The platforms we reviewed
In today’s cyber world there are apps for everything you can think of, including stock trading. I would like to share with you my experiences with using the apps from three popular platforms. They all allow me to buy and sell stocks commission-free, but beyond that, they begin to differ. These differences are what I’ll be covering, in my review of Robinhood, TD Ameritrade, and WeBull. Keep in mind, as someone who made his first trade in the dawn of the internet, I find any app incredibly easy compared to the caveman days of pen and paper. I hope you find some value in these trading platform reviews.
First up in my trading platform reviews is Robinhood. I opened my Robinhood account in 2016, using it to buy monthly dividend stocks enrolling in their dividend reinvestment plan. Since then, they’ve added partial share purchasing and I’ve managed to get into their options trading platform. Robinhood’s interface is very simple, straightforward, and has very few distractions.
While it has all of the basic stock trading capabilities they aren’t all available if you have partial shares. With partial shares, it’s all market orders. It seems to me the biggest strength of the Robinhood app is partial share investing. I’ve started using it for my long term investing. I schedule regular dollar amount purchases, allowing me to set up an automatic stock purchase every payday. This works even if I’m not depositing enough to buy a full share of a larger priced stock like Amazon.
My biggest complaint about the Robinhood app is that it operates a few seconds behind the live stock-ticker updates. If you’re a day trader the Robinhood app probably isn’t for you. Robinhood also does not offer short selling, if that’s your thing. If you’re new to stock trading it’s a wonderful tool that helps you get in the game easily.
Robinhood allows for more advanced trading, so you need not feel limited by using this app over other platforms when you decide to step it up. It has decent news articles and a handy swipe through news headline feature that will show you any news relating to companies in your portfolio or watchlist.
Platform: TD Ameritrade
The second contender in my trading platform reviews is TD Ameritrade. TD Ameritrade is the second stock trading app I started using when I decided I wanted to separate my options trading from my stock trading. This app is hands down the best app to keep track of news events regarding securities. I’ve often seen stories break on TD Ameritrade before I can find them on google. This is my go-to app when researching a new stock. I can switch between charts and news and an overview quickly. TD Ameritrade also seems to have the fastest updates on stock ticker quotes.
While I have had a few issues, TD Ameritrade makes it super easy to reach out to them. Talking with a real live human being as part of their customer service is a huge bonus.
Another thing TD Ameritrade can’t be beaten on is their research and knowledge center. They have quick and easy videos accessible from the app that will teach you everything you need to know. I also make great use of their stock screeners. It keeps track of the most recent stock screeners you’ve run, so you can run them again if they were useful. Additionally, you can save the screens you run consistently. TDAmeritrade lets me sell a stock short, but you need to be careful and keep the required margin balance on hand when doing a short sell.
And lastly in the trading platform reviews is WeBull. The most recent app that I’ve added to my stock adventures comes from WeBull. Founded in 2016, this Chinese-owned company focuses on the American stock exchange. Newer to the game than Robinhood and TD Ameritrade they’re trying hard to make a big splash by offering generous free stock incentives for joining and inviting new users. Last time I opened the app I was offered 6 free stocks for referring a friend.
WeBull offers the same basic commission-free trades as Robinhood and TDAmeritrade, with one slight disadvantage. I can’t place a trade after hours, so let’s say at midnight I decide to move my stop loss. I now can’t submit the new limit order until pre-market trading begins. It might not seem like a big deal, but I’ve found myself disappointed a few times by this tiny limitation.
WeBull does excel in chart data analysis, offering the most in-depth charting stuff I’ve seen in an app. Chart analysis isn’t a strength of mine, so I don’t use it as much as I should. But, it’s there for you if that is your style of trading. The other major thing worth mentioning is the WeBull social community.
When looking through any stock quote you can load up a “Comments” section that is basically a Facebook newsfeed for the stock where any WeBull user can post and comment on posts. I have found it both very interesting and at times maddening. Since it’s all just users posting, there’s no guarantee that anything being said is true, and rumors abound. Anytime a stock starts to drop a user always has a reason for it. Anytime the stock starts to rise there’s a user who is posting that they’re sure this is the big rise to take the stock to 1000% gains. That being said, I still load them up and read through them as some of the users are extremely knowledgeable and worth some time.
The last thing to mention about WeBull is their weekly paper trading competition. Almost every Monday users that have signed up are given $10,000 (paper money) to trade through the week and the results are tracked through the end of aftermarket Friday. I rolled my eyes at first, but quickly got into the fun of competing with 5,000 other people to see if I can break into the top! WeBull does give out cash prizes if you place high enough, although it isn’t much more than a few bucks.
That sums up my experiences with these platforms. If you’re still looking for more information on these platforms, check out these other guides to your options when selecting an app (including those not examined here):
- Trading Platform ReviewsTrading stocks in 2020 is the easiest it’s ever been. Trading platforms Robinhood, TD Ameritrade and Webull all allow for quick deposits and fast trades, and we’re going to review them here today.
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