ETRADE vs TradeKing

TradeKing is Now Ally Invest

TradeKing was acquired by Ally Bank and it is now called Ally Invest. For the newest version of this broker comparison go to Ally Invest versus ETRADE article.


Investors considering either E*Trade or TradeKing should be aware that the two firms differ widely in terms of service and investment offerings. E*Trade is much more advertised, while TradeKing tries to keep prices low. The following comparison will reveal which is better - TradeKing or E*Trade?

The Cost of Trading

E*Trade imposes a $6.95 charge for equity trades, while TradeKing customers pay only $4.95 for trading the same product. Options at E*Trade are an additional $0.75 per contract. TradeKing is lower at $0.65.

Traders can use a live representative at either firm to buy and sell securities over the phone. Doing so at TradeKing incurs a $24.95 commission. E*Trade charges $25.

An E*Trade brokerage account comes with no fees. TradeKing, by comparison, does impose an account inactivity fee, which is $50 annually. A trading account that (1) has 0 trades in the trailing twelve months, and (2) has less than $2,500 in total deposits with the broker will incur the fee.

There is a $500 minimum to open a securities account at E*Trade. There is no minimum deposit requirement at TradeKing. Investors who wish to buy and sell with borrowed funds can open a margin account with either broker. A debit under $5,000 at TradeKing currently is 9%. E*Trade clients pay 8.69%.

TradeKing wins this category due to its lower commissions.
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Investing in Funds

At TradeKing, investors can buy and sell 8,532 mutual funds. Funds with loads incur no transaction fee. On the other hand, no-load funds do have a $9.95 charge. This fee is applicable to both the sell and buy sides.

Unlike TradeKing, E*Trade clients have access to mutual funds that have neither load nor transaction fee. There are more than 1,300 of these funds with the broker. In total, the firm provides over 8,000 mutual funds. Mutual funds with a transaction fee are $19.99, which is applied to purchases and sales.

TradeKing has much lower commissions on popular, top performing mutual funds while Etrade provides some commission free funds. Pretty even here.

Customer Service

TradeKing clients can find a representative Monday through Friday anytime from 8 am to 6 pm, EST. Chat and phone service are available during these hours. Unfortunately, the broker isn't available on the weekend. Customers can also reach the broker by snail mail, e-mail, and fax.

Unlike TradeKing, E*Trade operates a chain of branch locations throughout the U.S. Currently, the broker has 30 offices in 17 states. For clients who prefer phone service, the company is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, E*Trade can be contacted by e-mail, fax, or on-line chat.

This category is a tie.

Trading Tools

TradeKing offers its customers the website, TradeKing LIVE, and Quotestream. All three provide many important tools, such as option chains, a watch list, account information, and market indices. TradeKing LIVE has a requirement of at least 1 trade every 12 months, or an account balance of $2,500 or more. Quotestream requires at least 10 trades every month.

E*Trade also provides trading on its website in addition to an advanced platform called E*Trade Pro. The website can be used to place orders for all securities. The platform has more advanced tools, including professional-grade options search and live streaming of CNBC. The platform comes with a requirement of at least 30 stock or options trades every quarter. Otherwise, an account must have a balance of $250,000 or greater to gain access to the software.

Overall, it's pretty even here.

Mobile Trading

E*Trade customers can buy and sell on iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, Windows phone, Kindle Fire HD, Amazon Fire phone, and Android phone and tablet. The broker's app has stock charts, order entry, mobile check deposit, and bill pay. There is also a library of CNBC videos. Live streaming can be accessed by frequent traders.

Apple, Android, and mobile web trading are available at TradeKing. Fundamental stock data allows for basic security research on the app. Unfortunately, the TradeKing app lacks several features the E*Trade app has, such as mobile check deposit and CNBC materials.

E*Trade wins here.

Cash Management Features

TradeKing customers can add checks and a debit card to a trading account. Disappointingly, the account is required to have a balance of at least $10,000. Moreover, the broker charges $50 per year for check writing and $2 per ATM transaction.

E*Trade offers a separate checking account, which comes with a debit card and checks. There is no minimum balance requirement, although customers who want ATM fee rebates must have at least $5,000 on deposit.

E*Trade gets this category.

Etrade vs TradeKing: Results

Etrade won 2 times, TradeKing was successful in 1 category, and there were 3 ties. Pretty evenly matched brokers.

TradeKing is one of the best brokers for beginners, offering no surcharge on trades made with a broker help, providing engaging and useful online investor community, where members can ask questions, learn from more experienced users and even get investment tips.

Thanks to a huge difference in pricing on stocks, ETFs and mutual funds, which means savings of thousands of dollars over the years, TradeKing has an edge in this online broker comparison. Etrade, however, is a great choice for bond investing and long term investors.

Updated on 6/2/2017.

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Review discount online brokerage firms comparison: Etrade or TradeKing? Differences between investment companies. Recommendation for stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds investors. TradeKing versus Etrade for beginner investors, long term, individual retirement accounts, active/day traders. See what stock broker service is better, cheaper, offers lower fees, cost, rated higher and easier to use. Which broker should you choose?

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