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Last updated on Apr 09, 2020

E*TRADE OST Review

Rich in financial resources and great for beginners ​
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E*TRADE

  • Great financial resources
  • Commission-free trades
  • Excellent mobile app
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How We Reviewed E*TRADE

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1 top-ranking company

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3 weeks of research

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15 trading sites compared

E*TRADE Review

E*TRADE was one of the first online brokerages and helped introduce beginner and regular investors to the trading market. The brokerage firm’s $0 commission for all options, ETF, and stock trades are a great incentive for ordinary and advanced traders. E*TRADE’s investing resource library and comprehensive trading platforms make it easy for investors of all experience levels and portfolio sizes to actively manage their portfolios.
Morgan Stanley announced the purchase of E*TRADE in February for $13 billion to expand its wealth management and investing services. E*TRADE will continue to accept new accounts until the deal, expected to complete by the end of 2020, gets regulatory approval and is approved by E*TRADE stockholders. By merging, the two companies will have $44 billion in revenue and 8 million customers with over $3 trillion in assets. With its commission-free options and vast financial tools, E*TRADE is a reliable trading platform for novice and skilled investors. 

Product Overview

Beginners
E*TRADE

E*TRADE

Pros

  • Suitable for new and experienced investors
  • Access to vast financial resources
  • $0 commissions on stocks, ETFs, and options

 

Cons

  • $500 minimum deposit for Core Portfolios
  • No international index funds

E*TRADE’s Services & Features 

Price Free for stocks, options, and ETFs
Standout features Access to all investment types
Commission-free trading
Excellent mobile app
Online trader community
Large offering of financial resources
Services Stocks
Bonds
ETFs
Options
Mutual Funds
Futures
Forex
Fees $0 on stocks, options and ETFS
$0.65 on options
$1.50 on futures
$25 on broker-assisted trades
Terms $0 account minimum for Brokerage Accounts

A great perk of selecting E*TRADE to conduct trades is the plethora of trading options at your disposal. E*TRADE also provides access to nearly every investment tool needed to conduct trades across a wide variety of markets, with the only exception being international index funds. Even futures, options, and forex markets, which can be difficult to find at other brokerages, are available with E*TRADE. So if it’s variety you’re looking for, or if you don’t want your choices restricted, E*TRADE would make a solid choice.

Being a full-service broker is at the heart of what E*TRADE delivers. With a variety of other resources, like small business tools, retirement planning, and college savings plans, E*TRADE caters its services to serve the needs of every investor.

The Competition

E*TRADE
ally Invest
TD Ameritrade
Fidelity
Our review
Our review
Our review
Stocks
Bonds
ETFs
Options
Mutual Funds
Futures
X
International
X
X
X
Forex

*Offers commission-free or transaction-free trading

E*TRADE vs. TD Ameritrade

Both firms offer similar services and $0 commissions on online stock, ETF, and options trades. TD Ameritrade has a broader range of trading options than E*TRADE, including foreign exchange and cryptocurrency trading. While both companies charge $25 for broker-assisted trades, E*TRADE is a better solution for frequent traders since the commission for over-the-counter (OTC) trades (outside of stocks, options, and ETFs) is lower than TD Ameritrade after 30 trades per quarter.

E*TRADE vs. Ally Invest

E*TRADE and Ally Invest both offer low-cost online trading platforms, but E*TRADE’s research tools and mobile apps are more comprehensive. Ally Invest may be a good choice for a beginner investor — there are no account minimums, many trades are free, and options trading contracts are only 50 cents. Make sure you’re aware of the $9.95 fee for buying and selling no-load mutual funds. E*TRADE also requires a $500 minimum to open a ‘Core Portfolio,’ and options contracts are a little higher at 65 centers, but it doesn’t charge when you buy or sell a no-load mutual fund.

E*TRADE vs. Fidelity

Comparing these two highly-rated firms comes down to the investor’s end goals. Fidelity is the more robust option, offering financial advice and wealth management through its physical branches and advanced online tools. Regular traders can find everything they need from E*TRADE, including an excellent mobile app with Bloomberg streaming live and third-party ratings. More experienced investors wanting to diversify their portfolios internationally will prefer Fidelity, which offers Forex trading in nearly 20 currencies and 25 global marketplaces.

E*TRADE FAQ

The Bottom Line 

E*TRADE may be the best trading platform for new and frequent investors interested in free trades to save money on commissions. The firm’s mobile apps, Power E*TRADE Mobile and E*TRADE Mobile are user-friendly and packed with features. You’ll be able to enjoy mobile charting, live streaming of Bloomberg TV, third-party research ratings, and a customizable dashboard where you can get real-time updates of the stocks you’re watching — all from your mobile device. 

The pioneer in online trading provides high value for beginner and advanced traders. The only drawback at this time is what the future holds for E*TRADE when it’s transferred to Morgan Stanley in the fourth quarter of 2020. There’s not much news at this time on how the brokerage’s current business model will change, but the company should still be able to provide tools and access to trading markets.

About the Authors

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance, real estate and international business journalist. Her work has been featured in Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com, Bankrate.com and SimpleDollar.com. Besides writing, Cynthia owns and operates a small digital marketing and public relations firm that works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide visibility and growth.