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Firstrade vs TradeStation 2024

StockBrokers.com

Written by StockBrokers.com

January 31, 2024

Is Firstrade better than TradeStation? After testing 18 of the best online brokers, our analysis finds that Firstrade (87.7%) is better than TradeStation (81.7%). Firstrade scored well for penny stock trading in our 2024 Annual Awards, and is a great choice for Chinese-speaking investors. However, it lags behind the competition in certain areas, especially platforms, tools and education.

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Compare

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Overall Rating Firstrade TradeStation
Overall 4.5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Investment Options 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 3.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Research 4.5/5 Stars 3/5 Stars
Customer Service 3.0/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Education 3.5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Ease Of Use 4.5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Winner check_circle
Review Firstrade Review TradeStation Review
Broker Screenshots Firstrade TradeStation
Trading Platform & Tools Gallery (click to expand)
Research Gallery (click to expand)
Mobile Trading Apps Gallery (click to expand)
Education Gallery (click to expand)
Trading Fees Firstrade TradeStation
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trades $0.00 $0.00
Penny Stock Fees (OTC) info $0.00 $0.01 info
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $0 $14.95
Options (Per Contract) $0.00 $0.60
Futures (Per Contract) (Not offered) $1.50
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $19.95 $25
Margin Rates Firstrade TradeStation
Margin Rate Under $25,000 13.75% 13.5%
Margin Rate $25,000 to $49,999.99 13.5% 13.5%
Margin Rate $50,000 to $99,999.99 13% 12.5%
Margin Rate $100,000 to $249,999.99 12.5% 12.5%
Margin Rate $250,000 to $499,999.99 12.25% 12.5%
Margin Rate $500,000 to $999,999.99 10.35% 8% info
Margin Rate Above $1,000,000 9.75% 8% info
Account Fees Firstrade TradeStation
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $35.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $50.00
Account Transfer Out (Partial) info $55.00 $125.00
Account Transfer Out (Full) info $75.00 $125.00
Options Exercise Fee $0.00 $14.95
Options Assignment Fee $0.00 $5.95
Investment Options Firstrade TradeStation
Stock Trading info Yes Yes
Margin Trading Yes Yes
Fractional Shares info Yes No
OTC Stocks info Yes Yes
Options Trading info Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs info 4 4
Futures Trading info No Yes
Forex Trading info No No
Crypto Trading info No No
Crypto Trading - Total Coins info 0 0
Mutual Funds (No Load) info 15460 800
Mutual Funds (Total) info 19666 4000
Bonds (US Treasury) info Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate) info Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal) info Yes Yes
Traditional IRAs info Yes Yes
Roth IRAs info Yes Yes
Advisor Services info No No
International Countries (Stocks) info 0 0
Order Types Firstrade TradeStation
Order Type - Market info Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit info Yes Yes
Order Type - After Hours info Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop info Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop info Yes Yes
Order Type - OCO info Yes Yes
Order Type - OTO info Yes Yes
Order Type - Broker Assisted info Yes Yes
Beginners Firstrade TradeStation
Education (Stocks) info Yes Yes
Education (ETFs) info No No
Education (Options) info Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds) info No No
Education (Bonds) info No No
Education (Retirement) info Yes No
Retirement Calculator info Yes No
Investor Dictionary info Yes No
Paper Trading info No Yes
Videos info Yes Yes
Webinars info Yes Yes
Webinars (Archived) info Yes Yes
Progress Tracking info No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes info No No
Stock Trading Apps Firstrade TradeStation
iPhone App info Yes Yes
Android App info Yes Yes
Apple Watch App info No No
Trading - Stocks info Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours info Yes Yes
Trading - Simple Options info Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options info Yes Yes
Order Ticket RT Quotes info Yes Yes
Order Ticket SRT Quotes info Yes Yes
Stock App Features Firstrade TradeStation
Market Movers (Top Gainers) info Yes Yes
Stream Live TV info No No
Videos on Demand info No No
Stock Alerts info Yes Yes
Option Chains Viewable info Yes Yes
Watch List (Real-time) info Yes Yes
Watch List (Streaming) info Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Create & Manage info Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Column Customization info Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields info 50 341
Stock App Charting Firstrade TradeStation
Charting - After-Hours info No Yes
Charting - Can Turn Horizontally info Yes No
Charting - Multiple Time Frames info Yes Yes
Charting - Technical Studies info 81 45
Charting - Study Customizations info Yes Yes
Charting - Stock Comparisons info No No
Trading Platforms Firstrade TradeStation
Active Trading Platform info Firstrade Navigator TradeStation 10
Desktop Trading Platform info No Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac) info No No
Web Trading Platform info Yes Yes
Paper Trading info No Yes
Trade Journal info No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields info 50 341
Stock Chart Features Firstrade TradeStation
Charting - Adjust Trades on Chart info No Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies info 102 294
Charting - Drawing Tools info 8 23
Charting - Notes info No Yes
Charting - Index Overlays info Yes Yes
Charting - Historical Trades info No Yes
Charting - Corporate Events info Yes Yes
Charting - Custom Date Range info No Yes
Charting - Custom Time Bars info No Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis info No Yes
Charting - Save Profiles info No Yes
Trade Ideas - Technical Analysis info Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations info 6 12
Charting - Custom Studies info No Yes
Day Trading Firstrade TradeStation
Streaming Time & Sales info No Yes
Streaming TV info No No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks info No Yes
Ladder Trading info No Yes
Trade Hot Keys info No Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks info No Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting info No Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Adv info No Yes
Short Locator info No Yes
Order Liquidity Rebates info No Yes
Research Overview Firstrade TradeStation
Research - Stocks info Yes Yes
Research - ETFs info Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds info Yes No
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB info Yes Yes
Research - Bonds info Yes No
Screener - Stocks info Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs info Yes No
Screener - Mutual Funds info Yes No
Screener - Bonds info Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation info Yes Yes
Stock Research Firstrade TradeStation
Stock Research - PDF Reports info 1 0
Stock Research - Earnings info Yes No
Stock Research - Insiders info Yes No
Stock Research - Social info No No
Stock Research - News info Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG info No No
Stock Research - SEC Filings info Yes No
ETF Research Firstrade TradeStation
ETFs - Strategy Overview info Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Inception Date info Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Expense Ratio info Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Net Assets info Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Total Holdings info Yes No
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings info Yes No
ETFs - Sector Exposure info Yes No
ETFs - Risk Analysis info Yes No
ETFs - Ratings info Yes No
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap info Yes No
ETFs - PDF Reports info Yes No
Mutual Fund Research Firstrade TradeStation
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview info Yes No
Mutual Funds - Performance Chart info Yes No
Mutual Funds - Performance Analysis info Yes No
Mutual Funds - Prospectus info Yes No
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings info Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown info Yes No
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings info Yes No
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation info Yes No
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation info Yes No
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation info Yes No
Mutual Funds - StyleMap info Yes No
Options Trading Firstrade TradeStation
Option Chains - Basic View info Yes Yes
Option Chains - Strategy View info Yes Yes
Option Chains - Streaming info No Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns info 8 29
Option Chains - Greeks info 5 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis info No Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts info Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis info No Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv info Yes Yes
Option Positions - Greeks info No Yes
Option Positions - Greeks Streaming info No Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis info No Yes
Option Positions - Rolling info Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping info No Yes
Banking Firstrade TradeStation
Bank (Member FDIC) info No No
Checking Accounts info Yes No
Savings Accounts info No No
Credit Cards info No No
Debit Cards info Yes No
Mortgage Loans info No No
Customer Service Firstrade TradeStation
Phone Support (Prospect Customers) info Yes Yes
Phone Support (Current Customers) info Yes Yes
Email Support info Yes Yes
Live Chat (Prospect Customers) info Yes Yes
Live Chat (Current Customers) info Yes Yes
24/7 Support info No No
Overall Firstrade TradeStation
Overall 4.5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Investment Options 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 3.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Research 4.5/5 Stars 3/5 Stars
Education 3.5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Ease Of Use 4.5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Winner check_circle
Review Firstrade Review TradeStation Review
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Firstrade vs TradeStation Comparison

Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. We spend hundreds of hours each year testing the platforms, mobile apps, trading tools and general ease of use among online brokerages, as well as comparing commissions and fees, to find the best online broker.

Though many U.S. brokers offer basic trading features, such as an app, charting tools, stock research and educational content, the depth of those features can vary widely. Let's compare Firstrade vs TradeStation.

Is Firstrade or TradeStation better for beginners?

In stock trading, the more you know, the better you’ll do. Taking advantage of resources like articles, webinars, videos and interactive elements is a great way to shorten the learning curve. In our analysis, we examine the availability of several different types of educational materials.

For 2024, our review finds that TradeStation offers more comprehensive new investor education for beginning investors than Firstrade. Firstrade offers investors access to Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (Options) and Education (Retirement), while TradeStation offers investors access to Paper Trading, Videos, Education (Stocks) and Education (Options). Neither have Education (ETFs), Education (Mutual Funds) and Education (Bonds).

What about Firstrade vs TradeStation pricing?

Firstrade and TradeStation charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $0.00. Option contracts are pricier at TradeStation, costing $0.60 per contract versus $0.00 per contract at Firstrade. For futures, TradeStation charges $1.50 per contract and Firstrade charges (Not offered) per contract. For a deeper dive, see our best brokers for free stock trading or options trading guides

Does Firstrade or TradeStation offer a wider range of investment options?

Looking at a full range of investment options, including order types and international trading, our research has found that TradeStation offers a more comprehensive offering than Firstrade. Firstrade ranks #6 out of 18 brokers for our Investment Options category, while TradeStation ranks #5.

Firstrade offers investors access to Stock Trading, Fractional Shares, Options Trading, OTC Stocks and Mutual Funds, while TradeStation offers investors access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, OTC Stocks, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Neither have Forex Trading and Advisor Services Looking at Mutual Funds, TradeStation trails Firstrade in its offering of no transaction fee (NTF) mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 4206 and TradeStation offering 0.

Do Firstrade and TradeStation offer cryptocurrency?

In our analysis of top U.S. brokerages, we research whether each broker offers the ability to trade cash cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin and ethereum. Though crypto has risen steadily in popularity, availability still varies from broker to broker. Our review finds that neither Firstrade or TradeStation offer crypto trading.

Which trading platform is better: Firstrade or TradeStation?

To compare the day trading platforms of Firstrade and TradeStation, we focused on trading tools and functionality across both web and desktop-based platforms. Popular day trading platform tools include streaming real-time quotes, stock alerts, trading hotkeys, direct market routing, streaming time and sales, customizable watch lists, backtesting, and fully functional charting packages, among many others. For day trading, TradeStation offers a better experience.

Does Firstrade or TradeStation offer a better stock trading app?

After testing 25 features across the stock trading apps of Firstrade and TradeStation, we found Firstrade to be better overall. The best stock market apps are easy to use, have excellent design, and deliver a fully featured online trading experience. Firstrade ranks #6 out of 18 brokers, while TradeStation ranks #8.

Firstrade Trading App Gallery

TradeStation Trading App Gallery

Which broker is better for researching stocks?

For research, Firstrade offers superior market research than TradeStation. Firstrade ranks #6 and TradeStation ranks #10.

Over the years, we've found that the best brokers provide rich market commentary, a variety of third-party research reports, and thorough quote screens that are not just easy to navigate, but that also include a comprehensive selection of fundamental data. Robust stock, ETFs, and mutual fund screeners are also must-haves for trade idea generation.

How do Firstrade and TradeStation compare in terms of minimum deposit required?

Firstrade requires a minimum deposit of $0.00, while TradeStation requires a minimum deposit of $0.00. From our testing, we found that SoFi is the only broker that requires a minimum deposit.

Which broker offers better margin rates for accounts under $25,000?

Firstrade charges 13.75% for accounts under $25,000 while TradeStation charges a margin rate of 13.5%. The industry average of the 18 brokers we track is 9%.

Does Firstrade offer fractional shares? Does TradeStation?

Fractional shares are not offered by either broker. Our research has found that 46% of brokers offer fractional shares investing. Fractional shares allow traders to buy a part of a whole share of stock. For example, if Amazon is trading at $1,000, you could buy half a share for $500.

Can you trade penny stocks with Firstrade or TradeStation?

Both Firstrade and TradeStation allow you to trade penny stocks. Firstrade charges $0.00 per trade while TradeStation charges $0.01. Penny stocks are companies whose shares trade for under $5 and are listed over the counter (OTC). For brokers that do offer penny stock trades, the average commission is $3.

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 offered by Firstrade while TradeStation offers none. Neither have Savings Accounts, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans.

Which broker offers stronger customer service?

StockBrokers.com partners with customer experience research group Confero to conduct phone tests from locations across the United States to thoroughly evaluate the quality and speed of brokerage customer service. (Read more about How We Test.) Here are the results of our current testing.

Firstrade was rated 9th out of 13 brokers, with an overall score of 7.43 out of 10.

TradeStation was rated 7th out of 13 brokers, with an overall score of 7.98 out of 10.

Is Firstrade good?

Firstrade scored well for penny stock trading in our 2024 Annual Awards, and is a great choice for Chinese-speaking investors. However, it lags behind the competition in certain areas, especially platforms, tools and education.

In the 2024 StockBrokers.com Annual Awards, Firstrade placed among Best in Class for Penny Stock Trading.

Is TradeStation good?

TradeStation supports casual traders through its web-based platform and active traders through its desktop platform. We like the web-based platform and mobile app, but the flagship desktop platform could use a refresh.

In the 2024 StockBrokers.com Annual Awards, TradeStation placed among Best in Class for Day Trading, Futures Trading, Investment Options, and Penny Stock Trading.

Firstrade vs TradeStation Winner

Overall winner: Firstrade

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