Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our annual broker review, we assess over a dozen brokers on hundreds of different variables to find the best online broker
. Yielding a database of over 5,000 data points, let's compare E*TRADE vs Firstrade.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. E*TRADE charges more than Firstrade for placing regular stock trades ($6.95 and $0, respectively). With options, the base fees charged are $6.95 (E*TRADE) and $0 (Firstrade). Firstrade's per contract rate of $0 is less than E*TRADE which charges $0.75. It's important to note that not all brokers charge a flat fee per trade. Thus, it is important to read the full commission notes for each broker, which we include with each online broker review
Next to commission rates, being able to trade what you want is important. Firstrade supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while E*TRADE supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Looking at mutual funds, E*TRADE trails Firstrade by 3,605 total mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 12603 and E*TRADE offering 8998. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Firstrade having the upper hand thanks to its 703 available commission free ETFs compared to E*TRADE's offering of 270.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Neither broker offers virtual trading. Taking a look at mobile trading, E*TRADE along with Firstrade both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Not to be left out, online banking is also a nice benefit for many investors, and some brokerages provide these services to clients. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are found at E*TRADE alongside Firstrade. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, E*TRADE finished with awards Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading, while Firstrade came up with none of these.
Overall, E*TRADE comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Firstrade's 4.00 stars.