In this Firstrade review we have collected and sorted all the important information that an investor will ever need. From feedback, ratings and fees, to background info about the company and its security measures.
Firstrade is a US online investment company regulated by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is one of the first brokers to offer commission-free trading, low trading fees, free commissions on all mutual funds, and an easy-to-use mobile app, makes Firstrade a smart choice for both new and experienced investors.
The firm offers $0 stock, ETF, mutual funds, and options trades. It also provides account support in Chinese language options, making it a top choice for Native Chinese speakers.
When trading in the financial market, finding a broker that meets your needs can be a very difficult task. That’s why we have taken the time to conduct an in-depth review of Firstrade to help you decide if the firm suits your investment needs.
Firstrade is recognized to be one of the first brokers to offer zero commission fee trading. This is one of the strongest suits of the company. The $0 stock struck a chord with investors. With thousands of investors freed from paying transaction fees, Firstrade is gradually winning the hearts of new investors, and it looks like the company is slowly but steadily gaining a strong market reputation.
In 2005, Smart Money Magazine named Firstrade the “Best Deal” in online broker discount. In 2006, Firstrade was named the “Clear Winner in the Mutual Funds Category” by Kiplinger’s Magazine. Firstrade is also constantly developing new products and services to provide their customers with more options.
First Trade is not a particularly popular broker, and the stats below shows just that. But, it is one of the very few to have no violation or bad publicity online.
|Number of users (approximate)||–||–||25 Aug 2020|
|Website traffic (estimated)||1.8m||https://www.similarweb.com/website/firstrade.com/||25 Aug 2020|
|# results on web||277K||https://www.google.com/||25 Aug 2020|
|Search volume Google||6,600||https://searchvolume.io||25 Aug 2020|
|Twitter followers||1,266||https://twitter.com/firstrade/||25 Aug 2020|
|FB followers||72K||https://www.facebook.com/firstrade||25 Aug 2020|
|How popular on mainstream media?||Medium||Yahoo Finance, Kiplinger, Finance Magnates, Markets Insider, Forbes, Motley Fool, Barron’s, Benzinga||25 Aug 2020|
|Negative media?||None||–||25 Aug 2020|
|Notable awards||Best Online Broker 2019 for Active Traders||https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/investing/t052-s002-best-online-brokers-2019/index.html||25 Aug 2020|
Firstrade has very few ratings on social media platforms and reviews sites. The firm has a 50% positive review. Most of these positive feedbacks are about the firm having minimal trading fees, easy to use websites, and a strong referral program.
On the other hand, you will also find some negative reviews about the platform. One of the major complaints by users is poor customer service. Most customers are unhappy that they had to be kept waiting for hours before they were attended to. Another reason for some of the negative ratings is that the firm doesn’t provide fractional share options and the platform also looks dated compared to its competitors.
The feedback and ratings are scarce for Firstrade overall, so please take everything with a grain of salt because 50% positive reviews out of four ratings don’t say much.
|# users rated on user platforms|
4 on TrustPilot, 0 on SiteJabber
|25 Aug 2020|
|Percentage of positive reviews out of user reviews||50%||https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.firstrade.com||25 Aug 2020|
|Common compliments||No app down time during trading.||https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.firstrade.com||25 Aug 2020|
|Common complaints||Hard to open a brokerage account.||https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.firstrade.com||25 Aug 2020|
|Positive feedback on Twitter?||Reliable service.||https://twitter.com/firstrade/||25 Aug 2020|
|Negative feedback on Twitter?||Lack of deposit options.||https://twitter.com/firstrade/||25 Aug 2020|
|App rating (summary)||3 / 5 average rating from ~1,500 reviews||https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.firstrade.android|
|25 Aug 2020|
Firstrade was established in 1985 in New York under the name of First Flushing Securities. It served the investment needs of the locals, especially Chinese immigrants. The company was renamed Firstrade Securities in 1997.
Firstrade is one of the pioneers of online trading. It launched its online trading app, Firstrade.com, in 1997, when only a handful of online stock brokers were available on the web.
Aside from being one of the low-cost trading platforms offering $0 commissions for stock and options trade, Firstrade also has a unique securities lending program. This program enables investors to earn extra income by lending their stocks to other financial institutions. The firm has high-quality trading tools and provides account support in English and simplified Chinese for Native Chinese speakers.
|CEO and bio|
|Number of employees||38||https://www.linkedin.com/company/firstrade-securities-inc-/|
|Notable investors (private companies)||None||https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/firstrade-securities-inc|
Firstrade has security as one of its primary focus. The platform is regulated by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
It also ensures that all its customers are protected against the US investor protection scheme’s loss of cash and securities (SIPC).
The SIPC protection offers a limit of $500,000, with a $250,000 limit for cash. Most investor protection schemes don’t offer up to this amount.
However, not all investments are covered by SIPC. This protection scheme does not cover unregistered investment contracts or limited partnerships, interests in gold or other commodity futures contracts.
|New device extra security?||–||–|
Fees & Offering
Firstrade has diverse offers to suit different investment needs. The firm allows its customers to Trade stock, ETF, mutual funds, and options. It recently switched to a $0 commissions fee for mutual funds and ETF, a deal no other broker match.
Beginning investors can benefit from the $0 account minimum while long term investors enjoy the commission-free Trade.
Firstrade also permits international accounts. International investors from up to 20 countries can invest in US financial markets through a Firstrade account.
Another rare quality of this broker is that it charges no contract fee; this makes it a top pick for options traders. It also has advanced options for spread trading, which makes it ideal for active stock traders. Firstrade, however, has high margin rates.
With zero fees on almost all investments, first Trade is a great place for both beginners and second traders. The only drawback is that they don’t provide the ability to trade fractional shares and cryptocurrencies.
Firstrade has an all-in-one trading platform called the First Navigator. The platform allows customers to view all the details of their accounts on one screen. It’s quite simple and easy to use, even for beginners. The platform’s design is clear and straightforward. It is available in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese. However, most users complained about the platform having only a one-step login. It would be much safer if it had a two-step login.
Another drawback of this platform is that desktop users have to apply for the app via email before accessing it, but users on iPad can access the app through the App Store. Firstrade also has a platform- Options Wizard, which helps users analyze potential losses and gains from options trading.
Besides the ratings, which are on the low side, this is one of the very few companies where every low rating has a representative reply. Even though most of them are copy/paste replies, many competitors don’t do that.
|Android app # installs||100K+||https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.firstrade.android|
|Android app # reviews||1,271||https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.firstrade.android|
|iPhone app # reviews||206||https://apps.apple.com/app/firstrade/id405325225|
|Android app rating||3 / 5||https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.firstrade.android|
|iPhone app rating||3 / 5||https://apps.apple.com/app/firstrade/id405325225|
|Common compliments on app||Easy to use, reliable, quick execution||https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.firstrade.android|
|Common complaints on app||The charts are slow loading and clunky||https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.firstrade.android|
|Weighted average app rating||3 / 5||https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.firstrade.android|
Firstrade is one of the best online discount broker platforms that offer free stock, ETF, Mutual Funds, and options trading. It has high-quality research and educational tools and is well known for its user-friendly trading app alongside its Chinese language services.
One of the major drawbacks of Firstrade is that the firm doesn’t provide fractional shares. Therefore, it can’t fully compete with larger household name brands who also offer $0 stock.
Though not as well known as some of its competitors, Firstrade is quickly gaining new users by reducing to zero many commissions. If they would also allow for fractional shares, it would really become a great choice for many new and experienced investors.