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In the not-so-distant past, the concept of investing in stocks or other securities usually involved sitting at a computer with high-powered programs running, monitoring the stock market, waiting for a good trade, or leaving such things in the hands of a broker. The mobile sector, on the other hand, has dramatically altered this. Smartphone applications, such as Robinhood and WeBull, have quickly taken the role of desktop programs in putting the stock market in the palm of your hand.
Traditional brokerages like E-Trade and Fidelity were swiftly overtaken by start-ups like Robinhood, which offered commission-free transactions and other appealing features. Many small brokerage apps are available today. Some of the following services may be of interest to new investors if a smaller broker is of interest. Read on if trying to decide between Webull vs SoFi Invest, or Robinhood vs SoFi Invest for the new investor’s micro-broker needs.
The three companies reviewed below all have the distinction of being small and easy to use, though perhaps limited in their offerings, and are meant primarily for new and young investors just getting started.
Robinhood is a micro-broker that offers low trading charges, access to cryptocurrencies, and fractional shares. It has broken away from the usual sector of big time brokers like Fidelity and TD Ameritrade. However, despite the limited instructional and research tools and investment options, many people believe that this service is an excellent starting point for new investors who do not have a lot of money to invest. Setting it up and using it are both a breeze, and most investors may begin trading within a day of registering for an account. As simple as a few mouse clicks, trading a stock is possible, although short selling is not permitted, and day traders may find the lack of access to pink sheets and penny stocks annoying. Many investors use Robinhood’s stock alerts and watch lists, which are updated in real time.
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This small broker, second only to Robinhood, entered the market with the goal of providing a welcoming environment for new and inexperienced investors. For ETF and stock trading, Webull does not charge a commission. Transferring funds from your bank to Webull is simple. You don’t need to maintain a minimum amount in order to open an account with Webull, and new users get three free stocks upon account activation.
The OTCBB pink sheets are not available to investors, but they can invest in full stocks or fractional shares and trade options. Cryptocurrency trading is also available at Webull. In contrast to other micro-brokers, Webull allows a wide range of order types, such as market and limit orders, as well as after-hours, trailing stop and limit orders. Investors who wish to test out a strategy before risking real money can use Webull’s training materials and paper trading options. Watch lists and stock notifications are also available on Webull.
SoFi Invest is yet another small brokerage that is geared towards new and younger investors, though it has fewer features than Webull. In order to start an account with SoFi, you must deposit a minimum of $5, but there are no trading fees for stocks, ETFs, or options. SoFi, unlike some other tiny brokers, permits Pink Sheets trading in addition to traditional stock, fractional share, and cryptocurrency trading. There are no after-hours, halt, or tail-stop orders allowed on SoFi like there are on other services. Broker-assisted trading is also not available. SoFi, on the other hand, has an impressive library of training resources and past webinars, making it an excellent choice for investors who are just getting started.
There are several tiny brokers that are practically identical in terms of ease of use, ease of account set up, and features, but the one you choose must match your desired trading style. When new investors are trying to decide between Webull vs SoFi Invest, or Robinhood vs SoFi Invest, it comes down to the smallest of details as to which you should select. SoFi is the only small, no-fee broker that can meet user demands if looking to trade penny stocks. While Webull is a good option if beginners want to test the waters with paper trading or charting, it’s not the best option for mutual funds. If investors wish to use trailing stop orders, avoid SoFi. Instead, go with Robinhood. For newbies looking for low cost margin rates, Robinhood is also an excellent option. Again, the broker of choice depends on trading style and the features and orders you want to be able to access. A novice or young trader will benefit from using all three of these services in order to learn how to trade and create a portfolio. The only way to learn how to trade effectively is through experience.
1. Are any of these services insured by the FDIC?
Even though some services like Webull and SoFi operate from other countries, they do have FDIC insurance. Robinhood, as it is not registered as a financial institution, is not FDIC insured, but offers its own in-house insurance.
2. Do I have to have the mobile application to use these services?
Some trading is allowed on the website on all three platforms.
3. What do I need to open an account with these services?
Opening an account requires you to provide proof of your identity, such as a scan of your state-issued ID or passport, bank statements, proof of employment and a bank account routing number in order to move money back and forth between your accounts.
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