{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

FB @ thefreebiescode.com April 19, 2009 at 8:20 pm

This is your opinion. I don’t know what class you base your review on. If you decide to base you review on someone making $20,000 a year and the person make only 10 trades, then the commission fee is a lot. In scottrade, you can buy stock for $7 compared with etrade that costs $13 for buying a stock . It is only day traders that make 1500 trades a year.

Silicon Valley Blogger April 19, 2009 at 8:36 pm

ETrade is not the cheapest broker around (TradeKing, Zecco and OptionsHouse are), but they’re well regarded. I’ve been reviewing the well-known online brokers for a while now, and it was ETrade’s turn.

Also, it’s possible that not everyone opens an account with a broker purely because of price. To me, it’s all about value — if I find that a broker offers me good value, service and works well for my purposes, I keep an account with them. ETrade has the advantage of a product that is both an investment account and a cash management account in one (they called it an integrated account, and yes, ING has the same set up). I also know many people who trade at full service brokerages and who refuse to go with discount brokers (even though they are heavy traders) for various reasons. So it all depends on what you’re looking for in a broker. I won’t disagree with you that most people will look at commission costs to determine their choice of brokerage.

jim April 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

I use both E*Trade and TradeKing but I prefer TradeKing mostly because of price, $4.95 trumps $12.99 a trade (or even the $9.99 I’m paying).

Silicon Valley Blogger April 22, 2009 at 2:39 pm

I have my money spread around a few brokerages for diversification purposes. And ETrade has served me well.

Dhani Ram June 28, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Yes, ETrade is best. Not because of price but of the value and the services. So many good services for little money. If you look at all the infrastucture provided, it’s actualy cheaper. “QUALITY IS ALWAYS CHEAPER IN THE LONG RUN”.

Rina August 11, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I had my money in a brokerage firm that ETrade bought. Hadn’t heard much of them till that point but now I’m pretty happy with my account with them. I have ETrade’s index fund and so far I’ve done well with it over the long term. I like their customer service too. I’d recommend them to anyone.

Eric August 13, 2009 at 6:02 pm

etrade is HORRIBLE where it counts. Their commissions are really high and they have a TON of hidden fees. They charge you $25 just to transfer money electronically to your bank account. I decided to leave etrade after they charged me a $20 reorganization fee and billed an account I set up for my son $80 for inactivity (the account only had $200 in it for my son to practice with). Now its costing me another $120 just to get my money away from these crooks. I called them and just got the “tough s**t” response. They have $225 of my money that they shouldn’t have. Take your business somewhere else, these people are thieves. There are other brokers out there that don’t charge ANY of these fees.

Immobilier September 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Hi,
Very well documented article.
Thanks for this info (that I’ve discovered) and good coverage.
-A French reader.

Billy September 28, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I’ve been using etrade for a couple years now, and it had been going great for me, until I started (and rapidly) losing money in my portfolio. I knew these companies were going to raise back up, which they did. So I held onto my stocks and made no trades for a few months, then I got hit with a $40 service fee. Yes, if you don’t make the set amount of trades per quarter, you’ll get hit with a $40 penalty!! So if you wanted to make a long-term portfolio and hold onto it, you’ll be paying $160 a year in service charges! that’s something you need to keep in mind if you decide to use them.

On the other hand though, and this was the reason I started using Etrade and never switched, for the $13 trade commission rate, you get an outstanding effective service that is incredibly fast! What I mean is that I’ve never had a problem getting rid of nor buying a limit stock! I ask to sell at this much, and they have my shares sold almost immediately, and they’ve never failed. So the $13 price is great in that sense, the $40 is Not!

Greg Winter November 10, 2009 at 8:41 am

ETRADE sucks. Period. I hope you didn’t have anything invested in ETSPX when ETRADE unilaterally liquidated the fund and didn’t tell their investors last March, when the Index hit its absolute rock bottom.

Not only that, once you have money in ETRADE, it’s impossible to transfer it out. Try on a $60 transfer fee per account to transfer CASH!

And, their customer service is the worst. Go ahead and try to find a contact phone number or even an e-mail address to get answers to your questions. They also like to notify you through hidden “alerts” that are so hard to find, but are critical to managing your accounts.

Avoid ETRADE at all costs!!!! Check out other websites and the number of complaints against ETRADE is staggering.

I too had been using ETRADE since 1995. I used to LOVE them. But after this little scam I hate them to the core and plan to destroy them.

Rick December 28, 2009 at 9:45 am

Etrade is a total nightmare. Rina said on 8/11/2009 that her Etrade index funds have done well. In fact, Etrade liquidated its index funds in March 2009 (at a market bottom) without telling it clients. I’ve been trying to get my IRA money out of Etrade for 5 months and they simply won’t do it.

DoninVA January 5, 2010 at 8:15 pm

I’ve used ETrade for many years and have always been very satisfied. Excellent year end documents for tax time. Easy to buy and sell. I even bought a very small amount of their stock in my “mad money” account.

Matt Shoemaker February 18, 2010 at 9:58 am

There’s an excellent Power E-Trade Pro Review at the following trading forum site. The review covers a lot of the software functionality but doesn’t really touch on pricing. The “Pro” platform from E-Trade seems to be intended for day traders and other more active investors.

Anna August 7, 2010 at 3:11 am

ETrade Pro Platform is great. I have used it at my last job.

joe September 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I like Charles Schwab :))) I also like Elvis Presley :)

Ashton @ cashcourse101.com October 19, 2010 at 9:29 pm

You’re on crack to join Etrade. The worst company service. There are way too many bad reviews and complaints about this company. I would not waste my time. It’s easier to use share builder.

Poe November 11, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Can you use margin?

Silicon Valley Blogger November 11, 2010 at 7:00 pm

@Poe,
All brokers allow you to create margin accounts, subject to some requirements they have. You’ll have to check their terms & conditions for details.

John Rowe March 22, 2011 at 10:34 am

Don’t know what the beef is with ETrade. I personally like them — I have a diversified portfolio and am mostly a passive investor and from my experience, it’s worked out well. It has a varied set of products and tools to offer the small investor. Many times, people blame the broker when they should blame themselves — a lot of people trade based on how they feel, their gut instinct, intuition or emotion. Then when things fall apart, they want someone to point the finger on. I hear this a lot amongst my investor friends — they complain that the broker did this or that. Most people who comment just want to vent, imo.

DIY Investor March 30, 2012 at 5:10 am

One question. And this applies to many reviews of brokers. Does E*Trade calculate performance for customers and compare it to a benchmark? I wonder: do investors even care about performance? I ask people and they look stunned. They don’t know their performance. Many brokers offer great technology and research that enables trading because that’s what generates commissions. Most fall short on client friendly performance measurement technology. Maybe that’s because they don’t want clients to see a bottom line number of their performance results.

Schwab, for one, offers performance versus a benchmark that is up-to-date — forget having to wait for end-of-quarter reports. To me this counts for a lot.

I am not affiliated with Schwab.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 30, 2012 at 9:20 am

@DIY,
Regarding performance measurement tools — I haven’t seen the kind of direction you describe as commonly available among brokers. Certain ones (like Schwab), yes. I’ve seen it with some mutual fund companies too (some have brokerage arms), but such functionality doesn’t seem to be widespread. For analytics, I often find myself using resources like Morningstar more often. You raise some interesting points!

Jason May 10, 2012 at 7:25 am

Etrade sucks. I just transfered my 401k over there. They said they would give me real timie quotes and one day it all of a sudden changed to 20 minute delay. I’m an option trader so really doesnt work for me. Plus there website sucks. It is very difficult to use. Not to mention the online trader sucks. I am sending all money to tdameritrade. I have used them for 10 years and never had a problem. Only reason I went with etrade is the mutual funds I wanted were going to financially benefit me there, Well, my mistake. In summary, DO NOT USE ETRADE!!!

In Day Trading August 30, 2012 at 5:14 am

You must perform comprehensive research on brokers before opening accounts. Make sure you email or call them to ask for all the things you’re concerned about before sending any funds to them. Also check the web for anything negative about the broker. A good place is Forex Peace Army web forum: they will have a lot of info on all brokers and service providers worldwide.

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