I know of at least two WylieMoney readers who have signed up for Etrade. I just got an offer as a current Etrade user- If I refer a new user I get $50 plus the new user gets up to 100 commission free stock trades to use within the first 30 days of opening an account. The offer lasts through June 30 and does not count toward IRA or other retirement accounts. So if you are thinking about signing up, let me know and I'll shoot you the details of the deal I have.
I don't know any folks who are gonna benefit from being able to buy or sell 100 different stocks in a month, but hey, you never know. And if you did want an account and wanted to buy some GE and AAPL stock right off the bat, well this deal would save you about $20 and give me $50.
Don't pick Etrade just for this. Pick a brokerage that best addresses your needs. I was chatting with a couple who recently decided to open a brokerage account and one of their needs was a direct connection to a person they could establish a relationship with to work with at the brokerage to help them through the process of opening and managing their account. Etrade does not meet this need and was clearly not the right choice for them! I'm sure Etrade would disagree and probably offers this kind of support for a fee, but finding a financial planner or analyst you trust is an entirely different matter. This couple has such a planner already so Etrade did not make sense.
I have shared some of my thoughts about Etrade before. The tools Etrade offers are simple and fairly sophisticated. They have been expanding functionality since I joined which is great. Calling customer service, however, is rarely an encouraging experience. It has taken me many months to resolve past issues. I imagine their service reps are good at explaining how to use the site. But when the site is not working like they think it should be, they are not good at finding out why. I will soon be writing a post about a new problem I am having with Etrade. Their interpretation of individual Mutual Fund policies does not consistently match how their tool interacts with those policies. More about that soon.
So, after this hard sell (hehehe), if you want to open an Etrade account, please email me at wyliemoney at gmail dot com. But do not open an account if you do not plan to maintain a $10,000 balance after the first year as Etrade will sock you with inordinate quarterly fees.