E*Trade Review 2022 - MagnifyMoney

E*Trade Review

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With so many upstart online brokerages making headlines, why write an E*Trade review? It’s simple: E*Trade has a longstanding history and a wide range of account types and investment options, making it a solid choice for brokerage services. Whether you’re new to the investing world or make trades often, E*Trade offers a comprehensive lineup of trading platforms and user-friendly apps, plus a wide selection of educational resources.

However, there are still fees for specific types of accounts and features. You also won’t get much of a bonus for moving your money to E*Trade — unless you have tens of thousands of dollars.

Key E*Trade features:

  • You can choose between two customizable, feature-rich trading platforms.
  • Customer support is available via chat, email, phone or over 30 local branches.
  • There is a minimum balance to open non-retirement accounts.

Who should consider E*Trade?

In researching this E*Trade review, we found more than a few reasons why it might make a great place to open an online brokerage account. With solid offerings for both beginning and advanced investors, it’s a platform that can grow with you throughout your investing journey. And a bonus: If you’re already a frequent trader who needs both mobile and online platforms, this brokerage could be a good choice.

If you’re new to investing, you’ll like E*Trade’s streamlined trading platform, selection of zero-commission trading options and broad offering of commission-free mutual funds, which make diversification cheaper and simpler. If you want a little more help selecting investments, E*Trade provides pre-built portfolios for mutual funds and ETFs (minimum $500 and $2,500, respectively).

For advanced investors, E*Trade offers customizable trading tools and ample charting options. A full range of investment choices including stocks, options and futures allows advanced traders to take diversification to the next level.

E*TRADE fees and features

Current promotions

New accounts with a deposit of at least $5,000, may be eligible for a cash bonus, which can range from $100 to $2,500 depending on the amount deposited.

Stock trading fees$0.00 per trade
Amount minimum to open accountNo account minimums
Tradable securities
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures/Commodities
Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)
  • $0 annual fee
  • $75 full account transfer fee
  • $25 partial account transfer fee
  • $0 yearly inactivity fee
Commission-free ETFs offered250
Mutual funds (no transaction fee) offered4400
Offers automated portfolio/robo-advisor
Account types
  • Individual taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Joint taxable
  • Rollover IRA
  • Rollover Roth IRA
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account(ESA)
  • Custodial Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA)/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA)
  • Custodial IRA
  • Solo 401(k) (for small businesses)
  • SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees)
  • Trust
  • Guardianship or Conservatorship
Ease of use
Mobile appiOS, Android
Customer supportPhone, 24/7 live support, Chat, Email, 30 branch locations
Research resources
  • SEC filings
  • Mutual fund reports
  • Earnings press releases

E*Trade trading platforms and tools

E*Trade offers two trading platforms: the brokerage’s website and Power E*Trade. There are also two mobile apps: The E*Trade Mobile app and the Power E*Trade app.

The standard web platform is for investors who are just starting out and new to investing basics but still want to manage their own portfolios. You can make trades, handle money transfers, check real-time quotes and commentary and get independent research from top news organizations.

The standard platform also gives you access to investment screeners, analyzers, portfolio backtesters and optimizers. If you’re new to investing or just need a refresher, there’s a library of articles and videos to help you educate yourself on the investing journey. There’s also access to market trends and active trader analysis.

If you’re an advanced investor, Power E*Trade offers risk/reward analysis and technical pattern recognition, which help you explore possible scenarios before you press “buy.” A practice account option lets you trade stocks, options and other securities without risking real money.

Investment options

E*Trade lets you invest in a wide variety of asset classes, including:

You’ll pay no commissions when buying or selling U.S. stocks, ETFs, U.S. Treasuries and new-issue bonds. There are, however, trade fees for the following asset classes, including:

  • Bonds and CDs: There’s a $10 minimum/$250 maximum commission per bond trade (except U.S. Treasuries and new-issue bonds) and for brokered CDs.
  • Futures: $1.50 per contract on futures and options on futures (except Bitcoin futures).
  • Options: $0.50 per contract on equity and index options when you place more than 30 stock, ETF, or option trades per quarter. Otherwise, it’s $0.65 per contract. It’s also $1.50 per contract for future options.

Fees for paper statements ($2), account transfers ($25-$75) and insufficient funds ($25), also apply.

E*Trade Core Portfolios

Core Portfolios is the company’s robo-advisor platform. When you start with Core Portfolios, you’ll answer a short form with nine questions to verify what type of investor you are, what sort of risk tolerance you have and your timeline until retirement. Core Portfolios then recommends two investment portfolios comprised of ETFs selected by the firm’s experts.

E*Trade doesn’t disclose the specific funds that make up each portfolio, although it does outline the portfolio’s asset allocation, plus a look at the 15-year historical returns for average, best-case and worst-case scenarios. The two options you’re presented with include a recommended portfolio and an alternative portfolio. All portfolios maintain a 1% cash allocation.

Keep in mind that you need No account minimums to get started, with a 0.30% annual advisory fee. Other robo-advisors, like Betterment, don’t have account minimums and charge slightly lower annual advisory fees. To compare Core Portfolios with other top-rated robos, check out our monthly selection of the top robo-advisors in the market.

E*Trade Strengths

  • Robust mobile and online apps: E*Trade offers two mobile apps and two online trading platforms. These apps and programs offer customizable account management, real-time quotes and access to news on demand. E*Trade’s purchase of OptionsHouse in 2016 also means skilled traders can easily access technical studies, charting tools and simple trade tickets to make high-volume trading easy.
  • Branch network: If you prefer in-person customer service and support, you’ll like the fact that the brokerage has more than 30 branches nationwide.
  • No required minimum to start: For taxable brokerage accounts, there are no minimum funding requirements.
  • Deep research: Before you even get started with E*Trade, you’re able to find out which accounts work for you. Once you’re set up, you can read through research, market news, screeners and your investments’ alignment with trends.

E*Trade Drawbacks

  • Robo-advisor costs are higher: While a No account minimums starting investment isn’t much to get started with Core Portfolios, robo-advisor competitor Betterment doesn’t have a minimum to get started. Along with that, E*Trade charges a 0.30% annual advisory fee. That’s higher than the 0.25% charged by some competitors.
  • Some funds not offered: You’ll find plenty of offerings through E*TRADE, as well as many different types of accounts to choose from. But you won’t find forex offerings from this company.

Is E*Trade safe?

E*Trade bank accounts are FDIC-insured and they are compliant with all registration and license requirements. E*Trade is also a SIPC member, which means your account is protected for up to $500,000 in cash and securities.

Of course, while your accounts are protected in the event that E*Trade faces financial troubles, this doesn’t mean you can’t lose money in investment accounts. Stocks, bonds and other securities can decline in value and there’s always a risk associated with investing. That’s why it’s so important to understand any investments before you buy them.

Final thoughts

E*Trade offers options for novice investors and more experienced traders, including two different trading platforms and two mobile apps. Despite the account minimums and some fees that are higher than competitors, this brokerage is still a solid choice for most investors.

Fees mentioned in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.

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