The list of online trading platforms continues to increase every day, so choosing the most suitable broker is understandably a daunting task.
In this article, we have made a comparison between two online brokers that are generally favored by investors: Webull; a more recent player in the field, and Vanguard; the financial powerhouse notorious for its low-fee funds.
If you’re at a crossroads wondering which is best for you, this article will do you good. First, some introduction!
Overview of Vanguard Broker & Webull Broker
|💰 Account Minimum||$0 for most accounts||$0|
|💸 Commission Fees||$0 commission for online trades of Vanguard ETFs® and other ETFs. $0 commission for online trades of stocks (excluding penny stocks). $1 per contract for online trades of options (subject to a $10 minimum per trade). $0 commission for online trades of mutual funds from other companies (excluding certain fund families). Fees vary for other types of mutual funds and brokered CDs.||$0 commission for online trades of stocks, ETFs, and options. $0.65 per contract for options trades.|
|💼 Investment Options||Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, options, and more.||Stocks, ETFs, options, ADRs (American depositary receipts), and cryptocurrencies.|
|🤖 Robo-Advisor||Vanguard Digital Advisor: Automated investment management service||No, Webull does not offer a robo-advisor service at this time.|
|📊 Research and Analysis||Yes, Vanguard offers various research and analysis tools such as market insights, fund screeners, portfolio analysis, and more.||Yes, Webull offers various research and analysis tools such as real-time market data, news, charts, screeners, alerts, financial reports, ratings, and more.|
|📱 Mobile App||Yes, Vanguard has a mobile app that allows you to access your account, trade investments, check balances, review performance, and more.||Yes, Webull has a mobile app that allows you to access your account, trade investments, check market data, use analysis tools, and more.|
|🏦 Retirement Accounts||Yes, Vanguard offers various retirement accounts such as traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP-IRA, SIMPLE IRA, individual 401(k), and rollover IRA.||Yes, Webull offers various retirement accounts such as traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and rollover IRA.|
|📈 Trading Platform||Yes, Vanguard has a trading platform that allows you to buy and sell investments online with ease and convenience.||Yes, Webull has a trading platform that allows you to buy and sell investments online with ease and convenience.|
|📞 Customer Service||Yes, Vanguard has a customer service team that is available to assist you with your account and investment needs.||Yes, Webull has a customer service team that is available to assist you with your account and investment needs.|
|📚 Educational Resources||Yes, Vanguard offers various educational resources such as articles, videos, podcasts, webinars, calculators, and more to help you learn about investing and improve your financial literacy.||Webull offers various educational resources such as articles, videos, webinars, FAQs, and more to help you learn about investing and improve your financial literacy.|
|🌕 Fractional Shares||No, Vanguard does not offer fractional shares trading at this time.||Webull offers fractional shares trading that allows you to buy portions of stocks with as little as $5.|
|🌱 Socially Responsible||Yes, Vanguard offers socially responsible investing options such as ESG (environmental, social, and governance) funds that seek to align your investments with your values and beliefs.||Webull does not offer socially responsible investing options at this time.|
|🌎 International Investing||Yes, Vanguard offers international investing options such as global and international funds that allow you to diversify your portfolio across different countries and regions.||Webull offers international investing options such as ADRs (American depositary receipts) that allow you to trade foreign stocks on U.S. exchanges.|
|💳 Cash Management||Yes, Vanguard offers cash management services such as a settlement fund that acts as a holding place for money waiting to be invested or withdrawn from your account.||Webull offers cash management services such as a cash account that acts as a holding place for money waiting to be invested or withdrawn from your account.|
|🔍 Margin Trading||Yes, Vanguard offers margin trading services that allow you to borrow money from your brokerage account to buy securities on credit.||Webull offers margin trading services that allow you to borrow money from your brokerage account to buy securities on credit.|
|⚙️ Options Trading||Yes, Vanguard offers options trading services that allow you to buy or sell contracts that give you the right to buy or sell an underlying asset at a specific price within a specific time period.||Webull offers options trading services that allow you to buy or sell contracts that give you the right to buy or sell an underlying asset at a specific price within a specific time period.|
|₿ Cryptocurrency Trading||Does not offer cryptocurrency trading||Webull offers cryptocurrency trading services that allow you to buy or sell digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more.|
|🛡️ Account Security||Uses industry-standard security measures, including two-factor authentication||Webull offers account security features such as encryption technology, firewalls, secure login process, and biometric authentication.|
|💹 Leverage||Offers margin trading with leverage||Webull offers up to 4x day-trade buying power and 2x overnight buying power with a margin account. You need to have a minimum of $2,000 to open a margin account.|
|⚖ Regulation||Regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)||Webull is registered with and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).|
Fees and Commissions
Vanguard is known for its low-cost approach to investing, and this is reflected in its fee structure. Vanguard charges a $0 commission for online equity trades in its own mutual funds, ETFs, and nearly every third-party ETF in the industry. For online equity trades outside of its own funds, Vanguard charges a $7 commission per trade.
What’s more? There is no limit to the number of shares that can be traded at the base commission. Vanguard also offers commission-free broker-assisted trading for their own funds. However, for third-party funds, users are charged a fee of $25 for broker-assisted trades.
It also charges a $10 fee for outgoing wires, which is low compared to some others. This fee is usually waived for investors with at least $1 million in their funds.
Outside its annual account maintenance fee of $20 for accounts with balances below $10,000, Vanguard charges no extra fees for inactivity, account closure, transfer exercise, sending checks, or paper statements.
Now to Webull. Webull also offers commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs. However, it does charge a regulatory fee of $0.0000221 per share for equity trade orders and a FINRA Trading Activity Fee of $0.000119 per share for equity sell orders. They do not charge inactivity fees or monthly maintenance fees.
Webull commendably does not impose contract or commission fees on options trading, which distinguishes it from other online brokerages.
However, not everyone has access to their options trading platform, as it requires an application process to assess an individual’s knowledge of options, financial capacity, investment history, and risk tolerance.
It is important to note that while Webull offers commission-free trading, the company still receives payment for order flow, which is how it can afford to provide the service for free. Furthermore, the free trading of cryptocurrencies through Webull incurs a 1% commission fee.
While the two brokers do not charge fees on online trades and do not have a minimum balance, Vanguard still retains its crown as the king of low-cost investing. This is due to the comparatively low costs of its ETFs and mutual funds relative to the industry average. In fact, it has over 3,300 no-cost mutual funds open to investors. We, however, still give Webull its flowers for its commission-free options contract.
Vanguard has no pretensions about being a trading platform, and this is evident in its intuitive but basic platform. The only commendable feature on their platform is that you can customize it according to your interests. The platform is designed to help long-term investors make informed investment decisions.
Quotes are not auto-refreshed, and you have to click through multiple tabs to find the trading order entry fields. In essence, the trading experience isn’t seamless.
Webull, on the other hand, comes with savvy charting tools that enable traders to decide what securities to trade and a free stock screener that helps them filter through tons of securities to find the ones that suit their trading goals. In essence, they offer a more robust trading platform designed for active traders.
Beyond this, Webull comes with 60 technical indicators and real-time market data that help traders gain insight into the market’s demand and supply.
Perhaps, the best feature in Webull’s platform is its community. Its users’ interactions allow them to comment on stock prices and price changes and offer general information about individual stocks.
To further facilitate productive interactions, Webull rewards users who make correct predictions about the future rise or fall of individual stocks with points. These points can be redeemed for entries to paper trading competitions where users win real money for constructing fake portfolios.
Vanguard Brokerage is a basic trading platform designed for long-term investors, and it offers limited trading features. The platform offers a simple and intuitive interface, making it easy to navigate, but it lacks some of the advanced trading features that active traders may require.
The platform has a clean and intuitive interface, and the basic trading features are easy to navigate. However, the lack of advanced trading features may make it less attractive to active traders.
Thus, as far as trading platforms go, it is safe to say that Webull offers a more robust trading platform suitable for the needs of an active trader. The downside? The platform can be overwhelming for beginners.
Vanguard is well known for its broad range of investment options. For instance, Vanguard is known to offer stocks, Roth IRAs, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds (corporate, municipal, and treasury), certificates of deposit (CDs), mutual funds, options and FOREX (although with a processing fee of $50).
However, assets such as cryptocurrency, fractional shares, cash management services and futures are notably missing from Vanguard’s offerings. While its selection is great for a retirement-centered investor, active traders may desire options such as futures trading.
On the other hand, Webull is primarily geared toward active traders and offers a more limited set of investment options. The platform provides access to crypto, options, stocks, fractional shares and ETFs. Users also have access to traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs and rollover IRAs.
Like Vanguard, there are no future trading options. Unlike Vanguard, however, it doesn’t offer forex, mutual funds, or Bonds, whether corporate, municipal or US treasury, all of which Vanguard offers. Despite this, Webull stands out for its advanced trading tools and features, such as the ability to trade on margin and short sell.
So, who wins on investment options? We’ll say Vanguard, it offers 3,100 no-transaction-fee mutual funds and over 1,800 commission-free ETFs, making it an attractive choice for investors looking for a diverse set of investment options. It also scores in the area of foreign exchange, and bond options are definitely hard to ignore.
When it comes to the quality of investment options, both Vanguard and Webull offer high-quality options.
Vanguard is particularly notable for its low-cost index funds and ETFs, which are some of the best in the market. Also, they offer Vanguard Personal Advisory Services and Vanguard Digital Advisor services on their platform. These take things one notch higher for us.
Webull, on the other hand, offers competitive pricing for its trading options and provides access to in-depth research and analysis tools.
In terms of which broker offers better investment options, it ultimately depends on the investor’s goals and preferences. If you’re looking for a diverse range of investment options, particularly in mutual funds and ETFs, Vanguard may be the better choice. However, if you’re an active trader who prioritizes advanced trading tools and features.
Where customer responsiveness, Vanguard offers phone and email support to its customers. Their phone services support is available from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern time, Monday through Friday, for both account holders and non-account holders. The broker also provides a comprehensive FAQ section on its website, which can help users find quick answers to common questions. Vanguard doesn’t offer a live chat service.
In line with its general digital savviness, Webull has an online chat support system that works during business hours. Phone call support is also available 24/7, Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, the average wait time can be up to 2 hours or more.
Users can also access support via email, and their response time often is in hours and not days. The broker also provides a community forum where users can ask questions and get answers from other users. The forum is moderated by Webull staff, ensuring that the information provided is accurate.
In terms of the quality of customer service, both Vanguard and Webull are known for providing excellent support to their customers.
What’s a trading platform without adequate security, right? When it comes to online trading, security is a top concern for investors. Both Vanguard and Webull take measures to ensure the safety and protection of their client’s information and assets.
To forestall the incidence of hackers and other related security issues, Vanguard has implemented several security measures, such as two-factor authentication, encryption of sensitive data, and firewalls to prevent unauthorized access.
To shore up security, Vanguard accounts are also protected by SIPC, which grants insurance to customers with security holding of up to $500,000 per investor and $250,00 0f coverage for cash in case Vanguard fails. Additionally, Vanguard uses biometric authentication, such as fingerprint and facial recognition, for their mobile app users. They also have a team of security experts that monitor for any suspicious activity.
Similarly, Webull has also implemented several security measures, such as two-factor authentication, SSL encryption, and real-time monitoring of transactions to detect fraud.
They also have a feature called “Trading Password” that requires an additional password to execute trades or withdraw funds. Webull is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which provides protection for up to $500,000 in securities and cash in case of a broker-dealer failure.
Neither Vanguard nor Webull has so far had any breach in security in recent years. So, it’s safe to say neither has a significant edge over the other on security.
However, Vanguard did experience a data breach in 2018, where the personal information of around 1,000 clients was compromised. Vanguard promptly notified their clients and provided free identity protection services. Webull, on the other hand, has not reported any security breaches.
Overall, both Vanguard and Webull take security seriously and have implemented several measures to protect their clients’ information and assets. While Vanguard experienced a data breach in the past, they responded quickly and took appropriate measures to address the issue. Based on their security features and track record, both Vanguard and Webull are considered secure online brokers.
Webull offers free options and zero-commission trading. It also provides an interactive paper trading feature, which is ideal for millennials who want to explore online trading and learn the ropes.
Vanguard, on the other hand, is suited for investors who don’t have the intention to monitor the day-to-day fluctuations in the market, have long-term investment goals, simply want to be able to place an occasional trade order, and prefer low-cost investments.
Overall, your choice between Webull and Vanguard will depend on your investment goals and behavior, as both platforms are obviously targeted at different categories of investors. If you’re a passive investor looking for long-term investment opportunities.
Currently, Vanguard does not offer its customers direct access to cryptocurrencies. Webull however, offers this.
Webull caters more appropriately to an intermediate investor. While they have educational resources, there are not nearly enough to take a beginner through the basics of investing. However, you might also want to take advantage of their research analysis from sources such as TotalView, Morningstar, Dow Jones and Nasdaq.
If you trade or exchange shares of a Vanguard fund, you will not be permitted to trade or exchange back into the same fund in the same account within a calendar 30-day period.
For both Vanguard and Webull, there are no minimum costs to open an account.
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