The amount of money it takes to open an eTrade account varies according to the type of account. In addition to trading and investing accounts, eTrade offers banking, active trading, global trading and educational accounts, as well as retirement accounts for individuals or small businesses. On top of minimum opening balance requirements, eTrade accounts might also charge varying fees based on the frequency of trading in the account. In general, accounts with higher activity are subject to lower fees.
For general trading and investing accounts, the eTrade brokerage account and trust and estate accounts require a minimum opening deposit of $500. For active trading accounts, Power eTrade accounts also require a minimum opening deposit of $1,000, while Futures Trading accounts require $10,000. There is no minimum balance to open most individual retirement accounts (IRAs) or educational accounts. However, there is a $5,000 minimum to open a Core Portfolio account.
For banking accounts, the eTrade checking account has no monthly fee and a $100 minimum. Max-Rate Checking accounts require at least a $5,000 balance to avoid the $15 monthly fee.
Business accounts have different investment minimums and fees than accounts for individuals. General investment accounts for businesses, including corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships and LLCs do not have a minimum opening balance. Retirement accounts for small businesses, including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, individual 401(k)s, money purchase and profit sharing accounts, also do not require a minimum initial deposit.
Some eTrade investment accounts have the option of opening a margin account, which allows the customer to borrow money for investments. Most margin accounts require a higher minimum opening deposit than regular accounts. The eTrade brokerage account and Power eTrade accounts require at least $2,000 to open a margin account. Business investment accounts do not require a higher opening deposit, as long as customers meet eligibility requirements.
In general, eTrade accounts with higher activity may have lower fees. For example, with the eTrade brokerage account, customers with fewer than 30 trades per quarter pay $6.95 when buying and selling stocks, while those with 30 or more trades pay $4.95.
When determining how much money to invest when opening an account, eTrade customers should consider the minimum initial deposit for the account type they're interested in, how much money they have available to invest, and the fees and benefits of having a more active account.