Etrade vs Scottrade vs TD Ameritrade vs Charles Schwab

Compare TD Ameritrade vs Etrade vs Scottrade vs Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab vs Scottrade vs Etrade vs TD Ameritrade: 2015 Comparison Chart

Broker Stocks/ETFs
Mutual Funds
IRA Setup
and Annual Fees
Scottrade $7 $17 $7 + $1.25 per contract $0 $0
TD Ameritrade $9.99 $49.95 $9.99 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Etrade $9.99 $19.99 $9.99 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Charles Schwab $8.95 $76 ($0 to sell) $8.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0

Broker Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
TD Ameritrade
Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab vs Etrade vs Scottrade vs TD Ameritrade: Review

The four firms in this review are the largest and the most recognizable brokerage houses in the United States (and the world) both by the number of clients and the amount of assets the clients hold. These are safe companies that weathered the Great Recession without government help.

We will begin the comparison with the most crucial criteria for most investors - costs. Scottrade is the best priced firm among these discount brokers, with flat-rate $7 commission on stock and ETF trades. Charles Schwab lowered its pricing, and comes in second with flat $8.95 per trade. TD Ameritrade and Etrade have somewhat more expensive, $9.99 per trade rate.

All four firms don't have maintenance and inactivity fees, trading platform fees, IRA account setup and annual (custodial, maintenance) charges. You could open an account, buy a few mutual funds, and when you come back a few years later, you will see no account inactivity charges.

Scottrade offers its customers over 2,600 commission-free (NTF) mutual funds. While other brokerage firms also offer NTF mutual funds, their selection is more limited. Scottrade has the best price on no-load, transaction-fee (TF) mutual funds: $17 per trade. Etrade charges $20 per transaction, TD Ameritrade - $50, and Charles Schwab - $76 to buy, free to sell for the same mutual funds.

Scottrade is in the first place in this review when comparing customer service. TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab are tied at the second spot in this category.

All of these brokerage firms provide versatile, powerful trading tools, that have more than enough features and speed to satisfy most investors. TD Ameritrade also offer professional trading platform (ThinkOrSwim) that will work great for very active traders (day-traders) as well as for forex and futures trading.

Since Scottrade created very easy to use trading screens, provides very helpful customer service, and access to the wealth of educational resources, we rated it as one of the Best Online Brokers For Beginners.


Thanks to top-notch trading technology, we strongly recommend TD Ameritrade to forex, futures, and penny stock traders.

Scottrade is excellent for long-term and do-it-yourself investors, mutual funds investing, IRA accounts, and clients new to investing.

Charles Schwab and Etrade are very good for retirement accounts and fairly inactive investors. Etrade is also the cheapest among large brokerage houses for bond investing.

We encourage readers to take a look at the full brokerage reviews, containing promotional offers for Scottrade (Scottrade Review), TD Ameritrade (TD Ameritrade Review), Etrade (Etrade Review), and Charles Schwab (Charles Schwab Review).


TD Ameritrade: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Scottrade: Get up to $2000 when you open new account or add funds to existing account.

Etrade: None

Charles Schwab: None

Updated on 8/6/2015.

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