Webull alternatives for Canadian investors

By   |   Verified by Nikita Sheth   |   Updated 16th April 2021

Webull alternatives
  • Webull Financial LLC, more commonly referred to as Webull, is a Chinese trading app geared towards millennial and zoomer traders.
  • Best known as Robinhood's primary competitor, Webull also offers commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs.
  • Not currently available in Canada, there are several platforms that are suitable replacements for Webull.

Webull launched in 2017, subsequently rising from relative obscurity to Robinhood's chief competitor due to the meme stock mania of early 2021.

Robinhood pioneered commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs and was the darling of the r/WallStreetBets subreddit trading community who were pumping promoting stocks like GameStop and AMC.

However, that changed when Robinhood made the controversial move of halting trading on the Redditors' most popular — and volatile — stocks due to firm clearing costs. This infuriated millions of their traders. Feeling they could no longer trust Robinhood to provide access to a free market, traders began to look elsewhere.

Since Webull is also a commission-free trading app, and tempts new users with free stock, many decided to move away from Robinhood to what they felt was a more reliable platform. Hence Webull's surging popularity... and why many in Canada are looking for an alternative to a service that is not available to Canadian investors.

Fortunately, there are several options with a similar service. Let's look at the top competitors to Webull in the Canadian market.

Weathsimple Trade

Our top pick

Weathsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade is the trading division of Wealthsimple, designed for millennials and zoomers with little to no trading experience. Wealthsimple Trade offers a functional trading platform with no commission trading. However, only stocks and ETFs are supported on the platform, while other securities such as options, preferred shares, and mutual funds are not available to trade.

Wealthsimple Trade is Canada's only discount broker offering commission-free trading. This is a huge advantage to newcomers trying to build a small account. For new traders, commissions can take up to 60% of profits to cover trading costs. With Wealthsimple Trade, you keep more of your profits in your trading account.

Overall, Wealthsimple Trade is the closest Canadian competitor to Webull.

Pros

  • Commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs.
  • User-friendly mobile trading apps for iOS and Android devices.
  • No minimum balance requirement.
  • CIPF protection on account balances up to $1 million.
  • Invest in TFSA and non-registered accounts.

Cons

  • No margin accounts available.
  • RESP accounts not available.
  • No real-time market data.
  • Not suitable for "scalping" strategies.
Qtrade Investor

Runner-up

Qtrade Investor

Qtrade Investor is a Canadian-based broker offering investors and day traders access to Canadian and US financial markets. With Qtrade, you can trade ETFs, stocks, and options. Qtrade offers a simple, minimalist interface that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The charting software is easy for new investors and traders to use, and they have powerful research tools at your disposal.

While they do charge a commission on stocks, options, and ETFs, you get access to 100 commission-free ETFs along with commission-free mutual funds. Qtrade also offers a demo account, letting new traders practice their trading strategy without taking any financial risk.

While Qtrade may cost more than Wealthsimple Trade, the research tools and reputable customer service make it worth the money.

Pros

  • Simplified trading platform with easy to understand charts.
  • Managed portfolios available.
  • Access to 100 commission-free ETFs and mutual funds.
  • Discounted commissions for active day traders.
  • Access to high-quality research by Scotia analysts.
  • Demo account available for paper trading.

Cons

  • Not available to US residents.
  • No option for funding through credit cards or e-wallets.
Questrade

Honourable mention

Questrade

Questrade is Canada’s largest independent fintech. Founded in 1999, it is a low-cost Canadian brokerage offering managed and self-directed investment and trading accounts.

You get to invest in both Canadian and US markets, with access to a broad range of assets, such as stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, commodities, and more. You get competitive pricing, user-friendly trading platforms, and affordable pricing. Questrade offers low pricing for both self-directed investing and portfolios managed by Questrade Wealth Management.

Pros

  • User-friendly, flexible trading platform.
  • Free ETF purchases.
  • Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).
  • A wide variety of account options for traders.
  • Research tools and education resources provided.

Cons

  • Only accepts Canadian clients.
  • Deposits only available in USD or CAD.
  • High minimum deposit (CA$1,000).
  • Restrictions on margin trading.

For experienced traders

Interactive Brokers

IBKR Canada is the Canadian division of Interactive Brokers. This successful firm is a great choice for experienced traders. IBKR offers two accounts: IBKR Lite, and IBKR Pro. The IBKR Lite account is most similar to Webull, however, it is not available to Canadian investors. The IBKR Pro account is best suited for active and sophisticated traders with a great deal of knowledge and experience since its interface contains advanced functionality that can overwhelm inexperienced traders.

Pros

  • Low exchange rates for CAD deposits.
  • Access to US and international markets.
  • Wide variety of financial assets including ETFs, stock, forex, futures, options, and more.
  • Suitable for experienced day traders.

Cons

  • Tax liability implications for Canadians.
  • IBKR Lite is unavailable to Canadians.
  • Poor mobile app interface.
  • Expensive monthly fees.
  • Almost non-existent customer service for Canadians.

Worth a look

Scotia iTRADE

As the brokerage division of Scotiabank, Scotia iTRADE launched in 2008 after the acquisition of E*TRADE Canada. The acquisition doubled Scotia's client base, and the firm has won several awards in the fintech space and a ranking as one of the top brokers in Canada. Scotia iTRADE provides traders and investors with discount commission structures along with an effective trading platform for active day traders. iTRADE gives you both educational trading resources suited to beginner traders and the extensive research tools needed by advanced traders.

Scotia iTRADE is a great choice for new traders looking to learn more about trading and the markets. You also get access to a wide range of Canadian and International ETFs with no trading fees.

Pros

  • Discounted commission structures for active day traders.
  • High-quality, award-winning trading platform.
  • Access to market research by Scotia Bank’s top analysts.
  • Demo account for practicing your strategy.

Cons

  • Annual fees for registered and unregistered accounts.
  • The Premium FlightDesk trading platform costs an additional monthly fee.

What to look for in a Webull alternative

Here's what we think are the important things to look out for when deciding which broker to use.

  • Tradable assets and markets: What kind of assets can you trade on the platform? Do you get access to US and Canadian markets? If you are pursuing a more passive investment strategy, consider prioritizing availability of Mutual Funds or Index Funds. Want to be an active day trader? Looks for low fees on stock trading. Choose a broker that meets your trading requirements and your strategy.
  • Who it’s designed for: If you are new to trading, don’t pick a platform geared towards sophisticated investors. Instead, pick a service with trading tools that are intuitive to use and educational resources so you can better understand the markets. If you are a seasoned trader, you will probably need technical tools and more detailed market information.
  • Trading fees and commissions: Pay close attention to the fees a platform is charging you. There can be monthly fees, commissions, activity fees, or inactivity fees. Some accounts also have a minimum balance that you must maintain. Check if there are any potential fee waivers for active day traders.
  • Functional and user-friendly mobile apps: If you're trading on your phone as your primary device, you'll need to open an account with a broker that offers a dedicated mobile trading app.
  • Demo accounts: A demo account can be very advantageous to newcomers, allowing you to familiarize yourself with the trading platform before you risk real money in the market. You can also test out your trading strategies and simulate trades under real market conditions. If you are nervous about opening an account and trading with real money, a demo account could be just what you need to build your confidence.