Is Etrade Good for Beginners? Etrade rating

Is ETRADE Good for Beginners?

In 2023 is ETRADE a good company to invest with? Is Etrade free to use? Is ETRADE good for beginners? Broker guide to novice, newbie investors.

Is E*TRADE Easy to Use?

If you are new to investing, it is crucial that you find a broker that will cater to you. There is much to learn, and you do not want to waste time on unnecessary factors. Some brokers are quite simple and make investing as beginner friendly as possible, while others are much more complex.

Is E*TRADE good for beginners? Let’s find out.

The first thing to look at is how easy a broker is to use. Everything from funding the account, tracking your portfolio, navigating market-related information, using trading software, and placing trades, should be easy to understand.

At E*TRADE, buying securities like stocks and mutual funds is very easy. The process is different depending on your platform choice, but it is not difficult on any of them.

Here’s how to buy stocks, mutual funds, and several other available securities.

Is E*TRADE Good for Investing?

You can open new positions at E*TRADE following a few simple steps. The steps are available on all available platforms, but the most beginner-friendly options are the webpage and mobile app.

Before placing your first trade, it is good to look at some of the available securities. Different asset classes come with varying levels of risk, reward, and time horizon, and you want to be sure that you are building a portfolio that meets your goals.

You can use E*TRADE’s screener or built-in research tools to narrow down some good candidates. Alternatively, you can use the search tool to enter the symbol of the stock, mutual fund, or ETF that you would like to buy.

How to Buy a Stock on E*TRADE

To get started, navigate to the ‘Trading’ tab and select ‘Stocks/ETFs.’ Simply enter the symbol and fill out the order ticket.

How to Buy a Stock on E*TRADE

Once the ticket populates, select the action (buy, sell, sell short, buy to cover). Select the price type (Market, Limit, Market on Close, etc.) and duration (Good for Day, Good till Cancelled, etc.). And finally, decide how many shares you would like to purchase.

You can save your order for later or send it right away. Once the order request and received and then filled, the shares will show up in your portfolio.

How to Buy a Mutual Fund on E*TRADE

The process of buying mutual funds is similar to buying stocks and ETFs, but the order form is simpler.

How to Buy a Mutual Fund on ETRADE

All that is required is to enter the name of the mutual fund that you would like to buy, and information related to that fund will automatically populate. To complete the order, select ‘buy,’ decide on an investment amount, and then follow the onscreen instructions to complete the order.

While setting up your mutual fund order, you can decide to reinvest your dividends in the fund or into your account.

Other Securities

You will also notice that E*TRADE offers several other assets that you can invest in. You can invest in options, futures, bonds, CDs, and IPOs. Apart from bonds and CDs, these options may be better suited to investors with more experience.

These securities require special permissions and if you are interested in trading them, be sure to read the agreements while signing to understand the risks and expectations.


Whether you are a beginner at investing or just getting started at E*TRADE, you will be happy to know that the broker offers useful educational materials.

E*TRADE has many customers who are new to investing. So many that the broker has an entire section of its website dedicated to trader education. Listed under ‘New to Investing,’ you will find many useful articles covering account types and management, investment options, and investor guidance.

Is E*TRADE Free to Use?

The commissions and fees at E*TRADE are competitive. E*TRADE is a no-commission broker for most securities. If, for example, you would like to trade stocks or ETFs, you will not have any commissions to worry about.

Investing in mutual funds can come with some fees that you should be aware of.

There are load funds and no-load funds. The latter comes with a $0 price tag. The former comes with a variable fee specific to the mutual fund you choose.

Selling no-load funds within 90 days of purchase results in a $49.99 fee.

Is Etrade a good broker?

E*TRADE vs Competitors: Cost

Broker Review Promotion
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
TD Ameritrade $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement. $0 $49.99 ($0 to sell) $0 $0
Ally Invest $0 commissions + $75 transfer fee credit at Ally Invest. $0 $9.95 $0 $0
WeBull 12 FREE stocks valued $34-$30,600 give-away at Webull. $0 na $0 $0
Etrade Get zero commission on stock and ETF trades. $0 $19.95 $0 $0

E*TRADE vs Competitors: Services

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

Margin Requirements

Depending on what you plan to invest in, the margin requirements at E*TRADE may differ. There is a minimum balance to maintain to access margin trading, and then there are asset-related margin requirements for some of the available investment products.

The primary margin requirement that you should be aware of is the brokerage account margin. If you want to take advantage of the available margin-based services (adding to buying power, selling stock short, etc.), you must keep at least $2000 in your brokerage account.

The $2000 minimum is comprised of all the assets within the account. The cash balance and the value of all open positions make up the account margin requirement. It is important to remember that if open positions lose their value, your account can dip below the minimum requirements and lose access to margin trading.


Beginners at E*TRADE will undoubtedly enjoy many of the broker’s benefits. E*TRADE has become quite popular amongst new and experienced investors, and there are several reasons for that popularity. Buying stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds is straightforward, and beginners will find the process quite simple.

That said, not all of the products and services available are as easy as they could be. As a beginner, there may be some difficulties depending on what you are looking to do.

  • A good selection of investment vehicles.
  • Great trading platforms.
  • Simple stock and mutual fund order ticket process.
  • Dividend Reinvestment is available.
  • Thousands of mutual funds available.


  • Some of the available investment vehicles are not beginner friendly.
  • Choosing the right trading platform takes time and consideration.
  • No fractional shares (other than DRIP and stock splits).

Is E*TRADE Good for Beginners Summary

All in all, E*TRADE is a good broker for beginners. There are many account types to choose from, plenty of investment products to consider, and an extensive education library. The stock and mutual fund purchasing processes are straightforward. Following your investments once established is equally simple.

If you are looking for a good, beginner-friendly broker that does not skimp on the critical aspects of investing, E*TRADE could be a good choice for you.

Open Etrade Account

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Updated on 6/1/2022.

Ben Wright
About the Author
Ben Wright is an investor, a trader, an educator, and something of an explorer. He spends his days in the markets when he is not teaching or spending time with his family. Ben writes about stockbrokers, markets, investment vehicles, promotional offers, and tools that help investors make the most of their time in the markets.