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Moved from Etrade to an advisor at ML, best decision ever.
Posted by Acparker674 on 03/07/2013
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- A few months ago, my husband and I decided that it was time to open a brokerage account. We both have 401K plans with our companies, but since we are rather busy, neither of us had ever done anything with the large cash balances we had in our savings accounts. We decided to start off by opening an etrade account, starting small with $20K.

It was okay, but for an internet obsessed user like me, I just thought the experience would be a lot different, and I'd later realize investing my money on my own was a dumb idea. The customer service support was less than satisfactory. I always had issues, and I didn't feel confident with the whole experience.

I'd always shunned away from financial advisors, however I met my current advisor at a charity event for autism, and our introduction was nothing but geniune. Because of our shared interest in the cause, we talked for awhile and it wasn't until I asked what she did that she told me she was a financial advisor. Maybe it was the timing of the bad experience with Etrade, but I was interested and wanted to hear more so I asked if I could come in to meet with her the following week. Some of our friends have had negative experiences with advisors, and the girl was a little younger (not the typical old male I picture when I think of a financial advisor). Everything about her was just so trusting. She made me believe that she'd understand me better than anyone else, and that she would work with my assets as if they were her own, and she has. I think she's different than most advisors because she addressed all of my concerns first. She broke down the fees, asked if I was comfortable with them. She asked what kind of relationship she wanted to have and how often she'd like me to contact her, whether I wanted to come to events with her, if I wanted her to come to my house to meet, etc.

The moral of the story, and why I've taken the time to write this is, a lot of people don't want to pay the fees for advisors. I think that's very apparent. However, the service my advisor has provided me not only has given me motivation to write this post, but I feel as if I'm not paying a fee. I am very comfortable, and everything is transparent. It's unfortunate to read reviews saying their advisors haven't provided the same service. (Not to mention, my husband and I aren't millionaires! We started off investing $100K with her, now we have about $350K).

I'm from Chicago, and I'd be glad to give her contact info to anyone out there who is interested in genuine, high quality financial service. She actually just helped out my friend refinance her mortgage:) My email is acparker674@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Good luck, and I hope people have better luck!
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Lost access to my account.
Posted by Vive_ on 12/05/2012
For no apparent reasons my account at E-trade was locked. I called the company and despite the fact I provided the E-trade representatives with my SS number, date of birth and current address they did not unlock my account. Not to mention I spent couple of hours on the phone answering ridicules questions. I will be withdrawing my money from Etrade ASAP.
After reading reviews on the Internet I realized a lot of people are having the same problem. This may be an indication Etrade is having a financial difficulties so it has to froze accounts to stay afloat. I think Etrade soon will be going out of business. My advise - stay away from Etrade.
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Posted by Vinnie11 on 2012-12-06:
Something is fishy there. My e-Trade account was locked before because I had trouble remembering the password but I do not recall jumping through any hoops to have it corrected. I hope you get it resolved soon.
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Why do I bother wasting my time and money
Posted by Cassandra.croft on 11/13/2012
BRISBANE -- Oh my God if their systems could be anymore outdated, irresponsible and down right stupid ... here we go their portfolio section which you trade from to see your holdings does not communicated with your account balance all the time so you may have holdings you don't know about. So this is the second time where shares that have been full sold down then reappear on my account balance. I am then told that I haven't sold them all and that this is my fault, I should have contacted them. WTF is my statement as you are trying to use what is meant to be a trading platform where you are charged an arm and a leg to trade and they can't get it right but your wrong. I hate they way they take forever and I mean forever to settle. I wish they could fix the errors or admit that they have an issue and make amends not charge me like I have millions of dollars.
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Etrade Doesn't Know What Is Unusual About Nothing
Posted by Williamlorca on 09/01/2012
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- So, I have some stocks and stuff and I thought, maybe I will consolidate it all to ETrade. I mean, they are cheap, good products, etc. Why not?

HA! So, I opened my account. Easy. I go online to do the online transfer and get a message: you are not authorized. Okay, so I email customer service since it is not urgent enough to call. They say to mail money or use the link to transfer. Ummm... it didn't work which is why I emailed them to begin with. SO, I replied and cut and paste the message.

Now they reply that I have to mail or fax a copy of my ID, SS Card (front and BACK) and utility bill. Okay, I get it - they wanna make sure I am me. Fine. So I fax all of it in. I get a message that it is received.

Next day I login to a new message: DUE TO UNUSUAL ACTIVITY WE HAVE FROZEN YOUR ACCOUNT. Hmmm... What activity? There is NO money and NO stocks because you asked for my ID so I did that? What constitutes unusual activity? Perhaps No activity is unusual. Of course, NO ONE can explain why so I sit on hold and transfer and hold. I send another message to customer service via email for fun.

A couple a days later, they answer saying that they need to VERIFY information, but won't tell me what information. They send 16 account alerts to me on a single afternoon. Most refer to the "unusual" activity but one mentions they could not read my ID. Well, here is the thing. IDs now are designed NOT to copy well and fax them in and its worse. So I offer my US Passport which copies better but that is NOT acceptable.

So, needless to say, I give up. I am out nothing because I did NOT ever get around to transferring my securities in. Just keep that all in mind.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-09-01:
I doubt this is the typical experience when someone signs up. There was something unusual about your account. I don't blame you for going elsewhere, because what you describe is a PITR.
Posted by Max on 2014-01-20:
Ha, it's January 2014 and I got the same problem with sending my ID and SSN, but then even I sent in a clear copy they could not even scan it in properly and then said they could not read it!. These people all need to be fired and replaced with more intelligent people. Oh now I get it. They employ minimum wage idiots!
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BAD Customer Service Results in What Feels Like STRONG ARM ROBBERY
Posted by Jerinmichigan on 05/09/2012
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I opened an Etrade account last year (2011) and set-up a regularly scheduled transfer and everything was going as planned until Febuary (2012) when the amount of the transfer was DOUBLE the a lotted amount. I immediately called Etrade Customer Service and was SPECIFICALLY TOLD 'There was a GLITCH in the system and that this would not happen again and that they have looked into my account and if I was to have the extra money that was transferred refunded that it would have repicutions on me come tax time or for the early redemption clause on the mutual fund that I had been purchasing".

So now fast forward to May (2012) the extra money had still been being transferred into my IRA account but I was able to manage and thought "well this will only benefit me in the long run by making double the contributions I origianlly set off to make" but I had stopped all "automatic buys", and waited for money to show up in my IRA and than I would personally purchase right, this is what I was told that I can do on ANOTHER call with Etarde Customer Service, but get this here I am in May and I realize my account is in the NEGATIVE, so I call them on Monday to get this straightened out and was told that one of my AUTOMATIC TRANSFERS would clear in 2 days and that I should call back than and figure out what I need to do to keep this from happening again.

I get a call 3 days later explaining to me that I need transfer money into my account immediately to cover the cash call or Etrade will be forced to sell shares in order to cover the negative amount holding me responsible for any and all tax liabilities in the future unless I do a quick transfer. My complaint is why was this dragged out until I hit a negative amount when I origianlly called about this 3 1/2 months ago and the fact that it was their wrong doing and mis information that caused this so why I am the one being penalized for their mistakes. They should be the one's who have to wait until the next transfer in order to cover the negative portion of the account.
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E-trade Relies on "Babies" for Customers
Posted by Jssprout on 03/18/2012
E-trade's talking baby ads are no joke. The company tries to appeal to young techy business types who don't know much about investing.

I very glad they only had a portion of our portfolio. Markets and investments go up and down, but you can be certain that your ups will not be as high with E-trade, and your downs will go much lower. They eat you alive with hidden costs and fees. During a downturn, they would not let me sell or close and account. They needed the last thousands for sell-offs and fees. Then, they started charging me every month. My 15 grand in stocks investments went negative with these guys. Customer service was apologetic and ineffective.

Stick with Fidelity, Schwab, Well Fargo and any number of other reputable financial service companies that treat customers as adults and talking babies. E-trade is a sure-thing bad move.
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Posted by BigAl on 2012-03-19:
I am sorry to hear of your bad experience with E-trade. I have had very good experiences with them. I have not been hit with any unexpected fees. I have never had a hard time buying or selling with them. However, if you have no idea what you are doing I would suggest a reputable broker to do this for you. Good luck finding one.
Posted by BiggerAl on 2012-03-22:
I have a reputable broker, and have done well with other financial service companies. I knew what I was doing--but it took awhile to figure out what E-trade was doing to us! No one said brokers were dishonest. The company model is set up to lure "babies" and take their candy. Bad news.
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Left Hand Doesn't Know What the Right Hand Is Doing
Posted by Cathymwong on 02/17/2012
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA -- I want to transfer my ETrade i401K account to my Vanguard traditional IRA account. ETrade's left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

They misinformed me that the securities can transfer in kind to Vanguard. After back and forth with ETrade and Vanguard over several days, I find out ETrade requires liquidation of my securities (why didn't they tell me initially?). After a couple more phone calls, I find out they require that I manually sell them. Robo calls from them are vague. I return their call and I have to repeat what I've already in detail told a previous representative in a previous call. Time burner.

2/13/12 I was told their computers would automatically know the securities are sold and proceed with transferring the money.

I sold the securities 2/14/12. 2/15/12 I was told that the request must be re-submitted. 2/16/12 I was told that funds must be sent by a check to me or wired to Vanguard. for a $25 fee. I approved the wire and the wire fee. I was told the funds would wire 2/17/12.

2/17/12 I receive a robo call from ETrade. I call and I have to repeat ALL I said on 2/16/12. I am told that the funds will wire 2/21/12. I hope it happens, I am so done with ETrade.
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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2012-02-18:
As with most multi-department corporations the only path that is greased for efficient transactions is the one where money transfers from you to them. All other paths are fraught with hurdles to retain control of your money for as long as possible.
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Just try to get your money
Posted by Galwaychase86 on 12/22/2011
Unbelievable! Due to a personal emergency I needed to liquidate stock and access the funds. First of course is the joke of a $20+ 'trading fee' but then I started the process one week PLUS before I needed the funds. I get the whole SEC excuse for the 3 days to settle (although I am not sure just how entirely accurate that is) but then once the 'quick transfer' to my bank account was initiated what entailed was ridiculous. When 24 hours had passed with zero activity at my bank I called. What I was then told was it would another FOUR business days before the funds would available to my bank! What?!?!? so with a holiday in the middle and two weekends the time frame from executing a trade to actual deposit would be TWELVE DAYS. Of course they would do it sooner if I would simply 'pay' $25 dollars for a wire transfer! What happened next says it all. When the CSR offered to cancel the 'quick transfer' in order to do a wire transfer the funds were IMMEDIATELY available back in my account. So ... it takes 9 days on top of the three day settling period to have the funds available to the owner of those funds but essentially when you make a deposit INTO your account it's instaneous and instantaneously held captive by e*trade. Caveat emptor, and even though it's likely not significant to e*trade I will be liquidating ALL the funds at once and moving them to where I can actually access and use them when needed. Keep in mind I am not upset about the trading period but the idea that they hold onto funds for a week in this day and age of electronic transfers ... that's almost the same if not worse than the days of handling it all by paper. FTR, my Fidelity and Ameritrade accounts have ALWAYS posted deposit requests to my personal bank account within the SAME day. Buyer beware and do yourself a favor and simply stay away.
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Close you account while you can
Posted by Smarchand8 on 08/07/2011
I had several accounts with E*Trade. Nothing was on margin and no checks every bounced. They closed out all my accounts on me. Customer service said you will get something in mail explaining why. Well later came and it was basically we reserve the right to close out you account at any time for any reason. 2 weeks later I'm still chasing my money from them and the customer service has no clue. FDIC will not do anything because they say it is a OCC issue. OCC will not get back to me. So now I'm waiting till they decide it is a right time for me to have my money back. I will just make sure I let everyone I know about the problems I have had with them. Maybe they will not join or will switch their accounts elsewhere. This is a poorly run business.
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Posted by Alain on 2011-08-08:
There are similar complaints about ETrade here and on other sites. You can try going to http://www.sec.gov/complaint/select.shtml and see if the information there is helpful to you.
Posted by 123 on 2012-09-12:
eTrade has advised that something is wrong with my 1099, and therefore they are going to classify my 501(c)4 as a S Corporation. They further allege they are going to take out unauthorized withholding from my S-Chapter corporation. eTrade should be shut down for dishonesty and theft. My advice is take your money out of there and run as far a way as possible. I am growing increasingly distrustful of the US as a place to keep your money and it is getting worse. We have absolutely no regulatory protection whatsoever. The FCC, SIPCA, and FINRA are only there to protect the companies they regulate. They could care less about the public.
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Be Careful
Posted by Lou gupta on 02/02/2011
Back Office personnel and Software designers of ONLINE Discount Brokers are inexperienced. Their lack of experience and knowledge in financial sector can be detrimental to your portfolio. Please be careful of discount brokers. Real time quotations may be inflated or deflated by few pennies. Your order may be forwarded to an exchange who may be paying the brokers commission on forwarding orders.

Broker may have high mark up on interest on margin. There may be hidden fees. Etc. Its better to protect your wealth rather than be a victim.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-02-02:
I don't find this informative. It appears to be about E-Trade, but it contains many generalizations and accusations listed without ssupporting evidence.

I have used TD Ameritrade for several years and I am very pleased with the knowledge of the CSR's I have dealt with, as well as the website.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-02-03:
You seem to post a lot of attacts on Etrade. I use them and have had zero issues. As a casual trader they are great. No broker to deal with trying to sell you this or that. No broker churnning sales to bolster their commissions. No broker giving you bad information.
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