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.

    About the Author

    Joel Anderson is a business and finance writer with over a decade of experience writing about the wide world of finance. Based in Los Angeles, he specializes in writing about the financial markets, stocks, macroeconomic concepts and focuses on helping make complex financial concepts digestible for the retail investor.