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Interactive Brokers vs Firstrade 2020

Is Firstrade better than Interactive Brokers? After testing 15 of the best online brokers over five months, Interactive Brokers (90.58%) is better than Firstrade (76.33%). While Interactive Brokers is not well known for its casual investor offering, it leads the industry with low-cost trading for professionals. Through the Trader Workstation (TWS) platform, Interactive Brokers offers excellent tools and an extensive selection of tradeable securities.

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Overall Rating

Trading Fees

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) N/A $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.01 $0.00
Options Base Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.65 $0.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $14.95 $0.00
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $30.00 $19.95
Commissions & Fees 5 4.5
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Margin Rates

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Under $24,999.99 1.55% 8.75%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 1.55% 8.25%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 1.55% 7.75%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 1.05% 7.25%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 1.05% 7.00%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 1.05% 5.10%
Above $1,000,000.00 0.75% 4.50%
Commissions & Fees 5 4.5
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Account Fees

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $0.00
Returned ACH Fee N/A $50.00
Returned Wire Fee N/A $50.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee N/A $300.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A $300.00
Paper Statement Fee N/A $5.00
Paper Confirmation Fee N/A $3.00
Domestic Wire Fee $10.00 $30.00
International Wire Fee $10.00 $50.00
Commissions & Fees 5 4.5

Investment Options

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
Fractional Shares
Yes No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
8 4
Futures Trading
Yes No
Forex Trading
No No
Commission-Free ETFs 96 all
Mutual Funds (No Load)
8655 10746
Mutual Funds (Total)
18210 14939
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
No No
International Trading
Yes No
Offering of Investments 4.5 4
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Order Types

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Contingent
Yes Yes
Order Type - MultiContingent
Yes Yes
Order Type - OCO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTOCO
Yes No
Offering of Investments 4.5 4
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Trading Platforms

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes No
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes No
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
Yes No
Trade Journal
Yes No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
494 47
Heat Mapping
Yes Yes
AI Assistant Bot
Yes No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 2.5
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Charting Features

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes No
Charting - Indicators / Studies
121 58
Charting - Drawing Tools
9 8
Charting - Historical Trades
Yes No
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
No No
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations
6 6
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 2.5
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Day Trading

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
No No
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes No
Streaming TV
Yes No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Yes No
Direct Market Routing - Options
Yes No
Ladder Trading
Yes No
Trade Hot Keys
Yes No
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Yes No
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Yes No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Yes No
Short Locator
Yes No
Order Liquidity Rebates
Yes No
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Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
Yes No
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes Yes
Trading - Conditional Orders
Yes No
Trading - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Trading - Simple Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Option Rolling
No No
Touch / Face ID
Yes Yes
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Mobile App Features

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts
Yes No
Charting - After Hours
Yes No
Charting - Drawing
No No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Heatmapping
No No
Stream Live TV
Yes No
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 4.5 3.5
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Research Overview

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income
Yes Yes
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Screener - Options
Yes No
Screener - Bonds
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes Yes
Research 4 4
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Stock Research

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Stock Research - Reports
2 1
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Yes Yes
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Social
Yes No
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes Yes
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
Yes No
Research 4 4
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ETF Research

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes Yes
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Ratings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
No Yes
ETFs - Reports
Yes Yes
Research 4 4
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Mutual Fund Research

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Reports
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes Yes
Research 4 4
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Options Trading

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes No
Option Chains - Total Columns
37 8
Option Chains - Greeks
4 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes No
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes No
Option Probability Analysis
Yes No
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Yes No
Option Positions - Greeks
Yes No
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Yes No
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 2.5
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Beginners

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Education (Stocks)
Yes Yes
Education (ETFs)
Yes No
Education (Options)
Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds)
No No
Education (Fixed Income)
Yes No
Education (Retirement)
No Yes
Paper Trading
Yes No
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
20 6
Webinars (Archived)
Yes Yes
Live Seminars
No No
Progress Tracking
Yes No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Yes No
Investor Magazine
Yes No
Education 4 3
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Banking

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Retail Locations
0 1
Member FDIC
Yes No
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
No No
Credit Cards
No No
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
No No
No Fee Banking
Yes No
Banking 2 2

Overall

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Interactive Brokers Review Firstrade Review
Overall 4.5 4
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Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2020 annual broker review, we spent hundreds of hours assessing 15 brokerages to find the best online broker. Let's compare Firstrade vs Interactive Brokers.

Is Firstrade or Interactive Brokers better for beginners?
Interactive Brokers is better for beginner investors than Firstrade. Interactive Brokers offers investors access to Paper Trading, Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (ETFs), Education (Options) and Education (Fixed Income).

What about Firstrade vs Interactive Brokers pricing?
Firstrade and Interactive Brokers both cost $0 per trade. With options, the base fee is $0 for both Firstrade and Interactive Brokers. Option contracts are pricier at Interactive Brokers, costing $0.65 versus $0 at Firstrade. For a complete commissions summary, see our best discount brokers guide.

Does Firstrade or Interactive Brokers offer a wider range of investment options?
Interactive Brokers offers a more diverse selection of investment options than Firstrade. Interactive Brokers offers investors access to Stock Trading, Fractional Shares, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Futures Trading and International Trading. Looking at Mutual Funds, Interactive Brokers boasts an offering of 18210 mutual funds compared to Firstrade's 14939 available funds.

Which trading platform is better: Firstrade or Interactive Brokers?
To compare the trading platforms of both Firstrade and Interactive Brokers, we tested each broker's trading tools, research capabilities, and mobile apps. For trading tools, Interactive Brokers offers a better experience. With research, Interactive Brokers offers superior market research. Finally, we found Interactive Brokers to provide better mobile trading apps.

Does either broker offer banking?
Online banking can be a benefit for investors, and some brokerages do provide banking services to customers. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are available to customers of Firstrade and Interactive Brokers.

Overall, between Firstrade and Interactive Brokers, Interactive Brokers is the better online broker.

Firstrade Review
Interactive Brokers Review

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All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/20/2020 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.

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