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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

  • Best for: beginners and passive traders
  • Consider switching from E-Trade if: you want low-fee automated portfolios

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.

Fees

  • $1 investment minimum
  • Zero commissions on stock and ETF trades
  • 0% annual management fee for automated investing
  • 1.25% cryptocurrency trading fee
  • Inactivity fee: None

Asset types:

  • Stocks and ETFs

Robinhood

  • Best for: beginners
  • Consider switching from E-Trade if: you want to trade cryptocurrency

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.

Fees

  • $0 minimum investment
  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades
  • $5 monthly fee for Robinhood Gold
  • No contract fee for options
  • Inactivity fee: None

Asset types:

  • Stocks, ETFs, options and crypto

Fidelity Investments

  • Best for: active traders and beginners
  • Consider switching from E-Trade if: you want a full-service broker with low-fee automated portfolios

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.

Fees

  • $0 investment minimum
  • Zero commissions on stock, ETF and options trades
  • Thousands of no-expense-ratio mutual funds
  • Fidelity Go management fee
    • No advisory fee for a balance under $10,000
    • $3 per month for a balance of $10,000–$49,999
    • 0.35% annual management fee for a balance of $50,000 or more.
  • Inactivity fee: None

Asset types:

  • Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, precious metals

TD Ameritrade

  • Best for: active traders
  • Consider switching from E-Trade if: you want more advanced research tools

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.

Fees

  • $0 minimum investment
  • $0 commissions on online stock, ETF, and option trades
  • Inactivity fee: None

Asset types:

  • Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, forex and futures

Ally Invest

  • Best for: active traders
  • Consider switching from E-Trade if: you also want access to savings and banking accounts

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.

Fees

  • $0 minimum investment
  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades
  • 50 cent per-contract fee on options
  • No transaction fee on select mutual funds

Asset types:

  • Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds and options

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

Name Product Stock trade fee Asset types Option trade fee Annual fee Signup bonus
Sofi Invest
$0
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
N/A
0%
N/A
A free way to invest in stocks, ETFs and crypto.
Robinhood
$0
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Gold/Commodities
$0
0%
Free stock (chosen randomly with a value anywhere between $2.50 and $200)
Sign up using the "go to site" link
Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options with Robinhood Financial.
Interactive Brokers
$0
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
$0 + $0.65/contract, $1 minimum
0%
N/A
IBKR Lite offers $0 commissions, and IBKR Pro offers advanced tools for professional traders.
Webull
$0
Stocks, Options, ETFs
$0
0%
Get one free stock valued between $2.50 and $250 when you open an account, one more with a deposit
Open an account
Margin financing rates start at 3.99%. No monthly subscription fees for margin.
Public
$0
Stocks, ETFs
N/A
$0 per month
N/A
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*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.

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