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REVIEW SUMMARY

E*TRADE Financial

E*TRADE Financial Corporation is a financial services company headquartered in New York City. 

It is an online discount stock brokerage firm for self-directed investors. Investors can buy and sell such securities as stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds via electronic trading platforms, or by phone.

E*TRADE Financial also provides banking services to retail investors, such as sweep deposits and savings products.

Overview
FAQ
Customer Reviews
Expert Verdict

Founded in 1982, E*TRADE Financial has approximately 4,100 employees and 30 retail branches across the United States.

E*TRADE Financial has long been one of the most popular online brokers. It was acquired by Morgan Stanley in February, 2020.

The company's $0 commissions and strong trading platforms appeal to active traders, while beginner investors benefit from a large library of educational resources.

It is regulated by top-tier financial authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).


Key features:

  • The account has no minimum amount.
  • No base commission; $0.65 per contract (volume discount available).
  • No annual or inactivity fee. $75 full transfer out fee; $25 partial.
  • All ETFs trades are commission-free.
  • Over 4,500 of no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
  • The tradable securities include: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options and futures.
  • There are two platforms (free for all) used:
  1. E*TRADE Web
  2. Power E*TRADE
  • Two apps in use:
  1. E*TRADE mobile
  2. Power E*TRADE

*Available on iOS and Android.

Both are free and available to all customers, with no trade activity or balance minimums.

E*TRADE web offers free streaming market data, free real-time quotes, live market commentary, analyst research stock screeners and more. From the dashboard, you can track your accounts, create watch lists, view market data and make trades, including complex options strategies.

And for truly active traders, there's Power E*TRADE, the result of the company's acquisition of OptionsHouse several years ago.

The web platform offers real-time data, more than 100 technical studies, over 30 drawing tools, streamlined trade tickets, customisable options chain views and trading ladders.

NOTE: 

  • You can find detailed pricing information in the FAQs section.
  • We would highly recommend reading the 'expert verdict' section of this review to learn why our team of experts gave E*TRADE Financial 1 out of 5 stars.

 

The Pros

> Wide range of investments
> Easy-to-use tools
> Decent DIY platform
> Has a knowledge library
> User-friendly mobile trading platform
> Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades

The Cons

> Complex choice of instruments
> No independent advice
> Dealing commissions
> Website can be difficult to navigate
> High fee for wire transfer withdrawal
> High fees for non-free mutual funds
What are the main investment choices with E*TRADE Financial?

They range from simple to complex and include: 

  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Options 
  • Futures
What is the detailed pricing structure of E*TRADE Financial?

Here is a break down of the detailed pricing structure:

1. Stock and option trades:

Pricing 0-29 Trades/
QTR

30+Trades/
QTR

Stock and options trades
(US Exchange-listed stocks)
$0 $0
Options contract fee $0.65 $0.50
Exercise $0 $0
Dime Buyback Program $0 contract fee $0 contract fee

 

NOTE: 
  • For option orders, an option regulatory fee will apply.
  • Additional regulatory and exchange fees may apply.
  • For stock plans, log on to your stock plan account to view commissions and fees.
  • Customers will be charged an additional $25 for broker-assisted trades.

2. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs):

Pricing 0-29 Trades/
QTR
30+Trades/
QTR
ETFs  $0  $0

 

3. Bonds:

U.S. Treasury auction $0
U.S. Treasury secondary trades online $0
Online secondary trades $1 per bond (minimum $10, maximum $250)
Broker-assisted trades Online secondary pricing plus $20 commission
Through fixed income specialists Net yield basis
New issues (except Treasury auction) Offering price includes a selling concession

 

4. Futures:

Futures contract commission $1.50 per contract, per side + fees (excluding bitcoin futures)*


*Commissions for bitcoin futures products are $2.50 per contract, per side +fees.

5. Mutual funds:

No-load, no-transaction-fee funds $0
Transaction fee funds $19.99
Load funds See prospectus for amount of load
Early redemption fee for no-load, no transaction fee for Mutual Funds $49.99

 

6. Margin rates:

Debit Balance Margin Rate
$1,000,000 or more 5.45% (1% below base rate)
$500,000 to $999,999.99 6.45% (Equal to base rate)
$250,000 to $499,999.99 6.95% (0.50% above base rate)
$100,000 to $249,999.99 7.45% (1.00% above base rate)
$50,000 to $99,999.99 7.95% (1.50% above base rate)
$25,000 to $49,999.99 8.45% (2.00% above base rate)
$10,000 to $24,999.99 8.70% (2.25% above base rate)
Less than $10,000 8.95% (2.50% above base rate)

 

7. E*TRADE Personalised Investments:

Core Portfolios

Account market value Flat annual advisory fee
$500+ 0.30%

 

Blend Portfolios

Account market value (minimum of $25,000) Blended annual advisory fee
First $100,000 0.90%
Next $150,000 0.80%
Next $250,000 0.75%
Next $500,000 0.70%
Next $1,000,000 and more 0.65%

 

Dedicated Portfolios

Account market value (minimum of $150,000) Blended annual advisory fee
First $1,000,000 1.25%
Next $1,000,000 1.15%
Next $3,000,000 1.10%
Next $5,000,000 and more 0.95%

 

Fixed Income Portfolios

Account market value (minimum of $250,000) Blended annual advisory fee  
  Actively Managed Portfolios Laddered Portfolios
First $1,000,000 0.75% 0.45%
Next $2,000,000 0.70% 0.40%
Next $1,000,000 and more 0.65% 0.35%

 

8. Retirement accounts:

Fees Amount
Early withdrawals taken before age 59½ (premature distributions) $25
Excess contribution removal $25
Recharacterizations $25

 

NOTE: All fees will be waived if combined E*TRADE Securities account balances total over $100,000 or you have placed 30 or more trades in the last quarter.

Additional charges like IOF, activity fees and special request fees may apply based on your individual circumstances.

Reasonably happy

I'm based in the US and I have found them to be among the best - their fees schedule is reasonable and I'm happy with their service.

Expert assessment of E*TRADE Financial

Unless you are American, our advice is that this platform is best avoided.

If you are an existing investor (non-American) with E*TRADE Financial, we recommend you have a Second Opinion to find out the charges, access and terms applicable, and to highlight any better alternatives that likely exist for you.

E*TRADE Financial Investors Presentation

Guide to activating E*TRADE account for US participants

E*TRADE Financial Bank Account Agreement

E*TRADE Financial Bank Rate & Fee Schedule

E*TRADE Financial Customer Agreement

Details of Morgan Stanley's Acquisition of E-TRADE

E*TRADE 2020 Benefits Portfolio

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