Ally Invest Review

From yesterday’s auto finance with the parent company Ally Financial Inc. to today’s online banking, credit, lending, and wealth management with Ally Invest, customers are always central for more than a century.

Ally Invest has proved itself a reliable and great stockbroker because of its rich trading features, superlative customer service, online banking, zero commission, and of course no minimum. Before a detailed Ally Invest review, let’s have a quick look at some features that make Ally Invest excel among others.

What is Ally Invest?

Ally Invest is the trade name used by Ally Invest Group Inc. Ally Invest, as the name suggests, is an investing platform for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and options. Ally Invest is actually a new corporate image given to TradeKing when Ally Financial Inc. (publicly traded “ALLY”) purchased it in 2016. TradeKing, famous for its $4.95 trade commissions, was a discount broker, founded in 2005. Its main focus was self-directed investing and options trading. Currently, Ally Invest has about $13.4 billion in assets and it manages more than 406,000 customer accounts, approximately.

Ally Invest is an investor-friendly online brokerage arm of Ally Bank. Ally Invest offers investment brokerage and advisory services. Ally Invest’s sister company Ally Bank has an illustrious name because of its FDIC-insured banking services. However, the products offered by Ally Invest Advisors, Ally Invest Securities, and Ally Invest Forex are not FDIC insured and may lose value. Ally Invest is taking the tradition of TradeKing to new heights with its both self-directed and managed portfolio trading opportunities to adapt to the needs of every type of investor. No matter, you are a new or an experienced trader, Ally Invest with its low commission and competitive fees can help you grow financially faster.

The company’s goal is “Doing it Right”. As a relentless ally for your financial well-being, they are consistently focused to find new ways to deliver opportunities – no matter how you define it. Being a leader in digital financial services they claim, what some call difficult, we call doing it right. Ally Invest is one of the largest automotive finance operations busy with changing the online banking landscape and helping 8.5 million+ people with their bank, auto, invest and other financial needs.

 

Ally invest review
Ally invest review

Who is Ally Invest Best for?

  • Active-Investors
  • Passive Investors
  • Retirees
  • Young Investors
  • Low Minimums
  • Smartphone Users

Ally Invest is equally appealing for beginners as well as seasoned investors.

Beginner Traders

Ally Invest with its good amount of educational resources is in your service for your investment goals to get achieved in the right direction.

Active Traders

Active investors can maximize their investing experience with Ally Invest’s trading and charting tools while paying $0 trading commissions.

DIY Traders

As a hands-on investor, you will enjoy a self-directed brokerage account to fund your investment account.

Hands-off Traders

Cash-enhanced or low-cash allocation method will suit you if you want the Ally Invest team to “do it right” for you.

How does Ally Invest Work?

Ally Invest offers two types of online accounts to its clients for a better online experience of their choice. These accounts are:

  1. Self-Directed Trading Account
  2. Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio Account (robo advisor)

Signing up for a new Ally Invest Account is quite easy. Just land on the Ally Invest page and click “Open Account” for self-directed trading. When you want to keep everything in your own hands, take help from in-depth research and market analysis tools and information to back your investment strategies. Self-Directed Trading account is for hands-on investors and the investment choices are:

  1. Commission-free stocks
  2. Commission-free ETFs
  3. Commission-free options
  4. Bonds
  5. Mutual funds
  6. Margin account

If you select Managed Portfolio account, the robo advisor will analyze your investments and savings goals, timeframe, and risk-taking capacity. Ally Invest robo advisor will monitor and manage your portfolio so that it may not lose its right track.

For types of portfolios for you to choose from:

  1. Socially responsible
  2. Tax optimized
  3. Core
  4. Income

Without any annual fees for the Manages Portfolio program and the only thing you need is a starting account balance of $100. The following accounts can be opened under Ally’s Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolios:

  • Individual account
  • Joint account
  • Traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account)
  • Roth IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • Custodial account

Ally Invest will monitor your portfolio thoroughly and continuously and will adjust your investments as per needs. The changes like market fluctuation and your ideal retirement age are kept under close watch and adjustments and rebalances are done with the help of technologies when such changes come along.

Ally Invest’s customer services representative and brokers are accessible 24/7 to help you out with your queries, concerns, or any information you need regarding your account or investing strategy.

Ally Invest Promotion

If you are a new investor, there is a big bonus for you for simply opening and funding an account. The signup bonus for new customers starts with at least $10,000. Your account will be reviewed 60 days after its opening for the qualifying deposit and the cash bonus will be transferred to your account within 10 business days, but you cannot withdraw the bonus and the qualifying amount (minus any trading losses) for 300 days because the bonus may be canceled officially if the qualifying deposit is withdrawn.

BonusDeposit or Transfer
$3,500$2MM+
$2,500$1MM – $1.99MM
$1,200$500k – $999.9k
$600$250k – 499.9k
$300$100k – $249.9k
$200$25k – 99.9k
$50$10k – 24.9k

Ally Invest Features

Minimum Investment$0
Stock Trades$0
Options Trades$0.50/contract
Mutual Funds$9.95
Investment TypesStocks, OTC/Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Options, Forex, Cryptocurrencies, Futures
Accounts TypesTaxable Joint Traditional IRA Roth IRA Rollover IRA SEP IRA SIMPLE IRA 401(k) Solo 401(k) Trusts Limited Partnerships Partnerships Coverdell 529 Custodial Non-Profit Annuities Checking Savings Money Market CDs
AccessWeb-Based, iPhone App, Apple Watch, Android App, BlackBerry App
Broker Assisted Trade$20
Virtual Trades 
No Fee ETFs115
Customer Service7 am-10 pm ET, 7 days a week

Investment Choices and Commission-Free Trading

Ally Invest is laboring hard to be your best financial ally with its:

  • $0 commissions trading on eligible US exchange-listed stock, ETF, and option trades
  • Competitive options pricing ($0.50 per contract)
  • High-quality ETFs from market leaders i.e. Vanguard, GlobalX, iShares, and Wisdom Tree to diversity your investing strategy

The choice is yours between thousands of stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. Bonds cost you $1 per bond and there is a fee of $9.95 per trade for mutual funds.

Besides fixed income securities, equity and index options are also available for trading. You can choose from the following:

  • Corporate
  • Agency
  • Treasuries
  • Municipals
  • Strips and zeros
  • CDs
  • New issues

No Account Minimums

There is no account minimum to begin trading and earning with Ally Invest.

Trading Tools

There is a full suite of trading tools for you to get more success as an investor. Have a look at them.

Watchlists

With Ally Invest watchlists, you can track real-time market data, custom watchlists and set up price alerts on security groups.

Streaming Charts

There are up to 8 interactive chart types with access to customizable 36 drawing tools to let you analyze securities like stock, ETF, and index performance.

Probability Calculator

Before placing trades, you can use probability calculator to measure the unpredictability of your trading decision. In this way, this Ally Invest tool provides you with a chance to make optimal choices.

Profit/Loss Graph (Calculator)

This wonderful tool enables you to understand the profit and loss potential and the possible outcome of any trade based on fluctuations in volatility and time.

Research and Market Data

This data analysis tool will show you the stats and metrics of the companies you consider important to you. This tool is best for:

  • Quotes
  • Charts
  • High/low prices
  • Dividend dates
  • Overall options summary
  • News
  • Historical quotes
  • Peer performance comparison

Mobile Trading

No matter where you are and what time of the day it is Ally Invest mobile app allows you to receive news updates and have quick market access to place trades.

Options Chains

The options chains tool is here enabling you to call your shots on the available trades so that you may place options trades just like that.

Market and Company Snapshots

To keep yourself up-to-date, take benefit from Ally Invest’s market and company snapshots tool and get market stats, news, detailed metrics, and insights into individual companies.

$0.50 Options Contract Undercut

Ally Invest’s $0.50 options contract sells cheaper than its competitors such as Charles Schwab ($0.65 per contract), TD Ameritrade ($0.65 per contract), and Merrill Edge ($6.95 commission fee and $0.75 per contract).

Forex Trading Platform

You can trade in the world’s largest trade market Forex (foreign exchange) Ally Invest. Ally Invest’s educational material, research analysis, and trading tools can help you create a practice account if you are new in forex trading. You can do the trading with up to 50 currency pairs including silver and gold. Though the minimum deposit required is $250 but Ally Invest urges to go with $2500 for optimal advantages.

Products/Portfolios

Regardless of your investing experience or almost naught experience, Ally Invest offers you investment choices with minimal possible commissions in the industry.

Self-Directed and Managed Account Types

Ally Invest is keen to take care of your financial circumstances and investment goals and offers a collection of account options.

  • Individual and joint taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • SEP/SIMPLE IRA
  • Rollovers
  • Custodial
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account
  • Beneficiary Roths and Traditional IRAs

While talking about an Entity Account, there are more investment options for you.

Here are the choices:

  • Trusts
  • LLCs
  • Investment Club
  • Corporate
  • Partnership
  • Sole Proprietorship

Self-Directed (Hands-on) Account

There is no annual fee when you are a self-directed (hands-on) client. Stocks, ETFs, and Options are commission-free, however, for each Options contract you have to pay a 50¢ ($0.50) fee, though it comes with no account minimum.

Self-directed account type comes with various helping hands (tools) allowing the client to manage his own portfolio and investment. Such tools include streaming charts, profit/loss calculator, and educational materials.

Margin Accounts

Margin accounts with at least $2,000 requirement are available on Ally’s platform with “the higher the balance, the lower the interest rate” principle.

Interest rates from 5% on $1M balance to 9.50% on $0 – $9,999 balance.

Managed Portfolios

Cash-Enhanced Portfolio

Get started with $100, a deal-breaker minimum investment. Cash-Enhanced managed portfolio bears no advisory fee, annual charges, or rebalancing fees. Ally Invest has taken the term ‘robo-advisor’ to some new heights where your portfolios are not managed humanly but technologically as technology is your best advisor in the investment world.

Low Cash Allocation Portfolio

Just pay a $0.30% advisory fee if you choose to go with Low Cash Allocation Portfolio, but your cash holdings will be considerably less. In this way, you can accelerate your compound interest because more of your money will be in the stock market.

Ally Invest Deposits and Fees

Ally Invest deposits and fees depend on your account type. If you select Hands-on service, this is largely fee-free. No fees are attached to stock and ETF trades. Furthermore, options contracts are without trading charges but you are bound to pay $0.50 per contract. The bond fee per bond is $1. Need more details? look below.

Minimum Deposits

  • $0 for self-directed portfolio
  • $2,000 for margin accounts
  • $100 for managed portfolio
  • $250 for Forex trading

Minimum Fees

  • The advisory fee on the non-cash-enhanced managed portfolio is 0.30%
  • Cash-Enhanced portfolios have zero advisory fees but there is a condition of holding 30% of your portfolio in cash all the time.
  • IRA transfer fee is $50 and the $25 closure fee
  • $9.95 commission fee on purchase and sale of mutual funds
  • The bond fee is $1 per contract and there is a fee of $10 on each transaction
  • Low-priced securities are stocks with less than $2 price. There is a fee of $4.95 per trade

Ally Invest Competitors

Ally Invest can be your best investment partner and won’t let you down irrespective of your level of investment experience. Like other prominent brokerages competing in the industry, Ally Invest is appealing to novice and experienced traders alike with its $0 – commissions on stocks and ETFs. $0 account minimum is enough for you to start trading while margin rates and options trading are low-priced.

Other Competitors

Ally Invest and Firstrade

Ally Invest and Interactive Brokers

Ally Invest and Lightspeed

Ally Invest and SpeedTrader

Ally Invest and TD Ameritrade

Ally Invest and TradeStation

Ally Invest and Webull

Ally Invest Pros and Cons

General

Positive
  • Low trading and non-trading fees
  • Signing up is simple and digital
  • High-quality educational tools
  • Low minimum deposit
Negatives
  • Trade is allowed on US markets only
  • Basic brokerage accounts do not have a forex trading option
  • No proper two-factor authentication
  • The account verification process is slow

Fees

Positive
  • Low trading and non-trading fees
  • No commission is charged on most stocks and ETFs
Negatives
  • Margin rates are higher

Deposit and Withdrawal

Positive
  • No deposit charges
  • Money transfer is quite easy
  • Free ACH withdrawal
Negatives
  • Credit/Debit card is not available
  • Expensive wire transfer withdrawals

Web Platform

Positive
  • User-friendly interface
  • Search function is convenient
  • Customizability for charts, workspace, etc.
Negatives
  • Clear fee report is unavailable
  • Safer (two-step) login is missing

Mobile Trading App

Positive
  • Mobile platform is user-friendly
  • Search function
  • Order types variety
Negatives
  • No safer login (two-step)
  • Price alerts are not available
  • Does not allow mutual funds and bond trading

Customer Service

Positive
  • Customer service is 24/7
  • Live chat
  • Phone support
Negatives
  • Unimpressive responses

Education

Positive
  • High-quality tutorial videos
  • High-quality articles
Negatives
  • No demo account available

Safety

Positive
  • Higher investor protection
  • Banking background
  • Overseen by top-tier US financial authorities
Negatives
  • Negative

9.1 Total Score
Ally Invest Review

Even though Ally Invest allows trading in US exchanges only and forex trading is available thru a separate Ally Forex Account, Ally Invest is still one of the biggest US stockbrokers, supervised by top-tier financial authorities. Ally Invest is a one-stop-shop because they offer almost everything from auto financing to home loans and banking. Place trades, fund your retirement or build long-term wealth, you will see Ally Invest “Doing it Right” for you.

Commissions & Fees
10
Customer Service
9
Ease of Use
8.5
Tools & Resources
8.5
Investment Options
9
Account Options
9
PROS
  • Low trading and non-trading fees
  • Signing up is simple and digital
  • High-quality educational tools
  • Low minimum deposit
CONS
  • Trade is allowed on US markets only
  • Basic brokerage accounts do not have a forex trading option
  • No proper two-factor authentication
  • The account verification process is slow
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