time icon 6 min read update icon Sept. 20, 2019
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E*Trade is an online discount stock firm with over thirty years of experience. It remains one of the most successful and trusted online financial brokers in the world.

E*Trade was incorporated in 1982 as TradePlus Inc. William Porter founded the company with only $15,000 in startup capital. In 1991, E-Trade Securities was established. Finally, in 1996, E*Trade went public, with Christopher Cotsakos at the helm as CEO. Revenue for the company climbed dramatically, and it quickly expanded its focus to meet the changing needs of its clients. E*Tradequickly became the third-largest ATMnetwork in the United States. Today, E*Trade continues to grow, with 3.5 million active accounts and $348.2 billion in client assets. 

No matter how much a person plans for retirement, unforeseen expenses and inflation take their toll. Retirement funds and finances can become depleted. E*Trade is a way that a senior can continue to grow their money. Undoubtedly, seniors are living longer today. It is not uncommon for someone to live into their 90s and even see the century mark. This means that building funds is essential to maintain a person’s lifestyle and meet their growing financial requirements with each passing year.

Grandfolk Scoring
Robo-advisor 10/10
Cost 8/10
Ease 10/10
Cancellation 9/10
Customer service 9/10
Initial deposit requirement 8/10
Securities traded 9/10
Regulatory memberships 10/10
Financial strength 10/10
Is a robo-advisor service available?
Is a deposit required?
$6.95 per stock trade; $4.95 for active traders
Is the service easy to use?
Very easy; only one sign-in is required for access
Can I cancel the service?
Yes; a $75 transfer fee
Customer service
How do I reach customer service?
Online chat, phone or email 24/7, plus local branches
Initial deposit requirement
How much must I invest?
$500 for account; $0 for an IRA
Securities traded
What trading options are available?
Equities, ETFs, Fixed Income, Futures, Mutual Funds, Options, Forex
Regulatory memberships
Does the company belong to FINRA and SIPC?
Financial strength
Is the company financially strong?
Yes, it has 3.5 million active accounts and $348.2 billion in assets
Age Score:
50-64 Years
65-74 Years
75-84 Years

Investing during one’s golden years can provide a tidy nest egg that can be tapped into if unforeseen circumstances arise, or if extra money is needed to cover rising living expenses. Investing is just a portion of a senior’s overall financial future. Having a realistic budget with an adequate emergency fund and sufficient insurance coverage are also key to long term retirement success. 

Investing online can be done successfully no matter your age. However, seniors may need to learn certain things, such as the terms of online trading. A senior should also know a bit about computers to ensure that their anti-virus software is up to date and functioning well. It might take a bit of study, but if you’re somewhat tech-savvy, you’ll get the hang of it.

Health Score:
Great Health
Good Health
Fair Health
Poor Health

With the advancing years, many seniors face a multitude of costly health problems. Sound financial investing can help pay medical expenses in a pinch. This provides seniors with peace of mind, so they can focus on battling their health problems and not be overly concerned with the often-staggering costs of healthcare. Typically, a senior will receive a return of between eight and ten percent on their investments per year. As the years pass, the money gained adds up and becomes invaluable, especially if you are facing an uncertain medical future. 

Saving for tomorrow through sound investments is the key to conquering obstacles such as a health care crisis. No one likes mounting medical expenses, but with financial stability, a senior can rest easy knowing that they can afford the care they require.


  •  No fee for IRA accounts
  • No maintenance fees
  • No inactivity fees
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Full banking services
  • Streaming charts
  • In-person assistance and guidance at 30 branches located across the U.S.
  • Many investing options.
  • No transaction fee on mutual funds
  • Abundant educational tools on the website


  • Only active traders get to use advanced platforms
  • A high standard commission fee of $6.95
  • No incentive to open a new account

Bottom Line:

E*Trade has been around for three decades and continues to be one of the best financial corporations for online stocks in the world. The company has superior customer service and a fairly easy-to-use platform that is suitable for beginners or advanced traders. There is a minimum $500 deposit to get started, but there are no deposit requirements for an IRA. Its large selection of financial products lifts E*Trade above other similar companies. E*Trade allows clients to access retirement products, fixed-income futures, bank accounts, equities, and forex. There is no need to sign in to multiple accounts because only one login is required to access all services. The company also offers mobile trading options. 

Seniors can set up or transfer their IRAs for no fee. All other E*Trade services require a $500 deposit to get started. E*Trade’s online site is set up nicely, so even a novice can navigate the platform. Seniors can also utilize phone services, or go into any one of the 30 branches for more personalized face-to-face services. With E*Trade, stocks and ETFs are $6.95, options are $6.95 plus $0.75 per contract, and mutual funds are $19.95. With such low fees, even seniors on a fixed income can afford to try their hand at online stock trading.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I pay for my policy?  

A standard banking account requires a $500 deposit. Opening an IRA is free. All services are paid with electronic bank transfers. With E*Trade, stocks and ETFs are $6.95, options are $6.95 plus $0.75 per contract, and mutual funds are $19.95.

Can I change my plan? 

E-Trade offers a multitude of financial options that can be changed extensively. You can contact customer service via online chat, phone or email 24/7 to make changes. 

Can I cancel my plan? 

Yes, but there is a transfer-out fee of $75. 

More Information:

Note: E*Trade is a stable company that has been around for decades. However, it does have some of the highest commission fees in the industry. 

OVERVIEW: E*Trade has become a leader among financial institutions. The corporation continues to grow rapidly. In 2016, it had $1.94 billion in revenue. The company has 3.5 million brokerage accounts. Superior customer service is available 24/7 to meet all clients’ banking needs. 

PACKAGE DETAILS:  Seniors can get started immediately by opening an account with a minimum balance of $500. There is no required balance to open an IRA. 
Stocks and ETFs are $6.95, options are $6.95 plus $0.75 per contract, and mutual funds are $19.95. 

Individual Plans:  Individuals can open individual accounts

Family Plans: Group accounts can be opened with a spouse, child or other relative. 

E*Trade Mobile: With E-Trade Mobile, your accounts are at your fingertips. You can place trades, manage your accounts and watch real-time streaming quotes. 

Discounts: E*Trade often offers discounts to new clients. For example, if you set up an account with a deposit of $10,000, you can trade free for 60 days and get up to $2,500 in cash. 

Add-On Services: All services are available to account holders. 

Additional Company Details: 

E*Trade allows its members to access equities, forex, bank accounts, retirement products, equities, fixed-income and futures. Everything is clearly displayed on the platform, and additional sign-ins are not required to access the various sections.

Payment Policies: Transactions can be made online, via the mobile app or over the phone with electronic funds transfers. 

Cancellation: There is a transfer-out fee of $75. 

Warranty: E*Trade offers no warranty. The company is not responsible for any losses. 

Accreditation:  E*Trade is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). 


E*Trade is a financial service company that was founded in 1982. It was the first company ever to execute an electronic trade. The company centers around providing traders with financial independence by offering digital and professional guidance. Services can be accessed online, via the mobile app, in person at one of 30 branches nationwide, or over the phone. 


E*TRADE Securities, LLC
PO Box 484
Jersey City, NJ07303-0484
Tel: (800) 387-2331   
Website: https://us.etrade.com/home

Kimberly Sharpe - Senior Advisor

Kimberly is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.