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Investing

E*TRADE review: Try your hand at trading or automate your investing with this popular broker

The brokerage offers a variety of tools for every type of investor.

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Whether you're a beginner or experienced investor, E*TRADE makes it easy to trade stocks, bonds, index funds and more.

E*TRADE, a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, is an electronic trading platform for investors. The brokerage's popular tools allow users to track their investments' performance and other market news.

Newbies just starting out can access E*TRADE's educational webinars to learn about important investing topics like diversifying your portfolio, while seasoned traders can use the advanced Power E*TRADE investing app and get access to tools like a market dashboard and technical charts.

Below, Select reviews E*TRADE's offerings to give you the details on the investment options, features and fees so you can decide if it's right for your needs.

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E*TRADE review

E*TRADE

  • Minimum deposit and balance

    Minimum deposit and balance requirements may vary depending on the investment vehicle selected. No minimum to open an E*TRADE brokerage account; minimum $500 deposit to invest in robo-advisor platform Core Portfolios

  • Fees

    Fees may vary depending on the investment vehicle selected. Zero commission fees for stock, ETF and options trades; zero transaction fees for over 4,400 mutual funds; robo-advisor Core Portfolios charges 0.30% annual advisory fee

  • Bonus

    For a limited time only: Get up to $3,500 when you open and fund a new eligible retirement or brokerage account within 60 days of account opening, using promo code: REWARD22. Deposit minimums start at $10,000, and the more you deposit, the more you earn. Offer ends Mar. 1, 2022

  • Investment vehicles

    Robo-advisor: E*TRADE Core Portfolios IRA: E*TRADE Traditional, Roth, Rollover, Beneficiary, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, IRA for Minors and E*TRADE Complete™ IRA Brokerage and trading: E*TRADE Trading Other: E*TRADE Coverdell ESA (Education Savings Account), Custodial Account for minors and small business retirement plans

  • Investment options

    Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs, ETFs, options and futures

  • Educational resources

    Educational library includes in-depth articles and videos for any type of investor

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No commission fees for stock, ETF and options trades
  • No transaction fees for over 4,400 mutual funds
  • Limited-time bonus being offered
  • Automated investing through Core Portfolios platform (minimum required)
  • E*TRADE Coverdell ESA helps you save for college early on
  • Active traders receive volume discounts on options
  • Free analyst research and investing tools
  • Strong mobile platform

Cons

  • Robo-advisor Core Portfolios requires minimum $500 to enroll and charges 0.30% annual advisory fee
  • Website may be cumbersome to wade through
  • No forex trading

Investment options

E*TRADE account holders have the ability to buy and sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs, ETFs, options and futures, though there is no forex or crypto trading. You also cannot purchase fractional shares of stocks unlike some other brokerages that offer the feature, including Robinhood and Fidelity.

While E*TRADE offers normal, taxable brokerage accounts, it also offers a number of other account types.

For beginners, there is an automated investing option through E*TRADE's Core Portfolios. The Core Portfolios platform is essentially a robo-advisor where you provide your investing goals and risk tolerance and E*TRADE experts (along with automated technology) build and manage a diversified portfolio for you.

Retirement savers can tap into one of E*TRADE's many different IRAs offered, from traditional, to Roth, Rollover and Beneficiary IRAs, to name a few. Investors over age 59½ can get immediate access to their IRA savings through the E*TRADE Complete™ IRA. And for parents who want to start saving for their child's college education, there is an E*TRADE Coverdell ESA (Education Savings Account) that allows for tax-free withdrawals for qualified educational expenses, such as tuition and books.

Features

E*TRADE stands out mostly for its educational resources that help you invest your money, no matter which route you choose.

There is a library of in-depth articles and videos, as well as free analyst research and investing tools. While some reviews indicate that the E*TRADE website is cumbersome, E*TRADE has a strong mobile platform.

New users can also score a limited-time bonus right now: Get up to $3,500 when you open and fund a new eligible retirement or brokerage account within 60 days of account opening, using promo code: REWARD22. Deposit minimums start at $10,000, and the more you deposit, the more you earn. This offer ends Mar. 1, 2022.

The E*TRADE app is available to download for free in both the App Store (for iOS), where it has 4.6/5 stars, and on Google Play (for Android), where it has 4.3/5 stars at the time this article was written.‎ The free Power E*TRADE advanced trading app, which is what we recommend for seasoned traders, has 4.5/5 stars in the App Store and 3.8/5 stars on Google Play.

Fees

Zero-commission trades (i.e. you won't pay a fee to buy or sell a security) can be made with stocks, ETFs and options, and there are no transaction fees for over 4,400 mutual funds. E*TRADE's ETFs have low expense ratios (similar to ones from Vanguard).

Minimum deposit and balance requirements vary depending on the E*TRADE account you select. While there is no minimum to open an E*TRADE brokerage account, there is a minimum $500 deposit to invest in E*TRADE's robo-advisor platform Core Portfolios. Core Portfolios also charges a 0.30% annual advisory fee.

Bottom line

E*TRADE has something for everyone, from brokerage accounts for you and your child, to automated investing platforms that do the work for you. Experienced investors can also take advantage of the Power E*TRADE platform, packed with charts and market tools.

If you're interested in the robo-advisor element of E*TRADE, you may want to first check out alternatives such as SoFi Invest, whose automated investing platform has zero account management fees and no minimum requirements. It offers a broad range of low-cost ETFs and will automatically rebalance your portfolio on a quarterly basis. Read our full SoFi Invest review.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.