Using the E*TRADE Bond Ladder Builder

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How to Use the E*TRADE Bond Ladder Builder

Use the E*TRADE Bond Ladder Builder to craft a ladder based on your unique situation.

1.       Log on to your E*TRADE account, hover over the “Trading” tab, and select “Bonds.”

2.       Click the “Tools” drop-down (located in the upper right toolbar on the screen) and select “Bond Ladder Builder.”

3.       Select which account you’d like to build the ladder from, and note the Pre-Trade Purchasing Power for that account.

4.       Under Step 1, select the type of products you’re interested in. Hover over each product for a brief description. You can select multiple products.

  • For Corporate Bonds, select the Credit Quality you’d prefer.

5.       Under Step 2, specify your time horizon for when you want the first and last bond to mature in your ladder, and how frequently you want the maturities to occur.

  • You can measure time in either years or quarters by selecting a choice from the drop-down menu.

6.       You have the option to select special bond features, such as callable bonds or zero-coupon bonds, if desired.

7.       Under “Amount to Invest,” input the total amount you want to invest in the ladder and click “View Your Search Results.”

  • The total amount you input will be equally distributed amongst the rungs of your ladder.

8.       On the results page, the bonds display from the highest yield to the lowest by default.

  • Click any of the column headings to sort by a different criteria. 
  • To expand your search results, click the “Show more offerings” link at the top of the results table. 

9.       Each section is considered one rung of the ladder. Make a selection for each rung by clicking the checkbox next to the investment. 

  • The tool will automatically generate suggested quantities for each rung to meet your investment goal amount, but you can choose to modify any of the quantities as desired. 
  • The ”Selected” and “Total Selected” dollar amounts will update accordingly.

10.   An “Estimated Income” graph displays the projected coupon cash flow by month. Toggle to the “Ladder Statistics” tab for additional details.

11.   Finalize each rung with the securities of your choice and click “Buy Your Ladder” to review your selections.  

  • You can make adjustments to your ladder, such as changing the quantity of bonds for each rung or deleting certain bond selections, by clicking the checkbox underneath the trash can icon.
  • To make any other changes, or to select a different security, click the “Back” button to return to the search results page. 

12.   When you’re ready to proceed with your order, click the green “Preview Order” button. 

13.   Review the order details to verify all the information is correct. 

  • If you need to make any final changes, click the “Change Order” button to go back.

14.   When all the trade information reflects your desired investment, click the green “Place Order” button to submit your bond ladder order. 

15.   The Order Confirmation page will display, showing the positions and details of your bond ladder. 

16.   To monitor the status of your order, click the “View Order Status” link at the bottom of the page.

The E*TRADE Bond Ladder Builder can help you develop your own personalized fixed income ladder so you can take control of your bond portfolio and stay on track to meet your investment goals.