Etrade vs Other Brokers

Etrade vs Other Stock Brokers


Compare Etrade fees, commissions, offerings, account services vs other top online stock trading and investing brokerage firms.



Compare Etrade vs Other Brokerages: Charts


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
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
Etrade $6.95 $19.95 $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
Ally Invest
TD Ameritrade
Etrade
Vanguard


Etrade vs Other Brokers: Pricing


E*Trade and TD Ameritrade charge $6.95 for stock and ETF trades. Ally Invest is lower at just $4.95 for the same trade while Vanguard's price $7 for first 25 trades and $20 afterwards.

For derivative traders, Vanguard charges $1.00 extra for option contracts. TD Ameritrade and E*Trade are much lower at $0.75 per contract, while investors at Ally Invest pay only $0.65 extra per contract.

For investors who prefer to use a live broker to execute a trade, TD Ameritrade charges a rather steep commission of $44.99. Ally Invest is at only $4.95, Vanguard is at their regular price, and E*Trade charges $25.

All firms offer brokerage accounts with no maintenance or inactivity fees, except Vanguard that charges an annual fee for some IRAs as well as for regular accounts if not signed in for electronic statements. E*Trade requires a deposit of at least $500 to open an account. Ally Invest, Vanguard and TD Ameritrade have no opening deposit requirement.

Ally Invest wins this category.


Fund Offerings


Mutual fund investors have access to over 11,000 funds at TD Ameritrade. Of these, almost 2,000 have no load and no transaction fee. Traders will be set back $49.99 for mutual funds that carry a transaction fee.

Mutual fund transactions at Ally Invest come with a much lower $9.95 fee. However, unlike TD Ameritrade, Ally Invest doesn't offer any commission-free mutual funds.

At E*Trade, investors can buy and sell over 1,300 mutual funds with no load and no transaction fee. The broker offers more than 8,000 mutual funds in total. For funds that do come with a transaction fee, the firm charges $19.99.

Vanguard provides the most no-transaction-fee mutual funds, with almost 3,000 that are free to trade. The broker has more than 16,000 mutual funds in total. Transaction-fee funds cost $35.

Three of the four brokers offer a selection of ETF's that are free to trade. E*Trade provides its clients with 118 commission-free ETF's, Vanguard - 55, while TD Ameritrade offers 296, and Ally Invest has 100.

Vanguard wins this category for having the largest selection of commission-free funds.


Customer Service


Ally Invest, TD Ameritrade and E*Trade offer customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week over the telephone. Both firms also have branch locations across the United States. Currently, E*Trade has 30 locations, while TD Ameritrade has more than 100.

Vanguard has weekday phone service. The broker offers a phone number for investors traveling outside America. Regrettably, the firm does not have local branches.

Overall, TD Ameritrade wins this category.


Trading Tools


E*Trade's website is nicely designed and unproblematic to use. The firm provides its customers with advanced trading platforms in browser and desktop formats. However, there are active trader requirements to use them.

TD Ameritrade also has a well-designed website, where trading is a simple and straightforward process. Besides the website, there is Trade Architect, a user-friendly Java platform. The most sophisticated platform is thinkorswim, which launches from the desktop. There are no active trader requirements for any of the broker's platforms.

Investors at Ally Invest trade on a web-based platform. The website is very intuitive and easy to use even for beginners. There are no minimums to use the platform.

Compared to E*Trade and TD Ameritrade, Vanguard's website is less advanced and more cumbersome to navigate. Unfortunately, the broker does not offer advanced trading platform.

TD Ameritrade is successful here.


Mobile Platforms


Investors at E*Trade can use Windows phone, Android phone and tablet, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, Amazon Fire phone, and Kindle Fire HD. Users have access to a video library at no cost. Mobile check deposit is also available, and frequent traders can watch live streaming of CNBC.

TD Ameritrade also has live streaming of CNBC, but the broker maintains no active trader requirement to watch. There are a total of three TD Ameritrade apps, which can be used on Android, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. One of the three apps can be used on Windows 10. Important features include funds transfer and securities research.

Mobile applications for Apple, Android, and mobile web are available at Ally Invest. Users can trade stocks, options, or ETF's, and read the day's market news.

Vanguard has apps for Kindle Fire, iPad, iPhone, and Android. The app is user friendly. Users can make a mobile check deposit, get in touch with customer service, or place trades. Unfortunately, there's no live streaming of news.

Victory here goes to TD Ameritrade.


New Customer Promotions

TD Ameritrade: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Ally Invest: Up to $3,500 cash bonus + commission free trades for new accounts.

Etrade: At E*TRADE, get $6.95 trades + 65₵ per options contract.

Vanguard: none.



Etrade vs Other Brokers: Results


Ally Invest was victorious in one category, TD Ameritrade won three categories, Vanguard scored once, and E*Trade failed to acquire a single victory. TD Ameritrade wins by a wide margin. Despite the results, Ally Invest is still a good choice for active stock and option traders, while Vanguard remains a good value for mutual funds investors.


Our Recommendations

Beginner Investors: TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest.

IRA accounts: all brokers.

Stocks/ETFs Traders: Ally Invest and TD Ameritrade.

Options Traders: Ally Invest.

Long Term, Inactive Investors: all brokers.

Mutual Funds Investors: TD Ameritrade, Ally Invest and Vanguard.

Small accounts: Ally Invest.


Updated on 3/7/2018.