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eTrade Review

E-Trade is one of the most popular online trading platforms in the industry and offers virtually all of the online tools today’s investor needs to grow their wealth.


  • Features
  • Pricing Packages
  • The Good
  • The Bad

eTrade Features

eTrade Investment Products

Stocks: Traders can trade stocks.
Bonds: Traders can trade bonds.
ETFs: Commission-free exchange-traded-funds (ETFs) and standard ETFs are available.
Forex: Traders can trade Forex and access foreign exchange markets.
Futures Markets: Traders can access futures markets.
International Markets: Traders can access international markets outside of the United States.
Mutual Funds: Traders can access 8,000+ mutual funds, 1,300+ of which are no-load, no-transaction fee.
Easy-to-Borrow Stocks: Traders can sell short by buying easy-to-borrow stocks.
Options: Traders can trade options.

eTrade Trading Tools

Trade Alerts: Setup personalized trade alerts for investment products.
Automated Trading: Set automatic triggers to execute trades if certain conditions are met.
Customizable UI: Change the look, layout, and user interface of your trading platform.
Spread Builder: Build your own spreads between multiple investment products.
Streaming Real-Time Quotes: Quotes stream live and in real-time for all investors.
Trailing Stops: Create a stop-loss as a percentage of market price instead of dollar amount, giving you greater control over losses and profits.
Watch List: Create a watch list of all the investment products that interest you.
Display Account Balances: All account balances are clearly displayed on your portfolio page.
Gain/Loss: Receive reports of your gains and losses for tax season.

eTrade Financial Resources

Online Banking: Create online banking accounts with E-Trade.
Debit Cards: Sign up for debit cards through E-Trade banking services.
Tax Tools: Plan your investment strategy around tax season.
Wealth Assessment: Run a wealth assessment report to determine how various factors affect your retirement goals.
No Credit Card: You cannot sign up for an E-Trade credit card.

Other eTrade Features

Mobile Trading: E-Trade offers excellent mobile apps that let users totally manage their accounts on-the-go.
Branch Locations: Branches are located in 17 states across the US, with multiple locations in California, New York, and Florida.
Tech Support: Tech support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week over online chat and a toll-free phone.
Standard Account Transaction Fees
Stocks, Options, and ETFs: $9.99
Options Contracts: $0.75
Futures Contracts: $2.99
Forex Trades: Free
Margin Rate: 7.44%
Bonds: $1.00
Broker-Assisted Trades: Add $25
Mutual Funds: No Transaction Fees
Accounts With 150+ Trades Per Quarter
Stocks, Options, and ETFs: $7.99
Options Contracts: $0.75
Futures Contracts: $2.99
Forex Trades: Free
Margin Rate: 7.44%
Bonds: $1.00
Broker-Assisted Trades: Add $25
Mutual Funds: No Transaction Fees

The Good On eTrade

Trade Any Investment Product

Some online trading platforms restrict which types of assets you’re allowed to trade. Some platforms don’t allow Forex trading, for example, while others don’t let you buy futures or access international markets. E-Trade lets you do all of those things and access any investment product you could possibly want to trade, including futures, Forex, international markets, and many other investment tools. If you’re tired of online trading platforms restricting your methods of investment, then E-Trade will be a refreshing change. Whether you’re only trading ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds, or you want to dabble in international markets, E-Trade may be the best option for your needs.

Excellent Mobile Apps

Most of today’s popular trading platforms offer mobile apps. In fact, that’s one of the major advantages of most online trading platforms – trading on the go can make a smart investor a lot of money. E-Trade’s mobile apps, however, go above and beyond what many users expect. With E-Trade, users can fully manage their E-Trade account from all popular mobile devices. You can also view real-time streaming quotes, view up-to-date stock tips and investor videos, tutorials, market snapshots, and much more. It also has unique awesome features like being able to watch live CNBC video or scroll through videos on demand. One of the coolest features is being able to take a picture of an item’s barcode and then view financial information about that company on your mobile app. You can even deposit checks directly into your E-Trade account by taking a picture of them. If mobile functionality is important to you, then E-Trade offers one of the best mobile trading apps ever made. It’s not even close. Apps are available for Android devices as well as the iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.

Free Streaming Quotes

Not all online trading platforms offer free streaming quotes. However, free streaming quotes are available to all E-Trade clients after signing up for an account. Whether you’re a day trader or you just like seeing investment information unfold before your eyes, this can be a huge advantage.

Easy Interface

All online trading platforms simplify the trading experience. E-Trade simplifies trading as well as any of its competitors. No matter which type of order you’re trying to place, the E-Trade interface is easy to use and makes a complex concept relatively simple.

E-Trade Office Locations Across the United States

Many online platforms are based out of a single physical location and that location is for employees – not customers. E-Trade is unique and offers dozens of locations across the United States. Customers can walk into any of these locations for live product demonstrations, educational seminars, advice, guidance, account changes, and more. Even if you do most of your financial management online, having a nearby physical location can be nice. Currently, E-Trade locations are available in 17 states and there are multiple locations in California, New York, and Florida.

A Social Trading Experience

Trading stocks can be a lonely experience. That’s why E-Trade has created an active online trader community where traders can discuss their latest trades, analyze upcoming opportunities, and gauge community sentiment on particular assets. Some traders may never use these social features, but it can be a good way to make up your mind on a particularly difficult read.

Additional Financial Resources Available

E-Trade is an online trading platform. However, it also offers financial resources that could make it more than just your online trading platform. Those financial resources include banking services and the ability to sign up for a debit card (although not a credit card). There’s also small business bookkeeping, retirement planning, college saving plans, and much more. If you wanted to, E-Trade could be the only financial management system you’ll ever use again – and that’s exactly how E-Trade’s creators have developed their platform.

The Bad On eTrade

High Minimum Account Balance of $10,000

Don’t have $10,000 to trade? Don’t bother with E-Trade. Out of all the services we’ve reviewed, E-Trade typically has the highest minimum account balance at $10,000. That’s a huge deal breaker for some users. However, it also shows which types of users E-Trade wants to attract.

Lowest Transaction Fees Only Available to Active Traders

The more you trade, the lower you’ll pay for per-trade fees. If you perform at least 150 trades per quarter, then you’ll enjoy the lowest stock and options trading fees – which is great for people who trade frequently. If you don’t, however, then pricey fees can quickly add up.

No Virtual Trading or “Play Money” Available

Many of E-Trade’s competitors provide a free trial period during which traders can mess around with “play money” – also known as virtual trading. With virtual trading, you receive virtual money but can still access the full suite of features. You can make money, lose money, and pick where you want to invest without actually risking any of your own money. Unfortunately, E-Trade does not offer any type of virtual trading and users must start using real money right away.

The Verdict On eTrade

Ultimately, E-Trade gives preferential treatment to a certain type of client. First, you need a minimum account balance of $10,000 to even sign up for E-Trade, which is a little bit higher than most other online trading platforms.

Second, users only get the lowest stock and options trading fees if they perform at least 150 trades per month. If you perform fewer trades than that, then you’ll pay higher fees.

With that in mind, E-Trade is ideal for traders who want to invest over $10,000 into an online trading account and a) perform at least 150 trades each quarter or b) won’t get upset about high trading fees.

If you’re that type of trader, then E-Trade is an excellent option. Its mobile apps are among the best in the business and provide full access to your account wherever you go. Other mobile features include the ability to watch live CNBC video and take pictures of product barcodes to view the company that sells that particular item.

For all of these reasons, E-Trade is one of the best online trading platforms available today. Yes, it’s pricey and yes, it gives preferential treatment to active traders, but if you have more than $10,000 to invest, then E-Trade may be the best option for your needs.

About Johnson Hur

After having graduated with a degree in Finance and working for a Fortune 500 company for several years, Johnson decided to follow his passion by embarking on a path to the digital world. He has over 8 years of experience with large companies setting marketing strategy.

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