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 4,000 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 and Firstrade both cost $0 per trade. For options trading, both E*TRADE and Firstrade charge the same base fee of $0. Firstrade's per contract rate of $0 is less than E*TRADE which charges $0.65. 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 5,648 total mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 14939 and E*TRADE offering 9291.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. E*TRADE has virtual trading, Firstrade doesn't. 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 offered by Firstrade while E*TRADE offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts and Debit Cards.
Overall, between E*TRADE and Firstrade, E*TRADE is the winner.