Best Free Investing Platform? (Webull VS M1 Finance 2018)

Investing Simple is affiliated with Webull and M1 Finance. This relationship does not influence our opinions of these platforms.

With so many new investing and trading platforms coming to market it can be difficult to choose which one is the best for you. Recently, a variety of commission free trading platforms have emerged. In this article, we are going to review two of the top trading platforms available today; M1 Finance and Webull.

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Webull vs M1 Finance

What Is Webull?

Webull is a commission free stock and ETF trading platform. Webull is designed for the active trader who is looking for a more dynamic user interface. Webull has a variety of features that benefit traders such as technical indicators, research agency ratings, financial calendars and free margin trading as well as short selling. With easy access to margin, research tools, and live data, Webull has built an ideal platform for active traders. Check out our detailed review of Webull here.

Webull is a platform that is designed for the intermediate trader who already has some experience with the stock market. If you are a complete beginner, you might experience information overload. If you are a somewhat experienced trader, Webull will give you all of the data you will likely need.

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Webull Trading App

Webull Free Stock Promotion!

If you sign up via our link, you will get a free stock worth up to $1,000! You don’t need to fund the account to get the stock, you just have to open it.

Click Here To Open An Account With Webull!

Webull Features

Technical Indicators: Webull has a variety of technical indicators available on the platform. You can choose from up to 22 technical indicators such as moving averages, relative strength indexes and more. Here is the full list in our complete Webull review.

Virtual Trading Simulator: Webull has a useful feature called the virtual trading simulator. This feature lets you create a virtual portfolio with fake money to test out strategies before risking real money. This is an ideal feature for someone just starting out, who may need to gain more investing knowledge and know how before investing real money.

Smart Alerts: Webull lets you set a variety of alerts for different holdings. You can be alerted when a price level is hit, or a rate of change has hit a defined level. There are also alerts for volume levels or changes, this can be useful for traders get a sense of where the stock may be headed in the short term.

Financial Calendar: The financial calendar feature keeps you informed on all the latest and upcoming financial news. Important events such as upcoming IPOs, dividend payouts, and earnings releases are all provided to you in a calendar format on the Webull platform.

Margin Trading: Webull allows margin trading on its platform to certain users. You must have a minimum account balance of $2,000 to be approved for margin trading. Below are the margin interest rates charged by Webull…

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Webull Margin Rates

After Hours Trading: Webull offers after hours and premarket trading. You can trade securities from 4 am to 8 pm on the Webull platform offering more flexibility in placing trades.

Commission Free Short Selling: There are no trading commissions to short a stock in Webull. Short selling occurs in a margin account, but all trades are completely free.

Who Is Webull For?

Webull is designed for active traders that focus on investment research. Webull provides an array of research tools for both the technical and fundamental investment researchers.

That being said, in most cases this platform is best for those with some prior investment experience. If you are completely new to investing in the stock market, you might be overwhelmed by the number of research tools available to you.

If you sign up via our link, you will get a free stock worth up to $1,000! You don’t need to fund the account to get the stock, you just have to open it.

Click Here To Open An Account With Webull!

What Is M1 Finance?

M1 Finance was launched in 2016 and is an online robo advisor and brokerage hybrid for everyday people who want to invest in stocks or exchange traded funds (ETFs). M1 Finance combines features of a traditional brokerage account with a modern robo advisor. First, you select your investments and your allocations. Then, you automate the entire portfolio! Check out our detailed review of M1 Finance here.

M1 Finance focuses on low cost passive investing with additional features such as automatic rebalancing, professionally built portfolios and tax minimization strategies. The only fees you pay are the fees associated with any ETFs you invest in. M1 Finance is a completely free investing platform!

Click Here To Get Started With M1 Finance!

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M1 Finance App

How Does M1 Finance Work?

M1 Finance operates by creating portfolios of stocks and ETFs called “Pies”. Each pie can be customized meaning you can choose specific stocks and ETFs that you want to add. For example, you could build a pie with 50% Tesla stock and 50% Google stock.

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M1 Finance Pies

Within each pie, you can have up to 100 stocks or ETFs. Each can carry a different weight in the portfolio. There is no limit on the number of pies you can have in your M1 Finance account! For example, you could have one growth oriented pie and one income oriented pie in your M1 Finance account.

There are also prebuilt pies that M1 Finance has created based upon the amount of risk you would like to take, investment time horizon, and personal preferences. These are called expert pies.

It is important to understand that these portfolios or expert pies are not tailored to any one person. Each investor has a unique set of circumstances. If you want a personalized portfolio, you should consider a robo advisor like Betterment or a financial advisor. Betterment is another cutting edge platform that saves investors money by leveraging technology.

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M1 Finance Expert Pies

Most investing platforms charge an asset management fee in exchange for any kind of investment guidance. M1 Finance offers these prebuilt pies for free. They do not charge any fees outside of the ETF expense ratio. This is an expense you pay regardless of what platform you invest with.

M1 Finance also allows you to buy fractional shares of a corporation within your pie. For example, if your M1 Finance account had a total of $1,000 in it, but you would like to buy a share of Amazon for $1,885.60 then you would be offered a fractional share of Amazon to hold in your portfolio valued at $1,000 or less depending on its weight in your pie. With fractional shares, you can buy as little as 1/10,000th of a share!

Who Is M1 Finance For?

M1 Finance has a great platform for long term investors. In most cases, the ideal user for M1 Finance is someone who is a somewhat passive investor, relatively fee sensitive and does not want to spend a significant time managing their investments. M1 Finance offers a greater amount of flexibility because you can choose exactly what you invest in. With other robo advisors, you are limited to a handful of ETFs.

M1 Finance is also a great platform for dividend investors. Your dividends will automatically be reinvested back into your portfolio once the cash balance exceeds $10. Other free investing platforms like Robinhood and Webull do not offer any kind of automated dividend reinvestment. Typical brokerage accounts that offer dividend reinvestment and fractional shares charge a fee for this service.

Click Here To Get Started With M1 Finance!

Webull VS M1 Finance

 WebullM1 Finance
Commission Free TradingYesYes
Margin TradingYesYes
Prebuilt PortfoliosNoYes, Expert Pies
Account TypesIndividual TaxableIndividual Taxable, Joint, Traditional, Retirement, Trust
Account Minimum$0$100
Short SellingYes, Commission FreeNo
Technical IndicatorsYesNo
Virtual Trading SimulatorYesNo
InvestmentsStocks, ETFsStocks, ETFs
Tax Efficient SellingNoYes
Portfolio AutomationNoYes
Dividend ReinvestmentNoYes
Fractional SharesNoYes

The Verdict

M1 Finance and Webull are both very powerful investing platforms. A decade ago these types of platforms would only be offered by the best and most advanced investment companies. Now with so many platforms available to the retail investor, people have a wide variety of options to choose from.

We believe M1 Finance and Webull offer two different services that each meet its own target user. In most cases, M1 Finance is a good platform for someone who is investing for the long term and using a relatively passive investing approach. Whereas Webull fits best with more of an active trading style. Investors who use technical indicators and those who need to make more frequent trades would be better off using the Webull platform. In the end, both platforms are free so you can always give both a try and see which is best for you!

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