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E*TRADE Review

August 11, 2023

E*TRADE was one of the year’s top-performing brokers in 2023, earning our Best Investor App and Web Trading Platform awards. It ranked in the top five for investment options, platforms and tools, research, mobile trading apps, education and overall ease of use. Crypto investors will need to look elsewhere, as cryptocurrencies are not supported.

5/5 Stars Overall
  • Minimum Deposit: $0.00
  • Stock Trades: $0.00
  • Options (Per Contract): $0.65
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$0 Commissions* for ETF, stocks & more

feed Recent news

June 2023: New features added to Power E*TRADE web. Improvements include new chart types, study descriptions, seven new studies, new drawing tools, and an enhanced color palette. The tooltip study descriptions are our favorite.

Pros & Cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • E*TRADE’s watch lists are the best in the business, with exceptional legibility and customization.
  • Smooth mobile navigation that makes it easy to get the level of detail you want.
  • E*TRADE’s tie-in with Morgan Stanley makes high-net-worth proprietary research available to those of us who are merely aspiring billionaires.

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • Cryptocurrencies aren’t currently available.
  • Real-time data requires a minimum account balance of $1,000.
  • Power E*TRADE’s web-based trading platform is powerful, but power-tool-hungry traders may prefer the platforms offered by TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers, tastytrade and TradeStation.

Overall summary

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Overall 5/5 Stars
Investment Options 4.5/5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4.5/5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 5/5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 4.5/5 Stars
Research 5/5 Stars
Customer Service 4.0/5 Stars
Education 5/5 Stars
Ease Of Use 5/5 Stars

--> View E*TRADE Features List

Investment options

E*TRADE provides almost everything an investor would expect from a full-service brokerage. Investment choices include funds, stocks, options, futures and bonds. The firm also offers financial planning-focused tools and solid educational content. 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.

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Stock Trading info Yes
Margin Trading Yes
OTC Stocks info Yes
Options Trading info Yes
Complex Options Max Legs info 4
Bonds (US Treasury) info Yes
Futures Trading info Yes
Forex Trading info No
Mutual Funds (Total) info 7242
Advisor Services info Yes
Crypto Trading info No
Crypto Trading - Total Coins info 0
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Commissions and fees

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

Penny stocks: Unlike Fidelity and Firstrade, which don’t charge a commission for penny stocks, E*TRADE charges $6.95, something small investors should carefully consider before placing an order.

Streaming market data: At E*TRADE real-time streaming quotes cost nothing, but there’s a $1,000 minimum balance requirement to enable them.

Mutual funds: Mutual fund commissions are now $0 and there are no early redemption fees. Additional fees may apply depending on the fund.

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
Minimum Deposit $0.00
Stock Trades $0.00
Penny Stock Fees (OTC) info $6.95 info
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 $0.00
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $25
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Mobile trading apps

In the Mobile Trading Apps category of our 2023 Annual Review, E*TRADE’s apps shine. E*TRADE Mobile and Power E*TRADE Mobile are easy to use and feature-rich. We suggest you 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: The depth of charting capabilities varies by app. While Power E*TRADE Mobile provides over a hundred indicators, E*TRADE Mobile offers 10. Indicator differences aside, panning, zooming, and conducting high-level analysis are all very user-friendly and clean.

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

Other trading platforms and tools

Built as a web-based platform, Power E*TRADE delivers speed, ease of use, and the tools traders use to succeed. Power E*TRADE once again won our annual 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, more than a hundred indicators and dozens of drawing tools.

We had to get picky to uncover flaws. For example, running multiple concurrent charts can be a bit cumbersome compared to the preset grid functionality offered by Webull, tastytrade and 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). Some brokers, such as tastytrade, provide more analytics, but if you’re not already a pro or planning to become one, E*TRADE strikes a fine balance.

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 info Power E*TRADE
Desktop Trading Platform info No
Desktop Platform (Mac) info No
Web Trading Platform info Yes
Paper Trading info Yes
Trade Journal info No
Watch Lists - Total Fields info 95
Charting - Indicators / Studies info 119
Charting - Drawing Tools info 31
Charting - Study Customizations info 6
Charting - Save Profiles info Yes
Trade Ideas - Technical Analysis info Yes
Streaming Time & Sales info Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting info No
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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 seven third-party research PDF reports for stocks and associated options, E*TRADE offers consensus ratings from multiple third parties, including breakdowns from individual analysts via TipRanks. We like the insights available in Morgan Stanley’s proprietary research.

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 info Yes
Stock Research - ESG info No
Stock Research - PDF Reports info 6
Screener - Stocks info Yes
Research - ETFs info Yes
Screener - ETFs info Yes
Research - Mutual Funds info Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds info Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB info Yes
Research - Bonds info Yes


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) info Yes
Education (ETFs) info Yes
Education (Options) info Yes
Education (Mutual Funds) info Yes
Education (Bonds) info Yes
Education (Retirement) info Yes
Paper Trading info Yes
Videos info Yes
Webinars info Yes
Webinars (Archived) info Yes
Progress Tracking info No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes info Yes
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Customer service

To score Customer Service, partners with customer experience research firm Confero to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the United States. For our 2023 Broker Review, 168 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks, with wait times logged for each call.

Customer service representatives were asked for assistance or details in several areas of broker services, including account opening, trading tools, apps, rollovers, active trading, and more. Here are the results for E*TRADE.

  • Average Connection Time: 2-3 minutes
  • Average Net Promoter Score: 8.2 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 8.0 / 10
  • Overall Score: 8.1 / 10
  • Ranking: 7th of 14 brokers

Banking services

Besides trading, E*TRADE also offers essential banking services with 29 branch office locations across the U.S. 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 the banking services offered by 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) info Yes
Checking Accounts info Yes
Savings Accounts info Yes
Credit Cards info Yes
Debit Cards info Yes
Mortgage Loans info Yes

Final thoughts

E*TRADE is an industry leader in its mobile and web trading offerings, thanks to Power E*TRADE. 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.

Here are our top takeaways for E*TRADE this year:

  1. Though all brokers have unique strengths, E*TRADE satisfies the needs of all but the most technology-challenged beginners and the most tool-addicted traders.
  2. 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 ranks of our scoring, winning our No. 1 award for Best Web Trading Platform.
  3. E*TRADE also finished among the five Best in Class for beginners, IRA accounts, options trading, futures trading, banking and penny stock trading.
  4. While education isn't quite as thorough as with some of its close competitors, E*TRADE's ease of use makes it a viable option for beginners.

Is E*TRADE trustworthy?

Yes, E*TRADE is considered trustworthy. It is a member of the Securities Investors Protection Corporation, or SIPC, and is transparent about its fees and commission structure. It’s a well-established broker, having been founded in 1982, and its 2020 acquisition by Morgan Stanley allies it with that firm’s long history.

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?

Our testing found E*TRADE to be 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 — though organization of the educational content could stand improvement.

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 my money safe with E*TRADE?

Yes, your money is safe at E*TRADE, due to its account protection of up to $500,000 for securities and cash ($250,000 for cash) from the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. That protects your account if E*TRADE were to become insolvent, a very low risk. Note, however, that as with any broker, insurance doesn’t cover you for market losses.

Is E*TRADE really free?

E*TRADE is a zero-dollar commission broker for trading U.S. stocks and ETFs. E*TRADE makes money from margin lending, loaning securities, and payment for order flow.

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, $25 for broker-assisted trades, and a few incidental charges that are clearly disclosed on their fee schedule. While there’s no fee for real-time streaming quotes, there is a $1,000 minimum balance requirement to enable the feature.


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. 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. In October 2020, E*TRADE was acquired by Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS).

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2023 Review methodology

Our mission at 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

For the 13th Annual Review published in January 2023, a total of 3,332 data points were collected over three months and used to score 17 top brokers. This makes home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry. All research, writing and data collection at is done by humans, for humans. Read our generative AI policy here.

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 2023 Results

For the 2023 Annual Awards, published on Jan. 24, 2023, all U.S. equity brokers we reviewed were assessed on 196 different variables across eight areas: Commissions & Fees, Investment Options, Platforms & Tools, Research, Mobile Trading, Education, Ease of Use, and Overall. also presented “Best in Class” awards to brokers for additional categories Beginners, Options Trading, Futures Trading, Active Trading, IRA Accounts, Investor Community, Penny Stock Trading, Banking Services and Customer Service. A “Best in Class” designation means finishing in the top five brokers for that category.

For more information, see how we test. New to investing? Check out the 5 step guide on how to invest on our sister site,

Primary categories

E*TRADE logoE*TRADE Overall Commissions & Fees Research Platforms & Tools Mobile Trading Apps Investment Options Education Ease of Use
Rating 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars 5/5 Stars 5/5 Stars
Rank #1
Streak #1
Best in Class check check check check check check check
Best in Class Streak 13 11 3 2 2

Secondary categories

E*TRADE logoE*TRADE Active Trading Banking Services Beginners Customer Service Futures Trading Investor Community IRA Accounts Options Trading Penny Stocks
Rank #1
Streak #1
Best in Class check check check check check check
Best in Class Streak 6 4 4 7

Industry awards

Feature E*TRADE logoE*TRADE
#1 Investor App verified
#1 Web Trading Platform verified

About the Editorial Team

Sam Levine, CFA, CMT
Sam Levine, CFA, CMT

Sam Levine has over 30 years of experience in the investing field as a portfolio manager, financial consultant, investment strategist and writer. He also taught investing as an adjunct professor of finance at Wayne State University. Sam holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and the Chartered Market Technician designations and is pursuing a master's in personal financial planning at the College for Financial Planning. Previously, he was a contributing editor at BetterInvesting Magazine and a contributor to The Penny Hoarder and other media outlets.

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 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.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the 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 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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