TradeKing vs Firstrade

Get 250 Free Trades and more at Firstrade!   In terms of revenue TradeKing and Firstrade are equally matched, They both  offer similar levels of service and have a strong and loyal following with their respected clients.

So which broker is right for you? Will one broker suit you more than the other? Well we’ve compared the service levels, trading platform and price of these two smaller sized brokers to see which one comes out on top.

Check out the tables below to find out what we think about each broker’s relative performance and what kind of traders we recommend them for.

Don’t forget both of these brokers offer virtual trading platforms so you can give each one a thorough test drive before you make a decision.

Products & Services

Broker TradeKing Firstrade
Rating [rating:5/5] [rating:4/5]
website Visit the TradeKing Website Visit the Firstrade Website
Our Review Read Our TradeKing Review Read Our Full Firstrade Review
Bank Deposits Bank Deposits
Bonds Bonds
Certificates of Deposits Certificates of Deposits
Day Trading Day Trading
Services Extended Hours Trading Extended Hours Trading
Mutual Funds Mutual Funds
Trading Community Trading Community

Services Overview

When it comes to products and services both brokers are very evenly matched, there is nothing to choose between them. They both offer Certificates of Deposits which is rare for brokers of this size.

Neither broker is a fan of day traders however so if you’re a day trader you’re out of luck. Most of the day traders I know use a direct access broker anyway so it’s not much of an issue to be honest.

One thing that differentiates Firstrade is that their website is available in both simplified and traditional Chinese. That goes for the training and everything, so members of the Chinese community who I know have a love of trading, will probably favor Firstrade.

Trading Tools

TradeKing Firstrade
Automated Trading Automated Trading
Investor Resource Center Investor Resource Center
Mobile Trading Mobile Trading
Online Advisor Online Advisor
Trading Tools
Profit & Loss Calculator Profit & Loss Calculator
Streaming Charts Streaming Charts
Stock & Fund Screeners Stock & Fund Screeners
Tables & Graphs Tables & Graphs
Training & Education Training & Education
Virtual Trading Virtual Trading

Tools Overview

Trading tools is where the biggest differences between these two brokers are to be found. The TradeKing platform is one of the best available from a small broker, it has every thing the intermediate trader needs and yet manages to be totally intuitive.

The Firstrade platform, which was recently updated, is a little light when it comes to some of the more advanced tools. It’s nice and easy to use with a clean interface and intuitive design, perfect for a beginner it isn’t really suitable for more advanced traders.

One other advantage TradeKing has over Firstrade is their trading community, split into various levels depending on experience; it’s populated by many traders who are more than willing to share their experience. A resource like this shouldn’t be overlooked when choosing a broker. I’ve learned a lot from participating in trading communities and wouldn’t be the trader I am today without them.

Fees & Commissions

TradeKing Firstrade
Account Minimum $0.00 $0.00
Margin Account Minimum $2000 $2000
Stocks & ETFs $4.95 $6.95
Options Base $4.95 $6.95
Options Per Contract $0.65 per contract $0.75 per contract
Account Management Fee $0.00 $0.00
Broker Assisted Trades $5.00 $27.00
Mutual Funds $14.95 $9.95
Bonds $4.95/Per Bond Net Yield Basis
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $30.00


If price is your overriding factor you can see TradeKing win again, they are cheaper across the board for everything from stocks to mutual funds. Price shouldn’t be the overriding factor when choosing a new broker though.

You really need to look at the service they provide and the support they offer. With regards to support both brokers score pretty highly. They’re both fairly small and take customer service very seriously.

It’s not unusual to contact the service desk with a problem and speak to the same person twice. You can even ask to speak with a person you’ve spoken to before, for that extra personal touch. Try that at one of the bigger brokers and you’ll get short shrift.

If that’s the kind of personal service you’re looking for, you won’t go far wrong with either of these two brokers.

If I had to choose one, it would have to be TradeKing, due to the fact they have a more complete platform, better pricing and a wonderful trading community. I don’t really see a reason to join Firstrade unless you’re a native Chinese speaker.

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