Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers
over six months, we can compare E*TRADE vs Firstrade to determine which broker is best. Let's dive in.
First, we will break down the commission charges of both brokers for placing stock and options trades. E*TRADE charges more than Firstrade for placing regular stock trades ($6.95 and $0, respectively). Looking at trading options, Firstrade's base fee is $0 while E*TRADE's is $6.95. Option contracts are pricier at E*TRADE, costing $0.75 versus $0 at Firstrade. Instead of flat rate fees, several brokers charge a per-share fee instead. For a complete review of trading charges, read our full online broker reviews
Next, investors want to make sure they can trade the investment vehicle they want. Firstrade supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while E*TRADE supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, E*TRADE trails Firstrade by 3,605 total mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 12603 and E*TRADE offering 8998. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, with Firstrade having the upper hand thanks to its 2200 available commission free ETFs compared to E*TRADE's offering of 270.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Neither E*TRADE and Firstrade offer virtual trading. For mobile trading, E*TRADE and Firstrade both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are available to customers of E*TRADE and Firstrade. All factors considered, when it comes to platform 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 boasts 4.50 stars versus Firstrade's 4.00 stars.