Firstrade brokerage account types offered and differences: individual, joint, retirement (Roth IRA, Traditional, Simple, SEP, Custodial), Education/College-Saving Plans, 529, HSA.

Firstrade Accounts Types Overview

Firstrade is going after the same cost-sensitive investors that have flocked to free brokers like Robinhood lately by also offering commission-free trading in addition to a better selection of securities to trade. If you are looking to open a Firstrade account, you’ll be glad to hear that they also offer quite a few account types to choose from, including standard individual accounts, retirement accounts, business accounts and even custodial accounts. This article will go over the different options and what each one is generally used for.

Firstrade Individual or Joint Taxable Account

Firstrade’s most popular account is the standard individual or joint taxable investing account. Individuals and families use these accounts to save and invest extra cash or a portion of their after-tax earnings. There are no tax advantages with this standard account and so any capital gains and/or dividends earned through the account will be subject to capital gains taxes. This account type, as well as all of Firstrade’s different accounts, allows you to trade stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, bonds, and even CDs.

Traditional IRA

If you are self-employed or don’t have a retirement account with your employer, you may want to consider opening a Traditional IRA with Firstrade. This account has all the same features and flexibility of a standard account but comes with tax advantages that will help you earn more. Traditional IRAs are funded with pre-tax earnings, which lower your taxable income in any year where you make a contribution and also allow the balance in your Traditional IRA to grow faster. On the flip side, when you are retired and begin withdrawing funds from your account, the full amount (contributions and gains) will be taxed.

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Roth IRA

You could describe a Roth IRA as the Traditional IRA’s cooler, younger sibling. It has all the same investing options as a Traditional IRA but it is funded with income that you’ve already paid taxes on, which means you won’t get any tax savings in the year that you make contributions. The nice thing about the Roth IRA is that when you withdraw funds from the account you won’t owe any taxes, so this account has an added advantage over the Traditional IRA since you won’t be taxed on capital gains. The only catch is that if you make more than $137,000 in gross income you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA that year, and in any year the maximum you can contribute to a Roth or Traditional IRA is $6,000.

Business Accounts

Firstrade also offers business investing accounts, which can be used by corporations and small businesses that need access to the capital markets as well as by clubs and organizations, such as a community investing club. The advantage of these accounts is that they are not tied to one particular individual but recognize the whole corporate entity or organization as the owner of the account and its assets.


FirstTrade account types


Custodial Account

A custodial account is a brokerage account that you can setup for the benefit of a minor (generally for their future education), who becomes the sole legal owner of the account and its assets upon becoming a legal adult. These accounts come with some tax advantages, such as the first $1,000 in capital gains being tax-free and the next $1,000 being taxed at the minor’s tax rate.

Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts (ESA)

A Coverdell ESA account is similar to a custodial account in that it is setup to cover the future educational costs of a minor (elementary, high school, or college). You can contribute up to $2,000 of income that’s already been taxed per year per minor, and the account will grow tax-free. Withdrawals are also tax-free and must be used to cover the minor’s education costs. In order to open a Coverdell ESA, your gross income must be under $110,000 (or $220,000 for married couples).

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