Whether you are a rookie or an experienced investor, these in-depth comparisons between Etrade vs Ameritrade will help you make informed decisions about which broker to engage in your quest for long-term profitable investments. While this is a seemingly small decision, it could be the difference between tens of thousands of dollars in the long run. Because picking the right brokerage platform can truly make or break and investor, we suggest not only carefully considering the differences between Etrade vs Ameritrade, but also to do some additional research yourself.
Here are some of the statistics about Etrade.
Year established: 1991 (as a wholly owned subsidiary of TradePlus, founded in 1982)
Required account minimum: The minimum amount required for operating an account with Etrade is $500 US dollars. There is a waiver for IRA accounts.
Securities that you can trade: You are allowed to trade the following securities: Stocks, Bonds, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), Mutual Funds, Futures, and Options.
Costs of trading stocks: To trade stocks onEtrade, you are required to shell out $6.95 for making fewer than 30 trades per quarter. But if you are making 30 or more trades per quarter, you will pay less for your trading, which costs $4.95 per quarter.
Costs of options trades: For every options contract you execute, you are going to pay $6.95 + $0.75. However, if you are doing more than 30 contracts per quarter, your expected options cost will be reduced to $4.95 + $0.50 per contract.
Mutual funds cost: There are 2,500 mutual funds that come with no transaction fees. However, you are required to pay $19.99 commission for mutual funds that require transaction fees for any trade size.
Commission-free ETFs: There are over 100 exchange-traded funds that are commission-free.
Total account fees (transfer, annual, inactivity, closing): Apart from the different costs highlighted above, you are required to pay $75 per every account that is going out to another broker. There’s no inactivity or annual fee.
Available trading platforms: There is Etrade Web for any desktop browser. You need to maintain at least $250,000 balance in your account or execute at least 30 stocks or options trades to use the Etrade Pro Platform.
Mobile app (for trading purposes): There is a mobile app with advanced features that provides similar functions as the desktop trading platform.
Provision of research and data: Etrade provides free and comprehensive trading data and research for all its customers, irrespective of their account balances. UsingEtrade’s platforms, you get real-time streaming market data, and you can use their stock screeners to find companies that match your desired portfolio. You can trade quickly and easily with their stock ticker page.
Quality of customer service: With 30 local branches, Etrade provides 24/7 phone support. There is also email and chat support.
Promotions: You can enjoy 60 days of commission-free trades with deposits of $10,000 or more.
Funding account: You can fund your Etrade account by using any of the following deposit methods: Transferring money electronically, by check, by wire transfer, and by transferring an account.
Types of accounts: There are brokerage, retirement, managed solutions, and small business accounts.
The above sums up the numbers when it comes to Etrade. The most important things to focus on above are the costs of trading, which according to Etrade, get reduced as our volume increases. Since we believe trading more is better than buying, waiting, and praying, Etrade may provide some benefit for us, active traders. One thing to consider when looking at Etrade vs Ameritrade is these commissions. A dollar saved per trade can be the difference in tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year when comparing Etrade vs Ameritrade.
Year established: 1983
Required account minimum: The minimum amount required for operating an account with TD Ameritrade is $0 US dollars.
Costs of trading stocks: To trade stocks on TD Ameritrade, you are required to pay a flat fee of $6.95; it doesn’t matter if you are executing fewer than 30 trades per quarter or 30 or more trades per quarter.
Costs of options trades: For every options contract you executed on TD Ameritrade, you will fork out a flat fee of $6.95 + $0.75, irrespective of doing 30 or more contracts per quarter.
Mutual funds cost: There are almost 4,000 mutual funds that are transaction-fee-free. But, you are expected to pay $49.99 commission for mutual funds that attract transaction fees.
Commission-free ETFs: There are over 100 exchange-traded funds that are commission-free.
Total account fees (transfer, annual, inactivity, closing): Despite the different costs outlined above, you are expected to pay $75 per every account that is going out of TD Ameritrade to another broker. There’s no inactivity or annual fee.
Available trading platforms: As a customer of TD Ameritrade, you can choose to trade on either of its two trading platforms, which are ThinkorSwim and Trade Architect. This indicates that TD Ameritrade’s platforms are not categorized based on customer’s account balances. You can access independent third-party research, planning tools, and educational resources on these platforms. The up-to-date financial news for the platforms is syndicated from Yahoo! Finance, and you can customize your dock to filter your preferences. Also on TD Ameritrade’s platforms, you can track social sentiment and volume with social signals, a resource that makes it possible to pull in trade insights from Twitter.
Mobile app (for trading purposes): There are two mobile apps designed to mirror TD Ameritrade’s desktop and web platforms.
Provision of research and data: TD Ameritrade provides free and highly useful trading data and research for all its customers, irrespective of their account balances.
Quality of customer service: With 100 local branches, TD Ameritrade provides 24/7 phone support. There is also email and chat support.
Promotions: You can have access to cash bonuses which range from $100 (for deposits of $25,000 to $99,999) to $600 (for deposits of $250,000 or more).
Funding account: You can fund your TD Ameritrade account using any of the following methods: Electronic funding; wire transfer; check; transfer assets; and, stock certificates.
Types of accounts: TD Ameritrade has six unique account types: They are standard, managed portfolios, retirement, education, specialty, margin trading accounts.
Above is a summary of all things TD Ameritrade. When comparing Etrade vs Ameritrade, it looks like Etrade does have the lowest commissions. While commissions are a big deal (as I mentioned earlier, commissions can save tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year or a lifetime), technology also matters as well. When looking at Etrade vs Ameritrade, the ThinkorSwim platform is far superior to anything Etrade has to offer. This will allow the difference in commissions to be mitigated as the data that flows through ThinkorSwim is far superior and faster.
Etrade vs Ameritrade…More Essentials
If you are still wondering which of these two brokers will better suit your investment plan, consider looking at the breakdown of the essential information below:
Investment choices: It doesn’t matter if you are just dabbling into investment or you have been doing it for decades, as a person, only a certain kind of investment will be compatible with your personality type.
For a starter, rookie investors are usually advised to begin with the least risky investment type, which for example may be mutual funds. TD Ameritrade offers you a unique opportunity to lay your hands on nearly 4,000 commission-free mutual funds. On the other hand, E*TRADE offers 2,500 mutual funds that come with no commissions.
As a TD Ameritrade customer, you can trade Forex in addition to other securities available on its platform. However, Etrade does not offer its customers the opportunity to trade Forex.
Even though both brokers offer the same number of commission-free ETFs (100 in total), Etrade lets its customers trade over 200 future products while TD Ameritrade limits it to just over 50 products.
TD Ameritrade makes it possible for investors to purchase companies’ Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) while acting as a member of the selling group for IPOs. So, qualified TD Ameritrade accounts will be facilitated to take advantage of the newly fresh pricing to swap up a good number of IPO shares.
Commissions and Fees: TD Ameritrade does charge a fixed fee of $6.95 for trading stocks on its platforms, while Etrade provides a discount for every investor that trades at least 30 times per quarter on its platforms, at a reduced fee of $4.95.
Similarly, trading options on Etrade platforms is cheaper than doing the same on TD Ameritrade if you are trading more 30 contracts per quarter. In that situation, you are required to pay $4.95 + $0.50 per contract, against the fixed fee of $6.95 + $0.75 that TD Ameritrade is charging its customers.
Finally, TD Ameritrade requires that every investor that use its platforms for trading mutual funds that come with commissions to fork out $49.99, while Etrade charges a moderate fee of $19.99 for the same investment activity.
Etrade vs Ameritrade Comparative Trading Platforms and Resources
It is true to state that both brokers take their customers seriously and provide them the necessary trading tools and resources they would need to become a success in their investments.
However, while TD Ameritrade is democratic with its trading platforms by allowing all customers to have equal access to them, Etrade’s more advanced platform, Etrade Pro Platform, is only available to investors who consistently maintain at least $250,000 balance in their accounts or execute at least 30 stocks or options trades per quarter.
Both brokers offer their services online, making it possible for people to execute trades wherever they are located, as long as there is an internet access.
There is ample trading data and research resources from the two brokers for investors to utilize in making trading decisions. There are plenty of technical indicators and charts. And their mobile apps are quite innovative and easy to use. This will not cause any headaches for both rookie and professional investors who may not be techy in nature. Some of the platforms are equipped with scanners that could be used in taking snapshots of winning screens for a repeat trade, and there are live-streaming news and Trade Finder applications.
TD Ameritrade’s ThinkorSwim has a feature known as Stock Hacker, which is capable of showing the directions of the stocks and their corresponding volatility and risk.
TD Ameritrade, as well as Etrade, offer free, comprehensive data and research from notable and independent sources such as Thomson Reuters, Market Edge, S & P Capital IQ, and Morningstar.
Etrade vs Ameritrade…Final Thoughts
While Etrade may be a cheaper platform, their base technology (not Etrade Pro) is incredibly basic. However, TD Ameritrade ThinkorSwim platform puts the world’s best trading technology into the hands of all individual and retail professionals. Because of this, I think in the battle of Etrade vs Ameritrade, you should choose TD Ameritrade. There is no other platform in the world that allows individuals to have free access to professional trading technology (it requires $250,000 to have it on Etrade).
Steven’s Thoughts on TD Ameritrade vs Etrade
The above article was written by a brand new student who had never opened an online brokerage account before. While I personally have used ThinkorSwim my entire trading career and could have easily suggested the same to this new trader, I asked them to write a post about it. It is an excellent education for this young trader as they start to learn by doing.
Trading is all about learning by doing. There are no boilerplate trades than make money at the snap of a finger. You have to get in there and learn from your mistakes. Everyone is a genius in a bull market, and then everyone has no idea what they are doing in a bear market.
In the battle of Etrade vs Ameritrade, I significantly side with TD Ameritrade. Etrade’s technology is garbage. And yes, maybe they have slightly smaller commissions, but that does not mean that you cannot negotiate TD down to those rates easily.
It all comes down to the technology. You owe it to yourself to have the best technology out there. ThinkorSwim is a professional trading platform created by former floor traders. Why in the world would you choose to use anything different?
Etrade vs Ameritrade? Ameritrade all the way baby.