E*TRADE review 2024: A deep dive into its trading platform and services

E*TRADE review 2024: A comprehensive look at its trading platform, fees, customer service, and more

Jun 1, 2024 - 12:33
Jun 1, 2024 - 12:34
E*TRADE review 2024: A deep dive into its trading platform and services

Our Verdict

Our Verdict

ETRADE offers a diverse range of trading platforms and services suitable for various types of investors. Their basic web platform is user-friendly, while the advanced Power ETRADE platform caters to active traders with its sophisticated tools. The availability of managed portfolio services makes it appealing to hands-off investors as well.

like Pros

  • User-friendly tools
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Advanced mobile application
  • Commission-free trading for stocks, options, mutual funds, and ETFs

dislike Cons

  • The interest rate on uninvested cash is low
  • The website's navigation can be challenging
star star star star star
Our ratings take into account a product's cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Starting price

No minimum

Fee to buy Amazon stock


Pricing system

Commission-free trading is available for all US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options

Who would benefit most from using E*TRADE?

E*TRADE stands out as a top choice for many types of investors. Novice and intermediate investors can take advantage of free access to financial consultants, trading experts, and a comprehensive educational platform.

Active traders will find the Power E*TRADE platform particularly appealing, thanks to its advanced charting tools, options strategies, and risk analysis features. Fundamental investors can make use of independent research reports and screening tools. E*TRADE's educational resources cater to investors and traders of all levels.

While E*TRADE meets the needs of many investors, it may not be ideal for everyone. Professional and frequent options traders might prefer a platform tailored to their specific needs, especially considering the absence of a journaling feature which could be crucial for some.

New investors might seek a platform offering fractional shares, such as Schwab or SoFi, to avoid investing all their capital in high-priced stocks. Those interested in cryptocurrency or forex trading will need to explore other brokers offering these features.

A notable downside across all experience levels is E*TRADE's customer service, which can be slow to respond via phone or chat. Email responses may take several days, which could be a drawback for some investors.

E*TRADE commissions and fees

E*TRADE's fees are in line with other online brokers we reviewed. They offer commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs, which is standard in the industry. Their options trading fee of $0.65 per contract ($0.50 per contract for active traders) is reasonable but not the lowest available.

One of E*TRADE's standout features is its offering of over 6,000 no-load, no-transaction fee mutual funds.

Margin rates at E*TRADE are competitive, starting at 7.79% and decreasing with higher balances, though traders looking for the lowest rates should consider Interactive Brokers or Zacks Trade.

E*TRADE may receive payment for order flow, which could impact day traders, but the company emphasizes its commitment to executing trades at the best possible prices.

For additional services, E*TRADE's fees are typical, such as $25 for outgoing wire transfers. However, it's worth noting their higher-than-average $75 fee for full account transfers out.

E*TRADE platform and technology

Account types

E*TRADE offers a diverse range of account types, including taxable brokerage accounts, tax-advantaged IRAs, Coverdell ESAs, and custodial accounts. Their IRA options cater to various needs, with options like the IRA for minors and the Complete IRA for retirement investors over 59 ½.

Business owners can choose from solo 401(k) plans, SIMPLE IRAs, and SEP IRAs. As interest rates rise, E*TRADE’s interest-bearing savings and checking cash management accounts may become more appealing.

The Power E*TRADE platform is designed for intermediate and advanced investors, offering a user-friendly interface and features like a live-streaming Bloomberg TV feed. With over 145 charting tools, options strategies, and risk probabilities, it competes with top trading platforms. Paper trading allows beginners to practice without risk, and other features like watchlists, alerts, screeners, and extended hours trading are available.

Order types on E*TRADE include day orders, stop limit orders, trailing stop orders, good til cancelled (GTC) orders, one cancels the other (OCO) orders, and various options trading orders from Level 1 to Level 4.

E*TRADE managed portfolios

E*TRADE provides managed portfolio services for investors who prefer a hands-off approach. These services are akin to robo-advisor and financial advisory products, with four levels of managed portfolios that cater to different investor types based on their minimum balance requirements.

E*TRADE Core Portfolios, with a minimum balance of $500, charges an annual fee of 0.30% of assets under management, slightly higher than competitors like Betterment and Wealthfront. After completing a questionnaire to determine goals and risk tolerance, users receive a portfolio of ETFs. A key benefit is access to live financial consultants.

E*TRADE Blend Portfolios and E*TRADE Dedicated Portfolios offer similar managed ETF portfolios tailored to individual goals, with higher minimum balance requirements and annual fees for more personalized financial advisor support. E*TRADE Fixed Income Portfolios, geared towards retirees, have the highest minimum balance requirement.

E*TRADE mobile apps

E*TRADE provides two mobile apps, one for the advanced Power E*TRADE platform and another for the basic web platform.

The basic app offers quotes, charts, and portfolio information, along with tools, screeners, research, and education resources.

The Power E*TRADE Advanced Trading app is geared towards traders and investors who need mobile access. While not as comprehensive as the desktop version, it allows for complex options and futures trades, in addition to basic stock and fund transactions. Users can access charts, technical studies, and pre-set scans on the go.

E*TRADE range of offerings

E*TRADE provides a wide range of trading options and is ranked among the top five brokers for available assets. Their financial consultants and trading specialists offer support for investors at all levels, from beginners to experienced traders. The platform is user-friendly, which is beneficial for new investors. With over 7,000 mutual funds and futures trading, E*TRADE caters to investors seeking these features.

Unique features include the Dime Buyback Program, which allows for covering short options for a fee. They also offer options on futures for commodities like oil, gold, and corn, which trade 24 hours a day, six days a week.

For futures traders, E*TRADE is a strong choice with access to micro e-mini contracts, no short restrictions, Bitcoin futures, and futures specialists. Like options, futures trading is available 24 hours a day, six days a week.

However, E*TRADE does not offer fractional shares, international trading, or foreign exchange trading (forex).

Offering Available
Stocks Yes
ETFs Yes
Mutual funds Yes
Bonds Yes
Options Yes
Futures Yes
Forex No
International markets No
Penny stocks Yes
Advisory services Yes
Cryptocurrency No
Fractional shares No
Cash management services Yes

E*TRADE research and education

E*TRADE stands out as one of the top online brokers in our analysis for its research and educational resources. Their educational materials cater to various learning styles, including articles, videos, online courses, and webinars, all organized in a clear and intuitive manner.


The platform offers real-time quotes and streaming market news, ideal for those closely monitoring financial markets. Organized lists of funds and stocks by various categories help inspire investment ideas. Most screeners and research tools are integrated into the Power E*TRADE trading platform.

E*TRADE provides comprehensive research materials for both fundamental and technical traders. Their tools and screeners help users narrow down their investment choices, while independent analyst research offers additional insights into individual assets.

The E*TRADE Futures Research Center, sponsored by CME Group, offers extensive educational resources for futures traders of all levels.


E*TRADE's educational resources cater to both beginner traders and advanced investors. Beginners can benefit from basic tutorials like "How to Buy a Stock Online," while advanced investors can explore topics like the "Iron Condor Options Strategy" webinar. Calculators and widgets allow for real-time analysis and projections.

Their educational offerings cover a wide range of topics, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, options, margin, retirement planning, taxes, and platform demonstrations.

E*TRADE customer service and security

We conducted thorough customer service testing via phone, email, and text and found that E*TRADE's customer service lags behind several of its larger competitors in terms of wait times and responsiveness.

Calls made after 7:00 pm were not answered within 10 minutes. Of the seven emails we sent, half received a response within one day, while the others took two or three days. Text chat was also unresponsive.

Despite these shortcomings, E*TRADE's security and insurance measures are exemplary. Their security features include firewalls, 128-bit encryption, two-factor authentication, and mobile security features. In terms of insurance, they offer the standard SIPC coverage of $500,000, supplemented by an additional $1 billion for cash and securities. However, it's important to note that no insurance protects against declines in the market value of assets.

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