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E*TRADE, founded in 1982, is an online broker that services 3.6 million customers. Offering two flagship platforms, E*TRADE Pro and OptionsHouse, E*TRADE charges $6.95 for stock trades and $6.95 + $.75 per contract for options trades, with additional discounts available for active traders.
E*TRADE may not be the least expensive brokerage on the block, but the company continues to invest in its overall customer experience and provide value, despite a higher price tag per trade.
Commissions & Fees
While mostly competitive with its other full-service broker competitors, such as TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, and Charles Schwab, E*TRADE is not an ideal choice for investors seeking deeply discounted commissions. In the broker space, though, most often what you pay for is what you get, and E*TRADE's well-rounded offering offsets its higher rates.
Regular stock trades are $6.95, with options trades costing $6.95 plus $.75 per contract (closing any short options priced at 10 cents or less is free). All trades are flat rate commissions, meaning there are no gimmicks to watch out for, and active traders can get their rate as low as $4.95 if they make 30-plus trades per quarter. Under this tier, options trades are also reduced to $4.95 + $0.50 per contract.
E*TRADE does stand out from Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade with its mutual fund commissions, which run at $19.99 per trade. As far as total selection is concerned, the broker offers 8,998 mutual funds to choose from.