E-Trade is arguably the most popular and well known online discount stock brokerages. Boasting over 4000 employees and having a net income over 600 million dollars per year (2006), E-Trade clearly is sitting high on the list of top online brokerages. I personally use E-Trade for all of my investment needs and do recommend it to anyone who is considering opening an account with an online stock broker. Here is how it E-Trade ranks among their competition:
Site Layout – 4 out of 5
E-Trade’s site layout is effective, intuitive, professional, and easy on the eyes. Compared to some of the other online stock brokers I’ve used in the past, E-Trade easily ranks the highest in this category. Finding my portfolio’s allocation is just as easy as finding quotes for a stock.
Tools – 3 out of 5
E-Trade has powerful and easy use tools for just about everything you’d need as an investor. It has fully customizable market and trading platforms, along with other useful tools such as asset allocation, account performance, income estimator, risk estimator, and more. The only complaint I have is that some of their more effective and desired tools are not free to users unless you pay a fee or have a minimum numbers of trades per quarter.
Security – 5 out of 5
E-Trade really sets itself apart from its competitors because they offer a free SecurID product to ensure that your account stays in your protected and in your possession at all times. I love the SecurID product, it’s extremely easy to use, creates an incredibly strong second layer of protection on my account, and of course it was free thanks to E-Trade. This feature alone is enough for me to stay with E-Trade, because I like sleeping at night knowing that I have added protection on my account.
Customer Service – 5 out of 5
E-Trade’s customer service is extremely good, especially in a time where most customer service departments are full of outsourced employees who are reading off a page of specified things to say. Customer service employees are friendly, knowledgeable, and extremely helpful. I’ve made countless numbers of calls to their customer service phone number and had my questions and issues resolved instantly. In fact, E-Trade was recognized for outstanding customer service in 2007 by Smart Money (a financial magazine).
Commission Fees – 2 out of 5
This is really the only downside to E-Trade. With E-Trade your commission fees are higher than most online discount brokerages unless you make a minimum number of trades per quarter. I tend to overlook this part of E-Trade as it is obvious that the higher commission fee is definitely worth what I get in return compared to other brokerages.
Overall – 4 out of 5
E-Trade is a great online discount brokerage, and I truly believe E-Trade leads the industry with their superior tools, outstanding customer service, and ease of use for investors. Their commission fees are definitely higher than their competition, but if you want the best, you should expect to pay a little more than usual.