E*TRADE Review

Updated Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recommended for everyone

Company Background:

E*TRADE's beginnings can be traced back to 1982 when William Porter and Bernard Newcomb founded TradePlus.  In 1991, TradePlus provided the startup capital for E*TRADE, which began as an online trading platform for AOL and Compuserve customers.  E*TRADE soon moved to the web, where it became one of the most visible members of the first wave of online brokers.  Since that time, E*TRADE has solidified itself in the online broker space with constant advertising, including popular ads starring a talking baby.  In 2005, E*TRADE acquired the online broker Harrisdirect and BrownCo.

E*TRADE is publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol ETFC and currently has a market cap of $3.2 billion.  The company is headquartered in New York, NY with Donald Layton as its CEO.  Its clearing firm is E*TRADE Clearing LLC.


  • Website: www.etrade.com
  • Advanced Trading Platform: Power E*TRADE Pro (Java Application)
  • Mobile Website: No
  • iPhone App: Yes
  • iPad App: Yes
  • Android App: Yes
  • BlackBerry App: Yes

Review Summary:

E*TRADE offers excellent charts and research tools, a good stock trading engine and is very good in most other aspects. The web based options trading engine is adequate only for basic order types but Power E*TRADE Pro does offer a better selection of advanced orders.  Be aware of the $40 quarterly account maintenance fee for the minority of investors that may not qualify - see more details on the commissions and fees page. E*TRADE offers very competitive margin rates and an excellent Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP).  The E*TRADE Mobile Pro iPhone and Android apps are good mobile trading platforms while the iPad app is slightly less impressive.  Active traders will appreciate Power E*TRADE Pro thanks to its improved features across the board.

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