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What Is Webull and Is It Accessible to Canadians?

What Is Webull and Is It Accessible to Canadians?

Webull is yet another of the many American trading platforms that have become increasingly popular recently. But is Webull Canada a thing, or is Webull even accessible to Canadians? And if not, what are the best Canadian alternatives?

What Is Webull?

Webull is an all in one self-directed investment platform founded in 2017. You can invest in your IRA (traditional, Roth, or rollover) or an individual brokerage account. And you can trade stocks, ETFs (exchange-traded funds), ADRs (American Depositary Receipts), and options but not mutual funds, bonds, or precious metals.

There are no deposit minimums for opening an account with Webull making it accessible for both intermediate and experienced traders. Beginner investors may find the platform lacking in investor education, a feature offered by other investment platforms.

What Makes Webull Unique?

One of the main differentiating factors of Webull (compared to other discount investment platforms like M1 and Robinhood) is its extended trading hours, including pre-market and after-hours trading. And you can invest with peace of mind knowing that the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) insures your investments up to $500,000 and your cash up to $250,000.

Another feature is its free research tools such as breaking news, real-time market data, and various analysis tools. All of their characteristics are available on desktop or mobile app, but they are a mobile-first platform.

Webull’s Features Webull’s Disadvantages
  • Commission-free trades
  • 24/7 online access to customer service representatives
  • Free real-time quotes (provided by Nasdaq Last Sale)
  • Multi-platform accessibility
  • Full extended trading hours
  • Free research tools
  • Not available in Canada
  • No ability to trade mutual funds, bonds, or precious metals
  • Minimal investor education
  • No interest on uninvested cash

Is Webull Available In Canada?

Unfortunately, no, Webull Canada is not currently an option. To open an account with Webull, you must have proof of American ID and a US mailing address.

There are currently no immediate plans for Webull Canada, but the company has hinted at expanding to Canada at some point.

Using Webull In Canada

Even though you currently can’t open an account with Webull from Canada, you can still download the app. You don’t need an account to take advantage of their free research tools. This is another key differentiator from other American investment apps.

To use the free version of Webull in Canada, download the app from the app store or Google Play. You can now track stocks, use their research tools, and engage in paper trading. But you can’t open an account to make trades on the open market.

Canadian Alternatives to Webull

There is no perfect trading platform alternative to Webull in Canada. But Wealthsimple Trade and Questrade offer comparable services, and depending on your personal needs, each can be an excellent Canadian alternative.

Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade is a positively reviewed trading app that is expanding into a desktop platform. It was founded in 2014 and currently boasts more than $5 billion in assets under management.

With Wealthsimple Trade, you get commission-free trading (of stocks and ETFs) with no minimum account balance required. You can open a taxable account, RRSP, or TFSA. They have bank-level encryption, and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) protects your investments up to $1 million.

Unfortunately, you cannot open a margin account or trade options, bonds, or mutual funds with Wealthsimple Trade. And you cannot hold, deposit, or withdraw USD within your trading account. There is also a 1.5% exchange fee charged whenever you buy or sell American stocks.

Wealthsimple Trade’s Features Wealthsimple Trade’s Disadvantages
  • Commission-free trades (stocks & ETFs)
  • Positively reviewed and easy to use mobile app
  • Available in Canada
  • Ability to sign up for Wealthsimple Crypto
  • No minimum account balance
  • No monthly or inactivation fees
  • Minimal research options
  • No trading of mutual funds, bonds, or options trading
  • 1.5% exchange fees when trading USD stocks
  • Can’t hold, deposit or withdraw USD
  • Limited account offerings (brokerage, RRSP, TFSA)

Questrade

Questrade is Canada’s fastest-growing discount brokerage. Founded in 1999, it now boasts more than $20 billion in assets under management.

With Questrade, you can invest in a brokerage account or registered account (RRSP, TFSA, RESP, LIRA, RIF, LIF). There is a $1000 account minimum required before you can start trading. And your investments with Questrade are protected by both the CIPF and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) up to $10 million.

Questrade offers a plethora of investment products but does charge trading commissions for everything except purchasing ETFs. If you are a buy and hold investor, this can be a desirable feature for adding to your portfolio.

You can use Questrade on your desktop or your phone through their mobile app. But their app is not as positively reviewed as Wealthsimple Trades.

Questrade’s Features Questrade’s Disadvantages
  • Commission-free ETF purchases
  • Multi-platform (mobile and desktop)
  • A full complement of registered and non-registered accounts
  • Best USD trading option in Canada
  • Available in Canada
  • Minimum $1000 to start trading
  • Commissions charged for ETF sales and all other tradings
  • No crypto trading
  • Poorly reviewed mobile app
  • Inactivity fee if no trades per quarter and account minimums not met

So What Is the Best Canadian Alternative to Webull?

The best Canadian alternative to Webull will depend on your goals and a little bit on your age.

Wealthsimple Trade has a target audience of younger beginner investors. The majority of their investment platform is mobile-based. And they are just starting to develop their desktop platform. They make getting started easy with commission-free trading. But, like Webull, it lacks the research options that more experienced investors may be seeking.

On the other hand, Questrade has a very poorly reviewed app but a robust desktop platform. They are a sort of all-in-one shop for DIY investors no matter what type of account you want to trade-in. But, unlike Webull, you will pay more fees for trading anything other than ETFs.

Because of the free options offered with either platform, why not try them both out to see which one you prefer? Maybe open your TFSA on one platform and your RRSP on the other. Or split your TFSA and open part of it at Wealthsimple Trade and part of it at Questrade. Once you decide which one you prefer using, you can move all of your investments to it.

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