If you prefer to perform stock trades on your computer, you might wonder what the E-Trade website has to offer. Fortunately for traders, the E-Trade site does have an intuitive feel and a reasonably streamlined interface — but that’s not all you’ll want to know about. Here are some details that can help you determine if E-Trade is right for your investing needs.
What Is E-Trade?
E-Trade is an investment platform from Morgan Stanley, a global financial services company that acquired E-Trade in 2020. As one of the first online brokers, E-Trade originally offered straightforward pricing that helped it connect with the masses and democratize stock trading. As more platforms entered the market, E-Trade started providing commission-free trading on stocks, options and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
How Does the E-Trade Website Work?
The E-Trade website is user-friendly and highly information-driven, offering all of the features you need to review investment options, initiate trades, and otherwise customize and build your portfolio. The setup is pretty simple. Along the top of the page, you can find headers for the main sections, each with a submenu that takes you to specific information. In the upper right, you’ll find search bars.
When you view an investment, you can submit orders using the “Buy” and “Sell” buttons on the right-hand side. There’s also the option to add an investment to a watchlist and set up a notification.
How to Sign Up for the E-Trade Website
Signing up on the E-Trade website only takes a few minutes if you have all the necessary documentation on hand. As with all brokerages, you’ll need to prove your identity, and that requires information like your Social Security number, driver’s license, or passport.
On the website, you can begin by clicking “Open an account.” Next, you need to choose the account type, so select brokerage, retirement or bank account based on your needs. Continue making selections as you move forward in the process. The brokerage option involves establishing the account ownership (individual, joint or custodial). If you go with retirement, you need to choose the type of retirement account you want to open.
Once you complete that, it’s time to provide some personal information. You’ll need to enter your name, phone number and email address to begin. Then, you’ll add in your address and other information before uploading proof of your identity.
Generally, pictures taken with webcams or smartphones are sufficient for capturing your proof of identity. Just make sure to follow the instructions regarding backgrounds and sizes for images. Once you’ve submitted the documentation and are approved, you can send money to the account and start trading.
How to Trade on E-Trade
Trading on E-Trade is reasonably simple. Once you have an account, you need to fund it. For most people, that involves transferring money from an account in another financial institution or sending a wire transfer.
After that, you can use the provided tools and resources to identify a trade you’d like to make. For example, you can dive into market data or independent research by experts. There are also screening tools that can help you find a solid match for your goals and strategy.
Once you know what you’d like to trade, you’ll use the E-Trade online trading ticket system to handle your order. You’ll choose a price type and a duration. Once you confirm the details, you can execute the trade and, if the conditions you outline are met, it’ll process. If those conditions aren’t satisfied, the ticket closes without any action taken.