The StockBrokers.com 2017 Brokerage Review assessed 16 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 and Firstrade charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $4.95. With options, the base fee is $4.95 for both Charles Schwab and Firstrade. Option contracts at both of the brokerages are the same at $0.65 each. 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 supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Charles Schwab supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Charles Schwab trails Firstrade by 7,026 total mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 12191 and Charles Schwab offering 5165. Commission free ETFs can also be a nice plus, with Firstrade falling behind Charles Schwab, offering 12 commission free ETFs compared to Charles Schwab's 229.
Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Neither broker offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Firstrade supports the iPhone App and Android App while Charles Schwab supports the 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 in 2017, while Firstrade came up with none of these.
Overall, Charles Schwab boasts 4.50 stars versus Firstrade's 3.50 stars.