Is M1 Finance brokerage app and IRA (ROTH, Traditional) account free of charge to open and use? Is stock trading on WeBull free to all clients?

Are WeBull and M1 Finance Free?

Webull and M1 Finance may not be among the most popular brokers, but they are two options that cost-sensitive investors should consider in their search for a broker. Both platforms offer commission-free trading and are largely free of most other fees commonly found in the industry. This article will offer a more detailed answer to the question of whether or not these brokers are “free”.

Commission-Free Trading

As we mentioned, neither Webull nor M1 Finance charge trading commissions, which is arguably the highlight of both brokers’ platforms. Although Webull somewhat offsets this plus with its extremely limited set of investment options – they only offer U.S. stocks and ETFs.

M1 Finance also has a pretty limited set of investment offerings, also supporting just stocks and ETFs. However, at least with M1 their lack of investment options is somewhat explained by their unique approach to investing – called “Pies”. Instead of buying and selling individual stocks or ETFs like you would with most brokers, on M1 you can only purchase baskets of securities and ETFs – called pies. These can either be pre-built pies on the M1 platform or pies that you build yourself.

Account Fees

Neither Webull nor M1 Finance charge you any account maintenance, setup or inactivity fees. This is great because it makes investing on their platforms 100% free, which is very attractive to those investors with smaller amounts of capital. Both brokers will allow you to open an account with $0, however M1 has a $100 minimum balance requirement to make an investment.

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Margin Account Fees

Despite both M1 and Webull not having any minimum balance requirements, this is not the case if you wish to use margin to leverage your portfolio. Using a margin account on Webull’s platform comes with the industry-standard requirement of a balance of at least $2,000. And if you actually use any borrowed funds from Webull, the margin rate you will be charged starts at 6.99% for balances up to $25,000, and then gradually drops to 3.99% for larger borrowings.

M1 Finance offers a margin service called M1 Borrow, which as the name implies, allows certain customers to borrow additional funds to invest in their pies. In order to qualify for this service, your account balance must be at least $25,000. After meeting these criteria, M1 will automatically enroll you in this service, which will only cost you if and when you actually borrow money. M1 will allow you to borrow up to 35% of your account balance at an attractive APR of 4%.


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Regulatory Fees

The SEC and FINRA charge small regulatory fees, which, usually amounting to a few pennies per trade, are generally insignificant. All brokers, including M1 Finance and Webull will pass these on to the investor as they are incurred.

Transfer Fees

As is the case with most brokers, both M1 Finance and Webull allow you to fund and redeem from your brokerage account free of charge via electronic, or ACH, transfers. Wire transfers, although faster, will incur fees. Depending on whether your wire transfer is domestic or international, and outgoing or incoming, Webull will charge you a wire fee between $8 and $45.

M1 Finance will allow you to deposit funds via a wire transfer free of charge but note that most banks will charge you a fee for initiating the outgoing wire transfer. M1 Finance won’t allow you to withdraw funds from your broker account via a wire transfer, only ACH transfers are allowed for this. Transferring either your Webull or M1 Finance accounts to another broker will cost you an industry-standard ACAT fee of $75.


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Paper Statement Fees

Most brokers, M1 Finance and Webull included, urge their investors to opt for online account statements as it’s just more environmentally-friendly and efficient for all involved. If you choose to receive paper statements for your account, M1 Finance will charge you a $5 fee for this service.

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