I am retired and take educated guesses on all things financial.

October 06, 2009


I am familiar with the platforms of several online brokerage firms. Trading stocks on every service is generally easy and prompt. However when it comes to bonds, there is definitely a difference. Trying to research and invest in bonds on most of the sites I tested ranged from mediocre to downright awful.

E*Trade was the most comfortable bond service platform I used.

First, E*Trade maintains a large selection of bonds and other fixed-income securities that can be purchased for as little as $1.00 per bond ($10.00 minimum/$250.00 maximum). What E*Trade doesn't have online directly they will procure for the investor promptly and at a satisfactory price. If you want to sell a bond, I found the process to be user-friendly and on target with prices.

Second, their online research tools are easy to manipulate and comprehensive. When I called the bond desk, I was not faced with what seemed like a high school GED candidate - which was my impression from some other brokerages online. Plus, they acted quickly upon my phone inquiry without the usual waiting period which at one brokerage took almost an entire Symphony's worth of time.

Third, the investor will find E*Trade's bond fund selector an easy tool to work with. Locating practically any fund complete with excellent start-up data is at most four clicks of the mouse away.

Finally, for those who need to have their hand held, professional assistance is available.

All in all, E*Trade has their bond system operating to provide excellent service to the investor.

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