E-Trade Review: Low-Cost Brokerage for Active Traders

Find out if E-Trade or E-Trade Pro are right for you.

E-Trade is one of the better-known online brokers, providing its customers with fast, easy access to stock trading and investing options at the click of a mouse or a swipe of the finger. If you’re looking for an easy way to trade mutual funds or bonds without paying an excessive commission, E-Trade can fit the bill.

Use this E -Trade review to take a closer look at what E-Trade offers, what commissions and fees it charges, and whether this broker might be right for you.

E-Trade Review
E-Trade HighlightsDiscounts for active traders
Variety of commission-free ETFs
E-Trade LowlightsHigher costs for less-active traders
Higher fees on no-load mutual funds

What You Need to Know About E-Trade

Who E-Trade is best for: Active traders

If you’re an active trader who makes 30 or more trades a month, the volume discount puts the trading costs at E-Trade in line with the other low-cost options. If you aren’t that active, however, you could be paying unnecessary commissions, especially with the availability of investment apps that offer free trading.

E-Trade at a Glance
Stock/ETF Trades$6.95
Volume discount available
Selected commission-free ETFs
Options Trades$6.95
Plus $0.75 per contract
Bond Trades$1
Free trading on U.S. Treasuries
Load Mutual Funds$0
No-Load Mutual Funds$19.99
Account Minimum$500
Promotional OffersUp to $2,500 and 500 free trades
Offer contingent on deposit size
Free trades only available for 60 days

Consider: The Best Roth IRA Accounts

Should You Use E-Trade?

There’s an emphasis on the more active, engaged trader at E-Trade, as most investors likely aren’t going to need anywhere near 30 trades a month, and the Optionshouse platform appears to be geared toward day traders and other highly active traders looking for professional-level tools.

If you’re a passive investor, however, and the list of 150-plus commission-free ETFs appeals to you, you might still find a home at E-Trade. The cost of trading stocks will be a little higher than some other options, but you can avoid that by sticking to load mutual funds and commission-free ETFs.

Also See: The Best 401k Companies

And if you’re more interested in investment management, E-Trade can accommodate you with available financial consultants and retirement specialists available to talk. They be accessed by phone, and E-Trade also has physical branches in 30 cities across 17 states.

Still, the $6.95 per trade commission on trading stocks and ETFs not on their commission-free list is more than you need to pay for brokerage services, so unless you’re an active trader looking for a platform geared toward you, research carefully before settling on E-Trade. If you are going to be making 30 or more trades a month, E-Trade offers trading at competitive rates with a highly regarded platform.

Learn: How to Find Your E-Trade Routing Number

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    This content is not provided by E-Trade. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by E-Trade.