The StockBrokers.com annual broker review assesses more than a dozen different brokers over six months, surfacing the best online stock brokers
. This review compares Charles Schwab vs Firstrade. Is Charles Schwab or Firstrade a better online broker?
First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Charles Schwab charges $4.95 per stock trade which is $4.95 more than Firstrade which charges customers $0 per trade. For options trading, Charles Schwab has a base fee of $4.95, and Firstrade a base fee of $0. Each option contract then costs $0.65 at Charles Schwab and $0 at Firstrade. Note that some brokers charge a per-share fee instead of a flat-fee commission. For a full breakdown of commissions, read our online broker reviews
For our next comparison of these two brokers, being able to trade the way you want is a must. Firstrade offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Charles Schwab offers Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Charles Schwab trails Firstrade by 7,094 total mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 12603 and Charles Schwab offering 5509. Commission free ETFs can also be a nice plus, with Firstrade having the upper hand thanks to its 2200 available commission free ETFs compared to Charles Schwab's offering of 244.
Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Charles Schwab nor Firstrade offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Charles Schwab and Firstrade both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple brokerages provide these services to clients. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are available to clients of Firstrade while Charles Schwab offers customers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Charles Schwab finished with awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research, while Firstrade came up with none of these.
Overall, Charles Schwab takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over Firstrade's 4.00 stars.