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Etrade is one of the most well established online trading brokers. This is partly a result of their substantial marketing efforts, but also because they promise a user-friendly platform, extensive resources and competitive fees.
This review of Etrade will detail all aspects of the offering, including their history, accounts, commissions and product list. Before you sign up to start day trading, it helps to understand how Etrade has evolved.
The company came to life in when William A. Then in , Porter and Newcomb formed a new enterprise, Etrade Securities. Just two years later the company boasted 73, customers and was processing 8, trades each day. In June the company then went public via an initial public offering IPO. In the early s, it looked like Etrade would merge with TD Ameritrade.
However, disagreements on pricing and governance rights prevented this deal coming to fruition. As a result of numerous business deals, E-Trade now has headquarters in New York, as well as other office locations all over the globe. Their growth has also meant they can offer trading in:. Some people are unsure whether Etrade is a market maker. However, the enterprise was sold to Susquehanna International in User trading reviews have been mostly positive in terms of brokerage fees.
Once you open an account you can expect similar prices to that of their main competitors, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity and Charles Schwab. Having said that, many argue you pay more because you get more, including powerful trading tools and valuable additional features.
There are also volume discounts. On top of that, Etrade offers commission-free ETFs. Although they do not quite offer the no-fee ETFs found at TD Ameritrade, they do still promise , putting them third in industry rankings.
Reviews and ratings show Etraders are content with leverage options. Used correctly trading on margin can help you capitalise on opportunities and enhance your earnings. It can also allow you to speculate on numerous markets, from foreign stocks and gold to cryptocurrencies, such as ethereum, ripple and bitcoin futures. However, you will need to check futures margin requirements for your account type.
You must also bear in mind margin calls and high rates could see you actually lose more than your original account balance. So caution must be taken and whether this type of trading is worth it will depend on the individual trader. There is no inactivity fee for intraday traders. There is also good news in terms of promotions and bonus offers.
Furthermore, the broker does sometimes run a refer a friend scheme. The requirements vary, so head over to their website to see how it works. Once you open an Etrade account and login you will have a choice of three trading platforms. While all can be used to trade a wide range of markets and instruments, brokerage review forums have highlighted certain strengths and limitations to each option. Web platform customer reviews are fairly positive.
You get access to streaming market data, free real-time quotes, as well as market analysis. The user interface is fairly sleek and straightforward to navigate. For example, from the dashboard, you can track accounts, create watchlists and execute trades. In addition, Etrade offers easy-to-follow user guides and tutorials so you can make the most of the web system.
Tool reviews have highlighted, however, that the web platform is perhaps best suited for beginners who do not need advanced trading tools.
Etrade bought the established OptionsHouse trading platform in Platform reviews and options forums suggest this is a better choice for those who want to actively trade, rather than hold long positions. You can get a wealth of real-time data, tickers and tens of charting tools. In fact, you get:. You also get access to news feeds and can find a vast array of educational resources which will help you figure out how to get set up.
It can also be used for equities and futures trading. Overall then, the platform promises speed, innovation and a multitude of trading tools. But as reviews for beginners have demonstrated, perhaps its greatest strength is its ease of use for new users.
Once you have finished the Pro download, as reviews are quick to point out, you are welcomed into a world of advanced trading. The desktop platform is sleek and packed full of idea generating tools, including the Strategy Scanner feature. There are high levels of customisability and backtesting capabilities too.
If you want to just track stocks you can use the MarketCaster function. There is a distinct downside with the Pro platform though. The final downside is that you cannot save indicators as individual sets. Instead, you must save the whole chart view as a custom profile. In fact, many argue their offering is among the best in the industry. There are two free mobile apps. Once you have activated your account and downloaded the app you have free rein to manage your account and enter and exit trades.
To help you do that, you get:. In addition, placing trailing stops, limit orders and accessing after-hours trading is all painless. The OptionsHouse app boasts a sleek design and straightforward use.
Once you have your account login details, you get customised stock screening and third-party research ratings from within the app. The ChartIQ engine is also used within the mobile apps. One useful feature this brings is that any note you add to a chart on Etrade Pro will appear on the same chart on your mobile device. This includes drawings, trendlines and channels. However, to utilise this feature you must already have access to Etrade Pro.
Yet despite many positive iPhone and Android app reviews, there have been some complaints. For example, the app supports just ten indicators, which is considerably below the industry average of Overall then, even for dummies, the mobile apps are quick and easy to get to grips with.
Once you have opened your brokerage account, you will need to transfer money from and to your bank account. You should be able to see how much is available for withdrawal directly from within your account. Note withdrawal times will vary depending on payment method. Financial investment and trading reviews are content with the current payment methods on offer, as they are fairly industry standard. Etrade offers a number of options in terms of accounts, from joint brokerage accounts to managed accounts.
The standard day trading brokerage account is relatively straightforward to set up. Simply head over to their homepage and follow the on-screen instructions.
If you opt for an alternative account type, you may need to upload documents and meet other criteria. Unfortunately, Etrade does not offer a free demo account. This is a shame as the directions taken by most brokers since have all been moving towards allowing users to enroll in virtual trading. They provide the perfect opportunity for novice traders to build confidence and learn how to react to market events, before risking real capital.
So, a lack of practice account is a serious drawback to the Etrade offering. Etrade reviews are quick to point out there are a number of valuable additional resources available. In particular, conducting research is straightforward. Fortunately, Etrade users can also benefit from screeners for stocks, options, ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds. The stocks screener facilitates filtering by third-party ratings from its research partners. The main issue, however, is that many of the screeners are visually dated and therefore result in a less enjoyable user experience.
Fortunately, the education section is extensive. Traders can find articles, training videos, webinars, user guides, audio assistance and more. There is everything from the basics of comparing exchange rates and hotkeys to sophisticated options for uninvested cash. You can connect industry-leading applications directly into Etrade.
Alternatively, you can choose from a number of providers, including:. Used correctly robo advisors could help you bolster profits. You can simply execute far more trades than you ever could manually. However, as API reviews highlight, they do come with risks and require consistent monitoring. Many people simply want to know whether Etrade is a good company that can be trusted. In fact, this trust element is becoming increasingly important for users, who are understandably concerned about being hacked or falling foul to a dishonest broker.
That is why it is important to check your brokerage is properly regulated. As a result, customers can relax knowing their capital will be safeguarded in a range of scenarios. But more importantly, Etrade will have to adhere to a range of rules and regulations designed to protect users.
All of these factors have helped Etrade bolster their market capitalisation and highlight their benefits when compared to competitors, such as vs Interactive Brokers, Robinhood, Fidelity and Scottrade. Despite the numerous benefits, customer and company reviews have also identified a number of downsides to bear in mind, including:.