Compare TD Ameritrade thinkorswim vs WeBull: IRA, commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account differences, pros and cons. Which online broker is better in 2023?

Webull vs. TD Ameritrade Introduction

If you’re a heavy-duty trader who needs the best in software and customer support, Webull and TD Ameritrade have to be on your list. Don’t open an account with either one, though, until you read our review of them.

Comparison Table

TD Ameritrade Rating
Rating 4.5-star brokerage firm rating Webull Rating
Stocks $0 $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 a transfer fee refund. Grab your last chance to get 12 free stocks valued up to $30,600.


First Category: Investment Offerings

Both brokerage firms offer self-directed trading only. Neither firm has a robo service or any other type of portfolio management. Here are their self-directed lineups:

Webull:

  • Equities
  • Exchange-traded funds
  • Closed-end funds
  • American Depository Receipts
  • Cryptocurrencies

TD Ameritrade:

  • Equities
  • Exchange-traded funds
  • Closed-end funds
  • Futures contracts
  • Forex
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • American Depository Receipts

Investors at both broker-dealers can trade securities on the over-the-counter marketplace. Neither firm offers access to foreign exchanges.

For its larger selection of tradable products, we pick TD Ameritrade as the winner of the opening category.


Second Category: Customer Service

When the brokerage industry adopted $0 commissions on stock and ETF trades, many firms cut back on customer service to make up for lost revenue. But the two brokerage firms we’re looking at have managed to deliver decent, although not perfect, service.

Webull:

Webull’s website has an extensive FAQ section that addresses many questions new customers and existing customers alike will have. Although it is certainly helpful, Webull left off any type of chat widget. But the site has something that no broker we know of has: a very extensive menu of accessibility settings. The icon for this is located in the lower-right corner of the site and includes some really fascinating tools, such as a screen reader for blind users and a seizure-safe profile.

For customers who would rather just call in, there is phone service. It is staffed around the clock. Webull also has a service e-mail address. There are no branch locations, though.

TD Ameritrade:

TD Ameritrade does have brick-and-mortar offices. About a hundred of them are scattered throughout the country. For clients who don’t want to make the drive or need assistance outside of normal business hours, there is 24/7 phone service.

Unlike Webull, TD Ameritrade’s website does have chat (in both human and robo formats). We have received good service through the chat window during our trials of it. And then there’s internal messaging, a great feature that Webull doesn’t have (although Webull’s service email pretty much makes up for it).

The victory in this category goes to TD Ameritrade, primarily for its branch network.


Third Category: Security Research

Both Webull and TD Ameritrade are excellent brokers for asset research. Let’s see if we can pick one over the other.

Webull:

Stock profiles on Webull’s trading platforms contain a lot of useful information. During our inquiry, we found the following resources:


Webull or Ameritrade


  • News articles from multiple sources
  • Data from financial statements
  • Analysts’ trade recommendations with price targets
  • Order flow details
  • Press releases
  • Corporate actions
  • Institutional holdings
  • Short interest
  • And more...

To actually find a specific stock to trade, Webull offers a screener with 21 search variables. There is no screener for ETF’s.

TD Ameritrade:

TD Ameritrade does have an ETF screener. In fact, it has one for bonds and mutual funds, too. The broker’s equity screener has roughly 60 search variables.

Security profiles on the TD Ameritrade website have lots of details. On the analyst tab, there is a consensus grade from TipRanks with a price target. The broker’s customers get free stock reports (downloadable in pdf format) from several analysts. For Chevron, we found 7 reports.


TD Ameritrade or Webull


On other tabs on stock profiles, there are numerous details. Examples include:

  • SEC filings
  • Peer comparisons
  • Valuation
  • Earnings history
  • News articles
  • And more...

TD Ameritrade picks up another victory, thanks in large part to its free pdf reports.


Fourth Category: Websites

Webull:

Webull’s website is pretty spartan. The site only provides market news, security profiles with simple charting, and account management tools. There is no trade capability, although this oversight is solved with a browser platform. Launched from within the site, the software is very good. Highlights include:


Webull vs TD Ameritrade


  • Full-screen charting with many tools
  • Multiple trade tickets with advanced order features
  • Watchlists
  • Simulated trading
  • Market details
  • Stock screener

TD Ameritrade:

Not to be outdone by its rival here, TD Ameritrade also has a web-browser platform. This one has a name—thinkorswim—although the name doesn’t help it to outperform Webull’s platform. There are fewer graphing tools and no market news.


TD Ameritrade vs Webull


But TD Ameritrade has something that Webull doesn’t: a website with trading capability. Besides an integrated website order form, there is also a trade bar at the bottom of the screen. It has stop and trailing orders with several duration choices.

TD Ameritrade wins this category, too.


Fifth Category: Mobile Apps

Webull: Traders at Webull get a very good mobile app. One of the most appealing features is social networking (just look for Feeds throughout the app). There are other great features.


WeBull vs Ameritrade


For example, charts can be rotated horizontally, and there are lots of drawing tools. Examples include:

- Fibonacci retracements
- Horizontal rays
- Polylines

There are two trade tickets on the app. Tapping on the blue Trade button on an asset’s profile brings up one of them. It can be switched to the other format by going into the settings menu (tap on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the trade ticket) and switching to the other.

Webull’s app has a practice mode, but it lacks a lot of other features, like video news and mobile check deposit.

TD Ameritrade:

TD Ameritrade does provide video news and mobile check deposit on its apps (yes, it has two of them). Other highlights include simulated trading, an economic calendar, Level II quotes, horizontal charting with many tools, and high-level trade tickets.


thinkorswim versus Webull


One trade ticket has stop orders with a menu for stop type. Possibilities include bid, mark, and standard. The same ticket has several conditions that can be added to an order. These include a cancel feature that will cancel an order if the stock hits a trigger, such as a certain volume.

Another victory for TD Ameritrade.


Sixth Category: Desktop Software

Webull:

Investors at Webull who want the best trading experience can download and install a desktop platform. The latest release is 6.1.5 and is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac. The program delivers many useful tools. During our probing, we especially liked these:


WeBull vs thinkorswim


- Multiple order tickets
- Full-screen charting with roughly 60 indicators
- Drawing tools
- Customizable and savable layouts

TD Ameritrade:

While Webull’s 6.0 desktop version is quite impressive, it seems nevertheless to underwhelm compared to TD Ameritrade’s desktop system. Called thinkorswim once again, it is compatible with the same operating systems Webull’s program can be used on.


thinkorswim vs Webull


But thinkorswim has over 300 technical studies and more plot styles. Only thinkorswim includes streaming video news (courtesy of CNBC and TD Ameritrade Network). And only thinkorswim has an integrated calculator and video games.

Both platforms have simulated-trading modes for extra practice.

TD Ameritrade wins here.


Seventh Category: Margin Trading

Cash accounts can upgrade to margin status on the websites of both broker-dealers in this faceoff. Only Webull’s software displays margin requirements of entered ticker symbols.

As for pricing, Webull charges margin interest on a tiered schedule that ranges from 9.49% to 6.49%. TD Ameritrade customers pay anywhere from 14% to 12%.

Webull is definitely the victor here.


Eighth Category: Supplementary Services

Fractional Shares: Only available with a Webull account.

Extended Hours: Webull has a longer pre-market trading session. Its after-hours period is longer by 2 minutes. TD Ameritrade, but not Webull, offers overnight trading in some ETF’s.

Cash Management Features: Checkwriting and a debit card can both be attached to an investment account at TD Ameritrade, but not at Webull.

Individual Retirement Accounts: Available at both firms. TD Ameritrade has more IRA types.

Periodic Mutual Fund Investing: Only at TD Ameritrade.

Initial Public Offerings: Webull and TD Ameritrade both offer IPO investing.

DRIP Service: Available at TD Ameritrade but not Webull.

TD Ameritrade takes the final category.


Incentives

Webull: Grab your last chance to get 12 free stocks valued up to $30,600.

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



Our Recommendations

Mutual Fund Trading: The only choice is TD Ameritrade.

Beginners: thinkorswim or any of Webull’s platforms in practice mode would be good. Also, TD Ameritrade’s website is simple to use. Mutual fund trading would be a good place to begin there.

ETF & Stock Trading: thinkorswim or Webull’s desktop program will be a great experience.

Small Accounts: Because Webull has fractional-share trading, small investors will find very low trade minimums with it.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: Due to TD Ameritrade’s long list of tax-deferred accounts, including not only IRA’s, but also custodial accounts and self-employed 401k plans, we endorse it. We also like its long list of lifecycle mutual funds.


TD Ameritrade vs Webull Assessment

Although TD Ameritrade is the overall winner of this survey by a large margin, Webull nevertheless has many good services, including cryptocurrency and fractional-share trading. It's a good idea to give both brokers a try.


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