- Best Stock Brokers
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- Stocks 101
Account Minimum: $0
Best For: No Commissions or Trading Fees
Warning: Trading securities including stocks & ETFs involves a high level of risk.
Firstrade offer commission-free stock, options, mutual fund trading and more. They have been around since 1985 and were one of the industry pioneers in offering discount and commission-free trading. The broker is regulated by top-tier bodies in the form of the SEC and FINRA in providing one of the most comprehensive services available to you as a trader.
With no account minimum and no trading fees, Firstrade is a popular broker choice both for the experienced or new trader in several asset classes.
- No account minimum needed
- No commission on stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds
- A trusted reputation since 1985
- Excellent promotions available
- Easy to navigate trading platforms
- Only bank transfer deposits and withdarwals are available
- Customer support has limited hours
Considering trust and security as the bedrock of any stock trading broker, the reputation and longevity of Firstrade stands above others straight away. They have been around longer than almost any other broker in the sector. While this alone does not guarantee trust, regulations from top-tier bodies is a great indicator.
To this end, Firstrade are overseen by the SEC and FINRA who work hard to protect US Investors in the most stringent manner possible. In addition to this secure foundation, the broker also provides a very high degree of protection to you as an investor. This comes from the SIPC protection scheme primarily. As a member of this scheme, traders at Firstrade can benefit from $500,000 worth of investment protection which covers up to $250,000 in cash.
Although they do not offer negative balance protection, there are a range of tools in place to help you manage risk when trading with the broker through the very secure trading platforms provided. It should also be noted that over more than 30 years of operating, Firstrade has remained highly compliant and prioritized trader safety throughout.
A broad range of investment products are currently facilitated by the broker. This includes thousands of assets across a number of categories that are all offered fee-free. Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, and Options.
You will find stock trading available on 5 different markets including the NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX where thousands of stocks and more than 2,000 ETFs can be traded commission-free. When it comes to mutual funds, unlike many brokers, the offering at Firstrade is also completely fee-free on the more than 400 available funds.
There are some 40,000 bonds available for trading, and options are offered on a number of exchanges. The bottom line here is that Firstrade provides a fantastic selection of the assets mentioned and all on a commission-free, and completely free of any fees, an offering that is rare among many top industry brokers.
Commission & Fees
As mentioned, this a key area where Firstrade stands out from the crowd yet again. While they are no unique in offering commission-free trading throughout, they are one of the only brokers to offer mutual funds that are completely transaction-fee free. This is a great positive for any trader if you are interested in mutual funds particularly at higher volume since almost every other broker charges some type of fee. The only charge to consider here is if you invest in the fund for less than 90-days prior to selling, then $19.95 will be applied as a selling fee.
Trading in stocks, options, ETFs and more at Firstrade is also completely commission-free making them one of the most competitive brokers in the industry on fees and charges.
With non-trading fees the broker also presents excellent value. There are no account maintenance fees nor are there any deposit or withdrawal fees. Inactivity fees are also not something that Firstrade applies. The only fees you will face here are if you make an international wire transfer withdrawal which is $30, or financing your margin which only applies of you are trading on leverage and has a base rate of 6.75%.
Firstrade makes a total of three trading platforms available for you to use. This includes the Firstrade Navigator which is their proprietary web-based trading platform most commonly used by the majority of traders.
The trading platform itself is very user-friendly and can be quickly customized to display available assets sorted into categories you may wish to invest in. This is extremely efficient and the visual displays are excellent for both informing new traders and providing additional insight to those with more experience.
Within this web-platform you will find a dedicated options trading wizard. This breaks down the metrics of options trading very well and helps ensure you have a good understanding of potential profits and losses when trading options with Firstrade.
The mobile trading platform is also very intuitive and easy to use. This platform again is proprietary and can be easily synched with your web-based platform to allow for an efficient trading experience. The mobile platform is available both on iOS and Android devices and can support trading in ETFs, stocks and options while both English and Chinese languages are supported by all Firstrade trading platforms.
The broker does well in providing a supportive environment for any questions or concerns you may have while trading. The Firstrade customer support team are contactable in several ways through email, web-based live chat support or telephone during the hours of 8am to 6pm EST.
If you have a common general trading question the informative FAQ section provided by the broker may also be able to help. This section is available through their website and should serve to clearly answer a number of the most common questions that can come up.
Videos, articles, tutorial, and other informative guides graded by experience level, Firstrade has an expanding education section with a lot to offer everyone. Combined with an excellent selection of helpful research tools and access to several third-party news resources, the Firstrade education section can prove very insightful on every part of the process.
With every trading asset category covered in good detail and an extensive range of trading terms explained as well as a useful upcoming IPO calendar, it is clear the broker recognizes the importance of continued education and development while you trade.
Firstrade is a vastly experienced and extremely well-regulated broker. They combine this longstanding reputation with a great value offering that is almost completely commission and fee-free on trading and non-trading fees.
Add in the fact they continue to evolve their facilities to stay at the cutting edge, including their excellent and easy to use trading platforms, and you have a top trading broker that has gained popularity for great reason.
Overall, if you are search for an excellent all-round broker choice that can combine trust, and experience with amazingly low value and advanced trading platforms then Firstrade is an excellent option if you are a US or international trader of stocks, mutual fund, options, and more.