Firstrade is probably the best entry-level trading platform in the market, while still offering plenty of features and options to keep the more savvy and advanced traders satisfied. The standout perks of Firstrade are undoubtedly the intuitive and streamlined trading platform and the minimalistic fee structure (no-commission stock trading, and no-fee mutual fund trading.)
Firstrade essentially pioneered the practice of commission-free trading for stocks, options, and EFTs. They were the hipsters of free trading, offering a zero commission policy back before it was cool. These days it's all but standard, but Firstrade was, well, the First. They don't charge trading fees for over 11,000 mutual funds. This is not an industry standard; it is as rare as it is refreshing.
For traders don't don't require advanced options or that are overwhelmed by complicated platforms, or even those who just prefer simplicity, Firstrade's straight-forward trading interface is a god send. Some may argue that what you gain in simplicity you lose in functionality, and there's truth to that, but Firstrade has struck an excellent balance between functionality and simplicity. Be it on your computer, phone, or tablet, the platforms, apps, and Navigator are all very user-friendly, even for beginners, and offer sufficient functionality for the vast majority of traders.
Navigating the web-based trading platform and account pages is simple and intuitive. Orders can be placed from just about anywhere within the site or apps. Menus are easy to find and navigate, and the Navigator platform allows customize your interface by adding, removing, or simply reorganizing various modules on the screen to your liking. The charts in the Navigator and mobile platforms are courtesy MultiCharts (TradingView,) a platform that is both highly functional and easy to use, making it an excellent fit on Firstrade.
Fristrade has a full suite of instruments; Stocks, Options, EFTs, Fixed Income, and a whopping 11,000+ Mutual Funds. The menu of no-transaction-fee mutual funds and ETFs is broad enough to cover most asset classes. The fixed income order pages and screening tools are easy to use and are easily accessible. This is something that sets Firstrade apart from other brokers at this price point. Typically the ease of use is on par with the pricing structure. But at Firstrade, you get the best of both; low-cost trading on an intuitive platform.
Firstrade's customer service is on point! While not available 24/7, the support reps are typically very quick to respond during trading hours, and are pleasantly knowledgable and well-informed. During times of heavy call volume, their phone support has a handy call-back feature, that is both reliable and quick. Definitely beats staying on hold. There is also live chat support available, and a FAQ knowledge base for more general questions.
Plainly stated, Firstrade is an easy to use platform accessible on any device, with an impressive portfolio of instruments, reliable customer service, and more free trading options than just about any of their competitors, Firstrade is an excellent choice, especially for beginner's and/or those who detest commissions and contract fees.