Compare Vanguard versus WeBull: IRA, commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account differences, pros and cons. Which online broker is better in 2022?

Overview of Vanguard and WeBull

Which brokerage firm is able to deliver the better investing experience, Webull or Vanguard? Webull has cryptocurrencies, while Vanguard manages its own lineup of funds. For more information, keep reading.

Comparison Table

Vanguard Brokerage Review
Rating Vanguard brokerage company rating Webull Rating
Stocks $0 $0
Options (per contract) $1.00 $0
Mutual Funds $20.00 na
Initial Funding Requirement $2,500 $0
Inactivity Fee $0 $0
IRA Annual Fee $20 $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 Vanguard does not offer promotions. Grab your last chance to get 12 free stocks valued up to $30,600.


Styles of Investing

Vanguard has always emphasized buy-and-holding investing. In fact, long-term passive management is the principle upon which the company was based. As such, Vanguard manages its own suite of mutual and exchange-traded funds that track indexes with low expense ratios. It also offers funds from other fund families.

In addition to funds, self-directed customers at Vanguard can also trade stocks, bonds, and options.

Self-directed accounts are only one part of the picture at Vanguard. The broker-dealer also offers managed accounts in both robo and human formats. The latter is about twice as expensive as the former but comes with additional benefits, such as one-one-one financial planning with an investment advisor.

Webull offers none of the investment advisory services that Vanguard has. Instead, it provides trading in self-directed accounts only. Nevertheless, it does have some advantages over Vanguard, including trading in 9 digital currencies.

On top of crypto assets, Webull customers can buy and sell stocks, ETFs, closed-end funds, and option contracts. Webull does not provide trading on foreign exchanges or in any OTC stocks. Vanguard does.

Winner: Overall, a slight edge to Vanguard

Margin Borrowing

Although Vanguard doesn’t emphasize short-term trading, it is possible to day trade and use borrowed funds. The broker-dealer starts at 10% and gradually decreases its rate to 6.25% for debit balances above $1 million.

Webull starts at 6.99% and decreases its rate to 3.99% for balances above $3 million. On top of the lower rates, Webull also provides margin details on every entered ticker symbol entered on its platforms. Vanguard’s software does not provide this information.

Winner: Webull

Websites

A good place to start researching and trading is on a broker’s website, and here Vanguard delivers an acceptable, although not spectacular, experience. During our research, we found a stock comparison widget and a trade ticket with 4 order types (market, limit, stop, and stop limit).


Vanguard versus Webull


Vanguard’s charting program has a few technical studies, comparisons, and 4 graph styles. A chart unfortunately cannot be expanded the full width of the screen.

Although Webull’s site has zero trading capability, it does offer a web-based trading platform that creates its own browser tab. Here, we found full-screen charting with roughly 50 technical studies (far more than we found on Vanguard’s site). There are twice as many graph styles as well. Webull’s trade ticket has trailing orders and bracket orders.


Webull vs Vanguard


Winner: Webull

Desktop Programs

Webull has taken its browser program and turned it into a desktop program. The latter has much in common with the former, although there are a few differences. For example, the browser system has only chains for calls and puts, while the desktop program has pre-installed strategies like straddles and iron condors.


Webull versus Vanguard


Other great features on the Webull desktop platform include:

Order Book: this widget displays the best 30 bids and asks of any entered ticker symbol (subscription to Level II data required)

Heat map: Stock movements are shown by color and size of their corresponding tiles

Price ladder: this small window shows bids and asks in a column format; it also shows pending orders and current positions

Because Vanguard specializes in long-term, buy-and-hold investing, it does not have any desktop software and probably never will.

Winner: Webull

Mobile Apps

Although Vanguard failed to deliver anything in the desktop category, it does come through here. Its mobile app has 4 order types for stocks and ETFs. Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t have any options trading capability; and charts, believe it or not, simply don’t exist.


Vanguard mobile


The broker is currently rolling out a new app called Vanguard Beacon. Despite the attempt to offer something new and refreshing, the new app continues the failures of the old one by leaving out options trading and charts.

Webull offers both options trading and advanced charting on its mobile app. Although it is not developing on a new app, it frequently updates its existing platform. During our investigation, we especially liked the following features:

- Lists of the day’s big market movers
- Global exchange data
- An unlimited number of watchlists
- Integrated option spreads with profit-loss diagrams and strategy explanations

The one feature that Webull is missing that Vanguard incorporates is mobile check deposit.


WeBull or Vangyard


Winner: Webull

Security Research

Accurate information is one of the keys to successful investing, and both brokerage houses in this survey deliver research tools on their trading platforms.

Although Webull doesn’t offer any stock reports, it does provide information on executive trading activity and public releases. For ExxonMobil, we found 32 analyst recommendations with price targets.

For the same stock, Vanguard’s site offers free pdf reports from two analysts: Argus and MarketGrader.

Webull’s screener can search by 21 variables (Chinese and Canadian markets are available as well, although these aren’t tradable), while Vanguard’s screener offers 23.

Winner: Draw

Miscellaneous Services

Banking Tools: Although Vanguard used to offer some cash management tools, it unfortunately has discontinued this service. Webull has never offered checks or a debit card.

Fractional-share Trading: Webull clients, but not Vanguard customers, can buy and sell stocks and ETFs in fractions of a share.

IPO Availability: With an account balance of just $100, Webull customers can sign up for approaching IPOs. Vanguard does not provide IPO participation.

IRAs: Both firms in this competition offer Individual Retirement Accounts. Webull provides only personal accounts, while Vanguard also has small business accounts.

Dividend Reinvestment Program: Vanguard, but not Webull, offers automatic dividend reinvestment on stock and ETF positions.

Extended Hours: Vanguard customers can trade after the closing bell. Webull customers can trade after the closing bell and before the opening bell.

Automatic Mutual Fund Investing: Vanguard offers periodic mutual fund purchases for Vanguard funds.

Winner: WeBull

Our Recommendations

IRAs: Besides more IRA types, Vanguard also has more IRA learning materials.

Small Accounts: Despite recent changes to its fee schedule, Vanguard still caters to large accounts. We recommend Webull for small accounts.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: Solo 401(k) plans, assistance with retirement planning, target-date mutual funds, and extensive retirement articles will be found only at Vanguard.

Stock/ETF Trading: Webull is the easy choice here (including the trading of Vanguard ETFs).

Beginners: Vanguard’s robo advisory service would be a good option for new investors. Webull’s software in practice mode would also be a good resource.

Mutual Fund Trading: Of course, it’s Vanguard.

Final Judgment

Vanguard is the clear winner for long-term investing and financial planning, while Webull is the broker of choice for the active trading of equities, options, and cryptocurrencies.

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