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Firstrade is an online broker of investment products including stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds and CDs. It offers online and mobile trading at $0 commission with no stock trading deposit minimum or account maintenance fees. The company also offers portfolio management services at an additional cost.
- No opening minimums
- Commission-free trading
- International trading welcome
- Pricey portfolio management
- Limited customer support hours
Firstrade is a platform that allows customers to trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds and CDs with no commission fees. It also manages portfolios for a fee. It works with traders in the U.S. and select countries.
What is Firstrade?
Firstrade is an online stock broker offering discount investing with no minimum balance. Customers can choose from a variety of account types, including traditional, joint brokerage, IRA retirement, international, business, ESA education planning, custodial accounts and cash management accounts.
Many of Firstrade’s comprehensive investment services are available at no charge. These include stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options. Other services available at a fee include bonds, CDs, fixed incomes, margin investing, DRIP accounts and the Securities Lending Income Program.
While commission-free trading is probably its biggest draw, there are other benefits to investing with Firstrade, like free stocks with referrals and an account transfer fee rebate up to $200 on account transfers of $2,500 or more.
How does Firstrade Securities work?
Users can open an account online by transferring money via an ACH electronic funds transfer. There is no minimum balance. If your previous bank charges a transfer fee and you invest $2,500 or more, you may be eligible for a $200 rebate by providing Firstrade with a recent bank statement that shows the transfer charge.
International bank account owners must have a valid passport to open a Firstrade account. The account will be in review for two to four business days before becoming active.
After Firstrade sends an email indicating the account is active, customers can begin to invest through Firstrade’s website or the mobile app. You may also invest with the assistance of a broker for a fee.
Extended-hours trading is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Users can speak with live customer support from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.
For those customers interested in self-directed trading, Firstrade offers 100% commission-free trades on stocks, ETFs, options and mutual funds. Fixed-income trading, however, is priced on a net yield basis.
Those interested in broker-guided trading can expect to pay $19.95 per trade plus $0.50 per contract. With many online discount firms offering $10 per trade, broker-advised trading is a little pricier than the national average through Firstrade.
Like most investment firms, Firstrade charges a range of margin rates from 8.75% on $10,000 or less to 4.50% on $1 million or more for those interested in trading on margin.
- Is Firstrade safe?
- Because Firstrade is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), $500,000 worth of its securities are protected, along with $250,000 in cash balances. Through London Underwriters, Firstrade has purchased additional insurance of $37.5 million in securities and $900,000 in cash.
As with most investment insurance, this does not cover a loss in market value, bad investment advice or individual hacking. However, should missing assets occur, unauthorized trading take place or the firm be forced to liquidate because of a hack, Firstrade’s insurance will cover those losses.
- Is Firstrade free?
- Stocks, ETFs, options and mutual funds are all commission-free through Firstrade. However, fixed-income trading is priced on a net yield basis. Customers who want to participate in broker-assisted stock options and trades pay $19.95 per trade plus 50 cents per contract.
- How does Firstrade make money?
- Firstrade generates some of its income through routing venues and execution income. Like most banks, Firstrade makes most of its revenue through interest on credit and margin balances.
- Can I day trade on Firstrade?
- In order to day trade, you must have a pattern day trader title and a margin account. To meet these requirements, customers must invest $25,000 in account equity and day trade at least four times over a five-day period.
- How do I withdraw money from Firstrade?
- The fastest way for investors to withdraw money is through a wire transfer, which usually takes one to two business days. Customers can also set up regular automatic transfers from Firstrade accounts to personal bank accounts.
Is Firstrade good?
With no opening minimums and 100% commission-free trading on certain products, customers who are comfortable investing on their own will find much to love about Firstrade. While Firstrade isn’t the most cost-effective choice for customers in need of investment advice, it’s an excellent choice for investors who feel comfortable trading without the advice of a broker.
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