Firstrade Review

Donny Gamble
January 13, 2022
Personalincome rating

Firstrade is one of the first-ever online brokerage platforms of its kind, and as such it’s maintained a certain status among brokers and traders.

It has plenty of benefits, such as no per-contract fees for options trading, but falls short in terms of research tools.

Firstrade logo
on Firstrade's website
per trade

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Key Takeaways

Firstrade follows suit with a zero commission structure, similar to its competitors, but you’re not going to get away with absolutely no fees—it depends on the products you’re looking for.

Some will carry fees, but if you use Firstrade for its zero commission products, it’ll be smooth sailing.

It has its ups and downs, but overall, it’s a time-trusted service with plenty of benefits and features, but the hunt for a “perfect trading platform” is simply fruitless.

Firstrade offers enough to contend with the other big boys.

Pros & Cons

  • Conditional and Advanced Trading Orders.
  • Educational and Research Material.
  • No Per-Contract Fees.
  • Customize Your Dashboard.
  • No International Trading.
  • Customer Service.

You need a stock trading app, and the last thing you want is to pay any fees—it’s time to get acquainted with Firstrade. This glorious app is transparent and puts power in the palm of the investor (you).

As a stock trading app, Firstrade gives you a slew of benefits and very few drawbacks compared to many other apps. On top of that, you’re fed information on how to invest, not just shown ticket names on what you should invest in.

It’s a virtual all-in-one stock broker equivalent, now it’s time to learn why it could be the perfect tool to help you invest without the stress.

About Firstrade

Firstrade is a brokerage platform and service that resides in New York, and offers a variety of trading and investment options for its customers. It is regulated by the SEC, and has been around for nearly 40 years at the time of writing.

There aren’t many unique identifying factors between Firstrade and other institutions, however they are known for their usefulness for trading standard stocks and ETFs, although they’re hardly used among options traders.

It’s a mid-tier company with its own volley of pros and cons.

Firstrade Products

Firstrade offers the ability to trade ETFs, stocks, mutual funds, and options, as well as open certified deposit (CD) accounts.

You can also purchase bonds, and penny stocks (with pattern day trader restrictions), and sign up for cash management services to assist you with your investing.

Firstrade Commissions & Fees


Trading Fees

Min. Investment

Stock Trading



Options Trading



There are no penalties or fees on ETFs, stocks, and many mutual funds (though not all). CD accounts actually have a start-up cost of $30.00, and options are rather expensive.

They’re $19.95 plus a $0.50 per contract fee, so don’t pick Firstrade for options trading unless you’re okay with those fees.

Firstrade makes most of its money through order flow revenue, which is partially why options trading is so expensive, since it doesn’t fall through order flow income.

Who is Firstrade Best For?

Firstrade is excellent for anyone who wants to invest in options, and have an easy time doing it. On our list of the best stock broker apps, Firstrade made it specifically for being the best for beginners, but it also has excellent ease-of-use functions that make it simple for beginners to start investing.

If you want to begin investing your money, you’re walked through the process without being pushed to fund your account or buy a specific stock. You’re left with a great service that isn’t trying to nickel and dime anyone.

Firstrade FAQ's

Is Firstrade a reliable broker?

Firstrade is absolutely reliable, and a service that we recommend. Apart from the long-standing history spanning over twenty-five years, it also sees excellent regulation and is overseen by trustworthy individuals. 

Overall, Firstrade is one of the most ethical choices for stock trading, with a history of great customer service right from the start.

Should you use Firstrade for trading penny stocks?

The predominant market for penny stock trading is the OTC market, which Firstrade does not support. There are penny stocks (as defined by the SEC, being $5.00 under and listed on the NYSE), but OTC penny stocks is where plenty of low-budget investors make their first day trades

Overall, Firstrade is not good for penny stocks, but that actually helps out new investors.

We have a guide on the best apps for penny stock traders, and while it’s a supported practice and one we hope to educate others on, penny stock trading is not where you want to begin your stock market career. 

Because high risk is involved and sufficient knowledge of the market must be present before getting started, it’s a path for later on down the line, not if you’re just starting out.

Is Firstrade a good broker for beginners?

Firstrade implies that it’s good for your first trade, and it’s true to its name—Firstrade is an excellent spot for beginners to start learning about stock trading, and gives you plenty of information to get the job done in the process. 

Their service is easy to use, only requires basic knowledge of stocks to understand, and grows with you as you gain more experience and become more efficient with your stock investments.

How does Firstrade make money?

Firstrade makes money from interest generated on balances. When your money goes in, their overall capital rises, and then they’re able to accrue interest on that money.

If you’ve invested it, then they guarantee money will be there when you make a stock sale or cash out, but in the meantime, it’s gaining interest.

On top of that, you also have to keep in mind that there are some fees associated with their routing partners, which is another way that they generate revenue (in compliance with SEC Rule 606).

Compare to Other Brokers

Robinhood logo
1 share of free stock
Receive a free stock with deposit
M1 Finance logo
Receive a free stock with deposit


Firstrade is a leading online brokerage firm offering a full line of investment products and tools designed to help investors like you take control of your financial future.

  • Firstrade
  • Rating: 4
  • Reviewed by:
  • On January 13, 2022
  • Last modified:May 11, 2022

Review Summary:

Firstrade is a leading online brokerage firm offering a full line of investment products and tools designed to help investors like you take control of your financial future.

Review of: Firstrade

Reviewed by:
On January 13, 2022
Last modified:May 11, 2022


Firstrade is a leading online brokerage firm offering a full line of investment products and tools designed to help investors like you take control of your financial future.

About the author 

Donny Gamble

I’m Donny. I’m a world traveler, investor, entrepreneur, and online marketing aficionado who has a big appetite to compete and disrupt big markets. I thrive on being able to create things that impact change, difficult challenges, and being able to add value in negative situations.

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