Firstrade, owned by Firstrade Securities, Inc., offers brokerage products and services. This is not a binary options broker. They offer trading of stocks, options, exchange traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, and other products. It’s a discount brokerage, which means they charge clients significantly lower fees than a traditional brokerage firm but without providing financial advice.

Firstrade.com

Firstrade seems like a serious investment site. It’s also very popular. At the time of writing, the Alexa global rank of firstrade.com was 59,805. To those of you who are not familiar with Alexa rankings, this number means that only 59,804 in the world get more traffic than Firstrade. So highly popular… Where do their visitors come from? About 20-50% of their clients seem to be from the US, which means we’re going to have to make sure they are regulated by the CFTC. Another 40-60% of their visitors are from Japan, China and Taiwan.

Almost a third of the visitors who reach firstrade.com come from affiliate referrals from sites such as furusato-tax.jp in Japan, xueqiu.com in China and LastPass.com in the US. They are also promoted on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Indeed, Firstrade offers an affiliate program.

Who is Behind Firstrade?

Firstrade Securities, Inc. was founded back in 1985. The first online effort of the operation dates back to 1997, when First Flushing Securities was launched, a local discount broker. Since then, the online presence of the brokerage has gone through several iterations, most notably in 1998 – when Firstrade.com was launched – 2000 and 2004. 

It’s a private discount brokerage based in Flushing, NY, USA. Traders have to know though that the funds they deposit with the brokerage will not be held by Firstrade Securities, but rather by Apex Clearing Corporation, the clearing firm used by the operator to handle securities transactions.

The domain uses a privacy service to hide the identity of the site’s owners.

John C. Liu is the CEO of this online investing stock brokerage.

Contact Information

Support is available Mon – Fri, 8:00am – 6:00pm ET.

Firstrade uses live chat to provide support. They also have telephone numbers:

U.S. Toll Free: 18008698800

Overseas: 17189616600

Fax: 17189613919

And an email address: service@firstrade.com.

Their mailing address:

Firstrade Securities Inc.
30-50 Whitestone Expwy.
Ste. A301
Flushing, NY 11354

Regulation

Firstrade is regulated by FINRA, the US self-regulatory Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc, which regulates trading in equities, corporate bonds, securities futures, and options. FINRA is supervised by the SEC (The US Securities and Exchange Commission.)

Firstrade’s Commissions/Fees

In this regard, Firstrade does indeed compare quite favorably with most of its competitors.

On stock orders, it charges a flat fee of $4.95/trade. The same goes for option orders, with the addition of a $0.65 charge/contract.

Mutual Fund-based trades are a tad more expensive at $9.95, though still quite a bit cheaper than the $20-$50 other operators charge.

Broker-assisted stock and option trades are by far the most expensive at $19.95/trade. The margin interest rate used by Firstrade is 7.50%.

Trading Tools

Besides the latest news and economic events, Firstrade’s trading tools cover a wide range of needs: they have a market heat-map, a Sectors and Industries tool (to help traders identify their investment targets) as well as video commentaries on various topics, by independent experts. Fundamental data is delivered in a centralized manner, allowing traders to analyze companies, to pore through Wall Street recommendations, and to compare competing stocks.

The Firstrade trading platforms includes the following investment products and brokerage services: Online Stocks, Options, over 11,000 Mutual Funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Bonds, Treasuries, Agencies and CDs.

Stocks

Trade stocks listed on the NYSE and AMEX, the Nasdaq Stock Market, or the Over-the-Counter (OTC) markets such as the OTC Bulletin Board or Pink Sheets.

Options

Buy and sell puts and calls or Complex Option Strategies.

ETFs

Each ETF is a basket of securities that is designed to generally track an index – broad stock or bond market, stock industry sector, or international stock – yet trades like a single stock.

Mutual Funds

Choose from over 11,000 different Mutual Funds. Diversify your holdings and create a professionally managed, low maintenance portfolio.

Bonds/CDs/Fixed Incomes

Hedge your account with municipal and corporate bonds, CDs and Fixed Income Securities.

Margin Investing

Leverage your investments with competitive margin rates.

Dividend Reinvestment (DRIP)

Reinvest your dividends automatically and with no extra charge.

Securities Lending Income Program

Earn extra income from loans on fully paid shares of stock in your account.

Firstrade Education

Education-wise, there’s a glossary of terms, as well as a video section which covers the basics of the various markets featured by the brokerage. Stocks, Options, ETFs, Mutual Funds and Fixed-income generating Bonds, Treasuries and CDs are all discussed in detail.

Firstrade Review Conclusion

Firstrade is a world-class online trading operation, with quite a history to look back on. Featuring reasonable commissions and a wide range of markets, it competes directly with some of the industry leaders. Its trading tools may not be the best in the business, but the overall package-deal is most definitely a reasonable one.

Firstrade.com is a very legitimate online brokerage, one whose roots reach all the way back to 1985. The operation offers a full range of trading products and investment tools, as well as a selection of retirement-oriented options, like Individual Retirement Accounts.

A FINRA/SIPC member, Firstrade offers access to the trading of stocks, ETFs, Bonds, Mutual Funds and Options. The brokerage has accrued a number of awards over the years, from high-profile organizations such as Forbes, Smart Money and Barron’s.

Firstrade offers good online and mobile trading apps, as well as a well-designed and functional website. Its Chinese-language support is considered to be the best in the business. Its trading tools on the other hand leave room for improvement. There are other operators out there who apparently deliver more in this regard, for the same price.

What are your thoughts about Firstrade?

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