My E*Trade Experience
I got an E*Trade account a few weeks ago, hoping to buy a stock. As I watched the stock price climb day after day, I waited…and waited…and waited. E*Trade had my money hostage; although the funds were CLEARED and GONE from my checking account, they did not show up at E*Trade. As I discovered, you have to wait five full business days before your transferred funds are available. Shame on me for not understanding the fine print.
So on day four, I decided to open a Scottrade account. I signed on that evening, created the account, transferred some money, and placed the stock purchase order within minutes. The next morning, once the market opened, I had my stock.
It was the NEXT DAY before my money finally showed up on ETrade. So I tried transferring my money out, preparing to close the account. Oops…I received a bizarre “email cannot be confirmed” error. So I called customer support, and they informed me “that’s just a bad error message”. In reality, I have to wait another five days before I can pull my money out.
At long last, about two full weeks after starting down this path, my money is finally out of ETrade. What a joke. A traditional full-service human broker would have been faster, not to mention cheaper, because I could have gotten that stock at the beginning of the week when it was cheaper.
Hopefully this post is useful to someone trying to decide between E*Trade and Scottrade. There is nothing “E” about E*Trade — it is every bit as inefficient as any stodgy old bank.
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