Using data from the StockBrokers.com 2017 Broker Review which tested 16 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, with its regular stock trades costing $6.95, is more expensive than Firstrade's rate of $4.95 per trade. With options, the base fees charged are $6.95 (E*TRADE) and $4.95 (Firstrade). Each option contract then costs $0.75 at E*TRADE and $0.65 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 3,539 total mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 12191 and E*TRADE offering 8652. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, with Firstrade falling behind E*TRADE, offering 12 commission free ETFs compared to E*TRADE's 133.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. E*TRADE nor Firstrade offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Firstrade supports the iPhone App and Android App while E*TRADE supports the 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 posted awards Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading in 2017, while Firstrade found itself with none of these.
Overall, E*TRADE comes out on top with 4.00 stars over Firstrade's 3.50 stars.