E*TRADE is a leading online US Broker that offers online stock, exchange-traded fund (ETF) and options trading with $0 commission (additional fees may apply, subject to terms and conditions). The broker offers services for investors, traders, advisors, stock plan participants, stock plan administrators and more. You can trade with them self-directed or via the automated portfolio management options.
Founded in 1982 by a physicist and inventor, E*TRADE is headquartered in New York City and has around 4,000 employees with 30 retail branches across the United States. They were amongst the first online brokers to send a transaction to the exchange. This helped to pave the way for many investors to start conducting their investments online.
The broker aims to make the investment process easy and are on hand to help investors make informed decisions dependant on their individual goals with professional guidance.
They work alongside multiple market centres for end-to-end control over orders in order to help them provide the highest possible execution speeds and quality. They have a team dedicated to regular and intensive reviews to help find the right balance between execution price, speed, and price improvement. The broker utilises advanced order routing technology in an effort to find the best possible market execution available.
Pros / Cons
- Strict regulation
- Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)
- Range of investment choices
- Competitive fees
- Intuitive trading platforms
- Advanced trading tools
- Abundance of educational resources
- Limited countries
- Restricted leverage
- No forex, cryptos or CFDs
- No MetaTrader platform
- Limited funding options
- Slow account opening process
Securities products and services are offered by E*TRADE Securities LLC who are a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) scheme in the United States. The SIPC is an investor protection scheme established in order to protect clients against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker cannot fulfil their financial obligations. The SIPC protection is limited to $500,000 with a $250,000 limit for cash.
Commodity futures products and services are offered by E*TRADE Futures LLC, who are a member of the National Futures Association (NFA) in the United States. The investment advisory services are offered through E*TRADE Capital Management, LLC, who are a Registered Investment Adviser.
The banking products and services are offered by E*TRADE Bank, who are a federal savings bank, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) member, or its subsidiaries. E*TRADE Securities LLC, E*TRADE Capital Management, LLC, E*TRADE Futures LLC, and E*TRADE Bank are separate but affiliated companies.
It should be noted that some investment products such as futures are not covered by the investor protection scheme and the protection is not available to all clients. Negative account balance protection is not provided. It is important to carefully read through all of the brokers terms and conditions so that you have a clear understanding of the protection offered before you open an account with any brokerage. Investment products are not FDIC insured and there is no bank guarantee, your investments may lose value.
The broker is primarily geared towards US traders although they can accept clients from a limited number of non-US countries.
E*TRADE Trading Platforms
E*TRADE provide powerful, advanced and flexible trading platforms for investors or traders to access the markets when and how they want, from anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection. The platforms are available at no extra cost for desktop, web and mobile devices. They implement the latest innovative technologies with technical analysis tools, unusual activity scans, options and futures ladders, and much more.
Power E*TRADE Platform
Power E*TRADE is the proprietary trading platform that has an abundance of intuitive and user-friendly tools for analysing the markets and trading stocks, options, and futures.
Power E*TRADE features include:
- Easy to use and intuitive platform
- Vast array of charting tools for conducting technical analysis on the charts
- Advanced charting with hundreds of indicators and drawing tools
- Multiple chart types
- Multiple chart timeframes
- Multiple order types
- Variety of risk analysis tools
E*TRADE Web Platform
You can also access your account and trade via the E*TRADE online web platform. It is easy to navigate and contains many of the tools that traders require for researching potential trades, tracking the markets, placing and managing trades, etc.
E*TRADE web platform features include:
- Accessible within most modern web browsers
- Real time quotes and charts
- Independent third-party analytical research
- Investing tools and screeners to spot emerging opportunities
- Place, manage and exit positions
- Learning resources
Power E*TRADE Mobile App
The broker offers 2 mobile trading platforms for Android and iOS compatible devices. This is useful for those who wish to stay connected to their brokerage account and trade whilst on the go. The Power E*TRADE mobile application is an intuitive and innovative mobile trading platform suitable for all types of traders.
E*TRADE Trading Tools & Education
In addition to the intuitive platforms offered, E*TRADE clients also have access to a range of tools that can assist with helping them to achieve their financial goals. These resources include All-Star Lists, online screeners, Thematic Investing, Prebuilt Portfolios and managed portfolios customised according to individual investor needs.
There is a range of useful resources available for clients to learn from objective research, data, and analysis. Traders can access a complete educational library with online training courses, webinars, in depth articles, and news to keep them up to date and informed on the latest market happenings. There is something for all experience levels, covering a range of different investing and trading topics.
E*TRADE Trading Instruments
E*TRADE have something for most investors to trade online through flexible platforms and an all in one trading account, including stocks, bonds, 250 non-proprietary ETFs, over 4,500+ no-load, no-transaction-fee mutual funds, futures, options and certificates of deposit (CDs). There is a full range of investment choices although they do not currently offer forex, CFDs or cryptocurrencies.
Investment choices range from the complex to simple and long term to the short term. There are those suitable for newcomers and those more suitable to the more seasoned investor.
They charge $0 commission on stock, ETF and options trades, with a $0.65 charge per options contract. If you have more than 30+ trades in each quarter then the options contract charge goes down to $0.5.
- Stocks, options & ETFs – $0
- Option contracts – $0.65, $0.5 with 30+ trades per quarter
- Mutual funds – prices vary, no load, no-transaction-fee for more than 4,500+ funds
- Futures contracts – $1.50 per contract, per side, plus fees
- Bonds (for online secondary trades) – $1.00 (minimum $10, maximum $250)
As fees can change and there may be additional fees not listed here, make sure you check on the official broker website and are clear about all of the fees charged before opening a trading account with E*TRADE.
E*TRADE Trading Accounts & Fees
The broker has a selection of accounts to cater for different investor and trader needs. There is everything from investment accounts to savings accounts and managed accounts.
The E*TRADE brokerage account offers a range of intuitive and user-friendly trading tools along with independent market research and personalised customer support as and when you need it. You can choose from a full range of investment choices. The accounts offered include:
- Brokerage account (individual, joint, custodial) – Standard account for investing and trading with access to the full suite of investments, tools, customer experience and educational resources
- Retirement account (Rollover IRA, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA) – For those looking to save for their retirement
- Savings account – Various savings accounts with competitive interest rates
- Managed portfolios – Automated investing from $500. This account is for setting up a diversified portfolio that is monitored and managed for an annual advisory fee of 0.30%
- Margin account – Clients can opt for a margin account to borrow up to 50% of eligible equity to buy additional securities. Increased margin can increase risk
E*TRADE Customer Service
The E*TRADE customer support team are on hand to give support and guidance in a prompt and efficient manner to all clients, whatever their investment size or skill level. Customer service is available and happy to answer all kinds of questions via online chat, telephone and email. Using the live chat can quickly connect you to the team and get answers to any questions that you may have. They have over 30+ branches across the United States and welcome people to visit for a one-on-one meeting with an E*TRADE professional financial consultant.
E*TRADE Deposit & Withdrawal
This online broker has a limited choice of methods for depositing and withdrawing funds from your account. This includes Wire Transfer, Check, Electronic Bank Deposit (ACH), and External Securities Transfer. It would be considered more convenient for some users if they offered credit/debit card funding and online payment processors such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, etc.
There may be some additional fees charged when using certain deposit or withdrawal methods. The processing time can vary depending on the method used. Bank transfers may take a few business days to clear. E*TRADE strictly does not accept third-party payments. All funds deposited into your trading account must be under the same name as your account.
Accounts can only be opened in USD currency which means that currency conversion fees can apply if you are not funding in this currency.
E*TRADE Account Opening
There is an online application where you can apply to open an E*TRADE account in a few minutes and then gain access to trade stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, bonds and more. During the process you will need to choose your account type, provide personal information, verify your identity and complete your investment profile.
Each applicant will need to provide their Social Security number or ITIN along with employer’s name and address (where applicable). It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the process. Once submitted your account will be reviewed and if successful you will be able to fund it and commence trading. Please note that the account approval process can take up to a few days.
In the fight against terrorism and money laundering, the law does require that financial institutions must obtain, verify, and record information to identify those who open an account. Your personal information may be used for third-party verification purposes. Ensure that you are aware and happy with these procedures before opening an account.
E*TRADE is a well-established US online broker that has a good range of investment choices for all styles of traders and investors. They also offer managed portfolios for those who prefer a more hands-off approach. The commission fees start from $0 and there is a flexible choice of powerful trading platforms and tools available across multiple devices. In addition to this, they have a large library of educational resources.
However, the funding options are limited and they do not offer the popular MetaTrader platform that many traders are so familiar with. Furthermore, there is currently no support for CFD, crypto or forex trading.
Trading complex instruments can come with a high risk. You should consider whether you understand how investments and trading work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing all of your money.