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E*TRADE Review 2020: What You Should Know

  • E*TRADE Review 2020: What You Should Know

E*TRADE is one of the most experienced online investment management companies in the business. They opened their doors back in 1982 and since then they are arguably one of the best online brokers.

E*TRADE is a US-based stockbroker and is regulated by the SEC and FINRA. They have a great track record, an in-depth banking background, and always disclose their financials to the public.

If you want to know what E*TRADE is made of, you found the right article. We are going to take you on a deep dive into  E*TRADE. 

In our review, we will show you what  E*TRADE does well, what they need improving, and if  E*TRADE us the right online broker for you.

Quick Look at E*TRADE

E*TRADE has one of the best track records in the online brokerage field. They provide a low cost, personalized platform for all of their clients.

E*TRADE wants to provide the best investment system for the lowest cost, and they do a damn good job of it. 

Account minimum: $0 USD

Fees: $0 per trade (stocks)

Pros:

  • Very large investment selection
  • Super helpful and easy to use tools available 
  • Commission-free stock, options, and ETFs
  • Great customer service 

Cons:

  • Cannot open an account if you are not a U.S citizen
  • There is no forex available 

E*Trade is best for:

  • Investors who trade often ($0 per trade)
  • Those who want to enrich their financial intelligence (great tools and educational information)
  • Anyone looking to plan for retirement 
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What is E*TRADE (Full Review)

E*TRADE is an online broker that offers diverse investing outlets. They offer high value to novice investors and experienced traders alike.

They have a large archive of educational resources and research tools.  E*TRADE has a professional trading platform and they know how to create a personalized balanced portfolio.

It doesn’t change much for now, but we thought you should know that Morgan Stanley bought  E*TRADE in February 2020. The acquisition should take time until it is complete. There are no changes as of now and E*TRADE will continue to accept new traders. 

Let’s check out the services and features that  E*TRADE proves:

E*TRADE
Account minimum  $0
Stock trading cost  $0
Option trading cost No commission- $0.50-$0.65 per contract
Commission-free ETFs
Mutual funds  $19.99 per trade- 4,500 free mutual funds
Inactivity fee none
Securities 
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Futures
  • Bonds
  • ETFs
  • Mutual Funds
Education & Research
Mobile apps
Web trading platforms 
Customer support 
  • 24/7 phone line
  • Online chat
  • Email
  • Regular mail
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Accounts

E*TRADE makes opening an account easy. Their platform is user friendly and available to U.S citizens.

The only downside is that we noticed that it takes some time (average of 7 business days) until you get approved.  

How to Open Account

E*TRADE is a stockbroker that operates in the U.S. Similar to Wealthfront and Betterment,  E*TRADE cannot accept clients that live outside of the U.S for regulatory reasons.  

Setting up an account is easy with  E*TRADE, well walk you through it. 

Most clients signed up online, so let’s see how it’s done.

There are five main steps to open an account with E*TRADE:

There are five main steps to open an account with E*TRADE:

  1. Choose an account- There are four main accounts to choose from:
    1. Brokerage account
    2. Retirement account
    3. Managed portfolio
    4. Small business retirement account
  2. Input personal information– This is a requirement to open an investment account. You need to share information such as SSN, residency, email, etc.
  3. Create an investment plan- give your 2 cents on your trading preferences.
  4. Create E*TRADE account number- This part’s easy, just review your application and click next.
  5. Send funds to your account- There are four ways to send fund to your account:
    1. Transfer money online- This service is free and takes up to 3 business days.
    2. Wire transfer- usually takes one business day.
    3. Transfer an account- Only available for brokerage accounts, usually takes 10 business days.
    4. Mail a check- usually take 7 business days.

If you don’t have access to a computer, that is no problem at all.  E*TRADE offers three methods to sign up and create an account:

  • Online- Click here or simply go online and choose the account you want.
  • Phone-  Call 800-387-2331 (800-ETRADE-1) and speak with an E*TRADE representative.
  • Mail- Download their foam and send in the application to E*TRADE Securities LLC, PO Box 484 Jersey City, NJ 07303-0484

Account Types

E*TRADE is a diverse online brokerage with a handful of accounts. There is no minimum or maximum number of accounts.

At  E*TRADE you have full control to invest the way you would like to with the accounts that you wish.

Below are a few of their accounts:

Account Explanation
Individual account An account owned by a single person
Joint account An account owned by two or more people
Business account An account owned by a business/legal entity
Retirement account An account set up for retirement:

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • etc
Pension account This is an account for small business owners (self-employed)
Education savings Saving for college
Custodial account  An account set up by an adult for a minor
Personalized investment accounts  Accounts set up for trading/investing
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Fees & Commissions 

E*TRADE allows investors to buy and sell securities at a very low cost. They offer free stock and ETF trading.

Before we break down E*TRADE, let’s look over the basic fees and commissions brokers charge:

  • Management fees-
    • These are basically trading fees and consist of conversion fees, financial rates, and commissions 
  • Non-trading fees-
    • These are costs that don’t have to do with trading. Fees that are connected to depositing money, withdrawing money, and inactivity. 

Compared to the market and competition, E*TRADE has low fees. We based our analysis on the fees explained above.

Let’s break them down!

Management Fees 

These fees revolve around “trading”. The fees and commissions that are directly related to the act of investing. 

E*TRADE
Stocks Bonds ETFs Options Mutual Funds 
$0 (Exchange-listed U.S stocks) U.S treasury bonds – $0

Corporate bonds– $1 

$0 (online) Contract fee

$0.65 (0-29 trades a QTR)

$0.50 (30+ trades a QTR) 

$19.99

Stocks & ETFs

Buying stocks and ETFs have zero commissions! If you’re an investor who focuses in on those securities, it can’t get any better than that! 

Bonds

If you’re interested in buying treasury bonds there is zero commission. Corporate bonds cost $1 per bond- minimum $10- maximum $250. 

Options 

E*Trade charged a volume baes free in connection to options trading. The base fees are $0.65 per contact. 30 or more contracts per quarter, the fees drop to $0.50 per contact.  

Mutual Funds

E*TRADE’s mutual funds cost $19.99 per trade. While that is a good amount of money, it is fairly low compared to competitor brokers. 

Investors interested in trading on margin or shorting should know that the USD margin rate  E*TRADE offers is just about  9.8% (base rate + tiered mark up).

That is basically the rate at which you need to pay E*TRADE for “borrowing” money or stocks. In other words, the margin rate is interest.

Non-Trading Fees

E*TRADE doesn’t have non-trading fees!

  • Setting up an account is free 
  • There is no inactivity fee
  • No deposit fee (might be charged by your bank, not  E*TRADE)
  • No withdrawal fees ( if you use ACH transfer) 
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Asset Classes

E*TRADE has a large variety of investments to choose from. In spite of the fact that they have a large investment selection, they don’t have it all.

E*TRADE
Stocks-Short & Long
Options/Complex Options 
ETF
Futures/Commodities
Mutual Funds 9,000+
Bonds
Cryptocurrency
Forex 🚫
Roth IRA
International Exchange 🚫
OTC, OTCBB Penny Stocks
Fractional Shares

Whatever investments you’re interested in, E*TRADE has several portfolios and investing plans to choose from. You can get financial advisory from E*TRADEs experts or you can go for a more hands-off approach with  E*TRADE’s Robo-advisory service.

As you can see, there are many investment vehicles to choose from. If you are interested in forex, try Scottrade,  E*TRADE wouldn’t be the best option. 

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Trading Platforms

Good trading platforms are what “makes or breaks” online brokerages. At the end of the day, you are here because you are interested in investing and the trading platform is your portal.

E*TRADE has optimized their trading platforms and made easy to use tools for investors. They have trading platforms for the web (your computer) and for your mobile device

E*TRADE has two trading platforms that are specialized for different investors in mind. 

Let’s take a look!

E*Trade  Power E*TRADE 
Mobile app
Web trading
Tradable securities
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • ETFs
  • Options
  • Mutual funds
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Complex Options
  • Futures 
Best for Anyone  looking for simple investing  Traders looking for more in-depth investing tools 

The E*TRADE platform is the default trading platform. Investors new to  E*TRADE are recommended to start out with that platform.

If you are a more aggressive trader and you want to maximize  E*TRADEs resources, Power  E*TRADE could be great for you. 

Mobile Trading Platform 

We tested out both apps on a mobile device. They are both available for iOS and Android.

E*Trade app

The  E*TRADE app is an easy to use app that allows investors to take control on the go. 

You can effortlessly make trades, get live quotes, and manage your portfolio all from your mobile device. 

Power E*TRADE app

The Power  E*TRADE app has slightly more power than the traditional  E*TRADE app. 

You can trade complex options, futures, and stocks all on the go. There is also a large selection of charts, technical studies, and news available. 

Web Trading Platform 

E*TRADE has two great web trading platforms available. Both platforms are available to clients with no minimum balance.

E*Trade

The E*TRADE web trading platform gives you a full 360-degree view of your account. You can view the market, make trades, create watch lists, and more!

the E*TRADE web trading platform offers plenty of free tools and resources at your fingertips.

Power E*TRADE app

Power E*TRADE is a platform that harnesses all of E*TRADE’s abilities into one platform.

E*TRADE acquired OptionsHouse a couple of years back and improved their platform. They transformed it into Power E*TRADE. This platform has so many technical studies, drawing tools, and trade tickets. You can do it all with Power E*TRADE.

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Education & Research

E*TRADE has a learning and research center that offers investment/financial related articles, trading content, educational videos, and great research tools.

Education

E*TRADE has super helpful learning materials for their clients. Their educational materials are broad and cover many investing topics.

Their educational information is available in four main ways:

  1. Educational articles
  2. Webinars
  3. Educational videos
  4. Tutorial videos

The educational information is helpful to beginner investors and experienced traders alike. One of the coolest things about the learning center is that it is free!

Research

When it comes down to research tools,  E*TRADE really shines!  E*TRADE has strategy building, analysis, and trading tools available on both E*TRADE and Power  E*TRADE platforms. 

We are going to go over a few of the research tools that E*TRADE provides. It’s important to remember that the basic E*TRADE platform has great research tools available, but Power E*TRADE has more complex research analysis tools. 

Trading tools

E*TRADE has tools to help recommend securities worth investing in. These recommendations come from third party analysis ( TipRanks, MorningStar, MarketEdge, etc). 

E*TRADE also provides lists called All-star funds. For the most part, they are made up of commission-free ETFs and mutual funds. 

Tools and Calculators

E*TRADE has numerous calculators and tools to help you get a better grip on your financial situation. 

Some of their top calculators are:

  • Taxable equivalent calculator
  • Marginal tax calculator
  • Loan repayment calculator
  • Retirement calculator

Charts

E*TRADE has plenty of charts available. If you’re really into dissecting charts, Power E*TRADE is probably the best platform for you.

They have a wide array of technical indicators and drawing features. While you’re analyzing charts there are live streams quotes on the web and mobile app. 

News

Both platforms have easy to read reliable news at your disposal. Bloomberg TV, MarketWatch, BusinessWire, GlobeNewswire, and more are streaming live.

These sources are available on both the app and the web trading platform. 

Financial Data

If you’re on the fence about purchasing a stock,  E*TRADE has loads of financial data available. You can dig deep into a company’s financial statements right from their platform.

This information is located under the fundamentals menu. 

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Customer Service

When you lose your password or have trouble filling an order, customer service becomes super important. 

Luckily getting ahold of  E*TRADE is easy.  E*TRADE provides three ways of getting a hold of them:

  1. Live Chat– On the home page there is a live chat button.
  2. Email– Log into your account and send them an email. We got a response the following day.
  3. Phone– Call 800-387-2331, they have great phone support.

Overall  E*TRADE has really great customer service. They are fast, reliable, and offer quality 24/7 support. 

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Safety

As an investor safety is one of the most, if not the most important thing. After doing a thorough background check, we can say that E*TRADE has high levels of security.

All investors at  E*TRADE are covered by the SIPC and the FDIC. The SIPC is an organization that protects investors up to $500,000 in securities if there was a mistake from the broker.

The FDIC, on the other hand, is a governmental body that backs up funds placed in banks and savings accounts. The standard insurance is $250,000 per depositor. 

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Is E*TRADE For You

E*trade provides a complete package for investors with intuitive tools and specialized support. There is no doubt that E*TRADE is one of the better discount brokers to consider. 

They have an easy to use platform with tons of free resources. When it comes down to value for money,  E*TRADE takes the win!

Whether your new to investing or you’re a seasoned trader, E*TRADE has the tools you need to help reach your financial goals.

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