Competitive trading fees
Quality trading platforms and mobile apps
Excellent order execution and price improvement technology
40+ years of operational experience and member of Morgan Stanley
Forex, cryptocurrencies, and commodities available only as futures contracts
Limited payment processors
|Name of the Regulator||NFA|
|Execution Type||Market Maker|
|Trading Platforms(s)||Proprietary platform, Web-based|
|US Persons Accepted?|
|Lowest Avr Eur Usd Spread||Undisclosed|
|Retail Loss Rate||Undisclosed|
|Minimum Raw Spreads||Not applicable|
|Minimum Standard Spreads||Undisclosed|
|Minimum Commission for Forex||$1.50 per futures contract|
|Commission for CFDs/DMA|
The proprietary Power E*TRADE trading platform offers equity traders a cutting-edge trading environment. Core Portfolios present traders with automated account management for a 0.30% fee. E*TRADE is ideal for traders and investors, offering retirement accounts, fixed asset investments, and banking services.
E*TRADE Regulation & Security
Country of the Regulator
Name of the Regulator
Regulatory License Number
0401545 (EFS) / 0409019 (MSSB)
Is E*TRADE Legit and Safe?
E*TRADE launched in 1982, but Morgan Stanley acquired the company in 2020. All E*TRADE accounts are now part of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, an NFA member since May 2009. It only shows three CFTC administrative fines and one NFA arbitration case, making it a legit and safe broker. E*TRADE Futures LLC is also an NFA member with one CFTC reparation case. E*TRADE publishes Basel III Standardized Approach Disclosures and 2018 Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test Results.
The NFA clarifies CFTC Reparations Cases as follows:
“Reparations claims are not enforcement actions. They are attempts by customers to resolve futures-related disputes. The number of reparations claims filed does not necessarily mean that the individual or firm violated any rules. Some of the claims may have been dismissed, settled, or withdrawn.”
E*TRADE Securities LLC (EFS) and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (MSSB) are SIPC members, offering a protection limit of $500,000, of the net equity, per account and $250,000 for cash claims.
Range of Assets
Asset List Overview
|Options, Features, and Synthetics|
|Equity CFDs / DMA Shares|
|Maximum Retail Leverage||1:50|
|Maximum Pro Leverage||Undisclosed|
E*TRADE Trading Hours (EST)
E*TRADE does not list detailed trading hours of various assets, but US equity markets trade from 09:30 to 16:00. E*TRADE also offers extended trading, which allows trading from 07:00 (pre-market trading) to 18:00 (after-market trading). Futures trading is 24/6.
E*TRADE Demo Account
E*TRADE does not offer a demo account, but its Power E*TRADE trading platform and mobile app have a paper trading function. E*TRADE does not provide more details and appears to ignore the importance of demo trading.
Overview of Trading Platforms
|Guaranteed Limit Orders|
|Interest on Margin|
|Guaranteed Stop Loss|
|Negative Balance Protection|
|Unique Features||Banking services via Morgan Stanley Private Bank|
- The E*TRADE trading infrastructure is not ideal for scalpers.
Research & Education
Beginners can read the Investing Basics category under the E*TRADE Knowledge section, and the E*TRADE Library has plenty of written content and videos, but a well-structured course does not exist.
I find the available educational content a quality addition to an in-depth third-party beginner’s course, which is what I recommend for first-time traders before opening their E*TRADE account. I further advise beginners to start with trading psychology while avoiding paid-for courses.
Traders get 24/5 support, and I appreciate the availability of phone support, on which E*TRADE builds customer relationships. The FAQ section answers several questions, and E*TRADE describes its products and services well. Given the complexity of products and retirement planning portfolios, phone support is a necessary service E*TRADE offers. I am missing a direct phone line to the finance department, where most issues can arise.
Opening an Account
Account verification is mandatory, and most traders get verified after sending a copy of a government-issued ID and one proof of residency document. E*TRADE might ask for additional information on a case-by-case basis.
E*TRADE has no minimum deposit requirement for its brokerage account. The automated Core Portfolios require a minimum deposit of $500, and prebuilt portfolios require a minimum deposit of $500 for mutual fund portfolios and $2,500 for ETF portfolios.
E*TRADE supports bank wires and bank-related services, like checks and online banking, but not other payment methods. I find the absence of credit/debit cards surprising.
E*TRADE caters well to US-based clients and to US persons living abroad, but also accepts traders and investors from all over the world, excepting a few countries which American brokerages typically do not accept residents of.
Deposits and Withdrawals
E*TRADE only offers bank wires and bank-related payment options but has no minimum deposit requirement for its brokerage account. Deposits are free, but withdrawals incur a $25 fee. E*TRADE notes same-day fund availability if funds arrive before 18:00 but fails to mention internal withdrawal processing times.
Only verified trading accounts can deposit and withdraw, and the name on the payment processor must match the E*TRADE account name.
Is E*TRADE a good broker?
I like the trading environment for equity traders using manual strategies at E*TRADE, using the Power E*TRADE trading platform. E*TRADE is also an excellent choice for long-term buy-and-hold investors and retirement accounts. Since Morgan Stanley acquired E*TRADE, clients can receive banking services via Morgan Stanley Private Banking. Overall, E*TRADE offers a competitive one-stop financial institution for traditional strategies. Core Portfolios, thematic investments, and managed portfolios expand the product portfolio, while the E*TRADE API allows advanced traders to connect their trading solutions to the E*TRADE trading infrastructure. I rate E*TRADE among the better choices in the scarce US brokerage sector.
What type of broker is E*TRADE?
Is E*TRADE a broker?
Is my money safe with E*TRADE?
Can E*TRADE be trusted?