WeBull versus M1 Finance: IRA, compare commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account pros and cons. Which online broker is better?

Two Rivals: M1 Finance and WeBull

M1 Finance and Webull are two zero-commission brokers trying to shake up the brokerage industry. They are slowly succeeding. Despite this one similarity, there are lots of differences between these two firms. Before choosing one, be sure you know about the following:

Cost

Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
WeBull $0 na na $0 $0
M1 Finance $0 na na $0 $0

Services

Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
WeBull
M1 Finance

Investment Choices

M1 Finance customers buy and sell Pies, which are baskets of stocks, closed-end funds, and ETF’s. In order to invest in a stock or fund, it first must be placed inside a Pie. This is a pretty easy process; although there are pre-built Pies for customers who don’t want to build their own. One advantage that Pies offer is dollar-cost averaging, which means it’s possible to invest a whole-dollar amount into a single stock (a Pie can be composed of a single stock).

Penny stocks are available at M1, although OTC securities are not. The brokerage house does not offer any other type of tradable product.

Webull offers stocks and exchange-traded funds only. There are no closed-end funds. Securities don’t need to be placed into Pies, although some traders may prefer pre-built Pies or single stock Pies for dollar-cost averaging. One annoying policy Webull has is that it limits stock trading to equities priced above $1. M1 Finance doesn’t do this.

M1 seems like the better pick here.

Website Trading

Webull’s site is designed to promote the company’s trading services. It only contains a very brief FAQ of newbie questions. And of course there’s info on the cost of trading. There is no customer login, so beyond doubt there’s no trading capability.

The M1 Finance website does have a customer login. Inside our test account, we found user-friendly (albeit) limited tools for account management and trading. It’s easy to add or subtract securities from Pies. It’s also possible to rebalance a Pie in order to keep it on track with original asset allocation targets.

Charting is on the elementary side. Only line format is available. There are no technical studies, drawing tools, company events, or comparisons. The maximum timeframe is 5 years, and a graph cannot be detached or displayed the width of the monitor.

Because M1 Finance only submits orders during one window per day, there is no traditional order ticket on the broker’s site. Customers place securities in Pies, and M1’s software does the rest. There is a watchlist on the site, although we didn’t find alerts.

M1 Finance triumphs here.

Mobile Apps

Because Webull doesn’t offer any website trading, it has put a lot of its effort into developing a mobile app with many features. Charting is very good with drawing tools, several graph styles, lots of technical studies, and a horizontal viewing mode.


WeBull vs M1


The order ticket provides multiple order types and duration choices. Extended hours are on tap as well. There is a simulated trading function that provides extra practice. Other great features on Webull’s mobile system include alerts, an economic calendar, a watchlist, and a community forum.

Moving to M1 Finance, we don’t get a demo mode, and the reason once again is the trading window that M1 requires. A stock or fund can be added to a watchlist; although strangely, we couldn’t find the watchlist on the app. When we went back to the website, we found the watchlist with the stocks we added on the mobile platform. We were not able to add securities to Pies on the app; so apparently the platform is a view-only system.


M1 vs Webull


Webull takes its first category.

Desktop Software

The website and mobile app, however limited they are, supply the only two trading avenues for M1 Finance clients. The company doesn’t have a desktop platform, and given the type of investing it offers, it probably never will.


M1 vs Webull


Over at Webull, we found desktop software modeled on the broker’s mobile app. A lot of the same functions available on the mobile app are on the desktop program. For example, there is a practice trading mode, and the order ticket is the same. Charting has fewer technical indicators for some odd reason (usually a mobile app has fewer); but the advantage of using the desktop system is that a chart can be displayed full screen. Missing on the platform are Level II quotes, video news, and direct-access routing.


Webull Platform


Webull defeats its rival in this category.

DRIP Policies

Webull offers no dividend reinvesting of any type. M1 Finance does not offer a traditional DRIP service; although it does offer its own dividend reinvestment program. Any cash balance above $10 is automatically reinvested in an account’s Pies. This system can be turned off.

M1 is clearly the better alternative here.

Investment Research

Webull offers a great deal of research capability on both its mobile app and its desktop software. Combined, we found a lot of data on stock profiles. Information such as stock splits, ex-dividend date, press releases, short interest, institutional holdings, and analyst ratings can quickly be located. The broker doesn’t provide stock reports, one shortcoming here. An effective stock screener appears on the desktop platform.

M1 Finance clients have much briefer information on stocks. A profile shows market cap, P/E ratio, and dividend yield. That’s about it, besides news articles. A limited stock screener appears on the broker’s website. Webull’s provides more search criteria.

Webull is the better pick in this category.

Recommendations

For cash management, we recommend M1 Finance over Webull. The former offers a debit card and 1.5% interest on cash balances (for a monthly fee); while Webull offers nothing.

For cryptocurrencies and global investments, we suggest Webull. Although the broker doesn’t currently offer trading in these products, its mobile app does provide information on them, which may be a sign of things to come.

For retirement saving, we propose M1 Finance over its rival. M1 offers no-fee IRA’s (plus target-date Pies), while Webull doesn’t offer any retirement services.

M1 Finance vs WeBull Summary

The two brokerage firms in our survey appear to be evenly matched overall. They do differ in important areas; so use this article to help you pick the appropriate broker for your investing needs.



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