Etrade rating

Etrade Review

Etrade Pricing and Minimum Deposit

Stocks and ETFs $6.95 ($4.95 if making 30+ trades per quarter)
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $34.99
Options $6.95 + $0.75 per contract ($4.95 + $0.50 if making 30+ trades per 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.

Investments stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, fixed income, options, ETFs
Etrade minimum deposit to open account $500 for a non-retirement account, $0 for a retirement account, $2,000 for a margin account
FeesEtrade fees
Promotion links Etrade promotions

Overview of E*Trade

A wide range of investment services are available to E*Trade (member of SIPC) customers along with some exciting changes. The company responded to a recent price war in the industry, acquired OptionsHouse, and has added some new technical features. Let鈥檚 review E*Trade in detail, see how it performs in vital categories: where it outperforms and where it fails.

Research & Education

Etrade Research Rating

E*Trade鈥檚 website has a large section devoted to financial education. These are videos, infographics, and articles that cover a wide variety of topics, such as the broker鈥檚 trading tools, retirement, financial planning, fixed-income investments, funds, options, futures, and stocks. Some of the videos are from Morningstar. The materials on the E*Trade site are categorized by experience level. These include basic, intermediate, and advanced.

News articles are available on the broker鈥檚 site as well. These pertain to the economy as a whole and individual securities. The articles are provided by Morningstar,, Trefis, and MarketWatch. E*Trade recently added live streaming of Bloomberg Business News to its website and mobile app. There is no charge for this really nice service.

Etrade Recommended Stocks

Detailed information on U.S. and foreign markets is also hosted on the E*Trade site. Market movers, indexes, statistics, and a market calendar can all be found. Also not to be missed is important data on individual sectors.

Option traders have lots of tools to scan the derivative markets in search of profitable trades. The broker offers an income backtester, strategy optimizer, and options chains, among other research tools. Moreover, equity and fixed-income traders have good research tools. Free stock reports are available from several analysts, including Thomson Reuters and MarketEdge.

E*Trade Commissions, Fees, and Account Requirements

Etrade Fees Rating

E*Trade lowered its equity commission from $9.99 to $6.95 during the 2017 broker price war. It also reduced its standard to qualify for active trader status. Now customers need only ten trades per month to qualify for a $2 discount on the brokerage firm鈥檚 stock and ETF trade fee. E*Trade's commissions are still much higher than at most other brokers, including Firstrade ($0 per trade) and Ally Invest ($3.95-$4.95 per trade).

Option contracts cost an extra 75垄, and frequent traders receive a 25垄 discount here. Placing a trade over the phone with a live representative tacks on another $25.

E*Trade is one of the few securities brokers to also offer trading in futures. Contracts cost $1.50 per side. U.S. Treasury bonds carry no commission, although E*Trade acts as principal on these transactions, which means there is a markup on purchases and a markdown on sales. Corporate bonds on the secondary market cost $1 each with a $10 minimum and $250 maximum.

An investment account at E*Trade costs nothing to open and there are no on-going fees, such as annual or inactivity charges. The broker-dealer does require a $500 deposit to open an account.

Paper statements cost $2 each, although there are many methods to get them for free. Pro Elite customers (those who trade 30 times per quarter) receive them at no cost. The brokerage house will also waive the $2 fee for accounts that have $10,000 in assets.

Customer Service

Etrade Customer Service Rating

An E*Trade associate can be reached anytime of the day or night, 7 days a week. Besides phone service, there is also a helpful on-line chat feature on the broker鈥檚 website. This too is staffed 24/7. There is limited service in Chinese.

The brokerage firm has a variety of phone numbers for different purposes. For instance, there is a phone number for the company鈥檚 retirement desk and a different one for stock plans. Clients who are temporarily outside the U.S. also have an international number they can use.

The E*Trade website has a lot of useful self-service features where clients can perform their own customer service functions. For example, there is an on-line form to upgrade to option trading status, sell fractional shares, order checks, and request a wire transfer.

There is an internal messaging service after logging into the broker鈥檚 website. This is another method of reaching out to the company. E*Trade also accepts communications via fax and snail mail.

There are 30 E*Trade branch locations in the U.S. They are spread across 17 states. Some of these offices host live seminars and in-person events.

Trading Tools

Etrade Trading Tools Rating

After E*Trade bought Optionshouse (read review), the former incorporated the latter鈥檚 browser-based trading platform into the E*Trade website. This rather simple trading system is free for all customers. It launches from the website into a separate window and offers several nice features. For instance, it shows unusual market activity, such as abnormal options volume, trading at 52-week highs and lows, the day鈥檚 biggest gainers and losers, and more.

Etrade Optionshouse Platform

The OptionsHouse platform also has a watchlist and market news. The news articles are courtesy of Reuters and CNBC and pop-out into separate windows. The platform's trading ticket can handle multiple legs, and a snapshot analysis displays maximum gain, maximum loss, and break-even points for a potential trade. There is a graph for these points in addition to the numerical values.

Charting on the platform is fairly advanced. There are ten graph styles and over a hundred technical studies. Events can be added, such as splits and dividends. The price history for Ford only goes back to 2012, which certainly isn鈥檛 much of that company鈥檚 stock history.

More advanced software can be found with the broker鈥檚 desktop platform, E*Trade Pro. It does require 30 trades per quarter or an account balance of a quarter million dollars. The program features a technical analysis screener, advanced options tools, streaming market data, and a backtesting tool.

Etrade review: advanced trading

The website itself can be used for trading. User-friendly buy and sell buttons appear on a stock鈥檚 profile page. Clicking on one of them produces a new page where orders can be submitted. Missing in action is a trade bar, which some of E*Trade鈥檚 rivals do have.

Etrade website review

Mobile App

Etrade App Rating

Besides all the trading resources mentioned above, E*Trade customers also have access to the broker鈥檚 mobile app, which is compatible with Apple and Android tablets and phones. Besides stocks and ETF鈥檚, the app can buy and sell options and mutual funds, a nice feature that not all brokers offer.

Security research is possible on the app. Stock research includes minimal financial information and free reports in pdf format. Highs and lows for the trailing twelve months are shown along with news article that pertain to a certain stock. The articles are courtesy of Dow Jones. Earnings information is also available. The E*Trade app provides ARCA Level II quotes at no cost, which may be of value to equity traders.

Etrade app review

Alerts can be set for securities, and they can be added to a watchlist. Market news is on the app, and indexes are shown. These go up to 2 years. E*Trade has replaced fee-only CNBC streaming with Bloomberg at no cost.

Funds transfer, bill pay, and mobile check deposit are all available free of charge. The broker-dealer also provides a platform for Apple Watch.

The order ticket for stocks includes six order types: market, limit, stop on quote, stop on quote limit, trailing stop $, and trailing stop %. The term can be set to several possibilities, including extended hours only. Orders can also be saved.

Option chains are shown on the app after entering a stock鈥檚 ticker symbol. Unfortunately, there are no complex strategies shown鈥攋ust calls and puts. Many expiration dates are available, however.

Mutual Funds

Etrade Mutual Funds Rating

E*Trade has recently increased the number of mutual funds it offers. The broker鈥檚 screener returns 8,340 investments that are open to new investors. Of these, 4,190 come with no transaction fee and no load. Many of E*Trade's rivals, including Merrill Edge and Fidelity, offer fewer no-load, no-transaction-fee funds; although some, like TD Ameritrade, have much more total funds. If a mutual fund isn鈥檛 on E*Trade鈥檚 NTF list, there is a $19.99 charge to buy, sell, or exchange.

Many criteria are available on the mutual fund screener for searching purposes. Morningstar rating, total assets, Sharpe ratio, return history, and expense ratio are just a few that can be used. There are also pre-defined strategies, such as top performing target-date funds and international equity funds.

Etrade Mutual Funds Screener

E*Trade provides a list of funds called the All-Star List. These securities have been pre-selected by E*Trade financial advisors who believe they have a bullish future. The funds are all no-load, although some do have a transaction fee.

A fund鈥檚 profile page includes a lot of detailed information, including the prospectus and annual report. Morningstar ratings are also presented.

Etrade Promotion


Etrade ETF Rating

E*Trade hasn鈥檛 forgotten about ETF traders, either. All US-listed ETF鈥檚 are available to trade, and the broker's customers have access to a list of more than 150 that can be traded without paying any commissions. This is one of the largest lists in the industry, although it鈥檚 smaller than at Firstrade that offers 700 (!) commission-free ETFs and TD Ameritrade which provides 550+.

As with mutual funds, there is an All-Star list for exchange-traded funds, and the broker provides an advanced ETF screener. There is a comparison tool along with a method to find ETF鈥檚 by sector and investment style.

An ETF鈥檚 profile page includes lots of important data. News articles relating to a particular fund are displayed, and options chains are available if a fund has derivatives trading. Portfolio breakdown is shown by geographic region and market cap. Some of the more popular funds may have pdf reports from Morningstar and E*Trade.


Etrade IRA Rating

E*Trade has some useful retirement resources. It provides solo 401(k)鈥檚 for clients who are self-employed. It also has a suite of Individual Retirement Accounts, including Roth, Traditional, SEP, and SIMPLE varieties.

Etrade IRA review

The broker鈥檚 mobile app presents an assortment of asset allocation options for retirement accounts, and there is a link to open an IRA or rollover an employer's plan.

The E*Trade commission schedule applies to retirement accounts as it does to regular brokerage accounts. However, there are three $25 fees that retirement savers should be aware of. Early withdrawals (those before age 59陆) are assessed the fee. Removing an excess contribution also costs $25. And a recharacterization (when you change a contribution from a Roth to a Traditional, or the other way around; or when a Roth IRA conversion is changed back to a Traditional) incurs a $25 charge. Not all brokers charge fees for these services, although E*Trade does not have an IRA closeout fee.

Financial Advice & Managed Accounts

Etrade Managed Account Rating

While the bulk of E*Trade鈥檚 business comes from self-directed clients, the brokerage house does provide investment advice and portfolio management for a fee. E*Trade, living up to its name, has a robo-advisory service, and it costs just 0.30% per year. It requires a $5,000 deposit to start. The major competitor in this area, M1 Finance, provides robo-advisory investing completely free.

Human advisors are available, although they鈥檙e slightly more expensive. One package requires $25,000 to begin and costs between 65 and 90 basis points. Unlike the robot, this service includes mutual funds in addition to low-cost ETF鈥檚.

Paying between 0.95% and 1.25% will get you stocks. This package, however, requires a steep $150,000 to qualify. There are no commissions charged on trades.

Investors who live near an E*Trade branch could benefit from the financial advice the broker offers, as some of the advisors are located at these offices.

Cash Management

Etrade Cash Management Rating

E*Trade hasn鈥檛 forgotten the banking needs of its clients. In fact, the broker-dealer operates its own FDIC-insured bank. There are two checking accounts that can be linked to a brokerage account. The first comes with no monthly account fee, although it pays no interest. The first checkbook order is free, and the Visa debit card also comes at no charge.

The second bank account does pay interest (between 1 and 5 basis points), but comes with a $15 monthly fee. This can be avoided by maintaining a balance of $5,000 or more. A direct deposit of at least $200 will also evade the charge. Perhaps the most important difference between the two accounts is that the second option reimburses ATM fees, while the first does not.

Both accounts come with on-line account management, wire transfer service, and a $100 opening deposit requirement.

E*Trade Pros

  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Large and well established company
  • Powerful trading tools
  • No IRA account fees, and no minimums with electronic statements and confirmations
  • Low minimums to open accounts: $500 for a regular brokerage account and $0 for a retirement account
  • Investing advice is available by phone or in person
  • No surcharges on large orders or stocks under $1
  • Great research amenities from S&P, MorningStar, Thompson Reuters, Credit Suisse, and Smart Consensus

E*Trade Cons

  • Higher than average stock and ETF commissions
  • High margin rates
  • $0.005 per share surcharge on extended hours trades (ECN fee) and on trades executed through E*TRADE Pro at an ECN during both regular market and extended hours sessions
  • E*TRADE Pro platform is available at no charge only to customers who execute at least 30 stock or options trades during a calendar quarter or have $250,000 account balance. Otherwise it is $99 per month

E*Trade Review Summary

As we showed in this 2019 brokerage review, E*Trade has a lot of financial services, most of which are competitive with its rivals. Nevertheless, in every category the broker underperformed at least one competitor. Although E*Trade used to be weak in the fund category, recent changes have made the broker a very good choice there.

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E*Trade Questions and Answers

What investments can clients make through Etrade?

E*Trade customers can trade the following asset types: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, fixed income, options, and ETFs.

What are E*Trade's fees?

List of all the fees E*Trade is charging is under this link.

What are E*Trade IRA charges?

List of all the IRA fees is under this link.

What interest does E*Trade pay on cash?

E*Trade interest rates on uninvested cash are in E*Trade cash sweep article.

What are E*Trade margin interest rates?

Current E*Trade margin interest rates could be found here.

What is E*Trade account minimum?

E*Trade does not have minimum requirements for brokerage accounts.

What minimum deposit is required to open E*Trade account?

E*Trade minimum deposit is $500 for a non-retirement account, $0 for a retirement account, and $2,000 for a margin account.

What is E*Trade clearing house?

E*Trade is self clearing.

How to close E*Trade account?

Information on how to close or transfer E*Trade account is under this link.

E*Trade Margin Rates

Debit Balance Margin Interest Rates
above $1,000,000 7.50%
$500,000 - $999,999.99 8.50%
$250,000 - $499,999.99 9.00%
$100,000 - $249,999.99 9.50%
$50,000 - $99,999.99 10.00%
$25,000 - $49,999.99 10.50%
$10,000 - $24,999.99 10.75%
$0 - $9,999.99 11.00%

E*Trade IRA Fees

Fee Amount
Etrade IRA setup fee $0
Etrade annual IRA fee $0
Etrade IRA termination fee $0
Etrade account maintenance fee $0
Etrade account inactivity fee $0
Etrade outbound full account transfer (ACAT) fee $75
Etrade outbound partial account transfer fee $25

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Etrade reviewed by Rating: 3.5