Firstrade: The Best Deal For Traders

August 2, 2020
Brokers
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Firstrade is a broker that offers stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds and fixed income through an investment platform that is very intuitive and easy to use. Also, the broker has excellent regulations that make it a very reliable broker. At Firstrade you will be able to choose between various types of accounts that are adapted to different investment objectives. In addition, the broker does not charge any type of fees and offers very tight spreads that will allow you to create profitable strategies. If you are interested in both passive and active investments, this broker can be a good alternative.

It is true that Firstrade is a broker that has good characteristics in several aspects. But, we strongly believe that Capital.com is the best online trading platform because it’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways to trade CFDs on equities, commodities, indices, Forex pairs and cryptocurrencies anywhere in the world. Capital.com offers you zero fees on intra-day trading, a lightning-fast web platform and their proprietary Negative Balance Protection. Also, Capital.com gives you the best chance at financial success with a clean, easy-to-use interface.

We analyzed hundreds of data points relevant to the costs, benefits and features of trading with Firstrade and scored our findings on a 10-point scale across 10 distinct categories.
Fees 10
Signup Process 7
Minimum Deposit 10
Ease of Use 9
Deposit & Withdrawal Options 8
Customer Support 10
Asset Classes 5
Referral Program 4
Demo Account & Educational Resources 2
Safety & Regulation 10
Total 75

What is Firstrade?

Firstrade is a company with more than 34 years of experience in providing excellent services. This broker provides an online and mobile investment platform with extended hours trading from 8 am-8 pm with a 0.1-second trade execution guarantee.

Additionally, Firstrade is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Below you can see in which countries Firstrade services are available

Australia Ireland Mexico
 Belgium Israel New Zealand
 China Italy Poland
 France Japan Spain
 Germany Republic Of Korea United Kingdom
 Hong Kong MacauUnited States

Pros & Cons

Firstrade Pros

  • Very intuitive investment platform.
  • You will not have to pay commissions for inactivity.
  • No commissions for trade.
  • Zero options contract fees.
  • Wide variety of account types.
  • Educational videos.

Firstrade Cons

  • No credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfer.
  • No live chat and 24/7 availability.
  • The customizability of the investment platform is limited.
  • No demo account.

Account Types

Firstrade offers you many alternatives so that you can choose between different types of accounts according to your needs. The accounts offered by the broker are:

Regular Investing Account

Build your family’s wealth with a traditional or joint brokerage account.

IRA Retirement Account

Save taxes now or later and accumulate retirement savings with an individual retirement account (IRA).

International Accounts

Access Firstrade’s fast and powerful online trading platform from almost anywhere in the world.

Business Accounts

No matter what business you’re in, it has an online trading account for you. Choose from Investment Club, Corporate, LLC, Partnership, or Sole Proprietorship accounts.

ESA Education Planning Account

Help your children reach their highest potential with an education savings account (ESA).

Custodial Account

An investment account set up for a child/minor wherein the account is placed under a custodian’s control until the minor reaches legal adulthood.

Cash Management Account

Consolidate your banking and brokerage services all in to one account.

Here’s a breakdown of our 10 scoring categories, each scored out of 10 for a total of 100 points.

#1 Firstrade Fees

Regarding fees, Firstrade offers an excellent savings opportunity when trading because there are zero commissions on stocks, ETFs, options and mutual funds + $ 0 per options contract. In this way you will obtain the following benefits:

StocksCommission$0
ETFsCommission$0
OptionsCommission
Contract Fee
Exercise and Assignment Fees
$0
Mutual FundsLoad Funds
No-Load Funds
No Transaction Fee (NTF) Funds
Free

Additionally, the broker does not require a minimum initial deposit and does not charge any inactivity fee. In general, when traders create buy or sell orders for financial instruments they must calculate all the expenses associated with the transactions. The fact that Firstrade does not charge commissions for trading financial assets represents a very good opportunity. This gives Firstrade a very good score in this category.

Firstrade Fees Score: 10/10

#2 Firstrade Signup Process

The process of opening an account at Firstrade is completely online. But, although the registration process at Firstrade is quick, unfortunately, you will have to wait between 1 and 2 days to operate your account because the verification process will take longer.

Note that opportunities in the stock market must be seized at the right time. In this sense, you will have to wait to invest in Firstrade. For this reason, if you are looking for a reliable broker with which you can open your account in just 20 minutes, Capital.com is a very good alternative.

Firstrade Signup Process Score: 7/10

#3 Minimum Initial Deposit

Firstrade does not consider the existence of a minimum initial deposit. In this way, you can make your own decisions about the amount you want to deposit for the first time in the broker’s investment platform.

For your reference, below we show you the minimum initial deposit required by other brokers:

Broker                       Minimum Initial Deposit
TD Ameritrade$0 USD
Capital.com$20 USD
eToro$50 USD
Forex.com$100 USD

Freedom is worth gold and for this reason, Firstrade is very well rated in this section of our ranking.

Firstrade Minimum Initial Deposit Score: 10/10

#4 Ease of Use

Firstrade offers you a very intuitive and easy to use investment platform. The broker offers you three alternatives when executing your orders:

Online Platform

The most convenient way to place orders and monitor your account activity. The platform will allow you:

  • Check your account balances.
  • Review your order status.
  • Organize order status by orders and executions.
  • Manage multiple accounts in one central location.
  • Organize value charts for weekly, biweekly, monthly and bi-monthly performance.
  • Review market movement in all indices including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
  • Create the dashboard you want by giving you customizable columns and data streams that you can arrange, collapse and display in the order that is best suited to your reading and managing style. The customization will remain the same every time you log in.
Firstrade Online Platform

Firstrade Mobile App

Trade with your Internet-enabled mobile device. On the download page, the application has a score of 3/5 in the Apple App Store and 3/5 in the Android Play Store. Take into account that the mobile application has the same characteristics as the online version.

Firstrade: app

Broker Assisted

When you cannot order online through the web or mobile application, you can call for free at 1-800-869-8800 and speak with a representative to place your orders by phone.

Although the broker offers good alternatives to place your orders, the mobile app does not have a very good perception because it only receives a 3/5 rating from its users and only offers a web version of the investment platform. For these reasons, the broker loses points in this section.

Firstrade Ease of Use Score: 9/10

#5 Deposit & Withdrawal Options

Firstrade only offers bank transfers as the only alternative for withdrawing and funding money. Additionally, the broker will also allow you to transfer funds from your accounts from other brokers.

ACH Electronic Funds Transfer

The ACH transfer system allows you to electronically transfer money from your bank account to your Firstrade account. With this service, you can select to make periodic deposits into your account or transfer money on demand without a set transfer schedule.

Transfer An Account From Another Financial Institution

It is possible to move your financial assets from another broker, bank, or mutual fund to Firstrade.

What you’ll need:

  • The name and account number of your existing brokerage firm.
  • A matching account – the account type of your existing brokerage account must match with your Firstrade account. If you don’t already have a matching Firstrade account, you need to open an account first.

The broker does not meet expectations regarding withdrawal and deposit methods. Most brokers have adapted to new trends via electronic wallets and offer a greater variety of alternatives. For this reason, the broker loses points in this category.

Firstrade Deposit & Withdrawal Options Score: 8/10

#6 Firstrade Customer Support

Firstrade customer support offers you immediate attention in three languages: English, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Below you will see the alternatives that the broker offers you so that you can communicate with their customer support:

  • Live chat
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Mail: Firstrade Securities Inc. 30-50 Whitestone Expwy. Ste. A301 Flushing, NY 11354
  • FAX: 1-718-961-3919
  • Telephone:
    • U.S. Toll Free: 1-800-869-8800
    • Overseas: 1-718-961-6600

The broker offers several alternatives so that you can communicate with the technical staff. For this reason, the broker has a very good score in this category.

Firstrade Customer Support Score: 10/10

#7 Firstrade Asset Classes

Stocks

You will only be able to trade securities listed on the U.S. Markets/U.S. Exchanges. For example NYSE or NASDAQ.

Bonds

You can trade fixed income instruments on Firstrade.

ETFs

You can trade ETFs on Firstrade. For example:

  • S&P-500 Index Fund
  • NASDAQ-100 Index Tracking Stock
  • iShares MSCI EAFE Global Index Fund

Unfortunately, Firstrade does not offer the possibility of accessing financial instruments such as cryptocurrencies or Forex market with which you could structure a diversified portfolio, and for this reason, the broker loses points in this category.

However, if you are looking for a broker that offers you better alternatives, we can recommend our articles

There you will see that these brokers have a wider variety of financial assets.

Firstrade Asset Classes Score: 5/10

#8 Referral Program

Firstrade offers you a referral program with which you can get extra earnings. Share the benefits of Firstrade with your friends and family! Invite your friends to Firstrade and grow your portfolio. Every time you refer a friend to Firstrade, the broker award you and your friend a free stock! Once your friend’s account is approved, a free stock will be ready to claim in both of your accounts.

You just have to follow these steps:

  1. Get your referral link

    Login to your account and go to Customer Service > Free Stocks, to get your referral link.

  2. Share the link with your friends

    Share this link with friends you wish to invite to open a Firstrade account. Make sure that they use that link to open their account, otherwise, neither of you will get your stock.

  3. Get Free Stocks

    When your friend opens the Firstrade account, you’ll both receive a free stock once their application is approved.

  4. Check Referrals Status

    Track the status of your invites and count your successful referrals!

Firstrade’s referral program offers you a great opportunity. But, the free stock is one stock selected randomly and determined by an algorithm. The value of the stock may be anywhere between $3 USD and $200 USD and fluctuates based on market movements. In this way, it is possible that you only earn $3 USD and as it is not possible to ensure the amount of each bonus, the broker loses points in this category.

Firstrade Referral Program Score: 4/10

#9 Demo Account & Educational Resources

Regarding the tools and educational resources that Firstrade offers, you can access several alternatives with which you can complement your knowledge and vision of the stock market:

  • Streaming Watchlist: React quickly to market conditions with real-time streaming quotes. It’s compatible across all browsers, no plug-ins required.
  • Morningstar Stock Reports: Read the weekly expert insight on your favourite stocks from Morningstar’s analysts.
  • Investment Screeners: Find investment products and discover a world of investment opportunities based on your specialized filtering criteria.
  • Fundamental data: You will find data for different assets, from stocks to funds.

It is unfortunate that a broker with a good investment platform does not offer a demo account to be able to test all the tools offered by the broker with complete peace of mind. For this reason, the broker is not well rated in this category. In fact, it only gets points for its educational resources that could be classified as an average service.

Firstrade Demo Account & Educational Resources Score: 2/10

#10 Firstrade Safety & Regulation

Firstrade Securities Inc. is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). SIPC provides up to $500,000 of coverage, with a limit of $250,000 for cash balances.

In addition, the broker has purchased an additional insurance policy through a group of London Underwriters (with Lloyd’s of London Syndicates as the Lead Underwriter) to supplement SIPC protection.

This additional insurance policy is limited to a combined return to any customer from a Trustee, SIPC and London Underwriters of $37.5 million, including cash of up to $900,000. These protections do not protect against a decline or loss in the market value of the securities in your online trading account.

Safety & Regulation

The broker transmits security. We think that your capital will be in good hands. For this reason the broker gets the highest score in this category.

Firstrade Safety & Regulation Score: 10/10

While researching 100+ of the world’s top brokers, we’ve noticed what works and what doesn’t from the customer’s point of view. That’s why our final test for any broker is to compare it to Capital.com, which scores 91/100 points across the 10 categories mentioned in this review.

Firstrade vs. Capital.com

Selecting the broker that best suits your investment strategies and plans is one of the decisions you must make with the greatest amount of information available so that you can operate without distractions and focus on making money. Moreover, it should also allow you to be confident when investing your money by letting you do the best analysis possible at the same time offering you the lowest rates. Taking into account the most relevant aspects for an investor, we prefer Capital.com over Firstrade for the following reasons:

Capital.com Offers A Demo Account

One factor that is essential when testing an investment platform is being able to access a demo account, and in this aspect Firstrade falls short because it does not offer one. With capital.com, you’ll get an unlimited demo account with which you can test the investment platform, practice trading and learn how to use all the tools it brings before actually risking any real money. This not only gives you the chance to learn how to trade if you’re a beginner, but it also gives seasoned traders the possibility of testing new strategies and ideas as if they were really trading the markets. This is an invaluable resource and one that every broker should offer its customers.

Quick and easy account opening

If you want to trade now without having to wait for days struggling to verify your trading account, we recommend you visit Capital.comYou can open your account and trade in less than 20 minutes.

A Better customer support

You can call Capital.com at +44 20 3870 3087 or email their support team at [email protected]. You can also visit the Capital.com website and click on Contact Us for country-specific options and to enter a live chat with a Capital.com support agent. Their support team currently supports 13 different languages.

Firstrade In Summary

  • Firstrade is a broker that offers stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds and fixed income.
  • The broker offers you many alternatives so that you can choose the type of account that best suits your needs.
  • The broker offers an excellent savings opportunity when trading because there are $0 commissions.
  • The process of opening an account at Firstrade is completely online.
  • Firstrade does not consider the existence of a minimum initial deposit.
  • Firstrade offers you a very intuitive and easy to use investment platform.
  • The broker transmits security.

In general terms we think that Firstrade offers you some features that you could take advantage of if you want to invest your capital with this broker. In this sense, the broker offers you the opportunity to save money thanks to its excellent rates and you can also use the investment platform without problems.

However, we are committed to being totally transparent with you. In this way, we cannot fail to mention that Capital.com is a much superior broker compared to Firstrade. Additionally, Capital.com ranks far higher as our best broker score. If you are interested in continuing your trading career or starting in the world of investments, do not hesitate to hire the services of a broker for winners: Capital.com!

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