Ally Invest Review 2023 Low Costs and Versatility

ally invest review

Today, cheaper places include Robinhood and Webull, which offer a no-commission structure for all products. Ally Invest covers all the bases and then some, and will likely be an especially excellent fit for existing Ally customers who are looking for a capable broker. Of course, Ally offers the industry-standard stock and ETF commission of $0, but it also has the best-undiscounted commission for options, excepting only the commission-free brokers. When you trade on margin, you’re essentially borrowing money from a brokerage firm to invest in additional securities or other short-term lending needs. The funds you borrow are typically based on the value of securities in your portfolio. All types of investors will find something that suits their trading goals, whether it’s investing in more passive ETFs, hands-off with a robo-advisor, or more active reading with penny stocks.

Merrill Edge Guided Investing provides more of a choice than E-Trade does, with products available to different kinds of investors whether hands-on or not. When you choose to trade and invest online yourself, you will see a higher price of $6.95. There is an opportunity to qualify for $0 trades, though, with preferred rewards. If you choose to go with Merrill Edge Guided Investing, you will also see a higher annual fee and minimum balance requirement of 0.45% and $5,000 respectively.

Stock sales are “settled” in two days, which means that if you sell a stock in a cash account on Tuesday, you won’t be able to use the money until Thursday. Investors who have a margin account can borrow the money for two days, so as to be able to immediately reinvest the proceeds from the sale of an investment. Brokerage firms allow you to borrow against the value of your investments. Some people use margin loans to leverage their portfolio (invest with borrowed money), which can increase the profits if your investments rise in value at a rate higher than the cost of borrowing money. That said, using margin also adds more risk to your portfolio, as it multiplies losses if your investments fall in value.

Integration with Ally

Open orders and order status are in line with other online brokerage platforms. The Live platform has user customization options for the look and feel. As mentioned, the mobile app and Ally Invest Live are streaming and have a more modern and robust design. However, neither of these platforms had all of the functionality features in the primary website.

  • You can invest and trade as you see fit, according to your savings goals and willingness for risk.
  • Ally Invest also offers a robo-advisor if you want some or all your portfolio professionally managed at a low-cost.
  • Online Savings & Money Market – Each currently pays 1.15% APY on all account balances, requires no minimum opening deposit, and has no monthly maintenance fee.

We’ve chosen the five best in our 2023 Best Day Trading Platforms guide. And be warned that Ally Invest Robo Portfolios first offers you the zero annual management fee portfolio, which includes the required 30% cash allocation. This winds up being not a good deal for just about anyone, so if you wish to continue, select the option to view a fully invested portfolio, which charges a 0.30% annual management fee. Like Schwab, it does this so it can offer you an ostensibly free product. But holding much cash in an investing account has big opportunity costs, since that money isn’t at work in markets.


However, if you’re starting small and looking to trade fractional shares, you’ll need to find a different option. Ally finally got in the game on no-transaction-fee mutual funds in early 2023 – and did so with a big splash. Now Ally not only closed the distance on rivals by eliminating this fee, but it also offers some 17,000 funds without it, putting Ally near the top of the pack with Interactive Brokers. Ally Invest has proven to be a useful tool for all types of advisors, whether you want to be hands-on with your investments or not. But as helpful and convenient as a robo-advisor like Ally Invest can be, working entirely online isn’t always the right move for every investor.

Instead, you pay trading fees yourself, but Ally offers low or nonexistent rates. Bonds always cost $1 per bond, and no-load mutual funds will run you $9.95 per trade. If you go the Self-Directed Trading route, you can buy and sell stocks, bonds, ETFs, futures, foreign exchange funds, options and mutual funds yourself.

Only the ETF screener is available on the Live platform, and none of the screeners are on the mobile app. Likewise, options trading and analysis tools for probabilities, profitability graphing, and pricing, as well as legacy tools from the TradeKing platform, are not available on Live or the mobile app. The charting is also better on the Live platform than on the website or mobile platforms. Mobile traders may prefer to download its mobile app (available on iPhone and Android) for an experience that is tailored for smaller devices.

Who is Ally Invest?

Easily view your investments alongside your bank accounts with access to our enhanced features. We offer a wide selection of resources to help investors of all experience levels make the most of their investments, including advanced charting tools and numerous calculators. When it comes to customer service, Ally Invest’s 24/7 phone customer service places this robo-advisor ahead of almost all of the competition.

  • One way is through tax-loss harvesting, which involves selling losing investments to offset the gains from winners.
  • Lightspeed is all about active traders who can deliver volume to the broker, and so everything is optimized around making the experience the best for them.
  • This cash allocation acts as a buffer against the ups and downs of the market and cannot be accessed like money in a savings account.
  • Ally Invest’s mobile app works well but has less overall functionality.
  • Its normal commission structure is $0.50 per contract, among the best-undiscounted prices for trades in the industry, where the standard is usually $0.65 per contract.

Our goal is to give you the best advice to help you make smart personal finance decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy.

Where Ally Invest Robo Portfolios falls short

Sam Levine has over 30 years of experience in the investing field as a portfolio manager, financial consultant, investment strategist and writer. He also taught investing as an adjunct professor of finance at Wayne State University. Sam holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and the Chartered Market Technician designations and is pursuing a master’s in personal financial planning at the College for Financial Planning. Previously, he was a contributing editor at BetterInvesting Magazine and a contributor to The Penny Hoarder and other media outlets.

ally invest review

Ally charges $0 for stock and ETF trades, putting it in line with other major online brokers. Meanwhile, commissions on bond trades are $1 per bond, with a $10 minimum per trade. In addition to not charging a base commission for options trades, Ally Invest’s per-contract fee comes in lower than many other brokers at $0.50 per contract.

ally invest review

It’s good practice to fully read any broker’s fee disclosures before opening a brokerage account, but we did some of the homework for you. After reading through Ally Invest’s list of fees, there were a couple of fees that stuck out as necessitating further discussion. Ally Invest doesn’t offer a sophisticated platform for active investors like many of its competitors.

Ally Invest supports taxable brokerage accounts as well as individual retirement accounts with no minimum. You can trade practically everything – stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, and even forex. The only asset not on that list is cryptocurrencies but I don’t invest in cryptocurrencies – and here’s why. Low margin rates, high interest rates on cash balances, and a leading number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds serve to make this broker a top pick. Since you are managing your portfolio yourself, you won’t have to pay an annual fee.

Ally Invest’s integration is a bonus for current Ally customers, allowing them to consolidate their financial accounts within one institution, as you can see in the mobile app. That can be great for transfers between accounts, reducing delays on cash moves between a bank and broker, for example. It can be convenient to simply have your accounts in one place when tax time arrives. Often, Ally Invest ends up feeling like just another tab on the dashboard of the entire Ally website.

That means in addition to managing investment accounts, customers can pay bills, deposit checks and conduct other types of banking activities. Trades can also use Ally Invest’s mobile apps — Ally Forex which is only for Forex trading or Ally Mobile, for all other types of available trades. There are plenty of tools for traders who are looking for more advanced research tools. Ally Invest offers some that are pretty robust, especially for a discount brokerage. Ally Invest has a number of features that make it attractive to those who want to tackle DIY strategies but also for customers looking for hands-off robo-advisors.

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If you’re a technical trader, you can use tools such as a profit and loss calculator, probability calculator, and ones powered by Recognia. There’s also the Maxit Tax Manager, where you can look at what the potential tax implications are if you make a certain trading decision. Certainly a key feature is ally invest review the opportunity for any kind of investor to open an account. Those more experienced with investing can open a self-directed account. On the other hand, those who are new to investing, or don’t have the time to design and build their own portfolio, can also open a Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolios account.

Ally offers a full set of ETF screeners, ranging from average volatility to Morningstar analyst ratings. 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.

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