E-Trade is an online discount broker known for its clever commercials featuring the E-Trade baby. But E-Trade doesnâ€™t have billions of dollars under management just because of its quirky marketing. The broker can attribute its popularity mainly to its robust trading platforms and user-friendly interface.
E-Trade makes it easy for beginning investors to get their money into the market. Not only does E-Trade make comprehensive educational information available, but it also provides support via phone, email, chat and in more than 30 local branches spread across the country. Its two easy-to-navigate mobile apps and a choice of online trading platforms also make managing money a pleasure, no matter your knowledge level.
But while E-Trade has a lot going for it, it isnâ€™t perfect. Its commissions for trading arenâ€™t the lowest among discount brokers and you must have a relatively high minimum deposit to get started investing with E-Trade. You also wonâ€™t get much of a bonus for moving your money to E-Trade â€” unless you have tens-of-thousands of dollars.
If youâ€™re looking for a choice of mobile and online platforms, youâ€™ll frequently be trading, or youâ€™ll primarily be making commission-free investments, E-Trade is an ideal choice. But E-Trade isnâ€™t necessarily right for everyone, so itâ€™s important to know exactly what this broker is offering.
E-Trade has something to offer both beginning and advanced investors.
Beginning investors will like the option to use E-Tradeâ€™s streamlined trading platform, along with many choices for commission-free ETFs and mutual funds to make diversification cheaper and simpler. And, for those who want a little more help, E-Trade provides pre-built portfolios.
For advanced investors, E-Trade offers customizable trading tools, ample charting options, and discounted commissions if you make more than 30 trades per quarter. A full range of investment choices including stocks, options, and futures also allows advanced traders to take diversification to the next level.
For customers who deposit at least $10,000, E-Trade offers up to 500 commission-free trades for each stock or options trade executed within 60 days of funds becoming available.
|Stock trading fees||
|Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)||
|Commission-free ETFs offered|
|Mutual funds (no transaction fee) offered|
|Offers automated portfolio/robo-advisor|
|Ease of use|
|Mobile app||iOS, Android|
|Customer support||Phone, 24/7 live support, Chat, Email, 30 branch locations|
If youâ€™re looking for a safe place to put your money, you have no worries with E-Trade. E-Trade bank accounts are FDIC-insured and they are compliant with all registration and license requirements. E-Trade is also an SIPC member, which means your account is protected for up to $500,000 in cash and securities.
Of course, while your accounts are protected if E-Trade faces financial troubles, this doesnâ€™t mean you canâ€™t lose money in investment accounts. Stocks, bonds, and other securities can decline in value and thereâ€™s always a risk associated with investing. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s so important to understand any investments you buy.
If youâ€™re looking for an online discount broker that offers some of the best mobile apps and trading tools around, E-Trade is a good choice.
The slightly higher commission for low-volume traders â€” compared to its competitors â€” may not bother you if youâ€™re planning on investing in the hundreds of commission-free ETFs or thousands of no-load mutual funds E-Trade has to offer. Of course, if youâ€™d prefer to pay the minimum in commission and fees, competitors such as Fidelity or Ally Invest could be a better option for you as both charge only $4.95 per trade.
With no minimum deposit required to open an account, getting an Ally Invest account started might also be easier. If you decide to go with E-Trade, remember that youâ€™ll need $500 to get started.