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 has a very different approach to investing and trading than Webull. Take a look at the following comparison before choosing one of these two brokers.

Comparison Table

Rating 4.5-star brokerage firm rating Webull Rating
Stocks $0 $0
Options (per contract) na $0
Initial Funding Requirement $0 $0
Inactivity Fee $0 $0
IRA Annual Fee $0 $0
Full Account Transfer $75 $75
Partial Account Transfer $75 $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 Get $10 for making a $100 deposit. Grab your last chance to get 12 free stocks valued up to $30,600.

Investing Options

M1 Finance offers trading in what it calls Pies. These are groups of securities. In theory, they’re not funds, but they are very similar. Each Pie is composed of stocks and ETFs that meet a certain theme, like domestic growth or socially responsible. It’s possible to invest in Pies created by M1 or to construct your own.

Technically, M1 Finance only offers self-directed accounts, although M1-created Pies are managed by a software program and rebalanced periodically; so investing in these Pies is a form of automated management. But the trader is responsible for selecting his own Pie, so it’s not strictly a robo program, either. Orders for Pies are sent to the exchanges only at certain times during the market day, and M1 chooses these times.

Webull offers traditional trading in self-directed accounts where clients can send orders to the exchanges whenever they want. Investment vehicles that can be bought and sold include option contracts, ETFs, stocks, and cryptocurrencies. M1 Finance doesn’t offer trading in options or digital currencies.

Winner: Webull

Margin Accounts

M1 Finance offers margin capability through a program called M1 Borrow. Customers pay either 5.75% or 4.25% with an annual fee of $125. The brokerage house requires a $5,000 account balance to borrow anything, and the maximum leverage is 35% of account value.

Webull requires just the industry standard $2,000 to borrow, and overnight leverage is a higher 50%. Day-trading leverage is as high as 4:1 on some equities. But Webull charges more for its more generous margin policies (anywhere from 3.99% to 6.99%), although there is never an annual fee.

Winner: Draw


M1 Finance tries to simplify the investing process as much as possible, and as such, it has a very plain website. A Research tab at the top is where stock and ETF profiles will be found. Unfortunately, these profiles don’t have much information on them. Graphs only offer line format, and there are no tools at all. A chart cannot be displayed the full width of the computer screen, either.

M1 vs Webull

The broker-dealer’s order ticket is equally elementary. There are no advanced features at all (remember that M1 is actually the party that sends orders to the exchanges). The order ticket has dollar amount and ticker symbol.

Webull’s web-based trade ticket has many features, including time-in-force choices, trade type (such as trailing or limit), bracket orders, and bid and ask prices. And then there’s a second order ticket with pre-defined trade buttons (like buy 400 shares at market price).

Webull or M1 Finance

Webull’s charting is also much more advanced, with full-screen mode, many technical studies, multiple graph styles, and right-click trading.

Winner: Webull

Mobile Apps

Neither brokerage firm in this survey has forgotten about today’s mobile lifestyle. Both companies have developed apps for phones. Webull’s app is also designed for tablets.

During our test drive of these apps on an iPhone, we found both to be quite user-friendly. The M1 app is modeled largely after the website with the same website menu appearing at the bottom of the app. Stock charts appear automatically in horizontal mode, although once again there are no charting tools of any kind.

M1 or Webull

It’s possible to browse through pre-built Pies on the app or to create your own.

Webull’s mobile app has some very powerful charting tools. During our trial of the app, we were really impressed with the replay mode tool; this feature will replay the previous day’s price action of any entered ticker symbol. Besides price action, time & sales history is also shown during a replay.

WeBull versus M1

Other great features on Webull’s app include a community forum, trading competitions, simulated-trading mode, and a sophisticated order ticket with multiple trade types.

Winner: Webull

Desktop Programs

Webull takes its browser platform and adds one more trade ticket to it: a discrete options trading ticket. Users simply click on a bid or ask price in a list of contracts, and the ticket is immediately populated with the correct numbers. A stock leg can also be added, although there is a maximum of 4 legs. Most of the other features are the same. One advantage to the desktop platform is that it has an educational center that helps to learn the program.

Webull Trading

M1 Finance has no desktop platform at all.

Winner: Webull


M1 Finance: Get $10 for making a $100 deposit.

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

Security Research

M1 Finance has a stock screener that can search by 4 variables (yes, just 4). The screener appears on both the mobile app and website. The broker’s ETF screener can scan by the same number of criteria. Webull doesn’t have an ETF screener, but its stock screener can search by more than 20 variables.

Webull’s security profiles also have more information on them. For example, corporate actions are shown along with public releases, order flow, trade recommendations with price targets, and financial statements.

M1’s profiles have none of this information. The broker simply displays links to news articles along with a few trade details, like P/E ratio.

Winner: Webull

Other Services

Fractional-share Trading: Webull customers can trade whole shares or whole dollars. At M1 Finance, whole-dollar investing is the only option.

Banking Tools: M1 Finance also operates M1 Spend, which comes with several enticing cash management features. Some features do require an annual fee. Webull provides nothing here.

IPO Availability: Webull, but not M1 Finance, provides easy access to approaching Initial Public Offerings.

Dividend Reinvestment Program: M1 Finance has a modified DRIP system. It uses cash dividends from Pie holdings to buy underweight assets in the Pie. Webull has no DRIP service at all.

Extended Hours: Available only to Webull customers.

IRAs: Roth and traditional IRAs can be opened at either broker. M1 Finance also has a SEP IRA.

Winner: Even

Our Recommendations

Small Accounts: Because M1 Finance requires $100 to start investing, we recommend Webull.

Stock/ETF Trading: Although it is possible to place a single stock or ETF inside a Pie, Webull’s normal trading service is much simpler and easier. Plus, it has more powerful software with much more extensive security details.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: M1 Finance offers target-date Pies that can be traded inside taxable or retirement accounts.

Beginners: Browsing through M1 Finance’s professionally-designed Pies would probably be the best starting point for unseasoned investors. Webull’s paper trading would be useful, too.

Webull vs M1 Recap

M1 Finance has a unique trading service, but unique does not necessarily mean better. Webull comes through with a much better trading experience, especially for veteran self-directed traders.

Open M1 Finance Account

Open M1 Finance Account

Open Webull Account

Open WeBull Account


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