Firstrade Review

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.

Firstrade is one of the original online stock trading app brokerages. It's a perfect solution if you're a seasoned or beginning investor or trader looking for a simple-to-use trading platform. 

Geared toward options traders or those traders interested in making stock and bond trades, Firstrade is an online discount stock broker with a solid reputation.

Firstrade logo

Our Partner

Stock Trading Broker


  • $0 commissions on trades
  • $0 fees on options contracts
  • Powerful mobile app
  • Outstanding customer reviews
Overall Rating

Best for Options Trading

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Pros & Cons


  • No contract fee on stock, ETF, and options trades
  • No commission on mutual funds
  • No penalty for account minimums
  • Versatile user dashboard to manage instrument resources.


  • Trades US Market only
  • Forex, futures, crypto, and fractional share investing is unavailable.

Key Takeaways

Firstrade provides an ideal stock trader app for those trading conventional assets and options without an exorbitant contract fee. Firstrade has a strong interest in Mandarin and Cantonese clients, offering translations and live chat support.

  • Considered a discount online stock broker
  • Providing trading opportunities in investing, retirement, and cash management
  • Offering a wide range of free product trades
  • Ideal for the US and international client base
firstrade icon

Quick Summary

Minimum Deposit: $0

Trading Fees: $0

Promotion: Get 2 free stocks for new accounts & $100 deposit

About Firstrade

First, the company dedicates its resources to you by giving you the most advanced tech tools that allow you to trade confidently and effectively. Their user interface is ideal for new and active traders who want to secure their financial future.

Founded in 1985, Firstrade is a New York-based discount online brokerage firm providing clients investment solutions and the tools to implement their financial goals. 

Their resolution provides you with a commission-free investing platform driven by their commitment to excellence.

To persuade you that Firstrade is the right choice for you, they're a member of FINRA/SIPC and have industry publication support. Rated one of the best online brokers by Barron, Forbes, and Smart Money, Firstrade is proud of their 4.5 star ranking and Best in Class Award in 2019.

Firstrade Products Overview

Firstrade is perfect for a self-directed trader like you for many reasons. To understand how their products work in conjunction with the trading tools you're looking for, let's break it down.


Easy to buy or sell, put or call, and navigate complex option trading opportunities.

Mutual Funds

Rich, 11,000 plus mutual fund portfolio for diverse and manageable investments.


Stocks available on the NYSE, AMEX, the Nasdaq, and OTC markets (over the counter) like OTC Bulletin and pink sheets assist traders in making informed trading decisions.

ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds)

This instrument is an assortment of investments bundled into an ETF with marked similarities and differences from a mutual fund. ETFs are managed and traded like regular stock.

Fixed Incomes, Bonds & CDs

These instruments provide a secure fixed rate of return for a designated length of time and work well within municipal and corporate bonds, CDs, and fixed-income securities.

Margin Investing

This type of trading relies on borrowed funds made available by brokers in trades using margin securities as collateral and gaining competitive margin rates.

DRIP (Dividend Reinvestment)

DRIP affords clients the freedom of automatic reinvestment of dividends without additional fees charged to clients.

Securities Lending Income Program

Potential to earn income on loans and stocks in client portfolios.

Firstrade allows clients to maneuver through all of these investment and trading instruments on their integrated mobile and desktop apps and applies a 0.1-second trade execution guarantee.

Client Trade Account Options

Firstrade always considers all clients' investment needs and tailors their accounts to allow them to explore suitable options for investment goals.

Regular Investing

Traditional or joint brokerage accounts maximize your future wealth potential.

IRA Retirement

Grow your retirement savings funds and lower your taxes.

International Accounts

International traders are provided with a platform conveniently accessible from anywhere in the world.

ESA Education Planning

More critical now, ESAs are tax-free college education savings accounts. 

Custodial Accounts

Protected accounts created for children and minors and held in trust until maturity.

Firstrade Cash Management Accounts

Easy access accounts that combine banking and brokerage accounts into one.  Firstrade supports clients with convenient, user-friendly methods to trade and monitor account activity with their mobile app and broker-assisted trades. 

Call 1-800-869-8800 or place your transaction with web assist.  Firstrade keeps your trades and funds safe with their account protection guarantee (Up to $150 million).

Firstrade Commissions & Fees

Undoubtedly unheard of in the industry, Firstrade offers a zero dollar fee on stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. They also allow options trades with a zero dollar fee on trades and contracts and no surprise hidden fees.

  • Zero Dollar Commissions and Fees on Stocks, ETFs, options, exercise, and assignments.
  • Free funds umbrella includes mutuals, load and no-load, and NFTs (No Transaction Fee Funds).
  • Net yield basis only on fixed income, treasury bills, notes, bonds, municipal bonds (muni), agency bonds, secondary market CDs, Zeros and Strips as mandated.

A $30 fee applies to Primary Market CDs.

Fees by Instrument

  • Cost of broker-assisted stocks/ETFs is $19.95; Options are $19.95 plus $.50/contract.
  • No-load fund fees are $19.95.
  • Short-term redemption fees on mutual fund shares held less than 90 days are $19.95 and an additional $19.95 for assisted redemptions.
  • Redemption fees on funds less than $500 are $19.95 (unless the fund's value is less than $500).
  • Transferred mutual funds are held for 90 days, beginning once the transfer is complete.
  • Regulator-imposed transaction fees are the client's responsibility and appear as line items on trade confirmation slips as fee, trans-fee, or option fee.
  • SBFs (Short Borrow Fees) are processed based on(and including) the settlement date of short-sell and include the buy-cover. These rates depend on several factors and are not limited to supply and demand.

SEC Fees

National securities exchanges are obliged to pay transaction fees (section 31 Securities Exchange Act) to the SEC based on the market volume of sell transactions.

These fees are the responsibility of the client. See SEC policy details outlined here.  The SEC fee rate is $5.10 per $1 million in sales. (See Feb. 25, 2021)

ORF (Options Regulatory Fee)

This fee applies to option trades in buying and selling. It is mandated by the OCC (Options Clearing Corp) and is listed as Option Fee upon trade confirmation. 

This rate is $0.02915 per contract and updated as of Feb. 1, 2022

Who is Firstrade Best For?

The answer is you if you are:

  • A beginning trader
  • An intermediate investor
  • A foreign trader who requires language expertise
  • Clients seeking to switch to a secure platform

What’s unique about this brokerage firm is their no-fee trading options, how they support their clients with quality investment and trading tools, and the secure mobile access options we highlighted in this Firstrade review.

Compare to Other Brokers

robinhood app logo
  • Trading Fees: $0
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Promotion: Get free stocks with deposit
Webull logo
  • Trading Fees: $0
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Promotion: Receive 2 free stocks
Public-com logo
  • Trading Fees: $0
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Promotion: Get free stocks with deposit

Is Firstrade Right for you?

In a market saturated with stock trading app choices, Firstrade understands what active traders look for in an instrument trading platform. 

Having survived the turbulent and continually evolving trade scene, they can help you make informed trades with no fees and zero balance accounts.

Do you need a platform that is:

Available with highly efficient, on the go, mobile apps on iOS and Android? Offering a no per contract fee for options trading while providing you with tools like Options Wizard and Firstrade Navigator?

Firstrade is a trading solution for you:

  • Beginners and or dabblers (no charge on inactive accounts)
  • Mutual fund investors and option traders
  • International and US-based clients

Firstrade FAQ's

Can Firstrade be trusted?

Firstrade is supported by the industry and SEC and meets all the trading standards as outlined by the law.

Is Firstrade good for beginners?

Firstrade brokerage firm is a great trading platform for beginners and provides valuable tools and security for their clients.

Is Firstrade good for trading options?

Absolutely. One of their best trading platforms is within the secure option trading opportunities and fee structure.

How does Firstrade make money?

Firstrade makes money from the daily interest payments from clients who borrow money. Their margin rates are between 5.5% to 9.75%.


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 icon

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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