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Charles Schwab vs Firstrade Review

Brandon Reinkensmeyer

Published by Brandon Reinkensmeyer


Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Using data from the StockBrokers.com 2017 Broker Rankings, we can compare Charles Schwab vs Firstrade to determine which broker is better for you. Our database includes thousands of data points on everything from research to trading tools. Let's take a closer look at Charles Schwab and Firstrade.

First we will break down the commission charges of both brokers for placing stock and options trades. Charles Schwab and Firstrade charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $4.95. For options trading, both Charles Schwab and Firstrade charge the same base fee of $4.95. Contracts run $0.65 a piece at both brokerages. Note that flat rate trading is not available everywhere though, so it is important to read the complete commission notes for each broker to know the full breakdown (go to any stock broker review page, then scroll down to the "Commission Notes" section).

Trading fees aside, having access to trade what you want is also an important consideration. Firstrade supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Charles Schwab supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Charles Schwab trails Firstrade by 7,026.00 total funds, with Firstrade offering 12191 and Charles Schwab offering 5165. And, commission free ETFs deserve a mention, Charles Schwab offers 229 versus Firstrade's total of 12.

Finally, by looking at the most popular features and offerings of each broker, we can really see the differences between the two. Neither broker offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Firstrade gives clients access to an iPhone App and Android App while Charles Schwab has an iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many clients, and multiple brokerages provide these services. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are offered by Firstrade while Charles Schwab offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. All things considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and trading via smartphone, Charles Schwab finished with awards for Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research in 2014, while Firstrade came up with none of these.

Overall, Charles Schwab comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Firstrade's 3.50 stars.
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Overall
Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
Research
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Ease of Use
Education
Order Execution
Banking
Stock Trade Fee (flat)
Options Base Fee
Options Per Contract Fee
Mutual Fund Trade Fee
Broker Assisted Trades Fee
Minimum Deposit
No Inactivity Fees
No Fee IRAs
Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mutual Funds
Forex Trading
Futures Trading
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Web Platform
Virtual Trading
Charting - Drawing Tools
Charting - Indicators / Studies
Option Chains - Total Columns
Watch Lists - Total Fields
iPhone App
iPad App
Android App
Android Tablet App
Apple Watch App
Trading - After-Hours
Trading - Mutual Funds
Trading - Conditional Orders
Trading - Simple Options
Trading - Complex Options
Commission Free ETFs
Mutual Funds (No Load)
Mutual Funds (Total)
# of Easy to Borrow Stocks
Retail Locations
Under $24,999.99
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99
Above $1,000,000.00
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99
Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Credit Cards
Debit Cards
Mortgage Loans
No Fee Banking
Charles Schwab
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Charles Schwab Review
 
4.5
3.5
4.5
4.5
5
4
4
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
 
$4.95
$4.95
$0.65
$76.00
$25.00
$1,000.00
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
No
15
40
34
94
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
 
229
5165
5165
5975
300
 
8.50%
8.00%
7.00%
6.88%
6.75%
6.25%
6.75%
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Firstrade
Special Offer Get up to $1000 in free commissions Learn More
Firstrade Review
 
3.5
3.5
3.5
2
4
4
3.5
4.5
3
1.5
2
 
$4.95
$4.95
$0.65
$9.95
$19.95
$0.00
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
 
No
Yes
No
5
58
8
57
 
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
 
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
 
12
4928
12191
4200
2
 
7.75%
7.50%
7.00%
6.50%
6.00%
4.50%
5.00%
 
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 2/20/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.

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