SpeedTrader vs E*TRADE

SpeedTrader.comE*TRADE should need no introduction, as one of the largest online discount brokers, they have over 500 local branches and offer their clients everything from stocks to bank accounts.

SpeedTrader on the other hand are not so well known, a little more specialized they target more experienced traders including day traders with significant account balances who trade frequently.

So which broker should you choose? We’ve rated them both for the quality of their trading platforms, customer service and of course fees and commissions.


Products & Services

Broker SpeedTrader E*TRADE
Rating [rating:3/5] [rating:3/5]
website Visit the SpeedTrader Website Visit the E*TRADE Website
Our Review Read Our SpeedTrader Review Read Our Full E*TRADE Review
Bank Deposits Bank Deposits
Bonds Bonds
Certificates of Deposits Certificates of Deposits
Day Trading Day Trading
Services Extended Hours Trading Extended Hours Trading
Mutual Funds Mutual Funds
Trading Community Trading Community

Services Overview

It’s always going to be difficult to beat E*TRADE for the number of products offered, very few brokers offer bank accounts and access to a local branch network. But do you really need them?

I don’t think there are any advantages to having your bank account with your broker and I’ve never felt the need to visit a discount broker in my life. So these services are nice but not really necessary.

SpeedTrader are a much more focused broker, targeting a very narrow band of potential clients. Their services are aimed specifically towards very experienced traders and day traders who hold significant balances and trade several trades a day.

Trading Tools

SpeedTrader E*TRADE
Automated Trading Automated Trading
Investor Resource Center Investor Resource Center
Mobile Trading Mobile Trading
Online Advisor Online Advisor
Trading Tools
Profit & Loss Calculator Profit & Loss Calculator
Streaming Charts Streaming Charts
Stock & Fund Screeners Stock & Fund Screeners
Tables & Graphs Tables & Graphs
Training & Education Training & Education
Virtual Trading Virtual Trading

Trading Tools Overview

When it comes to tools E*TRADE have the better all round platform, it’s suitable for intermediate and more advanced traders. There are a number of unique tools such as online advisor, which evaluates your portfolio and recommends changes based on your risk profile and investment strategy.

SpeedTrader again have a platform that caters towards their target market, they claim to have one of the quickest platforms around, although I think that’s a bit of marketing tactic, most retail traders won’t ever have a need for that kind of speed.

Both brokers offer different platforms to different traders depending on your account size and strategy. If you have an account balance in excess of $50,000 E*TRADE will give you free access to the E*TRADE Pro platform which gives you level 2 data and a more professional range of tools.

SpeedTrader have three platforms available SpeedTrader II, SpeedTrader Pro and Sterling Trader Pro. The later two are paid platforms available to everyone if you’re willing to pay the fee. However if your monthly commissions are in excess of the platform fees they’re reduced to zero.

Fees & Commissions

SpeedTrader E*TRADE
Account Minimum $0.00 $1000
Margin Account Minimum $2000 $2000
Stocks & ETFs $6.95 $9.99 (0-149 Trades)
Options Base $0.00 $9.99 (0-149 Contracts)
Options Per Contract $1.00 $0.75 per contract
Account Management Fee $30.00 Quarterly Inactivity Fee $0.00
Broker Assisted Trades $6.95 $45.00
Mutual Funds $50.00 $19.99
Bonds $50.00 $1.00/bond ($10.00 minimum)
IRA Annual Fee $35.00 $0.00


If you’re looking for an all round broker with the peace of mind of dealing with a major blue chip company E*TRADE are the perfect broker for you. They offer the most complete set of tools including level 2 data if you need it.

SpeedTrader are a much more specialized broker, they target high net worth traders who trade several times a week. This means they’re not suitable for smaller traders or beginners who’d be much better served elsewhere.

If you’re looking to manage your IRA then you’d have to choose E*TRADE since SpeedTrader charge an annual IRA fee along with quarterly inactivity fees which cancels out the slightly cheaper trading fees for part time traders.

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