E*TRADE’s prominent marketing campaigns have made it one of the most well-known online trading platforms on the market. But do they have more to offer than catchy slogans and celebrity endorsements?
E*TRADE offers tools and platforms aimed at both experienced and novice investors. Because of this, most investors can find something for them whether you are a day trader or you’re just managing an IRA.
We consistently recommend E*TRADE as a top choice for opening a Solo 401k. And with their commission-free pricing structure and variety of wealth management options, they're a solid choice all-around.
Find out more in our E*TRADE review below!
- Full-service brokerage with a range of investment options
- Commission-free for stocks, ETFs, and options trades
- One of the most robust Solo 401k options
$0 for Stock, Options, ETF trades
Traditional, Roth, Solo 401k, and More
Deposit at Least $10,000 And Get $50 to $3,000
What Are E*TRADE's Pricing And Minimums?
ETrade was originally known as the leader in low-priced investing. While they're no longer drastically cheaper than the competition, they do provide commission-free trading of stocks, ETF, and options. They also offer over 4,400 no-load, no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds.
Note that there's a per contract fee on options of $0.65. Future contracts cost $1.50. And bonds cost $1 per bond with a $10 minimum and $250 maximum.
E*TRADE has a $0 on all its self-managed brokerage accounts (including retirement accounts). The minimums for its managed portfolios range from $500 to $250,000. Speaking of its managed portfolios, they come with advisory fees that range from 0.30% to 1.25%.
You won't have to worry about paying regular maintenance fees with E*TRADE. But there's a $25 fee for returned checks or insufficient funds. And if you decide to transfer your securities to a different broker, you'll pay an ACAT fee of $25 (for partial transfers) to $75 (for full transfers).
See how E*TRADE compares using our Online Stock Broker Comparison Tool.
What Does It Offer?
E*TRADE might be best known for its pricing. But it's also a bonafide full-service broker that offers a bevy of features and tools. Here's a close look at what you get as an E*TRADE client.
As a result, E*TRADE was named a top online stock broker for 2022 based on our annual reader poll. Their low fees and no commissions, along with their suite of tools, make them a top choice. See the full list of best online stock brokers here.
Innovative Trading Tools
E*TRADE offers two different platforms, both of which are available on desktop and mobile. The main E*TRADE platform is best for long-term investors and infrequent traders. But its Power E*TRADE platform offers a wide range of helpful tools for active traders.
Technical analysis junkies will love the fact that Power E*TRADE includes 100+ studies, 30+ drawing tools. In fact, it's one of the few trading platforms that can rival TD Ameritrade's ThinkorSwim in terms of providing advanced charting tools.
E*TRADE also has a portfolio analyzer tool that will help you look at your investments and diversification so you can put together the best possible portfolio for you. With their risk assessment tool, you can analyze the risk and reward factor for each investment.
E*TRADE's offers robo-advisor portfolios that it calls "Core Portfolios." It also offers three different portfolio tiers (Blend, Dedicated, and Fixed Income) that include management by human professionals.
Blend Portfolios invest in mutual funds and ETFs. Dedicated Portfolios add individual stocks to the asset mix. And, as their name suggests, Fixed Income Portfolios are made up of investment-grade bonds. Here are the management costs and minimums for each portfolio type:
Fixed Income Portfolios
Support And Education Services
Another aspect of E*TRADE that is excellent for beginners are the educational tools that the company provides. You can attend live online seminars on a variety of topics including retirement planning, stock market basics and analyzing your trade opportunities. You can also take a look at a large catalog of online courses to further your stock trading education.
Solo 401k And Specialty Account Options
E*TRADE offers all of the standard accounts types that you would expect to find at a full-service brokerage. These include Traditional, Roth, Rollover, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs.
But one of the big perks of E*TRADE is that they offer a lot of specialty account options. For example, we include it as one of the best Solo 401k providers because they offer some of the most free options.
You can also open Beneficiary IRAs, IRAs for Minors, and Coverdell ESAs. You can even open specialty accounts for setting up an investing club, or investing in an LLC. While these options aren't for everyone, it's nice to be able to easily set these up online.
No Fractional Shares
This is one of the few things that E*TRADE is still missing. But with so many brokers now offering fractional share investing (often with as little as $1 to $5), we hope to see this functionality added soon. In the meantime, you can check out our favorite brokers for buying fractional shares if that's a priority feature for you.
How Does E*TRADE Compare?
E*TRADE has one of the most robust brokerage platforms available today. But it's no longer the only game in town when it comes to offering commission-free trades. Here's a quick look at how it compares:
Min For Robo-Advisor Portfolios
Fees For Robo-Advisor Portfolios
$0 to 0.35%
How Do I Open An Account?
There are multiple ways to open an E*TRADE account. The easiest way for most people would to apply online. However, you can also apply by phone at 800-387-2331. And, if for some reason you prefer snail mail, that's an option too. You can download an application here and mail it to:
E*TRADE Securities LLC
PO Box 484
Jersey City, NJ
Check out our quick video on how easy it is to open a Roth IRA at E*TRADE:
Is It Safe And Secure?
Yes, E*TRADE's website is encrypted and it offers advanced account security options like two-factor authentication. And it notifies its customers immediately whenever it identifies suspicious account activity that could be an indicator of fraud.
While it's unlikely that E*TRADE will ever fail as a brokerage, your securities would be protected up to $500,000 by SIPC insurance if it did. Plus, clients get an extra $1 billion of protection through an insurance policy purchased by Morgan Stanley (E*TRADE's parent company).
How Do I Contact E*TRADE?
E*TRADE provides 24/7 phone support to its clients at 800-387-2331. However, it should be noted that they've disabled all online customer support. There's no live chat or secure email anymore.
Due to COVID-19, all of its branches are currently closed as well. However, you can still get in contact with a representative from your local area by searching for your local branch here.
Is It Worth It?
By offering both advanced and easy-to-use features, E*TRADE is excellent for both experienced and new traders. At $0 per trade, E*TRADE's commissions are in-line with other online trading platforms. But it separates itself from the pack by offering intuitive platforms, informative resources, and one of the largest varieties of account types.
Let's answer a few of the most common questions that we hear about E*TRADE.
Did E*TRADE get bought out?
Yes, E*TRADE was acquired by Morgan Stanley in October 2020 for $13 billion. For now, it appears that the brands will continue to operate independently.
Is E*TRADE good for beginners?
Yes, with its managed portfolio options, E*TRADE could be a solid choice for new investors who would like some assistance with getting started.
Is E*TRADE good for traders?
Yes, the POWER E*TRADE platform offers a full suite of charting and risk analysis tools to help active traders increase their probability of success.
Does E*TRADE have any bonus offers or incentives?
Yes, new clients who deposit at least $10,000 can earn a cash bonus of $50 to $3,000.
No-Transaction-Fee (NTF) Mutual Funds
$1 per bond (min of $10, max of $250)
Basic Account Fee
Managed Portfolios Fees
5.45% to 8.95% (as of August 2021)
Customer Service Number
Customer Service Hours
Web/Desktop Account Access
Mobile App Availability
iOS and Android
Deposit at least $10,000 and get $50 to $3,000
Commission & Fees
Ease Of Use
Tools & Resources
By offering both advanced and easy-to-use features, E*TRADE is excellent for both experienced and new traders.
- Commission-free trades
- Multiple managed portfolios
- Advanced trading platform
- 24/7 phone customer service
- No fractional share investing
- Online chat and email support is no longer available
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.