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E*TRADE Review

Blain Reinkensmeyer

Written by Blain Reinkensmeyer, Chris McKhann
Edited by Carolyn Kimball
Fact-checked by Steven Hatzakis

October 01, 2022

Founded in 1982 as one of the first online brokerages in the United States, E*TRADE highlights include $0 trades, two excellent mobile apps and the Power E*TRADE platform, which is great for beginners, active trading and options trading.

E*TRADE
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5 Stars Overall
  • Minimum Deposit: $0.00
  • Stock Trades: $0.00
  • Options (Per Contract): $0.65
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Open and fund & get up to $600 or more.

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Top Takeaways for 2022

After spending three months testing 15 of the best online brokers for our 12th Annual Review, here are our top findings on E*TRADE:

  1. The Power E*TRADE platform (available as a web platform and mobile app) offers a sleek design and a diverse selection of trading tools. This combination of usability and depth drove E*TRADE to the top of our scoring, winning No. 1 awards for Best Web Trading Platform and Best Trader App.
  2. E*TRADE also finished among the five Best in Class for Offering of Investments, Active Trading, Futures Trading, Options Trading and IRA accounts.
  3. While education isn't quite as thorough as some of its close competitors, E*TRADE's ease of use makes it a viable option for beginners.

Overall summary

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Overall 5 Stars
Investment Options 5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4.5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 4.5 Stars
Research 4.5 Stars
Customer Service 4.5 Stars
Education 4.5 Stars
Ease Of Use 5 Stars

Offering of investments

E*TRADE provides everything an investor would expect from a full-service brokerage. All investment vehicles are offered, including stocks, options and bonds; and financial planning services are available through E*TRADE Capital Management. Banking services are offered through E*TRADE Bank, while futures trading is provided through E*TRADE Futures LLC.

The most notable features missing at E*TRADE include fractional shares, cryptocurrencies, international trading and forex trading.

Cryptocurrency: E*TRADE does not currently offer cryptocurrency trading. It does offer futures on Ether, Bitcoin and Micro Bitcoin.

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Stock Trading Yes
Margin Trading Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets Yes
Options Trading Yes
Complex Options Max Legs 4
Bonds (US Treasury) Yes
Futures Trading Yes
Forex Trading No
Mutual Funds (Total) 7242
Advisor Services Yes
Crypto Trading No
Crypto Trading - Total Coins 0
View More

Commissions and fees

At E*TRADE, regular stock and ETF trades are $0 and option trades run $0 + $0.65 per contract.

Pre and Post hours: When trading during pre- and post-market hours, an ECN fee of $.005 per share is added to the regular commission rate, which is a fee none of E*TRADE’s competitors charge.

Penny stocks: Unlike Fidelity and Charles Schwab, which both charge no commission ($0) for penny stocks, E*TRADE charges $6.95.

Streaming market data: While there is no fee for real-time streaming quotes, E*TRADE requires a $1,000 minimum balance for streaming quotes to be enabled.

Mutual funds: All mutual funds cost $19.99 per trade. Additional fees may apply depending on the fund.

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Minimum Deposit $0.00
Stock Trades $0.00
Penny Stock Fees (OTCCB) $6.95
ETF Trade Fee $0.00
Options (Base Fee) $0.00
Options (Per Contract) $0.65
Options Exercise Fee $0.00
Options Assignment Fee $0.00
Futures (Per Contract) $1.50
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $19.99
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $25
View More

Mobile trading apps

In our 2022 Review, E*TRADE once again shines thanks to its apps, E*TRADE Mobile and Power E*TRADE Mobile, which are easy to use and feature-rich. My recommendation: Use E*TRADE mobile for stock trading and Power E*TRADE Mobile for options and futures trading.

E*TRADE Mobile: E*TRADE Mobile is beginner-friendly and focuses on what matters most to casual investors: portfolio management, quotes, watch lists, market research and trading. Watch lists are fully customizable and streaming ($1,000 minimum balance required). Meanwhile, quotes include both basic and advanced charts, price alerts, news, and additional research such as third-party reports. E*TRADE Mobile includes Bloomberg TV and basic trade idea screeners for stocks, ETFs, and even mutual funds (screeners are uncommon for mobile apps).


E*TRADE Mobile, the broker’s more beginner-friendly mobile app. Press play for a tour of its features.



Power E*TRADE Mobile: While designed for more advanced trading, Power E*TRADE is actually easy to use thanks to its modern design and platform layout. You can switch between advanced multi-legged options trading with numerous predefined strategies available, to futures trading, to streaming content on Bloomberg TV. Other advanced tools include a Live Action feature that helps you find potential investment opportunities with predefined options screeners categorized by unusual activity, volatility, or technical patterns.


Power E*TRADE Mobile. Press play for a tour of its features.



Mobile charting: Charting is a clean experience on Power E*TRADE, thanks to the fact that ChartIQ, the same engine that runs the charting experience on web-based Power E*TRADE, is used. That said, depth varies by app. While Power E*TRADE Mobile provides 108 indicators, E*TRADE Mobile offers 10. Indicator differences aside, panning, zooming, and conducting high-level analysis are all extremely user-friendly.

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
iPhone App Yes
Android App Yes
Apple Watch App Yes
Stock Alerts Yes
Charting - After-Hours Yes
Charting - Technical Studies 10
Charting - Study Customizations Yes
Watch List (Streaming) Yes
Watch Lists - Create & Manage Yes
Watch Lists - Column Customization Yes

Other trading platforms and tools

Built as a web-based platform, Power E*TRADE innovates and delivers speed, ease of use, and the tools needed for traders to succeed. For our 2022 Annual Review, Power E*TRADE once again won our award for Best Web-Based Platform.

Charting: Power E*TRADE's charting engine is powered by Chart IQ, an excellent third-party provider of HTML 5 charts. Highlights include extremely smooth panning and zooming, integrated Trading Central (Recognia) technical analysis, 119 optional technical indicators and 31 drawing tools. To uncover flaws, we had to get picky. For example, running multiple concurrent charts can be a bit cumbersome compared to the preset grid functionality offered by TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim platform.

Options trading: For casual and active options traders, Power E*TRADE offers the perfect blend of usability, excellent tools (screening via StrategySEEK, scanning via LiveAction), and seamless position management (custom grouping, real-time streaming greeks, risk analysis, and more). And, for newer investors, there isn't a better platform than Power E*TRADE on which to learn how to trade options. For example, using the Snapshot Analysis tool, not only is Risk/Reward translated with smiley faces, but key events to watch out for are also listed alongside a P&L chart. It's a work of art.

Futures trading: Like options trading, Power E*TRADE also provides a great experience for trading futures. Multiple futures ladders can be run at once, orders can be fired off with ease thanks to the Quick Trade widget, and, as with options, managing positions is a breeze.

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Active Trading Platform Power E*TRADE
Desktop Trading Platform No
Desktop Platform (Mac) No
Web Trading Platform Yes
Paper Trading Yes
Trade Journal No
Watch Lists - Total Fields 95
Charting - Indicators / Studies 119
Charting - Drawing Tools 31
Charting - Study Customizations 6
Charting - Save Profiles Yes
Trade Ideas - Technical Analysis Yes
Streaming Time & Sales Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting No
View More

Research

Morgan Stanley’s 2020 acquisition of E*TRADE has bolstered the research offerings. E*TRADE provides everyday investors with everything they need to conduct in-depth market analysis across stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and more. Morgan Stanley equity and industry research has been added across platforms, and this includes insights into Sustainable investing.

Stock research: Alongside five third-party research report options for stocks, E*TRADE offers consensus ratings from multiple third parties, including breakdowns from individual analysts via TipRanks. Morgan Stanley research adds ratings and targets on 3,500+ stocks and reports from 590 analysts, strategists and economists.

Charting on the website includes the Trefis price estimate right on the chart, with a quick link to view Trefis's full analysis. There is also content from E*TRADE's in-house staff, including the Market Dashboard and Daily Insights series, and Bloomberg TV is available from within the web platform.

On the downside, when it comes to usability and modern design, E*TRADE's screening and quote experiences do not quite stack up to the hand-crafted experiences of Fidelity and Charles Schwab.

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Research - Stocks Yes
Stock Research - ESG No
Stock Research - PDF Reports 6
Screener - Stocks Yes
Research - ETFs Yes
Screener - ETFs Yes
Research - Mutual Funds Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB Yes
Research - Bonds Yes

Education

E*TRADE’s educational offering is a mixed bag. There is a lot of content, but the website is difficult to navigate.

Learning center: Relying mostly on third-party content providers, E*TRADE provides a thorough selection of educational content, organized by topic in a library. All investing topics are covered, from stock trading to retirement, with dozens of articles across more than 10 thematic categories. There are also at least 25 free webinars offered each month, and archived recordings are available.

However, overall, E*TRADE's learning experience left us wanting more education for beginner investors. Once you select a topic, there are no preset flows or progress tracking. Yes, there is a lot of content, but if you can't easily find what you're looking for and it isn't engaging, then it won't get used. Additionally, video content is sparse.

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Education (Stocks) Yes
Education (ETFs) Yes
Education (Options) Yes
Education (Mutual Funds) Yes
Education (Bonds) Yes
Education (Retirement) Yes
Paper Trading Yes
Videos Yes
Webinars Yes
Webinars (Archived) Yes
Progress Tracking No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes Yes
View More

Customer service

To score Customer Service, StockBrokers.com partners with customer experience research firm Confero to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the United States. For our 2022 Broker Review, 159 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks. Here are the results for E*TRADE.

  • Average Connection Time: <1 minute
  • Average Net Promoter Score: 8.8 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 8.2 / 10
  • Overall Score: 8.6 / 10
  • Ranking: 3rd of 13 brokers (tie)

Banking services

Besides trading, E*TRADE also offers essential banking services with 30 branch office locations across the US. Banking services include checking accounts with no ATM fees, high-yield savings accounts, and debit cards. E*TRADE Bank is a registered member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which insures bank deposits up to $250,000.

E*TRADE doesn’t come close to competing with leader Bank of America - Merrill Edge; but, that said, FDIC-insured banking is still fairly rare in the online brokerage industry.

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Bank (Member FDIC) Yes
Checking Accounts Yes
Savings Accounts Yes
Credit Cards Yes
Debit Cards Yes
Mortgage Loans Yes

Final thoughts

E*TRADE is an industry leader in its mobile and web trading offerings, thanks to Power E*TRADE, and continues to innovate each year. Overall, E*TRADE provides a well-rounded offering that will satisfy the majority of investors.

Regardless of your investing style, E*TRADE is a reliable, full-service broker that sets a high bar for competitors.

Is E*TRADE any good?

E*TRADE ranks highly in several key categories compared to the best online stock brokers in the U.S., making it a great choice for most investors.

E*TRADE was founded in 1982 and has a longstanding market share as a U.S. brokerage, servicing nearly 6 million retail accounts and over 1 million trades daily, per its latest regulatory filing before being acquired by Morgan Stanley in October 2020.

Is E*TRADE good for beginners?

E*TRADE is a good choice for beginners thanks to its easy-to-use trading platforms for web and mobile, and a variety of educational materials that can help accelerate your learning.

One of the best all-around web platforms, Power E*TRADE will suit the needs of not only beginners but of most traders, as its intelligent design has an almost perfect balance of richness of features and ease of using them.

E*TRADE also offers the Power E*TRADE Mobile app, which offers a user experience consistent with its web counterpart, something beginners will appreciate; its other mobile app, E*TRADE Mobile, is more complex.

Is E*TRADE really free?

E*TRADE is a zero-dollar commission broker for trading U.S. stocks and ETFs.

The only other costs associated with your E*TRADE brokerage account are those such as $0.65 per options contract, $6.95 per trade for penny stocks, $19.99 for mutual funds, $25 for broker-assisted trades, and a half of a penny per share ECN fee when you trade during the pre-market or post-market hours.

While there’s no fee for real-time streaming quotes, there is a $1,000 minimum balance requirement to enable the feature.

About E*TRADE

Headquartered in New York City, E*TRADE was founded in 1982 and, like its closest competitors, was also one of the first online brokerages in the United States (1). E*TRADE acquired online broker OptionsHouse in September 2016 for $725 million, paving the way for what is now branded as the Power E*TRADE platform (2) and the broker now has more than 5 million retail accounts. In October 2020, E*TRADE was acquired by Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS).

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2022 Review Methodology

Our mission at StockBrokers.com is simple: provide thorough and unbiased reviews of online brokers, based on an extraordinary level of hands-on testing and data collection. Our ratings and awards are based on this data and our experts’ deep authority in the field; brokers cannot pay for preferential treatment. Here’s more about trustworthiness at StockBrokers.com.

For the StockBrokers.com 12th Annual Review published in January 2022, a total of 3,075 data points were collected over three months and used to score 15 top brokers. This makes StockBrokers.com home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry.

As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy. Brokers also were offered the opportunity to provide executive time for an annual update meeting.

Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.

E*TRADE fees and features data

The data collection efforts at StockBrokers.com are unmatched in the industry. The following tables show a deeper dive into the offerings available at this broker. You can also compare its offerings side-by-side with those of other brokers using our Comparison Tool.

In addition to meticulous annual data collection by our in-house analyst, every broker that participates in our review is afforded the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile. We then audit each data point to ensure its accuracy.

Trading fees

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Minimum Deposit $0.00
Stock Trades $0.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $19.99
Options (Base Fee) $0.00
Options (Per Contract) $0.65
Futures (Per Contract) $1.50
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $25

Account fees

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
IRA Annual Fee $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00
Account Transfer Out (Partial) $25.00
Account Transfer Out (Full) $75.00
Options Exercise Fee $0.00
Options Assignment Fee $0.00

Margin rates

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Margin Rate Under $24,999.99 11.95%
Margin Rate $25,000.00 to $49,999.99 11.45%
Margin Rate $50,000.00 to $99,999.99 10.95%
Margin Rate $100,000.00 to $249,999.99 10.45%
Margin Rate $250,000.00 to $499,999.99 9.95%
Margin Rate $500,000.00 to $999,999.99 9.45%
Margin Rate Above $1,000,000.00 8.45%

Investment options

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Stock Trading Yes
Margin Trading Yes
Fractional Shares No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets Yes
Options Trading Yes
Complex Options Max Legs 4
Futures Trading Yes
Forex Trading No
Crypto Trading No
Crypto Trading - Total Coins 0
Mutual Funds (No Load) 6486
Mutual Funds (Total) 7242
Bonds (US Treasury) Yes
Bonds (Corporate) Yes
Bonds (Municipal) Yes
Advisor Services Yes
International Countries (Stocks) 0
View More

Order types

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Order Type - Market Yes
Order Type - Limit Yes
Order Type - After Hours Yes
Order Type - Stop Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes
Order Type - OCO Yes
Order Type - OTO Yes
Order Type - Broker Assisted Yes

Beginners

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Education (Stocks) Yes
Education (ETFs) Yes
Education (Options) Yes
Education (Mutual Funds) Yes
Education (Bonds) Yes
Education (Retirement) Yes
Retirement Calculator Yes
Investor Dictionary Yes
Paper Trading Yes
Videos Yes
Webinars Yes
Webinars (Archived) Yes
Progress Tracking No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes Yes
View More

Stock trading apps

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
iPhone App Yes
Android App Yes
Apple Watch App Yes
Trading - Stocks Yes
Trading - After-Hours Yes
Trading - Simple Options Yes
Trading - Complex Options Yes
Order Ticket RT Quotes Yes
Order Ticket SRT Quotes Yes

Stock app features

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Market Movers (Top Gainers) Yes
Stream Live TV Yes
Videos on Demand No
Stock Alerts Yes
Option Chains Viewable Yes
Watch List (Real-time) Yes
Watch List (Streaming) Yes
Watch Lists - Create & Manage Yes
Watch Lists - Column Customization Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields 95

Stock app charting

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Charting - After-Hours Yes
Charting - Can Turn Horizontally Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes
Charting - Technical Studies 10
Charting - Study Customizations Yes
Charting - Stock Comparisons Yes

Trading platforms overview

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Active Trading Platform Power E*TRADE
Desktop Trading Platform No
Desktop Platform (Mac) No
Web Trading Platform Yes
Paper Trading Yes
Trade Journal No
Watch Lists - Total Fields 95

Trading platform stock chart features

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Charting - Adjust Trades on Chart Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies 119
Charting - Drawing Tools 31
Charting - Notes Yes
Charting - Index Overlays Yes
Charting - Historical Trades Yes
Charting - Corporate Events Yes
Charting - Custom Date Range Yes
Charting - Custom Time Bars No
Charting - Automated Analysis Yes
Charting - Save Profiles Yes
Trade Ideas - Technical Analysis Yes
Charting - Study Customizations 6
Charting - Custom Studies No
View More

Day trading features

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Streaming Time & Sales Yes
Streaming TV Yes
Direct Market Routing - Stocks Yes
Ladder Trading No
Trade Hot Keys Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Adv No
Short Locator No
Order Liquidity Rebates No

Investment research overview

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Research - Stocks Yes
Research - ETFs Yes
Research - Mutual Funds Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB Yes
Research - Bonds Yes
Screener - Stocks Yes
Screener - ETFs Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds Yes
Screener - Bonds Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation Yes

Stock research features

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Stock Research - PDF Reports 6
Stock Research - Earnings Yes
Stock Research - Insiders Yes
Stock Research - Social Yes
Stock Research - News Yes
Stock Research - ESG No
Stock Research - SEC Filings Yes

ETF research features

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
ETFs - Strategy Overview Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Inception Date Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Expense Ratio Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Net Assets Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Total Holdings Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings Yes
ETFs - Sector Exposure Yes
ETFs - Risk Analysis Yes
ETFs - Ratings Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap Yes
ETFs - PDF Reports Yes
View More

Mutual fund research features

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview Yes
Mutual Funds - Performance Chart No
Mutual Funds - Performance Analysis Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus Yes
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings Yes
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings Yes
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation Yes
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation Yes
Mutual Funds - StyleMap Yes
View More

Options trading overview

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Option Chains - Basic View Yes
Option Chains - Strategy View Yes
Option Chains - Streaming Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns 31
Option Chains - Greeks 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts Yes
Option Probability Analysis Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv Yes
Option Positions - Greeks Yes
Option Positions - Greeks Streaming Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis Yes
Option Positions - Rolling Yes
Option Positions - Grouping Yes
View More

Banking features

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Bank (Member FDIC) Yes
Checking Accounts Yes
Savings Accounts Yes
Credit Cards Yes
Debit Cards Yes
Mortgage Loans Yes

Customer service options

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Phone Support (Prospect Customers) Yes
Phone Support (Current Customers) Yes
Email Support Yes
Live Chat (Prospect Customers) No
Live Chat (Current Customers) Yes
24/7 Support Yes

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About the Author

Blain Reinkensmeyer
Blain Reinkensmeyer

Blain Reinkensmeyer has 20 years of trading experience with over 2,500 trades placed during that time. He heads research for all U.S.-based brokerages on StockBrokers.com and is respected by executives as the leading expert covering the online broker industry. Blain’s insights have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets.


Chris McKhann
Chris McKhann

Chris McKhann has been in the industry for more than 20 years. He has worked for many of the top names in the online trading space, including TD Ameritrade and optionMONSTER, which later became part of E*TRADE. His work has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the Financial Times, Forbes, CNBC, Nasdaq.com and Nikkei. He has also been an advisor and outside trader for several hedge funds. He was one of the first traders to delve into the VIX tradable products and to write about them (back in 2006). Chris is also an educator who teaches high school statistics, finance and computer science.


Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the StockBrokers.com Annual Review. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.


Steven Hatzakis
Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.


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