Advertiser Disclosure

Robinhood vs. E-Trade

Brokers, Investing

It’s hard to compare E-Trade and Robinhood: Both brokers allow investors to trade stocks and exchange-traded funds, yes. But the similarities come to a halt — a bit of a screeching one — there.

E-Trade charges $6.95 a trade and ticks the boxes you’d expect in a broker: several trading platforms, a well-rounded selection of research, a range of investment options. These aren’t exactly bells and whistles in the online broker world … until you stack them up against Robinhood, which offers none of the above but charges $0 a trade.

Trade Fee

$0.00

$0.00

Account Minimum

$0

$0

Promotion

None

None

no promotion available at this time

Trade Fee

$6.95

$6.95

Account Minimum

$500

$500

Promotion

60

60

days of commission-free trades with a qualifying deposit

So what’ll it be — free trades, or elevated service, account options and features? In other words, is E-Trade worth the cost when you can trade for free at Robinhood?

Our answer is yes. But really, we’d call this comparison a draw: Robinhood should complement an online brokerage account at a more versatile broker like E-Trade, not replace it.

That’s because Robinhood doesn’t stand alone very well: It’s far from a one-stop shop for your money. The app’s offerings are all-around slim, with individual stocks and ETFs as the lone investment choices, no trading platform and support only for taxable brokerage accounts (no individual retirement accounts here). Combine it with a brokerage like E-Trade, though — which earned five stars from us after thorough review — and you’ll have a powerhouse for your investments.

Robinhood vs. E-Trade: A quick comparison

robinhood
etrade
Best for
  • Frequent stock or ETF traders
  • Mobile users
  • Individual taxable accounts
  • Margin accounts
  • Beginner investors
  • Trading platform
  • Research and data
  • Retirement planning assistance
  • Stock trading costs
    $0$6.95 (volume discounts available)
    Options trades
    $0$6.95 + 75 cents per contract (volume discounts available)
    Account minimum
    $0$500
    Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity)
    No annual, inactivity or ACH transfer fees; $75 ACAT outgoing transfer feeNo annual or inactivity fee; $75 full transfer out fee; $25 partial transfer out fee
    Trading platform
    App-based, with desktop version — both purposely simpleE-Trade Web and OptionsHouse for browser; desktop platform E-Trade Pro for customers who maintain at least a $250,000 account balance or execute at least 30 stock or options trades per quarter
    Mobile app
    Customizable alerts; news feed; ability to listen to live earnings callsAdvanced features mimic a desktop trading platform
    Investment selection
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Options coming in 2018
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds
  • ETFs
  • Options
  • Futures
  • Promotion
    No promotion available at this time60 days of commission-free trades with deposit of $10,000 or more
    Open an account

    Want to compare E-Trade with other brokers? View our picks for the best brokers for stock trading.

    About the author