How Many Assets to WatchTrade

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How do I get started investing online?

See how E*TRADE can help you take control of your investments online. Watch this video to get a tour of our most popular features, and read the article below for details on how to get started. Big, expensive broker not required.

1. Open an account and fund it.

First, choose what kind of account you want to open, then fill out the application online. E*TRADE offers a number of different accounts, including:

  • Brokerage accounts. You can establish a standard brokerage account, Coverdell Education Savings Account, or custodial account for the benefit of a minor.
  • Retirement accounts. Choices include traditional IRA , Roth IRA , or rollover IRA.
  • Managed portfolios. If you’re looking for fee-based professional investment management, E*TRADE offers four choices: Core Portfolios, Blend Portfolios, Dedicated Portfolios, and Fixed Income Portfolios.
  • Small business retirement accounts. These tax-advantaged retirement plans are designed for self-employed people, as well as small business owners and employees. Account types include Individual or Roth Individual 401(k), Simple IRA, SEP IRA, Profit-Sharing Plan, or Investment-Only (Non-Custodial) Account.

There are four ways to fund your E*TRADE account:

1. Transfer money online

This free service lets you move money between E*TRADE accounts and from outside financial institutions. Transfers take up to three business days.

2. Wire transfer

Transfers are typically completed on the same business day.

3. Transfer an account

Available for brokerage accounts only, this service transfers cash and securities from an account at another institution to E*TRADE. It takes 10 or more business days.

4. Mail a check

This method takes five business days.

2. Create an investing plan

E*TRADE suggests that a well-balanced investing plan should be based on five simple principles:

  • Diversification
  • Understanding risk & reward
  • Choosing the right investments
  • Rebalancing to stay on track
  • Sticking to your plan

How do you create a well-balanced plan? The E*TRADE website offers a number of tools and resources designed to help investors:

  • Analyze a portfolio
  • Create an asset allocation
  • Diversify a portfolio
  • Build a retirement plan
  • Learn more about investing and the markets

3. Find investment ideas.

Once you’ve completed your plan, the next step is to find the individual investments that match your plan and your goals. Here, E*TRADE provides:

  • A large selection of investment choices. You can choose from tens of thousands of stocks , exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds , bonds , options , and other investment vehicles.
  • Tools and screeners. These are tools designed to help you narrow down the vast number of potential investments and find specific choices that match your plan and the criteria that you set.
  • Market data. If you want to dig deeper into individual stocks or funds, you can get real-time price quotes, and use a range of customizable charts and risk management tools.
  • Free independent research. Access to recommendations and ratings from a variety of independent analysts is included with an E*TRADE account. These resources can be used to find potential investments or compare with your own ideas and research.

Investors have 24/7 access to screeners, charts, research and the the other E*TRADE tools, so you can do much of your investing activity on whatever schedule you prefer.

4. Execute your trades.

You enter orders using the E*TRADE online trading ticket, which provides a variety of order types. Your portfolio updates in real time, so you can immediately check the effect of your trades or of market changes.

You can also place trades using the E*TRADE app for iOS and Android, which supports basic trades, as well as advanced order types and even multi-leg options orders.

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5. Monitor your accounts and assets.

When you log on, the Complete View page shows all your E*TRADE accounts and assets on one screen, providing an overview of all your investments. By clicking on individual items, you can dig deeper into the details of your accounts and the assets you hold, including performance over time, the latest news, and relevant analyst research.

You can also keep tabs on your accounts, or even manage your cash, when you’re on the move using the E*TRADE Mobile app.

6. Watch the markets.

E*TRADE provides tools and resources for keeping tabs on the markets or tracking individual stocks, bonds, and funds that aren’t currently in your portfolio. These include:

  • Watch lists. Using this tool, you can track the pricing, performance, and news related to investments you’re interested in. It’s even possible to create sample portfolios and watch how they perform.
  • Alerts. You can set alerts to notify you when a stock, fund, or other investment crosses a price threshold you specify.
  • Mobile alerts. These are notifications sent to your smartphone about pricing highs and lows, movements in the value of your portfolio, and changes to your account.
  • Market news and commentary. The E*TRADE platform provides access to multiple financial and business news sources, including live Bloomberg TV. 1 News is also available via E*TRADE Mobile.

7. Get help and guidance.

For fast answers, E*TRADE’s Online Service Center may be the best place to start. It includes FAQs, applications, and request forms, plus you can send a message directly to E*TRADE Customer Service.

E*TRADE also offers access to professional Financial Consultants who are available to provide help by phone, by email, or in person at an E*TRADE branch.

How can E*TRADE help?

Brokerage account

Investing and trading account

Buy and sell stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, bonds, and more.

Traditional IRA

Tax-deductible retirement contributions

Earnings potentially grow tax-deferred until you withdraw them in retirement.

Personalized Investments

Professional management, diversified portfolios

Tap into professional money management from E*TRADE Capital Management. Choose from an array of customized managed portfolios to help meet your financial needs.

Premium Savings Account

Savings FDIC insured up to $1,250,000

Earn 0.20% APY 2 В with no deposit required to open an account.

Intro to asset allocation

What’s the difference between saving and investing?

What are the biggest myths about investing?

Looking to expand your financial knowledge?

About Us


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Check the background of E*TRADE Securities LLC onВ FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Investment Products: • Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • May Lose Value


Securities products and services offered by E*TRADE Securities LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered by E*TRADE Capital Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Commodity futures and options on futures products and services offered by E*TRADE Futures LLC, Member NFA. Bank products and services offered by E*TRADE Bank and E*TRADE Savings Bank, both federal savings banks and Members FDIC. Stock plan administration solutions and services offered by E*TRADE Financial Corporate Services, Inc. All separate but affiliated subsidiaries of E*TRADE Financial Corporation.

Securities, investment advisory, commodity futures, options on futures and other non-deposit investment products and services are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by, E*TRADE Bank or E*TRADE Savings Bank, and are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.

System response and account access times may vary due to a variety of factors, including trading volumes, market conditions, system performance, and other factors.

В© currentYear E*TRADE Financial Corporation. All rights reserved.В E*TRADE Copyright Policy

10 Facts About Business Assets

Patryce Bak/Getty Images

Business assets, or as the IRS calls them, “property,” are items of value owned by a business.

Assets Are Classified Differently Depending on How You Look at Them

The two broadest categories of business assets are assets that are tangible and those that are not. Assets can be real, or tangible, like a business car or a piece of equipment. They can also be intangible, like intellectual property (trademarks, copyrights, patents) or goodwill.

For Accounting Purposes

Assets are shown on the business balance sheet. Assets are categorized according to their liquidity, which is a term relating to the ease of transferring the asset to cash because cash is the most “liquid” asset. Current assets, including receivables (amounts owed to the business) and inventory, are most quickly converted to cash. Long-term assets, like property and buildings, are less liquid and less easily converted to cash.

For Tax Purposes

The IRS distinguishes between assets depending on whether or not they can be depreciated. That is if the cost of the asset can be spread out over time. Real property (land and buildings) cannot be depreciated, while personal property can be depreciated. The process of figuring out how to depreciate assets is called depreciation.

For Tax Purposes on Sale of Assets

The IRS taxes the gain on the sale as a capital gain, which can be either short-term (if the asset is held a year or less), or long-term.

Business Assets Are Valued Differently, and Values Change

All business assets have value, but each type of business asset is valued differently, and value can change, based on the circumstances. Assets have different values, depending on how and when sold. The value of an asset that is in service can be determined by an appraiser, creating an appraised value for the purpose of using the asset as collateral or to substantiate depreciation deductions.

If assets are liquidated (sold in a bankruptcy, for example), the liquidation value is considerably less than the value if sold to settle debts. In another example, the IRS sets specific rules for claiming the value of assets for disaster loss purposes.

Business asset values can change with age and obsolescence, or just with market conditions. The fair market value is the most common method of valuing assets. Business assets are often appraised to determine their value.

It Doesn’t Matter How You Buy the Asset

Value or depreciation of an asset is not related to the way the asset was purchased. For example, an asset like a company vehicle that is purchased with cash is valued and depreciated the same as an asset purchased with a loan.

Some Assets Can Be Depreciated

As noted above, some assets can be depreciated; these are called depreciable assets Depreciation of assets is an important bookkeeping and tax concept, because depreciation is an expense that can lower the value of an asset and accelerated depreciation can bring tax benefits.

It’s Important to Keep Excellent Records of Business Assets

It’s important to keep excellent records of business assets, starting with the purchase of the asset. Include all information on asset costs, on depreciation, on salvage value, repairs and maintenance, and any appraisals of the asset.

You Must Use the Asset to Claim Depreciation and Expenses

The IRS requires that you place the asset “in service” to claim expenses and depreciation deductions. “Placed in service” means the time that property (that is, an asset) is first placed by the taxpayer in a condition or state of readiness and availability for a specifically assigned function,” as in a trade or business or for the production of income.

Gains on Asset Sales Are Taxable as Capital Gains

If you sell certain assets (called “capital assets”) for a profit, you must pay capital gains tax on that profit, which is another reason for keeping excellent records on asset costs so that you can lower the profit. If the asset was sold within 18 months of purchase, the capital gain is short-term; otherwise, you must pay the long-term capital gains rate. Read more about capital gains, including capital gains tax rates.

Some Assets Can Be Capitalized

You can capitalize an asset by turning it from an expense into an asset. For example, some start-up costs are considered long-term costs and can be capitalized. This spreads the expense over more than one year.

Assets Can Be Used as Collateral for a Business Loan

If you are asked to put up an asset as security for a business loan, a lien is put against the asset. The lien gives the lien holder first right to the asset and requires the loan to be paid off before you can sell the asset and get your money from it.

Asset Ratios Can Be Used to Show Company Profitability

How a company uses its assets to generate income can show its profitability. A financial ratio called net return on assets is a good measure of how the company puts its assets to work.

How to Buy a First Stock on E-Trade

E*Trade can be a convenient and low-cost option for placing your first stock trade.

ETrade is an online brokerage firm that was one of the pioneers of Internet-based investing. Fundamentally, the steps to making a first trade with ETrade are similar to those for any land-based financial institution. The main difference is that with ETrade you’ll conduct your transactions online, rather than in person. You can make your first trade with ETrade from anywhere with an Internet connection, and you won’t have to speak with anyone or hear a sales pitch before or after your purchase. The cost of your trade will likely be lower than with a traditional brick-and-mortar firm as well.

Open an Account

ETrade allows you to complete all of your account application forms online. Start by clicking the “Open an Account” button on the ETrade homepage. Choose the type of account you want to open, such as a regular investment account or an individual retirement account. You’ll have to provide the same information as if you were opening an account with a traditional firm, including your name and address, date of birth, Social Security number and relevant financial information, such as your employer’s name and address. According to the E*Trade website, the whole process shouldn’t take more than 10 to 12 minutes.

Fund Your Account

After you receive your account number, deposit money into your new ETrade account. You can fund your account with either a check, a wire transfer or the transfer of another account. ETrade also allows deposits via its “quick transfer” service, which is an ACH transfer of funds from another account, such as your checking account.

Research Stocks for Purchase

Before you pick a stock to buy, you should analyze which stocks are most likely to help you achieve your investment goals. Some stocks offer the potential for high returns but carry high risk, while others are less exciting but more reliable. Look at analyst reports, company earnings, market trends, the price and valuation of the stock and other factors to help you pick the right stock for your account. This step is particularly important if you are using your investment funds to buy only one stock.

Choose Your Method of Investing

E*Trade lets you buy stocks either online or via mobile device, such as a smartphone. You must download an app if you want to trade stocks on your mobile device.

Use the Order-Entry Platform

Go to the Stocks tab of E*Trade’s order-entry platform. Enter the order type, which will be “buy” for your first stock trade. Enter the number of shares in your order, along with the stock symbol you want to purchase. If you want to execute your order immediately, enter “market” under order type; otherwise, select the appropriate time or price modifier, such as “market on close” or “limit.” If you select a limit order, you’ll have to enter the price at which you want to buy your stock – your “limit” price. If you want your order to last longer than the current day’s trading, enter a time modifier, such as “good for 60 days.”

Review and Finalize Your Trade

After entering all relevant parameters, click “preview order,” review the order, then click “place order” to make your first trade.

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