Firstrade investing evaluation: Execs, cons, and who ought to open an account

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  • Firstrade is an internet brokerage offering numerous funding and retirement accounts for each US-based and worldwide buyers. 
  • Firstrade presents commission-free buying and selling on all the things, together with shares, ETFs, choices, and mutual funds.
  • The brokerage additionally supplies customer support and on-line buying and selling for Chinese language-speaking buyers.
  • Firstrade is greatest for DIY buyers and lively merchants searching for low prices; it does not supply any automated or advisor-assisted accounts.
  • Click on right here to open an account with Firstrade.

Firstrade is a reduction on-line brokerage providing investing, retirement, custodial, and money administration accounts for lively merchants and buyers. But it surely does not cease there. The brokerage additionally permits you to commerce nearly all of its funding merchandise without spending a dime, and this is applicable to each US-based and worldwide buyers.

As for pricing, Firstrade prices $Zero for all inventory, ETF, choice, and mutual fund trades. It presents greater than 2,200 commission-free ETFs and three,400 commission-free mutual funds, and you may solely run into charges for a few of the brokerage’s mounted revenue investments (for instance, major market CDs value $30). And whereas most brokerages usually cost $0.50 to $0.65 for choices contracts, Firstrade prices $0. Firstrade can be the one brokerage that prices $Zero for all mutual funds.

Firstrade presents worldwide buying and selling in additional than 65 areas, together with China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, and extra. And the brokerage even supplies toll-free buyer help and on-line buying and selling for Chinese language-speaking prospects.

Like many different brokerages, Firstrade additionally supplies funding analysis and evaluation. Along with its training articles, the corporate provides you entry to free analysis from Morningstar, Zacks, Benzinga, and Briefing.com.

Firstrade’s 4 buying and selling platforms — the online platform, cellular app, Choices Wizard, and Firstrade Navigator — all supply entry to account data, funding efficiency, and market information. Nonetheless, Choices Wizard particularly presents instruments and insights to simplify choices buying and selling. Firstrade Navigator permits you to handle your whole trades, orders, and account balances on one display.

This brokerage is a aggressive choice for lively merchants, mutual fund buyers, choices buyers, inventory and ETF merchants, and worldwide buyers. Firstrade presents one thing that almost all brokers do not: commission-free trades on all the things. And if you happen to ever lose web connection or need assistance buying an funding, broker-assisted trades solely value you as much as $19.95 (Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade each cost $25 for broker-assisted trades).

One draw back to think about is that Firstrade does not supply any automated or professionally managed investing accounts. Brokerages like Merrill Edge and TD Ameritrade supply each self-directed and automatic investing accounts, however Firstrade primarily caters to lively buyers.

You additionally will not have entry to 24/7 customer support or specialty investments like cryptocurrency, futures, and valuable metals. 

Backside line: Firstrade might be brokerage alternative for US residents and worldwide buyers seeking to actively commerce a number of funding varieties without spending a dime. It is probably not match for you if you happen to’re searching for professionally managed accounts or robo-advice.

Firstrade execs and cons


  • No charges for shares, ETFs, choices, or mutual funds
  • Choices haven’t any contract charges
  • Worldwide investing accounts for non-US buyers
  • Chinese language language help accessible


  • No automated or advisor-assisted accounts
  • Restricted funding decisions
  • Customer support solely accessible through the week

Self-directed brokerage accounts

Firstrade presents particular person and joint investing accounts for US-based and worldwide buyers. Every account contains commission-free buying and selling on shares, ETFs, and choices. And, not like many on-line brokerages, Firstrade does not cost any choices contract charges.

You will additionally pay $Zero for Firstrade’s load, no-load, and no-transaction-fee mutual funds. The brokerage’s different funding decisions embrace treasury payments, notes, bonds, CDs, and different mounted revenue investments. 

If you happen to’re not a US citizen or everlasting resident, and you do not have a Social Safety or tax ID quantity, you’ll be able to join a global account. 

Retirement accounts

You will even have the selection of a number of fee-free retirement accounts. For people, Firstrade presents conventional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and rollover IRAs. Companies can arrange SEP IRAs or SIMPLE IRAs.

You possibly can arrange any of Firstrade’s IRAs with out having to fret about minimal opening deposits or account charges. As well as, Firstrade says it makes use of IRA specialists to assist new purchasers with rollovers.

Schooling financial savings accounts (ESAs)

Firstrade’s Coverdell Schooling Financial savings Account (ESA) permits you to put aside cash for kids or designated beneficiaries below the age of 18. You possibly can open a number of ESA accounts, and any withdrawals you make to your ESA are tax-free (you’ll be able to at present make as much as $2000 in non-deductible contributions per little one). 

You can even arrange a custodial funding account to your little one so long as they have not reached your state’s age of majority (normally 18 or 21). Firstrade’s custodial accounts have no contribution limits, custodian revenue limits, or minimal deposit necessities.

Firstrade is an internet funding platform providing self-directed brokerage accounts and commission-free buying and selling for shares, ETFs, choices, and mutual funds. The corporate additionally presents worldwide investing accounts, money administration accounts, funding analysis and instruments, and buyer help for Chinese language-speaking purchasers.

Firstrade was based in 1985 as First Flushing Securities. In 1997, the corporate launched Firstrade.com to supply on-line brokerage and buying and selling companies. 

Headquartered in Flushing, New York, Firstrade has earned recognition and awards through the years. In Kiplinger’s Greatest On-line Brokers of 2019 rating, the corporate acknowledged Firstrade because the #1 brokerage for ETFs, lively buyers, and commissions and charges. 

Firstrade can be a member of the Monetary Trade Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities Investor Safety Company.

Rickie Houston is a wealth-building reporter at Private Finance Insider who covers investing, brokerage, and wealth-building merchandise.

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