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TradeStation vs Firstrade 2019

Blain Reinkensmeyer

The StockBrokers.com annual review (9 years running) takes six months to complete and produces over 30,000 words of research each year. Here's how we test.

Is Firstrade better than TradeStation? Based on over 4,000 data points from our 2019 annual broker review, TradeStation (71.75%) is better than Firstrade (67.1%). As a trading technology leader, TradeStation shines, supporting casual traders through its web-based platform, and active traders through its award-winning desktop platform.

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Overall Rating

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Overall 3.5 3.5
TradeStation Review Firstrade Review

Trading Fees

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Minimum Deposit $500.00 $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $5.00 $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $5.00 $0.00
Options Base Fee $5.00 $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.50 $0.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $14.95 $0.00
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $50.00 $19.95
Commissions & Fees 3.5 4
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Under $24,999.99 9.25% 9.50%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 9.25% 9.00%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 8.50% 8.50%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 8.50% 8.00%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 8.50% 7.75%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 5.25% 6.00%
Above $1,000,000.00 5.25% 5.25%
Commissions & Fees 3.5 4
Winner check_circle

Account Fees

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
IRA Annual Fee 35 0
IRA Closure Fee 50 0
Returned ACH Fee 25 50
Returned Wire Fee 25 50
Stock Certificate Processing Fee 150 300
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee 15 300
Paper Statement Fee 1 5
Paper Confirmation Fee 1 3
Domestic Wire Fee 25 30
International Wire Fee 35 50
Commissions & Fees 3.5 4

Investment Options

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
4 2
Futures Trading
Yes No
Forex Trading
No No
Commission-Free ETFs 0 all
Mutual Funds (No Load)
887 5234
Mutual Funds (Total)
4357 12603
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
No No
International Trading
No No
Offering of Investments 4 3.5
Winner check_circle

Order Types

Feature TradeStation 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 3.5
Winner check_circle

Trading Platforms

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes No
Desktop Platform (Mac)
No No
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
Yes No
Trade Journal
No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
335 13
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Yes No
Heat Mapping
No Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 2
Winner check_circle

Charting Features

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes No
Charting - Indicators / Studies
282 58
Charting - Drawing Tools
23 5
Charting - Historical Trades
Yes No
Charting - Corporate Events
No Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
No No
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations
12 6
Charting - Custom Studies
Yes No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 2
Winner check_circle

Day Trading

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Yes No
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes No
Streaming TV
No 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
Client Liquidity Rebates
Yes No
Winner check_circle

Mobile Trading Apps

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

Mobile App Features

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes No
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
No No
Charting - After Hours
Yes No
Charting - Drawing
Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Customizable Homescreen
No No
Heatmapping
No No
Stream Live TV
No No
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 4.5 3.5
Winner check_circle

Research Overview

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income
No Yes
Research - Futures
Yes No
Research - Forex
Yes No
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
No Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Screener - Options
Yes No
Screener - Bonds
No Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
No No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
No Yes
Research 1.5 4
Winner check_circle

Stock Research

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Stock Research - Reports
0 1
Stock Research - Earnings
No Yes
Stock Research - Insiders
No Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
No Yes
Stock Research - SEC Filings
No Yes
Stock Research - Social
No No
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
No Yes
Stock Research - Cash Flows
No Yes
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
No No
Research 1.5 4
Winner check_circle

ETF Research

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
ETFs - Strategy Overview
No Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
No Yes
ETFs - Sector Exposure
No Yes
ETFs - Risk Analysis
No Yes
ETFs - Performance Analysis
No Yes
ETFs - Ratings
No Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
No Yes
ETFs - Reports
No Yes
Research 1.5 4
Winner check_circle

Mutual Fund Research

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Reports
No No
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
No Yes
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
No Yes
Research 1.5 4
Winner check_circle

Options Trading

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes No
Option Chains - Total Columns
32 8
Option Chains - Greeks
5 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
Winner check_circle

Beginners

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
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
No Yes
Paper Trading
Yes No
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
30 5
Webinars (Archived)
Yes Yes
Live Seminars
Yes No
Progress Tracking
No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No No
Investor Magazine
Yes No
Education 3 3
Winner check_circle

Banking

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

Overall

Feature TradeStation Firstrade
TradeStation Review Firstrade Review
Overall 3.5 3.5
Winner check_circle
The StockBrokers.com annual broker review assesses more than a dozen different brokers over six months, surfacing the best online stock brokers. This review compares Firstrade vs TradeStation. Is Firstrade or TradeStation a better online broker?

First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. TradeStation, with its regular stock trades costing $5, is more expensive than Firstrade's rate of $0 per trade. With options, the base fees charged are $5 (TradeStation) and $0 (Firstrade). Option contracts are pricier at TradeStation, costing $0.50 versus $0 at Firstrade. Note that some brokers charge a per-share fee instead of a flat-fee commission. For a full breakdown of commissions, read our online broker reviews.

For our next comparison of these two brokers, being able to trade the way you want is a must. TradeStation supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Firstrade supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. When it comes to mutual funds, TradeStation trails Firstrade by 8,246 total mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 12603 and TradeStation offering 4357.

Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. TradeStation offers virtual trading while Firstrade does not. For mobile trading, Firstrade along with TradeStation both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple brokerages provide these services to clients. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are offered by Firstrade while TradeStation offers none of these.

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

Firstrade Review
TradeStation Review


All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 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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