Firstrade vs SpeedTrader

Get 250 Free Trades and more at Firstrade!   These two brokers are quite small compared to some of their competition. Most people outside the trading community won’t have heard of either of them, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately discount them.

I’ve had experience with both brokers and I can tell you they’re far from second rate. Yes they’re small but that can have advantages, especially where customer service is concerned.

But they’re very different brokers, appealing to different kinds of traders. So check out our comparison tables below to find out which is the best broker for you.


Products & Services

Broker Firstrade SpeedTrader
Rating [rating:3/5] [rating:3/5]
website Visit the Firstrade Website Visit the SpeedTrader Website
Our Review Read Our Full Firstrade Review Read Our SpeedTrader 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

In terms of services offered Firstrade come out on top, they offer all the major investment products including Certificates of Deposit and both standard and Roth IRAs.

SpeedTrader are not far behind offering all the basic investment products that you’d expect from a quality broker.

Both firms offer extended hours trading for a small surcharge, but SpeedTrader insist on charging a quarterly inactivity fee, so if you’re a small trader with limited funds Firstrade are the best broker for you.

Trading Tools

Firstrade SpeedTrader
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


Trading Tools Overview

Different traders require different tools; therefore a platform that’s suitable for one trader might not be suitable for another. So just selecting a broker based on price is a big mistake.

In an ideal world you’d be well advised to test each platform before you commit any real money, in the case of Firstrade that’s not going to be possible because they don’t offer a virtual trading platform.

SpeedTrader on the other hand do have a virtual trading platform but it’s based on their basic SpeedTrader II platform, which doesn’t have the more advanced tools or level 2 data of the more advanced SpeedTrader Pro.

Firstrade’s X-Stream platform is a little lightweight compared to SpeedTrader’s. It has all the basic stuff like live charts and news feeds but more advanced options traders are going to find it a little lacking.

SpeedTrader II has more advanced tools available and like I said it can be upgraded to a more advanced platform if you need it. The top end Sterling Trader Pro is a fully functioning professional style trading platform with all the tools you can think of and some you can’t.

This makes it a fairly complex platform and not really suitable for beginners, but if you’re an advanced trader you won’t have any complaints with it.

Fees & Commissions

Firstrade SpeedTrader
Account Minimum $0.00 $0.00
Margin Account Minimum $2000 $2000
Stocks & ETFs $6.95 $6.95
Options Base $6.95 $0.00
Options Per Contract $0.75 $1.00 per contract
Account Management Fee $0.00 $30.00 Quarterly Inactivity Fee
Broker Assisted Trades $27.00 $6.95
Mutual Funds $9.95 $50.00
Bonds Net Yield (Included in Price) $50.00
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $35.00


In summary SpeedTrader is an excellent broker for the more advanced traders amongst you. With a professional style platform and excellent per share pricing, they’re perfect for all you mini Gordon Gekko’s out there.

They’re not so suitable for beginners or smaller traders though, their platform is a little too complicated and their training is set at a more advanced level. Also they have a quarterly inactivity fee which will put off most smaller traders.

As for Firstrade it’s difficult to recommend them to anyone, they’re a good broker with excellent customer service, but there are cheaper brokers around with better platforms and better training materials.

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