E-Trade is a pioneer in trading technology, so it’s no surprise that the company’s mobile app is one of the best available from an online broker. Investors who trade frequently via mobile phone or tablet will love the app’s advanced features, including access to real-time quotes, analyst reports, stock and ETF screeners and options chain filters on the go.
Find out more in our full E-Trade review.
October 2, 2015
NerdWallet’s Rating: / 5
E-Trade’s mobile app is best for:
- Frequent traders
- On-the-go traders
- Mutual fund investors
- ETF investors
- IRA accounts
Open a new account with $10,000 or more and get 60 days of free trades, plus cash bonuses on deposits of $25,000 or more.
E-Trade mobile at a glance
|Account fees||$60 full transfer out fee|
|Commission-free ETFs||More than 100|
|Options commission||$9.99 + $0.75 per contract|
* Mobile capabilities vary by platform; some platforms do not offer access to all features
|iOS (including Apple Watch), Android, Amazon, Windows Phone|
|Check deposit||Yes, up to $10,000 per day|
Where E-Trade’s mobile app shines
Data and research: E-Trade’s mobile app offers real-time quotes and news from Morningstar, MarketWatch, Briefing.com and wires; CNBC Video on Demand; analyst reports and Level II quotes (which are useful for day traders). The app also features a barcode scanner. Users can scan products to get information about the (publicly traded) companies that make them.
Web-level capabilities: Many of E-Trade’s educational tools and advanced platform features are also available on the mobile app. Investors can view comparison charts and performance-over-time charts, use stock and ETF screeners and options chain filters, customize watch lists, and extend the expiration date of options with the app’s option roll tool. The app automatically syncs with users’ desktop accounts, so they can pick up where they left off.
Easy trade execution: The mobile app has many of the trade capabilities of the online platform: Users can trade stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and options, including multi-leg options orders. It also has voice recognition software, so you can speak rather than type to receive stock quotes and company data and even start an order ticket.
Availability: The app is available for virtually every device, including the Amazon Fire Phone, Windows Phone and Apple Watch.
Where E-Trade’s mobile app falls short
Commissions: As we mention in our full E-Trade review, the company’s commission structure can make trading pricy, though frequent traders get discounted prices: Trades cost $7.99 each for those who make 150 or more trades per quarter and $6.99 for those who make 1,500 or more trades per quarter. The lower commission only applies to the trades over that threshold. For example, an investor who made 250 trades in a quarter would pay $9.99 for the first 149 and $7.99 for every additional trade. That discount carries over to the next quarter. If the customer doesn’t meet the minimum again, though, they’ll pay the standard rate the quarter after that.
At E-Trade, even frequent traders pay more than the flat-rate commissions charged by discount brokers such as OptionsHouse and TradeKing, and infrequent traders pay $9.99 for each trade. That said, the company has perks, including the variety of commission-free ETFs and no-transaction fee mutual funds that you’d expect from a full-service broker.
Limited features on some platforms: Some features (including a few mentioned above) aren’t available on all platforms. The Android and iPhone apps are feature-rich, but users with a Windows Phone and even tablets such as iPad, Android and Kindle Fire may find gaps in functionality. Key elements, including stock and ETF screeners, CNBC video, Level II quotes and customizable watch lists, are only available on the Android, Amazon Fire and iPhone apps. Be sure that the features you’ll use most are available for your device.
The bottom line
E-Trade’s biggest downside is always its tiered commission structure, which translates into high trade costs for many customers. Still, its mobile app may be the strongest of its three trade platforms when stacked up against competitors, and it’s a solid choice for investors who want to trade on the go.
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