E-Trade Broker & TD Ameritrade are two of the top discount stock brokers in the US and around the globe. Choosing one or the other is quite challenging and will require you to do a lot of research. In fact, choosing between any two discount stock brokers are challenging due to all the factors you have to consider as well the amount of the info hidden from you & you will only find it out after using the discount stock broker itself. For that we have decided to gather as much info we can about all the popular stock brokers online and put them to the challenge head to head in an easy to read and compare so you can benefit right away. OK, enough introduction and lets start comparing in here between eTrade Broker & TD Ameritrade.
Brokers Brief Reviews:
TD Ameritrade Broker: is one of the older online brokers and they have been operating since 1975 with a powerful platform that give you access to over 13,000 mutual fund, stocks, bonds, Options, CDs(certificate of Deposit), as well other variety type of investments. Their platform offer most of the features that can satisfy both new investors as well seasoned investors. The big catch though with TD Ameritrade Broker is their fees that is higher than usual specially when ordering through their interactive voice response telephone cost $44.99 & ordering through broker assisted orders it cost you a hefty $34.99.
E-Trade Broker: is one of the oldest online discount stock brokers. Actually a lot of people call it the father of all online stock brokers, as it has played a big role in creating the market and the trust in Online stock trading. That can tell you that they have a very deep root, & as you know if they were not good enough they would not have survived this long in such a high competition market. Being the big guys, eTrade usually is more suitable for investors with larger trading budget. We seem them more suitable for people investing no less than $10,000 or even $15,000 is a better start with eTrade Stock Broker. If you wonder why we recommend eTrade broker only for investors with larger budget is that they charge $40 quarterly maintenance fee for balances less than $10,000 as well you really only get a reward on their better trading fees if you have $50,000 in investment assets or make more than 1,500 trades per quarter which is not something smaller investors can afford. Though if you are a seasoned heavy weight investor then you are probably already have an eTrade account.
TD Ameritrade Broker: We almost could not think of any investment or trading option that TD Ameritrade does not offer. You name it from stocks, options, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, various bonds, mortgage–backed securities (GNMAs), certificates of deposit (CDs) and unit investment trusts (UITs), Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB), pink sheet securities, as well fixed income investments including U.S. Treasury and Agency Issues. Further they offer all kind of different account options like IRAs(Individual Retirement Accounts), Roth IRAs for retirement, and Coverdell ESAs, custodial accounts and 529 plans for higher education which should give you enough of options to play with.
E-Trade Broker: Being the big guy, its very hard to not find the type of investment you want to trade offered by eTrade. eTrade offers stocks, bonds, mutual funds, fixed income investments, and exchange–traded funds. You can not run out of trading options when when going with E-Trade Broker.
TD Ameritrade Broker:
- Minimum to open TD Ameritrade account: $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
- Stocks and ETFs: $9.99
- Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $49.99
- Stocks and ETFs Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Telephone System: $34.99
- Options: $9.99 plus $0.75 per contract
- No-load mutual funds: $49.99
- Treasuries at auction: $25 flat fee
- All other bonds and CMOs, CDs: on a net yield basis
- Futures: $3.50 per contract (inclusive of exchange fees)
- Investment products: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, ETFs
TD Ameritrade broker is quite heavy on fees, specially if you utilize their Stocks and ETFs broker assisted trades or Stocks and ETFs interactive Voice Response (IVR) Telephone System to place a trade. Actually their fees for these two options in particular are ones of the highest in the market, so if you will be doing a lot of these you might want to consider look at a different discount stock broker.
- Minimum to open Etrade account: $1,000, though accounts that has less than 10,000 will be charge a maintenance fee of $40 per quarter.
- Stocks and ETFs: $9.99 if 0-149 trades per quarter; $7.99 if 150+ trades per quarter
- Options: $9.99 plus $0.75/contract if 0-149 trades per quarter; $7.99 plus $0.75/contract if 150+ trades per quarter
- Mutual Funds: $19.99
- Futures contracts: $2.99 per contract, per side + fees
While E-Trade Broker fees play well for seasoned investors who is active and has more than $10,000 into their E-Trade account, it play to be a bit expensive for beginners & occasional investors. Over all their pricing make up for all the services they offer and it might work for you if you don’t mind paying the extra fees for the extra services.
TD Ameritrade Broker: offer all type of support you expect for broker with similar fees. They offer e-mail, phone, as well live chat support from their over 200 offices around the US. Further they help & faqs pages are quite detailed and you will probably find the answers to your questions documented in there before you even ask. Their customer support is normally up to the task, but they seems to crack occasionally under heavy load, but it should be efficient for most investors
E-Trade Broker: offers phone & email support with 24 hour securities phone line, but no live chat . Our experience with their support response was always up to our expectation from such a large stocks broker with over 20 support centers across the US with their main one being in California, though we believe they need to play the catch up with other brokers and start offering a live chat support as that make it much easier when you are trading on your computer and have a quick question.
Brokers Platform Ease of Use
TD Ameritrade Broker: has a quite easy to use interface. The interface it self is well put up together and very well labeled so you almost can not get lost on there. Further, if you are in need for help at any time you will find right ahead of you with chat support button on every screen which get you to a support representative who can help you. Although TD Ameritrade has many advanced and sophisticated functionality it has mostly been implemented in one click actions that make it really easy. Further, the interface seemed lag free no matter what we do with it.
E-Trade Broker: Our overall experience of the E-Trader Broker platform was pleasant. Its not too hard to navigate and quite easy to trade. Further, it has a step-by-step tutorial for almost every functionality they have in their trading platform. Further, they have many educational videos and articles that explain many of the trading terms that will be quite beneficial to beginners and even some time for seasoned traders who is trying something new. Although both beginners and seasoned investors should not have a problem using the E-Trade trading platform, we feel its a better fit for seasoned traders.
Brokers Trading Tools
TD Ameritrade Broker: has one of the most comprehensive interfaces in the industry with many advanced & sophosticated functionality which can help you spot opportunities. Further, you can see market news & so on right from their interface. Further they could offers level II quote and streaming news for a fee if you require it. In addition, they have their trading tools for mobile users on all most smart phones(Android, iPhone, BlackBerry)
E-Trade Broker: offer a great amount of automated trading features like bracketed trades, contingents, trailing stops, and hidden stops. Their interface is quite customizable with tons of tutorials & trading training tools. They have started to reach for the mobile users with releasing a trading tool for Blackberry users. Further they offer extra tools like calculators, retirement planning and a tax center.
E-trade vs TD Ameritrade: Comparison Summary
Both TD Ameritrade and E-trade are one of the best brokers in the US, but that does not come free of cost as their stock & ETF trades commissions are relatively high at $9.99 per trade. Not to forget E-trade maintenance fees for account maintaining less of $10,000 balance of $40 per quarter, on the other hand TD Ameritrade does not have that maintenance fee but have a high $49.99 for Stocks & ETFS brokers assisted trades as well $34.99 for using the Stocks and ETFs Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Telephone System. High fees make these two brokers are not best fit for beginners, but more focused on seasoned investors who can benefits of their lowers active trader fees as well not be subject to any balance maintenance fees. E-trade system and support does not suffer under extensive load or extended hours trading where TD Ameritrade has the tendency to have some sluggishness under those conditions. As far the trading & research tools TD Ameritrade seems to have more to offer on this front where we love their third-party research tools as well their free streaming quotes. We believe both E-Trade & TD Ameritrade can fit the needs of seasoned investors it will just depend on what they are trading and their preferences which system they go with.
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