TradeKing vs E*TRADE

TradeKing BannerPitching E*TRADE against TradeKing might seem like a one sided affair. E*TRADE’s last reported revenues were $1.8 billion against TradeKing’s $6.1 million.

But the internet has levelled the playing field, now even a small broker can compete against the industry giants. All you need is a trading platform, website and a small amount of working capital and you’re ready to go.

The problem is this has created a number of low quality brokers with poor customer service, slow execution times and outdated platforms. Fortunately TradeKing isn’t one of those brokers, question is can they match E*TRADE?

Products & Services

Broker TradeKing E*TRADE
Rating [rating:5/5] [rating:3/5]
website Visit the TradeKing Website Visit the E*TRADE Website
Our Review Read Our TradeKing 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

You can see both brokers offer a full compliment of trading services, TradeKing don’t offer day trading services, their platform isn’t really suitable for day traders due to the lack of  level 2 data.

Most day traders are more than likely to use a direct access broker than choose either of these two brokers, so it’s not really an issue. All other services including Certificates of Deposits are available from both brokers.

I suppose I should point out at this point that E*TRADE have a network of over 500 local branches and offer traditional banking products, not something TradeKing can offer. This isn’t a huge problem, I’ve been trading online for over 8 years and have never felt the need to visit my broker.

Trading Tools

TradeKing 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

You can see from the table above that both these brokers have a very accomplished set of trading tools. There are pros and cons to each of them however, so let’s take a look at them in detail.

Firstly E*TRADE offer a service called online advisor; this is an attempt to replicate a full service broker. You simply enter your details, including age, investment history, what kind of risk you want to be exposed to and it’ll create a customized portfolio for you.

All you have to do is implement it and you’ll have a professional well balanced portfolio. It’s unlikely to outperform the S&P 500 over the long term, it’s not like E*TRADE are managing your account for you, but if you’re new to investing this is good way to start building your investment portfolio. You can even play around with it and set different risk profiles just to see how it affects your recommendations.

Other points of interest are E*TRADE offer a different platform to frequent traders who get free access to level 2 data and a range of other tools including, powerful idea generating tools and unlimited customization. This is not a service TradeKing offer but there is one thing they do have that E*TRADE don’t.

TradeKing have a full virtual trading facility. I think this is a major omission from the E*TRADE toolset. I mean every trader I know likes to test new strategies in real time and that’s just not possible without a virtual trading platform.

Fees & Commissions

TradeKing E*TRADE
Account Minimum $0.00 $1000
Margin Account Minimum $2000 $2000
Stocks & ETFs $4.95 $9.99 0-149 trades per quarter
Options Base $4.95 $9.99 0-149 trades per quarter
Options Per Contract $0.65 per contract $0.75 per contract
Account Management Fee $0.00 $0.00
Broker Assisted Trades $5.00 $45.00
Mutual Funds $14.95 $19.99
Bonds $4.95/bond ($14.95 minimum) $1.0/bond ($10.00 minimum)
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00


When it comes down to it, these two brokers target different sections of the market. TradeKing are going after beginners and intermediate traders, who perhaps have never traded before or have limited funds available to invest and are just looking to build a small portfolio.

E*TRADE on the other hand are going after the big fish, they want traders with significant account sizes and offer major discounts to traders who trade frequently or have account balances in excess of $50,000.

So which is right for you? Well if you’re a beginner or you have a small investment fund you’re better off choosing TradeKing. They have excellent training materials and a wonderful trading community. E*TRADE with their billion dollar revenue and local branch network can’t match that.

If you’re a serious investor with a significant account balance, you’re going to be better off with E*TRADE. They have a much more advanced platform and access to level 2 data. Their education is set at a more advanced level and you’ll have the comfort of knowing your funds are invested with a major blue chip company.

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