Firstrade Penny Stocks and OTC Stocks Trading

2019 Firstrade penny stock fees: commission charged for buying pink sheets/OTCBB/stocks priced under $1. Rules and policy. Is Firstrade good for (offers) penny stocks trading?

Penny Stocks at Firstrade

Firstrade customers have access to the over-the-counter stock market, which includes Bulletin Board equities and the Pink Sheets. While these securities have greater return potential than mega-cap blue chip investments, they also have increased risks.

Firstrade charges $0 commission to trade penny stocks.


$0 commissions + up to $200 in transfer fee rebates.

Penny Stocks at Firstrade

Firstrade’s equity screener has the ability to search for Bulletin Board stocks, the Pink Sheets, and the Nasdaq exchange. Selecting OTC BB returns 34 stocks. OTC PINK generates 15,989 stocks, and Nasdaq produces 2,724 equities.

The search tool can also look for stocks based on market price. Selecting all stocks $5.00 and under generates 10,376 securities. Any stock priced $1 or lower has a $0 (yes, zero) commission at Firstrade.


One equity available to Firstrade customers that trades on the Pink Sheets is Airware Labs Corporation (ticker AIRW). Its last trade price was just 6.5¢. Its 52-week range is between one and ten cents. Despite the low prices, there is a lot of interest in this stock with an average daily volume of 24,000 shares traded. There are nearly 150 million shares outstanding, which produces a market cap of $9.6 million.

Another OTC stock that can be purchased at Firstrade is Avidbank Holdings, Inc. It trades with the ticker symbol AVBH. It most recently traded at $21.50. This is near a 52-week high. The stock has an average daily volume of just 6,700 shares; so obviously there is less interest in this stock. Nevertheless, it does have positive revenue growth during the past three years.


Firstrade is probably the best broker in the OTC realm, compared to its competitors. Amazingly, it does not charge any commissions or surcharges to buy and sell penny stocks.

Firstrade does not require any account minimum to trade penny stocks. Merrill Edge clients, by comparison, must have at least $25,000 in assets to gain the privilege.

The fact that Firstrade’s screener is able to look explicitly for OTC stocks is an advantage. Some other firms don’t provide this service, including E*Trade and WellsTrade.

Placing a Trade at Firstrade for a Penny Stock

When you’re ready to buy your first OTC equity at Firstrade, the process is quite simple. It’s no different than placing an order for a regular stock. Using the broker’s handy trade bar at the bottom of its website is the easiest approach.

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Firstrade Overview

Firstrade is a lesser-known broker but should still be considered in your search if cost is an important consideration for you. They are a no/low-cost broker, just like Robinhood, in that they offer $0 commission on stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. This article will provide a quick overview of Firstrade and what you might expect opening an account there.

Investment Options and Pricing

You can trade most security types with your Firstrade account, including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options, which all qualify for $0 commissions. For those looking for a more balanced portfolio, you can also trade Treasury Bills and Notes, Municipal and Agency Bonds, and CDs, however these instruments incur a commission on a net yield basis, which basically means Firstrade applies a markup/down when they sell to/buy from you. There are no account minimums or maintenance fees at Firstrade.

Investing Platform and Tools

Although we were surprised that Firstrade doesn’t have a desktop or browser-based trading platform, they do have a nicely-designed trading bar at the bottom of their website as well as a mobile app that you can trade from (although you can’t trade mutual funds on the app). The main page on shows a summary of the day’s market activity via the major indices and a summary of your account balance. You can also access company-specific news headlines, research, and charting on their website (via easy links from the trading bar).

On their website you will also find they have some helpful screener tools to sift through their thousands of mutual funds, ETFs, and even stocks. The screeners allow you to screen for investments using a variety of characteristics, such as performance, expense ratios, and net assets.

Customer Support

Firstrade’s customer service is pretty decent considering that trading with them is mostly free. They have an AI chat bot on their website named Sammi to offer 24/7 support for basic questions. For the more detailed inquiries that require live support, Firstrade representatives can be reached by phone Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm.

Updated on 2/4/2019.