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.
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.
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 account||No account minimums|
|Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)|
|Commission-free ETFs offered||250|
|Mutual funds (no transaction fee) offered||4400|
|Offers automated portfolio/robo-advisor|
|Ease of use|
|Mobile app||iOS, Android|
|Customer support||Phone, 24/7 live support, Chat, Email, 30 branch locations|
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.
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:
Fees for paper statements ($2), account transfers ($25-$75) and insufficient funds ($25), also apply.
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 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.
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.
The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.