Tradestation vs Etrade (2021)


Compare Etrade vs Tradestation (TS): which firm/platform is better? IRA accounts, online trading/options/investing fees, and stock broker differences.



Overview


Both TradeStation and E*Trade updated their pricing schedules. They offer sophisticated trading tools for both stock and option traders. Other services besides securities trading can be found at either firm as well. Let's see which broker is better - Tradestation or E*Trade.


Cost


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Tradestation $0 $14.95 $0.50 per contract $0 $0
Etrade $0 $19.95 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
WeBull $0 na $0 per contract $0 $0


Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Tradestation
Etrade
WeBull


Promotions


Tradestation: Up to $5,000 cash bonus when you transfer funds into TradeStation.

Etrade: Get zero commission on stock and ETF trades.

Webull: Get 2 FREE stocks valued up to $1,850.



Customer Support


An E*Trade representative is available by phone or on-line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The broker's website also has an internal message service where account holders can send and receive messages. There is an E*Trade phone number for customers who travel outside the U.S. And there are thirty brick-and-mortar locations located in seventeen states.

TradeStation offers customer service from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm, EST, Monday through Friday. Technical support is available from 3:30 pm on Sunday until 8:00 pm on Friday. The broker's trade desk is open during market hours. The TradeStation website has an on-line chat feature and internal messaging. However, there are no brick-and-mortar locations.

E*Trade wins the first category.


Pricing Schedule


ETF and stock trades cost $0 at E*Trade. Derivative contracts cost 65 cents, while active traders (this status is achieved with 10 or more trades per month) receive a discount of 15 cents.

TradeStation has two commission schedules: TS Select and TS Go. Both of them come with zero commissions on stock, ETF, option, and futures trades. On the TS Select plan, options cost an extra 60¢ per contract; while futures cost an extra $1.50. With TS Go, stock options are an extra 50¢, while futures cost 85¢.

At E*Trade, U.S. Treasury bonds and corporate debt traded on the primary market are priced on a markup/markdown basis. Corporate bonds on the secondary market cost $1 each. There is a $250 maximum and a $10 minimum.

TradeStation charges $5 per bond. Debt transactions have a minimum trade amount of $14.95. This fee schedule applies to all types of fixed-income products.

An E*Trade account has no annual fee and no minimum balance requirement. The broker's clients must deposit at least $500 to open an account. TradeStation imposes a $50 annual fee. This can be avoided by placing 5 trades or more every year, or maintaining a $2,000 balance. There is no opening deposit requirement.

Overall, TradeStation seems to have the better schedule.


Mutual Funds and ETFs


E*Trade clients have access to more than 10,000 mutual funds. On this list, there are roughly 4,200 products without loads or transaction fees. If an NTF fund is sold in less than 3 months, the brokerage firm charges $49.99. If a fund isn't on the NTF list, there is a charge of $19.99, and the fee is applied to both purchases and sales.

TradeStation does not have a mutual fund screener, and the broker does not say how many funds it offers. It does have funds from 79 mutual fund companies. These include American Century, Dodge & Cox, Dreyfus, and Fifth Third. Every fund at TradeStation has a transaction fee of $14.95, which is applied on both the buy and sell sides. Some funds are no-load.

ETF investors can trade at either brokerage firm commission-free.

E*Trade wins.


E*TRADE vs Tradestation


Trading Tools


TradeStation's website is designed for account maintenance. Trades cannot be placed on it. It does have a link where the broker's desktop platform can be downloaded. This is the company's flagship software that offers a wide range trading tools, including advanced charting and option research. The program is free for all per-trade accounts. While it isn't very customizable, it does boast a lot of powerful investment tools, including many advanced order types. A simpler browser-based trading system is available as well. Both software programs offer live trading and a simulated practice environment.

E*Trade's site can be used for security research, charting, and order placement. There isn't a trade bar, but E*Trade's browser-based order forms are user friendly. Customers who came over from OptionsHouse have access to the old OH platform, Power E*Trade, and a new one. Regular E*Trade clients have access to E*Trade Pro, the broker's desktop platform. It does have trading requirements (the 10 trades per month mentioned earlier). A simple browser-based system is called E*Trade 360, and it has no requirements. In a single page, there is an order entry form, balance information, market news, a funds transfer window, and more; but it's charting isn't as good as TradeStation's browser-based trading system.

TradeStation ekes out a victory here.


Tradestation vs E*TRADE


Mobile Platforms


A TradeStation mobile app functions on Android and Apple devices. Information that is accessible on the app include balances, orders, and the day's biggest security changes. News is available in article format. Advanced charting is available, including technical studies and drawing tools. Missing from the app is mobile check deposit. The broker doesn't yet have a platform for Apple Watch.


TradeStation app


E*Trade customers can buy and sell securities using Android, Windows, and Apple devices. The broker's app is also compatible with Amazon Fire and Kindle devices. The app boasts sophisticated charting and mobile check deposit. Live streaming of investment news is accessible by active traders. An app for Apple Watch is also available.


Etrade app


E*Trade seems like the better choice here.


Promotions


Tradestation: Up to $5,000 cash bonus when you transfer funds into TradeStation.

Etrade: Get zero commission on stock and ETF trades.

Webull: Get 2 FREE stocks valued up to $1,850.



TradeStation vs E*Trade Judgement


E*Trade succeeded three times, and TradeStation won two categories including the most important category - Pricing. E*Trade is the winner by just one category.

TradeStation is recommended for active stock, futures, and ETF traders, while E*Trade is better for everyone else. Anyone looking for $0 commission trades will find a better deal at Webull.