E*TRADE Review: One of the Original Online Brokers
Almost every E*TRADE review floating around the internet since 1991 is positive in most aspects. This is when it debuted as one of the original online brokerages—despite being founded nearly a decade earlier as a company called TradePlus. Today, E*TRADE remains one of the most respected names for stock trading and investing. The question is, why is E*TRADE good? Below, we’ll dive into what the company does well and why this brokerage remains one of the most reputed for new and seasoned investors alike.
What is E*TRADE?
E*TRADE is a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley (acquired in October 2020), a respected brokerage in its own right. While most people know the company because of its humorous “E*TRADE baby” viral advertising in 2008-2014, the company’s platform is one of the most respected. Today, E*TRADE is home to 5.2 million retail brokerage accounts.
The Benefits of E*TRADE
E*TRADE’s long history as an online broker has put it on the cutting edge of many industry trends — namely the decision to eliminate trading commissions. As each E*TRADE review notes, the company is consistently one of the most competitive on pricing and fees, which is great for most investors. Aside from a full cash-out fee of $75, the company’s fee structure shakes out nicely for investors:
- Zero commissions on trades
- No account minimums
- Low robo-advisor fee of 0.30%
- No annual fees
- No base commission on options ($0.65 contracts)
- Commission-free ETFs
In addition to its low-to-no brokerage fee structure, E*TRADE is also widely touted for its many trading resources. As one of the original online brokers, E*TRADE’s digital resources are hard to beat, including three online trade platforms (E*TRADE Web, Power E*TRADE and E*TRADE Pro), as well as iOS- and Android-native apps. Investors will have no trouble brokering trades no matter where they are. Oh yeah, they have an Apple Watch widget, too!
Despite its online-centric business model, E*TRADE’s real-world support is hard to beat, too. The company offers 24/7 phone, email and mobile support across 30 physical locations, with chatbots available and a prolific array of FAQ resources.
Finally, access to extensive resources for research makes E*TRADE a standout brokerage. Many E*TRADE reviews fail to mention that the company has a never-ending selection of technical studies, charts, streaming quotes and news, as well as live webinars open to any account holder.
The only real drawback of E*TRADE is the complexity of its website and the organization of its resources. While seasoned investors might not have much of an issue navigating the many tools on its web platform, newbies might find themselves lost. It can be difficult to find information. Thankfully, this is easily remedied by the company’s stellar customer service resources.
Not necessarily a drawback but something to be aware of is Morgan Stanley’s recent acquisition of E*TRADE. The deal went through on October 12 for $13 billion, bringing E*TRADE and its services under the Morgan Stanley umbrella. It’s unknown whether current E*TRADE account holders will maintain their accounts. Or, if those will roll into Morgan Stanley accounts after the merger is complete. Regardless, change is unlikely to come anytime soon. And, when it does, E*TRADE account holders might get even more peace of mind since Morgan Stanley is a top-rated broker.
Who Will Get the Most out of This Platform?
This E*TRADE review points to seasoned investors gaining the most from an E*TRADE account. The complexity of the platform and the high-level tools available make it a great option for seasoned traders. Moreover, the low-to-no fee structure make it perfect for frequent traders looking to make complex trades without commissions eating into profits.
New and casual investors will find much more functionality and opportunity from E*TRADE’s mobile apps. They’re much simpler and easier to navigate. The stellar customer service of the company is also a welcome relief for new investors. Especially if you need a little extra help as you get acclimated to the platform.
With the looming presence of the Morgan Stanley acquisition to consider, it’s safe to say that investors using E*TRADE will find themselves satisfied with their investing experience. However, if you’re looking for competitor analysis and stock market trends unlike anywhere else, sign up for the Trade of the Day e-letter below. You’ll gain daily access to more extensive research and insights that compliment this E*TRADE review perfectly.