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 Robinhood.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Firstrade charges more than Robinhood for placing regular stock trades ($4.95 and $0, respectively). With options, the base fees charged are $N/A (Robinhood) and $4.95 (Firstrade). Firstrade's per contract rate of $0.65 is less than Robinhood which charges $N/A. 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. Robinhood provides its clients with Stock Trading while Firstrade provides clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Robinhood trails Firstrade by 12,191 total mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 12191 and Robinhood offering 0. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Firstrade having the upper hand thanks to its 12 available commission free ETFs compared to Robinhood's offering of 0.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Neither Firstrade and Robinhood offer virtual trading. Taking a look at mobile trading, Firstrade supports the iPhone App and Android App while Robinhood supports 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 Robinhood offers none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, both Firstrade and Robinhood found themselves without awards for Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading in 2017.
Overall, Firstrade comes out on top with 3.50 stars over Robinhood's 2.50 stars.