Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2017 Broker Review, we assessed 16 brokers on 308 different variables to find the best online broker
. Yielding a database of over 5,000 data points, let's compare Firstrade vs OptionsHouse.
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 OptionsHouse have equal fees for trading stocks (equities), $4.95 per trade. For options trading, both Firstrade and OptionsHouse charge the same base fee of $4.95. Option contracts are pricier at Firstrade, costing $0.65 versus $0.50 at OptionsHouse. 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. OptionsHouse provides its clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Firstrade provides clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Firstrade trails OptionsHouse by 84 total mutual funds, with OptionsHouse offering 12275 and Firstrade offering 12191. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, Firstrade offers 12 commission free ETFs versus OptionsHouse's total of 5.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. OptionsHouse has virtual trading, Firstrade doesn't. Taking a look at mobile trading, Firstrade offer clients access to an iPhone App and Android App while OptionsHouse has an 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 OptionsHouse offers none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, OptionsHouse was rated Best in Class - Mobile Trading in 2017, while Firstrade was rated none of these.
Overall, OptionsHouse comes out on top with 4.00 stars over Firstrade's 3.50 stars.