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Is Etrade Good for Beginners?


In 2019 is Etrade a good company to invest with? Is Etrade free to use? Is Etrade good for beginners? Online broker guide to novice, newbie investors on how to buy stock, mutual fund, and ETF.



Is Etrade free to use?


For our readers who are asking if Etrade is free to use, the answer is Yes, there is no charge to use the service. There are no account maintenance or inactivity fees at Etrade. Minimum to open an account is $500 for a non-retirement account, and $0 for a retirement account.

Like all brokerage firms, Etrade is charging commission on almost all investment products. So in this sense Etrade is not free. A table of commission charges from the broker and from its main competitors is located lower in this article.


Is Etrade good for beginners?


Etrade is a well-known online brokerage firm that is a popular choice for many investors. With a plethora of educational materials available, competitive prices as well as access to finance professionals, it is one of the top companies for brokerage, investing and banking services.

But is Etrade good for beginner investors? Let's find out.


Etrade advantages


When investing your hard earned money, it is always a good idea to have options. Etrade offers several options for investing: by yourself, with help or professionally managed. If you're a beginner and wish to invest on your own, it's a good idea to review the online investing courses offered and to utilize the four-step investment process that Etrade outlines: plan your strategy, allocate assets, choose investments wisely and monitor your portfolio. If you choose to invest with help, or have your portfolio professionally managed, Etrade has experienced traders and brokers at your service, as well as an abundance of educational material at your disposal to keep you up to speed on the investing process.

The Etrade website is easy to use and is extremely intuitive, making it a great resource for beginners who may be a bit “skiddish” when it comes to investing online for the first time. Users have access to a ton of free trading tools such as Etrade 360, Etrade Pro and Etrade Mobile. They can also track your portfolio, view up to the minute market data and even create an action plan for your retirement money.

If you're an advanced user, the broker's professional trading platform, Etrade Pro, allows you to chart and track your investments, and it provides you with daily trends. Etrade mobile may be one of the most helpful features of all as it allows you to stay connected to your investments on the go. You can scan barcodes of products you may be interested in and learn about the company behind the product - a great way to invest in a potentially successful start-up!

Etrade is known for their excellent customer service and they do a pretty great job at keeping their customers satisfied. They provide users with a ton of online resources like FAQs, forums, online courses, blogs, and even a toll-free number should you need to speak to a person in real time. You may also utilize their chat function where you can speak with an Etrade team member during normal trading hours to get advice and fix account issues.

With so much educational material available for beginner investors, it isn't hard to see that Etrade really wants their customers to be knowledgeable before and during the investing process. With interactive support, tutorials and tons of free trading tools available to all customers, getting started with Etrade is quick and easy, regardless if you're a novice or seasoned investment professional.


Etrade cons


The Etrade's biggest downside is that it's expensive. For example, its biggest competitor, Ally Invest, charges $4.95 for stock and ETF trades which is significantly less than Etrade's $6.95 rate. Ally's mutual fund price is rock-bottom $9.95 while Etrade charges twice that amount. Read Ally brokerage review.

Etrade's other top competitor, TD Ameritrade offers 296 commission-free ETFs, which is much more than 101 offered by Etrade. Also, it offers its best in the industry trading platforms for free to all customers. Etrade Pro platform is available at no charge only to customers who execute at least 30 stock or options trades during a calendar quarter or have $250,000 account balance. Otherwise it is $99 per month.


Etrade review


Etrade rating

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Etrade vs competitors: pricing and services


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Etrade $6.95 $19.95 $6.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Ally Invest $4.95 $9.95 $4.95 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0
TD Ameritrade $6.95 $49.95 $6.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Vanguard $7-$20 $8-$35 $20 + $1.00 per contract $20* see

Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Etrade
Ally Invest
TD Ameritrade
Vanguard


So how does one buy/sell stock, ETF or a mutual fund on Etrade?


The process of buying or selling stock, ETF or a mutual fund on Etrade is quite simple. Here are the steps:

1. Open an Etrade account. You will be asked to provide your financial information as well as contact information. You will also need to set up a user name and password in order to create and access your portfolio. Be sure to set up a secure password that only you will know.

2. Deposit money into your account via your bank account or credit card. This money will be used to fund your portfolio where you will buy/trade stocks.

3. Familiarize yourself with the Etrade website, read some of their educational materials, listen to a webinar and contact support if you have questions or need help.


Is etrade good?


4. Take a look at advisor advice and stock charts for recommendations. Go to “Trading and Portfolios” option in the menu. There you can either search or enter the stock symbol for the company which you wish to buy.

5. Decide on the number of shares you wish to purchase. Enter in the amount into the Order menu tab. In order to complete your transaction, a $6.95 commission fee will be applied to your account.


Is etrade good for beginners


6. If you wish to sell stock, go to the “Trading and Portfolios” menu in order to see a stock you'd like to sell. Simply chose the “trade” option and enter “sell” to signify the order type. Type the number of shares you want to sell of the particular stock, select “market” save your changes and you're finished.


Etrade IRA Accounts


Etrade offers a complete array of retirement accounts: Traditional and Roth IRAs, Rollover IRAs, transfers of IRAs into and out of Etrade, and small business plans such as Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP) IRAs and Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRAs. Beneficiary IRAs are available for customers who have inherited an IRA from a parent or other person.

Two unique services related to IRAs that Etrade features are designed to help those who want a simplified rollover IRA set up as a result of a 401(k) account transfer, and also customers who have an existing IRA and want to set up an instant withdrawal program after they've reached retirement.

The Etrade OneStop Rollover IRA allows investors to directly transfer old 401(k) accounts of at least $25,000 into a professionally managed portfolio of mutual funds or ETFs from Etrade. This is set up based on the customer's goals and risk tolerance and is professionally monitored and managed with no commission costs, only an asset-based advisory fee of 0.90% or less based on total account value.

The Etrade Complete IRA is designed for investors who wish to begin withdrawing money from their IRAs penalty-free once they've reached age 59½. Existing Etrade IRA customers can get free unlimited checking, a free debit card, and free online bill paying. Customers may continue to invest even as they are able to make withdrawals. All withdrawals will be considered taxable IRA distributions and reportable to the IRS. The advantage of this IRA is instant access to money in the account, with no forms to fill out, no annual IRA fees, and no account minimums.

Etrade also offers banking services such as checking and savings accounts and time deposits such as Certificates of Deposit, so customers have the option of including CDs or savings accounts in their IRAs.

Etrade IRAs have no minimum investment requirement, no annual fees, and no inactivity fees. Additional investments to IRAs may be made in any amount.


Open Etrade Account




Open Etrade Account