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 Scottrade.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Scottrade, with its regular stock trades costing $6.95, is more expensive than Firstrade's rate of $4.95 per trade. With options, the base fees charged are $6.95 (Scottrade) and $4.95 (Firstrade). Firstrade's per contract rate of $0.65 is less than Scottrade which charges $0.70. 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. Firstrade and Scottrade provide clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Firstrade trails Scottrade by 1,408 total mutual funds, with Scottrade offering 13599 and Firstrade offering 12191. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Scottrade falling behind Firstrade, offering 0 commission free ETFs compared to Firstrade's 12.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Scottrade offers virtual trading while Firstrade does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Firstrade supports the iPhone App and Android App while Scottrade 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 available to clients of Firstrade while Scottrade offers customers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts and Debit Cards. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, unfortunately, neither Firstrade nor Scottrade received awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Scottrade boasts 4.00 stars versus Firstrade's 3.50 stars.