PROS / Firstrade offers extended trading hours.
CONS / The educational resources are not as extensive or in depth as other services we reviewed.
VERDICT / With extended trading hours and competitive fees, Firstrade is a good online brokerage to help you build your investment portfolio.
Firstrade offers online stock trading, exchange-traded funds, bonds, mutual funds and option trading. Online trading fees are $4.95, and broker-assisted trades cost $19.95. Extended trading hours is one key feature Firstrade offers, which means you can place trades before or after traditional market hours. You can react to news and reports before the market opens from 8:05 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. and after hours from 4:05 p.m. to 5:25 p.m. Eastern time.
The online stock trading dashboard is simple and organized into two columns. The first column shows your account information. In this column, you can view your account balances and the status of any orders. You can organize this column by dragging and dropping charts where you want them. It's possible to view multiple accounts at once, and you can see charts on your account's performance.
The dashboard's second column helps you monitor the market. Here you can view top stories and monitor gains and losses in the market. Both columns are customizable. A quick bar at the bottom of the screen allows you to get quick information and make trades without having to navigate away from your current page or open another tab.
In addition to the computer-based platform, Firstrade offers free iPhone and Android apps. Both apps allow to you view your account dashboard, buy stocks online and monitor newsfeeds.
The education center offers four tools to help you choose the best investment strategy. First, an investment glossary provides clarification on trading and investing terms. The tax guide, the second tool, explains how rules set by the government affect your investments. A thorough understanding of taxes related to online trading can help you chose the best investing strategy without any surprises from Uncle Sam. A third tool includes investment strategy guides, which offer detailed information on trading stocks online and outlines different investing strategies. These guides compare the benefits and drawbacks of commonly used strategies to help you determine which strategy is a good fit for your portfolio. The fourth tool is a guide to understanding margin loans, which discusses the risks of margin investing and the benefits of adding it to your portfolio. While these educational resources are useful, Firstrade doesn't offer as many in-depth resources as the best online stock trading companies do.
Firstrade offers a variety of investment options to help you build your portfolio. Prices for online trading and broker-assisted trading are competitive compared to other online stockbrokers. Firsttrade's extended trading hours is a unique feature that allows you to place trades before the market opens or after it has closed. The trading platform is simple and available on iPhone and Android apps.