Ally Invest Review 2019

Ally Invest is the best low-cost stock broker available, and it’s especially good for active traders.

Only a few online brokers can compete with Ally Invest’s minimal $4.95 brokerage fees on trades. While none of their more than 8,000 mutual funds are brokerage fee-free, Ally Invest’s $9.95 commission for no-load funds (No transaction fee when selling) is one of the lowest among brokers.

Get started with Ally Invest here.

Ally Invest: the Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of investing with Ally Invest:

Pros:

  • Low commissions
  • No accounts minimums
  • Decent web-based platform
  • Useful research tools

Cons:

  • No transacation-free mutual funds
  • No physical branches

Our Ally Invest Review

Ally Invest’s $0 account minimums, and $4.95 fee per trade ($3.95 for active traders) made it our firm choice for best low-cost stockbroker.

It also offers 500 fee-free ETFs and offers over 8,000 no-load mutual funds for $9.95 per trade.

Ally Invest not only competes with other brokers on cost—but they also have many other useful features. 

They offer automated portfolio management, forex trading, and many free charting and other technical tools.

Who is Ally Invest Best For?

Ally Invest is best suited towards:

  • Active traders
  • Options traders
  • Forex traders

What Ally Invest Does Well

Commissions: It cannot be overstated how important it is that Ally Invest has one of the lowest brokerage charges of any online broker.

It will cost you only $4.95 to buy stocks or ETFs with Ally Invest. This figure falls to $3.95 per trade (for equities) after you make 30 or more trades per quarter or have a balance of $100,000 or more.

Ally Invest’s options trading contracts are also low at $4.95 plus, $0.65 per contract ($3.95 plus $0.50 per contract for active traders) with only one base charge per spread contract.

And instead of charging commissions for forex traders, transaction costs are based on spread markups. And accounts that have at least one trade within the past 90 days get access to free data.

Account minimum: Ally Invest’s $0 account balance minimum makes it easy to get started. That’s a bonus for investors who want to start investing for retirement, but don’t want to jump straight into the deep end.

Trading platform: Ally Invest’s browser-based platform offers real-time quotes and data, quick trading capabilities, access to all of the broker’s tools, and a customizable dashboard.

Investors who like to access their portfolio from various locations like their home, work, for example, will appreciate the easy-to-use browser-based platform. You don’t even have to download it, everything can be accessed online.

Ally Invest also offers an app called Ally Mobile that allows you to access all your data wherever you are. And you always have the option to use the browser-based platform if you like.

Investing research tools: Ally Invest offers a variety of investing tools that will help you make investment decisions.

Its options trading tools include an options pricing calculator to compare current bid/ask prices to forecasted values. It also includes a strategy scanner that identifies and executes option strategies based on criteria that you have chosen earlier.

Technical traders or “technical analysts” are offered comprehensive tools powered by Recognia. Recognia provides research from more than 85 exchanges worldwide on stocks, options, ETFs, indices, forex, commodities, and futures.

Ally Invest also includes a profit-and-loss calculator, a probability calculator, watchlists, market data, and the Maxit Tax Manager. The Maxit Tax Manager is especially useful. It identifies the tax implications of your trades based on short and long term gains and losses and also generates on-demand 1099 forms.

Also, standard stock quotes are free to all Ally Invest users, but real-time streaming data is only available to investors who trade more than 10 times per month,

What Ally Invest Does Not Do Well

Mutual funds: Ally Invest offers a selection of more than 8,000 mutual funds, but, as mentioned, none of them are free of transaction fees. Ally Invest’s commission for no-load funds is $9.95 (which is one of the lowest among brokerage firms).

Mutual fund investors would be better off using one of the other deep-discount online brokers, such as E-Trade, Merrill Edge or Interactive Brokers. These brokers offer thousands of funds with no transaction fees.

No physical branches: There are many stockbrokers that have an online-only presence, so Ally Invest is not unique in this regard. But I have listed this as a disadvantage as some new investors feel more comfortable visiting a physical branch for assistance before making an investment. 

While they don’t have any physical branches, you can shoot them an email or call up 24 hours a day for support.

The Takeaway

If you’re an active trader that is concerned with brokerage fees, then Ally Invest would make a great choice. Even if you’re not, Ally Invest would likely make a great fit.

With competitive commissions fees, useful researching tools, and an easy-to-navigate browser-based platform (or mobile if you prefer), Ally Invest makes a great all-round online stockbroker. And with no account minimums, it’s easy to get started. 

However, if you’re looking to buy no-load mutual funds and ETFs you’d probably be better off looking elsewhere. If this doesn’t sound like you, you might as well give Ally Invest a try!

Get started with Ally Invest here.