If you are a beginner who places perhaps one or two trades a week, will check your balance every day, don't mind being overcharged, having money disappear from your account and being stonewalled when asking where it went, E-Trade might be a good place to start. The E-Trade Pro platform is fairly easy for a novice to understand; a good starting point perhaps, but the behind-the-scenes weaknesses will soon persuade you to sell off and go somewhere else. Yes, SELL and withdraw the cash considering the endless stream of complaints about having their account locked for 3-4 months in retaliation for asking the assets be moved elsewhere. Their worst feature is people - the part-time beginners who will tell you whatever sounds good as opposed to actual fact. One will tell you "Process X is a fixed company rule" while the next will tell you "Process X is not allowed". The absolute worst of those is their "Compliance Department" in New Jersey. They stand tall among the folks who don't have a clue how various trading process work within the market and even their own software. They answer repeated questions such as "Why did $400 disappear from my account overnight - where did it go" with "Your balance is correct", refusing to address where it went.
Trying to resolve a problem which is clearly their error is going up against a 500 pound gorilla with half a brain. The baby commercials are great, but E-Trade itself is not for serious investors, and won't be until TD Ameritrade or a reputable company buys it (been discussed on the FOX Business channel "....Closing Bell" segment). But it didn't sound like the TDA CEO wanted to touch it. Seems the Wall Street Folks know more about E-Trade than its traders do.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO EXPERIENCE (AND PAY THE PRICE FOR) THESE THINGS FIRSTHAND, E-TRADE MIGHT BE FOR YOU. BUT IF YOU HAPPEN TO SEE TRAINING VIDEOS ON U-TUBE OR THE COUNTLESS OTHER STOCK MARKET TEACHING INSTITUTIONS YOU WILL NOTE NONE OF THOSE MARKET-EDUCATED, ACCOMPLISHED PROFESSIONALS USE E-TRADE