Compare TD Ameritrade versus WeBull: IRA, commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account differences, pros and cons. Which online broker is better in 2021?

TD Ameritrade vs. Webull Introduction

Which brokerage house is capable of providing the trading experience you seek, Webull or TD Ameritrade? Webull has cryptocurrencies, while TD Ameritrade delivers mutual funds and a very sophisticated desktop platform.

For a more meticulous examination, continue reading.

Comparison Table

TD Ameritrade Rating
Rating 4.5-star brokerage firm rating Webull Rating
Stocks $0 $0
Options (per contract) $0.65 $0
Mutual Funds $49.99 na
Initial Funding Requirement $0 $0
Inactivity Fee $0 $0
IRA Annual Fee $0 $0
Full Account Transfer $0 $75
Partial Account Transfer $0 $75
Account Closing Fee $0 $0
Trading Experience & Technology brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Mobile brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Research Amenities brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Portfolio & Analysis Reports brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Customer Service and Education brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Open an account $0 stock/ETF trades and transfer fee refund. Grab your last chance to get 2 free stocks up to $1850.


TD Ameritrade Pros and Cons

If you open a brokerage account at TD Ameritrade, you will receive many benefits. Some of the most notable include:

- Large range of tradable instruments
- Professional-level software
- Portfolio management (in both robo and human varieties)
- 24/7 customer support (in both robo and human varieties)

The broker-dealer has just a handful of weaknesses. They include:

- Per-contract option fees
- Margin rates are pricey

Webull Pros and Cons

If you choose Webull instead, you’ll get these advantages:

- Community forum on mobile app
- Zero per-contract option fees
- Trading competitions (in simulated mode)

Webull does come with several notable disadvantages, including:

- Limited selection of tradable assets
- Investment research is insufficient
- Option trading is elementary

Category #1: Investment Products

With a Webull account, you will be able to trade these assets:

- Cryptocurrencies
- Options
- ETFs and closed-end funds
- Equities (not including over-the-counter stocks)

If you opt for TD Ameritrade instead, you will lose digital currencies but gain traditional forex. You will also get futures, fixed-income securities, OTC stocks, and mutual funds.

Winner: TD Ameritrade

Category #2: Website Trading

When you get ready to place a trade, TD Ameritrade’s website has some very good resources for you. First up is a trade bar. Called SnapTicket, it appears at the bottom of the web browser. It can submit orders for stocks, ETFs, closed-end funds, and even option contracts. Advanced order types such as trailing orders are on the ticket, and we really like streaming bid-ask prices.


Ameritrade ETFs Review


Although TD Ameritrade does not have a browser platform, its website offers the ability to trade mutual funds, bonds, and option spreads. The website also provides conditional orders, such as OCA (one cancels another) and OTT (one triggers two). And if you need full-screen charting with tools, the broker’s site has you covered.

Webull’s website has very little on it. You can download account documents and transfer funds. For actual trading, Webull has a browser platform. Just click on the TRADE link in the top menu and you’ll see a new tab pop out with a trading environment.

Webull’s platform includes an order ticket with fewer order types than TD Ameritrade offers, although it does integrate bracket orders, a nice feature, especially for day traders.


Webull vs TD Ameritrade


Charts come with roughly 50 technical indicators. A right click on a chart produces a drop-down menu with several selections, including:

- An order ticket
- Alerts
- Drawing tools
- Notes

One really nice feature that Webull offers in this category that TD Ameritrade does not is a simulated trading mode.

Winner: Draw

Category #3: Desktop Platforms

Webull’s browser platform is largely mimicked on its desktop cousin. The desktop software has the same look and feel with mostly the same tools. Digital currencies for some reason aren’t tradable on the desktop system.


Webull versus TD Ameritrade


A simulated trading mode makes an appearance on the desktop system, just as it does in the browser system. For some odd reason, the browser platform actually has more technical indicators (about 50 versus 30).

If you want 400 technical indicators, you could trade on TD Ameritrade’s desktop platform. Called thinkorswim, this is a very professional-level system that delivers a lot of advanced tools. These include an order ticket with many more order types than Webull provides, an economic calendar, and futures and forex dealing boxes.


TD Ameritrade vs Webull


Winner: TD Ameritrade

Category #4: Mobile Apps

If you like thinkorswim but can’t be at your desk, TD Ameritrade has a thinkorswim app. Amazingly, it has the same powerful charting program. And a very advanced order ticket makes trading on the app feel like trading on the desktop platform.


TD Ameritrade or webull


Webull’s app has pretty good charting, too, although with fewer technical studies. An order ticket with bracket orders (but fewer order types overall compared to its rival) makes an appearance as well. And we really like the community forum on Webull’s app, a feature that doesn’t appear on any TD Ameritrade app (TDA has a second app with even more features).


WeBull or TD Ameritrade


Winner: TD Ameritrade

Category #5: Investment Education

TD Ameritrade clients who need some guidance will find many resources, thanks to the company’s very extensive educational program. This includes a video network that broadcasts live during market hours. On-demand videos are also saved. And then there’s thinkMoney® Magazine, a quarterly publication that covers the whole gamut of the investment world. The broker’s website has a large selection of educational articles, just to add more options to the list.

Webull offers brief articles on its site that answer questions about various trading topics, from good faith violations to maintenance calls. But these just don’t measure up to the amount of effort TD Ameritrade has put into its educational service.

Winner: TD Ameritrade

Category #6: Screeners and Security Analysis

On Webull’s computer platform, there is a stock screener that can scan the US, Chinese, and Canadian exchanges based on 20 criteria. Examples include:

- Dividends
- P/E ratio
- Analyst rating
- Debt-to-asset ratio

Canadian and Chinese securities can’t be traded, however.

Asset profiles at Webull have quite a few data points, including order flow, corporate actions, press releases, and financial statements.

Over at TD Ameritrade, we found these bits of information plus a lot more. Examples include:

- Free stock reports from multiple analysts
- SEC filings
- Peer comparisons

The broker’s stock screener can’t search foreign exchanges but it does have 59 search variables.

Winner: TD Ameritrade

Category #7: Options Trading

Webull launched options trading many moons ago, but so far it has only delivered calls and puts. It is not possible to trade spreads even though the firm offers margin accounts. Despite this huge disadvantage, traders do get Greek values and some good software for derivative trading. Notably, it’s possible to drag an icon along a horizontal axis to change an option order’s strike price and trade side.

There are two big advantages that TD Ameritrade offers in this category:

(1) Option spreads, including calendars, verticals, strangles, and straddles.

(2) Options research, appearing both on the website and on thinkorswim. Combined, the two platforms offer a search engine, option chains for spreads and calls/puts, CFRA reports on contracts, and more.

Winner: TD Ameritrade

Category #8: Margin Borrowing

TD Ameritrade charges 9.5% or lower for margin loans. Webull is much lower with a range between 6.99% and 3.99%.

What we really like about Webull in this category is a really neat icon-based margin detail system (available on every software platform it has) that displays important details for margin customers. On every security’s profile, a dollar sign (orange in color) shows leverage and margin rates. TD Ameritrade’s software does not provide this level of information.

Winner: Webull

Category #9: Day Trading

Shorting. At both brokers, it’s possible to short securities (and futures and forex at TD Ameritrade). Webull’s software displays whether an asset is shortable and what the margin details of a short position will be. TD Ameritrade’s platforms don’t display this information.

Level II Quotes. To get a complete picture of interest in a particular security, you need more than just last price. Level II quotes are available at both brokerage houses, but only TD Ameritrade offers them for free.

Direct-access Routing. At TD Ameritrade, you can send an order to a specific market maker. This is not possible at Webull.

Routing Fees and Rebates. Not available at either firm.

Winner: TD Ameritrade

Category #10: Miscellaneous Services

Dividend Reinvestment Program: TD Ameritrade offers a DRIP service that is able to convert dividends into equity shares. Surprisingly, Webull doesn’t offer this.

IRAs: Webull has Traditional and Roth IRAs. TD Ameritrade has these plus SIMPLE and SEP accounts.

Fractional-share Trading: Not currently available on either self-directed platform (TD Ameritrade does use fractional shares in its robo program).

IPO Availability: Both brokerage firms provide access to equity IPOs. However, TD Ameritrade requires at least $250,000 in assets (or 30 trades in the previous quarter) to participate. Webull has no such requirement.

Extended Hours: You can trade before the market opens and after it closes at either broker-dealer. Webull has a longer early session.

Automatic Mutual Fund Investing: Available to TD Ameritrade clients, but obviously not to Webull customers.

Winner: TD Ameritrade

Incentives

WeBull: Grab your last chance to get 2 free stocks up to $1850.

TD Ameritrade: $0 stock/ETF trades and transfer fee refund.


At Last, Our Recommendations

Stock/ETF Trading: We have to recommend TD Ameritrade here. The broker’s desktop platform is top notch; plus, it has a much better stock screener. For ETFs, TD Ameritrade provides better fund resources, fund profiles, and fund screener.

Small Accounts: We can endorse both brokerage firms here, as neither one has an account minimum or annual fee.

Beginners: It must be TD Ameritrade. The company has far superior learning materials. Moreover, it has branch locations, 24/7 customer phone support, and a robo service for customers who have no clue how to invest.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: Once again, we endorse TD Ameritrade. It has target-date funds, a solo 401(k) plan, and traditional financial-advising services.

TD Ameritrade vs Webull Assessment

Webull has improved a lot since its launch in 2018. But it is no match for the big kahuna TD Ameritrade.

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