E*TRADE 2020 Review | Exposing the True Drawbacks for a Pro Trader



E*Trade is a choice agent that has a bunch to offer, but for day traders, it may not be the best option .

  • Several trading platforms to choose from
  • Good commission schedule
  • Discounts for active traders
  • Wide selection of tradable instruments
  • Impressive banking tools
  • Web-based margin calculators


  • E*Trade eliminated its forex service several years ago
  • No electronic short locating
  • No maker-taker fees

E*Trade is best known for its fishy commercials. But the agent has some good trade tools that day and swing traders should be aware of. furthermore, E*Trade is a fiscal conglomerate, so there are many more resources available .

Brief Overview

E*Trade got its start in 1982 in Silicon Valley as a brokerage house inauguration. Since then, it has gradually mushroomed into a fiscal pudding stone with banking operations, wealth management, advanced software, and more. In early 2020, it was purchased by Morgan Stanley .

Services Offered

From its startle as a modest technical school startup, E*Trade has grown to offer a set of investment services. today, it ’ second one of the few discount brokers to offer a freelance Roth 401 ( potassium ) plan. It besides provides the Traditional solo 401 ( thousand ) and the come bill types :

  • Several IRAs
  • Profit-Sharing Plans
  • Taxable joint and individual accounts
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account
  • Custodial accounts
  • Managed accounts (human and robo options)
  • Bank products, including checking, savings, and lines of credit 

The bank accounts come with FDIC indemnity. One of the check options offers free checks and inexhaustible ATM fee rebates .
For autonomous trade, E*Trade has the watch instruments :

  • Equities (including over-the-counter and penny stocks)
  • Options
  • Bonds
  • Closed-end funds
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Futures

celebrated assets on the list are options and futures. These products can be day traded without pattern-day trade regulations .
The early investing vehicles do require an account fairness of $ 25,000 to day trade. But the penny banal and OTC offerings do catch my attention .

Day Trading with Etrade

Because E*Trade is based in the United States, it must enforce FINRA ’ randomness PDT rule. Despite this flimsy troublesomeness, the company does offer respective features day traders will want to see. These include :

  • Powerful desktop software with advanced charting
  • Short locate service over the phone
  • Direct-access to market venues
  • Level II quotes


E*Trade ’ s general policy on borrowing is that it follows the Reg T guidelines. This means initial margin for both long and short positions is 50 %. Maintenance is 25 % for long positions and 30 % for short .
The agent does provide up to 4:1 leverage for day-trading purposes. Some securities, like leverage ETFs or low-cost securities, will have less leverage than the numbers stated here .
none of E*Trade ’ south platforms have a light situate feature. The standard routine to short a stock is to enter a sell short order and see if it goes through. If it does, then obviously the stock is shortable .
If it doesn ’ thymine, then you ’ ll need to call in and talk to the firm ’ s trade desk. They will try to locate hard-to-borrow stocks, which of course carry extra fees .
Stocks under $ 1 can not be shorted at E*Trade .

Margin Calculators

There are three allowance calculators on E*Trade ’ s web site. All of them can be located by clicking on the ‘ Accounts ’ yellow journalism in the top menu, then selecting ‘ Portfolios. ’ You ’ ll see ‘ Margin ’ in the sub-menu .
The beginning resource we want to look at is the house margin look-up creature. Enter any symbol in the search box, and a pop-up book window will appear. It will contain maintenance gross profit requirements for hanker and short breed positions and naked options. extra heart symbols can be added to the window .
The irregular margin tool is a allowance analyzer. Found far down the page, this analyzes gross profit on stream positions .
The third base and concluding tool is a margin calculator. Found next to the margin analyzer, this one shows the affect on gross profit from a conjectural deal. Both stock and option trades can be used. Some of the numbers shown include :

  • Margin Equity
  • Margin Maintenance Requirement
  • Margin Maintenance Excess
  • SMA
  • Margin Available for Withdrawal

Futures Trading

One method E*Trade provides to circumvent the PDT rule is futures trade. Because futures aren ’ metric ton securities, they don ’ thymine carry the $ 25,000 explanation equity requirement .
The agent offers trade on ICE US, CFE, and CME exchanges. Contracts include :

  • Bitcoin (/BTC)
  • 30-year Treasury bonds (/ZB)
  • Gold (/GC)
  • British Pound (/6B)
  • Crude Oil WTI (/CL)
  • E-mini S&P 500 (/ES)
  • Micro E-mini S&P 500 (/MES)
  • Micro E-mini Nasdaq 100 (/MNQ)
  • Nikkei 225 (/NKD)


E*Trade responded to the 2019 broke price war by lowering its fairness commission all the way to $ 0. Futures still cost $ 1.50 per contract, per side .

Although option trades have no free-base charge, there is a 65¢ fee per contract. There is a 15¢ discount rate for active traders. To qualify, E*Trade requires 30 trades per quarter. There are extra fees for index options .
Accounts at E*Trade come with no annual fees or other ongoing charges .


For order submission, account management, and security analysis, E*Trade offers several platforms. We ’ ll originate with the background program :

E*Trade Pro

Day and swing traders will decidedly want to check out Pro. The software offers many sophisticated tools, including :

  • Another margin calculator
  • Video news
  • Economic calendar
  • Market movers
  • Time & sales data
  • Several option tools

Charts on E*Trade Pro come with some professional-level features. During my inquiry, I found roughly 40 draw tools. company events can be displayed over price legal action. And I was able to cursorily add any of roughly 130 technical foul studies .
Charts have the follow graph styles :

  • Candles
  • Hollow candles
  • Colored bar
  • Heikin Ashi
  • Line
  • Mountain

With a right suction stop of the sneak, it ’ s potential to access Pro ’ randomness regulate form. It besides exists on the software ’ randomness default layout within a discrete window .
There are several order forms within this one window. The one I found most useful was the ‘ Total Trade Ticket. ’ It can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate tab within the nonpayment trade window .
The full Trade Ticket offers trade in both equities and options simultaneously. Up to four legs can be added to one trade. An analyze push button will create a profit-loss diagram for the proposed deal .

besides on the order ticket is a destination field. good four market venues can be selected ( for stock orders only ). They are :

  • ARCA
  • NYSE
  • NSDQ
  • IXE

The default option is AUTO. There besides is an option for drawn-out hours .
E*Trade does require a $ 1,000 explanation counterweight and a subscription to real-time quotes to use Pro. There is no charge to sign up for the latter requirement .

Power E*Trade

Up future is Power E*Trade, the firm ’ s browser platform. Launched from the web site, it packs quite a punch, delivering the following features :

  • Live webcasts Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Simulated trading mode
  • Pre-installed multi-leg option strategies
  • Advanced trade ticket

Charts on the browser chopine offer many of the like tools found on Pro. These include technical indicators and party events. One advantage that Power has over its background cousin is a larger selection of display styles. Display choices not found on Pro but available on Power include :

  • Baseline Delta
  • Wave
  • Heikin-Ashi

The decree ticket on Power offers some actually nice features. ‘ snapshot Analysis ’ is a profit-loss yellow journalism that shows utmost profit, utmost passing and break-even points. precisely enter the leg and snap on the check. The software does the pillow .

baron offers several order types, including :

  • 3-leg bracket stop
  • Trailing stop limit
  • OCO stop
  • Stop limit on quote
  • Hidden
  • Reserve


Although Power and Pro offer enough by themselves, E*Trade ’ s web site offers extra resources. here, you ’ ll be able to find a great distribute of security research tools. These include :

  • Stock screener with many search variables
  • Free stock reports in pdf format
  • Bloomberg video news at no charge
  • MarketCaster with streaming quotes
  • An IPO hub for upcoming launches
  • Price targets on some stocks

And of class there is a self-service center with many account management functions. These include dividend preferences and an online chew the fat feature.  

Mobile App

If you ’ re aside from your desk, E*Trade has you covered. With its user-friendly mobile app, you ’ ll determine :  

  • Charting with some tools
  • Order ticket with advanced options
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Mutual fund and options trading 

The trade ticket for options permits up to 4 legs per orderliness. however, there are no pre-installed strategies. You have to build your own. If you want strategies pre-installed, you ’ ll indigence to use the Power app.  

Power App

E*Trade didn ’ thymine stop at barely one app. It offers a second, which has fewer features in some areas, and more in others .
To access option spreads, just tap on the ‘ Trade ’ icon in the buttocks menu. adjacent, select a scheme from the drop-down scheme menu .
Besides options, futures can besides be traded on the Power app.  

Bottom Line

E*Trade has a lot of resources for day and swing traders. long-run investors will besides find many advantages with this full-service fiscal powerhouse. Although its background chopine international relations and security network ’ thymine advertised ampere heavily as its browser system, short-run traders will decidedly want to use Pro.

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