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ETrade vs. Interactive Brokers – A Detailed Comparison

Discover our detailed comparison of ETrade and Interactive Brokers to help determine which is best for you. Whether you’re a seasoned trader or just starting out, choosing the right platform can significantly impact your trading experience. 

To make your research easier, we manually found key data for ETrade and Interactive Brokers across the internet and compiled it all in this article. 

Overview of ETrade

Founded in 1982, ETRADE was one of the first companies to offer electronic trading to individual investors, making it easier for the general public to participate in the stock market without the need for traditional face-to-face transactions with brokers. ETrade offers competitive pricing for derivative trading and offers a trading platform for charting and analysis.

Overview of Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a well-established brokerage firm founded in 1978, known for providing advanced trading and investing services to a diverse clientele, including individual investors, institutions, and professional traders. IBKR offers competitive pricing for options and futures, but lacks when it comes to charting and ease of use.

Key Characteristics of ETrade and Interactive Brokers

FeatureETradeInteractive Brokers
Platform TypeBrokerage PlatformBrokerage Platform
Tradeable AssetsStocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Futures, Futures Options, Crypto, BondsStocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Futures, Futures Options, Crypto, Bonds
Charting FeaturesPower ETrade PlatformDownloadable desktop platforms, web platform, mobile app
DataReal-time data with funded accountMust buy real-time data
Premium PricingNo premium featuresNo premium features

Who is ETrade Best For?

ETrade is best for long-term investors and active traders alike, but it is just okay compared to other platforms. If you are a long-term investor, ETrade is great, but it doesn’t offer as much flexibility with fractional shares. It is also not the broker of choice for active traders, since much better platforms like tastytrade and thinkorswim are available.

Who is Interactive Brokers Best For?

Interactive Brokers is best for advanced traders who prefer to automate their trading strategies. IBKR is far from beginner-friendly, as the platforms are advanced and require some technical knowledge to utilize effectively. If you are looking for a modern, easy-to-use investing platform, IBKR is not your best option.

Trading Features and Tools

FeatureETradeInteractive Brokers
DRIPYes, no fees in most casesYes, but with fees
Margin TradingYesYes
InsuranceSIPC/FDIC InsuredSIPC Insured
Mobile AppYesYes

Trading Costs and Commissions Compared

Fee TypeETradeInteractive Brokers
Equity CommissionFreeFree
Option Commission$0.65 per contract$0.65 per contract
Futures Commission$1.50 per contract$0.85 per contract, $0.25 micro
Futures Options CommissionMust call to activate futures options$0.85 per contract, $0.25 micro
Option Exercise FeeNoneNone

ETrade vs Interactive Brokers – Bottom Line

Choosing between ETrade and Interactive Brokers depends on your specific trading needs, preferred trading tools, and the type of assets you’re interested in. 

Both platforms offer distinct advantages, but by considering the detailed comparison above, you can select the one that aligns best with your trading strategy and goals.

For more detailed reviews and comparisons, continue exploring our other articles on brokerage platform comparisons.

What is the Overall Best Charting Software?

I have reviewed and used nearly every trading platform available, and I believe that TradingView is the best overall charting software available. Here are some reasons why:

  • All of TradingView’s key features are free to use
  • TradingView provides real-time data for free whenever possible
  • You are not tied to a single broker and can use whichever you want while charting on TradingView
  • You can track all markets on a single platform, including stocks, ETFs, crypto, forex, and futures.
  • TradingView has an excellent economic calendar and various screeners

If you sign up for a TradingView account using my affiliate link, you can get a 30-day free trial of its premium features plus a $15 credit toward your subscription. However, signing up for a free trial is not required, and you can use nearly all of its features with a basic free account. You can read my full review of TradingView to learn more. 

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