1 Minute Review
Ally Invest is a comprehensive broker offering easy access to domestic markets. Combining a wide range of charting tools with an easy-to-master platform, Ally is a solid choice for both new and experienced investors. Ally’s mobile app is particularly impressive for investors who already bank with Ally, offering seamless compatibility between accounts. While more experienced investors might be disappointed with Ally’s beginner-oriented educational center, they’re bound to love Ally’s wide range of technical tools and rock-bottom pricing.
- Investors who already bank with Ally and want to streamline between accounts
- Beginners looking for easy-to-follow educational tools
- Stock investors looking for affordable access to low-priced options and commission-free stock trading
- Streamlined interface that’s easy to use and quick to master — even for beginners
- Wide range of unique tools that makes analyzing securities simple
- Seamless integration between mobile and desktop offerings, especially for Ally Bank account holders
- Diversified managed investment portfolios with a low minimum and no advisory fees
- Impressive ETF screening tools that make it easy to find your next fund
- No fee-free mutual funds
- No access to futures trading
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Why Ally Invest Over Others?
Why choose Ally Invest? Let’s take a look at a few key features that make the broker stand out among competitors.
- Easy synchronization between Ally accounts: If you already bank with Ally, you’ll love the broker’s one-stop-shop app. Ally has also recently introduced “One Ally” transfers that allow you to seamlessly move money between your Ally accounts.
- Wide range of technical tools: Ally Invest offers traders a wide range of charting and screening tools to inform their trades. Analyze assets using 8 chart types, 117 unique charting indicators and 36 drawing tools. While these offerings are intensive, they’re also well explained and simple enough for total beginners to use.
- Comprehensive managed portfolio options. If you’ve never invested before, the prospect of managing your own securities can be scary. Ally’s managed portfolio option gives you more personalized recommendations without advisory fees, making investing easier.
- Access to low-priced securities: Unlike some competitors, Ally Invest offers traders access to OTCBB and Pink Sheet stocks — though you’ll need to make a minimum investment of $100 to get started.
Brokerage Quick Summary
|Tradable assets||Stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, forex|
|Platform||Comprehensive; wide range of screening tools and indicators available|
|Mobile app||Fully operational, mirrors desktop web-trading platform|
|Available account types||Taxable, traditional and Roth IRA|
Ally Invest offers low fees and $0 commissions — perfect for anyone looking to create their first account to save for retirement. Let’s take a look at what you might expect to pay when you invest with Ally.
|Stocks and ETFs||$0 commission; Ally requires a $100 minimum purchase for OTCBB and Pink Sheet stocks and adds 1 cent per share on the entire order for stocks priced less than $2.|
|Options||$0.50 per contract|
|Mutual funds||Access to over 12,000 mutual funds; $9.95 per purchase|
|Bonds||$1 on most government-issued bonds|
Ally Invest also offers margin trading. With Ally, you can borrow over $1 million to trade in leverage, depending on the value of the cash and assets you currently hold in your account. Ally’s leverages rates are a bit lower than some competitors like Fidelity — you’ll pay between 8.75% and 4.25% depending on how much you’re borrowing. However, Ally’s margin rates are higher on average than discount brokers like Robinhood or Interactive Brokers.
If you’re a trader interested in the cheapest possible margin trading or the best bargain on mutual funds, Ally Invest might not be right for you. However, commissions on other securities like stocks, ETFs and options are exceptionally affordable and competitive.
Ally Invest’s platform is comprehensive and easy-to-use. After opening your account with Ally, you can quickly personalize your trading platform by dragging and dropping tiles onto your home platform. Manage your current investments, keep track of stocks and ETFs you’re interested in and more — all from 1 easily navigable home platform.
Let’s take a look at a few of the key features we love about Ally’s platform.
- Your choice of streaming charts: No matter how you prefer to view your data, Ally has a charting option available to fit your needs. View data in the form of 8 graph types, including candlestick, bar, mountain, line and more. You can further analyze your data using 117 indicators and over 30 drawing tools.
- Watchlists: If you have a few favorite stocks that you buy over and over again, you’ll appreciate Ally’s watchlist tool. Create watchlists of your favorite stocks and ETFs with a single click — see them populate your desktop platform as soon as you log into your account.
Adding stocks to your watchlist is easy with Ally — just search by symbol and create your ideal list of assets.
- Probability calculator: If you’re investing with a specific end goal in mind (for example, saving for retirement or to fund a college education), you may want to use Ally’s probability calculator. The probability calculator is a unique tool that uses a stock or ETF’s price and volatility data to project the probability that a share will be worth a specific amount in a set number of days, months or years. Simply set your target date, asset and price, and the probability calculator will help you learn more about whether your goals are realistic.
- Comprehensive ETF screening tools. Ally’s easy-to-use ETF screener allows you to narrow down your options based on the characteristics you’re looking for in an investment. Filter by stock symbol, sector, price, Morningstar ratio and more to instantly find your next investment.
- Managed portfolio options. One of Ally’s most unique features is its managed portfolio option, which can be especially appealing to new investors. Begin by telling Aly about your savings goals and investing goals for the future. Ally will then recommend a customized investment portfolio for you based on your unique goals with 0 advisory fees. Managed portfolios allow you to receive more personalized recommendations without spending thousands on a personal investment advisor. Ally has even created a new platform that allows managed portfolio users to more effectively track their investments.
- Socially responsible investing options. According to a 2018 survey, 81% of investors want their investments to create a positive impact on the environment or the world around them. Making a difference with your investments is now easier than ever with Ally’s Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) options. SRI allows you to create a custom profile of investments that meet your personal standards for moral conduct and responsible marketing. Ally’s research also shows that returns on SRI portfolios were also very similar to returns generated by the S&P 500 — so you won’t need to sacrifice profits to make a difference.
If you trade across multiple devices or computers, you’ll appreciate Ally’s web-based investing platform. You don’t need to download any type of software to begin trading and you can log into multiple devices with a single account at once.
Ally offers a number of educational resources you can use to inform your trading. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite features offered by the broker.
- Maxit Tax Manager: While most traders are primarily concerned with making money when they trade, it’s important to remember that trading sales and purchases are still taxable events. You can use strategies to minimize your tax burden when you file. The Maxit Tax Manager is a unique tool to explore tax implications before you make a purchase or sale. You can use it to hedge your investments and time your sales to minimize the amount you’ll need to pay in taxes. The tool can also generate 1099 forms whenever you need them.
- “Stock Play of the Day” series. Ally Invest’s “Stock Play of the Day” is a new web series that introduces investors to weekly stock selections every Monday. The program is hosted by Brian Overby (author of “The Options Playbook”) and Ally Chief Investment Strategist Lindsey Bell, and features upbeat and informative education for beginners. Aly also offers quarterly digital conferences streamed for free on YouTube.
- Wallet Wise: Ally Wallet Wise is Ally’s money management and budgeting course. The Wallet Wise center is largely beginner-oriented, covering topics like how credit works, the basics of beginning investing and the basics of budgeting. The Wallet Wise center is very beginner-oriented, and intermediate traders or those who have traded before will find little use in the courses offered. However, if this is your first time managing money or investing, you’ll likely appreciate the courses’ conversational tone, easy-to-follow video tutorials and links to additional articles and content.
- Wide selection of ETF screeners: ETF screening tools can help you locate funds to add to your portfolio and explore the market in a more manageable way. Ally Invest offers a wide selection of ETF screening tools — search for funds by price, volatility, fund family, major investment category, Morningstar ratings and much more. You can use the ETF screening tool on both mobile and desktop interfaces.
Ally Invest’s education tools are free to use, but you need to be logged into your account to start using them.
You can get in touch with Ally Invest using a few different methods.
- Via online chat: You can communicate with an Ally team member via online chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To access online chat, log into your Ally Invest account here and click on the chat button.
- Via phone: To chat with a representative over the phone, call 855-880-2559. While Ally Bank currently offers a special phone line for men and women living with hearing limitations, Ally Invest currently doesn’t offer this service.
- Via email: To contact your broker via email, send a message to email@example.com.
Ally currently offers access to the stock, ETF, options, fund and bond markets. Let’s take a closer look at how you can invest for the future through Ally.
Ally Invest Stocks, ETFs and Mutual Funds
Ally offers full access to U.S. stock and ETF markets, including the OTCBB and Pink Sheet markets. All stock and ETF purchases come with $0 fees if purchased from standard U.S. exchanges. Ally offers a full set of ETF screeners, ranging from average volatility to Morningstar analyst ratings.
If you purchase stocks valued at less than $2 per share on the OTCBB or Pink Sheet market, you’ll pay a base commission of $4.95, plus a commission of $0.01 per share purchased. You’ll need to make a minimum investment of at least $100 before commissions before Ally executes your order.
Ally Invest also offers access to over 12,000 mutual funds, some of which are fee-free. You’ll pay a flat-rate commission of $9.95 per transaction, no matter which funds you purchase.
Ally Invest Forex
Ally Invest also offers a specialized platform for forex traders. With Ally Forex, you can trade over 80 currency pairs, plus gold and silver in real time. The platform is aimed at more experienced traders, offering a wider set of technical analysis tools and over 18 technical indicators and charting tools. Ally even offers a specific app for forex trading, which mimics full compatibility of the desktop platform.
Ally Invest Options
Ally offers affordable options trading — you’ll pay a $0 flat-rate commission on each trade with $0.50 per options contract. Ally Invest’s platform is inviting for beginners, offering a simple options chain display feature that allows you to analyze what’s available in as little as a few seconds. Ally also offers a comprehensive Options Playbook training course to introduce you to more education on options.
Ally Invest’s mobile platform is streamlined, with a mobile-optimized design that also maintains full compatibility with the desktop platform. Make trades, do research and create watchlists from the app using the same basic mechanisms as the desktop platform.
Let’s take a look at a few of the best features you can use with Ally’s mobile app.
- Synchronization with other Ally accounts: Ally’s app offers a one-stop-shop for all of its financial and investing services. Deposit your checks to your Ally account with Ally’s eCheck Deposit system, then seamlessly transfer funds to your brokerage account to trade. If you already bank with Ally, its mobile offering can be an exceptionally convenient tool for you.
- Enhanced tile desktop: Ally’s mobile app makes streamlining watchlists and selected stocks simple between accounts. Just like on your desktop home screen, you can select stocks or funds that you want to watch and they’ll automatically populate your home screen for quick access.
- Online and mobile security guarantee: With a new app data hack occurring on a seemingly daily basis, it can be comforting to know that you’re protected against fraudulent transactions. Ally’s online and mobile security guarantee ensures that you’ll never lose money due to unauthorized activity on your account.
Ally Mobile is available as a free download for both iOS and Android platforms. A separate app is available for forex trading.
Ally Invest is a good consideration for beginning investors and experienced traders alike. The brokerage has recently taken the lead of other major brokers like Robinhood and Charles Schwab and introduced $0 commissions on stock and ETF trades. You can begin trading with a $0 account minimum, and margin rates and options trading are affordable.
Novice investors will quickly be able to master Ally’s desktop and streamlined mobile platforms, which are easy to sync across multiple devices. Traders who bank with Ally will also find the broker’s mobile app particularly useful, automatically linking your Ally banking and Ally investing accounts.
Traders who are primarily interested in mutual fund investing will be disappointed with Ally, which offers no $0 commission funds. Traders may also be disappointed with Ally’s lack of futures trading or frustrated with the fact that Ally requires forex traders to open and manage a completely new account to trade. Ally’s educational offerings are also lacking, focused primarily on investing beginners. The brokerage remains a solid choice for most investors, however, regardless of skill level.