PROS / E*TRADE offers three different trading platforms to meet the needs of both average and advanced traders.
CONS / This online brokerage doesn’t offer forecasting tools to help you plan trading strategies based on a stock's predicted future performances.
VERDICT / Although it's more expensive than many other services, E*TRADE offers forex and futures trading as well as a variety of educational resources, making it a solid choice.
Editor's Note: E*TRADE has changed it pricing. Commissions on trades are now $6.95, and high-volume traders will be charged a commission of $4.95. Our current review and matrix reflect the old pricing, but they will be updated shortly.
E*TRADE is geared toward meeting both simple and advanced online stock trading needs. It offers a full range of investment options, including forex and futures. If you choose to explore forex and trading options, be aware that they involve more advanced trading and more risk than other investments.
Three online trading platforms are available: E*TRADE 360, E*TRADE PRO and mobile platforms. The E*TRADE 360 platform is easy to use and customizable. It uses charts and graphs to display your account's progress and current activity. You can choose which windows you want to view based on what data is most important to you. Choices include streaming market data and watchlists to help you track important stocks.
The advanced E*TRADE Pro platform is designed for active online stock traders who place 30 or more trades per month. It has additional features, such as in-depth trading and analysis tools, streaming market data, and live CNBC as well as a number of charts and extended trading hours.
Mobile trading is available on iPhone, Android devices, tablets and the Windows phone. The Android and iPhone apps have the most complete set of features, including CNBC on demand and real-time alerts. The tablet and Windows phone apps do not have the same level of features, but they do allow you to continue online trading away from your desktop.
The cost to buy stocks online, as well as options and exchange-traded funds, is $9.99. This fee is more expensive than most of the other services we reviewed. However, if you make more than 150 trades per quarter, this prices drops to $7.99. Broker-assisted trades cost $25. To open an account, a minimum deposit of $500 is required.
This online brokerage provides thorough educational resources on stock trading online, including a retirement planning toolkit to help you plan investment strategies for your future. A key feature of the education center is the recorded webinars that cover a range of topics, such as choosing the right retirement account and diversifying your portfolio. In addition to the webinars, the company provides investment guides, online investment courses, articles and live events at E*TRADE locations. E*TRADE financial also offers a simulated trading environment so you can practice on the platform and develop trading strategies.
E*TRADE is a full-service online stock broker that offers different trading platforms to meet both basic and advanced trading needs. The E*TRADE 360 platform is a good option for an average investor and the E*TRADE Pro platform provides advanced tools for active traders. No matter what type of online trading you do, you can access your accounts on the go with the mobile platforms. The website has an exceptional offering of education resources to help you further explore your investment options. Overall, E*TRADE is a good, though somewhat expensive, choice for online stock trading.