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Webull CEO Anthony Denier Talks About The Burgeoning World Of Commission-Free Investing

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Webull CEO Anthony Denier Talks About The Burgeoning World Of Commission-Free Investing

Benzinga's Fintech Focus Podcast features conversations with the biggest names in fintech. Subscribe to the Fintech Focus newsletter to get a roundup of industry news delivered to your inbox weekly, and check out upcoming programming at Benzinga events.

In this episode of the Fintech Focus podcast, we talk with Anthony Denier, CEO of Webull Financial, a free trading app from the minds of former Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) team members.

Webull started out in China as a market data app and quickly gained a following. After it hit more than six million downloads in its first 18 months, its founders decided to expand to the U.S. market as a broker-dealer with no fees and no account minimums. Webull has tried to set itself apart from other free trading offerings by offering more information and functionality within the app, from technical indicators to insider activity to advanced order types. 

We speak with Denier about the zero commission landscape in the U.S. and if this world is big enough for multiple commission-free platforms.

Listen to our interview with Denier here and read some of our favorite moments from the interview below:

Why are investors opting for this kind of zero-commission trading?
As you know, on a zero-commission platform, people are more enabled to trade more because they're not worried about paying that five dollars every time they buy or sell a position. Scalp trading is just much more profitable on our platform. We're having a lot of day traders coming off some of the more traditional platforms because last month we launched our desktop version which again is full of all the things you would expect on Webull. And it's been an amazing ride so far and the future is even looking better. 

What are some of the ways that this kind of trading option is attracting a new kind of investor?
We always want to give all the tools that a professional trader has to the everyday investor. When I explain it to people that are not in the business...you want to get a move on. You swipe right, a car shows up at your doorstep. That's technology. That's a beautiful transition to this day in age that we're in.

But when you go to buy a car you don't just swipe right because of price flashes in front of you. You want to know the color of the car, the model, the trim or you want to know if it's been flooded. You want to see the details underneath just the price. And I think it's the same way for successful trading and successful investing.

There are you guys, and then on the other side there are the robo-advisors. There are all these new broker-dealers, is there room for everybody in this sandbox?
I think we will start to see some consolidation because there is going to be a moment when some of the bigger players are gonna step in to step into our sandbox and bully a lot of us around for sure. I think that's just inevitable. 

The hardest thing is user acquisition, and there's not many of us in this space that have been successful in launching and continue to acquire users. That's going to be the big separator. Because with our zero commission and no-fee models that we're all pushing, the margins are so slim that it's all about user acquisition. And without that user acquisition, you're going to operate at a loss, and you only have so much runway. So, you're going to see some attrition, and then after the attrition you could see some consolidation. I think we're probably about two years away from that.
 

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