The remarkable story of Firstrade began in 1985 as the discount broker First Flushing Securities, serving the investment needs of the local community. Achieving steady and organic growth, the company caught sight of the benefits to be gained from tapping into the capabilities of the Internet. Truly a pioneer in online trading, Firstrade.com was launched in 1997 joining only a handful of other online stock brokers on the web.
Firstrade’s commitment to offer the most for the least struck a chord with investors. Firstrade’s online trading system grew rapidly, providing self-directed investors with fast order execution, excellent customer service, and exceptional site performance. Major industry publications including Barrons, Forbes, and SmartMoney have all rated Firstrade among the best online brokers for consecutive years. In 2005, Firstrade was named the “Best Deal” in the online discount broker category by Smart Money Magazine, and continued the streak in 2006 when Kiplingers Magazine called Firstrade the “Clear Winner in the Mutual Funds Category” and “Top Clean-Hands Firm”.*
Many competitors have come and gone, but Firstrade today continues to serve our customers with the same friendly, dedicated, and personal touch that has been our principle since day one. We are also constantly developing new products and services, with many new and exciting features on their way! To all our customers, thank you for choosing Firstrade as your online broker!
Your personal goals and financial objectives are critical factors in determining how your portfolio should be invested. Of equal importance is the assurance that the assets in your account are properly safeguarded. At Firstrade Securities, we ensure customers have reliable account protection through SIPC insurance membership and additional coverage with Apex Clearing Corp.
Firstrade Securities is a “Member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”), which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at www.sipc.org”
Our clearing firm, Apex Clearing Corporation, has purchased an additional insurance policy to supplement SIPC protection. This additional insurance policy, widely known as “excess SIPC,” becomes available to customers in the event that SIPC limits are exhausted. This additional insurance provides protection for securities and cash up to an aggregate limit of $150 million, subject to sub-limits for any one customer of $37.5 million for securities and $900,000 for cash. Similar to SIPC protection, this additional insurance does not protect against a loss in the market value of securities. For additional information on SIPC insurance, please contact your broker.
Firstrade Securities was founded in 1985 in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York, to serve the needs of the local community, especially ethnic Chinese immigrants. In 30-plus years, Firstrade has become an online discount broker with a range of tools and resources, including some unique features. True to its roots, the website is available for trading in traditional and simplified Chinese as well as in English. Firstrade offers low fees: $2.95 per stock trade, $0.50 per options contract, and up to 500 commission-free trades for new accounts with a $2,000 initial deposit. There are no minimum balance fees, and you can get $100 in free trades when you open even a small new account. Among other standout features are after-hours trading, both simple and complex options orders, thousands of available mutual funds, and access to a range of fixed-income products, including U.S. Treasuries and corporate and municipal bonds.
Firstrade customers and their assets are safeguarded to industry standards. In addition to operating under FINRA regulations, the brokerage uses a clearing firm (Apex Clearing Corp.) that provides an extra layer of insurance protection beyond the regulators’ minimums. Firstrade is a member of SIPC, so its securities accounts are protected for up to $500,000, including $250,000 for cash claims.
As a member of both FINRA and SIPC, Firstrade is regulated for both equity and fixed-income markets. The broker guarantees best execution efforts, promising that if your qualifying S&P 500 equity market order takes longer than 0.1 seconds to execute, your trade is commission-free. Firstrade also offers account balance protection through a third-party insurer and secures your account and its privacy, guaranteeing losses up to $37.5 million per customer in the event of improprieties.
IG offers its clients over 15000 tradable assets across multiple classes including forex, CFDs on shares, indices, commodities, bonds, cryptocurrencies, options, interest rates, and IPOs. Below is a list of instruments available for trading at IG. IG’s trading asset characteristics vary from country to country. The asset specifications below apply to UK/European clients.
|Asset class||Number of instruments||Spreads from||Margins from||Leverage Upto|
|Stock CFDs||8000+||.1% Commission||5%||5:1|
|Cryptocurrencies||5||6 units mkt. price||12.5%||2:1|
|Interest Rates||6+||1 pt.||0.25%||Vary|
Choose from a wide array of stock market investing opportunities. 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.
Buy and sell puts and calls or Complex Option Strategies.
Exchange Traded Funds (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.
Choose from over 11,000 different Mutual Funds. Diversify your holdings and create a professionally managed, low maintenance portfolio.
Hedge your account with municipal and corporate bonds, CDs and Fixed Income Securities.
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.
We offer different types of online brokerage accounts to fit your investment objectives.
Build your family’s wealth with a traditional or joint brokerage account.
Save taxes now or later and accumulate retirement savings with an IRA.
Access Firstrade’s fast and powerful online trading platform from almost anywhere in the world. For more details on how to open an international online trading account with Firstrade, click here.
No matter what business you’re in, we have the online trading account for you. Choose from Investment Club, Corporate, LLC, Partnership, or Sole Proprietorship accounts.
ESA Education Planning
Help your children reach their highest potential with an ESA.
An investment account set up for a child/minor wherein the account is placed under a custodian’s control until the minor reaches legal adulthood.
Firstrade Cash Management Account
Consolidate your banking and brokerage services all in to one account.
For individual traders, IG does not offer various types of accounts that differ with respect to spreads or fees. IG only offers one type of account for all its clients. However, IG allows its clients to open accounts that are specifically geared towards trading a specific asset class. For example, traders can open a CFD account and trade only CFDs. If a client wants to trade all of these instruments IG offers, then the client may choose to open an account that combines all asset classes. Below is a list of details and features for the two types of accounts.
|Zero spread account||No|
|Min trade||0.01 lot|
|Max trade||100 lots|
|Trading Platforms||L2 & MT4|
There’s no minimum balance to open an account, however if a trader wants to initiate a trade in a real account, the account balance needed to initiate the trade will be necessary. There is no minimum deposit for a bank transfer. For credit card deposit, there is a minimum £250 or equivalent. There are no charges for normal withdrawals or terminating an account.
IG charges its client for holding trades beyond the close of a trading day into the next day. These costs vary depending on the instrument and the type of position (i.e. long or short) being held overnight, and in some cases may result in a credit instead of a charge. Inactivity fees take effect after an account has been idle for two years. All retail Client Money is held in segregated client bank accounts.
Funding an IG account can be accomplished via bank transfer PayPal, debit or credit card including MasterCard, Visa. Cards and bank transfer payments are free of charge. IG processes deposits instantly for card payments, and same day processing for withdrawals for requests made before 1 pm UK time. Bank transfer transactions take up to 3 business days.
Opening an account with IG is usually completed within 3-business days. Documents required are a valid ID (i.e. passport, driver’s license, or national ID), and proof of address (i.e. bank statement, utility bill, or tax invoice dated within the last three months and issued to your name and address). IG does not accept clients from the following countries: USA, Canada, and Poland.
Web & Desktop Trading Platforms
All the tools you need to make trades, all in one page
Firstrade has designed an Account Dashboard that gives you two separate columns to make your daily, weekly and monthly account and market activity easier and faster to read. One column gives you a snapshot of your account with a dynamic display while the other focuses on market movers, indices and news.
Introducing Firstrade Navigator
Manage and trade from one screen
All your account information and trading screens are now easily accessible from one place. Quickly place and manage your orders, view your positions and balances and track the market.
Real-time streaming account and market data
All market and account data is now updated in real-time to Firstrade Navigator. Refreshing your online trading tools is a thing of the past.
Easily collapsible columns and panels means you can adjust your experience how you want. Switch between a compact layout or expand everything to get the full experience.
Add and drag account and market related widgets with a click. Arrange them wherever you like to provide quick access to the
information you need.
Advanced technical charting
The most advanced charting platform is available to all Navigator users. Dozens of powerful technical studies for you to analyze and predict stock movement.
Pie graphs provide a quick glimpse of what’s going
on in your account.
|Stop loss Orders||Yes||Yes|
|Expert advisors (EAs)||Yes||No|
|Virtual private server||No||No|
|Direct market access||Yes||Yes|
Customers have several ways to get in touch, including live chat, email, and phone. There is also a call-back service. The customer support team is accessible 10 hours a day, Monday through Friday. Firstrade also caters to the do-it-yourself investor with one of the most comprehensive FAQ sections available.
Customer service is available by phone, live chat, or email Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Chinese-language support is also available by phone or chat. There is no dedicated social media channel for support and no TTY phone line available for customers with hearing impairments.
The educational content provided by Firstrade includes instructional videos covering investment products, use of the platform, and basic investing strategies. Detailed information on margin loans, retirement accounts, and tax planning are also provided. The education center offers beginners a detailed investment glossary, including a breakdown of key concepts and phraseology.
The education section offers basic information about investing and trading that is well suited to beginners. However, in-depth instruction is lacking, so more advanced investors aren’t likely to get much out of this part of the site. The section on retirement planning is richer but lacks some basic tools, such as a retirement savings calculator.
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