Online brokerage services have existed for over 20 years. Trading investments today has never been cheaper. So while the race towards cheap trades (in some cases free) is happening, other functionality is becoming more important when selecting a stock broker.
For this review, I compare E*TRADE and Charles Schwab. Which one is better depends on your needs? So let's examine the major features first.
We've determined with online brokerages the most critical feature customers care about is the
cost per trade. The second most important feature is the minimum deposit, and the last is if the broker
offers mutual funds. Let's look at how E*TRADE and Charles Schwab
stack up against each other on these points.
To start, we will consider the minimum investment required for both applications. In other words, how much does one need to invest to use the service? Out of the two, E*TRADE minimum investment of $500 is smaller than the deposit of required by Charles Schwab.
Next I'll consider cost per trade for both brokers.
Out of the two, Charles Schwab is cheaper per trade at $4.95 than E*TRADE at $6.95/trade.
Both E*TRADE and Charles Schwab offer mutual funds. So this feature isn't a clear difference between the stock brokers.
|Review||E*TRADE Review||Charles Schwab Review|
Overall rating as by Investor Junkie.Rating
|Commissions & Fees|
|Ease of Use|
|Tools & Resources|
|Amount of Deals|
|Stock Trades||$6.95/trade ($4.95/trade for 30+ trades/quarter)||$4.95/trade|
|Options Trades||$6.95/trade + $0.75/contract ($4.95 + $0.50/contract for 30+ trades/quarter)||$4.95/trade + $0.65/contract|
|Investment Types||Stocks, Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, FOREX, Futures||Stocks, Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds|
|Access||Website, iOS App, Apple Watch, Android App||Website, iOS App, Apple Watch, Android App|
|Broker Assisted Trade|
|No Fee ETFs|
|Sign Up||Sign Up|
E*TRADE, the grandaddy of online discount brokers, is still a good choice for active investors. Its platforms are easy to use, customer service is responsive, and trades execute quickly. However, there are now many less expensive rivals on the market.
About Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab is the Nordstrom of the investment world, and customers virtually always leave happy. As a customer, you'll get access to virtually all the investment services that come standard at any major brokerage. However, if you're an active trader, you might find other firms with better options.