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Firstrade review

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Free trades and a suite of tools and resources — though the platform could be limiting for advanced traders.

Firstrade is an online brokerage that’s best known for its low-cost trades and user-friendly website. But while its platform is intuitive enough for newcomers, it lacks advanced indicators and functionality, so advanced traders may not be satisfied.

$0

Stock trade fee

$0

Option trade fee/contract

0%

Annual fee

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

Minimum deposit to open$0
Available asset typesStocks
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
Stock trade fee$0
Option trade fee$0
Mutual fund trade fee$0
Fee$0

Who is Firstrade best for?

Firstrade offers low fees and a user-friendly platform, making it best for:

  • New investors. The straightforward trading platform, accessible tools and free educational resources make it more approachable for new investors to get started.
  • Mobile users. Firstrade‘s mobile app gives you the ability to make trades and manage your portfolio away from your desktop.
  • Day traders. Free stock, option and mutual fund trades and extensive trading tools allow day traders to make informed decisions without losing money to brokerage fees.
  • Long-term investors. Firstrade‘s selection of retirement accounts, dividend reinvestment plans and financial planning calculators can help you prepare for the future.

What are the benefits of Firstrade?

Firstrade was one of the first online brokerages, but here’s why it stands out today:

  • Commission-free trading. It’s free to make stock, option and mutual fund trades.
  • Mobile app. Download the mobile app to manage your portfolio, make trades and more.
  • Tools and research. Firstrade offers a suite of tools, research from Morningstar and other sources and get access to free educational resources.
  • Ease of use. The website and mobile app are straightforward and intuitive.
  • Account options. Firstrade offers a range of accounts including options for retirement, international trading and more.
  • No minimum deposit. There is no minimum deposit required to open an account.

What to watch out for

Despite its strengths, there are a few things you should know before opening an account with Firstrade:

  • Basic interface. The streamlined interface lacks data and indicators that advanced traders might expect from a trading platform. And to access the advanced “Navigator” platform, you’ll need to apply by email.
  • Limited securities. You can’t trade forex, crypto, futures or futures options with this platform.
  • Customer service. Customer support isn’t available 24/7. And if you use the chat feature after hours, you’ll only be able to speak with the chatbot, which will redirect you to FAQs.
  • No managed portfolios. Unlike some of its competitors, Firstrade doesn’t offer financial advising, portfolio management or robo-advising.

Compare with other stock trading platforms

Name Product Available asset types Stock trade fee Option trade fee Annual fee
Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
Forex
Cash
$0.01 per share
($3 minimum)
$3 + $0.75/contract
0%
Trade stocks, options and ETFs for as low as $1 per order for a year when you open a new account by December 31, 2019, and fund it with $2,500 or more within 60 days.
Stocks
Bonds
Mutual funds
ETFs
$2.95
0%
100+ commission-free online stock and ETF trades with $0 minimum to start. Just $2.95 per trade thereafter.
INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
Forex
Futures
$4.95
or $3.95 with a $100,000 average daily balance or 30+ trades over a rolling 3-month period
$4.95 + $0.65/contract
or $3.95 + $0.50/contract with a $100,000 average daily balance or 30+ trades over a rolling 3-month period
0%
500+ commission-free ETFs, some of the industry's lowest fees plus a cash bonus up to $3,500.
Stocks
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
$0
$0
0%
Firstrade customizable trading platforms let you manage your account and trade from your desktop, iPad or mobile phone.
Stocks
ETFs
$0
0%
Margin financing rates start at 3.99%. No monthly subscription fees for margin.
TradeStation
TradeStation
Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
Futures
$5
$5 + $0.50/contract
$99.95 per month
A platform built for all kinds of traders and all styles of trading
Stocks
$1 per month

0.25% on balances of $5,001+
Stash is more than an investment app. You’ll have access to tools that can help you become a confident investor.
Stocks
Bonds
Mutual funds
ETFs
$4.95
$4.95 + $0.65/contract
0%
Get easy-to-use tools and the latest professional insights from a team of specialists.

Compare up to 4 providers

What do others say about Firstrade?

Firstrade was founded in 1985 and launched its online brokerage in 1997, becoming one of the first online brokerages available to consumers. Today, the company holds about $2.3 billion in assets and has won a handful of awards for its ease of use and fee schedule.

The company isn’t accredited by the BBB, but it holds an A+ rating, which considers time in business, complaint history, transparency and more. That said, some customers have expressed frustration with the lack of customer service and difficulty withdrawing money from their accounts.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up for Firstrade online through its straightforward application process:

  1. Visit Firstrade‘s website and click Open an Account.
  2. Enter your first and last name, email address and click Get Started.
  3. Select your account type, add optional features and click Continue.
  4. Fill in your personal information, then click Continue.
  5. Enter your employment and financial information, then click Continue.
  6. Fill out the investment profile and answer all questions, then click Continue.
  7. Link your funding account and click Continue or set it up later.
  8. Review your information and submit your application.

Eligibility

To open an account, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:

  • Valid residential address
  • 18 years or older
  • Valid passport or state-issued ID
  • Valid Social Security number

Required information

During your application, you’ll be asked to provide the following information:

  • First and last name
  • Address, phone number and email
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information
  • Investment and financial information

How do I contact Firstrade customer service?

If you need assistance, there are three ways to get in touch with customer service:

  • Live chat: 24/7 — but you’ll only have access to a chatbot after business hours and information may be limited as a result.
  • Phone: Call 800-869-8800, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET
  • Email: service@firstrade.com

I’m ready to make my first trade with Firstrade. Now what?

Here’s how you can get the most out of this platform once you’ve opened your account:

  • Fund your account. If you haven’t already, link your bank account and fund your brokerage account to start trading.
  • Research. Take advantage of Firstrade‘s educational resources and stock research to get informed before you start trading.
  • Tools. Use Firstrade‘s watch lists, Option Wizard, Advanced Stock Screener and other tools to make smarter trades.
  • Manage your portfolio. Log into your account or download the mobile app to manage your portfolio and make trades.
  • Understand tax implications. Visit Firstrade‘s tax center and speak to an accountant or financial adviser for tax advice.
  • Try the mobile app. Download the mobile app to access the Firstrade platform on the go.

Bottom line

Firstrade is a straightforward online brokerage that comes packed with resources and tools to help you make better trades. There’s no minimum deposit to open an account and stock, option and mutual fund trades are free.

However, you can’t trade forex, crypto or futures and the interface could be limiting to advanced traders. Compare other options if you don’t think it’s the right fit for you.

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