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Firstrade fees explained

Jul 2019
Compare to best alternative broker

Overview of Firstrade fees and charges

Firstrade logo

It's safe to say that Firstrade's fees are low in general. They either don't charge a brokerage fee for things other brokers do charge for, or they only charge a small amount. This means that you can use Firstrade even in case you trade frequently like multiple times a week or daily.

Here's a high level overview of Firstrade's fees

Firstrade Fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock fee Low $0 per trade
EURUSD fee - Not available
US tech fund fee Low $0 per trade
Inactivity fee Low $100 inactivity fee applicable only after several years inactivity

Firstrade fees
Firstrade fees explained

Online brokerages in general charge much lower brokerage fees than traditional brokerages do - this is largely due to the fact that online brokerages' businesses can be much better scaled: From a purely technical standpoint it doesn't make that much of a difference for them if they have 100 or 5000 clients.

This is not to say however that they don't have any fees at all. They make money by charging you at various events for various rates. Usually you need to keep an eye on these 3 types of fees:

  • Trading fees - these are brokerage fees that you pay when you actually do a trade, i.e. buying an Apple stock or an ETF. What you pay is either a commission, a spread or financing rate. Some brokers apply all of these.
    • A commission is either based on the traded volume or it is fixed.
    • A spread is the difference between the buy price and the sell price
    • Financing rate or overnight rate is charged when you hold your leveraged positions for more than one day.
  • Non-trading fees. These occur related to some operations you make in your account, i.e. depositing money to your account, withdrawing money from it or not trading for an extended amount of time.

We compare Firstrade fees with its closest competitors, Fidelity and E-Trade.

Firstrade fees
Firstrade trading fees

Firstrade's trading fees are low which makes it suitable for you even if you trade often (i.e. multiple times a week).

Let's break down the trading fees into the different asset classes available at Firstrade.

Trading fees

Firstrade's trading fees are low.

Stock fees and ETF fees

Firstrade has low stock trading fees.

Stock fees of a $2,000 trade
Firstrade Fidelity E-Trade
USA $0.0 $5.0 $7.0
UK - $13.1 -
Germany - $21.7 -

Fund fees

Firstrade fund fees are low.

A $2,000 fund buy fees
Firstrade Fidelity E-Trade
USA tech fund buy $0.0 $37.5 $20.0
Europe stock fund buy - - -

Bond fees

Firstrade has average bond fees.

Bond fees of a $10,000 trade
Firstrade Fidelity E-Trade
USA $40.0 $0.0 $0.0
Europe - - -

Options fees

Firstrade's options fees are low.

Stock index options fees of 10 contracts
Firstrade Fidelity E-Trade
USA $0.0 $11.5 $14.5
UK - - -
Germany - - -

Financing rates

Firstrade financing rates are high.

If you want to trade on margin and prefer to hold your positions long, financing costs can be significant.

Firstrade yearly financing rates
Firstrade Fidelity E-Trade
Apple financing rate 9.5% 9.8% 10.8%
Vodafone financing rate - 9.8% -
EURUSD financing rate - - -
EURGBP financing rate - - -

Firstrade fees
Firstrade non-trading fees

When it comes to looking at all the non-trading fees Firstrade is a cheap broker. This means that they don't charge you a lot for non-trading related activities on your trading account, like withdrawal fee.

Non-trading fees include various brokerage fees and charges at Firstrade that you pay not related to buying and selling assets. Among some others, typical non trading fees are withdrawal fee, deposit fee, inactivity fee and account fee.

A high level overview of how Firstrade stacks up in non-trading fees
Firstrade Fidelity E-Trade
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0
Deposit fee 0 0 0
Inactivity fee No No No
Account fee No No No

Firstrade fees
Firstrade deposit fee

Deposit fees are applied when you send money to your trading account from your bank account. Usually brokers don't charge money for that and Firstrade is not different: you will see the exact same amount on your brokerage account that you sent by any of the deposit methods Firstrade offers.

Firstrade deposit methods
Firstrade Fidelity E-Trade
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No Yes No
Deposit fee 0 0 0

Firstrade fees
Firstrade withdrawal fee

Unlike the majority of the online brokers we have reviewed Firstrade does not charge a withdrawal fee. This means that you'll see the same amount of money on your bank account that you transferred from your brokerage account.

Firstrade withdrawal fees and options compared
Firstrade Fidelity E-Trade
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No Yes No
Withdrawal fee with bank transfer $0 $0 $0

Firstrade fees
Firstrade inactivity fee

Firstrade does not apply an inactivity fee which is great because your account will not be charged even if you do not trade for a longer time period (months or years).

AUTHOR

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager
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