Robinhood vs . E*TRADE: Comparing Two Powerhouses in Online Trading

Two names stand out in the world of online trading: Robinhood vs E*TRADE . Robinhood is a relatively new player that has gained popularity with its commission-free trades and user-friendly approach . On the other hand E*TRADE is one of the oldest online brokers which offers a wide range of services and has built a strong reputation over the years . But which platform is right for you? Let’s dive into a head-to-head comparison of Robinhood vs . E*TRADE to help you make an informed decision .


E*TRADE: A Pioneer in Online Trading

E*TRADE was recently acquired by Morgan Stanley and it has a long history as one of the first online stock brokers . With branches across the United States E*TRADE offers accessibility both online and offline . It provides two platforms: the traditional E*TRADE platform and Power E*TRADE both of which are available on desktop and mobile apps . E*TRADE has no account minimums or trading commissions and it even offers managed portfolios for a management fee . Additionally E*TRADE provides a range of accounts like custodial accounts, college savings accounts, retirement accounts and FDIC-insured savings and checking accounts .


Robinhood: Democratizing Finance

Robinhood has gained popularity for its commission-free trades and easy access to the markets which is in line with its mission to democratize finance . The platform offers stock ETF, and options trading as well as cryptocurrencies . Users can trade via the Robinhood app on iOS and Android or through the web platform . While Robinhood doesn’t offer custodial accounts it provides brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, margin accounts and even a cash card linked to an FDIC-insured spending account .


Trading Platforms and User Experience

When it comes to trading platforms E*TRADE offers the E*TRADE website and Power E*TRADE desktop platforms . Both platforms have smooth layouts and user-friendly functionality . Robinhood on the other hand provides a web platform and mobile app which are beginner-friendly but lack the depth of information and tools that are offered by E*TRADE . While E*TRADE allows more order types and back testing on its desktop platform Robinhood shines in offering access to the same range of assets on both its web and mobile platforms . Overall E*TRADE has a more comprehensive trading experience that caters to investors of all levels while Robinhood’s mobile app is popular among those who prefer mobile investing .


Asset Classes and Trading Costs

E*TRADE offers a wide range of asset classes including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, futures, currencies and more . While E*TRADE doesn’t support direct crypto trading it offers Bitcoin futures . Robinhood on the other hand focuses on stocks, ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies . It also allows fractional shares trading for stocks and ETFs which is a budget-friendly feature . Both platforms offer commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs and options but E*TRADE provides additional commission-free trading for U .S . treasuries bonds and no-load mutual funds . Robinhood stands out for its cost savings especially for traders who are on a budget .


Portfolio Analysis and Security

E*TRADE excels in portfolio analysis with tools like TradeLab and LiveAction along with back testing capabilities . It provides a sector allocation monitor and a range of portfolio analysis tools which makes it ideal for active traders . Robinhood’s portfolio analysis tools are more minimalistic in comparison but the platform is constantly working on enhancements . Both platforms offer two-factor authentication, encryption and biometric logins for security . While Robinhood faced a well-publicized outage in the past E*TRADE has implemented strong security measures and offers additional protection through its Complete Protection Guarantee .


Making the Choice

Both Robinhood and E*TRADE have their strengths and cater to different types of investors . E*TRADE offers a diverse collection of asset classes comprehensive trading tools and research capabilities . It has the advantage of being an established player with decades of experience . Robinhood appeals to investors on a budget and those who prefer a mobile-first approach . Its commission-free trades, fractional shares trading and easily used platform make it popular among millennials and new investors .

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Carmen Brooke Martin

Finance Analyst Hello, my name is Carmen Brooke Martin and I am an expert finance journalist with a master's degree from New York University in Business and Economics. I'm passionate about helping startups spread the word, discover and promote great projects in the crypto and fintech industry. What I am working on is to provide basic cryptocurrency education and benefits to the crypto community through video tutorials and written content. As a business developer, I help crypto projects structure and create a whitepaper that can stir investors' interest, advice on marketing strategies and promotions.

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