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E-Trade alternatives

It’s an intuitive app, but here are 5 alternatives that might offer lower minimum investments.

Our pick to buy stocks: SoFi Invest

SoFi Invest logo
  • $0 commissions on stocks
  • Robo advisor with no management fees
  • Beginner-friendly platform
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Like E-Trade, much of its competition offers low fees, advanced research tools and vast investment menus. But E-Trade’s $500 minimum investment for automated portfolios is higher than you’d find elsewhere, and options traders may also be at a disadvantage if they don’t trade often. These five alternatives offer many of the same benefits without the same drawbacks.

E-Trade alternatives

SoFi Invest

SoFi Invest

4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

Like E-Trade, SoFi Invest lets you trade commission-free stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). But SoFi's automated portfolios have a 0% management fee and require a minimum investment of $1. E-Trade's automated Core Portfolios are similar, but they require a $500 minimum investment and a 0.3% annual management fee. Automated portfolios — also called robo-advisors — use computer algorithms to recommend diversified portfolios based on your risk level and financial goals. The algorithm then manages and rebalances your portfolio when necessary. So it's a solid option for the set-it-and-forget-it investor.
Account typesBrokerage, Retirement, Robo-Advisor
Annual fee0%
Available asset typesStocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency

Robinhood

Robinhood

4 / 5 ★★★★★

Similarly to E-Trade, Robinhood offers commission-free stock, ETF and options trades. But unlike E-Trade, Robinhood lets you trade cryptocurrency. You can use its intuitive app to trade popular crypto like bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin. Robinhood is best for beginner investors who want to trade traditional securities like stocks alongside more obscure options like cryptocurrency. But you won't find the advanced research tools and wider investment menu you'd find at E-Trade.
Account typesBrokerage
Annual fee0%
Option trade fee$0
Available asset typesStocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency

Fidelity

Fidelity Brokerage Account

4.2 / 5 ★★★★★

Fidelity Investments is an E-Trade alternative that offers many of the same benefits. Fidelity is known for its low fees, robust research tools and variety of investment options. But Fidelity wins the game when it comes to automated portfolios or robo-advisors. E-Trade's automated portfolio charges a 0.35% management fee and requires a $500 minimum deposit. Fidelity Go, the broker's automated portfolio, only requires $10 before you can start investing. Fees are $0 on balances of $10,000 or less. Fidelity Go charges an annual 0.35% management fee only on balances of $50,000 or more.
Account typesBrokerage, Retirement
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract
Available asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade

4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

TD Ameritrade is another E-Trade alternative that's known for its low fees and vast investment options. But TD Ameritrade may win the battle with its powerful research tools. Its Thinkorswim platform alone has received much praise. Thinkorswim offers technical analysis drawn from more than 400 technical studies including monkey bars, renko charts and up to 20 drawings with eight Fibonacci tools. You can also use its paper trading feature which lets you practice your investing acumen with virtual money. Thinkorswim's suite of trading and research tools is available on mobile, desktop and Web.
Account typesBrokerage, Retirement, Education, Custodial, Specialty
Annual fee0%
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract,
or $25 broker-assisted
Available asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Currencies, CDs, Futures, Forex

Ally Invest

Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading

4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

Ally Invest offers low fees, advanced research tools and a powerful app. You don't need to make a minimum deposit to open an Ally Invest account. It lets you trade commission-free stocks, ETFs and options. But Ally Invest charges a $0.50 per-contract fee on options, which is lower than the industry standard of $0.65. In addition, Ally Bank offers a suite of financial products like checking and high-yield savings accounts. Its online savings account pays a competitive 0.5% annual percentage yield (APY). E-Trade mostly offers brokerage products. Other than certificates of deposit (CD), E-Trade doesn't offer much for uninvested cash. Ally Bank is known for high-interest savings and money market accounts. You can view these along with your brokerage accounts through a single platform. So Ally can be a great option for those who want all their finances managed through one source.
Account typesBrokerage, Retirement, Robo-Advisor
Annual fee0%
Option trade fee$0 + $0.50/contract
Available asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs

Pros and cons of E-Trade

E-Trade is one of the most well-known brokers around. Its fees, trading technology and investment options remain competitive. But it may not be best for everyone. Some points to consider before opening or keeping an E-trade account:

Pros

  • $0 commissions on stock, ETF and options
  • Robust research tools
  • Access to multiple managed account options

Cons

  • $500 minimum for automated portfolios
  • Discounted contract fee on options only if 30+ are made per quarter
  • Website is difficult to navigate

Transfer your brokerage account

If you’re switching brokers, the process may vary in difficulty depending on the broker you’re moving to and the one you’re moving from. E-Trade charges a $75 outgoing transfer fee to move all your assets to a different brokerage account. It charges $25 for partial transfers. You may go through the following steps before you can switch from E-Trade to a different broker.

  1. Get a statement from your broker that has info like your account number and current assets
  2. Open the same type of account with your new broker (ex. Individual brokerage account should go to another individual brokerage account)
  3. Fill out a transfer initiation form with your current broker.
  4. Your current broker validates your form or notifies you of next steps within three business days.
  5. Your old broker completes the process and moves funds within six business days.

Note: Some brokers don’t accept the proprietary funds of others. So you may not be able to transfer mutual funds or ETFs managed by your old broker.

Compare trading platforms

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Available asset types Stock trade fee Minimum deposit Signup bonus
SoFi Invest
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
Get up to $1,000
when you fund a new account within 30 days.
Winner of Finder’s Best Low-Cost Broker award.
Finder Award
eToro
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$10
FINDER EXCLUSIVE: Get $15
when you sign up and deposit $100
Winner of Finder’s Best Broker for Beginners award. Not available in NY, NV, MN, TN, and HI.
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 4% interest on uninvested cash in your account with Robinhood Gold.
tastyworks
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
Get $200 in US stocks
when you open and fund an account with min. $2,000 for 3+ mos.
Highly commended for Best Derivatives Trading Platform award.
Public.com
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Alternatives
$0
$0
Get up to $300 in either stocks or crypto
when you use code FINDERUS to sign up and fund a new account.
Trade stocks and ETFs commission-free, plus gain access to alternative investments like art, NFTs and more.
Interactive Brokers
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Futures, Forex
$0
$0
N/A
Winner of Finder’s Best Overall Stock Broker award.
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