ETRADE in Phoenix, AZ is the godfather of online brokerage. There is no other way to look at it. They are often imitated, but never duplicated. Many people sign up with ETRADE looking for an easier way to research and trade stocks online, all without the interaction of a broker. This is possible through a flat pricing structure that is combined with one of the best web-based interfaces on the Internet. To date, ETRADE’s usability has not been matched in the online trading world.
The system offers plenty of research, is easy to use and gives users a chance to place trades quickly and efficiently. If there is a need to contact customer service, they are available to help you whenever you need them. They are prompt and helpful, available to solve your problems quickly. If you are searching for a viable online brokerage firm, ETRADE is it.
Even though ETRADE’s online version of the business hasn’t been operational for that long, the overall business has been going strong for over 30 years, found in 1982. The online brokerage platform is most known for their “ETRADE baby” commercials. Whether you are a new investor, or a seasoned one that has 20 years experience, you should see how ETRADE can help you expand your portfolio. Over the past several years, ETRADE has received numerous awards, including: Kiplinger’s 2012 Top Online Broker, 4 of 5 stars in Barron’s 2013 Best Online Broker, and many more.
ETRADE is one of the Internet’s largest online brokerage platforms, so you’d expect special things from them. In a nutshell, the website isn’t that bad. The platform itself can be navigated well, which allows for easy account management. If ETRADE adds a new application, you will notice it’s done seamlessly and quickly. In fact, that is how using the trading screens can be – seamless and quick.
Every trader will benefit from the system’s flat rate commission, even though the price is a little higher than the competitors. Many traders do not care about the price because they like knowing what they are paying without having additional mark-ups per shares. ETRADE is known for its customer service, flat rates and usability, so remember that when choosing an online brokerage firm. You will notice that the online platform is simple to use as soon as you pull up the webpage. It’s very easy to locate all the info you want and need.
If you open up an account, you will gain access to free real-time quotes. This service is a great way to help anyone make their investment decisions. Why? For one, not all online brokers offer this kind of service. There is an advanced trading platform but traders need $25,000 or more in their account before using this feature. Plus, you’ll need to make trades regularly to keep this feature. If you are an active trader, this is a huge plus to have.
Commissions and Fees
ETRADE’s structure fees are priced to attract the larger investors. That doesn’t mean that the “Average Joe” won’t be interested in dealing with the platform. The have two fee structures, which are based on what you are trading. The idea is how much you are going to trade – the more, the better. Stock trades, of course, start at $7.99. However, they are only at this price if you meet 150 trades or more per quarter. The commercials do not tell you that part though. If you fail to meet the quota, the price goes up to $9.99 per stock. Options are the same way – $7.99 if you hit 150 or more and $9.99 if you don’t. However, there is a $0.75 per contract fee no matter what type of volume your account brings.
Another fee you might want to consider is the broker fee. If broker assisted trades are in your future, count on spending $45.00 per trade including other associated fees. If you look at the competitors, ETRADE is one of the lowest charging company’s in that category. Margin rates range from 0.25% below and 4.30% above base. With many brokers, margins are based on your debt balance. Again, pricing structure is largely designed for the heavy investors.
The important thing to remember when investing is that there will always be fees to consider. You should think about things like transfer fees, check request fees, stock certificate fees, paper statement fees, outgoing wire transfer fees, etc. It is all about money for the industry, just make sure you are the one pocketing it and not the company.
The ETRADE platform is easy to use and will offer up plenty of research. There isn’t a better customizable landing page on the market today. One of the most powerful features ETRADE has is its stock research options. Integrated with TREFIS, they are able to break down a stock’s price where almost anyone can understand it. They even provide third-party research from Standard & Poor’s, Smart Consensus, Market Edge and Thomson Reuters. Using these types of services could justify ETRADE’s higher than average online trading fees.
Customer service is a huge part of why ETRADE is successful. Although, no one can honestly say it’s the best when it comes to email, mail and telephone support, it’s really close. The good thing about it is that the support they do provide is unique to the online brokerage industry. There are live agents in more than 25 branches across the U.S. That doesn’t mean you just have to call in and wait for 10 or 15 minutes. If you live by one of these branches, you could actually visit one of the locations for support!
Mobile Trading Capability
ETRADE excels in plenty of things, and mobile device support is one of them. You can trade anywhere and at any time. The devices that support ETRADE are:
- Windows Phone
- Apple iPhone/iPad
- Kindle Fire
Whatever can be done on the website can be done on the mobile site according to ETRADE support. However, they do say that the Windows Phone version does have limited capability with some things. If you are using the iPad, it is just like using the web version. In fact, there is no difference at all. If you are a trader on the go, this is a perfect way to stay up-to-date on your trades.
Platforms & Tools
If you are an active trader, then ETRADE is the right online brokerage system for you. Actually, in terms of Internet applications, there isn’t a better one available. Any customer can use it if they execute 30 options or stocks per quarter. ETRADE Pro is an awesome addition to any trader’s portfolio and comes with:
- Strategy Scanner – Easily spots trends with its powerful technical screener
- Live streaming CNBC – Keep your eye on the latest news
- Free Nasdaq TotalView – Get trading opportunities and access to better information
- Streaming news – Monitor the stocks you are holding
- Industry & Sector Tracker – Get a bird’s eye view of what’s going on
- Navigation console that’s easy to use – Quick trades that are easy to execute
For you to take advantage of this, all you need it a $2,000 minimum deposit. If you are an advanced trader, ETRADE offers a way to automate trades now.
Once you open up an account, you have access to plenty of trading options like EFTs, Fixed Income, Bonds, Futures, Forex, Managed Account Solutions, International Investing, Options, Mutual Funds Stocks, Select Portfolios, and Capital Management and so on. This will allow you to diversify your portfolio, helping you keep track of it. Investing it in just one product or multiple products, it’s all up to you.
With the flurry of tools ETRADE gives traders, you’ll be able to expect what your investment will bring. You’ll have help, especially on what decisions to make and what you should invest in. This means you should stand to make a good bit of money with this platform. ETRADE is a great platform for experienced and beginners alike. The tools are vigorous and have plenty more to offer than other brokers. They even have educational material available to help you make sound investment decisions.
ETRADE has been for many years, but in various ways they haven’t kept up with other online brokerage firms. They’ve narrowed services to focus more on investing instead of financial services as a whole (like they used to). Even though they offer plenty of services for the casual investor, many of them are catered towards active traders. With that being said, if you aren’t an active trader you might want to steer clear of this platform.
Now, if you are looking for research tools, this firm has all you need. TREFIS, the tool ETRADE uses, is unique and is quite useful when you go to research stocks. Yes, ETRADE isn’t the lowest brokers on the market. In fact, they aren’t close but their site is pretty great in terms of usability. Plus the trades executed go through fast and customer service is top-notch.