Firstrade scored well in our 2023 Annual Review for ease of use and penny stock trading. Chinese-speaking investors will appreciate Firstrade’s Cantonese and Mandarin content. On the downside, Firstrade’s platforms, tools, and education trail industry leaders.
Options (Per Contract):
Earn up to $4,000 in cash rewards
October 2023: Firstrade announced that fractional share trading will be rolled out in December. This in-demand feature will allow Firstrade clients to invest as little as $5 into a stock or ETF with no commission or fee.
Pros & Cons
- Firstrade is great for dollar cost averaging investors. On top of no-commission stock, option, and ETF trades, Firstrade doesn’t charge for mutual fund trades.
- Firstrade has bolstered its options capabilities. Options Trade Ideas (powered by OptionsPlay) provides trading ideas and reports on specific strategies.
- The mobile app is easy to use and provides good charts.
- Firstrade provides exceptional support for Chinese-speaking investors.
- Firstrade is stronger in pricing than features. We found its trading platform and tools to be adquate but well behind the best brokers for 2023, especially industry leaders Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE.
- Investor education is thin and could be better organized. For example, an article about funding education was located in the retirement tab.
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Firstrade trading platform screenshots
If you prefer trading on the go, see our picks for best mobile apps for stock trading.
To score Customer Service, StockBrokers.com partners with customer experience research firm Confero to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the United States. For our 2023 Broker Review, 168 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks, with wait times logged for each call.
Customer service representatives were asked for assistance or details in several areas of broker services, including account opening, trading tools, apps, rollovers, active trading, and more. Here are the results for Firstrade.
- Average Connection Time: 2-3 minutes
- Average Net Promoter Score: 5.5 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 5.3 / 10
- Overall Score: 6.1 / 10
- Ranking: 13th of 14 brokers
Is Firstrade good for beginners?
Yes, Firstrade is a good choice for beginners. It’s inexpensive, easy to use and the mobile app isn’t overwhelming. For Chinese-speaking customers it could be the best choice. Sophisticated investors and traders will find better fits among our top-ranked brokers for 2023.
Does Firstrade have fees?
Yes, Firstrade has fees, but they are mainly for incidental services, such as transferring the account out. Firstrade does not charge annual account fees, nor does it charge trading fees for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options.
What is the minimum deposit for Firstrade?
Firstrade has no account minimums, so feel free to open an account simply to try out the tools and features.
How do you use Firstrade Navigator?
Firstrade Navigator, the broker’s trading-focused web platform, requires clients to contact customer support and ask for it. Navigator provides more trading tools than the default web portal, but it doesn’t provide as many whizbang features and gadgets as E*TRADE, TD Ameritrade, tastytrade, and Interactive Brokers.
How does Firstrade make money?
Like virtually all online brokerages, Firstrade makes money through payment for order flow, or PFOF. In this practice, a broker receives payment for routing its clients’ transactions through particular market makers. The practice is the subject of some controversy but remains common industry practice. Fidelity is an exception in not accepting PFOF. (Learn more about PFOF.)
Is Firstrade safe?
Yes, Firstrade is safe. Firstrade was founded in 1985 and is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC, which provides up to $500,000 of coverage of a client’s assets in the event of broker bankruptcy. Its clearing firm, Apex Clearing Corporation, provides additional insurance.
Does Firstrade offer instant deposit?
Firstrade can accept money via ACH transfer, wire transfer, check, and asset transfer. Firstrade will give you up to $1,000 of instant buying power on your initial ACH deposit.
Founded in 1985, Flushing, New York-based Firstrade is a deep-discount online broker that offers $0 stock, ETF, mutual fund, and options trades. Firstrade was among the earliest U.S. brokers to launch retail cryptocurrency trading.
2023 Review methodology
Our mission at StockBrokers.com is simple: provide thorough and unbiased reviews of online brokers, based on an extraordinary level of hands-on testing and data collection. Our ratings and awards are based on this data and our experts’ deep authority in the field; brokers cannot pay for preferential treatment. Here’s more about trustworthiness at StockBrokers.com.
For the StockBrokers.com 13th Annual Review published in January 2023, a total of 3,332 data points were collected over three months and used to score 17 top brokers. This makes StockBrokers.com home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry. All research, writing and data collection at StockBrokers.com is done by humans, for humans. Read our generative AI policy here.
As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy. Brokers also were offered the opportunity to provide executive time for an annual update meeting.
Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
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