E-Trade, also written as E*TRADE, is a financial corporation that offers online stock trading options for account holders. Bankrate writers tout it as one of the best stock market websites for beginners, due to its ease of use and the amount of information available to help users make good decisions. E-Trade was one of the earliest electronic stock management options, founded in 1991 and going public with its own stock in 1996. In 2020, E-Trade was acquired by Morgan Stanley, a large banking and financial services corporation. E-Trade is a great way for individuals to enter the stock market on their own if they're confident in their research and ability to choose successful investments.
Getting Started With E-Trade
It's fairly straightforward to open an account with E-Trade; you can use their website on a PC, or you can download their app to your mobile phone and work from there. Once you've created an account, you'll need to transfer money from a bank account before you can make any transactions. You may need to connect your bank account with your E-Trade login to make this deposit.
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Once you're set up within E-Trade and you have E-Trade cash available for investment, buying stock is fairly straightforward. Find the ticker symbol of the stock you want to buy – this is a set of letters that designates the company whose stock you'll be purchasing.
Buying and Selling Stock
For example, Coca-Cola is listed on the New York Stock Exchange as KO; the Walt Disney Co. is listed as DIS. The E-Trade interface allows you to choose whether to buy or sell the security you've chosen and gives you options to choose from in terms of how to buy or sell. Once you've entered the stock symbol for what you're purchasing, chosen how many shares to purchase and selected the options for this purchase, the stock order will be executed as instructed with the simple push of a button.
Selling stock uses the same interface, with the same options available to the user. Stock can be bought or sold using three methods, explains the team at E-Trade. The first option is to immediately buy or sell a stock at the current market price, the most straightforward approach. You can also execute a limit order, which will only buy or sell a stock if it hits a limit price that you can choose.
For example, you might make an order to only buy shares of a stock if the price drops below a certain limit; the limit order only goes through if this condition is met. The final option is a stop order, which is usually used to sell a stock once its price hits a certain specified point; the name comes from an effort to stop losses based on that particular stock. These kinds of trades can be executed all at once, over the course of a day or until the order is cancelled.
Buying and Selling Stock on E-Trade
E-Trade isn't just for trading stock; they also offer a number of resources to help you plan your investment strategy. These resources can help you develop a portfolio, which spreads your investments out over a few areas, helping to minimize the risk of loss.
They'll also advise you on stock tricks involving when and how to buy and sell to maximize profit without racking up too many trading fees. There's even advice on retirement planning, tax management and ways to contact an advisor for a personalized investment plan.