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Does Webull offer bonds? Alternatives in 2024

Toni Vitali| Updated January 24th, 2024

Being a young investment platform (founded in 2017 in the U.S.), Webull quickly made a name for itself mainly due to commission-free trading. They offer financial products such as stocks, ETFs, options, Over-The-Counter (OTC) stocks, and even crypto (through the Webull Pay App).

Currently, Webull is available in countries such as Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States, but not in any other countries, including the EU.

Can you buy bonds on Webull?

Unfortunately, Webull does not offer investing in individual bonds. Users can only buy bond ETFs, which are passive funds consisting of many bonds but not individual ones.

Each approach has pros and cons, with ETFs being an excellent risk diversifier but carrying a small management fee (contained in TER – Total Expense Ratio) and being sensitive to future interest rate changes. 

Buying individual bonds gives you a stable and predictable income. Still, there is always the risk of the bond issuer defaulting and/or price drops if selling the bond before maturity.

If you are looking for an alternative platform that would allow you to buy individual bonds, we got you covered. Keep in mind there are differences in the brokers’ availability depending on your country of residency. Below we will go through our top picks of brokers that offer individual bonds, among other products:

Best Webull alternatives for investing in bonds

Interactive Brokers | Best global broker overall

It was founded in 1978 and is one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers. It offers various financial products, including bonds from the U.S., Canadian, U.K., European, and Hong Kong markets. The bond trading fees are reasonable but rise with larger trading volumes. Its IBKR GlobalTrader mobile app is a welcome option for beginners.

TD Ameritrade | Best broker for commission-free bond trading (U.S. treasuries)

One of the leading U.S. brokers, became a part of the Charles Schwab group after they acquired the company in 2019. Some of its major advantages are commission-free stock, ETF, and options trading, alongside a wide offering of different financial products, including mutual funds, fixed income (bonds and CDs), futures, and forex. They also offer commission trading of U.S. treasuries on auction and charge fees on a net yield basis for other bonds and CDs.

E*TRADE | Best for beginner bond investors

Founded in 1982, E*TRADE is considered a reputable and beginner-friendly broker. They offer a wide choice of financial products such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, and more, with most coming with zero commissions attached, including U.S. treasury bonds. The bond offering consists of over 50,000 bonds, but only those available on the U.S. markets. Bond trading fees for bonds other than U.S. treasuries start from $1 per bond ($10 minimum).

Saxo Bank | Best for experienced bond traders

The Danish broker offers experienced traders access to exchanges worldwide. It has a broad financial product selection, including stocks, bonds, options, forex options, commodities, futures, and more. Their bond offering is not an exception, coming in at over 5,900+ global bonds. A high minimum bond trading fee makes their offer geared towards mostly professional investors.

Broker Minimum deposit Products  Currency conversion fee Available in Bonds Trading fees 
Interactive Brokers $/£0 Stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds, currencies, options, warrants, and futures 0.08-0.20 basis points x Trade Value per order ($1-$2 minimum per order) Internationally (exceptions apply) from $1 (corporate, municipal) to $5 (treasuries) minimum (could be more with larger volumes)
TD Ameritrade $50 (electronic transfers); no account minimum Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, fixed income (including bonds), futures, forex Commission free (included in the spread) Selected (mostly American and Asian) countries, including the U.S. Commission-free for U.S. treasuries on auction; net-yield based fees for other bonds
E*TRADE $0 (Account must be funded within 30 days to remain open) Stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures, mutual funds, managed portfolios Up to 300 basis points U.S. and selected countries (often only upon request) Commission-free for U.S. treasuries; $1 per bond ($10 minimum) for online secondary trades
Saxo Bank Most commonly $2,000 (depends on your residency) Stocks, ETFs, bonds, stock options, futures, futures options, indices, cryptocurrencies, and forex 0.25% Internationally (exceptions apply, most notably the U.S.) From 0.05% of the trade value (min. $20)

#1 Interactive Brokers

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Interactive Brokers at a glance

0% Commission(U.S. listed stocks and ETFs on IBKR Lite)
ProductsStocks, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Currencies, Options, Warrants, and Futures
Minimum deposit$/£0
RegulatorsFINRA, SIPC, SEC, CFTC, IIROC, FCA, CBI, AFSL, SFC, SEBI, MAS, MNB

Having been around since 1978 and surviving multiple financial crises, the Interactive Brokers’ major advantage is its reputation. It is also publicly listed on the NASDAQ exchange (ticker: IBKR), making it more regulated than some other platforms.

Other significant advantages of using Interactive Brokers are its wide selection of financial products from over 150 markets, solid trade execution (IB SmartRouting), and supporting 24 currencies in its account. There are also 100+ currency pairs available for exchange.

Some downsides of using Interactive Brokers are its complex fee structure, lengthier than average registration and fund deposit processes, and limited commission-free trading (only available for US investors). However, the last point is largely mitigated using narrower spreads and lower FX fees than most competitors. 

Speaking of the fee structure, there are two distinct plans for U.S. investors – IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro. Keep in mind that non-U.S. users only have access to IBKR Pro.

IBKR Lite offers unlimited commission-free trading for products such as U.S. listed stocks and ETFs, with low fees for other products and no account minimums or inactivity fees.

IBKR Pro is geared more towards advanced investors and active traders, offering fixed or tiered pricing plans without commission-free trading available. It also uses the IB SmartRouting system for advanced trade execution and uses APIs and some other advanced tools. You can compare the plans here.

Bond selection is wide, with U.S., Canadian, U.K., European, and Hong Kong bonds. The bond trading fees range from $1 (corporate, municipal) to $5 (treasuries) minimum for U.S. bonds, although this number rises with larger trading volumes.

The Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation (TWS) platform offers many basic and advanced features, such as a demo account, watch lists, alerts and monitoring in real-time, advanced technical analysis tools, and more. One of the downsides of the platform is that the learning curve can be steep for beginners, even with the provided educational materials.

The IBKR GlobalTrader mobile app is a much more intuitive choice for beginner investors, offering stocks, ETFs, and options trading in a more user-friendly format. Other app features include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares (only for US stocks), and more.

Overall, Interactive Brokers is a good choice for beginners and advanced investors looking for a secure broker and access to various financial instruments, including bonds.

#2 TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade Logo - TD Ameritrade Review - Investing in the Web
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TD Ameritrade at a glance

0% Commission(for stocks, ETFs, options, and U.S. treasuries on auction)
ProductsStocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, fixed income (including bonds), futures, forex
Minimum deposit$50 for electronic transfer; no account minimum
RegulatorsSEC, FINRA, CFTC, MAS, SFC

As one of the leading U.S. brokers, TD Ameritrade was acquired in 2019 by Charles Schwab, one of the largest brokers in the world. Their history goes much further, though, being founded in 1975 and amassing over 11 million active users and over $1 trillion in assets.

When you also consider that the broker is regulated by top-tier U.S., Singapore, and Hong Kong regulators, it is easy to see why it is considered one of the most reputable brokers out there.

It is probably best known for its commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, options, and bonds (U.S. treasuries at auction). Other fixed-income assets (bonds, CDs, and UITs) have fees based on a net yield basis. There is also a $1 per bond transaction fee when trading bonds on the secondary market. Also, keep in mind that there are some minor service fees, which you can see in their fee structure.

Other financial products, such as mutual funds, futures, and forex trading (through the Charles Schwab Futures and Forex LLC platform), are also available. However, keep in mind that you can only trade on U.S. markets, unlike some other brokers that can offer you global investing exposure.

Regarding bond trading specifically, TD Ameritrade offers a wide range of investments, with over 40,000 offerings from over 100 dealers, 3,000+ bond mutual funds, and over 400 bond ETFs (out of which 300+ are commission-free)

Advanced bond trading tools, such as ready-made or self-created bond ladders (by using their Bond Wizard tool), are also available. There are also new issue offerings as well as rating and status changes for corporate and municipal bonds. You can get help (a personalised portfolio review) from their fixed-income specialists if needed.

Other commonly praised pros of TD Ameritrade include the brokers’ quality customer support, easy-to-navigate investment platforms (web and mobile), and excellent educational content. These are some reasons why it’s often considered a beginner-friendly broker.

Source: tdameritrade.com

Some of the cons of the platform include limited money transfer options (no credit/debit cards or electronic wallets) and the lack of fractional shares on offer.

#3 E*TRADE

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E*TRADE at a glance

0% Commissionfor stocks, U.S. treasuries, options (contract fee applies), mutual funds, and ETFs
ProductsStocks, ETFs, Bonds, Options, Futures, Mutual Funds, Managed Portfolios
Minimum deposit$0 (Account must be funded within 30 days to remain open)
RegulatorsSEC, FINRA, SIPC

Offering a wide range of financial products and most of them with low or zero commissions, in an easy-to-navigate mobile platform makes E*TRADE is an excellent choice for beginner investors. It is also a reputable broker, founded in 1982 and regulated by top-tier U.S. regulators such as SEC and FINRA, while also offering SIPC investor protection.

Some features that set apart E*TRADE from other brokers are access to rich educational resources (articles, videos, courses, webinars, and research tools) and their managed portfolios (Core Portfolios) which charge an annual 0.3% fee ($500 minimum).

As far as bond investing goes, it is important to note that E*TRADE offers 50,000+ bonds, but only from the U.S. markets. The fee structure for bond investing varies depending on the type of bonds you’re interested in. U.S. treasuries are commission-free at auction and secondary trades, but other bonds are charged a $1 fee per bond with a $10 minimum and a $250 maximum. 

Broker-assisted bond trades are also offered (costing an extra $20), and new bond issues (except treasuries) offer a price that includes a selling concession. Interestingly, E*TRADE also offers ultra-short bond ETFs, which are diversified and low-risk investments. 

You can see their full fee structure for bonds and other financial products here.

Source: etrade.com

Some of the cons of investing with E*TRADE include the aforementioned access to U.S. markets only, the lack of forex trading, no email/live chat support (only phone and physical mail are available), and limited deposit options (credit/debit card and electronic wallet deposits are not accepted).

#4 Saxo Bank

Saxo-logo
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62% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Saxo Bank at a glance

0% Commission
ProductsStocks, Forex, ETFs, Commodities, Indices, CFDs, Options, Bonds, and Futures
Minimum depositDepends on your residency, but most commonly $2,000
RegulatorsFCA, FSA, FINMA, ACPR, ASIC, MAS

Founded in 1992, Saxo Bank is one of the longest-existing global brokers. It is known for its wide variety of financial products (over 71,000), access to a large number of market exchanges (over 120), and a large number of base currencies (18).

Saxo Bank has, more than anything, been trying to appeal to professional investors. It has done so by offering advanced tools, such as its integration with the Trading View charting platform. The apps SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO have also been tailored to the professional user, both by the number of their features and their relative complexity.

Those are probably some reasons why Saxo Bank has one of the highest initial deposit requirements in the industry. These can vary depending on your residency, starting from £500 for UK investors and $2,000 for most other countries. It is important to note that Saxo Bank is unavailable in some big global markets outside Europe, such as the US.

Three distinct account levels are available: Classic, Platinum ($200,000 minimum), and VIP ($1,000,000 minimum), each with its fee structure.

Speaking of fees, they are one of the biggest cons of using Saxo Bank. Fees for trading US stocks and ETFs start at just 0.03% (min. $1), but only for VIP accounts. These fees will be much higher for Platinum and Classic accounts, starting at $0.05% (min. $1) and 0.08% (min. $1), respectively. 

The bond selection is impressive, coming in at over 5,900+ bonds worldwide. Bond trading fees depend mostly on your account level, with the basic account offering a 0.2% fee for bonds but with a minimum of 20 EUR for all account levels. This shows that Saxo Bank is geared more toward professional users with higher trading volumes.

The fee structure is fairly complex, and there are also some additional fees to be aware of. Just to name a few most common ones:

  • Custody fee: up to 0.15%;
  • Inactivity fee (after not logging in for 6 months): €100; 
  • Currency conversion fees: 0.25%.

It is probably best to select the desired financial product from their website to see its full fee structure. 

In a nutshell, Saxo Bank is tailored to professional investors because of its advanced tools, higher-than-average fees, and complex interface. Those are also reasons why it may not suit beginner or even intermediate investors.

What to look for in a broker that’s offering bond trading?

There are several key factors that go into the decision to choose a brokerage platform that offers bond trading:

  • Platform’s overall experience and user interface: You want to ensure you are confident using the platform from start to finish. Factors like account opening, minimum deposit, user experience, available tools, etc., all come into play.
  • The range of available bonds: Not all brokers offer bonds from a wide range of global markets. Make sure that the broker you choose has access to the bond markets that you’re interested in.
  • Commissions: They say fees are the only 100% certain thing in investing. Needless to say, they can eat away at a large portion of our profits and it is important to keep them under control.
  • Currency exchange fees: Bonds on different markets are denominated in different (most often local currencies). If you are not buying bonds in your domestic currency, you are exposing yourself to currency risk and currency exchange fees.

The bottom line

Bonds have become a more popular asset class in the current market environment with high-interest rates. Current bond yields make them attractive as an asset class with relatively limited risk and stable returns.

However, not all brokers (including Webull) offer access to individual bonds. In this article, we have highlighted some of the best alternatives in our opinion. Each platform has pros and cons, so it is important to choose wisely the one that best suits our needs. Especially keep in mind that some of these platforms may not be available in your country of residence.

Hopefully, we helped you with your choice.

Toni Vitali
Contributor

Toni is passionate about all-things investment and is the owner of one of the leading personal finance and investment blogs in Croatia.

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