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We have awarded E*Trade Financial our prestigious Gold Award in this category, having reviewed 13 US Online Stock Trading Websites. Read our review below to find out why...
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E*Trade is one of the oldest online trading services in existence and has shown many of the newer services how to do business. It offers absolutely everything that an advanced trader could need and caters well enough for new investors too. The tools on offer are top quality and professionally designed while the research is in-depth enough for the most serious of investors. E*Trade caters best for those who plan on doing a lot of trading and you'll get the best deal if this is what you plan on doing, but it's such a good service that it shouldn't be overlooked for small numbers of trades either.
If you are looking to use E*Trade to research ideas for your next investment, you won't be disappointed with the range of analytical tools on offer. For discovering new opportunities there is an excellent market scanner which will search out options based on the risk profile you are happy with. If you already have a portfolio in mind you can use the risk analyzer or income calculator tools to decide if it will live up to your expectations. Along with this you will find some of the best independent research around, which you can access at no cost. Combining everything even the most experienced investors should find everything they need to make the important decisions.
To supplement the research and analytical tools E*Trade has on offer, the website also contains a range of tutorials and guides to help the new investor learn the ropes. These start out very basic, but also cover a selection of more advanced investment strategies. However, if after reading through these you still feel like you need some help, it only takes a phone call to get free financial advice from a real investment professional. E*Trade is one of the few online traders that actually have a presence in the real world too, with twenty offices around the U.S. Any advice you receive can also be discussed with the E*Trade community by making use of the community features an account offers.
When it comes to making real trades, E*Trade offers an impressive online trading platform. It can be accessed directly through a web browser so no matter where you are you can check on your investments and place trades. The innovative user interface lets you customize everything, letting you add multiple feeds, live charts and even video streams to your view. You can be sure never to miss an important announcement by easily configuring the platform to your preferences. If you are part of the elite platform (i.e people who make a lot of trades per quarter) there are even more advanced tools to take advantage of and a priority trading service.
As one of the longest running online trading services E*Trade has found the time to cater for a range of different investments in financial markets worldwide. It's easy to diversify your portfolio with stocks, options and mutual funds. However, if you are looking for something less risky there are also plenty of fixed income investments to choose from. The fees are slightly on the high side if you aren't an active trader and don't have a large account, but not unreasonable given the level of service being provided. However, if you have a large balance or make a lot of trades per quarter you get preferential treatment with lower rates and access to advanced tools.
E*Trade is a well established trader both online and in the real world. The experience and knowledge they have built up should instil confidence in the trading platform they offer and the advice their staff provide. However that does come at a price if you are new to the game or just a casual investor. We would recommend E*Trade most highly to regular traders, or those who don't mind paying slightly more for exemplary service and in-depth advice.
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