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FirsTrade Broker Review

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Enjoy stock trading and shorting made simple and quick with ETF's from FirsTrade. The company offers some of the best trading options out there for both new and provisional traders. You can take advantage of their free trading on stocks, ETFs and options with First trade’s policies on no commissions on trades, mutual funds, as well as its $0 account minimum. On top of the free stock trading, FirsTraders are also not charged any contract fee, which is quite rare among the best brokers for those into either short selling or buying. What we like the most with FirsTrade is all the options and the simple platform with extended opening hours. You can go short with FirsTrade, go long or buy shares with CFDs. Give FirsTrade a try today!

FirsTrade Review

FirsTrade logo

Overall Rating

9.57/10

Rating Details

10
10
10
9
10
9
9
  • Min. deposit

    $10

  • Platforms

    3

  • Founded

    1985

  • Regulators

    2

  • Country

    US

  • Commodities/Crypto

    No, No

  • Stock trading

    Yes

  • Multi language

    Yes

  • Support

    Yes

  • Account currencies

    USD

 

Background

 
Founded back in 1985 in the United States, Firstrade has established a firm footing in the stock trading industry, growing over the years to be one of the most reputable stockbrokers in the country. The company was first named the First Flushing Securities, after its location in the Flushing neighborhood in Queens, New York.

There it was primarily serving the local community, which mostly consisted of ethnic Chinese immigrants. It gained traction since it was one of the lowest-cost leaders around, later changing its name to Firstrade securities in 1997. On launching their website, Firstrade.com, Firstrade was one of the first online investment brokerage services.

Limited time offer: Currently, FirsTrade got a holiday raffle: Get 3 free stocks when you sign up. Sign-up at FirsTrade now!

Recently, the company switched to $0 commissions for options and stock trades. Naturally, with such a move, you'd expect some sacrifices in research, product scope, and trading tools. However, unlike most of the other $0 commission brokers, you still get a pretty decent array of active stocks. Other than rock bottom costs and advanced option spread trading, it also makes it easy for options traders who need streamlined order entry.

Firstrade is regulated by the financial industry regulatory authority (FINRA) And the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). With this, coupled with its long track record, it would be right to consider Firstrade trade worthy and safe. With Firstrade, you also get to enjoy a wide variety of tools, including detailed educational material and training ideas. If you are a new trader, you get access to videos and webinars to help ease the learning curve.

You'll also appreciate that the company's special securities lending program that caters to investors looking to earn a little extra income through lending stocks to financial institutions. The program enforces no restrictions on the user, allowing them to sell their stock anytime. This could be beneficial, more so for independent investors holding large accounts.

Other than traders from the U.S, Firstrade currently accepts users from up to 60 different nations. These include South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates. To register, you don't need your tax ID number or social security number. So what are you waiting for? We are talking about the best broker with the lowest fees. Try FirsTrade now!

 

Leverage

 At the moment, Firstrade allows you to borrow on margin. You can borrow cash from Firstrade and invest in securities while using your own securities as collateral. This significantly magnifies any profits you've made on investments. Unfortunately, it also magnifies the losses made on the same investments.

As mentioned, securities act as collateral for the loan. Initially, the net value, which is the difference between the value of the securities and the value of the loan, is equal to the amount of cash you've used. The net value has to always be above a minimum margin requirement to protect the broker from a fall if the securities drop to a level where the investor cannot cover the loan.

The trader also needs to pay a certain amount of interest on the loan. Luckily, Firstrade offers low margin interest rates, varying according to your account balance. If you don't borrow from Firstrade, you don't need to pay any interest on a margin account. Also, before investing in margin, it is important to understand the benefits and risks of doing so. You have to have your margin account approved and have at least $2,000 worth of assets in your account. Lovely. Nothing to wait for here. Get started with FirsTrade today!
 

Costs

 When evaluating costs, you want to focus on locating the lowest cost broker with low-level trading functionality. FirsTrade easily comes on top of its competitors by having one of the least financial demands. Most of its stock, fund trading, and option are done for $0 commissions. It also boasts of its security lending program, which significantly lowers the trading costs by providing income for account holders lending their shares.

However, Firstrade makes up for the low-commission charges by charging higher margin rates on investors using a margin account. There are also some fees charged on account transactions like ACAT transfers out and wire transfers, which are relatively higher than average.

Some accounts also charge a higher minimum deposit, such as the margin account, whose minimum is $2,000, and day trading account, which has a minimum of a whopping $25,000.

On the positive side, Firstrade currently charges $0 inactivity fees, meaning you can leave your account without trading and incur no penalties. The downside is that there is a $75 full outgoing fee and a $55 partial transfer fee.

Compared to other traders in the same realm, you'll see a notable difference. For example, trading with IG requires clients to pay a commission of up to 2 cents per share. IG also charges a minimum charge of up to $15 on US stocks. When you start trading, either by short selling or through buying stocks with ETFs, you will notice that nothing beats the costs when trading with FirsTrade.
 

Benefits

 +Secure increased returns thanks to lower costs when going short on stocks or buying.
+Highly competitive return rates.
+Huge trading flexibility.
+Easy to use platform.
+Has a secure mobile app with good trading features and security.
 

Drawback

 -Its platform doesn't have as many charting tools as competitors.
-You can't access forex markets or futures.
-Only supports one currency, the USD, and charges a conversion fee on deposits with other currencies.
 

Platforms

 Currently, FirsTrade operates under three platforms. They include their own desktop platform, the Options Wizard, and the Firstrade Navigator.

With FirsTrade navigator, you get to view your balances and positions and trade in all your accounts on one screen. It also features drop-and-drag customization when dealing with charts, tracking, and market-related information.

You also get to take advantage of its redesigned advanced screener, which lets you narrow down any of your investment choices into categories, like large-cap growth stocks, high-yielding quality stocks, and bargain-basement funds, among other criteria.

On the other hand, the options wizard allows you to do a more sophisticated analysis of potential gains and losses from options trading and other complex options strategies.

Firstrade also has a mobile app that incorporates a decently consolidated portfolio dashpoard, intuitive swipe action, and upgraded research fueled with advanced charting options. The app is fully compatible with desktop platforms, whereby, as a user, you can transfer funds among different accounts.

You can also create a watchlist where you can follow trading opportunities and view order histories. Currently, the app is available on iOS and Android and can be downloaded with a click of a button after you register at FirsTrade.
 

Support

 Firstrade offers several ways of contacting them, including a live chat option with their registered customer service representative, the Firstrade chatbot named Sammi (available 24/7). International clients can access their call-toll free of charge.

Unfortunately, the company doesn't offer 24/7 customer support. You can only reach them from Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m to 6 p.m. However, it does have some features that set them apart.

For starters, they offer full support when it comes to interpreting Chinese. Their representatives speak both Mandarin and Cantonese. Secondly, their service is quite responsive during market hours. And on top of that, during the heavier call times, you get to enjoy quick callbacks.

You can contact them through phone calls, emails, fax as well as an intelligent chatbot that can answer all the basic questions.
 

FAQ

 

How do I get started with FirsTrade?

Since this excellent broker has no minimum deposit, getting started with FirsTrade is pretty simple. In fact, all you need to do is log into its online site, where you'll need to follow a few steps: Start by adding your personal information email address. You'll then be prompted to choose an account type and input your day trading and options preferences. Provide a few personal details to verify your account, like your social security number. Add your phone number and select a security question. Disclose your financial and employment information. Add your trading preferences and investment profile. Set your funding connection and preference. Finally, complete the process by submitting your application.

Is Firstrade safe for short selling?

Yes, Firstrade can definitely be considered to be a safe brokerage. Besides being overseen by top tier level regulators, the company also boasts of a long track 35-year record in the trade. However, short selling in itself is a risky venture on any platform. You are advised to take on some experience before investing heavy amounts of cash.

Is Firstrade free?

Currently, Firstrade does not charge any trading free on its multitudes of mutual funds. It was also one of the first pioneers of commission-free trading for options, stocks, and ETFs before the price war of 2019 that made $0 trades a trade industry standard.

How do I withdraw money from Firstrade?

Ideally, the easiest way to withdraw your funds from a FirsTrade account is by using the electronic HC system. With this, you can move your money into an external bank in the United States. Firstrade also boasts of its intuitive online form where you can quickly and easily submit a request.No news about FirsTrade available.