Etrade vs Scottrade
Imagine, if you will: Two of online brokerage’s powerhouses, Etrade vs Scottrade, as two heavyweights, doing battle, in a dead-heat for all of the possible accolades an online brokerage can accumulate. Almost the exact same size and muscle mass, it could make for a very interesting and possibly exhausting match.
Or could it? Is there some extra stamina lurking in the innards of one of these giants? In comparing them, do you wind up splitting hairs? Or in the fees game, will one guzzle your money over the other?
In the world of online brokerages, people want ease, accessibility, web prowess, and of course, to make money. Both Etrade and Scottrade market heavily, something I’ve noticed as I’ve done my research on both of them. Now it seems each brokerages’ target ads won’t stay away from me. They’re hovering to the right of my computer screen as I type right now, the friendly little guys.
That stuff all matters.
And how about platform intuitiveness? Can my 86-year-old grandpa figure this out or is this truly just a young person’s game?
That matters, too.
Etrade vs Scottrade: Which one slowly edges the other out of the ring for the championship title?
Investments and Products: Etrade vs Scottrade
Etrade offers the following investment options and products:
To compare, Scottrade offers the following investment options and products:
- Education Savings Accounts (ESAs)
- Mutual funds
- Fixed income
- International investing
Etrade vs Scottrade: I’m interested to see what will happen with Scottrade’s offerings, as TD Ameritrade acquired Scottrade in 2016 and will fully envelop all of Scottrade by September 2017. It’s possible that it might be beneficial for you (if you’re looking for a brand new brokerage firm) to open directly with TD Ameritrade and skip Scottrade altogether.
But since we’re in the thick of studying Etrade vs Scottrade and comparing them, apples to apples, right now, the bottom line is that Scottrade offers more than 14,000 mutual funds and Etrade “only” offers 8,000. More to choose from in that category, for sure!
Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|Stocks and ETFs||$6.95 ($4.95 with 30+ trades per quarter)|
|Stocks and ETFs||(broker-assisted) $34.99|
|Options||$6.95 + $0.75 per options contract ($4.95 plus $0.50 per options contract with 30+ trades per quarter)|
|Futures||$1.50 per contract, per side, plus fees|
|Bonds||$1.00 for online secondary market trades ($10 minimum, $250 maximum)|
|IRA Fees||IRA fees are all $0 (includes set up, annual fees, termination, account maintenance, and inactivity fees are all $0; full account transfer fees are $60 a partial account transfer fees are $25.|
|Etrade minimum deposit||Etrade’s account minimum is $0 for IRA accounts and $500 for all taxable accounts. Margin accounts with brokers require at least a $2,000 initial deposit.|
|Stocks and ETFs||$6.95|
|Stocks and ETFs||(broker-assisted) $32|
|Options||$6.95 + $0.70 per contract|
|Fixed income (CDs, new corp offers, OTC secondary corp, treasury investments, OTC secondary municipals)||Listed corporate bonds $35 + $3 per bond|
|Unit Investment Trusts||
|Minimum deposit for Scottrade||No minimums for opening IRAs and Coverdell ESAs, fixed income minimums are $5,000 (for CDs, new corp offers, OTC secondary corp, treasury investments, OTC secondary municipals) and $1,000 for listed corporate bonds. A $2,500 minimum deposit is required for stocks, options, mutual funds and other brokerage accounts.|
Etrade vs Scottrade: Scottrade is slightly less in the fee/commission department, but just slightly. For example, broker-assisted stock/ETF commissions are $32 (Scottrade) versus $34.99 for (Etrade). Scottrade’s minimums are higher, though, and for the most part, a whopping $2,500 minimum deposit is required across the board for Scottrade, while Etrade wins that contest with a modest $500 minimum investment for most funds (and $0 minimum investment for IRAs).
Etrade margin rates range from 2.50% above base rate (with an interest rate of 9.50%) for a debit balance of $0 to $9,999.99, and 1% below base rate (with an interest rate of 6%) for above $1,000,000.
Margin interest rates for Scottrade range from the base rate at + 1.25% (and the interest rate is 8.50%) for a debit balance of $0.01 to $24,999.99 to a base rate -1.50% (and the interest rate is 5.75%) for $1,000,000 and above.
Etrade vs Scottrade: Thoughts? You’re a smart cookie. You can figure this one out!
Etrade offers a few options for investors who love to analyze, analyze, analyze. A few tools at your fingertips include one called Total Trade Ticket (you use that to order up your stocks, options, and ETFs); Etrade Pro and Etrade Marketrader are your more advanced platforms. Etrade’s website is an overall win, too, with its accessible features, lengthy explanations for newbie investors, and really, really nice layout.
Scottrade touts two trading tools: Scottrader Streaming Quotes and ScottradeELITE. ScottradeELITE, as its name may imply, is the one with all the bells and whistles (intended to help you analyze price movements, identify and measure trend strength and react to market shifts as they occur), whereas Scottrader Streaming Quotes is more simplistic.
Etrade vs Scottrade: Ultimately, Etrade wins this round. Etrade’s very user-friendly website, advanced trading tools and intuitive design for both platform/tools and website are the ultimate clinchers. I love that you seem to need to take a class on the sophisticated nuances of Etrade’s tools. They are so, so cool.
There’s an app for any device on Etrade: Android, Amazon Fire phone, Windows phone, iPhone, iPad, and Kindle Fire HD.
There are quality apps available here, too, and really, that’s all there is to it. Android, iPhone, iPad and mobile website are definitely all present and accounted for.
Etrade has 30 brick-and-mortar branch offices nationwide, and they’re here to help—just like it says on their website—by phone, email, chat, and at their branches across the U.S. They do offer 24/7 customer service via phone, an option that’s pretty handy if you’re up at 3 a.m., wondering if you should trade a particular stock. Hey, it happens to the best of us, right?
Etrade Securities or Etrade Bank, retirement specialists, stock plans, and credit cards all have an individual phone number you can call to specifically ask about these types of investments. Otherwise, you can check out their short list of FAQs.
Scottrade knocks your socks off with its branch accessibility and a vast network of 495 nationwide. Scottrade also offers a knowledge center on its website, with in-depth articles and insights, investment education and tutorials, calculators, client education events and lots of platform help for investors of all levels.
They have a chat system, a toll free number for service at a local branch during normal business hours or you can reach the national service center at all other times, from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. International accounts and social media customer service can also answer your questions at slightly different times during the week.
Whoa! The “Chat with Scottrade” button just popped up on my computer. You’ll have that happen, too, if you spend enough time on their website.
Etrade vs Scottrade: This one’s a no-brainer. The sheer number of branches, plus their phone, chat and web accessibility—all favor Scottrade.
Right now, Etrade offers up to $600 plus 60 days of commission-free stocks and options trades for deposits of $10,000 or more—but be sure to read the table. You actually only get $600 and free trades if you open up an account from $25,000 to $499,000. If you’ve only got $10,000, you’re out of luck with a cash credit and only qualify for free trades. See the table below for full details:
Scottrade does offer a cash bonus on qualifying deposits. See the table below for more details, and tell me, does it look a little familiar? The choice is yours.
Etrade vs Scottrade: The two offers are very, very, very similar, but the cash bonus option is a tiny bit better with Etrade.
Final score: Etrade vs Scottrade
Man, this is tough to judge. Overall, both offer a lot to both new and experienced investors; they both have excellent platforms, thought I’d give Etrade the edge on its forward-looking website.
Can I say it’s a tie?
No? Well, then, ultimately, Scottrade surges forward for its customer service options, beginner-friendly tools and really, can we ignore those $17 mutual funds? I think not!
Yet again another exception guest post! We love when our new student participate like this.
For people who are starting out in investing and are trying to give it a go for the first time, the number one most important thing anyone can do is to be engaged in the markets. That means getting in the game, whether it’s opening up your first online brokerage account or just doing research on which online brokerage to choose from.
Engagement is the single most important rule!