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Firstrade vs TradeStation 2021

Is Firstrade better than TradeStation? After testing 11 of the best online brokers over three months, Firstrade (78.89%) is better than TradeStation (76.56%). While Firstrade is easy to use and terrific for Chinese-speaking investors, its overall offering struggles to stand out against brokers who also offer $0 stock trades.


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Overall Rating

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Overall 4 4
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Offering of Investments 4.5 4.5
Platforms & Tools 2.5 5
Mobile Trading 4 4
Research 4 2
Education 3 3
Ease of Use 5 4.5
Firstrade Review TradeStation Review
Winner check_circle

Trading Fees

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trades $0.00 $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.00 $0.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $0.00 $14.95
Options (Base Fee) $0.00 $0.00
Options (Per Contract) $0.00 $0.60
Futures (Per Contract) N/A $1.50
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $19.95 $0.00

Margin Rates

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Under $24,999.99 8.75% 9.50%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 8.25% 9.50%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 7.75% 8.75%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 7.25% 8.75%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 7.00% 8.75%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 5.10% 5.50%
Above $1,000,000.00 4.50% 5.50%

Account Fees

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $35.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $50.00
Account Transfer Out (Partial)
$55.00 $125.00
Account Transfer Out (Full)
$75.00 $125.00

Investment Options

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
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
Crypto Trading
No Yes
Crypto Trading - Total Coins
0 4
Mutual Funds (No Load)
13777 887
Mutual Funds (Total)
19027 4357
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
No No
International Trading
No No

Order Types

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - After-Hours
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - OCO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTO
Yes Yes
Order Type - Broker Assisted
Yes Yes

Beginners

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Education (Stocks)
Yes Yes
Education (ETFs)
No No
Education (Options)
Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds)
No No
Education (Bonds)
No No
Education (Retirement)
Yes No
Retirement Calculator
Yes No
Investor Dictionary
Yes No
Paper Trading
No Yes
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
26 10
Webinars (Archived)
Yes No
Progress Tracking
No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No No

Stock Trading Apps

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
No No
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes Yes
Trading - Simple Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options
Yes Yes
Order Ticket RT Quotes
Yes Yes
Order Ticket SRT Quotes
Yes Yes

Stock App Features

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Market Movers (Top Gainers)
Yes Yes
Stream Live TV
No No
Videos on Demand
No No
Stock Alerts
No Yes
Option Chains Viewable
Yes Yes
Watch List (Real-time)
Yes Yes
Watch List (Streaming)
Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Create & Manage
Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Column Customization
Yes Yes
Watch List - Column Filtering
Yes Yes

Stock App Charting

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Charting - After-Hours
No Yes
Charting - Can Turn Horizontally
Yes Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames
Yes Yes
Charting - Technical Studies
81 45
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Charting - Stock Comparisons
No No

Trading Platforms

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Desktop Trading Platform
No Yes
Web Trading Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No Yes
Trade Journal
No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
47 335

Stock Chart Features

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Charting - Adjust Trades on Chart
No Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
102 290
Charting - Drawing Tools
8 23
Charting - Notes
No Yes
Charting - Index Overlays
Yes Yes
Charting - Historical Trades
No Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes No
Charting - Custom Date Range
No Yes
Charting - Custom Time Bars
No Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
No No
Charting - Save Profiles
No Yes
Trade Ideas - Technical Analysis
No Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
6 12
Charting - Custom Studies
No Yes

Day Trading

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Streaming Time & Sales
No Yes
Streaming TV
No No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
No Yes
Ladder Trading
No Yes
Trade Hot Keys
No Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
No Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
No Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Adv
No Yes
Short Locator
No Yes
Order Liquidity Rebates
No Yes

Research Overview

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Bonds
Yes No
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes No
Screener - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Screener - Options
No Yes
Screener - Bonds
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Builder
No No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes No

Stock Research

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Stock Research - PDF Reports
1 0
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes No
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes No
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes No
Stock Research - Social
No No
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes No
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes No
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
No No

ETF Research

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Inception Date
Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Expense Ratio
Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Net Assets
Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Total Holdings
Yes No
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes No
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Ratings
Yes No
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
Yes No
ETFs - PDF Reports
Yes No

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Performance Chart
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Performance Analysis
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes No
Mutual Funds - PDF 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

Options Trading

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Option Chains - Basic View
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Strategy View
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Streaming
No Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
8 32
Option Chains - Greeks
5 5
Option Positions - Greeks Streaming
No Yes
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
No Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
No Yes
Option Probability Analysis
No Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv
No Yes
Option Positions - Greeks
No Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
No Yes
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
No Yes

Banking

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Bank (Member FDIC)
No No
Checking Accounts
Yes No
Savings Accounts
No No
Credit Cards
No No
Debit Cards
Yes No
Mortgage Loans
No No

Customer Service

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Phone Support (Prospect Customers)
Yes No
Phone Support (Current Customers)
Yes No
Email Support
Yes Yes
Live Chat (Prospect Customers)
Yes No
Live Chat (Current Customers)
Yes Yes
24/7 Support
No No

Overall

Feature Firstrade TradeStation
Overall 4 4
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Offering of Investments 4.5 4.5
Platforms & Tools 2.5 5
Mobile Trading 4 4
Research 4 2
Education 3 3
Ease of Use 5 4.5
Firstrade Review TradeStation Review
Winner check_circle

Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2021 annual broker review, we spent hundreds of hours assessing 11 brokerages to find the best online broker. Let's compare Firstrade vs TradeStation.

Is Firstrade or TradeStation better for beginners?
Firstrade is better for beginner investors than TradeStation. Firstrade offers investors access to Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (Options) and Education (Retirement).

What about Firstrade vs TradeStation pricing?
Firstrade and TradeStation both cost $0 per trade. For options trading, both Firstrade and TradeStation charge the same base fee of $0. Option contracts are pricier at TradeStation, costing $0.60 versus $0 at Firstrade. For a complete commissions summary, see our best discount brokers guide.

Does Firstrade or TradeStation offer a wider range of investment options?
TradeStation offers a more diverse selection of investment options than Firstrade. TradeStation offers investors access to Stock Trading, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Looking at Mutual Funds, Firstrade offers its clients access to 19027 different mutual funds while TradeStation has 4357 available funds, a difference of 14,670.

Which trading platform is better: Firstrade or TradeStation?
To compare the trading platforms of both Firstrade and TradeStation, we tested each broker's trading tools, research capabilities, and mobile apps. For trading tools, TradeStation offers a better experience. With research, Firstrade offers superior market research. Finally, we found TradeStation to provide better mobile trading apps.

Does either broker offer banking?
Online banking can be a benefit for investors, and some brokerages do provide banking services to customers. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are available to clients of Firstrade while TradeStation offers customers none of these.

Overall winner: Firstrade

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All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/19/2021 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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