Firstrade Stock Trading

Updated Saturday, April 9, 2011

Stock Trading Grade: B

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In early 2011 Firstrade revamped their stock trading platform.  In addition to a redesigned interface, Firstrade also added the trailing stop, cancel and trigger order types.  Initiating new positions via the trade ticket is well designed while closing out holdings from the positions menu is vastly improved.  Canceling open orders works as expected but curiously modifying open orders has been removed as part of the redesign.  Confirmations include trade execution time down the second.  The improved Firstrade stock trading platform is worth checking out.

Order Types:

See our Order Types page for an explanation of order types


To trade stocks at Firstrade, click on the Trading tab and then select Stocks/ETFs, which brings up the stock order entry menu.  We filled out our ticket to purchase 10 shares of PetroChina (PTR) with a limit price of $133.00 and a duration of GT90 (good until canceled up to 90 days). When everything was set we clicked on the Preview button.  Note that this step can be skipped by clicking the Send Order button directly (click on images for larger views):

This brought up the order preview menu showing additional information such as the estimated commission and the total order cost.  Everything looked OK so we clicked the Send Order button:

Our order was submitted successfully:

We then clicked on the link provided in the order confirmation screen to access the order status menu.  From this section open orders can be canceled.  The old Firstrade stock trading platform allowed for modification of open orders, and the Firstrade iPhone App still has this feature but for some reason it is no longer available here.  Hopefully this can re-implemented soon.

Current holdings can be viewed at the Account Positions menu.  This section has been revamped in early 2011 and is much improved.  The default view shows the symbol, quantity, latest prices daily gain / loss and total gain / loss and is perfect for most investors.  Users can also customize this menu by choosing from a selection of 44 different columns.  Separately, our research tools review shows how gain / loss information can be stored and retrieved using the X-Stream Portfolio application but this is a totally separate application from the main Firstrade trading platform.

We decided to sell our shares so we clicked on the Action button and then selected Close Position from within the Account Positions menu.  This loaded the condensed trade ticket at the bottom of the browser window with the action, symbol and number of shares auto-populated.  We then entered a limit price and submitted our order:

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