- Customer Service
- Commission Fees
- Trading Platforms
- Research Tools
E*TRADE is an online brokerage company established in 1982.
This broker will bring you a user-friendly website, excellent mobile experience, and a detailed research. Although they are not known for their low-cost trades, they do offer discounts to their active traders.
E*TRADE Commissions and Fees
As it was mentioned previously, E*TRADE is not for those seeking a cheaper alternative. However, paying a bit more will bring you a well-rounded positive experience for sure.
Regular stocks are $6.95 per trade. Options are $6.95, plus $.75 for the contract. There can be discounts, though. This rate can go down to $4.95 (plus $.50) if you make more than 30 trades in a quarter. Also, all the commissions are flat-rate.
What makes this company stand out is actually their mutual fund commissions. They run for $19.99 and there’s 8,998 of them. There are commission-free ETFs as well and there are 225 ETFs to choose from, which is great.
When it comes to the design, E*TRADE may be a bit old-fashioned. It’s very clear-cut. When you pull up a quote, on your screen you will see a statistical overview, headlines, ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ keys, price analysis, etc.
Their third-party research reports come from 4 different providers. This is not that many since their competing companies have at least 6.
Their charts are quite useful, though. You can enlarge any chart box to full screen for a better view. Another great thing is that you can choose to display after-hours activity. This really comes in handy in the earnings season.
There are also stock screeners on the website that you can filter by their third-party ratings, which is practical. But, this design is quite outdated as well.
Tools and Platforms
MarketCaster is E*TRADE’s simple quote streaming tool. Being that there are new platforms and tools that they launched, it’s going to become redundant soon.
The new platforms are OptionsHouse, which is their website extension and E*TRADE Pro, which is desktop-based.
Their Pro platform is available only for those with Pro Elite status. This status requires a $250,000 balance and more than 30 stock or options trades per quarter. Otherwise, you need to pay $99 a month. Having said that, Pro is amazing. It’s an investor’s dream. It’s functional, customizable, and has advanced and flexible charting options, thanks to Chart IQ. Other useful features include live Bloomberg TV stream, real-time strategy scanners, and endless options capabilities.
This platform is certainly one of the best in the industry. As mentioned, it’s web-based. What makes it so popular is its speed, quality, and convenience. It has all the tools that you need for success. It’s also the best way for newcomers in the industry to learn. Everything on this platform is super easy to use.
Currently, OptionsHouse is being transitioned to HTML 5. So, because the transition has not been completed yet, both the old and the new platform is used. Upon entering, you can choose which one you’d like to access.
Don’t let the name fool you, this platform is not just for options traders. It is helpful for equities and futures trading, too.
Again, all these E*TRADE features are quite nice, however, they are not up to par with some other companies. With further advancement, they could be, for sure.
E*TRADE was actually one of the first ones in the industry to go mobile. It was the leading app for four years, despite the fierce competition.
There’s both an E*TRADE and OptionsHouse app. Both are available for iOS and Android, and both work seamlessly.
The OptionsHouse app has a classic design and is easy to use. There’s not much else to say about it, really. The two apps are quite similar, too, so let’s focus more on the other app.
The E*TRADE app is also easy to use. Not only does it have a large number of features, but some of those are unique and not offered by other companies. Some of these are Bloomberg TV stream, level 2 quotes, and a customizable dashboard.
This app uses Chart IQ, as well as their other platforms. In the light of that, this app’s charting options are great, too. The minor flaw is that there are only 10 indicators, which is far below the industry average. They are customizable, though.
Final Thoughts on ETRADE
E*TRADE has had their struggles, for sure. During the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, they had a bad run. But regardless of that, they rose from it and came to the top again. They managed to keep their reputation strong. Now they are definitely one of the leading brokers.
With the launch of their app, they truly stood out. Back then, nobody even though that could ever work. Luckily for them, it most certainly did. Their app is still the most popular one.
E*TRADE is a trustworthy, well-rounded service that will not disappoint you.