2019: How much E*TRADE is charging to buy, sell, trade ETFs? Broker 300 Commission-FREE ETFs list.


With the ever increasing popularity of ETFs, it’s no surprise that brokers like TD Ameritrade and Etrade are trying to make their trading platforms even more attractive with perks such as commission-free ETFs. Both Ameritrade and Etrade compare well in this respect, with each offering around 300 commission-free ETFs, but you should still pay close attention to the details because there are sometimes hidden fees that apply to even the free ETFs. This article will focus on researching and trading ETFs at Etrade.

How to Find ETFs on Etrade

Etrade has a user-friendly screening tool that can be used to sift through and filter the more than 2,000 ETFs they support on their platform. It allows you to slice and dice their ETF offerings by fund family, strategy, yield, and expense ratio among other fund characteristics. For example, in the below screenshot we are browsing for commission-free ETFs in Emerging Markets, and the screen gives us 14 ETFs to compare.

Comparing ETFs

Etrade also offers a helpful comparison tool to do a deeper side-by-side dive into a handful of ETFs that made the top of your list. Let’s say for example that in the above screenshot the two ETFs that really caught my eye were tickers SDEM and EMFM. In the screenshot below, you can see that entering these in the compare tool (you can enter up to five at once) lets you compare the two ETFs’ returns, yields, expense ratios and more. SDEM and EMFM have the same 3-year return, but we can see the expense ratio on EMFM is a bit more competitive.

How to Buy ETFs on Etrade

Once you’ve found the right ETF for your portfolio, let’s say we picked EMFM for our emerging exposure; you can place an order by going to “Trading” and then “Stocks/ETFs” in the menu below. Enter the ticker for the ETF you want to buy (EMFM), specify your action (Buy), enter the number of shares you want (we want 20), the order type (Limit), the maximum price you’re willing to pay per share ($20.45), and finally how long you want the order to stay active for (Good for Day). After previewing the order to make sure nothing was fat-fingered just hit submit.

ETF Commissions

If the ETF you want isn’t one of the 300 free ones on Etrade’s platform you will pay either $4.95 or $6.95, depending on whether or not you place at least 30 trades each quarter. These rates are comparable to TD Ameritrade, and are actually lower if you are a frequent trader since Ameritrade doesn’t offer discounts to frequent traders.

Short Term ETF Trading Fee

Even if you are only going to invest in commission-free ETFs at Etrade you could still incur unexpected fees if you’re not careful. If you read the fine-print you will see that just like Ameritrade, Etrade is trying to discourage short-term trading of these ETFs by charging you a flat short-term trading fee if you sell a commission-free ETF within 30 days of purchase. This fee is generally $19.99, but is a slightly lesser $15.99 if you place more than 30 trades a quarter. This fee only applies to the ETFs that are commission-free.

E*TRADE ETF Fees Summary

In short, Etrade offers a well thought-out ETF trading platform and research/screening tool. It is comparable to TD Ameritrade in breadth of ETF coverage and screening. ETF trading costs and fees are also very similar between the two brokers; however frequent ETF traders would find a better deal at Etrade because of their discounted prices for high trade volume.


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