M1 Finance

Firstrade: Fractional Shares and Dollar Amount of Stock


2020: Does Firstrade offer buying of partial (fractional) shares of high value stocks such as Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG), or Facebook (FB)?



Buying Fractional Shares of Stock on Firstrade


You cannot directly buy a fractional share of stock (such as Berkshire Hathaway or Google) on Firstrade or any of its traditional competitors such as TD Ameritrade, Etrade, or Vanguard. However, you can invest in partial shares of stocks by using a $0-commission brokerage firm called Public.com.


Open Public Account


Get FREE stock and $0 commission stocks/ETFs/partial shares.

Open Public Account


Retirement Accounts


Firstrade customers can open a variety of Individual Retirement Accounts. These include Roth, Traditional, Rollover, SIMPLE and SEP accounts. The broker recently eliminated its IRA termination fee, so closing one is now free of charge. The same commission schedule mentioned above applies to IRA’s. There are many target-date mutual funds available at Firstrade. Some of the fund families include Allianz, BlackRock, and Fidelity.

At the top of the Firstrade website is a navigation menu, and one of the selections is ‘Retirement & Planning.’ Clicking on this produces a variety of resources, including a tax center, education savings goals, and small business plans. There are also a few retirement calculators in this section.


Cash Management


Firstrade customers can open a hybrid investment-cash management account. The broker does require a fairly significant $25,000 to do so, however. The account comes with checks and a Visa debit card, courtesy of UMB Bank. There is no charge for these banking tools, which is a nice policy because Firstrade used to charge for them. While the Visa card can be used worldwide, there is a 3% fee for transactions that occur outside the U.S. There is no annual fee for the account, and securities can be traded in it.


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Firstrade Cons


Users that run into issues over the weekend or on weeknights are out of luck as Firstrade offers no customer support during these hours. Many other brokers offer 24/7 customer services lines and event have brick and mortar locations that their customers can visit.

Mutual funds offered through Firstrade are skimpy and therefore do not compete well with others such as WellsTrade. Firstrade charges for no-load products which is a large con as most others, such as TD Ameritrade, do not charge for no-load products.

A huge downside of Firstrade is the absence of a desktop application. Others, such as TradeStation, make available both online and downloadable programs.

Managed accounts and investment advice is absent on Firstrade so there is no robo-advisory available. Fidelity and E*Trade offer these services standard to all users.

When it comes to options chains, Firstrade offers very few pre-defined strategies whereas TradeStation offers strategies such as butterflies, strangles, and collars.

The mobile app does lack the ability to transfer or deposit funds and view video news.