E*Trade Review 2020

E*Trade was established in 1982 and is possibly one of the most famous and well-known online investment brokers in the trading industry. Not only their platform is easy-to-use even for beginners, but also they provide resources and tools to assist investors with smart, wise and educated portfolio decisions. Further, it is regulated by top-level regulators like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Few of Pros and Cons are discussed below –

Pros Cons
User-friendly mobile trading application No forex
Great research tools No demo account
Low trading fees Only US markets are covered

Background

  • E*Trade is a financial service organization that offers online brokerage services to its clients at a reasonable cost. E*Trade was responsible for implementing the first electronic trade by an individual investor in 1983. Furthermore, they have been called as pioneers in the trade industry down the line.
  • The organization has 30 physical branches across the nation, and also two distinct online trading platforms for services and trading. They offer a mobile app for their clients, in addition to 24/7 phone support, email support and online chatting.
  • E*Trade is viewed as a safe platform since it has a good performance history, has a banking background and is listed on the stock exchange; it discloses its financials and is regulated by top-level US regulators.

Features

  • By accessing the E*Trade platform, the traders can trade stocks, mutual funds, bonds, ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) futures and options.
  • Additionally, E*Trade runs live webinars, that assists traders to learn about retirement and Investing. Moreover, these resources permit investors to make wise and informed decisions for their money; even though they are new to trading and developing their first portfolio.
  • The traders can find the entire library online with educational resources that are offered free to its clients. Besides, the customers can find vast information on building a portfolio, analyzing stock market dangers, rebalancing while monitoring it and several more.
  • E*Trade is best for –
  • Free commissions
  • New investors
  • Retirement planning
  • Active traders
  • Research and information
  • E*Trade has three trading platforms, such as E*Trade Web, Power E*Trade and E*Trade Pro. All these are free and accessible to all customers, either with no activity or minimum balance.
  • E*Trade Web provides free streaming market information, live market commentary, free real-time quotes, analyst research stock screeners and several more. From the dashboard, the trader can track their accounts, view market data, create watchlists and make trades which include complex options strategies.
  • E*Trade Pro, the organization’s desktop platform, is equally noteworthy; it has idea-generating tools such as strategy Scanner and back-testing capacities.
  • For active traders, this platform offers Power E*Trade, the result of the organization’s acquisition of OptionsHouse a few years ago. This web platform offers real-time data, more than 30 drawing tools, over 100 technical studies, streamlined trade tickets, trading ladders, and customizable options chain views.
  • E*Trade has seen a transformation from a discount investment broker to a full-service investment platform (low-cost) with each possible tool. Few of the important pointers are given below –
  • No minimum account balance
  • No transaction fees over 1,300 no-load mutual funds
  • Traders can trade in 77 international markets
  • E*Trade Bank offers Integrated checking account

Costs and Fees

  • If a trader is looking for trading in stocks, the fees are zero dollars per trade. Over-the-counter (OTC) stocks have 6.95 dollars commission fees or the trader need to execute a minimum of 30 stocks.
  • Coming to options, the cost is 0.65 dollars per contract. If they are active investors and trade a minimum of 30 options trades per quarter, they get a discount of 0.50 dollars per contract.
  • Concerning Mutual funds, the platform provides 2,500 options with no transaction fees which is okay as compared to other brokerage companies like Fidelity (3,600 options) and Charles Schwab (3,000 options) who are offering more for their customers.
  • Starting October 2019, E*Trade dropped its once-high 6.95 dollars trade commission to zero dollars for the online stock, ETFs trades and options. Moreover, options still have a contract charge, yet, that was decreased to 0.65 dollars, with a discounted fee of 0.50 dollars for active traders.
  • E*Trade offers free ETF and stock trading. Some of the bonds and Mutual funds are also free. Moreover, non-trading fees are low. Besides, the fees for non-free mutual funds are high.
  • The financing rate of E*Trade is volume-tiered. Further, it applies a base rate and a premium or discount depending on the Invested amount.
Pros Cons
Few mutual funds and bonds are free Higher fees for non-free mutual funds
Low non-trading fees
Free ETF and stock trading

Account Opening

E*Trade’s account opening is user-friendly and digital for US clients. On the negative side, the account verification process is very slow.

Pros Cons
User-friendly Slow verification process
Digitalized

Account Types

E*Trade offers the below accounts for its customers –

  • Individual Accounts
  • Joint accounts
  • Business Accounts
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Pension Accounts
  • Education Savings Account
  • Custodial Accounts
  • E*Trade portfolios

Account Protection

  • Securities from the trader’s account are protected by SIPC for up to 500,000 dollars, which includes up to 250,000 dollars for cash. Also, E*Trade has “excess SIPC coverage” acquired from London insurers that protects up to 600 million dollars (150 million dollars for each customer), incorporating up to 900,000 dollars in cash. Moreover, this coverage is for the failure of the broker and not for the decline in the market value of a trader’s portfolio.
  • E*Trade has FDIC insurance coverage of up to 250,000 dollars per client if the trader has funds deposited with E*Trade Bank. Also, E*Trade’s Complete Protection Guarantee gives zero dollar liability for unapproved use of accounts, which includes transfers, trades, bill paying and ATM use.

Low Minimum Deposit

  • The low minimum requirement unlocks the platform to investors of all levels and sizes of investment experience, which also includes new and small investors.
  • Moreover, the required E*Trade minimum deposit is 500 dollars, which needs to be added within 60 days followed by an account verification.
  • Additionally, the minimum deposit can be more, if the customer trades on margin or use ‘E*Trade portfolios,’ an advisory service on asset selection.

Fund fees

E*Trade fund fees are as high as 19.99 dollars per trade. This is comparatively lower than its competitors. E*Trade does not charge a commission for 4,500 mutual funds. If the trader sells these no-transaction-fee funds, between 90 days after buying, a 49.99 dollars fee is charged.

Bond fees

E*Trade charges low bond fees. Besides, the bond fees change depending on the bond type. For different bonds, such as corporate bonds, the commission is 1 dollar per bond with 10 dollars minimum and 250 dollars maximum.

Options fees

E*Trade options fees are low. Even though the option trading fees are zero from E*Trade, it charges a volume-based fee of 0.65 dollars per contract. For trades above 30, the charges are reduced to 0.50 dollars per contract.

Futures fees

E*Trade’s futures fees are volume-based – 1.5 dollars per contract. However, in future pricing, the trader will not get a discount if they trade frequently.

Non-trading fees

E*Trade has low non-trading charges. Also, it does not charge any inactivity or account fee. There is no withdrawal charge if the customer uses ACH transfer.

E*Trade withdrawal fees

E*Trade charges no withdrawal fees if the trader uses ACH withdrawal, yet international and domestic wire transfers cost 25 dollars.

Pros Cons
User-friendly Credit or debit card not available
No deposit fees 25 dollars fee for wire transfer withdrawal

Portfolio and fee reports

This broker provides a clear portfolio and fee reports. They can be found in the menu- Accounts, in Portfolio’s section. Moreover, the trader can easily customize the report by browsing 100 columns, such as net asset value, commission, dividend and so on.

Trading Platform

E*Trade provides various options for trading, depending on the trader’s preferences. Additionally, there are three types of web platforms to use, which are user-friendly for traders.

E*Trade Web

  • It is a basic trading platform. This platform gives access to market commentary and live quotes, in addition to updated and streaming market data. The customer can track his/her accounts, check pending transactions, create watch lists for investments, and can make trades.
  • Moreover, all the information is streamed live and the trader can do a lot of customization as per their interest. From the same dashboard, they can track the account, portfolio, and can take part in unpredictable trading options.
Pros Cons
OptionsHouse integration Not for Casual Investors
Wide range of Features High cost per trade for low volume investors
Well organized Education The Pro version needs either 30 trades a quarter or 250,000 dollars in assets
Up to 600 Dollars for new accounts Commissions are bit high
Advanced Mobile application Customer service is average
Commission-free options, stocks, and ETF trades Website navigation needs to be improved
Extensive research Limited Customizability
Large investment choices No two-step login

E*Trade Pro

  • If the trader maintains an account balance of 250,000 dollars, or more or trades 30 stock or options minimum in each quarter, he can have access to E*Trade Pro. Besides, this Pro version was created for more active traders; it offers more features like a strategy scanner and the capacity to back-test investments.
  • E*Trade Pro is ideal for active traders, and there is no extra charge to utilize this service.
  • E*Trade provides a Pro option for short-term or active traders. This platform offers the trader more detailed charts and level 2 data. The monthly charges for the Pro option are 99 dollars.
  • However, if the trader performs 30 trades in the quarter, they get it for free. The Pro version is used by swing trading and day trading communities, who make frequent trades and benefit from the lower commission charges and more detailed statistical information.

E*Trade Mobile App

  • E*Trade mobile application can be described as a simple and easy-to-use app in the business. Through the application, the trader can rapidly and effectively deal with their account, place trades, get stock quotes and go through charts.
  • Besides, this application can give live stream level 2 information with no issues and it is extremely simple to navigate around the various segments.
  • Supporting Power E*Trade Pro assistance, E*Trade exceeds expectations in mobile device support.
  • The application presently supports these devices –
  • Apple iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Kindle Fire
  • Android Phone and Tablet
  • Windows Phone
  • The E*Trade mobile application enables the trader to manage their accounts effortlessly, place trades, and get real-time news and quotes, which also includes Bloomberg TV.
  • Further, it offers advanced features like ETF screeners and stock, in addition to options trades. E*Trade application is accessible for Apple Watch too.
  • Besides, E*Trade’s free mobile apps are great, the best mobile application from any online broker. They are accessible in iOS and Android. The mobile trading platform is accessible in French, English, and Spanish.
  • Few of Trading platform’s Pros and cons are discussed below –
Pros Cons
Good Search function No two-step Login
More number of order types
User-friendly

Mobile charting

Mobile charting is a perfect experience on Power E*Trade, where the ChartIQ, the same engine that efficiently runs the charting experience on web-based power E*Trade, is utilized. Moreover, charting remains behind industry standards in the accessibility of technical studies. Only 11 indicators are backed by Power E*Trade Mobile.

OptionsHouse app

The OptionsHouse application is the mobile-based segment of the OptionsHouse by the E*Trade platform. It offers a large number of features. Traders can use the customizable options chain, a selection of a few popular technical charts, streaming quotes, and the latest news. The application can be utilized for trading complex techniques, including four-legged option spreads. Also, the futures traders can trade futures orders directly from the futures option here.

Apple Pay Functionality

Currently, E*Trade offers Apple Pay functionality for E*Trade debit cardholders. This simple, efficient payment choice tops off a good user experience for E*Trade clients. The traders could now be able to utilize the money in their account for everyday purchases. Moreover, the trader would now be able to interface E*Trade debit cards directly to Apple Pay and enjoy secure, safe, and card-free payment.

Research and Market Insight

One of the most important features to consider in the online trading broker is Research and market insights.

  • E*Trade offers a decent knowledge of market insights, allowing the trader to perform extraordinary research before they take a position. Concerning the third party platforms, E*Trade offers access to Standard and Poor’s, MarketEdge, Reuters, and SmartConsensus.
  • E*Trade offers great research tools like strategy building, fundamental analysis, research tools for options trading and several more. Moreover, Research tools can be seen on both E-Trade and Power E-Trade web trading platforms.
  • Besides, E*Trade web trading platforms are best for researching topics on investments like ETF and stock; the power E*Trade is great for researching complex products, like futures and options.
  • Advantages –
  • Information on asset fundamentals
  • Great interactive chart

Education

  • E*Trade is an incredible start for beginner investors because of its educational resources. Moreover, investors can view webinars online, on topics like technical analysis, options trading, how to diversify the portfolio, and several more. Further, in-person events are routinely held at E*Trade offices.
  • Even though E*Trade depends mostly on third-party content providers, it offers a complete learning center that competes with the best brokerages in the business. It covers all investing topics starting from stock trading to retirement.
  • Additionally, content is efficient in terms of topic, type, and skill level. Finally, nine free webinars are offered every month to clients. Besides, webinars are likewise archived for viewing on request.
  • The educational materials offered by E*Trade are of good quality and also covers a wide range of topics.
  • Trading platform tutorials
  • Good Quality
  • Educational videos

Charts

  • The analysis and charts offered by E*Trade have the typical functions and indicators and they can be connected to news and level 2 information.
  • Technical indicators are incorporated into the charting and the platform comprises all the standard indicators, including moving averages, Stochastics and Bollinger bands.
  • The level 2 information is given only in the Pro version of E*Trade and enables the trader to make a trade-in under a second.
  • The platform has great charting tools. The trader can make use of over 30 charting options and more than 100 technical indicators. The traders can easily edit charts in both E*Trade platforms.

Portfolios

E*Trade provides various types of portfolios, which helps manage the trader’s investments. Customers can get support either with the assistance of an expert or E*Trade’s Robo-advisor technology. The product range is wide, the portfolios are highly customizable and simple to modify.

Newsfeed

E*Trade offers newsfeed for the benefit of its traders. It is simple to read, furnishes great visual data with charts. Further, it is offered by third-parties such as Morningstar, Briefing.com, and several more. From the first page, the customers can reach Bloomberg TV too.

Customer Support

  • E*Trade has good customer service that responds professionally and is speedier. Moreover, they do have a live chat option as well. They have self-serving options also, including the FAQ segment and educational content.
  • Besides, this broker had been improving its phone and online support. Customers with bigger accounts are provided with priority service, professional asset management, and additional guidance.
  • E*Trade’s Complete Protection Guarantee secures any fraud usage of a client’s account, records, and offers extra security software when requested.

E-Trade offers good customer service in suggesting relevant answers to its customers.

Pros Cons
Live Chat Technical Issues
Email
Phone support
Response time needs to be improved

Drawbacks

  • E*Trade neither allows credit/debit cards or electronic wallets for money transfers and the portfolio of products covers just US markets. Also, the account confirmation process is slow and there is no Forex.
  • Even though E*Trade is accessible for non-US customers, clients from China, Australia, and Western Europe could start the account opening procedure using a paper-based application form, it does not give a clear guideline concerning its availability in non-US nations.
  • Concerning the minimum deposit at non-US customers, E*Trade does not disclose any specific country information.

Wrap up

E*Trade is one of the largest online brokers available on the market, and it is used globally. Besides, E*Trade is suited for small investors who hold and execute a few trades a year. Even though the platform is a bit expensive regarding commissions, the platform is a notable and trusted platform to use. Moreover, E*Trade’s educational resources, investing tools, huge choice of no-transaction-fee mutual funds and the latest trading technology will suit different levels of investors. Lastly, active traders will like zero commission, and new traders will benefit from the trader’s range of educational resources.

E*Trade

8.3

SECURITY

9.5/10

PAYMENT OPTIONS

7.9/10

REPUTATION

9.0/10

USER EXPERIENCE

8.0/10

SUPPORT

6.9/10

Pros

  • User-friendly mobile trading application
  • Great research tools
  • Low trading fees

Cons

  • No forex
  • No demo account
  • Only US markets are covered