E-Trade vs. Scottrade: Which Stock Trader Is Best For You?

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    Scottrade and E-Trade are some of the biggest names in the online stock trading market right now, and you might be wondering whether their services are right for you. With that in mind, we have taken a look at both of them to figure out which one might be the one you’re looking for.

    Features, Fees & Ratings Comparison Table

    FeaturesE-TradeScottrade
    💰 Account Minimum$0$0
    💸 Commission Fees$0 for stocks, ETFs, and options; $1 per bond; $19.99 to $49.99 for mutual$0 for stocks, ETFs, and options; $1 per bond; $17 to $49.99 for mutual funds
    💼 Investment OptionsStocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, bonds, futures, and forexStocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, and annuities
    🤖 Robo-AdvisorEtrade offers a robo-advisor service called Core Portfolios with a 0.30% annual fee and a $500 minimumScottrade does not offer a robo-advisor service
    📊 Research and AnalysisEtrade offers a range of research tools, including market data, news, charts, analyst ratings, screeners, calculators, and educational resourcesScottrade offers a range of research tools, including market data, news, charts, analyst ratings, screeners, calculators, and educational resources
    📱 Mobile AppEtrade offers a highly rated mobile app with features such as trade stocks and ETFs, view and manage accounts, deposit checks, transfer funds, and moreScottrade offers a highly rated mobile app with features such as trade stocks and ETFs, view and manage accounts, deposit checks, transfer funds, and more
    🏦 Retirement AccountsEtrade offers retirement accounts, including 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, and SIMPLE IRAScottrade offers retirement accounts, including 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, and SIMPLE IRA
    🎓 IRA AccountsEtrade offers IRA accounts, including Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, and SIMPLE IRAScottrade offers IRA accounts, including Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, and SIMPLE IRA
    📈 Trading PlatformEtrade offers a web-based platform and a desktop platform with features such as real-time quotes, watchlists, alerts, trade tickets, and moreScottrade offers a web-based platform and a desktop platform with features such as real-time quotes, watchlists, alerts, trade tickets, and more
    📞 Customer ServiceEtrade offers phone and email support, as well as a help center with articles and FAQsScottrade offers phone and email support, as well as a help center with articles and FAQs
    📚 Educational ResourcesEtrade offers a range of educational resources, including webinars, podcasts, articles, videos, guides, and workshopsScottrade offers a range of educational resources, including webinars, podcasts, articles, videos, guides, and workshops
    🌕 Fractional SharesEtrade does not offer fractional sharesScottrade does not offer fractional shares
    🌱 Socially ResponsibleEtrade does not offer a selection of socially responsible investmentsScottrade does not offer a selection of socially responsible investments
    🌎 International InvestingEtrade allows international investing through mutual funds and ETFs that invest in foreign marketsScottrade allows international investing through mutual funds and ETFs that invest in foreign markets
    💳 Cash ManagementEtrade offers a cash management account with a debit card and ATM fee rebatesScottrade offers a cash management account with a debit card and ATM fee rebates
    🔍 Margin TradingEtrade offers margin trading with different margin rates depending on the amount borrowedScottrade offers margin trading with different margin rates depending on the amount borrowed
    ⚙️ Options TradingEtrade offers options trading with no contract feesScottrade offers options trading with no contract fees
    ₿ Cryptocurrency TradingEtrade does not offer cryptocurrency tradingScottrade does not offer cryptocurrency trading
    🛡️ Account SecurityEtrade offers two-factor authentication, biometric login, and account protection up to $500,000 through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)Scottrade offers two-factor authentication, biometric login, and account protection up to $500,000 through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)
    💹 LeverageEtrade offers leverage up to 4x for day trades and 2x for overnight tradesScottrade offers leverage up to 4x for day trades and 2x for overnight trades
    ⚖ RegulationEtrade is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)Scottrade is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

    E-Trade vs. Scottrade: A Comprehensive Broker Comparison

    Welcome to our comprehensive comparison of E-Trade and Scottrade, two of the most well-known brokerage platforms in the world of investing. In this comparison, we will provide you with a detailed overview of each broker, their pros and cons, and a conclusion to help you decide which platform is the best fit for your investment needs.

    E-Trade

    E-Trade Logo

    E-Trade is a well-established online brokerage platform that offers a wide range of investment products, including stocks, ETFs, options, futures, and mutual funds. Founded in 1982, E-Trade has a long history of providing user-friendly trading tools and educational resources to help investors navigate the world of investing.

    Pros
    • Diverse investment options
    • User-friendly platform
    • Comprehensive research and educational resources
    • No commissions on stock and ETF trades
    Cons
    • Higher fees for some services
    • No fractional shares
    • Most Popular
      • Brokerage account
      • Core Portfolios
      • Premium Savings Account
      • Traditional IRA
      • Roth IRA1
      • Rollover IRA
    • Brokerage
      • Brokerage account
      • Coverdell ESA
      • Custodial Account
    • Retirement
      • Rollover IRA
      • Roth IRA1
      • Traditional IRA
      • Beneficiary IRA
      • E*TRADE CompleteTM IRA
      • IRA for Minors
    • Managed Portfolios
      • Core Portfolios
      • Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors
    • Small business retirement
      • Individual and Roth Individual 401(k)
      • SIMPLE IRA
      • SEP IRA
      • Investment-Only Account
    • Morgan Stanley Private Bank
      • Premium Savings Account
      • Max-Rate Checking
      • Checking
      • Line of Credit

    E-Trade is suited for investors seeking a user-friendly platform with a wide range of investment options and comprehensive research tools. However, investors seeking low fees for options trading or those interested in fractional share trading may find better options elsewhere. E-Trade’s extensive educational resources and commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs make it a suitable choice for both beginner and experienced traders looking for a well-rounded platform.


    Scottrade

    Scottrade Logo (1)

    Scottrade was a well-known brokerage platform that offered a range of investment products and services, including stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds. However, Scottrade was acquired by TD Ameritrade in 2017, and the platform is no longer operational.

    As Scottrade is no longer available, investors seeking a comparable brokerage platform should consider TD Ameritrade, which acquired Scottrade in 2017. TD Ameritrade offers a wide range of investment products, competitive pricing, and user-friendly trading tools. Investors seeking a well-rounded platform with a wide range of investment options and educational resources may find TD Ameritrade to be a suitable alternative to Scottrade.

    Pros
    • User-friendly platform
    • Affordable pricing
    • Wide range of investment options
    • Comprehensive research and educational resources
    • Customer support
    • No account minimums
    Cons
    • Limited advanced trading tools
    • No forex or futures trading

    Features & Primary Uses

    As online brokers, Scottrade and E-Trade both work by facilitating investment trading online for customers using their own custom platforms. Both feature basic platforms that are somewhat workmanlike and easy to use, but they also have premium platforms — ScottradeELITE and E-Trade Pro.

    While these platforms are extremely flexible and high quality, be warned that they require substantial minimum balance requirements depending on how often you trade. ScottradeELITE needs $25,000 in your account if you have traded more than nine times in the last three months, while E-Trade Pro requires a $250,000 balance for customers who trade more than 30 times a quarter.

    Judging from these platforms, E-Trade Pro is a more cost-efficient platform on which to trade. Between its Strategy Scanner, professional options screeners, customizable charts, and more, it is an all-around fantastic platform. (You just have to trade a lot to qualify for it.)

    Technology-wise, E-Trade simply has better tools and apps than Scottrade. For instance, its mobile app is quite streamlined and easy to use, with real-time quotes, CNBC Video On Demand, more custom charts, and stock and ETF screeners. It’s possibly the closest a mobile stock app gets to emulating its desktop counterpart.

    E-Trade also has a few more tricks up its sleeve, with a Google Chrome plugin that provides instant research and trades, as well as immediate information on current stock prices.

    While Scottrade’s features don’t quite match that level of quality, they make up for it by not having such a steep investment requirement. Some of their platform’s features include Intraday Trader, which notifies traders of opportunities for trading and more.

    Both companies provide plentiful access to research, but E-Trade’s tools are a bit higher quality and diverse, sourcing information from Morningstar, Thomson Reuters, S&P Capital IQ and other reputable analysts.

    Scottrade and E-Trade have similar platform structures, so it’s up to you to decide what factor you prefer — affordability or functionality. Scottrade gives you a decent set of options for much less than E-Trade, – but the tier-one features provided on their service should make for a streamlined trading experience.

    In addition to their online platforms, both services provide a good deal of education and research for traders to make the most out of their trading experiences. Scottrade’s active research on various markets is extremely useful, though a bit basic; however, this could be seen as advantageous for beginning traders who want to ease into the process.

    E-Trade’s education material educates users on stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, fixed income and retirement accounts via tools such as webinars, forums, seminars, and retirement calculators. Scottrade offers similarly useful information on their Knowledge Center, offering timely articles and comprehensive coverage of how to invest and the best ways to do so right now.

    Judging from both of these education options, E-Trade’s work is slightly more comprehensive, but less beginner-friendly — it’s really best for traders with a bit of experience to learn more intermediate and advanced concepts. For those just starting out, Scottrade’s articles and Client Education Events provide the most helpful resources between the two.

    business

    Investment Options

    Scottrade and E-Trade both have fantastic investment options, but the edge may well have to go to E-Trade. There are more than 100 commission-free ETFs in E-Trade’s arsenal — very respectable compared to Scottrade, which doesn’t offer commission-free ETFs at all.

    On the other hand, if you are looking to invest in mutual funds, Scottrade has the advantage, with over 2,500 funds with no transaction fees. E-Trade, meanwhile, has about 1,300.

    When it comes to your investment options, it simply depends on what you’re looking for. Scottrade has better mutual fund options, whereas E-Trade would be preferable if you want commission-free ETFs. E-Trade also provides futures trading for more adventurous traders.

    Fees

    The great thing about both E-Trade and Scottrade is that they both charge you no annual fees, nor are you charged for inactivity. For traders looking to pay only for the trades you make, you can’t go wrong with either option.

    When it comes to the actual costs of stock trading, Scottrade just barely edges out E-Trade with its $7 flat commission rates. While E-Trade’s tiered pricing is still very affordable, the savings are just greater and more flexible with Scottrade’s flat rates.

    Options traders can also benefit easily from Scottrade’s cheaper rates over E-Trade, as well. In addition to the $7 base commission, Scottrade charges $.70 per contract, while E-Trade charges $.75. The difference isn’t that much, but it can add up, making Scottrade the slightly better option.

    In addition to the stocks/ETF and options rates, mutual funds rates are fairly affordable for Scottrade. No-load mutual funds are $17 per trade, while E-Trade offers $19.99 per trade.

    In E-Trade’s defense, highly active traders might end up saving a bit more money there than with Scottrade, as the tiered pricing structure heavily rewards those customers who trade quite a lot. If you plan to trade frequently, E-Trade’s rates might well be worth it.

    Asset Allocation

    Figuring out how best to assign your assets is an important part of investing, and both Scottrade and E-Trade have quite a few features to help you in that endeavor. With E-Trade, for instance, there’s My Virtual Advisor, a state-of-the-art tool that offers recommended asset allocations based on how much help you think you need.

    The My Virtual Advisor feature allows traders to generate their own custom portfolios that are easy to use and adaptive to their investment goals and risk tolerance. There are pre-made All Star Lists you can choose from, or you can use the online screening tools to figure out the kind of portfolio that’s right for you.

    On the other hand, Scottrade offers some asset allocation tools that help investors divide their portfolios according to risk tolerance, time horizon, and other options. This mostly consists of

    • a Current Allocation or Target Model, where you can pick your desired level of growth;
    • My Action Plan Model, where you preview changes to your allocation;
    • and the Allocation Fields, where the changes occur.

    Between the two models, E-Trade’s asset allocation features are unequivocally better, given the greater automation and more advance recommendation tools present. Scottrade’s tools are admirable, as well, but the sheer quality of E-Trade’s platform gives it the win in that category.

    Which Should You Pick? Who Is Each Good For?

    Choosing between E-Trade and Scottrade simply depends on what you’re looking for. At first glance, E-Trade edges out Scottrade in a number of criteria, such as investment options and online trading tools. The lower investment minimum requirement ($500) over Scottrade’s ($2,500) is also pretty tempting for brokers just looking to get started.

    However, Scottrade has a few advantages — their commissions are much, much lower, which adds up as you invest (unless you’re a super-investor). In this game, saving money at all steps of the process is important, so you need to keep that in mind.

    Scottrade’s customer service is also well-regarded, and offers more diverse options for assistance with their 500 local branches, so you can absolutely get real-time help from a human being if you need. This, in addition to the lower commissions, makes Scottrade a fantastic solution for traders who are just starting out in the biz.

    Both services are great, but one works better for different kinds of investors than the other. Scottrade’s system is very beginner-friendly, while E-Trade’s advanced tools and low rates for active investors benefit experienced traders who want to work in ETFs. Depending on what type of trader you are, one of these brokers should absolutely work for you.

    Conclusion

    When deciding between E-Trade and Scottrade, it is important to note that Scottrade is no longer operational and investors should consider alternatives such as TD Ameritrade. E-Trade is an excellent choice for investors seeking a user-friendly platform with a wide range of investment options and comprehensive research tools. Its extensive educational resources and commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs make it a suitable choice for both beginner and experienced traders looking for a well-rounded platform.

    In conclusion, investors should consider their specific needs and investment goals when choosing a brokerage platform, and consider E-Trade or alternatives such as TD Ameritrade as a potential solution.


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