Webull vs M1 Finance


2021: M1 Finance versus Webull for online investing. Compare cost, brokerage fees, IRA accounts, and differences. Which firm is better?



Overview of M1 Finance vs Webull


Which broker-dealer can give you the investment tools you need, Webull or M1 Finance? Webull has advanced software, while M1 Finance provides banking tools and pre-built stock and ETF portfolios.

For a more exhaustive analysis, keep reading.


Pricing


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


Promotions


M1 Finance: $30 bonus for funding account with $1,000. Transfer account to get up to $3,500 bonus.

Webull: Get 4 FREE stocks valued up to $1,600 + $100 in ACAT reimbursement.



Services


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


M1 Finance Pros and Cons


With a securities account at M1 Finance, you’ll be able to score some really significant benefits at very low cost. These are some of the more notable services:

- Ability to borrow cash using investments as collateral
- Checking account with interest and cash back
- Retirement funds

But M1 has many downsides. A few examples include:

- A monthly fee is required to get the company’s best services
- Complicated method of investing
- Research tools are very undeveloped


Webull Pros and Cons


With a brokerage account at Webull, you’ll capture these strengths:

- Browser and desktop platforms
- Simulated trading
- Cryptocurrencies
- In-depth security profiles

But like all brokers, Webull does have some weaknesses:

- Security search engine is very limited
- No investment advice
- Educational section is embryonic


Category #1: Style of Investing


M1 Finance has a unique method of investing. It creates baskets of securities (either stocks or ETFs) with various themes like Retirement 2025 and Hedge Funds. M1 customers can browse through these baskets (which are called Pies) and pick one.

There’s no minimum to make an investment and there’s no commission, either. M1 clients can build their own Pies if they wish, and it’s possible to put just one security inside of a Pie.

The primary downside of this system is that M1 Finance only offers stocks and ETFs. There are no options, bonds, mutual funds, or other asset classes. The other disadvantage is that M1 customers don’t actually send orders to the exchanges. They send them to M1, who in turns sends them to the exchanges at specific times of the day. The result is that M1 customers have no control over time or price.

Webull doesn’t offer any type of investment management, so the broker’s customers are completely on their own. The advantage of this system of course is that traders send orders to the exchanges, and that gives them control over time and price.

They also get a wider range of securities. Webull’s lineup includes:

- Stocks
- Cryptocurrencies (just 4 for now)
- Options
- ETFs
- Closed-end funds

Winner: Depends on what you’re looking for


Category #2: Website Trading


With our M1 trial account, we found a website without many tools. Charting is almost useless. There are no graphing tools, and line is the only format. Don’t even think about trying to expand a chart to full-screen mode, and 5 years of price history is the most you’ll get.


M1 Finance or Webull


Because M1 customers don’t actually send orders to the exchanges, there is no order ticket. Investors add Pies to their accounts, and the broker takes it from there.

On the positive side, there is a watchlist on the site, and there’s a convenient funds transfer tool that can be used to establish recurring deposits.

Webull’s site has even fewer tools on it. But the firm provides a browser platform that is launched from within the site. With this software, Webull customers get:


Webull Trading Platform


- Full-screen charting with many tools
- User-friendly order ticket with bracket orders
- Second trade ticket that can send multiple orders at once
- Practice mode
- Watchlists and alerts

Winner: Webull


Category #3: Desktop Platforms


Webull traders who don’t find what they’re looking for on the broker’s browser platform can check out the firm’s desktop program. The two platforms are very similar, although the desktop system does have custom layouts, which the browser platform lacks.

For some odd reason, digital currencies can’t be traded on the desktop system, and it has fewer technical indicators. Nevertheless, it does deliver a lot of the same impressive features that are available on the browser system.

M1 Finance has no desktop platform at all, which shouldn’t be all that surprising because the company doesn’t emphasize active trading.

Winner: Webull


Category #4: Mobile Apps


Both brokerage firms in this clash have mobile apps. M1’s unfortunately is as simple as its website. This means there is no decent charting, and the order ticket really isn’t an order ticket at all. It is possible to browse through M1’s Pies or create your own and make an investment.


M1 Mobile App


Webull’s mobile app does much more. Horizontal charting is enabled with several notable tools. Technical studies include Bollinger Bands and exponential moving average. Time & sales data also make an appearance, and we really like the community forum (with trading competitions).


WeBull Investing


Winner: Webull


Category #5: Investment Education


If you’re just starting out on your investment journey, you may need some learning materials to get you to a level of understanding you need to be at to make the right trading decisions. M1 Finance has several articles on its website devoted to financial education. They tend to focus on personal finance rather than strict trading, but they may be of use to beginners. Examples include:

- The definition of wealth
- Taxes on dividends, dividend taxes
- What is a mutual fund?

Webull’s site has a similar selection of articles that cover mostly trading issues. These tend to be very short, sometimes just a sentence long. They nevertheless are a good source of information. Here’s a sampling:

- What is a hard-to-borrow stock?
- How much leverage does Webull offer?
- What are the trading hours for crypto?

Winner: Draw


Category #6: Screeners and Security Analysis


Webull has a stock screener that can scan Canadian, Chinese, and American exchanges, although only American securities can actually be traded. There are about 20 search criteria.

Stock profiles have a treasure trove of information. Here are a few examples:

- SEC statements
- News articles
- Details on order flow
- Press releases

M1 Finance has a very simple stock screener that has just 4 search variables. Stock profiles have almost no information on them.

Winner: Webull


Category #7: Day Trading


Shorting. Not possible at M1, but shorting is possible at Webull. In fact, it has some pretty good tools for shorting.

Level II Quotes. Once again, not available at M1, but they are at Webull (for $2 a month).

Direct-access Routing. Unfortunately, you can’t send orders to specific market makers at either firm.

Routing Fees and Rebates. And these aren’t available at either broker, either.

Winner: Webull


Category #8 Cash Management


If you need a bank account, you could skip your traditional neighborhood branch location and open one with M1 Finance. The financial conglomerate offers a free debit card linked to a checking account with FDIC insurance. The package comes with one free ATM withdrawal per month. If you want 4 per month, you could pay a $125 annual fee. Doing so will get you other perks like:

- A cash back program worth 1%
- An APY on free cash balances
- Multiple card designs

Webull does not currently offer any banking tools (other than a funds transfer tool on its site, which M1 also has).

Winner: M1 Finance


Category #9: Margin Borrowing


M1 Finance doesn’t offer trading on margin. But it does have something called M1 Borrow. This is basically a portfolio line of credit. Your investments serve as collateral, and you can borrow up to 35% of your account’s value. The interest rate on the loan is just 3.5% (2% if you pay the $125 annual fee). Best of all, there’s no credit check and no application to fill out.

Webull does offer the ability to trade on margin. The broker charges between 4% and 7%. What we like most about the broker’s margin service is very clear margin details on every security profile.

Winner: Draw


Category #10: Miscellaneous Services


IRAs: If you want to put some money away for retirement, both brokerage houses offer Individual Retirement Accounts. Only M1 Finance has the SEP account.

IPO Availability: Webull, but not M1, offers access to upcoming equity Initial Public Offerings.

Fractional-share Trading: This is where M1 Finance excels. Investments in Pies are made with whole dollars, which means the underlying securities trade in fractional shares. Webull is still old school on this one.

Dividend Reinvestment Program: M1 Finance offers a free DRIP service, although a $25 minimum cash balance is required for it to kick in. Webull offers no dividend reinvesting at all.

Extended Hours: Webull has both pre-market and after-hours trading. M1 Finance offers neither.

Winner: M1 Finance by a nose


At Last, Our Recommendations


Beginners: We have to go with M1 Finance. Its pre-built Pies take a lot of the guesswork out of the investment process.

Stock/ETF Trading: Webull is the easy choice here. Its two computer platforms make trading straightforward, while M1 Finance still doesn’t offer any actual trading to speak of.

Small Accounts: Webull gets our endorsement. M1 Finance has a $100 investment minimum for taxable accounts. Retirement accounts require $500.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: M1 Finance. It is the only brokerage firm in this survey to offer target-date investment vehicles.


Promotions


M1 Finance: $30 bonus for funding account with $1,000. Transfer account to get up to $3,500 bonus.

Webull: Get 4 FREE stocks valued up to $1,600 + $100 in ACAT reimbursement.



Webull vs M1 Finance - Judgment


Both brokerage houses have their own unique approach to investing and money management. Frequent traders should obviously choose Webull.