When you make an investment, you want to make sure that you are using the best possible investment service for the money. You want to know that your money is safe and that you aren't involved in some sort of a scam. However, with so many online brokerage companies to choose from, with so many different trading services and fees it can be difficult to be sure of your decision. One of the most popular of these online brokerage companies is Etrade. You've seen the commercials and you've heard the name. But are those low fees on trades too good to be true? If it's so easy their talking baby can do it, is there something fishy going on here?
About Etrade E Trade Financial Corporation is a United States holding company based out of New York City, New York. The main goal of Etrade is to offer self-directed investors the opportunity to purchase discounted stocks and securities online. Etrade investors can sell or buy all types of securities including exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, options, bonds, and stocks. Securities may be traded via phone, electronic trading platforms, or E-Trade Mobile Pro. Etrade also offers some lending and banking services, including credit cards, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, savings accounts, and checking accounts. E-Trade Financial Corporation owns a subsidiary known as E-Trade Bank.
Positives of Etrade On Etrade, investors can find trades for only $9.99 each. For active traders who make more than 150 trades per month, trades cost only $7.99 each. The company provides access to more than 7,500 mutual funds, a variety of research tools, and several free education resources. Etrade also offers customer service 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Etrade allows its investors access to a wide range of investment products, including those offered by foreign entities. There are also excellent mobile applications available that allow investors to access their Etrade account from their smart phones. The process of setting up an account with Etrade is quick and simple. It involves no paperwork and can be completed entirely online in less than 15 minutes. To sign up with Etrade, all you need is your Social Security Number, your address, and your employer's name and address. There is no minimum initial deposit required for employee stock, custodial, or retirement accounts.
Negatives of Etrade Though Etrade sometimes offers securities for less than $9.99, you must be an active investor to take advantage of this opportunity. Although Etrade provides constant customer service via telephone, its website does not have a live chat feature. The commissions and fees the service charges may also seem too high if you do not make a large number of trades. Though there is no minimum deposit requirement for retirement, custodial, and employee stock plan accounts, you must deposit at least $500 to open another type of account. This deposit must be made within 60 days of opening the account. Trades made on Etrade with broker assistance will incur a cost of $45 each. If your account has a balance of less than $5,000, or if you make only one or two trades per quarter, Etrade will charge a $25 maintenance fee.
Conclusion Because of the commissions and fees associated with trading, Etrade is best for investors who keep an account balance higher than $50,000 and intend to make at least 150 trades during each quarter. Etrade is also more beneficial for investors interested in trading a variety of investment products. There is no Etrade scam. The company has been active in the discount brokerage market since 1982 and is one of the most well known online brokers available. More than 2.3 million people from over 40 countries are already active with the company, so you know that you can trust in the services it provides. Etrade is licensed and regulated by both the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, and The Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. FINRA is the largest independent regulator of security firms in the U.S. It exists to protect consumers investing in securities by ensuring that they are treated fairly. SIPC, on the other hand, acts as a trustee in cases involving missing assets. If a brokerage firm fails, SIPC will ensure that all of its customers receive the securities that were registered in their names or were in the middle of the registration process. Because Etrade is licensed by both of these protective firms, consumers can be certain that their investments are safe. The company has also received multiple awards for excellence from several major brokerage reviewers. In fact, Etrade received five stars from Smart Money for its banking services, customer service, and trading tools. It also received four stars from Barron's for international trading and long-term investing tools in 2010.