E-Trade review

Commission-free stocks, advanced tools and access to mutual funds, bonds and ETFs make this a stellar trading platform.

finder.com’s rating: 4.1 / 5.0

★★★★★

E-Trade offers commission-free trading on stocks, options and ETFs. Combined with sophisticated desktop and beginner-friendly mobile platforms, this is one of the top trading platforms available.

  • Consider E-Trade if you want a leading platform suited to both beginners and advanced investors, with access to a broad range of tradable securities.
  • Look elsewhere if you want to trade on margin without a high fee, or trade cryptocurrencies.

Rating overview

Fees

★★★★★3.75/5

No commissions on stocks and fair prices for options, mutual funds and portfolio management.
Available securities

★★★★★ 5/5

An E-trade brokerage account lets you trade everything but crypto and forex.
Customer support

★★★★★ 3.5/5

There are multiple ways to get support, but we waited more than 20 minutes to speak to a rep.
Mobile app

★★★★★ 4.5/5

While it doesn’t score as well on Google Play, Apple users give the app high marks.
Research and tools

★★★★★ 4/5

A variety of interactive charts and analysis tools are available.
Reliability

★★★★★ 3/5

Both a major outage and mobile app crashes have been reported.
Bonus star

1

We awarded a bonus star for access to paper trading.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read the methodology at the bottom of the page.

What we think of E-Trade

There’s a reason E-Trade is one of the most popular brokerages in the US. It offers the full investor package, including:

  • Sophisticated trading platforms with research tools and advanced charting and order types.
  • Access to a variety of trading instruments, including stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, mutual funds and futures.
  • A variety of accounts, including individual brokerage accounts, retirement accounts and automated investing.

These features, coupled with commission-free stock, ETF and options trading, appeal to active traders, while beginner investors can hone their skills with tools like paper trading and a vast collection of educational resources.

E-Trade is a dominant force in the industry, but it’s got its shortcomings. Namely, it doesn’t yet offer crypto trading, much like the other big brokers. This is where freshman brokers like a Robinhood, SoFi or eToro pull ahead. Moreover, customers who place quality customer service at the top of their must-haves may find themselves disappointed. This is one of the biggest complaints among customers.

All said, E-Trade is a solid option for investors. It has something for everyone in terms of available assets and account options, as well as the reliability of a big-name broker. Finding the right broker for you takes trial and error, and we think you should give E-Trade a try if you’re in the market for a new broker.

Who is E-Trade best for?

As one of the biggest brokerage firms in the US, E-Trade is an appealing option for all types of investors, including:

  • Active traders. E-Trade’s comprehensive suite of research and trading tools coupled with $0 commission on stocks, ETFs and options makes it a solid choice for day and short-term traders who take an active role in the upkeep of their portfolios.
  • Beginner investors. Hands-off investors can put their portfolios on autopilot with E-Trade’s roboadvisor, while plentiful resources exist for beginners. This includes webinars on asset allocation, options and technical analysis, as well as paper trading, which allows you to trade with virtual currency instead of real money.

    Pros and cons

    Pros

    Open an E-Trade account with no minimum deposit and trade stocks, ETFs and options commission-free. But here’s how E-Trade really differentiates itself from the competition:

    • Available securities. E-Trade offers a variety of investment options, from stocks, bonds and options to ETFs, futures and more than 4,000 no-load mutual funds.
    • Account type flexibility. Choose from an individual brokerage account, retirement accounts or managed portfolios.
    • Versatile trading platforms. E-Trade offers two trading platforms — both for desktop and mobile — that let you trade while viewing real-time quotes and using charts, drawings and indicators for technical analysis.
    • Automated investing. For a 0.3% annual fee, E-Trade’s roboadvisor can build and manage your portfolio automatically. Called Core Portfolios, E-Trade uses its team of experts and automated technology to build customized portfolios of ETFs, with automatic portfolio management and rebalancing.

    Cons

    Consider these drawbacks before signing up Other downsides include:

    • Possibly disappointing customer service. A majority of negative reviews for E-Trade center around a poor customer service experience, mostly painfully-long wait times to speak or chat with a representative.
    • No direct exposure to crypto. E-Trade offers a wide range of investment choices, but it doesn’t yet allow you to buy crypto directly. As of August 2022, you can only gain indirect exposure through crypto trusts ETFs.
    • No fractional share trading. The lack of fractional share trading can raise the barrier to entry for some beginner investors without a lot of starting capital.

    E-Trade research tools are comprehensive

    E-Trade has positioned itself as one of the top brokerage firms in the US by offering investors a suite of market-leading trading platforms and research tools. Beginner and intermediate investors should find the intuitive features of E-Trade’s mobile and web-based platform appealing, while advanced, active traders should feel at home with the sophisticated tools included in the Power E-Trade platform.

    E-Trade’s robust platform includes:

    • Access to complimentary research reports and services. E-Trade provides TipRanks analyst recommendations, fundamental research reports by Morgan Stanley, Thomson Reuters and Argus Research and MarketEdge technical reports.
    • Intuitive trading tools. The Power E-Trade platform includes the many sophisticated charting and research tools you’d expect from a leading brokerage firm. This includes over 100 studies and 30 drawing tools, as well as a technical patterns recognition tool that automatically draws support and resistance lines and identifies technical patterns.
    • Access to screeners. Screen stocks, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds based on specific parameters and thematic investment ideas.
    • Market news. Browse top stories and latest news affecting your portfolio.

    E-Trade reviews and complaints are mixed but lean positive

    E-Trade’s customer reviews are mixed but mostly positive. It just largely depends on the type of site you go to for customer feedback.

    For instance, E-Trade’s reviews across the app stores are overwhelmingly positive, while major review sites Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are solidly negative.

    As of July 2022, E-Trade holds a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on the Apple App Store based on more than 139,000 reviews. Similarly, more than 40,500 reviewers on the Google Play app store have rated E-Trade a 4.1 out of 5 stars. These are competitive numbers, with many satisfied customers highlighting their mobile experience and the educational resources and research tools on the platform.

    On Trustpilot, E-Trade is given a 1.3 out of 5 stars based on just 219 reviews. Meanwhile, E-Trade is not accredited by BBB and holds an F rating. Less than 50 reviewers have rated the company a 1.1 out of 5 stars. Many negative reviews cited poor customer service and sudden account restrictions.

    Reviewers on Reddit also cite a poor customer service experience but contrast that with glowing reviews of E-Trade’s trading platform and features.

    BBB ratingF
    BBB accreditedNo
    BBB customer rating1.1/5 based on 48 customer reviews
    Trustpilot score1.3/5 based on 219 customer reviews
    Google Play app store4.1/5 stars based on 40,500 reviews
    Apple App Store4.6/5 stars based on 139,338 reviews
    Customer reviews verified as ofAugust 2022

    How do I sign up?

    You can sign up for E-Trade online or at a branch:

    Online

    1. Go to the E-Trade website, and select Open an account.
    2. Choose the account type you want to open. Then, select Continue.
    3. Enter your personal details, such as your contact info, date of birth and Social Security number.
    4. Provide your employment details, and complete your investment profile.
    5. Answer E-Trade’s regulatory questions and how you plan to use your account.
    6. Review and agree to E-Trade’s agreements and disclosures.
    7. Create your user ID, and select Submit.

    You can start trading after the funds you’ve deposited have cleared. You can add funds to your account by wire transfer, check deposit or transferring money from an outside institution.

    Eligibility

    You’ll need the following to be eligible for an E-Trade account:

    • A valid Social Security number
    • A valid US residential address
    • To be 18 or older

    Required information

    Have the following information on hand when you apply:

    • Full name
    • Contact information and mailing address
    • Social Security number
    • Employment information, annual income and net worth
    • Bank or brokerage account information

    I’ve signed up with E-Trade. Now what?

    After you’ve successfully opened your account, take your time and leverage E-Trades’ numerous benefits:

    • Educational resources. If you’re new to investing, visit E-Trade’s resource library to learn about asset allocation, saving versus investing, dividends, how to manage your portfolio and more.
    • Trading research. You’ll have multiple trading resources that can help guide you.
    • Keep track of your portfolio. Log in to your E-Trade account online or through the mobile app to trade, make changes to your portfolio, track your progress and more.
    • Read up on tax laws. Ask your accountant how you can manage your taxes as a result of your E-Trade activity.

    Contact E-Trade support by phone, secure message, live chat or in person

    Get assistance with your E-Trade account in several ways:

    • Phone. Call 800-387-2331. Phone support is available 24/7.
    • Secure message. Send a secure message through your E-Trade account.
    • Live chat. Connect with a representative via live chat on the E-Trade website.
    • In person. Use E-Trade’s branch locator to find a branch near you.

    Compare with a wider range of brokers

    Review your options by fees, signup bonus or asset types. Select the Go to site button for more information about a particular platform.

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    Name Product Asset types Stock trade fee Minimum deposit Signup bonus
    SoFi Invest
    Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
    $0
    $0
    $10 - $100
    when you open an account and place a first crypto trade of $50 - $5,000+
    A free way to invest in most equities.
    eToro
    Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
    $0
    $10
    8%-12% of your deposit
    when you sign up and deposit at least $50. T&Cs apply.
    Trade stocks in the app or online with $0 commissions. Not available in NY, NV, MN, TN, and HI.
    Public
    Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
    $0
    $0
    Receive a free stock slice worth between $3–$300
    when you sign up for an account and deposit at least $20.
    Commission-free trading in stocks and ETFs with a social networking twist.
    Tastyworks
    Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
    $0
    $0
    $200 in US stocks
    when you open and fund an account with min. $2,000 for 3+ mos.
    Trade stocks, options, ETFs and futures on mobile or desktop with this advanced platform.
    JPMorgan Self-Directed Investing
    Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
    $0
    $0
    $125 - $625
    when you open and fund an account with $25,000 - $250,000+
    INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
    Robinhood
    Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
    $0
    $0
    Get a free stock
    when you successfully sign up and link your bank account.
    Make unlimited commission-free trades, plus earn 3% interest on uninvested cash in your account with Robinhood Gold.
    Tradier
    Stocks, Options, ETFs
    $0
    $0
    N/A
    Customize your trade platform or build your own Deep tools, charts and screens Analyzers to help you study before you trade
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    *Signup bonus information updated weekly.

    Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

    How we rate trading platforms

    ★★★★★ 5/5 — Excellent

    ★★★★★ 4/5 — Good

    ★★★★★ 3/5 — Average

    ★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar

    ★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor

    We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability.

    For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms.

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