ETrade: Finding the Right Online Stock Broker for You

ETrade has made a huge impact on society with their commercials involving a talking baby. Being such a talking piece makes people curious about the services that they offer for trading mutual funds, stocks, bonds and other investments. From this great amount of exposure ETrade should be looked at as one of the heavy hitters as an online stock broker. This ETrade review should help show if they are one of the best stock accounts to open.

ETrade Review: OverviewETrade Baby

The online application for ETrade is fairly simple and takes about 15 minutes to gain access to your account. Once inside you have a few options to fund your account. This is crucial, as you only have 60 days from the opening of your account to fund it, or it will automatically close. This can be a big inconvenience if you forget about it or are waiting for some of your other investments to clear. If you choose to do a wire deposit the money will be available to trading within 1 day. Choosing any of the other options will take longer. If you do an ACH, the money will show up in you account almost right away, but it actually won’t be free to trade with for 3 days as your bank still needs to clear it.

Once you move past funding the account you can start trading stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, options and ETFs. ETrade does their commission pricing a little different than most brokers. They will charge $9.99 plus $0.75 per contract for trade 1-149 in one quarter. If you want the cheaperETrade Home Page price of $7.99 plus $0.75 per contract, then you will need to do heavy trading of 150 or more trades per quarter.

ETrade is special in that it does not have any IRA account fees for inactivity or maintenance. Also there are no surcharges for large orders, extended hours trading and penny stocks. Since there aren’t any inactivity fees, ETrade is geared more for the purchase equities and hold investor.

They do have excellent resources while researching some stock quotes or upcoming IPOs, but the customer service is just ok at times and not always up to par. One thing that ETrade does pride themselves on is their apps, so you can trade on the go or see how your account id doing. The only issue with this is that the data is sometime delayed from the stock ticker.

ETrade Review: Sign Up Offers

The first time sign up offers that ETrade gives away usually are really good. This will include free trades for the first 60 days and up to $500 of free cash, depending on how much you deposit. Their offers are usually some of the most competitive in the market to attract new traders.

ETrade Review: By the Numbers

  • Minimum Deposit: $500 in securities, $1,000 in cash, $2,000 on margin accounts
  • Stock/EFT Trades: $9.99 for 0-149 trades/quarter, $7.99 for 150 or more trades/quarter
  • Futures Contracts: $2.99 per contract, per side plus fees
  • Mutual Funds: $19.99ETrade Stock Quote
  • Smart Phone App Available

ETrade Review: Summary

While the baby in the ETrade commercials has opened the eyes to many potential people getting into the stock market, there are still a few issues that make it more for the long-term investor that buys and holds. Also the offers that ETrade gives new customers usually are of high quality, which can make good for investors, but not necessarily one of the best stock accounts to open.