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E-Trade Logo

Summary

Recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research and a great mobile trading platform

E-Trade is a US-based stockbroker founded in 1982. It is regulated by top-tier regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

E-Trade is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, has a banking background, discloses its financials and is regulated by top-tier, US regulators.

Overall Rating
4.8
Fees
4.0
Account opening
4.0
Deposit and withdrawal
2.0
Trading platform
4.0
Markets and products
3.0
Research
5.0
Customer service
5.0
Education
4.0

E-Trade pros and cons

E-Trade offers low trading fees including free stock and ETF trading. In addition, it has one of the best mobile trading platforms and has many and high-quality research tools like trading ideas, and strategy builders.

E-Trade product portfolio covers US markets only and there is no forex. Account verification is slow.

Pros Cons
Low trading fees (free stock and ETF trading) Only US markets covered
User-friendly mobile trading platform Slow account verification
Great research tools No forex
E-Trade main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation USA
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged No
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $500
🕖 Time to open an account >3 days
🎮 Demo account provided No
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Fund, Bond, Options, Futures
Gergely Korpos

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Author of this review

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

Everything you find on Brokerchooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

E-Trade review
Fees

4.0
E-Trade offers free stock, ETF trading. Some mutual funds and bonds are also free. The non-trading fees are low. On the negative side, the fees for non-free mutual funds are high.
Pros Cons
Low non-trading fees Higher fees for non-free mutual funds
Free stock and ETF trading
Some mutual funds and bonds are free
E-Trade fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock Low Free stock and ETF trading
EURUSD - Not available
Mutual fund High $19.99 per trade, ~4,500 free mutual funds
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

How we ranked fees

We ranked E-Trade's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things rolling, let's go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees, and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of E-Trade for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing, commissions are the most important fees.

We also compared E-Trade's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of E-Trade alternatives.

To have a clear overview of E-Trade, let's start with the trading fees.

E-Trade trading fees

E-Trade trading fees are low. Let's see a breakdown of the different asset classes.

Stock fees and ETF fees

The commission for all E-trade stocks and ETFs is free which is superb. This is due to the introduction of commission-free trading in the US at several brokers in 2019.

E-Trade stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $0.0

If you prefer stock trading on margin or short sale, check E-Trade financing rates.

Financing rates or margin rate is charged when you trade on margin or short a stock. This basically means that you borrow money or stocks from your broker to trade. For this borrowed money/stock you have to pay an interest. This is the financing rate. It can be a significant proportion of your trading costs.

E-Trade annual financing rates for stocks, futures and options
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
USD margin rate 10.5% 10.3% 9.3%

E-Trade financing rate is volume-tiered. It applies a base rate plus a premium/discount depending on the financed amount. The base rate is set by its discretion, at the time of the E-Trade review the base rate was 8.25%.

E-Trade - annual financing rates
Debit balance Rate % Base rate +/-
$1,000,000 or more 7.25% -1.00%
$500,000 - $999,999 8.25% 0.00%
$250,000 - $499,999 8.75% +0.50%
$100,000 - $249,999 9.25% +1.00%
$50,000 - $99,999 9.75% +1.50%
$25,000 - $49,999 10.25% +2.00%
$10,000 - $24,999 10.50% +2.25%
Under $10,000 10.75% +2.50%

The financing rates above are also applied for the options and futures trading

Fund fees

E-Trade fund fees are generally high, $19.99 per trade. This is lower than its closest competitors but does not compare well with other brokers, which can be far less, even free. E-trade does not charge a commission for ca. 4,500 mutual funds. If you sell these no-transaction-fee funds within 90 days after the purchase, a $49.99 fee is charged.

E-Trade commission for a $2,000 fund purchase
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
Mutual fund $20.0 $50.0 $24.8

Bond fees

E-Trade has low bond fees. The bond fees vary based on the bond type. We calculated with the fees for Treasury bonds.

E-Trade commission of a $10,000 government bond trade
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
US Treasury bond $0.0 $0.0 $0.0

Similarly to TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab, there is no commission for Treasury bonds. For other bonds, like corporate bonds, the commission is $1 per bond with a $10 minimum and $250 maximum. 

Options fees

E-Trade options fees are generally low.

E-Trade stock index options commission of 10 contracts
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
US stock index options $6.5 $6.5 $6.5

Although the options trading fees are zero, E-trade (similarly to its competitors) charges a volume-based fee: $0.65 per contract. From 30+ trades the fees reduce to $0.50 per contract.

Futures fees

E-Trade futures fees are low.

E-Trade stock index futures commission of 10 contracts
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
US stock index futures $15.0 $22.5 $15.0

The futures fees are volume-based: $1.5 per contract. In the futures pricing, you don't get a discount if you trade frequently.

Non-trading fees

E-Trade has low non-trading fees. It charges no inactivity fee and account fee.

There is no withdrawal fee if you use ACH transfer. The withdrawals to other banks using wire transfer cost $25. 

E-Trade non-trading fees
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee No No No
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

E-Trade review
Account opening

4.0
The account opening is fully digital and user-friendly for US clients. On the flip side, the account verification process was slow.
Pros Cons
Fully digital Slow
User-friendly

Can you open an account?

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E-Trade is a US stockbroker primarily targeting US clients.

Although E-Trade is available for non-US clients as well, ie. customers from Australia, China, and Western Europe could initiate the account opening process via a paper-based application form, it does not provide a clear guideline regarding its availability in non-US countries, so it is best to contact the customer service. 

What is the minimum deposit at E-Trade?

The required E-Trade minimum deposit is $500, which is due within 60 days following the account verification.

The minimum deposit can be more if you trade on margin or use 'E-Trade portfolios', an asset selection advisory service.

E-Trade minimum deposits by account types
Trading preferences Minimum deposit
Trading at basic accounts $500
Margin account* $2,000
E-Trade portfolios $1,000-250,000

*You trade with money borrowed from the broker, also called trading on leverage.

Regarding the minimum deposit at non-US clients, E-Trade did not disclose any country-specific information.

Account types

E-Trade account types
Account type Short description
Individual The account is owned by a single individual
Joint accounts Two or more account owners
Business accounts Account is owned by a legal entity
Retirement accounts (Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, etc.) Individual retirement accounts which are available only for US clients
Pension accounts Accounts for self-employed individuals and small businesses, they are available only for US clients
Education Savings Account Save for kindergarten through graduate school, they are available only for US clients
Custodial accounts Special accounts for custodial purposes, they are available only for US clients
E-Trade portfolios Accounts for trading with portfolios managed by E-Trade, they are available only for US clients

In this review, we tested the Individual Brokerage Account with basic option level. E-Trade offers 4 different levels of option trading. If you are looking for uncovered option trading you need a margin account and level 3 or 4 upgrades. You can find further information about the different option levels here

How to open your account

The account opening is user-friendly and fully digital for US clients. After completing the online account opening form, you can easily upload the photocopy of the relevant ID card and the SSN. Although the online application was roughly only 15 minutes, on the flip side, the account verification was slow, it took 7 business days.

For non-US clients, E-Trade offers a paper-based application process, which can take longer.

Steps at E-Trade to open an account: 

  1. Choose the account type
  2. Add personal information, and details for verifying the account like Social Security Number, residency, and your employment status
  3. Give your investment profile and margin trading preferences
  4. Review your application and create your E-Trade account ID
  5. Set up funding preferences

 

E-Trade review - Account opening

E-Trade review
Deposit and withdrawal

2.0
E-Trade charges no deposit fees and transferring money is user-friendly. On the flip side, you can only use bank transfer and a high fee is charged for wire transfer withdrawals.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee Credit/Debit card not available
User-friendly $25 fee for wire transfer withdrawal

Deposit fees and options

E-Trade charges no deposit fees. US clients can use check, ACH, and wire transfers for deposit cash, while for non-US clients wire transfer and check are the available deposit options.

Unfortunately, credit/debit cards and electronic wallets are not provided. This is similar to its competitors.

E-Trade deposit options
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No

We tested ACH transfer and it took 2 business days.

You can only deposit money from accounts which are in your name.

E-Trade review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

E-Trade withdrawal fees and options

E-Trade charges no withdrawal fees if you use ACH withdrawal, but domestic and international wire transfers cost $25.

E-Trade withdrawal fees and options
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from E-Trade? We tested the ACH withdrawal and it took 2 business days.

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from E-Trade?

  • Log into the account
  • Go to the "Accounts"
  • Select the "Transfers \ Transfer money" menu
  • Choose your E-Trade account in the "Transfer from" field and your previously connected external account in the "Transfer to" field
  • Add the amount you wish to withdraw and set the frequency and date of the withdrawal
  • Preview and initiate the withdrawal

Compare to other brokers

E-Trade review
Web trading platform

4.0
E-Trade has a great web-based user-friendly trading platform with a clear fee report. On the negative side, there is no two-step login and cannot be customized.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Clear fee report Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good search function
E-Trade platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 4 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 5 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop - No

E-Trade has two trading platforms which differ in the tradable products and the clients they are best for:

E-Trade trading platforms
  E-Trade Power E-Trade
Best for Investors looking for easy execution Traders looking for sophisticated research
Tradable products Stock, ETF, bond, mutual fund, options Stock, ETF, complex options, futures
Web trading platform offered Yes Yes
Mobile trading platform offered Yes Yes
Desktop trading platform offered No No

There is also a desktop trading platform, called E-Trade Pro. However, E-Trade doesn't promote this platform to new clients and you can only use it if you make 30+ trade quarterly or pay a $100 monthly subscription fee.

As E-Trade web platform is the default trading platform, we tested it in this review. It is available in English and Chinese as well.

Look and feel

The E-Trade web trading platform is user-friendly. On the flip side, the platform is not customizable.

E-Trade review - Web trading platform

Login and security

E-Trade provides only a one-step login. A two-step login would be more secure.

When you first log in on a new device, you have to register the new device by a security code or call. After the registration, you can access your account using your regular ID and password combo.

Search functions

The search functions are good, you can search by typing both a company's name or asset's ticker.

There is also an auto-suggestion which shows relevant results.

E-Trade review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the following order types: 

  • Market 
  • Market on Close (MOC)
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Stop-limit
  • Trailing stop %
  • Trailing stop $

To get a better understanding of these terms, read this overview of order types.

There are also order time limits you can use:

  • Good 'til end of the day (GTD)
  • All or Nothing (AON)

E-Trade review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can easily set up alerts and notifications by clicking on the bell icon at the top right corner.

Portfolio and fee reports

E-Trade has clear portfolio and fee reports. They can be found in the Accounts > Portfolios section.

It is great that you can easily customize the report by choosing from ~100 columns, like commission, Net Asset Value, Dividend, etc.

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E-Trade review
Mobile trading platform

5.0
E-Trade's mobile trading platform is one of the best on the market. It is very easy to use and offers a lot of features. The only negative is that it lacks a two-step login.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good search function
Good variety of order types

Similarly to the web trading platforms, we tested the E-Trade mobile application and the Power E-Trade mobile application. 

It is available on iOS and Android. We tested it on iOS. The mobile trading platform is available in English, French, and Spanish.

In functionalities and design, it is almost the same as the web trading platform. E-Trade mobile trading platform is user-friendly, provides a great search function, you can use a wide range of order types, and you can easily set alerts and notifications. On the flip side, E-Trade mobile platform only has a one-step login. We prefer a two-step authentication as we consider it safer. You can use TouchID, which is a convenient feature.

Though the web and the mobile trading platforms are really similar to each other, we overweight simplicity and easy-handling at mobile trading platforms. That is why E-Trade mobile trading platform has a higher score than the web trading platform.

E-Trade review - Mobile trading platform - Order panel

 

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E-Trade review
Desktop trading platform

We did not test E-Trade Pro in this review due to the steep additional requirements and the fact that E-Trade does not promote it for new customers.

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E-Trade review
Markets and products

3.0
At E-Trade, you can trade with a lot of asset classes, from stocks to futures. On the other hand, there is US market only and you can't trade with forex.
E-Trade asset classes
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes No
Fund Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No No
Crypto No No No

E-Trade has a good product range, however, there is no such category where the company could shine except the bonds. Regarding the other products, the offered range is average or worse than average.

Stocks and ETFs

Similarly to its closest competitors E-Trade covers the US market only.

E-Trade stock and ETF selection
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
Stock markets (#) 5 5 4
ETFs (#) 2,300 2,300 2,300

You can trade with stocks on the following stock exchanges: NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, OTCBB, other OTCs.

Funds

E-Trade's fund selection is OK, somewhat lagging behind the number of fund providers offered by TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab. 

E-Trade mutual fund selection
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
Fund providers (#) 530 740 600

You will find funds from the biggest fund providers like BlackRock or Vanguard and from smaller ones too.

Bonds

E-Trade has a good bond selection compared to its closest competitors.

E-Trade bond selection
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
Bonds (#) 88,000 40,000 60,000

The bond selection covers both government and corporate bonds.

Options

At E-Trade, you can trade with options only on CBOE exchange. This selection could be improved.

E-Trade options selection
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
Options markets (#) 1 8 8

Futures

Futures selection is lower than what close competitors offer. You can trade with futures on three exchanges: CME Group, ICE US, CFE.

E-Trade futures selection
  E-Trade TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
Futures markets (#) 3 5 8

E-Trade Portfolios

E-Trade offers several types of portfolios, which is great if you need help to manage your investments. You'll get a recommendation either with the help of an expert or E-Trade's robo-advisor technologyWe liked the wide product range and the fact that the portfolios are highly personalizable and easy to modify. 

E-Trade portfolios
  Prebuilt Portfolios Core Portfolios Blend Portfolios Dedicated Portfolios Fixed Income Portfolios
Underlying product(s) ETFs or mutual funds ETFs ETFs and mutual funds Stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds Corporate and  bond portfolio
Minimum deposit

ETFs: $2,500

Mutual funds: $1,000

$5,000 $25,000 $150,000 $250,000
Annual advisory fee 0.0% 0.3% 0.65%–0.90%  0.95%–1.25% 0.35%–0.75%
Risk management 3 preset categories 5 preset portfolio Customized portfolio Customized portfolio Customized portfolio
Rebalancing? No Yes, robo Yes, expert Yes, expert Yes, expert

 

E-Trade review
Research

5.0
E-Tade has great research tools: fundamental analysis, strategy building, handy tools for options trading and many more.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart None
Trading ideas
Data on asset fundamentals

Research tools can be found both on E-Trade and on Power E-Trade web trading platforms.

While E-Trade web trading platform is best for researching basic investment, like stock and ETF, the Power E-Trade is best for researching complex products, like options or futures.

Trading ideas

E-Trade provides trading ideas and recommendations for stocks, ETFs and mutual funds.

Some stock ideas come from third-party providers, such as analyst outlooks from TipRanks, SmartConsesus, Thomas Reuters, MorningStar, MarketEdge, etc. 

E-Trade creates a shortlist from the best, mainly commission-free ETFs and mutual funds, called All-star Funds.   

E-Trade review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

E-Trade offers fundamental data, mainly on stocks. You will find financial data such as financial statements for the past 5 years, and basic performance and rating metrics under the "Fundamentals menu". At the "Earnings" you can easily plot a good chunk of information.

E-Trade review - Research - Fundamental data

Charting

E-Trade has good charting tools. You can use over 30 charting options and over 100 technical indicators. You can easily edit the charts in both E-Trade platforms.

E-Trade review - Research - Charting

News feed

The news feed is great. It is easily readable, provides good visual information mainly with charts. It is provided by third-parties, like Briefing.com, Morningstar, etc. From the front page, you can reach Bloomberg TV as well.

Compare research pros and cons

E-Trade review
Customer service

5.0
E-Trade has great 24/7 customer service giving relevant answers. We experienced technical issues with the live chat.
Pros Cons
Phone support Technical issues with live chat
Live chat
Fast response time

You can contact E-Trade via:

  • live chat
  • phone
  • email

E-Trade has great phone support, it was fast and we got relevant answers. The response time was fast, an agent was connected within a few minutes.

The email was also quick and relevant, we got our answers within 1 day.

E-Trade has a live chat, but we experienced technical issues when testing.

We liked that E-Trade support team is available 24/7.

E-Trade review - Customer Service

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E-Trade review
Education

4.0
E-Trade offers good educational materials, such as educational videos, articles and free webinars. We missed the demo account.
Pros Cons
Trading platform tutorial No demo account
Educational videos
Good production quality

At E-Trade you can learn in the following ways:

  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars
  • Quality educational articles

The educational materials have good quality overall and also cover a wide range of topics.

The videos and educational articles are beginner-friendly and offer useful content.

The webinars are focusing on various subjects and different levels. If you missed real-time, it's available later as well. You can find them under the "Knowledge"\"Events" menu.

E-Trade review - Education

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E-Trade review
Safety

E-Trade is regulated by top-tier US regulators, like the SEC and the FINRA. As such, you are protected by a high investor protection amount, $500,000 which includes $250,000 for cash. There is no negative balance protection.
Pros Cons
Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority No negative balance protection
High level of investor protection
Banking background

Is E-Trade regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

E-Trade is based in the USA and was founded in 1982.

Is E-Trade safe?

To be certain, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

This is important for you because the investor protection amount and the regulator differ from country to country. At E-Trade this is not an issue as all customers are covered by E-TRADE Securities LLC and the US investor protection scheme, called SIPC.

The SIPC investor protection scheme protects against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker goes bust. The limit of SIPC protection is $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash. This amount is substantially higher than the amount most investor protection schemes provide. 

Not all investments are protected by SIPC. In general, SIPC covers notes, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment company shares, and other registered securities. It does not cover instruments such as unregistered investment contracts, unregistered limited partnerships, fixed annuity contracts, currency, and interests in gold, silver, or other commodity futures contracts or commodity options.

E-Trade does not provide negative balance protection.

Background

E-Trade was established in 1982. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

E-Trade Bank, an affiliated company with E-Trade Securities LLC under E-Trade Financial Corporation, has a banking license, and as such, it is subject to tougher regulation than brokers.

E-Trade Financial Corporation is listed on the NASDAQ, which is a big plus for safety as E-Trade releases financial statements regularly and transparently.

Having a banking license, being listed on a stock exchange, providing financial statements, and regulated by a top-tier regulator are all great signs for E-Trade's safety.

Find your safe broker

E-Trade review
Bottom line

E-Trade is one of the biggest US stockbrokers regulated by top-tier regulators. 

At the end of 2019, riding the commission-free trading trend in the USA E-Trade introduced zero commission on stock and ETF trades. E-Trade's research functions are high-quality and channel a lot of tools, including trading ideas, and strategy builders as well. We liked the easy handling and the personalizable features of the mobile trading platform

It has some drawbacks though. E-Trade doesn't provide credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfers and the product portfolio covers only US markets. In addition, the account verification process is slow. 

As the trading fees are generally low, the research tools are great and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to try E-Trade.

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