Etrade rating

Etrade Review


Etrade Pricing and Minimum Deposit


ProductPrice
Stocks and ETFs $0
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $5
Options $0.65 per contract ($0.50 if making 30+ trades per quarter)
Mutual funds $19.99
Futures contracts $1.50 per contract, per side + fees
Fixed Incomemarkup or markdown and any transaction fee will be included in the price quoted
Bonds$1 per bond (minimum $10, maximum $250) for online secondary market trades. Includes Agency bonds, Corporate bonds, Municipal bonds, Brokered CDs, Pass-thrus, CMOs, Asset Backed Securities.

Investments stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, fixed income, options, ETFs
Etrade minimum deposit to open account $500 for a non-retirement account, $0 for a retirement account, $2,000 for a margin account
FeesEtrade fees
Promotion links Etrade promotions


Review of E*Trade Brokerage


With few weaknesses and many strengths, E*Trade is head and shoulders above many of its competitors. This article will analyze the company in vital categories and see how it compares to other brokers in the investment world.


Bulls Point to...


Fantastic pricing. With new $0 equity commissions, E*Trade is hard (but not impossible) to beat.

Excellent trading tools. With two mobile apps, a browser platform, a desktop program, and even more, E*Trade’s software is top notch.

Good customer service. With many ways to reach a company associate, E*Trade customers have plenty of reason to stay put.


Bears Point to...


Unnecessary IRA fees. E*Trade has some unusual $25 IRA charges that other brokers don’t have.

Some investments aren’t available.

Robo-advisory services aren’t free. Some brokers are offering their robo services at 0.00% of assets under management.

Lacks a few technologies that other brokerage firms do have.


Customer Service


Etrade Customers Rating

E*Trade offers customer service 24/7, at least through certain channels. Phone and chat service are staffed around the clock. The broker’s network of branch locations provides more limited hours, which may vary from office to office. Typically, the brick-and-mortar sites are open during the weekday.

Although E*Trade’s website doesn’t have a robo chat function, we did find a human chat service; and during our trial of it, we received quick and competent help.


Etrade Customers review


And speaking of the website, there is a great self-help section on it. In the top-right corner, a “Customer Service” link makes an appearance. Clicking on it produces a new page filled with all sorts of tools. There is a branch locator, a tax center, a button for live chat, a document upload tool, and several links for all sorts of account updates. These include DRIP preferences, margin and options upgrades, checkbook reorders (more on that later), and an electronic form to send a wire.

Although E*Trade operates 30 brick-and-mortar locations, these do tend to be concentrated in America’s larger states.


Managed Account Services


Etrade Managed Account Rating

Although E*Trade is better known for its self-directed services, it does provide managed accounts. At the bottom end of the price range is a robo-advisory service that costs just 0.30% annually. This package does come with a $500 account minimum, which shouldn’t be too much for most investors.

The robo service begins with an online questionnaire. E*Trade promises just 5 minutes to complete it. The broker’s software analyzes answers and recommends an ETF portfolio ranging from conservative up to aggressive growth.

E*Trade does not manage its own ETF’s, so there are no E*Trade ETF’s in the program. Taxable accounts can use tax-sensitive funds.

In addition to its digital-advisory program, E*Trade also has traditional human advisors who can trade more than just ETF’s. Stocks and mutual funds are on tap, and we really like the ability to work with a real person one-on-one. Prices start at 0.90% with a $25,000 investment.


Investment Vehicles


Etrade Investments Rating

In addition to low-cost ETF’s, self-directed traders can buy and sell over 2,000 ETF’s—the entire U.S. space. Also available are mutual funds, closed-end funds, futures contracts, stocks, fixed-income products, and options. And yes, futures include bitcoin futures.

E*Trade does not offer precious metals, warrants, foreign equities, other cryptocurrencies, forex, or contracts for difference.


Research & Education


Etrade Research Rating

During our inspection of E*Trade’s resources, we found a good selection of learning materials. The broker’s website has articles and videos on a wide range of topics, including how to sell covered calls and the basics of technical analysis.

E*Trade offers screeners for options, stocks, mutual funds, ETF’s, bonds, and CD’s. We found them easy to use with lots of search criteria. For bonds, these include coupon rate, maturity date, CUSIP number, and market price.

Security profiles on the E*Trade site don’t disappoint, either. They offer analyst recommendations from TipRanks and others. Reports in pdf format can be downloaded at no cost. Recommendations from StreetInsider are shown as well.

Trading activity of top executives is shown on stock profiles, and this can be a good indication of what the future holds for a stock. News articles are shown from sources like Dow Jones and PR Newswire.


Pricing


Etrade Pricing Rating

And what does E*Trade charge for its services? As it turns out, not much. E*Trade was at the front of the pack in the recent brokerage price war, which saw ETF and stock commissions drop all the way to $0. There is no base charge for option trades at E*Trade, either. The brokerage firm does charge $0.65 per contract. Active traders (defined as 30 trades or more per quarter) pay just $0.50.

Futures contracts are $1.50 per contract per side; although bitcoin contracts are a higher $2.50. Primary and secondary trades of U.S. Treasury debt are free. New issues of other bonds include a markup in the price. Non-Treasury bonds on the secondary market are $1 each with a $250 max and $10 minimum.

Paper statements are $2 each for taxable accounts. The broker sends them out for free for large accounts ($10,000 in assets minimum).

Brokerage accounts have no annual fees or closeout fees. E*Trade doesn’t impose a minimum balance, either.


Mobile Apps


Etrade App Rating

E*Trade customers can do a lot with two mobile apps. One is a trading app aptly called Power. While it is designed with trading in mind, the basic app also has some good trading tools. Combined, the two offer trading in stocks, options, futures, ETF’s, closed-end funds, and mutual funds.


Etrade Power review


The order ticket on Power comes with several order types, including trailing stop and trailing stop limit. E*Trade provides 8 time-in-force choices, one of the largest we have seen on a mobile app. They include FOK (fill or kill) and OPG (on the open).

Bloomberg TV streams free of charge on both apps. The basic one has mobile check deposit, bill pay, and funds transfer. Surprisingly, Level II quotes are on the basic app, not Power; and alerts and a watch list make mobile trading even better.


Etrade app review


Website


Etrade Investing Account Rating

Moving to E*Trade’s website, Power once again makes an appearance, this time as a browser platform. Charting is on a very good level with over a hundred technical studies. The software delivers 10 chart styles and multiple drawing tools. A graph can be shown in its own window.

The same order ticket we saw on the mobile app reappears. One advantage the browser platform has over its mobile cousin is a profit/loss diagram that is integrated with the order ticket. For any trade, the profit/loss diagram will show a visual representation of maximum gain and loss.

After Power, the website itself has some really good features. A search field in the upper-right corner makes looking for securities easy with a company name or ticker symbol. An order ticket is available for traders who prefer the website over Power.


Desktop Platform


Etrade Trading Rating

The crown jewel in E*Trade’s arsenal is Pro, a desktop program. The broker-dealer does require a $1,000 account balance to use it. Real-time quotes are also required, although they’re free for non-professionals.


Etrade Pro


Once downloaded and installed, Pro delivers some really good features not available on Power. For example, the software has Level II data and direct-access routing, both of which are missing on the browser system.

Other great features of Pro include time & sales data, an economic calendar, a strategy scanner, very advanced option tools, and a margin calculator.


Other Tools


Etrade Investing Rating

E*Trade didn’t stop with its desktop program. It also provides a platform for Apple Watch. Its smartphone app can be used on tablets.

The company does not have an app for Apple TV or a skill for Amazon devices.


Mutual Funds


Etrade Funds Investing Rating

E*Trade’s website has a mutual fund center with all sorts of tools. One is a mutual fund portfolio builder that offers three portfolios—conservative, moderate, and aggressive—with a $500 deposit. Each portfolio already has mutual funds in it; so there’s nothing for the investor to do. E*Trade’s software automatically divides the initial investment among a portfolio’s funds.


Etrade Mutual Funds Screener


E*Trade also offers All-Star Funds. These are securities that are selected by the firm’s investment pros for their expected outperformance. There is no charge to access the list.

With E*Trade’s mutual fund screener, we uncovered 8,593 securities available to new investors. Out of these, there were 4,414 with zero load and zero transaction fee.


Exchange-Traded Funds


Etrade ETF Investing Rating

Another great fund section exists on E*Trade’s site for ETF’s. Windows show most active funds and top U.S. equity performers. Another section shows the top 5 performing categories. On the day we conducted our probing, these were technology, health care, large-cap growth, mid-cap growth, and small-cap growth.

An ETF All-Star List is available, once again with the same pricing and purpose. As with mutual funds, pre-built ETF portfolios can be purchased at no cost.

A category analysis tool shows heat maps of major categories over multiple time-frames. Another tool we really liked was a comparison tool, which displays important data side-by-side.


Retirement and Taxable Accounts


Etrade IRA Rating

Besides regular taxable individual accounts, E*Trade also offers joint and custodial accounts. For retirement saving, there are Roth, traditional, SEP, beneficiary, SIMPLE, and minor IRA’s. The broker’s Complete IRA is designed for persons over the age of 59½ who want to start making withdrawals from an IRA.

A retirement plan from a previous employer can be rolled over. And for the self-employed, there are solo 401(k) plans. Parents who are saving for their children’s education can open a Coverdell Education Savings Account.

There are three IRA fees that E*Trade imposes. Early withdrawals, excess contributions, and recharacterizations all cost $25 each.


Cash Management Features


Etrade Cash Management Rating

In addition to its great investment services, E*Trade owns its own bank. Aptly named E*Trade Bank, it offers an FDIC guarantee and some pretty good features. Max-Rate Checking pays 0.05% interest, which isn’t anything spectacular; but it also provides unlimited nationwide ATM fee rebates. There is a $15 monthly fee, although there are several ways it can be circumvented. Bill pay and the first pack of checks are both free.

E*Trade customers who don’t like the low interest rate on the checking account can instead open the Premium Savings Account. It pays a very nice 1.75% APY with no monthly fee.


Other Services


Etrade Services Rating

E*Trade offers a free Dividend Reinvestment Plan that takes cash distributions and converts them into additional shares of securities. One asset can be enrolled or an entire account.

The brokerage house also offers an automatic mutual fund investment service. Clients can sign up to periodically and automatically deposit additional money into mutual funds.

E*Trade offers information on global stock markets; but it doesn’t provide trading in global securities.


E*Trade Comparison


Etrade Account Comparison

E*Trade has excelled in all categories we have looked at. Nevertheless, it does underperform several brokerage firms in quite a few categories. For example, on pricing Firstrade beats E*Trade by not charging any per-contract fees for option trades and all mutual funds have $0 commission.

TD Ameritrade imposes no restrictions on its desktop platform. Schwab and TD Ameritrade have more branch locations than E*Trade; and Fidelity and TD Ameritrade don’t have any IRA fees.

Interactive Brokers has forex, precious metals, and foreign stocks; none of which are available at E*Trade.

Fidelity has an app for Apple TV, while TD Ameritrade has a skill for Amazon Echo.


E*Trade Pros


  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Large and well established company
  • Powerful trading tools
  • Low minimums to open accounts: $500 for a regular brokerage account and $0 for a retirement account
  • Investing advice is available by phone or in person
  • Great research amenities from S&P, MorningStar, Thompson Reuters, Credit Suisse, and Smart Consensus


E*Trade Cons


  • High margin rates
  • Robo-advisory services aren’t free.
  • E*TRADE Pro platform is available at no charge only to customers who have $1,000+ account balance


Recommendations


Beginners: With excellent customer service, good learning materials, and branch locations, E*Trade would definitely be a good broker for new traders.

Mutual Fund Investors: Hands down, E*Trade is one of the best brokers for mutual funds.

Individual Retirement Accounts: We don’t care for E*Trade’s IRA fees. Firstrade would be a better pick.

Active ETF and Stock Trading: We propose E*Trade for frequent traders with at least $1,000 to work with. TD Ameritrade could be a better option, though.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: With target-date mutual funds, 401(k) plans, and financial planning services, we can recommend E*Trade for investors with a long-term view.

Small Accounts: With no minimum balance requirements, E*Trade is a good broker for taxable accounts.


E*Trade Review Summary


E*Trade is one of the best overall brokerage houses in the United States. Although it is smaller by total assets than some of its rivals, it does manage to compete head-to-head with them.

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E*Trade Questions and Answers


What investments can clients make through Etrade?


E*Trade customers can trade the following asset types: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, fixed income, options, and ETFs.


What are E*Trade's fees?


List of all the fees E*Trade is charging is under this link.


What are E*Trade IRA charges?


List of all the IRA fees is under this link.


What interest does E*Trade pay on cash?


E*Trade interest rates on uninvested cash are in E*Trade cash sweep article.


What are E*Trade margin interest rates?


Current E*Trade margin interest rates could be found here.


What is E*Trade account minimum?


E*Trade does not have minimum requirements for brokerage accounts.


What minimum deposit is required to open E*Trade account?


E*Trade minimum deposit is $500 for a non-retirement account, $0 for a retirement account, and $2,000 for a margin account.


What is E*Trade clearing house?


E*Trade is self clearing.


How to close E*Trade account?


Information on how to close or transfer E*Trade account is under this link.







E*Trade Margin Rates


Debit Balance Margin Interest Rates
above $1,000,000 6.75%
$500,000 - $999,999.99 7.75%
$250,000 - $499,999.99 8.50%
$100,000 - $249,999.99 8.75%
$50,000 - $99,999.99 9.25%
$25,000 - $49,999.99 9.75%
$10,000 - $24,999.99 10.00%
$0 - $9,999.99 10.25%



E*Trade IRA Fees


Fee Amount
Etrade IRA setup fee $0
Etrade annual IRA fee $0
Etrade IRA termination fee $0
Etrade account maintenance fee $0
Etrade account inactivity fee $0
Etrade outbound full account transfer (ACAT) fee $75
Etrade outbound partial account transfer fee $25



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Open Etrade Account