocurrency. You can invest in either an individual brokerage account or save for retirement in an IRA.
Unfortunately for Canadians, Webull isn’t available in Canada. Instead, it only operates in the United States, China, Philippines, India, Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Brazil, and Turkey.
While you can’t actively trade or open an account as a Canadian, you can still use the Webull app to check stocks and do pertinent research.
Webull is a popular trading platform in America, and for good reason. With fin-tech companies and self-directed investing exploding over the past few years, here are some of the reasons why it’s gained so much momentum.
One of the main differences between Webull and other trading platforms is its extended trading hours. Webull offers both pre-market and after-hours sessions, making it accessible to trade any time of day or night.
Commission Free Trading
Today, when deciding upon an investment platform, most people are looking for zero commissions. With Webull, you don’t pay commissions when buying or selling stocks, ETFs, and options. Webull also doesn’t require minimum deposits.
The downfall to Webull is that you can’t trade mutual funds or bonds as they’re not supported.
According to Webull’s website, they don’t support trading on exchanges outside the U.S., including the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).
Webull has analytical tools available for investors to analyze trends. Users can also gain access to “real-time” market quotes, making it easier to seize trading opportunities.
Webull offers trading on 11 different cryptocurrencies, with new ones added to the site regularly. The drawback to trading cryptocurrency on Webull is that there isn’t a good option to withdraw your funds. For any gains that you wish to remove, you need to sell it for U.S. dollars.
Since Canadians don’t have access to Webull, let’s take a look at other commission-free trading platforms popular in Canada.
One of the best options available is Wealthsimple Trade. They offer commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs, whether you’re buying or selling.
Targeted towards beginning investors, Wealthsimple doesn’t have an account minimum to start, making it easy for those just beginning to test the waters.
Here are other standard features when you open an account:
- State of the art security and encryption standards, along with two-factor identification.
- Multiple account options (personal, RRSP, and TFSA).
- Convenient and easy-to-use app.
- Wealthsimple has a host of other products, including a separate investing and cash platform, cryptocurrency trading, and even tax help.
According to their website, Wealthsimple plans to launch a new feature shortly. It will include no foreign transaction fees (FX) on U.S. trades. For $10/month, you’ll be able to access this element, along with unlimited price alerts and instant deposits up to $5,000.
Some of the drawbacks to Wealthsimple include the inability to trade mutual funds, bonds, and options. There also aren’t as many research options as Webull.
How To Open a Wealthsimple Account
At Wealthsimple, you can open one of three different accounts – either a tax-free savings account (TFSA), registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or a non-registered personal account.
You can transfer an existing TFSA or RRSP into a Wealthsimple account but you will need to do a transfer request first.
You can open an account online or through the mobile app with the following steps:
Sign up for a Wealthsimple Trade account and get $50 and commission-free trades.
Questrade has been around since 1999 and amassed a large client base during that time. While Questrade accommodates beginning investors, its platform is a top choice for more advanced ones because of its research section and advanced real-time data streams.
Questrade has two different portfolio options – either self-directed, where you can invest money on your own and save on fees, or a pre-built one that is managed by a team of experts.
While it’s free to buy ETFs, there’s a fee to sell them. As for stocks, they can cost one cent per share with a $4.95 minimum and $9.95 maximum.
Even though Questrade isn’t commission-free, it’s a great platform if you’re looking to invest in U.S. stocks and offers both Canadian and U.S. accounts.
In addition to low commission fees, Questrade also requires a $1,000 minimum balance. While there are a few more fees with this platform, it’s quite comparable to Webull, especially for its real-time alerts and analytical tools.
To get started with Questrade, you first need to determine if you’re going to open a self-directed or pre-built portfolio account.
Either way, you’ll need to select the account you want – an individual, TFSA, RSP, or Forex and CFD.
From there, you’ll need to create a user ID and answer questions to get started. You can open an account either online or through the mobile app, making it quick and convenient.
Sign up for a Questrade account and get started with $50 in free trades.
While Webull seems like a top-tiered investment trading platform, many of its customers aren’t happy with their experiences. Trustpilot gives Webull only 1.3 stars, and over 86% of reviewers rated the company under the “bad” category (94 out of 109 reviews, to be exact).
The most common customer complaint is that everything is slow-moving if it moves at all. Trying to complete deposits or transfer requests takes weeks, even if the customer account is up to date.
In addition to untimely deposits and wire transfers, customers also complained that the whole process of withdrawing money was just painful. Customers had to jump through hoops in order to get their money. Some claimed that even after submitting all the proper paperwork, they still couldn’t retrieve it.
There were even more complaints about Webull’s customer service department and their inability to help customers. Many reviewers mentioned inept service and representatives unwilling to provide in-depth answers.
Reviewers often felt frustrated and that their problems weren’t even resolved after dealing with the service department.
Is Webull Coming to Canada?
With Webull operating in countries throughout the world, it’s only natural to wonder if the company is planning on entering the Canadian marketplace.
Tech Daily reached out to the investing giant to see if they were making plans to start operations within the country. However, they responded that they had no plans to expand into Canada at this time.
Webull Canada Review Final Thoughts
While Webull is a solid investment platform within the United States, it’s not available in Canada. With no plans to expand, it’s best to look for a trading platform in Canada with similar features that’s easy to access and use.
Check out these platforms for the top online brokers and find the best one to fit your needs.