Content of the material
- About the Author
- Get Started With a $100 Deposit
- Enjoy Unlimited ATM Fee Refunds
- Pros: Where E-Trade stands out
- Funds without transaction fees
- Tradable securities
- Discounted options commissions
- Trading platforms
- Customer service
- Research and education
- What you get with an E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley brokerage account
About the Author
Matt Frankel, CFP®
Matt is a Certified Financial Planner® and investment advisor based in Columbia, South Carolina. He writes personal finance and investment advice for The Ascent and its parent company The Motley Fool, with more than 4,500 published articles and a 2017 SABEW Best in Business award. Matt writes a weekly investment column (“Ask a Fool”) that is syndicated in USA Today, and his work has been regularly featured on CNBC, Fox Business, MSN Money, and many other major outlets. He’s a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Nova Southeastern University, and holds a graduate certificate in financial planning from Florida State University.
For those just getting started, E*TRADE offers articles, videos, classes, and a library of materials on financial topics. E*TRADE’s Knowledge Center focuses on new investors, long-term planning, and tax planning, as well as advanced topics like options and futures. E*TRADE facilitates a full calendar of events, including free live in-person events and online webinars, designed to help investors hone their skills and feel more confident in their investing decisions.
Investors have access to the full library on a range of financial topics and areas of interest. They can also access a range of platform demos to learn how to use the E*TRADE tools and platforms. The Knowledge Center is a free resource for all site visitors, regardless if they have an E*TRADE account or not. Users can even hone their skills and test strategies without committing real money using E*TRADE’s Power E*TRADE platform for paper trading.
Get Started With a $100 Deposit
Be mindful that there’s a minimum opening deposit requirement for the E*TRADE Max-Rate Checking account.
You’ll need a minimum opening deposit of $100.
This is slightly higher than what some checking accounts require.
But considering how this account rewards you with interest, the minimum opening deposit is on par with the requirement for other interest-bearing accounts.
Some money market accounts and certificate of deposits have similar requirements.
Enjoy Unlimited ATM Fee Refunds
One benefit of opening a checking account is being able to visit an ATM anytime and withdraw cash from your account.
But unfortunately, ATM withdrawals are often accompanied by fees. More so if you use an ATM outside of your bank’s network.
Depending on how often you go to the ATM, fees can add up considerably over the years.
For this reason, E*TRADE’s Max-Rate Checking account is worth considering if you’re looking to get away from these fees.
Open this account and E*TRADE will never charge a fee for ATM withdrawals, meaning you can go to any ATM nationwide.
In such a scenario, however, the owner of the ATM may charge a fee.
No worries, though.
Any ATM fees you’re charged by another bank are automatically credited to your checking account. This takes the stress and hassles out of accessing your money.
Rather than drive around town and waste gas finding an in-network ATM, you can stop at the closest ATM, get your cash, and move on with your day.
Pros: Where E-Trade stands out
Funds without transaction fees
E-Trade offers more than 4,400 no-load, no-transaction-fee mutual funds, among the upper echelon in the industry. Yes, Interactive Brokers has more total no-transaction-fee mutual funds, but E-Trade offers more than enough funds to find what you need. Plus, you’ll be able to set up a recurring investment in mutual funds for as little as $25 per scheduled investment.
E-Trade offers all its ETFs commission-free, adding a solid complement to the wealth of mutual funds. Of course, while mutual funds and ETFs may not have a commission, investors still must pay the fund company’s expense ratio, which is deducted seamlessly from the fund itself.
E-Trade offers the standard range of investment choices, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, options and mutual funds. That’s the core for most brokers, but E-Trade also provides one of the lesser-offered asset classes – futures. That offering puts it among a handful of brokers who allow customers to trade one of the fastest-paced and high-risk securities in the market. While that probably has limited appeal for newer investors, more advanced traders may find the addition a bonus.
E-Trade does not currently offer trading in cryptocurrencies directly, but you can purchase investments related to crypto such as futures or ETFs.
Discounted options commissions
Like most of the industry, E-Trade’s basic commission for stock and ETF trades has been slashed to $0. But unlike many rivals, the broker offers a discounted commission for options trades. The standard price is $0.65 per contract, but if you make more than 30 stock, ETF or options trades each quarter, the options commission declines to $0.50 per contract. So there’s definitely some incentive for high-volume traders to operate here.
E-Trade’s account minimum is just $0, so you can get started without adding any money to your account, though of course you won’t be able to buy anything until you fund the account. E-Trade has long offered no minimum for IRA accounts. No account minimum puts the broker in line with all the other major online brokers.
The real standout here is E-Trade’s flagship platform, Power E-Trade, but the broker’s base platform, called E-Trade Web, offers a solid package, too. It’s for investors who don’t require all the advanced trading analysis but are still looking for a platform that helps source ideas.
The web platform provides streaming quotes, charts and market commentary. Its screeners will help you select the stocks, bonds or funds that meet your needs. You can analyze options trades and backtest trading strategies, and you’ll have access to research here, too.
And for mobile traders, the broker offers E-Trade Mobile, the base trading app. It’s available for both Apple and Android devices, including the Apple Watch. The app allows you to trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds and multi-legged options, and you’ll be able to access Bloomberg TV, research and news as well.
The app also allows you to do a few of the more mundane financial tasks, such as deposit checks, transfer money and pay bills, so it’s not all about trading.
E-Trade also stands out for its customer service, offering help through email, online chat and the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This level of service is seen at other major online brokers like Charles Schwab, but is rare among lower-tier brokers. You might not always be conducting your financial business during normal business hours and it’s nice to know that your broker will always be available to answer any questions you may have.
Research and education
E-Trade gets high marks here, too. The broker provides its own daily commentary on the markets and offers third-party research. Independent research includes stock reports from Thomson Reuters and TipRanks, and fund analysis from Morningstar, among others. It’s a broad array of research that’s offered to clients at no additional charge.
If you’re just getting started, E-Trade has you covered with tons of articles, videos and classes as well as a library of finance topics. You’ll also be able to attend webinars or live events on investing topics, from the basics to complex trading strategies for those looking for an edge. Plus, you’ll get E-Trade’s commentary on the markets and what’s trending.
What you get with an E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley brokerage account
We have tools to help make investing easy. You’ll get a full range of investment choices. Ideas of what to invest in. Easy-to-use trading tools. And help whenever you need it.
E*TRADE’s pricing structure and fees are very clear and transparent. For example, the broker has a webpage dedicated to rates and pricing, highlighting costs associated with brokerage fees, margin trading and more. There have been no major regulatory actions brought against E*TRADE recently.