Best Review Guide / Articles / Money / Online Stock Trading / Is Firstrade a good service to consider?

Is Firstrade a good service to consider?

Kelly Avatar By: Kelly | Last updated April 24, 2019

online stock trading service firstrade stocks going up big buildings city stock market

Stock trading is no longer accessible just to Wall Street, thanks to the technological advancements. Internet made it possible for anyone to become a stock trader, straight from their devices, in the privacy of their home. You no longer need a broker, because you can do everything yourself, online.

The stock market is one of the fastest ways for someone to turn money around, and even though it is a risky business, it also comes with great possibilities. The riskier the investment, the larger the profits, but also the greater the losses.

The market is flooded with online trading services and if you are a newbie, it might be difficult to know how to choose the best one.

Some tips to help you when you get started

  • Find a reliable online stock broker
  • Make sure the company is transparent about its fees and there are no hidden commissions and fees mentioned only in the fine print or in hard to spot places on the website
  • Make sure the service also offers a mobile app so you can access your online account directly from your smartphone, from anywhere
  • Choose a service that charges you the lowest commission and try to avoid the ones that require an initial deposit (or opt for one that has the lowest initial deposit)
  • Invest in several different stocks rather than putting all your money and faith in a single stock; this way, you won’t lose that much in case one of them doesn’t work out
  • Avoid investing in penny stocks because a lot of them are scams
  • Do your homework on the company’s financials and know when to buy and sell your stocks
  • Make time to go through the educational materials offered by online investment platforms; most online stock trading services have useful educational resources you should check out, especially if you are a beginner when it comes trading
  • Use the trade simulator if your online service offers one (most of them do) to test different strategies before actually investing your money

Firstrade is one of the most popular an online brokers on the market because of its very low costs. Firstrade Securities was founded in 1985 in New York and it was initially used by the local community. Chinese immigrants were its main customers.


One of the biggest strengths of Firstrade is the fact that it charges $0 commission for stock and options trading. Firstrade relies on payment for order flow to generate revenue.

Firstrade charges $14.95 for options exercise and assignments.

Broker assisted trades have a fee of $19.95.

Other fees to consider:

Stock certificate processing fee: $300

Stock certificate delivery fee: $300

Domestic wire fee: $30

International wire fee: $50

Returned ACH fee: $50

Returned wire fee: $50


Firstrade offers over 700 commission-free ETFs, stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds.

The web platform of Firstrade is really user-friendly and clean, although it does come with some limitations and shortcomings. You’ve got 2 columns: one for your account info and for keeping track of your balance, order status, etc. and another one for keeping track of the market (from that column you can view your stock info, the market gains and losses and more).

Order entry is intuitive and you enter spread legs manually, which may get annoying and repetitive, but the integrated chain sheet will ease your job significantly.

Watchlists are not that customizable, there is no direct market routing and Firstrade doesn’t offer any data on price improvement. You can’t search a certain company by typing in its name; you have to know the appropriate symbol. You can however add, move or remove modules around. Overall, the Firstrade interface is really intuitive, although a bit limited.

Firstrade’s platform is web-based but if your account balance is over $10,000, you can also benefit from their downloadable, Firstrade Navigator.

Firstrade offers extended trading hours, which is definitely a pro for this online broker. You can make trades before the market opens (8:05 a.m. to 9:25 a.m.), and before it closes (4:05 p.m. to 5:25 p.m.).

Firstrade offers a mobile app compatible with iOS and Android devices. The app comes with face ID login and real-time streaming quotes. You can buy stocks online directly from the app and monitor newsfeeds.

Another great thing about Firstrade is its comprehensive educational center where you can find a lot of useful information, including educational videos on how to place stock trades, how to generate income with options, info about funding your account and much more.

Customer service is also top-notch with Firstrade. You get 24/7 live chat support, support by e-mail and telephone. You can reach them via phone Monday – Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm (ET).

There is also a comprehensive FAQ section where you can find answers to questions such as: how do you open an account in the fastest way, including an international account, how to transfer your account from a different firm to Firstrade and more.

See our recommendations for best online stock trading services.