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.
Editor's Note: Firstrade has updated its pricing. Trades now cost $2.95, with options contracts costing $0.50. It has also added a variety of commission free ETFs. We will post the new test results and review when we next test Online Stock Trading Brokers.
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. Mutual funds cost $9.95 to buy into. Firstrade doesn’t offer any commission-free ETFs.
You can place trades 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. This allows you to react to news while others have to wait for normal trading hours.
Our reviewers found Firstrade’s platform to be useful but limited when compared to others. Watchlists have limited options for customization, and you can’t search for company names – you’ll need to know the symbol of any security you want to add. Firstrade does have some nice screening tools, with a variety of pre-defined screeners and customizable options to help you find potential investments.
One drawback to Firstrade is that you’ll need to send in a voided check to fund your account. This is an extra step that most other brokers don’t require.
The Firstrade mobile app allow to you view your account dashboard, buy stocks online and monitor newsfeeds.
The education center offers a variety of tools to help you learn about investing. These include a glossary, a tax guide and margin guide loan. The most useful is the investment strategies guide which provides information on a variety of investment strategies. While these are useful, they aren’t as thorough as other brokers. Notably absent is any kind of course for training investors. During testing, we found these to be the most useful for learning about investing.
- Stock Trades
- Broker-Assisted Stocks Trades
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. Firstrade's extended trading hours is a unique feature that allows you to place trades before the market opens or after it has closed.