Firstrade Review

(July 2024)

Firstrade-Review

In This Article

Our Verdict

So, after checking out Firstrade, here’s the lowdown: It’s a solid choice, especially if you’re into options trading. The platform is easy to use.

And those fees? They’re pretty low, which is always a win.

However, if you’re after super fancy features, you might find it lacking compared to others. Also, if you’re more about straightforward stocks and bonds trading, Firstrade’s got your back.

Not to forget…FirstTrade provides you with various research tools to help you make informed investment decisions. And, you can access free educational resources and customer support to assist you in navigating the financial markets.

So, what’s the verdict?

Pros

  • Charges no per-contract fees for Options trading.
  • Provides exceptional support for Mandarin or Cantonese-speaking Chinese investors.
  • Offers a respectable array of educational resources and research tools, particularly geared towards options trading.
  • Comes with advanced trading features including conditional orders and trailing stops.
  • Has no minimum account requirements or penalties for inactivity.
  • Provides a customizable dashboard that enables efficient tracking of essential information.

Cons

  • Provides no advanced research tools, only basic ones.
  • Offers poor phone customer support.
  • Has zero provision for forex, cryptocurrencies, futures, and fractional share.
  • Comes with inflated margin rates.
  • Takes order flow payments.
  • Provides no trading opportunities outside the U.S. markets.

Who Firstrade Is Best For

Who-Firstrade-Is-Best-For

Firstrade trading platform is best suited for you if you:

  • Live within or around the United States.
  • Are looking for a broker with no minimum account requirements or penalties for inactivity.
  • Are an investor who primarily speaks Mandarin or Cantonese.
  • Prefer trading conventional assets such as stocks, bonds, and ETFs.

Who Firstrade Isn’t Right For

Consider Firstrade’s alternative options if you:

  • Seek a wider selection of tradable assets.
  • Prefer little-to-no account transfer-out fee.
  • Are primarily a margin trader.
  • Live far from the U.S. markets.

What Firstrade Offers

What-Firstrade-Offers

If you’re looking for an online brokerage service for trading traditional tradable assets such as stocks, options, mutual funds, and ETFs, choose Firstrade. With Firstrade, you get a range of features and tools designed to facilitate different trading activities. The platform offers a range of offers including:

Mobile Trading App

Get access to a mobile app that allows you to trade and manage your investments on the go, with features such as real-time quotes, portfolio tracking, and order placement.

Stocks

If stocks are a major part of your investment choices, Firstrade offers you access to a wide selection of individual stocks for investment.

ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds)

With Firstrade, you get the opportunity to invest in a variety of ETFs, offering diversified exposure to different sectors and asset classes.

Options

Firstrade provides facilities for options trading, enabling you to hedge your positions, speculate on market movements, and enhance your portfolio flexibility.

Penny Stocks

Note that Firstrade offers penny stocks, but comes with restrictions. So, if you want to lay around a bit in speculative, low-priced securities, you can consider this platform.

Mutual Funds

You don’t only invest in stocks and ETFs, Firstrade lets you access a range of mutual funds, allowing you to diversify your portfolios across various asset classes and investment strategies.

Bonds

If you desire the option to invest in bonds, leveraging fixed-income opportunities, seeking stability and income generation, then Firstrade might be your guy.

Cash Management Services

Firstrade provides cash management services, allowing you to manage your cash balances efficiently, facilitating transactions and earning potential interest.

Be aware that Firstrade offers a robust suite of investment options, including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, and penny stocks (with restrictions). Even though it does not offer futures trading, forex trading, or access to international markets, you can still take advantage of a wide range of domestic investments.

And don’t forget, Firstrade supports cash management services but doesn’t offer advisory services, cryptocurrency trading, or fractional shares. So, evaluate your investment goals, and preferences, as you embark on your investment journey.

Firstrade Details

Firstrade-Details

Customer Support

Firstrade provides multiple avenues for customer support, ensuring that you get the needed assistance during operating hours. These options include online chat, email, and phone support, accessible Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time. You can quickly find relevant information regarding support hours, contact methods, and available services, enhancing your overall experience and facilitating efficient communication between you and the support team

The Platform Limitation

Just to give you the scoop: Firstrade doesn’t support futures or forex trading, meaning those markets aren’t available on their platform. Mind you, also, that international markets are also a no-go directly through Firstrade. When it comes to cryptocurrency, option trading, and fractional share investing, Firstrade doesn’t offer that either. Finally, they don’t provide advisory services, empowering you to make your investment decisions.

Trading Platforms

The options encompass the desktop platform, providing a comprehensive and feature-rich interface for seamless trading experiences. Alternatively, you may opt for Firstrade Navigator, offering intuitive navigation and user-friendly functionalities suitable for all levels of expertise. Finally, the platform presents Options Wizards, catering specifically to options traders with specialized tools and resources. These varied trading platforms empower you to select the platform that aligns best with your preferences, trading style, and level of proficiency, enhancing your overall trading journey.

Charges

Firstrade sets itself apart with its transparent and affordable fee structure. Keep in mind that there’s no minimum account requirement, and stock trading comes at zero cost. When you trade options trades, you incur no per-contract fees.

Mind you also that account fees are minimal, with zero charges for inactivity and annual maintenance. If you’re sending funds out, there’s a $75 fee for full outgoing transfers and $55 for partial transfers.

Uninvested cash earns interest at a competitive rate of 0.45%. Plus, investors can choose from a vast selection of over 5,800 no-transaction-fee mutual funds. In all, Firstrade offers a cost-effective platform, empowering investors to maximize their investment potential.

Tradable Assets

Firstrade provides a diverse range of tradable assets to fuel your investment journey. From stocks and bonds to mutual funds, ETFs, and options.

The platform offers you the tools to build a well-rounded portfolio. These assets serve as vital building blocks, enabling you to diversify your investments, manage risk, and pursue your financial goals with confidence.

Where Firstrade Stands Out

Where-Firstrade-Stands-Out

A Variety of Trading Platform

Firstrade hooks you up with three awesome trading platforms – that is, desktop, Options Wizard, and Firstrade Navigator. And guess what? They’ve got you covered on the go too with a top-rated mobile app for both iOS and Android.

Option Trader

When it comes to options trading, Firstrade stands out among alternative brokers. Unlike many others, Firstrade doesn’t slap you with a per-contract fee for your options trades. That means you can trade options without worrying about those pesky extra charges eating into your profits. It’s just one more reason why Firstrade is worth considering for your investment journey.

Extensive Mutual Fund Selection

Firstrade stands out with over 5,800 no-transaction-fee mutual funds available. The company also provides you with an extensive range of options for building diversified portfolios without incurring additional fees.

Where Firstrade Falls Short

Limited International Market Access

While Firstrade provides access to a diverse range of domestic investment options, including stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds, it does not offer direct access to international markets. As a result, if you’re looking to diversify your portfolios with exposure to foreign economies or specific international assets, you may find Firstrade’s offerings insufficient.

Absence of Futures and Forex Trading

Unlike some other brokerage platforms, Firstrade does not support futures or forex trading, just so you know. These markets, which involve trading contracts for commodities, currencies, or financial instruments at a predetermined price for future delivery, are not available for trading through Firstrade. If you’re interested in accessing these markets, you may need to explore alternative brokerage services.

No Cryptocurrency Trading

You’d agree that cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity as an alternative investment asset class. Unfortunately, you can’t trade crypto on Firstrade’s platform.  As a result, you cannot leverage the juicy profits that come with trading digital currencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum and others.

Lack of Fractional Shares

As of the moment of writing this article, you cannot invest in fractional shares on Firstrade. does not currently offer fractional share investing, which allows investors to purchase fractions of shares rather than whole shares. You’re missing out if you’re an investor looking to invest smaller amounts in high-priced stocks or diversify your portfolios across a wider range of assets.

Alternatives to Firstrade

Charles Schwab

Choose this platform if you seek a wide range of investment options, a user-friendly platform, and comprehensive research tools.  You get to enjoy commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, and options, as well as access to mutual funds, bonds, futures, and forex trading. Charles Schwab also provides

TD Ameritrade

Keep in mind that TD Ameritrade caters to both beginner and experienced investors. As with most competitors, TD Ameritrade offers commission-free stock, ETF, and option trading, as well as mutual funds, bonds, futures, and forex trading. TD Ameritrade also provides comprehensive educational resources and research tools.

Robinhood

It is known that Robinhood comes with a user-friendly interface and commission-free trading. A variety of investment options are available to you, including stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies. It also provides fractional share investing and a mobile app for on-the-go trading.

Webull

Be aware that Webull offers commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, and options; pretty similar to most platforms. You can access advanced trading tools and features, such as extended trading hours and real-time market data. Webull also offers cryptocurrency trading and a customizable desktop platform.

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Customer Reviews

Firstrade earns high praise on NerdWallet with a commendable rating of 4.4 stars out of every 5 reviews. Most customers expressed satisfaction with the company’s ability to provide investors with cost-effective solutions. Also, customers applaud the platform for offering free stock and options trading, a rare advantage that sets it apart from competitors.

However, Firstrade has a lower performance on Trustpilot, holding a 3.1-star out of 5-star rating. Positively, most customers expressed their satisfaction in terms of customer support, free stock, and options trading. On the negative side, there are remarkable complaints about delayed withdrawal of funds.

But in all, Firstrade is said to be a top choice for investors seeking a reliable and cost-effective brokerage platform.

Pro Tips

Firstrade-Pro-tips
  • Explore all three platforms Firstrade offers and take the time to explore each platform to find the one that best suits your trading style and preferences.
  • Utilize the research and educational tools Firstrade provides to analyze market trends, research specific securities, and help you make informed investment decisions.
  • Keep yourself informed about any updates, new features, or promotions Firstrade offers by following their social media channels, subscribing to newsletters, or regularly checking their website.
  • Take advantage of the customer support Firstrade offers by reaching out to their customer support team for assistance.
  • Take advantage of Firstrade’s commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, and options, and make the most of this feature by executing trades without worrying about incurring additional fees.
  • Consider Firstrade’s option trading and enjoy a $0 per contract fee.
  • Consider incorporating mutual funds into your investment strategy to spread risk and potentially enhance returns.

Recap

Choose Firstrade if you’re seeking a comprehensive online brokerage platform offering commission-free trades on stocks, options, ETFs, and mutual funds. With a user-friendly interface and robust research tools, the platform empowers you to make informed trading and investment decisions.

However, Firstrade lacks certain advanced features found in other platforms, such as access to cryptocurrencies and advanced trading algorithms. Despite these limitations, Firstrade remains a solid choice especially if you’re seeking a cost-effective and accessible platform for your investment needs.

So, assess your investment needs, goals and preferences to make the best decision. 

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