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Firstrade vs Lightspeed 2020

Is Lightspeed better than Firstrade? After scoring brokers in eight separate categories for our 2020 review, Firstrade (76.33%) is better than Lightspeed (61.30%).

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

Lightspeed

Lightspeed Trader
Lightspeed is a direct-access online brokerage that focuses on serving active and professional traders through its in-house and third-party trading platforms. Casual traders beware, not trading enough means paying high monthly platform fees. Read full review

Overall Rating

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Overall 4 3
Firstrade Review Lightspeed Review

Trading Fees

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $10,000.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $0.00 $4.50
ETF Trade Fee $0.00 $4.50
Options Base Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.00 $0.60
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $0.00 N/A
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $19.95 $25.00
Commissions & Fees 4.5 2.5
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Under $24,999.99 9.00% 8.00%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 8.75% 8.00%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 8.25% 7.00%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 7.75% 7.00%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 7.50% 6.75%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 5.60% 6.25%
Above $1,000,000.00 5.00% 6.00%
Commissions & Fees 4.5 2.5
Winner check_circle

Account Fees

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $35.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $95.00
Returned ACH Fee $50.00 $30.00
Returned Wire Fee $50.00 $30.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $300.00 $75.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee $300.00 $50.00
Paper Statement Fee $5.00 $5.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $3.00 $2.00
Domestic Wire Fee $30.00 $20.00
International Wire Fee $50.00 $50.00
Commissions & Fees 4.5 2.5

Investment Options

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
Fractional Shares
No No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
4 4
Futures Trading
No Yes
Forex Trading
No No
Commission-Free ETFs all 0
Mutual Funds (No Load)
10746 0
Mutual Funds (Total)
14939 0
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes No
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes No
Interest Sharing
No No
Advisor Services
No No
International Trading
No No
Offering of Investments 4 3
Winner check_circle

Order Types

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
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
No Yes
Offering of Investments 4 3
Winner check_circle

Trading Platforms

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Desktop Platform (Windows)
No Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
No Yes
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No Yes
Trade Journal
No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
47 141
Heat Mapping
Yes No
AI Assistant Bot
No No
Platforms & Tools 2.5 3
Winner check_circle

Charting Features

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Charting - Trade Off Chart
No Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
58 20
Charting - Drawing Tools
8 8
Charting - Historical Trades
No Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes No
Charting - Automated Analysis
No No
Charting - Save Profiles
No Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
6 4
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 2.5 3
Winner check_circle

Day Trading

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

Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
No No
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes No
Trading - Conditional Orders
No No
Trading - Mutual Funds
No No
Trading - Simple Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Option Rolling
No No
Touch / Face ID
Yes No
Winner check_circle

Mobile App Features

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Watch List Syncing
Yes No
Stock Alerts
No Yes
Charting - After Hours
No No
Charting - Drawing
No No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes No
Heatmapping
No No
Stream Live TV
No No
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 3.5 3
Winner check_circle

Research Overview

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes No
Research - Fixed Income
Yes No
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes No
Screener - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Screener - Options
No No
Screener - Bonds
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Builder
No No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes No
Research 4 2
Winner check_circle

Stock Research

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Stock Research - Reports
1 0
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes No
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Yes No
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes No
Stock Research - Social
No Yes
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes No
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes No
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
No No
Research 4 2
Winner check_circle

ETF Research

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes No
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes No
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Ratings
Yes No
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
Yes No
ETFs - Reports
Yes No
Research 4 2
Winner check_circle

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Reports
No No
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes No
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes No
Research 4 2
Winner check_circle

Options Trading

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Option Chains - Streaming
No Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
8 60
Option Chains - Greeks
5 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
No Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
No Yes
Option Probability Analysis
No No
Option Probability Analysis Adv
No No
Option Positions - Greeks
No Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
No No
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
No Yes
Platforms & Tools 2.5 3
Winner check_circle

Beginners

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Has Education - Stocks
Yes Yes
Has Education - ETFs
No No
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
No No
Has Education - Fixed Income
No No
Has Education - Retirement
Yes No
Paper Trading
No Yes
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
6 1
Webinars (Archived)
Yes Yes
Live Seminars
No No
Progress Tracking
No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No No
Investor Magazine
No No
Education 3 3
Winner check_circle

Banking

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Retail Locations
1 0
Member FDIC
No No
Checking Accounts
Yes No
Savings Accounts
No No
Credit Cards
No No
Debit Cards
Yes No
Mortgage Loans
No No
No Fee Banking
No No
Banking 2 0.5

Overall

Feature Firstrade Lightspeed
Firstrade Review Lightspeed Review
Overall 4 3
Winner check_circle

Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers over six months, we can compare Firstrade vs Lightspeed 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. Lightspeed, with its regular stock trades costing $4.50, is more expensive than Firstrade's rate of $0 per trade. For options trading, both Firstrade and Lightspeed charge the same base fee of $0. Firstrade's per contract rate of $0 is less than Lightspeed which charges $0.60. 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. Lightspeed supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Futures Trading while Firstrade supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. As far as mutual funds go, Lightspeed trails Firstrade by 14,939 total mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 14939 and Lightspeed offering 0.

Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Lightspeed offers virtual trading while Firstrade does not. For mobile trading, Firstrade and Lightspeed 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 offered by Firstrade while Lightspeed offers none of these.

Overall, between Firstrade and Lightspeed, Firstrade is the winner.

Firstrade Review
Lightspeed 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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