Etrade is one of the largest online trading platforms available today, so you would expect their offering to be special. Overall it doesn’t disappoint.
I found the Etrade platform is easily navigated and allows easy account management. When it adds a new application to the trading system it’s done quickly and seamlessly, which is how using the trading screen is.
Traders benefit from a flat rate commission structure, though at $6.95 per trade this is higher than some of its competitors such as Tradeking. Having said this, if you want to trade in ETFs, then ETrade has around 80 on its books that can be traded commission free. There is comprehensive research provided through its platform, and a charting option that is easy to use and customize.
Research easily accessed
ETrade’s windows based system means that accessing its research material is easy, and linked to quotes requested. On the default page, the trader will be presented with information such as the day’s price action, in tabulated and chart form, as well as the most recent headlines, and the company profile. From this page you can easily set an alert facility by using a slider function which will sound bells and whistles when the stock reaches your selected price.
There’s also a mix of analysis, technical and fundamental, available from its third party partners.
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ETrade for Traders
There are a number of platforms available, from the ‘basic’ Etrade Market Caster to the flagship Etrade Pro. This desktop based system provides for portfolio monitoring, advanced charting, and news flow. It also allows live streaming of CNBC, real-time sales data, and Level 2 quotes. Multiple windows can be customized and manipulated to suit personal taste, and order entry and maintenance is not only easy but fast, with near one click functionality.
The Etrade Pro platform comes at a cost of $99 per month, unless you are trading at least 30 times per month or keep an account balance of $250,000, in which case it’s free. So for the active trader not only is this a great trading and research tool, but very cost effective (making up in part for the higher commission charges).
Its customer service department is available 24 hours a day, though its desire to direct to its FAQ section is a little frustrating. Once through this, though, the customer service is fast and efficient.
If using the Etrade Pro platform, whether charged or by default through trade volume, you get routed to Etrade’s Elite customer service team (though I wasn’t sure of the difference between the Elite and the Standard).
Etrade on the move
For those traders that don’t spend all their time tied to a desk in front of a pc or laptop, Etrade also offers a great app for the iPhone. This can be used to monitor your portfolio, stock news, and stock price alerts, and place trades almost as easily as from your leather chair in the office: a great tool that adds that little extra value.
To open an Account
If you want to open an account with access to securities from 77 countries, and the access to trade stocks, options, futures, and bonds, then all you need do is complete its online account opening process, fund your account, and you’re set fair. It’s a process that can be completed in minutes.
With the research and charting facilities, it’s easy to use customizable screen, and fast trading facility, it’s easy to see why Etrade has such a dominant position in the market.