Firstrade vs Robinhood – The No Commissions Brokers Side by Side




Both Firstrade and Robinhood provide for commission-free stock, ETF, and options trading, with the former allowing for tax- and IRA-qualified accounts. Unlike Robinhood, which only offers email assistance, Firstrade maintains a dedicated phone line for customers. Finally, unlike Robinhood, Firstrade offers a professional trading platform complete with Morningstar research.

Both firms are examples of cheap brokerages, a category they both fit. Thus, you are well aware of the outcomes of your choices between the two. To provide customers with the best possible pricing, brokerages negotiate volume discounts with various financial institutions. As a result, the brokerages share a standard set of characteristics.

Stocks, options, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), and other investment choices are available through both brokerages. For retirement accounts like IRAs and Roth IRAs, these brokers let you make investments without paying a fee.

Robinhood is a commission-free stock and ETF trading app for mobile devices. When it comes to stock brokerage firms, Firstrade fits the mold.

Both have zero minimum opening deposit requirements and have done away with trading commissions; thus, they use a similarly minimalistic approach. Yet, their stock markets operate differently. Here, Robinhood falls short since they only provide access to a few stocks and ETFs. They make up for it by not charging fees and providing a user-friendly mobile app.

There are several reasons to choose Firstrade. Given that it is monitored by not one but two of the industry’s most prestigious bodies, it has a proven safety track record. Second, there is no minimum account size or trading commissions. Thirdly, it offers a simplified, user-friendly interface for online trade. It’s no surprise that this firm is popular amongst financial advisors.

Read on if you’re interested in online stock trading and have been thinking about Firstrade.

Firstrade Overview

Until recently, Firstrade only charged a commission on broker-assisted trades; however, all other trades were free. Firstrade’s online resources and assistance are accessible in English, traditional Chinese, and simplified Chinese. Firstrade Securities Inc. was founded in 1985, making it one of the earliest internet trading platforms. In addition to those, as mentioned earlier, it provides access to many instructional tools, calculators, and reference materials.

Firstrade is a web-based discount broker with competitively low commission rates. Investors’ funds are protected since they belong to the SIPC. Thanks to their website and app, you can conduct things like customer service and trade whenever and wherever you want. You may even trade stocks with them for a nominal fee, as they are a cheap brokerage.

For investors who often trade stocks, brokers are the best option because they have access to more investment vehicles than banks. Suppose you go to a bank, for instance. In that case, all you’ll see are savings accounts, CDs, and maybe some restricted investing possibilities for your savings account. You may get stocks, bonds, and other investment goods from a bargain broker like Firstrade, so you can keep on the go.


Robinhood Overview

Thanks to its commission-free model, Robinhood has quickly become one of the most popular brokerages in the United States. The software is among the many trendiest for monitoring your assets and market advice; nonetheless, Robinhood has but to expand past the US.

After its humble beginnings as a free stock trading software, Robinhood has expanded into a full-fledged brokerage. The app’s target audience is retail investors. Still, sophisticated traders will also find helpful features, including historical fee charts and simulated trading.

Younger folks who want to invest but don’t want to be taken advantage of by brokers often turn to the commission-free Robinhood trading platform. The company provides same-day ETF deposits, money access, and extended trading hours under volatile market conditions.

The Robinhood app lets you view real-time quotations and candlestick charts in one convenient location without switching between several tabs.

However, dividends may be reinvested on Robinhood, which is more than can be said about the company’s lack of retirement account options. Any dividends received are reinvestment into the underlying stock or ETF.


Robinhood is user-friendly because of its minimal fee structure and lack of a required minimum balance. A download is all that is required to begin trading. In addition, residents in several states can use Robinhood to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

Robinhood standard accounts have no minimum and no fees (annual, trading, or transfer) of any kind. Robinhood Gold accounts require a minimum deposit of $2,000, which is the required amount set by law. The low cost of using Robinhood is one of its main selling points.

Firstrade vs. Robinhood Service & Feature Comparison


Although Robinhood was the first broker to provide a commission-free approach, that is no longer the case. It’s about even between Firstrade and Robinhood in terms of expenses for most traders. Both brokers are a good option for those trying to avoid paying commissions and account fees.

The low-fee approach has been effectively appropriated by Firstrade. Firstrade, like many competitors in the brokerage market, allows clients to buy and sell stocks and ETFs without paying any fees. When compared to other brokerages, Firstrade’s investing costs are notably low. Firstrade doesn’t charge the industry standard $0.65 per contract for options trading, but other brokers do. Furthermore, the average rate we observe is over $20, so Firstrade’s $0 cost on mutual funds is a significant discount. Firstrade indeed implements a low-fee model.

Robinhood was the first company to provide trading without a commission. It rapidly became a top ETF broker due to its zero-cost stock and ETF trading. Robinhood is also a top choice among trading platforms since it does not impose transaction fees on options trades. This broker is always on the cutting edge; Robinhood is one of the few that doesn’t charge a commission for trading cryptocurrencies. Even when rival brokers decrease prices, it is still a low-cost alternative for most investors.

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Account Types

Many investors see trading as merely a part of their overall strategy. Not all accounts are made equal, especially when planning for the future. User accounts on Firstrade and Robinhood are very distinct from one another.

Beyond the basic taxable account, Firstrade provides a wide variety of investment vehicles for its customers. Both standard and Roth IRAs are available for retirement, with the latter offering additional tax benefits. For multigenerational savings, Firstrade provides custodial accounts like UTMAs and UGMAs. Users of Firstrade may also open a margin account; however, the interest rates are relatively expensive.

Robinhood users may only open a taxable brokerage account. This account may be OK for most investors but doesn’t provide any tax benefits. Users of Robinhood Gold have access to a margin account with reasonable fees. However, the monthly fee of $5 is a bit steep.

Education and Research

The Firstrade website has a glossary and a few short articles for those looking to learn more about the industry. Robinhood’s website features an extensive Frequently Asked Questions section. The broker’s replies are organized by topic, and a search bar is provided for expedited research.

The Robinhood online app or mobile trading platform has no built-in equity screener. One of numerous such attempts has failed thus far. There are no stock reports, no films covering broad investment issues, and no articles. We discovered earnings data and analyst opinions during our research.

In this respect, Firstrade surpasses Robinhood, as its website features an Education Center where users can learn about various aspects of trading through articles and videos. Additionally, the company’s stock profile pages offer in-depth analysis thanks to market research firm Morningstar data. We really like Firstrade’s thorough security checks, which include various factors.

Range of Investments

What makes Firstrade or Robinhood more attractive to you as an investor depends on the kind of investments you trade. Firstrade is a good option for conservative investors. You may invest in mutual funds, certificates of deposit, and bonds with them. Robinhood’s cryptocurrency may appeal to those with a more robust risk appetite. Additionally, investors with smaller accounts may find Robinhood’s fractional trading attractive.

In addition to stocks and ETFs, Firstrade provides investors with various other investing choices. Firstrade provides its members access to options trading and research reports and tools. Mutual fund shareholders can choose from more than 3,000 funds with no burden. To round out a balanced portfolio, Firstrade also provides access to certificates of deposit and bonds.

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Robinhood was created to give users access to the most traded investments at no cost. Although Robinhood only allows trading in certain products, it claims to be easier and cheaper for investors to utilize.

Robinhood allows users to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies without paying any transaction fees. Both Robinhood and Firstrade provide commission-free options trading.

Besides options, Robinhood also sells stocks and ETFs in fractional share increments. Small investors may now have a piece of the action by purchasing fractional shares in major corporations. An investor might invest $5 in the Amazon (AMZN) stock rather than the total share, which would cost almost $3,000. Options trading is also possible on Robinhood. This broker is unusual in that it facilitates transactions involving cryptocurrencies.

Trading Technology & Mobile Apps

When it comes to trading, Firstrade has you covered with various options. Those looking to invest passively will find the platform’s bare bones intuitive and effective. The Navigator provides a platform for making your own widgets, charts, and other applications. In one convenient place, derivative traders may access trading tools and market data thanks to the Options Wizard. Even Firstrade’s mobile app is well regarded. The Firstrade suite provides traders with several different user interfaces to choose from.

Firstrade provides its clients access to three different trading platforms (Firstrade Navigator, options Wizard, and a simple desktop interface) to facilitate transactions. This is not a stripped-down trading platform like other cheaper investment names; instead, it caters to long-term and short-term traders.

Robinhood is considered among the top stock trading applications because of its user-friendly interface. You can check your portfolio and make transactions via the Robinhood app, but that’s about it. Reasons for its widespread acceptance include that trading is now as easy as playing a video game. Robinhood’s desktop version is just as functional as its smartphone counterpart.

Customer Service

Robinhood has a support email contact, a Help Center, and a Frequently Asked Issues (FAQ) section on the website to answer any questions you may have.

Firstrade provides toll-free and local numbers in their respective countries for international clients. It also has an email help option and a live chat feature.

Other Features

Firstrade’s website is straightforward and provides a good learning environment with access to resources, including real-time streaming quotations, research tools, analysis, options trading ideas, and screener tools. Stock and mutual fund screeners are intuitive to use, but their features aren’t really cutting edge.

Yet, entering transactions for screening purposes is a relatively short process. and Morningstar provide news and portfolio analysis reports.

OptionPlay is a platform where traders and investors can discuss and analyze option transactions more in-depth and develop new ideas. Spreads may be compared in real-time as well.

This is a great tool; however, it’s buried in the “options chains” pages of the Firstrade platform, making it inconvenient to access rapidly. Different charting platforms provide varying degrees of performance.

Basic charting functionality is available in browsers, but it is challenging to set up and lacks customization options. MultiCharts allows for more granular chart customization in Firstrade Navigator and the mobile app.

Robinhood, in contrast, does not provide any sort of screening mechanism. There is some basic charting functionality but no options for personalization.

You may set up alerts and watchlists in the app, and the two will sync with your browser. In general, the data presented is elementary, and most investors will need to undertake more homework before using Robinhood to make a trade.

We discovered that Firstrade’s charting capabilities exceeded those of Robinhood’s. All of Firstrade’s investments are tracked by Morningstar. Multiple diagramming instruments, technical indicators, comparisons, corporate happenings, and more are available. We discovered data on prices going back more than 40 years. The program’s inability to expand a graph was particularly frustrating. 

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Firstrade vs. Robinhood: The Bottom Line

Neither Firstrade nor Robinhood stands out as the only app in this comparison. Several aspects, like your preferred investment types and level of research and tool use, will determine which broker is best for you. You can think about whether or not you need a taxable account at all or whether or not you can get by with only one of the other choices.

When it comes to features and tools, Firstrade is unmatched. OptionPlay is a cooperation that deserves special attention from derivatives traders. Users of Firstrade will benefit from the combination of these two companies by having access to new research options and innovative technologies. Firstrade’s funds appeal to investors since they do not charge commissions. Firstrade may be the superior option for those looking for a custodial or tax-deferred account.

When it comes to account types and user base, Firstrade is unrivaled. Unlike Robinhood, Firstrade supports retirement plans, joint taxable accounts for married couples, and custodial accounts. It’s possible to incur various charges, including a $19.95 cost for making a withdrawal of less than $500. When rearranging your finances, be wary of such situations.

Robinhood has a simple, user-friendly interface. Since Robinhood offers commission-free cryptocurrency transactions, it should be on every trader’s radar. Fractional trading also provides a novel option for investors with smaller budgets. The popularity of Robinhood stems mainly from its excellent smartphone app.

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Can you tell me if Firstrade or Robinhood is better for newbies?

For first-time investors, Firstrade is preferable to Robinhood. Investors may access a wealth of resources at Firstrade, including extensive instructional materials and research.

How do Firstrade's fees compare to Robinhood's?

No transaction fees are charged by either Firstrade or Robinhood. Similar to Firstrade, Robinhood's options trading cost is $0. Both brokerages provide free option contracts.

Do Firstrade and Robinhood offer better investment opportunities?

Compared to Robinhood, Firstrade has a wider variety of investment opportunities available. Mutual Funds, stocks, and options are all available to Trade on Firstrade.

Comparing Firstrade vs. Robinhood, which online platform is better?

We put the trading tools, research features, and mobile applications of Firstrade, and. Firstrade provides a more satisfying trading environment. We found that Firstrade provides a better mobile trading app.

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