Brokerage reviews with my personal recommendations along with my warnings. Despite popular opinion, brokers are very most definitely not the same. Stock market ideas, tips & info. All info represents my own personal opinion (I'm still aloud to have them, can you believe it?), and I am in no way connected to the financial world, the stock market, or any agency. I am neither an insider, CPA nor financial advisor. Do your own research before making any investment(s). Take all info I post with a grain of salt at your own risk. Note that I can also make affiliate income when you click a link and follow through with some required action.
Robinhood Securities is where I started investing, and I really did enjoy its gamification of the stock market with an easy-to-use user interface and a user experience that wasn't distracting. The best thing about Robinhood is that I can setup a limit order buy for the next trading day and not worry about it. It is a great starting point for beginners, but they do underhanded things behind the scenes and I don't think they can actually truthfully claim to be a Fiduciary, but they do and I think that's false advertising.
As my portfolio grew from just dabbling in the stock market to something worth holding onto, it quickly became apparent that I needed to protect my money.
Since I am older, I want my wife to be able to access my account and sell it or use it, withdraw the funds, etc., as she sees fit. I can't take it with me, so I want it to do my family some good. I found that most brokerages have joint accounts where both parties are full rights owners, and when the one partner dies, the other has survivorship (and their full access rights continue). So, I am in the process of transferring my stocks out of Robinhood.
Another reason is that Robinhood has no formal beneficiary plan. If my wife and I die in a horrific crash together, I want my son to get everything.
Although I emailed to Robinhood Securities support about this, they said that they have no plans to add either joint accounts or beneficiary support (though that may change). Although the support guy said that the executer of the estate could work with support, what would they charge? And the added time and expense going through a probate court is also something to avoid. Heck, I still need to write a will.
Other problems with Robinhood include that they sell the 'order flow' to Citadel, so they see what trends are happening in Robinhood. Plus, the speed at which transactions are placed with Apex (the clearing house) are actually quite slow.
But there are things I keep Robinhood around for. I can use the money I deposited instantly. Even though they don't support OTC stocks, they do support penny stocks, and you don't have to buy 100 or more to get them. They also support fractional shares and a couple cryptocurrencies. And you make a 1% interest on settled cash in your account when you keep a little buying power for those must-have moments when the 'time is now' to buy a stock.
Webull had quite a few things going for it, but the app user interface is so pathetic that the user experience leaves their customers not just feeling betrayed, but losing their trust completely. I am the perfect example.
Webull does have good things going for it, but users find themselves stumbling around a poorly designed, clumsy app that can actually be dangerous for the user. Upon trying to do a partial transfer, since the big ass start button is located right next to the small app list gadget on Android copying my Robinhood stock symbols and quantities was actually a bit harrowing. And I finally did hit that stupid big ass Start button by accident. What is strange is that I could have sworn that the next screen required to validate my list of stocks and their quantities before moving on. But there was an in-app back button at the top of that screen, so I touched that to return to the previous screen to edit my list. Only, there was no list.
I was transferring just over $2500 worth of stocks from Robinhood to Webull on Webull's dime to consolidate my stocks into my Webull account and pick-up 5 free stocks for transferring over $2,000.00 of stocks. So, I decided to try again when I got back to my computer. But when I logged into Webull on my PC, the transfer had already been initiated. But I never verified the list of stocks to transfer, nor their quantites, nor did I give any final approval of the transfer.
Now, mind you, I did all this to consolidate my stocks, and I was going to keep a few penny stocks in Robinhood because Webull doesn't support penny stock transactions when the order volume is under 100 shares.
If you look at the accompanying screenshot of my actual Webull account here, you can see that my Net Account Value, Profit & Loss, Market Value, Cash Balance, Risk Level, Buying Power, Setted Cash & Unsettled Cash are all ****** asterisks, I can't even see this crap.
In each event I have contacted Webull support and received no help, no assistance, they weren't even reading my messages, it appears. Robinhood has actually given me better support than Webull ever has.
Webull has more things going for it, though. They don't have Joint Accounts (like Robinhood), but at least they do support Beneficiaries. Investors/traders alike can start at 4am ET (3am here) and stay active throughout the day up until 8pm ET (7pm CT).
However, the UX is sketchy at best, the support is worse, the trade practices questionable. They are quicker than Robinhood per order, but they skim.
Some of it might have to do with the fact that they are a Chinese broker.
I do not recommend them them in any instance, though I would've if they were fair and lived up to their hype. But affiliates are marketing them for the free stock offers. I highly recommend to stay completely away from here guys, though. I am not even kidding a little bit, they have ruined my portfolio by splitting it in two, instead of the desired goal of consolitation.
Update; 4/13/2021: Webull transfered the rest of my stocks in what they claimed would be a 'free' transfer since the first stocks transferred was incomplete because of a UX issue that happened because of their poor UI. However, they appear to be going back on that promise and I had to transfer in an extra $25 (settled & total cash balance was $0.30) to cover the second transfer (of the rest of my stocks). I did apply for the initial $75 first-time transfer fee reimbursement, but I was only permitted to upload one image when I thought I would upload a couple or so.
So, I am still awaiting to see if I get the initial fee reimbursed, and I will definitely not get the originally promised 5 free stocks for transfering to Webull Financial. Still, I'm not happy, either way.
After Robinhood messed with the $GME short we learned a great deal about Robinhood. Upon realizing how the regular guy was sold-out and all sorts of crazy other things, I finally signed-up with Webull. But Webull was messing with my penny stock game and neither Robinhood nor Webull offered OTC stocks, which I found discouraging. So, I signed-up with Fidelity Investments.
Now, Fidelity also has an extremely clumsy user interface, but it does work, unlike Webull's crappy app. Better yet, Fidelity supports Joint Accounts & Beneficiaries. So if I die, my wife has full ownership through survivorship (we are both full owners, she just doesn't mess with it). More importantly, if we both die in a violent crash, my son is the beneficiary. My investments are safe, here. That is not to say that they won't or can't lose money, all stock investments involve risk. But they don't do stuff on my behalf without my knowing, willing involvement, or my expressed permission. And I see that, too. That said, the UI is still in the dark ages, I would call it clumsy, at best.
Fidelity makes sure I can review and approve every order. I do wish they would support more OTC (Pink) stocks that I have my eyes on, but they rarely charge a fee for the OTC stocks they do support (and I renig out of international trade orders when I see that they would charge me a fee for a stock purchase). Plus, you can add notes on stocks in your watchlist.
Getting set-up with Fidelity takes forever. It took me over a week to get my account approved and my digital check deposit show up in my account. And it took around another week for them to finally approve my bank account and add to my Joint Account. Once I was finally setup, my bank transfers were slow to appear in my account at first, but now they appear as settled cash very quickly. Much, much quicker than Robinhood or Webull have ever been for me, as they seem to purposely delay the process just so they can say they loaned you money to invest or trade with. Very curious, that.
Fidelity doesn't support Cryptocurrencies like Robinhood or Webull, but I don't want Fidelity for that, I am looking for a better Crypto market & vault solution than Robinhood, Webull or even Coinbase. Someone who understands that platform (and very few do).
I do have issues with Fidelity, but the biggest is the poor UI and sad UX. All in all, they have proven themselves despite a strange phone support system that doesn't allow you to keep secure passwords if you are going to use it. There is another number though, you get once you are a Fidelity customer, I guess.
TD Ameritrade seems to be a favorite of day traders. This is actually a Canadian company that will be absorbed into the Charles Schwab brokerage universe.
Some people seem to like their apps and online tools. I have barely gotten started there, but so far I have not b een impressed because when I trade OTC stocks, they charge really 100% of the stock in a fee.
I signed-up here not for the tools, tools you can find anywhere. What I wanted is more unrestricted access to the OTC pink stocks I wanted to buy at Fidelity, that Fidelity didn't allow me to get because the company hasn't provided enough information about themselves. But, these companies have to start somewhere, and I want to get in on not just growing industries, but emerging technologies that I as a tech am familiar with. Stuff the world needs, as well.
Still, that is a high price to pay to get in on the ground floor with some of these companies. I buy $6.xx of stock I have to pay $6.xx? At Fidelity I pay nothing.
So then I checked out the Schwab app because after I signed-up with TD Ameritrade, I found out about the current merger. And Schwab's OTC purchase fees are even more extraordinary. My mother and my son use Schwab, but I cannot imagine why.
TD Ameritrade's Think or Swim app is supposed to be one of the best. I don't know, the fees are prohibative and I don't like how they will get worse once they are a part of Charles Schwab. I'm going to try to steer them away from Schwab, altogether.
I've actually been having trouble logging in on mobile, lately (both the regular TD Ameritrade app and the Think or Swim app don't appear to be allowing me to log into the Joint account, and I only have the Individual account so that I could setup the Joint account).
Once I get my stock portfolio is back together, I'll check this out better.