Frequently asked questions

How do I open an account?

Online

  1. Choose the type of account and complete our secure online account application.
  2. For bank and brokerage accounts, you can either fund your account instantly online or mail in your direct deposit.

By Phone

Call 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331).

By Mail

  1. Download an application and then print it out.
  2. Complete and sign the application.
  3. Send the application with a check made payable to E*TRADE Securities or E*TRADE Bank (depending on the type of account you're opening) to the appropriate address.

Can I transfer an account or assets from another firm?

Consolidating your assets at E*TRADE is easy. You'll have the opportunity to electronically transfer specific assets or an entire brokerage account from another firm during the application process.

Transfer a brokerage account in three easy steps:

  1. Open an account in minutes.
  2. Request an Electronic Transfer or mail a paper request.
  3. Full brokerage transfers submitted electronically are typically completed in ten business days.
    Paper/mail requests for account transfers generally take three to six weeks, depending on how quickly the delivering financial institution is able to process your transfer request.
    We'll send you an online alert as soon as we've received and processed your transfer.

Transfer an existing IRA or roll over a 401(k):

  1. Open an account in minutes.
  2. Request an Electronic Transfer or mail a paper request.
  3. Full brokerage transfers submitted electronically are typically completed in ten business days.
    Paper/mail requests for account transfers generally take three to six weeks, depending on how quickly the delivering financial institution is able to process your transfer request.
    We'll send you an online alert as soon as we've received and processed your transfer.

How do I check on the status of an application?

Simply call us at 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331).

When can I start trading after I open an account?

You can start trading within your brokerage or IRA account after you have funded your account and those funds have cleared.

What are your commissions and fees?

E*TRADE Securities commissions and margin rates are among the lowest in the industry.

View all commissions and fees

How do I fund an account?

Choose the method that works best for you:

  1. Transfer money electronically: Use our Transfer Money service to transfer within 3 business days.
  2. By check: You can easily deposit many types of checks.
  3. By wire transfer: Wire transfers are fast and secure.
  4. Transfer an account: Move an account from another firm.

Can I roll over my 401(k) to E*TRADE?

Yes, you can roll over your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan to an E*TRADE IRA.

Do you offer certificates of deposit (CDs)?

Yes, we provide access to a large number of high-yielding, FDIC-insured brokered CDs and other fixed-income products through E*TRADE Securities. Once you're a customer, you can log on and visit the Bond Resource Center to learn more.

What is Adaptive Portfolio?

Adaptive Portfolio is a professionally managed advisory program from E*TRADE Capital Management. It helps keep investors on track with their financial goals and is part of E*TRADE’s larger suite of managed accounts. Adaptive Portfolio assesses investment objectives, risk tolerance, time horizon, and other considerations to identify an appropriate asset allocation for each investor. It enables clients to invest in a portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with a $5,000 minimum account balance to enroll. The portfolio is rebalanced2 semiannually, and when material deposits or withdrawals are made. Investors have access to a dedicated support team of Investment Adviser Representatives that they can speak with whenever they have a question.

How does it work?

First, answer a series of questions about investment objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon.3 Based on those answers, a diversified portfolio of ETFs is created for an investor. Then, the investor can enroll an eligible new or existing E*TRADE Securities brokerage account with just a few clicks. Unlike many auto-investing solutions, Adaptive Portfolio combines human touch with responsive technology.4 It also rebalances semiannually and if material deposits or withdrawals are made, to help keep the portfolio on track.

What if I currently have an Adaptive Portfolio account with hybrid portfolios that I enrolled prior to June 29, 2017?

Your account, allocation, and fees all stay exactly the same. There are no changes. You will be able to maintain your account with its current allocation and will not be required to terminate or liquidate your positions. However, if at any time you make changes to your Investor Profile Questionnaire3 that result in a new asset allocation recommendation, you will be rebalanced into the appropriate all-ETF portfolio. We strive to provide our clients with choice for their portfolios, so if you wish to explore our suite of advisory programs you can call 1-866-484-3658 or visit etrade.com/guidance to learn more.

Why should E*TRADE Capital Management manage these investments?

E*TRADE Capital Management follows a disciplined investment strategy based on principles of Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT). MPT is a widely utilized framework for building diversified investment portfolios. The underlying philosophy of MPT is to contrast a portfolio with a combination of asset classes (e.g., U.S. equity, international equity, fixed income) based on the expected returns and volatility that these asset classes have displayed over time. Combining different asset classes may help limit risk and increase returns of the investment portfolio as the classes have varying levels of correlation to one other. Many of the assumptions made in MPT rely on historical data, which may not be representative of the future, potentially leading to unexpected outcomes.

The portfolio will be rebalanced semiannually and when material deposits or withdrawals are made. All portfolio holdings will be selected by E*TRADE Capital Management’s Investment Strategy Team based on multi-stage due diligence. 

Here’s how the investments are managed: 

  • E*TRADE Capital Management’s Investment Policy Committee, with the support of the Investment Strategy Team, develops model portfolios. 
  • The team utilizes an investment analysis methodology that incorporates various quantitative criteria, including historical return, risk, expenses, manager tenure, performance and style consistency, and asset size and growth, to select securities held in the investment portfolios.
  • E*TRADE Capital Management uses an algorithm to determine your recommended portfolio of ETFs based on answers to your Investor Profile Questionnaire. The goal is to select the appropriate non-proprietary investment portfolio based on an investor’s investment objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon.
  • Adaptive Portfolio rebalances semiannually and when material deposits or withdrawals are made, to help keep the account on track.
  • Access to an Investment Adviser Representative is just a phone call away.

For additional information, please see the E*TRADE Wrap-Fee Programs Brochure.

And finally, we’ll send monthly market commentary, along with timely insights during major market events, to help keep clients informed about their investments and the market. 

What is an ETF portfolio?

ETFs are baskets of stocks or other securities designed to track a market, industry, or trading strategy. This means an index ETF attempts to match, not outperform, the market. ETFs are typically not actively managed, so they tend to have lower internal operating costs than traditional mutual funds. The bottom line: An all-ETF portfolio may offer an efficient way to achieve broad diversification at a lower cost. In addition, we also offer tax-sensitive ETF portfolios for each Investor Profile. This can help minimize the taxes of a portfolio in a taxable account.

What makes Adaptive Portfolio different from other auto-investing or robo solutions?

Unlike many auto-investing solutions, we:

1.      Provide access to a dedicated support team of Investment Adviser Representatives to answer any questions.

2.      Do not offer our own proprietary ETFs. 

3.      Offer a portfolio of tax-sensitive ETFs to those clients with taxable accounts.

4.      Give clients the option to customize a portion of the portfolio by selecting either a socially responsible investment or a smart beta ETF.

How does an investor get started?

When we designed Adaptive Portfolio, we started with the premise that it should be as easy to use as possible. That’s why we boiled everything down to three simple steps:

Step 1: Complete an Investor Profile Questionnaire

We’ll guide investors through a short series of questions about their investment objectives, time horizon, and risk tolerance. It’s the information we need to know to make an investment recommendation.

Step 2: Review the Recommended Adaptive Portfolio

Next, we’ll recommend a diversified portfolio that fits the selected Investor Profile. An investor will be able to choose a tax-sensitive ETF portfolio based on their needs.

Step 3: Implement the Portfolio

With just a few clicks, an investor can put a plan into action with Adaptive Portfolio. We’ll monitor the portfolio on an ongoing basis and rebalance the holdings semiannually, and when material deposits or withdrawals are made.

Also, clients can set up recurring transfers and benefit from the potential long-term advantages of dollar-cost averaging5 and the convenience of investing regularly without requiring any repeating actions.

How long does it take to complete the enrollment process?

It takes less than 10 minutes. Need help? Just give us a call at 1-866-484-3658.

Is there a way to learn more about the enrollment process?

Of course! We always love to speak with new and existing clients. Just call our Investment Adviser Representative support team at 1-866-484-3658, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET. Our Customer Service team can also live chat anytime, seven days a week.

What happens after enrolling?

  • If you like our recommended Adaptive Portfolio (and have met the $5,000 minimum), we can start building it with just a few clicks.
  • All the investments are typically made within three business days.
  • Adaptive Portfolio accounts are monitored daily for material cash deposits and withdrawals and rebalanced semiannually (accounts must be enrolled for 60 days).  
  • You’ll receive a consolidated confirmation statement letting you know when we make trades on your behalf.
  • You can view your brokerage account statement online, which will provide information about your holdings, any trades we make in your account, any dividends you receive, and all other account activity, on a quarterly basis. Also, you may receive monthly statements based on activity in your account, including any advisory fees that were deducted from your account.
  • You can check your holdings online 24/7 through the Managed Account Dashboard page.
  • You will receive monthly market commentary, along with timely insights during major market events, to help keep you informed about your investments.

How does E*TRADE Capital Management keep their clients' interests in mind?

We build and manage an Adaptive Portfolio based on a client’s stated investment objectives, time horizon, risk tolerance, and other considerations. The Investor Profile Questionnaire was diligently developed and tested to help match clients to their investor profile. Our risk-based allocations consider Modern Portfolio Theory for each investor profile. Finally, we provide access to a team of Investment Adviser Representatives that clients can speak to when they have a question or need additional information.

What criteria does E*TRADE Capital Management use to pick investments for a portfolio?

For each asset class (such as equities or fixed income), E*TRADE Capital Management selects investment holdings that, when combined in broad-based asset allocation strategies, seek to provide a high level of return potential for a given level of risk over the long term, generally three years or longer. That’s called risk-adjusted return potential.

Each investment selection is made by analyzing a spectrum of key data points, such as historical performance, expenses, tracking error, and liquidity. E*TRADE Capital Management reviews and evaluates the investment holdings in a portfolio on an ongoing basis to see if any material withdrawals or deposits are made, and rebalances the account semiannually.

Can a client select a different portfolio than the one recommended?

We recommend a portfolio based on the investment objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon a client specifies in the Investor Profile Questionnaire. If a client’s financial situation or goals change, he or she will have the opportunity to view other portfolios and retake the questionnaire to update his or her financial situation. Changes made to the questionnaire that result in an updated risk profile will automatically trigger reallocation of the portfolio. We can also help clients complete the Investor Profile Questionnaire. For assistance, call our dedicated support team at 1-866-484-3658, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET.

Clients do have the option to customize a portion of the portfolio  by selecting one of our alternative portfolio strategies when prompted during the account opening process.

How can a client choose to customize a portion of their Adaptive Portfolio?

During the account opening process, an investor may select one of our alternate portfolio strategies, allowing them to gain exposure to either a smart beta ETF or a socially responsible investment. Additionally, clients with taxable accounts may select a tax-sensitive portfolio.

               

What is Adaptive Portfolio (Smart Beta)? These portfolios seek to enhance returns by allocating a portion of the assets to a smart beta ETF that utilizes multi-factor investing. Factors, or specific characteristics of stocks that have performed well historically, are utilized to select stocks. This strategy also combines elements of active and index investing.

These strategies seek to outperform a benchmark index and typically aim to enhance returns or minimize risk relative to a traditional market-capitalization-weighted benchmark. An ETF employing a smart beta strategy may have higher portfolio turnover which may indicate higher transactions costs relative to its benchmark. Utilizing smart beta strategies does not guarantee against underperformance relative to a more traditional market-capitalization-weighted benchmark. 

What is Adaptive Portfolio (Socially Responsible Investments)? These portfolios seek total returns by allocating a portion of the assets to a sustainable, responsible, and impact (SRI) focused ETF. Socially responsible ETFs invest to a specific mandate, including incorporating SRI criteria into investment analysis; screening for companies that adhere to environmental, social, or governance standards; or fixed income ETFs focused on community impact securities.

SRI strategies may eliminate or limit exposure to investments in certain industries or companies that do not meet certain environmental, social, or governance criteria. As a result, the ETF may underperform other funds or an appropriate benchmark that do not have an SRI focus.

What is a tax-sensitive portfolio? These portfolios provide a tax-sensitive investment strategy that utilizes municipal bond ETFs that may help reduce taxes incurred on interest and dividends associated with those portfolios.

How do the risk questions within the Investor Profile Questionnaire help E*TRADE Capital Management determine an Investor Profile?

The trade-off between risk and reward is what drives investing, so we identify an investor profile based on the responses to a number of different investment scenarios. These responses help E*TRADE Capital Management gauge a client’s willingness and ability to ride out short-term ups and downs in pursuit of potentially higher long-term returns. Please note that answers selected within the Investor Profile Questionnaire are not equally weighted when determining a recommended portfolio.

Why are there eight questions in the Investor Profile Questionnaire?

We take our responsibility of providing a recommended portfolio very seriously so we created a comprehensive Investor Profile Questionnaire. An investor’s time horizon, risk tolerance, and investment objectives, among other considerations, are factored into a recommendation.

When navigating through the Investor Profile Questionnaire, before selecting an answer, click on the question mark icons at the bottom of each screen to learn more about why we ask each question. 

What types of accounts are eligible for Adaptive Portfolio?

Most retail E*TRADE Securities brokerage and retirement accounts with a U.S. address can enroll in the Adaptive Portfolio program. Eligible accounts include:

  • Individual and joint brokerage account
  • Custodial account
  • Traditional or Roth IRA
  • IRA for Minors
  • Beneficiary IRA
  • Individual or Roth Individual 401(k)
  • Rollover IRA
  • SEP or SIMPLE IRA
  • Profit Sharing Plan or Money Purchase Plan
  • Investment-Only (Non-Custodial) Retirement Plan

When can clients expect their money to be invested?

Once a client meets the investment minimum, he or she can expect to see the initial portfolio holdings purchased within three business days of accepting the Advisory Agreement. Additional deposits into the Adaptive Portfolio account are also invested within three business days.

Can a client set up a recurring deposit?

Yes, that’s a really good idea to help stay disciplined with saving and investing. Clients can use the online Transfer Money service to set up recurring deposits into their account based on the amount and schedule that works for them. Deposits will be invested automatically into their Adaptive Portfolio accounts and can help build assets without ever lifting a finger.5

Does Adaptive Portfolio offer cash management features, such as free checking?

Adaptive Portfolio is managed with a long-term perspective in mind. Frequent cash withdrawals might make the portfolio hard to manage and cause it to deviate from its objectives. To avoid this problem, Adaptive Portfolio doesn’t offer features such as check writing, debit cards, and Bill Pay. However, we don’t want to stand between clients and their cash. If a client needs to make a withdrawal, Customer Service can be reached anytime at 1-866-484-3658, and we’ll send a check or wire. A client can also transfer money online to another account and withdraw it from there.

Does a client need to sell any securities before he or she can enroll an account in Adaptive Portfolio?

No, we do that for our clients. If Adaptive Portfolio determines that certain securities are not in a client’s recommended portfolio, it will ask the client to agree to sell the selected securities as part of the enrollment process. Once the client agrees to liquidate these holdings, we will adjust the portfolio automatically once the conversion is complete. As an added benefit, the transactions will be commission-free.

The advisory fee and underlying ETF expenses will apply. Note that the sale of the holdings may result in realized capital gains or losses.

Can an account be funded by transferring securities from another brokerage account?

Yes, a lot of clients do that. More than likely, Adaptive Portfolio will have to sell the securities (commission-free, of course) before they can be allocated to the portfolio.

Can self-directed trades be placed in an Adaptive Portfolio account?

No, Adaptive Portfolio is designed for investors who want ongoing help and professional guidance to manage their account. Please keep in mind, Adaptive Portfolio is a discretionary program and only E*TRADE Capital Management can place trades in an Adaptive Portfolio account. Of course, if investors would like to do some investing and trading on their own, they can open a regular E*TRADE Securities brokerage account at any time.

How much cash is in my account?

We have a 4% target cash allocation in all portfolios. This target 4% allocation is invested in interest-bearing money market funds or cash alternatives, where we seek to ensure a portfolio is as efficient as possible.

How does E*TRADE Capital Management choose which investments to sell when a client withdraws funds?

We would first try to use the cash balance in the account to satisfy the withdrawal. If the client needs additional cash, we strategically sell investments from across the portfolio in an effort to maintain the portfolio’s target asset allocation.

If the value of the account falls below the initial investment minimum, will a client be removed from the program?

No, we will continue to manage a client’s account even if it falls below the initial investment minimum. If the balance remains under the initial investment minimum for an extended amount of time, a client may eventually be asked to add funds to bring the account back to Adaptive Portfolio’s initial minimum. It is hard to maintain an adequately diversified Adaptive Portfolio if the account balance is less than the initial portfolio minimum. Please keep in mind that portfolio performance may be impacted if money is moved in and out of the account.

How much does Adaptive Portfolio cost?

There is an annual advisory fee of 0.30%.

Each quarter, we calculate the annual advisory fee6 based on the average daily market value of the account. For example, an account with an average daily balance of $50K for the quarter will be charged $37.50 for that quarter. This direct fee is charged at the beginning of each new quarter for services provided the previous quarter. It is automatically deducted from the cash position in the account.

  Account Market Value7      Annual Advisory Fee   

$5,000 and over

0.30%

Does E*TRADE Capital Management help clients with tax reporting?

We provide resources like the E*TRADE Tax Center to help clients understand how their investments may be taxed. All taxable account activity will be reported on the annual IRS Form 1099, which is typically available in February of each year. We encourage clients to contact their tax advisor for any tax reporting questions.8

What tax-efficiency features are offered by Adaptive Portfolio?

Adaptive Portfolio provides a tax-sensitive investment strategy that utilizes municipal bond ETFs that may help reduce taxes incurred on interest and dividends associated with those portfolios. 

How does Adaptive Portfolio rebalance an account?

Adaptive Portfolio uses technology to monitor client accounts. E*TRADE Capital Management reviews the portfolio to see if any material deposits or withdrawals are made, and rebalances it semiannually to help keep clients in line with their target allocation. It’s a technology-driven, disciplined approach that helps take the human emotion out of the equation.

How often can a client expect his or her portfolio to rebalance?

E*TRADE Capital Management will rebalance an account semiannually to align the account with its target asset allocation. It will also review the account for material deposits and withdrawals, and rebalance if it shifts too far from its target asset allocation. Although we monitor the account daily, it does not mean we will trade in the account daily. There could be some periods of time where the allocation does not shift, and no trades are required.

How do clients update their information if their financial situation changes?

Nothing ever stays the same. Adaptive Portfolio recognizes that if investment objectives, risk tolerance, or time horizon has changed, clients should update their Investor Profile Questionnaire  by logging on to their account and clicking “Update” in the header of the Managed Account Dashboard. Based on the new responses, we may take another look at the asset allocation and recommend some changes to the portfolio. 

Please be advised that as of June 29, 2017, hybrid portfolios of both mutual funds and ETFs are no longer available. We currently offer tax-sensitive, ETF-only portfolios to clients. Therefore, any changes you make to your profile that results in a new asset allocation recommendation may be rebalanced into the appropriate all-ETF portfolio, and this can cause a taxable event. 

Can clients talk to a real person if they have questions?

Yes! Nothing makes us happier than speaking with clients (and potential clients). Just call our dedicated support team of Investment Adviser Representatives at 1-866-484-3658, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET. Live chat with a Customer Service representative is also available anytime, seven days a week.

Are Financial Consultants assigned to Adaptive Portfolio accounts?

While clients will not have a Financial Consultant specifically assigned to their Adaptive Portfolio account, they do have access to Investment Adviser Representatives through our dedicated support team at 1-866-484-3658, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET. Chat Live Now with a Customer Service representative anytime, seven days a week.4

Can E*TRADE stock plan assets be used to open an Adaptive Portfolio account?

Clients can open a new Adaptive Portfolio account and request to transfer vested unrestricted shares from their stock plan account into their Adaptive Portfolio account, subject to any limitations set forth in the account.

Please note: Shares held in an E*TRADE Securities stock plan account may be subject to certain sale and/or transfer restrictions and may be ineligible to be used to fund an account for the Adaptive Portfolio Program. Please consult a stock plan administrator regarding eligibility of certain holdings.9

Can a client convert existing E*TRADE Securities account to Adaptive Portfolio?

Yes. A client can enroll any eligible brokerage or retirement account in the Adaptive Portfolio advisory program, including a(n):

  • Individual and joint brokerage account
  • Custodial accounts
  • Traditional or Roth IRA
  • IRA for Minors
  • Beneficiary IRA
  • Individual or Roth Individual 401(k)
  • Rollover IRA
  • SEP or SIMPLE IRA
  • Profit-Sharing Plan or Money Purchase Plan
  • Investment-Only (Non-Custodial) Retirement Plan

The full value of the account selected will be converted when the client completes the enrollment process. If the client wants to convert only a portion of the account, a new Adaptive Portfolio account can be opened. They can then easily transfer a portion of an existing account into the new Adaptive Portfolio account.

Not seeing an answer to a question? Contact us at 1-866-484-3658 or Chat Live Now.

How do I place a trade?

AT E*TRADE, we make it easy to trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and more. View more basic information on researching and entering trade orders.

Can I trade on margin with an E*TRADE account?

Yes. Once you are approved for margin trading you can borrow against the assets in your brokerage account. When you borrow on margin, you pay interest on the loan until it is repaid. E*TRADE Securities offers some of the most competitive margin interest rates in the industry. The minimum balance required for a margin account is $2,000.

Can I trade OTC Bulletin Board stocks (penny stocks) at E*TRADE?

Yes, you can trade OTC Bulletin Board stocks (also referred to as Pink Sheet or penny stocks) in your brokerage account. Typically these stocks — securities not specifically authorized to trade on the automated system offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) — are either lower-priced securities or ADRs (American Depository Receipts) and are thinly traded. As a result, buy orders for bulletin board stocks must be placed as limit orders.

Note: E*TRADE Securities can't guarantee the accuracy of any quotation information on our site for these securities. You can usually place bulletin board trades on your own using our online system. However, sometimes the information you need may not be available for some thinly traded stocks. You may find it easier to get a current quote or place an order through one of our brokers over the phone by calling 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331). You may not sell short, buy or sell mutual funds, or trade stocks with a market value of less than $10 per share until seven business days after your account application is approved. All customers will be charged an additional $25 for Broker-Assisted trades.

What is options trading & how do I trade options?

An option is a contract to buy or sell a specific financial product officially known as the options' underlying instrument or underlying interest. To get started trading options, you need to first upgrade to an options-enabled account. Or if you haven't yet opened an E*TRADE brokerage account, get started now.

Important Note: Options transactions are intended for sophisticated investors and are complex, carry a high degree of risk, and are not suitable for all investors. For more information, please read the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options prior to applying for an account. An options investor may lose the entire amount of their investment in a relatively short period of time.

What is a sweep account?

A sweep account is an interest-bearing account for any uninvested cash that flows into your brokerage account from various sources. Cash is automatically swept daily into the sweep account, earning you interest. When you are ready to use this cash for trading or cash management activities, the necessary cash is automatically pulled from the sweep account. Learn more.

Can I trade gold, silver, and other commodities through E*TRADE?

Yes. Trade more than 200 futures products, including indexes, metals, and currencies using our professional-quality platform powered by Trading Technologies, the first institutional-quality futures trading platform available to individual traders with no platform fees. Click here for more information.

Does E*TRADE offer exchange-traded funds (ETFs)?

Yes. In fact, E*TRADE offers every exchange-traded fund sold. If you open a new account, you can get up to $600 and 60 days of free trades. Learn more about ETFs.

Note: The fund's prospectus contains its investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information and should be read and considered carefully before investing. For a current fund prospectus, visit the Exchange-Traded Fund Center at etrade.com/etf.

Can I invest in mutual funds at E*TRADE?

Yes. E*TRADE offers more than 8,000 leading mutual funds, including hundreds of Morningstar® rated funds. Learn more about mutual funds.

Note: The fund's prospectus contains its investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information and should be read and considered carefully before investing. For a current mutual fund prospectus, visit the Mutual Fund Center at etrade.com/mutualfunds

Does E*TRADE offer retirement planning and guidance?

E*TRADE offers easy online tools to help you set your goals, choose the right account, manage your portfolio and live in retirement. Or, if you prefer one-on-one help, our Financial Consultants10 can help. Click here to learn more about our retirement offerings, or call us at 1-877-921-2434.

Does E*TRADE offer investment advice?

Yes. Whatever your investment goals, E*TRADE has the tools, education, and guidance to help you achieve them.

Work with a dedicated Financial Consultant10 to help you get started with the right advice solutions, or use our state-of-the-art online tools, to help you analyze, diversify, and manage your portfolio.

Attend our FREE live and on-demand retirement seminars, videos, and tutorials.11

How do I withdraw money?

You can securely transfer money between E*TRADE accounts and to and from other financial institutions using our free Transfer Money12 service. Many of our bank and brokerage accounts offer unlimited free check writing. And you can get unlimited ATM fee refunds at any ATM machine nationwide.13

What are the requirements to open a futures account?

To trade futures, you must open (or already have) a Margin brokerage account

Why do I need a Margin brokerage account to trade futures?

E*TRADE takes the protection of your assets very seriously. In order to ensure we are providing our customers with available financial safeguards, the Firm will only keep assets in the Futures account that are needed to satisfy the margin requirement of an existing futures position. Funds not required for futures margin will be automatically moved back to your linked Margin brokerage account where they are given SIPC protection or FDIC insurance.

How does funding an Automated Money Movement work in my futures account?

If your linked margin brokerage account already has sufficient funds, there is no need to make additional transfers to separately fund futures trading. The minimum margin requirement for futures positions held overnight will be automatically transferred to your E*TRADE futures account, including commission and fees, and any deficiency funds required to satisfy margin calls. Conversely, any excess margin and available cash will be automatically transferred back to your margin brokerage account where SIPC protection is available.

Please note: The above applies only to linked margin brokerage accounts at E*TRADE. For unlinked E*TRADE accounts, there is no automatic transfer of minimum margin requirements or deficiency funding. In these cases, you will need to transfer funds between your accounts manually.

Is there a minimum funding requirement for futures?

There is no minimum funding requirement for futures.

What are the commissions for futures?

$1.50 plus exchange fees (exchange fees vary per product)14

What futures markets can I trade?

CME Group, ICE U.S. and CFE listed products, as well as their options accordingly (at a 6 month out range).

Where do I find the margin requirements for futures products?

Please review the Contract Specifications. Note: Information furnished is taken from sources E*TRADE believes are accurate. E*TRADE is not responsible for any errors or omissions. To confirm any item in this schedule, please contact the Futures Trade Desk 866-795-0160.

Are there any fees to receive live quotes for futures?

E*TRADE currently absorbs all CME Group quote fees for clients. ICE U.S. and CFE are passed through to clients.

Who is the clearing firm E*TRADE uses for futures?

Wedbush Securities, Inc.

What happens when/if I receive a margin call?

All margin calls are due the next trading day from when they are first issued. You may be required to sell securities or deposit outside funds to satisfy a margin call.

What is brokerage insurance?

SEC Customer Protection Rule
All fully paid customer securities, including stocks and bonds, are 100% owned by the customer. These securities are required to be kept segregated from E*TRADE Securities' own assets, and cannot be used by E*TRADE Securities to satisfy its own obligations.

SIPC Protection
In addition, E*TRADE Securities LLC is a Member of SIPC, which protects securities of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). SIPC's explanatory brochure is available upon request or at www.sipc.org.

SIPC coverage is not the same as the insurance on bank accounts provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It does not protect investors against a decline in the market value of securities. SIPC generally protects customers against the physical loss of securities if the broker-dealer holding the securities for the customer fails.

Additional Brokerage Protection
E*TRADE Securities LLC has purchased from London insurers additional protection with an aggregate limit of $600 million to pay amounts in addition to those returned in a SIPC liquidation, provided that (1) the combined return from the trustee distributions, SIPC, and London to any customer does not exceed $150 million, and (2) as a sub-limit, return of cash to any customer by London does not exceed $900,000. This coverage does not protect against loss of the market value of securities. Details are available on request.

How is my brokerage account protected?

E*TRADE Securities LLC is a member of SIPC, which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at www.sipc.org.

How do you ensure the security and privacy of my account?

Protecting our customers' personal and financial information is one of our top priorities. In addition to some of the most advanced online security available, we offer the E*TRADE Complete Protection Guarantee, which protects your privacy, your assets, and every transaction you make.

  • Complete fraud protection: $0 liability for unauthorized use of your account.
  • Complete payment protection: Plus on-time, accurate online Bill pay and Transfer Money.
  • Complete privacy protection: We will not sell your personal information to third parties or marketers for any purpose.
  • An optional Digital Security ID: Unauthorized logon is virtually impossible.
  • Electronic documents: Help curb identity theft (you receive statements and account documents online instead of by mail).
  • Smart Alerts: You receive customized reports of account activity and every transaction by email or mobile phone.

For complete details, visit www.etrade.com/protection.

How do I reset my User ID or Password?

We make it easy to retrieve your User ID and reset your password online.

How do I update my account information?

You can easily update your email, address, User ID, password, and more online. Log on to Customer Service online.

How do I access my mortgage account?

For information on how to access your existing mortgage loan or application, please click here.

How do I access tax information & forms?

Visit our Tax Center for all your tax information needs.

What is E*TRADE's routing number?

E*TRADE Bank: 256072691
E*TRADE Securities (brokerage accounts): 056073573
For common uses of routing numbers, please click here.

How do I access my stock plan account?

Learn how to activate and manage your stock plan account here.

What is an E*TRADE Line of Credit?

An E*TRADE Line of Credit is a revolving, non-purpose line of credit offered by E*TRADE Bank and secured by the eligible collateral you hold at E*TRADE Securities.

How can I apply for an E*TRADE Line of Credit?

To apply, visit the E*TRADE Line of Credit page, and click the “Get Started” button to begin the application process. Be sure to review the product features, risks, and disclosures to determine if this product is right for you.

How is an E*TRADE Line of Credit different from Margin?

An E*TRADE Line of Credit is different in two ways – the way in which the funds are used and the interest rates on the line of credit.

  • How the funds are used:
    • For an E*TRADE Line of Credit, funds can be used for any lawful purpose, except for the purchasing, carrying, or trading of securities or repayment of a margin loan.
    • Margin can be used for any lawful purpose, including the purchasing, carrying, or trading of securities.
  • Interest rates:
    • E*TRADE Lines of Credit are tied to 1-Month LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), as published in the Wall Street Journal, plus a spread. Line of credit interest rates are typically lower than Margin interest rates, and may move with changes to the 1M LIBOR rate, or fluctuations in the pledged collateral market value.
    • Margin interest rates are typically tied to the E*TRADE Base Rate, which is set at the discretion of E*TRADE Securities with reference to commercially recognized interest rates. Margin interest rates may move with changes in the E*TRADE Base Rate, or with adjustments in the debit balance.

What account types are eligible to be pledged as collateral for an E*TRADE Line of Credit?

Individual and Joint brokerage accounts.

What types of securities are eligible to be pledged as collateral for an E*TRADE Line of Credit?

Most stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and bonds are eligible to be pledged as collateral; however, not all securities are eligible. Call us at 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331) for more information. E*TRADE Bank reserves the right to change eligibility requirements from time to time.

Are there restrictions on my brokerage account(s) once pledged as collateral for an E*TRADE Line of Credit?

Yes, there are restrictions on accounts pledged as collateral:

  • Margin and Options trading.  Upon being approved for an E*TRADE Line of Credit, the collateral account(s) will have margin and options trading capabilities removed (if applicable). Pledged accounts will also be prohibited from enrolling in margin and/or options trading.
  • Cash management and payment features.  Upon taking a draw from your line of credit, all cash management and payment features will be restricted [e.g., bill pay, check writing, use of debit card, electronic funds transfer (ACH), Fed wires].

What are my options if I want to maintain margin, options, or certain other features (such as bill pay, check writing, use of my debit card) in my brokerage account?

You can open a new brokerage account to use as collateral for an E*TRADE Line of Credit.  Once the new account is open, transfer the securities you wish to pledge into that account, and then apply for the line of credit.

How long does it take to open an E*TRADE Line of Credit?

Typically, an E*TRADE Line of Credit can be established within a few business days, provided all required documentation is filled out completely and accurately.

Is there a credit check during the underwriting process?

Yes, a credit check will be performed during underwriting. Credit eligibility requirements apply.

How much can I borrow using my E*TRADE Line of Credit?

You may be able to borrow up to 50% of your eligible collateral market value, at E*TRADE Bank’s discretion

What are the collateral requirements?

You are required to maintain a minimum level of eligible securities in your collateral account. A decrease in the market value of your collateral may require you to deposit additional cash or securities.

Important Note: All collateral is subject to approval and E*TRADE Bank may change its collateral requirements at any time.

What is a Maintenance Call?

A Maintenance Call occurs if the market value of the pledged collateral falls below the minimum maintenance requirement.

How do I know if my E*TRADE Line of Credit is in a Maintenance Call?

You can check the credit line status on the E*TRADE website at any time by clicking on your line of credit account from the Complete View.

How can a Maintenance Call be resolved?

A Maintenance Call can be resolved by depositing additional cash or eligible securities into the pledged account to meet the collateral requirements, or by paying down all or a portion of the outstanding loan amount. Call us at 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331) with any questions on how to resolve a Maintenance Call. Important Note: E*TRADE Bank reserves the right to call a loan at any time, and to liquidate all or part of your pledged collateral account(s), without prior notice to you.

What is my interest rate?

Interest rates will be determined by your pledged collateral market value, and may be adjusted periodically subject to changes to your pledged collateral market value. Rates are tied to 1-Month LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), as published in the Wall Street Journal, plus a spread. The LIBOR rate may be reset weekly (every Monday, or the following business day in event of a holiday). Visit the E*TRADE Line of Credit product page to view the most current interest rate grid.

Are there minimum monthly payments on my E*TRADE Line of Credit?

Yes, there are minimum monthly payments required for loans with an outstanding balance.

How are payments applied to my outstanding loan balance?

All payments on the line of credit shall be applied first to any fees and charges due, then to billed interest due, and then to reduce the total amount of outstanding credit advances.

What is the interest calculation period?

The interest calculation period begins on the first of every month, and finishes at the end of each month.  Interest is calculated daily, and charged monthly.

What fees and charges apply?

There are no fees or charges to open a line of credit. You are only charged interest when you take a draw, and are only charged interest on the drawn amount.

If submitting payment by check, a processing fee may apply. There is also a returned-check fee, if applicable. Visit the E*TRADE fees page to view the most current fees.

How can I take a draw from my line of credit? What are the cutoff times?

You may request a draw from your E*TRADE Line of Credit at any time by logging onto etrade.com, selecting the line of credit account from your Complete View, and selecting the “Request a draw” button. A minimum initial draw of at least $60,000 is required.  All subsequent draws may be any dollar amount, in increments of $1,000. Call us at 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331) with any questions.

Your request must be received by 12:00 p.m. ET for next day availability of funds via electronic transfer.

Can I change the bank account linked to my line of credit for disbursements?

Yes, to change the bank account linked to your line of credit for loan disbursements, call 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331) to provide other bank instructions. It may take up to three business days for changes to take effect.

How can I make a payment to my line of credit?

There are three methods of payment:

  • Electronic transfer of funds (ACH).  This can be done directly on the E*TRADE website by clicking on your line of credit on the Complete View, and selecting “Make a payment” in the quick links menu. This is the most efficient method of payment, and gives you the flexibility to make a one-time payment, or set up automatic recurring payments in fixed amounts or to cover the monthly interest due.
  • Mail a check.  Paying by check may incur a processing fee. Make checks payable to E*TRADE Bank, and be sure to include your line account number in the memo field. Mail your payment to:

E*TRADE Bank

P.O. Box 71974

Chicago, Il 60694-1974

  • Draw on your line of credit (no action required).  Any interest not paid by the due date will be automatically paid by drawing on your line of credit, adding to your outstanding principal balance. This will result in compounding interest.

How can I completely pay off and close my line of credit?

To request a full payoff amount, call 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331) to speak with an E*TRADE representative. The payoff amount will include the total outstanding principal amount, in addition to any accrued interest.

Once the full payoff amount is remitted and processed (via any of the above noted payment options), we will close your line of credit account at your instruction.

What are the risks to an E*TRADE Line of Credit?

Securities-based lending involves special risks and is not suitable for everyone. Be sure to carefully review product details, risks and benefits to ensure this product is right for you.

  • A decline in the value of your pledged collateral may require you to provide additional funds or securities to avoid a Maintenance Call.
  • You can lose more funds than are held in the collateral account. An E*TRADE Line of Credit account is a full-recourse loan and you will be held liable for any deficiency.
  • E*TRADE Bank can force the liquidation of any securities pledged as collateral, and can do so without contacting you first. You are not entitled to choose which securities in the collateral account are liquidated.
  • E*TRADE Bank can modify its collateral maintenance requirements at any time, without notice to you.
  • You are not entitled to an extension of time to resolve a Maintenance Call.
  • If your assets are liquidated by the bank, there may be adverse tax or other consequences.
  • An E*TRADE Line of Credit is an uncommitted demand facility, which means the bank may demand full or partial repayment at any time or elect not to advance funds.

What are the benefits?

There are a number of potential benefits, including:

  • Access to liquidity while maintaining your long-term investment strategy.
  • Access to funds quickly through a digital, streamlined application process (application decision typically within 1-2 business days).
  • Manage draws and payments conveniently online.
  • Repayment flexibility, allowing you to effectively manage your cash flow.
  • No hidden fees or expenses.
  • Interest charged only on the drawn amount.

Will I receive a 1099 for interest paid?

No, 1099s are not generated for E*TRADE Lines of Credit. Please speak with your tax advisor for any tax-related questions.

Can I set up recurring automatic payments? How?

Yes, automatic recurring payments can be scheduled in fixed amounts, or to cover the monthly interest due. Click on your line of credit account in the Complete View, select the “Make a Payment” button, and click “Review Statement and Setup Payment.” Next, click “Automatic Payment Rules” and select your method of payment (or create one), and specify the automatic payment rule you wish to apply.

Can I appeal a rejected line of credit application? How?

Yes, if your line of credit application is rejected, you can request a formal appeal by contacting us at 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331) to speak with an E*TRADE representative.

Can I adjust my pledged collateral account structure (add/remove collateral accounts)?

Yes, you can adjust your pledged collateral account structure by filling out an Amendment to Line of Credit and Security Agreement form.  You can retrieve this from the Forms and Apps section online, or by calling 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331) to speak with an E*TRADE representative for directions.

If you have an outstanding loan balance, any adjustment to the pledged collateral account structure must be reviewed and approved prior to implementation.

How much in collateral securities do I need to apply?

There is a minimum requirement of $200,000 in eligible collateral to apply.

How can an investor contribute to an IRA?

An investor can contribute to an IRA account by transferring funds online from a bank or brokerage account, sending a check, or completing a wire transfer. For more information about ways to make a deposit to an account, see the Help topic, Contribute to an IRA account

An investor is allowed to contribute 100% of earned income up to the annual contribution limit. View IRA Contribution Limits and Deadlines to learn more. 

How can an investor withdraw a distribution online?

Requesting a distribution online may allow for faster access to funds. Complete the online form to get started. The request should be processed and on its way in 3–5 business days.

What is a Roth IRA conversion and how can it be requested?

A Roth IRA conversion is the process of moving assets from a Traditional, Rollover, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA to a Roth IRA. The account owner can convert all or a portion of their IRA. If the account owner is converting a SIMPLE IRA, the account must have been opened for at least two years to be eligible. The deadline to complete a Roth IRA conversion is December 31 of each year (December 29 for 2017). A Roth IRA conversion can be requested by using the online Roth IRA Conversion Request Form.

How can one determine whether a Traditional IRA contribution is tax-deductible?

Determining if an investor can deduct all or part of their Traditional IRA contribution is based on whether they have a retirement plan at work, their tax filing status, and modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). To determine the exact amount of a deductible contribution, use the IRA Selector or view IRA Contribution Limits and Deadlines to learn more.

Can an investor have an IRA even if they contribute to their employer’s 401(k) plan?

Yes, an investor may still contribute to an IRA even if they participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. However, they may not be able to deduct a Traditional IRA contribution if they exceed certain income limits. View IRA Contribution Limits and Deadlines to learn more.

Can an investor set up recurring contributions to an IRA?

Yes, an investor can set up recurring contributions to an IRA, up to the annual maximum contribution limit.

Can an old 401(k) be rolled into a Traditional IRA?

Whether you changed jobs or retired, you have options about what to do with your old 401(k), 403(b), or other former employer plan.

  1. You can leave assets in a former employer's plan.
  2. You can consolidate former plan assets to a current employer's retirement plan.
  3. You can consolidate former plan assets into an IRA.
  4. You can cash out.

For more information view FINRA's Investor Alert.

What are the eligibility requirements for Traditional IRA?

General:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older with earned income
  • Cannot contribute after age 70½
  • Must have MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income) under certain thresholds to deduct contributions
  • To apply online, you must be a US citizen or resident
  • Traditional IRAs must be established by the tax filing deadline (without extensions) for the tax year to which your qualifying contribution(s) will apply. This date is generally April 15 of each year. Applications postmarked by this date will be accepted.
  • Participation in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan, may impact an investor’s ability to deduct Traditional IRA contributions on their taxes. If neither an investor nor their spouse participates in an employer-sponsored plan, they can fully deduct a Traditional IRA contribution on their taxes.

Single Filers:

  • If an investor does participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and if their MAGI is less than $62,000 in 2017 ($63,000 in 2018), they also may be eligible to deduct their entire contribution. If an investor’s MAGI is between $62,000–$72,000 in 2017 ($63,000–$73,000 in 2018), they may be eligible to deduct a partial contribution. Investors with MAGI of more than $72,000 in 2017 ($73,000 in 2018) are not eligible to deduct a contribution.

Joint Filers:

  • If an investor participates in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and if their combined MAGI is less than $99,000 in 2017 ($101,000 in 2018), they also may be eligible to deduct their entire contribution. If their combined MAGI is between $99,000–$119,000 in 2017 ($101,000–$121,000 in 2018), they may be eligible to deduct a partial contribution. An investor is not eligible to deduct a contribution if their combined MAGI is more than $119,000 in 2017 ($121,000 in 2018).
  • If an investor does not participate in an employer-sponsored plan, but their spouse does, then the income limits are different. If their combined MAGI is less than $186,000 in 2017 ($189,000 in 2018), they may be eligible to deduct their entire contribution. If their combined MAGI is between $186,000–$196,000 in 2017 ($189,000–$199,000 in 2018), they may be eligible to deduct a partial contribution. An investor is not eligible to deduct a contribution if their combined MAGI is more than $196,000 in 2017 ($199,000 in 2018), and their spouse participates in an employer-sponsored plan.

What are IRA contribution limits and deadlines?

The amount an investor can contribute to a Roth IRA depends on various factors, such as Modified Adjusted Growth Income (MAGI) and tax filing status. View Roth IRA Contribution Limits and Deadlines to learn more.

What are the eligibility requirements for Roth IRA?

General:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older with earned income
  • Can continue to make contributions after age 70, as long as an investor has earned income
  • Must have MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income) under certain thresholds (see ‘Single Filers’ or ‘Joint Filers’ for additional information). If an investor exceeds the income limitations for a Roth IRA, they can consider contributing to a Traditional IRA. Contributions will not be tax-deductible; however, an investor will still benefit from the potential of tax-deferred growth. Additionally, Traditional IRA contributions may be converted to a Roth IRA at any time.
  • To apply online, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident
  • Roth IRAs must be established by the tax filing deadline (without extensions) for the tax year to which your qualifying contribution(s) will apply. This date is generally April 15 of each year. Applications postmarked by this date will be accepted.

Single Filers:

  • If an investor’s MAGI is less than $118,000 in 2017 ($120,000 in 2018), they may be eligible to make a full contribution. If their MAGI is between $118,000–$133,000 in 2017 ($120,000–$135,000 in 2018), they may be eligible to make a partial contribution. An investor is not eligible to make a contribution if their MAGI is more than $133,000 in 2017 ($135,000 in 2018).

Joint Filers:

  • If a couple’s combined MAGI is less than $186,000 in 2017 ($189,000 in 2018), they may be eligible to make a full contribution. If their combined MAGI is between $186,000–$196,000 in 2017 ($189,000–$199,000 in 2018), a couple may be eligible to make a partial contribution. They are not eligible to make a contribution if MAGI is more than $196,000 in 2017 ($199,000 in 2018).

Note:

Modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is used to determine whether a private individual qualifies for certain tax deductions. Most notably, it is used to determine how much of an individual's IRA contribution is deductible and whether an individual is eligible for premium tax credits.

How is a direct rollover initiated?

  1. A Traditional, Rollover, or Roth IRA account must first be opened with E*TRADE, unless account assets will be rolled over into an existing IRA. 

  2. Contact the benefits administrator of the former employer and complete all distribution forms required to initiate the direct rollover. 

For rollovers via check:

Instruct the plan administrator to issue a distribution check made payable to: 

E*TRADE Securities, FBO <Name>

If rolling over to a Rollover IRA:

Make sure the Rollover IRA account number is included on the check.

If rolling over to a Roth IRA:

Make sure the Roth IRA account number is included on the check.

Instructions should be attached to the check if it is to be split between a Rollover IRA and a Roth IRA.

Instruct the plan administrator to mail the check to:

E*TRADE Securities LLC

PO Box 484

Jersey City, NJ 07303-0484

If the plan administrator sends you the check, simply forward it along with an IRA Deposit Slip to E*TRADE Securities at the address above.

For securities rollovers:

Instruct the plan administrator to forward securities to DTC Clearing 0385, Code 40.

Or, if the plan administrator wants to mail certificates, make sure the certificates clearly indicate the E*TRADE Rollover or Roth IRA account number and are registered to the following:

E*TRADE Securities, FBO <Name>

Instruct the plan administrator to mail the certificates to:

E*TRADE Securities LLC

PO Box 484

Jersey City, NJ 07303-0484

How long does a rollover usually take?

A rollover generally takes 4–6 weeks to complete. However, this timeframe depends on how long the former employer or plan administrator takes to process the transaction.

Does the rollover need to be reported on a tax return?

Yes. Any amounts rolled over directly from a pre-tax employer plan into a Traditional or Rollover IRA are reportable, but not taxable. The former employer will send IRS Form 1099-R, which reports the plan distribution. E*TRADE will then send IRS Form 5498 by May 31 of the following year, reporting the incoming rollover to offset the distribution. However, if a pre-tax qualified plan is rolled over into a Roth IRA, this transaction is taxable and must be included in taxable income. Consult with a tax advisor for more information.

Can a rollover be processed even if the individual is still working?

Generally, assets from an employer’s plan cannot be rolled over unless the participant has changed jobs, retired, or is over age 59½. Check with the employer's plan administrator to confirm whether assets may be transferred while still employed.

Can contributions and rollovers be placed in the same account?

Yes. Annual contributions and/or additional rollovers can be placed into the same IRA. Recurring contributions to an IRA can also be set up to meet the annual maximum contribution limit.

What are the differences between rollovers and transfers?

  • Rollovers and transfers are two different ways of moving funds
  • A direct rollover is the movement of assets from an employer's qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k) to an IRA. Assets are sent directly from the plan administrator to the IRA custodian. A direct rollover is reportable on tax returns, but not taxable.
  • A transfer is the movement of IRA assets held by one trustee or custodian to an identically registered IRA held by another trustee or custodian, without taking physical receipt of the funds. Account transfers are not reportable on tax returns and can be completed an unlimited number of times per year.

What are the eligibility requirements for Rollover IRA?

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • To apply online, must be a US citizen or resident
  • Generally, an investor cannot roll over assets from an employer's plan into an IRA unless they have changed jobs, retired, or are over age 59½
  • An investor may also roll over into a Roth IRA if they have made after-tax contributions to a Roth 401(k) or Roth 403(b), or want to convert a pre-tax 401(k) to a Roth IRA

 

What are the eligibility requirements for OneStop Rollover IRA?

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • To apply online, must be a US citizen or resident
  • As part of the online application, the Rollover IRA from E*TRADE Securities will be enrolled in the Adaptive Portfolio program from E*TRADE Capital Management. An Investment Proposal and Advisory Agreement must be reviewed and accepted.
  • If there is a change in risk tolerance or financial situation, the Investor Profile may be updated and the portfolio will be updated accordingly.
  • Pay a low annual advisory fee
  • This is a professionally managed account. The investor will not be able to directly place trades.
  • Get started by answering a few questions about investment objectives, time horizon, and risk tolerance.

 

Can an individual have an E*TRADE Complete IRA if they are under age 59½?

An upgrade to an E*TRADE Complete IRA is only available after an individual reaches age 59½.

Is there a minimum check amount on an E*TRADE Complete IRA?

No. There are no minimum check amount requirements with an E*TRADE Complete IRA.

Can an individual write a check or use a debit card to withdraw their Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)?

Yes. All withdrawals made from an E*TRADE Complete IRA will count toward the annual RMD.

Will a tax form be sent after taking a distribution?

Yes. Form 1099-R (available by January 31st of each year) is generated for distributions taken from all IRA accounts. Tax records and other electronic documents can be accessed online through the Tax Center.

What are the eligibility requirements for E*TRADE Complete IRA?

  • Must be over age 59½
  • Must already have an existing E*TRADE Traditional, Roth, Rollover, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA
  • If an individual does not have an IRA at E*TRADE, open one first and then upgrade online to an E*TRADE Complete IRA
  • All withdrawals via check writing, debit card, and Bill Pay will be considered IRA distributions and reportable on IRS Form 1099R. Federal and state income tax will not be withheld from these payments.

 

How can an inherited retirement account be moved to E*TRADE?

A Beneficiary IRA can be opened by completing the Beneficiary IRA Application, and send the application in with a certified or original death certificate, plus the Beneficiary Distribution Request Form to move the funds from the decedent’s account to the new Beneficiary IRA. The online transfer form can be used to initiate the transfer of funds from another firm to E*TRADE. 

Do all of the inherited funds need to be withdrawn by the beneficiary?

An individual does not have to withdraw all of the funds immediately. After the assets have been transferred to a Beneficiary IRA, the beneficiary has multiple options. One option is to withdraw a certain amount of money each year, based on life expectancy. An individual has until December 31st of the year following the death of the original IRA owner to start taking distributions. Another option is to forgo annual distributions, but withdraw all funds within five years. Use the Inherited IRA tool to see guidelines for withdrawal and determine the amount of any annual withdrawals.

What are my options with inherited IRA assets?

There are several options available to Inherited IRA beneficiaries. The options depend on whether the beneficiary is a spouse or non-spouse, and how old the original account holder was when they passed away. Use the Inherited IRA tool to help understand the options.

What are the eligibility requirements for Beneficiary IRA?

  • Must be the beneficiary of an IRA or qualified retirement plan
  • Generally, spouse beneficiaries can roll over assets into an IRA of their own, or a Beneficiary IRA. If funds are rolled into a Beneficiary IRA, a spouse beneficiary may need to begin taking annual required minimum distributions, depending on their age and the age of the original account holder.
  • Generally, non-spouse beneficiaries, trusts, and estates may roll over assets into a Beneficiary IRA. Annual required minimum distributions will need to be taken, or the account closed by the end of the 5th year following the original account holder’s death.
  • Withdrawal options for beneficiaries can be complex. Call the Beneficiary Services team at 1-888-402-0653 for assistance.

 

Can an individual open an IRA for his or her child?

Yes. If the child is under age 18 and has earned income. The IRA for Minors account is opened by the minor's custodian (parent or legal guardian) who must sign the application. Additional requirements are the minor must be a U.S. citizen or resident with a valid U.S. address.

How much can a child contribute to his or her IRA?

The current IRA contribution limit is 100% of earned income, or $5,500, whichever is less.

Can an investor set up recurring contributions to a child’s IRA?

Yes, recurring contributions can be set up to a child’s IRA, up to the annual maximum contribution limit.

Can a child deduct a Traditional IRA contribution?

Determining if a child can deduct all or part of Traditional IRA contribution is based on various factors. To determine the exact amount of your child’s contribution that can be deducted, consider using the IRA Selector or view IRA Contribution Limits and Deadlines to learn more. 

Are there any fees for a child’s IRA?

There are no annual IRA fees and no account minimums for E*TRADE IRA accounts. Transaction fees, fund expenses, brokerage commissions, and service fees may apply.

What are the eligibility requirements for IRA for Minors?

  • Eligible participants are under age 18
  • The minor must have earned income for the tax year in which a contribution is made
  • A custodian (parent or legal guardian) establishes, trades, and maintains the account for the benefit of the minor. Only one custodian is allowed per account.
  • The minor must be a US citizen or resident
  • IRAs for Minors must be established by the tax filing deadline (without extensions) for the tax year to which the qualifying contribution(s) will apply. This date is generally April 15 of each year. Applications postmarked by this date will be accepted.

 

Can an individual make contributions to a SEP-IRA while also contributing to a Traditional IRA?

Yes. However, since an individual will be considered an active participant in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, some or all of their personal IRA contributions may not be deductible. Refer to the Contribution Limits & Deadlines table for more information.

How much can a sole proprietor or unincorporated business contribute to a SEP-IRA?

If a business owner receives compensation as personal income, such as a sole proprietor or unincorporated partnership, the annual contribution limit is up to 20% of their net adjusted self-employed income or net adjusted business profits.

Is it possible not to include employees in a SEP-IRA plan?

All employees age 21 or older who have worked for the business owner in three of the past five years and earn $600 or more must be included.

What are the basic distribution rules for a SEP-IRA?

Withdrawals from a SEP IRA are subject to Traditional IRA distribution rules. SEP IRA distributions may be taken at any time and are taxable in the year distribution occurs. Withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ are subject to an additional 10% early distribution penalty.

Can I open a SEP-IRA if my business has been open less than five years?

Yes, a business owner can use less restrictive participation requirements than those listed by the IRS, but not more restrictive ones. For example, IRS participation requirements state that an employee must have worked for the company in at least three of the past five years. Employers are permitted to decrease or remove this requirement; however they are not permitted to increase it. This also applies to self-employed business owners.

What are the eligibility requirements for SEP-IRA?

  • A SEP-IRA is a retirement account for self-employed individuals and owners of small businesses
  • Employees must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:
    • Age 21 or older
    • Annual compensation of $600 or more
    • Have worked for the company in at least three of the past five years

Can a business owner establish a SIMPLE IRA if currently sponsoring another retirement plan?

No. If a business owner currently maintains another employer-sponsored retirement plan, they may not establish a SIMPLE plan for the same tax year when contributions were made to that plan.

Do employer contributions have to be made to all eligible employees?

It depends. If a non-elective employer contribution option is chosen, contributions have to be made to all eligible employees whether they choose to participate in the plan or not. However, if a matching contribution option is chosen, contributions are only made to employees who are participating in the plan (i.e. making salary deferral contributions).

Can an employer or employee make contributions to a SIMPLE IRA while contributing to a Traditional IRA?

Yes. An individual may have both accounts. However, since an individual will be considered an active participant in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, some or all of the contributions to a Traditional IRA may not be deductible. Refer to the Contribution Limits and Deadlines table for more information.

What are the basic distribution rules for a SIMPLE IRA?

Generally distributions from a SIMPLE IRA are subject to the same distribution rules as a Traditional IRA. SIMPLE IRA distributions may be taken at any time and are taxable in the year distribution occurs. Withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ are subject to an additional 10% early distribution penalty. However, if a distribution from a SIMPLE IRA is taken within 2 years of first participation in the plan, the 10% early distribution penalty is increased to 25%.

What are the eligibility requirements for SIMPLE IRA?

  • Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA is a retirement account for self-employed individuals and business owners with fewer than 100 employees
  • Any employee expected to earn at least $5,000 this year, and who earned at least $5,000 during any two years preceding the current calendar year (whether or not consecutive)

What types of contributions are allowed in an Individual 401(k) and how are they allocated?

  • Individual 401(k) allows for both, salary deferral and profit sharing contributions
  • Salary deferrals can be split between the pre-tax Individual 401(k) account and the after-tax Roth Individual 401(k) account
  • Discretionary profit sharing contributions must be made to the pre-tax Individual 401(k) account

Can an Individual or Roth Individual 401(k) be established for a part-time business if a business owner has a 401(k) with a full-time employer?

Yes. However, total contributions between both plans cannot exceed the 401(k) contribution limits ($54,000 or $60,000 if age 50 or older in 2017; $55,000 or $61,000 if age 50 or older in 2018).

What happens if a business owner hires employees?

If employees are hired, generally, they would have to be included in the plan, which will add more complex plan administration rules, expenses, and may cause the need to terminate the Individual 401(k) plan. A business owner may want to consider other retirement plans if planning on hiring employees in the future. Consider using the Small Business Plan Selector Tool to see other options.

Can an Individual 401(k) be opened if a partnership consists of only self-employed partners?

Yes. Generally, each self-employed partner will be able to open a separate Individual 401(k) plan.

Does IRS Form 5500 need to be filed for an Individual 401(k)?

Business owners are generally exempt from filing IRS Form 5500 if the Individual 401(k) plan has less than $250,000 in assets at the end of the year. Plans with $250,000 or more in assets at the end of the year are generally required to file Form 5500.

What are the eligibility requirements for Individual and Roth Individual 401(k)?

  • Available to self-employed individuals with no additional employees other than a spouse, including sole proprietors, partnerships, LLCs, corporations, and "S" corporations
  • Salary deferrals can be split between the pre-tax Individual 401(k) account and the after-tax Roth Individual 401(k) account
  • Discretionary profit sharing contributions must be made to the pre-tax Individual 401(k) account

What is a vesting schedule?

A vesting schedule determines how rapidly the employer contributions in a participant's account become non-forfeitable (i.e. belong fully to an employee).

Is it possible not to include employees in a Profit-Sharing Plan?

Any employee age 21 or older working for the company at least for two years must be included in the plan if the plan does not offer a vesting schedule. For plans with a vesting schedule, any employee age 21 or older and working for the company for at least one year must be included.

Is IRS Form 5500 filing required for a Profit-Sharing Plan?

Yes, an annual IRS Form 5500 filing is required for a Profit-Sharing Plan.

What are the eligibility requirements for Profit-Sharing Plan?

  • A Profit-Sharing Plan is a retirement account for self-employed individuals and owners of small businesses
  • Employees are eligible based on the following criteria:
    • For plans with no vesting schedule:
      • Any employee age 21 or older and
      • Has worked for the company at least for two years
    • For plans with a vesting schedule:
      • Any employee age 21 or older and
      • Has worked for the company for at least one year

Can a retirement account be opened for a business and the investment activity directed for every participant?

Yes. One pooled account may be opened where the plan trustee or administrator directs the investment activity for the entire plan. Enrolled plan participants would have no control over their own individual accounts.

Is margin and options trading allowed on an investment-only (non-custodial) plan?

Margin trading is not allowed, however, options level one (writing covered calls) may be requested if allowed by the Plan document.

If the account is transferred to E*TRADE, how will the trustee(s) be notified of investment activity within the plan?

The plan's trustee(s) will automatically receive trade confirmations and account statements showing the plan’s activity. The plan trustee(s) can also request that E*TRADE provide the plan participant(s) duplicate copies of trade confirmations and account statements.

If a non-custodial plan is opened, will E*TRADE do the recordkeeping and tax reporting?

No, E*TRADE will not provide recordkeeping or tax reporting. This must be done independently by the trustee(s) or a third-party plan administrator.

What are the eligibility requirements for Investment-Only (Non-Custodial) Retirement Plan?

  • Designed for business owners and plan sponsors with an established qualified retirement plan, using a third-party plan administrator, seeking to utilize E*TRADE for a robust online trading platform.

    A plan sponsor has two options:
    • Open one pooled account where the plan trustee(s) or administrator directs the investment activity for the entire plan. Enrolled plan participants have no control over this account. Funds are pooled in the same account and all investments are owned at the plan level.
    • Open separate accounts and authorize each enrolled plan participant or the plan administrator to direct the investment activity. The account will be established for the benefit of ("FBO") one plan participant and may not pool plan assets from other participants in the same account.
  • This account may be opened at any time. The deadline to fund the account is plan specific.
  • Plan participants must be 18 years of age or older and U.S. citizens or residents with a valid U.S. address

 

If I have debt, should I be contributing to a retirement account?

This depends on your own financial situation. For example, a credit card balance at 19 percent may be a more urgent issue than a student loan at 5 percent. We encourage you to speak with your E*TRADE Financial Consultant or a financial advisor for more information.