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Interactive Brokers vs Firstrade 2020

Is Firstrade better than Interactive Brokers? After scoring brokers on over 3,500 data points for our 2020 review, Interactive Brokers (90.58%) is better than Firstrade (76.33%).

Interactive Brokers

Best for professionals - Open Account
Exclusive Offer: New clients that open an account today receive a special margin rate

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 tradable securities. Read full review

Firstrade

Best for Chinese-speaking investors - Open Account
Special Offer: Commission-Free Trading on 700+ ETFs

Firstrade offers $0 stock, ETF, and options trades, and is best known for its easy-to-use website, alongside its Chinese language services. While Firstrade offers Morningstar research and a variety of tools, its overall offering struggles to stand out against household name brands who are also priced at $0. Read full review

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
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Under $24,999.99 3.08% 9.00%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 3.08% 8.75%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 3.08% 8.25%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 2.58% 7.75%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 3.18% 7.50%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 2.75% 5.60%
Above $1,000,000.00 2.08% 5.00%
Commissions & Fees 5 4.5
Winner check_circle

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)
8534 10746
Mutual Funds (Total)
12 14939
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Interest Sharing
Yes No
Advisor Services
No No
International Trading
Yes No
Offering of Investments 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

Beginners

Feature Interactive Brokers Firstrade
Has Education - Stocks
Yes Yes
Has Education - ETFs
Yes No
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
No No
Has Education - Fixed Income
Yes No
Has 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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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 Firstrade vs Interactive Brokers.

To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Firstrade and Interactive Brokers have equal fees for trading stocks (equities), $0 per trade. Looking at options, the base fees charged are the same for both brokers, $0. Option contracts are pricier at Interactive Brokers, costing $0.70 versus $0 at Firstrade. 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. Interactive Brokers supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Firstrade supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Firstrade boasts an offering of 14939 mutual funds compared to Interactive Brokers's 12 available funds.

Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Interactive Brokers makes virtual trading available to clients, while Firstrade does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Firstrade along with Interactive Brokers 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 available to customers of Firstrade and Interactive Brokers.

Overall, between Firstrade and Interactive Brokers, Interactive Brokers is the winner.

Firstrade Review
Interactive Brokers Review



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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