Review of Etrade investment services. Fees and commissions, advantages and disadvantages, minimum requirements, and promotion offers for opening new online account with the top discount stock broker.


Rating:  Etrade brokerage firm rating

  • Stocks & ETFs: $6.95
  • Options: $6.95 + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $19.99

Etrade Review

Etrade offers investors an array of investment products at reasonable cost. With the addition of OptionsHouse platform, banking features and futures trading, Etrade is worth taking a closer look.

Etrade Commissions and Fees Review

Trading stocks and ETF's at Etrade carries a $6.95 charge. Customers placing 30 or more trades per quarter receive discount pricing of $4.95 per trade. To compare, Ally Invest offers $4.95 commission and has a discount of $1.00 for anyone with $100,000 account balance or making 30+ trades in 90 days. Firstrade is charging flat-rate $0 per trade.

Etrade offers more than 9,000 mutual funds, of which about 4,400 carry no-load and no transaction fee. Mutual funds that carry a transaction fee are $19.99. Ally Invest and Firstrade charge just $9.95 for the same mutual funds.

Etrade charges $49.99 an early redemption fee for no-load NTF funds held for less than 90 days.

Etrade offers its customers more than 100 commission-free ETFs with a 30-day holding requirement. A short-term redemption fee of $19.99 for customers with up to 149 stock and options trades during quarter, and $15.99 for all other clients will be applied if one of these ETF's is sold within 30 days.

The brokerage provides investors access to both government and corporate debt. U.S. Treasuries at auction and on the secondary market are free to trade. The transaction fee for other bonds is $1 per bond, with a $10 minimum per order and a $250 maximum.

Education

Etrade has an assortment of educational resources for its clients, consisting of articles, on-demand videos, and in-person seminars at select cities. A variety of topics are covered in these resources, such as options, fixed-income, and IRA's.

Etrade Review

Customer Service

Etrade customer service can be contacted via an on-line chat system, phone, fax, or e-mail. Phone service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The broker also has a few local branches in several cities, where customers can find investment advice and live seminars.

Etrade Review
There is a discussion forum on the broker's website, but it isn't very active.

Cash Management Features

Etrade has an FDIC-insured bank that offers a checking account with the standard $250,000 insurance. This account can be linked to an Etrade brokerage account to make money transfers instant. The broker's checking account comes with a Visa debit card and checks. Etrade rebates ATM fees for customers who have a minimum balance of $5,000, or who have combined balances across all Etrade accounts of at least $50,000.

Etrade Trading Tools Review

The company's web site is intuitive and easy to navigate. Using the web site, customers can perform a variety of tasks, such as buy and sell investments, manage a debit card, or pay bills. Etrade's Total Trade Ticket can be used to place orders (including sophisticated conditional orders) for stocks, options, and ETF's.

Etrade Review
Advanced trading platform, called Etrade Pro, is available to frequent traders or to customers who are willing to pay a rather steep monthly fee of $99.95. The second advanced trading platform, OptionsHouse, is available freely to all clients. Etrade Pro is a desktop application, and OptionsHouse is a browser-based platform. Both come with many features that would benefit sophisticated traders, such as Level II quotes, streaming charts, and market news.

Etrade Mobile Trading Review

The broker has applications for iPhone, iPad, Android phones, tablets, Amazon Fire phones, Kindle Fire HD and Windows phones. The interface is easy to navigate. Users will find a trade ticket, charts, educational videos, mobile check deposit, and many other features. There is a CNBC video archive available at no additional cost, although live CNBC streaming is only offered to active traders or to clients who elect to pay a very steep $99.95 monthly fee.

Etrade has rolled out an app for Apple Watch for the most busy and tech savvy of traders.

Additional Benefits

Etrade is one of the few brokerage firms in the U.S. which in addition to the standard selection of securities offers futures trading. Unfortunately, customers who want to trade futures must open a separate account.

Etrade Advantages

  • No-fee IRA accounts
  • Wide variety of investment options
  • Good 24/7 customer service
  • Over 100 commission-free ETFs
  • Great selection of no transaction fee mutual funds

Etrade Disadvantages

  • Higher than average stock and ETF commissions
  • Etrade PRO platform is available for free only to investors who execute 30+ stock or option trades per calendar quarter

Etrade Review Summary

Etrade has been one of the top players in the online investing industry for a long time. The broker provides great customer service and excellent selection of NTF mutual funds.

Etrade touts its advanced trading platforms, but limits free use of Etrade PRO to active traders. Many brokers offer their platforms at no charge to all customers. For example, TD Ameritrade provides all of its trading platforms absolutely free to all clients. Thinkorswim, one of the TD Ameritrade's advanced platforms, is ranked the best in the industry.


Etrade Commissions and Fees

InvestmentsPrice
Stocks and ETFs$6.95 (0-30 trades/quarter) or $4.95 (30+ trades/quarter)
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted add $25
Options $6.95 + $0.75 per contract (0-30 trades/quarter) or $4.95 + $0.75 (30+ trades/quarter)
Mutual funds $19.99
Futures contracts $1.50 per contract, per side + fees
Fixed Incomemarkup or markdown and any transaction fee will be included in the price quoted
Bonds$1 per bond (minimum $10, maximum $250) for online secondary market trades. Includes Agency bonds, Corporate bonds, Municipal bonds, Brokered CDs, Pass-thrus, CMOs, Asset Backed Securities.


Etrade IRA Account Fees

FeeAmount
IRA Setup Fee$0
Annual IRA Fee$0
IRA Closing Fee$50
Full Account Transfer Out$60
Partial Account Transfer Out$25
Outgoing Wire Fees (Domestic)$25
Outgoing Wire Fees (International)$25

Open Etrade Account

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Etrade reviewed by TopRatedFirms.com Rating: 4