Ally Invest Review: Overview, Facts, Features, Plans, Pros and Cons

Ally Invest Review: Overview, Facts, Features, Plans, Pros and Cons

Ally Invest should be on your radar if you're considering switching your investments to a different broker. It's one of the best investment brokerages accessible, especially when you consider all of the services they offer for just about every aspect of your financial life. It's part of the Ally Bank family of companies.

Ally Invest is a venture capital firm based in New York City

TradeKing was purchased by Ally Bank in 2016, which is one of the most popular online banks and offers some of the highest savings rates available. The investment firm was renamed Ally Invest, keeping much of what made TradeKing so successful but adding Ally Bank's own unique spin. With $4.7 billion in assets under management, Ally Invest manages 250,000 customer accounts. Ally Bank is one of the largest auto lenders in the US, with over 4 million customers and $70 billion in customer deposits. Both self-directed and managed accounts are available through Ally Invest. They have one of the lowest commission fee systems in the business and offer a comprehensive range of investment opportunities to self-directed investors.

Self-Directed Investing with Ally Invest

Here's a breakdown of the services they provide for self-directed investors. Traditional, Roth, rollover, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs are among the account types accessible, as are custodial and Coverdell accounts, as well as specific business accounts. Stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), FOREX, and futures are among the investments available. Ally Bank (see "Ally Bank" section below) offers checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts.
  1. No initial investment is required!
  2. Fees for trading: There are no yearly, inactivity, or IRA fees. The following are the trading fees:
  3. $0 in stocks and ETFs
  4. Mutual funds: No-load funds only: $9.95 per trade (No fee applies on load funds)
  5. Options: $0.50 per contract + $0 per trade
  6. Bonds: $1 per bond, with a minimum of $10 and a maximum of $250.
  7. US Treasury Bills are free.
  8. There are no commissions in Forex trading; instead, Ally Invest makes money through the buy/sell spread.
  9. Customer care is available by phone, email, and live chat around the clock.
  10. Protection for the $500,000 in cash and securities, including $250,000 in cash, is provided by the Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC). This is insurance against broker failure rather than market losses. Additional coverage of up to $37.5 million is available, including $900,000 in cash. This insurance does not cover Forex or futures accounts, though.
  11. iOS and Android apps are available.
  12. Ally Invest's clearing agency, Apex Capital, provides access to checking and debit cards. Apex provides checking and debit card access to your account. The annual costs for checking are $20, and the debit card is $35.

Ally Invest Trading Tools for Self-Directed Investing

Ally Invest offers one of the most complete trading platforms available. This is especially true when it comes to options trading, which was a strong point for TradeKing in the past. But it appears that whatever TradeKing provided, Ally Invest enhanced and expanded. Ally Invest provides the following trading tools:

Streaming Charts

Ally Invest offers six different chart formats, as well as over 90 chart studies and drawing tools. These will aid in the analysis of stock, ETF, and index performance. You can also change the settings and use interactive charts for pricing and study comparisons.


Use this tool to track the market statistics for groups of securities.

Market Research and Information

Quotes, charts, high/low prices, dividend dates, news, historical quotes, and peer performance comparisons can all be found here.

Calculator for Probability

You can use implied volatility in this tool to help you assess the chance of meeting your targets before investing.

Graph of Profit/Loss

This tool will assist you in fully comprehending the profit and loss prospects of options trading. You can examine results depending on volatility and time fluctuations.

Chains of Options

Trade options, including complex multi-leg spreads, with ease.

Forex and Futures Trading with Ally Invest

Individual securities or managed options are more popular than this investing alternative. However, with an average daily turnover of $3.2 trillion, the Forex market is the biggest traded market on the planet. To be sure, it's a specialized investment, but Ally Invest can give you a completely equipped platform if you're familiar with it. You can trade more than 50 currency pairs with Ally Invest, including gold and silver. Furthermore, trades are possible in real-time. Ally Invest provides in-depth research and analysis to assist you in becoming a better trader.

Customer support for Forex and futures

Hours are limited compared to the general platform; however, they are still more than many other sites. The customer support operates on a "24/5" schedule, meaning that it is available 24 hours a day, five days a week. It runs from 10:00 a.m. on Sundays until 5:00 p.m. on Fridays - all timings are Eastern.

Minimum starting investment for Forex and Futures

You can open an account with as little as $250, although Ally Invest advises that you start trading with at least $2,500. That is the absolute minimum you will require to utilize the account fully.

App for Foreign Exchange and Futures

Using your iPhone or Android, trade forex and futures on the move. Charting tools, price alerts, real-time news and commentary, and the online app's fundamental features are all available on the mobile app.

Instruments for Trading in Foreign Exchange and Futures

Ally Invest provides a number of tools to assist you in improving your Forex and futures trading skills.

Practice Account (Forex and Futures)

This service is not available with the self-directed account at Ally Invest, although it is offered for Forex and futures. They provide you with a free practice account worth $50,000. For up to 30 days, they provide full access to the trading platform and tools. It will allow you to practice trading before risking real money.

Web ForexTrader

This is a basic trading platform for Windows and Mac. It has a fully integrated charting tool and real-time position account information. It also has a number of single and contingent order types, including If/then, If/then OCO, and Trailing Stops.

Premium Charting for Forex

This is a series of professional-level tools that will assist you in identifying and decoding Forex patterns and trends. You may, for example, decode numerous indicators for advanced technical analysis, view auto trend line indication continuance on charts, and configure charts to your liking.

Robo Portfolios at Ally Invest

You can hire a professional to manage at least a portion of your portfolio, if not the entire thing. Ally Invest Robo Portfolios is the Ally Invest Robo-advisor, which offers algorithm-based investment management comparable to those of Betterment and Wealthfront. Robo Portfolios uses the same investment management strategy as Robo Advisors. Modern portfolio theory, or MPT, is the foundation of this strategy. All aspects of asset management, including quarterly rebalancing, are taken care of for you. A questionnaire is the first step in the procedure. Your risk tolerance, investment goals, and time horizon are all determined by this. Several diversified, low-cost index funds make up your portfolio (ETFs). From then, everything is taken care of for you, and all you have to do is fund your account. The following are some of the fundamentals of Robo Portfolios:
  • $100 is the minimum initial investment.
  • Cash-Enhanced Robo Portfolios have no advisory fees; classic Robo Portfolios have a 0.3 percent advisory charge.
  • Individual and joint taxable accounts, traditional, Roth, and rollover IRAs, and custodial accounts are all available.

Portfolio Make-Up by Ally Invest

Ally Invest has six different portfolio options to choose from:
  • Conservative
  • Moderate
  • Moderate Development
  • Growth
  • Aggressive Development
  • NEW! Investing with a conscience
Your answers to the risk tolerance questionnaire will determine which portfolio will be selected for your account. One of the major benefits of Robo Portfolios is the ability to adjust your risk profile from one portfolio to the next. For example, if you have a Moderate portfolio, you can move to Conservative, Moderate Growth, Growth, or Aggressive Growth. You won't be able to adjust your risk tolerance with some Robo-advisors once it's been set. Each portfolio is made up of a combination of domestic and international equities and domestic and international bonds and cash. If you want to be a more active investor, your portfolio will naturally have a higher equity allocation. If you are more conservative, you will have a bigger bond and cash allocation. As shown in the example above, an aggressive growth portfolio consists of 93% stocks, 5% bonds, and 2% cash. The following is a more extensive breakdown of the ETF's composition:
  • iShares Core S&P500 – US Large Cap Equities
  • iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap US Mid Cap Equities
  • iShares Core S&P Small Cap US Small Cap Equities
  • Vanguard FTSE Developed ETF – Developed Ex-US Equities
  • Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF - Emerging Market Equities
  • iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bonds (US Government Bonds)
  • iShares Intermediate Credit Bonds - US High-Quality Corp. Bonds
  • Vanguard Total International Bonds – Global ex-US Bonds

Bank Ally

One of the features that distinguish Ally Invest is its affiliation with Ally Bank. You can perform a lot of your banking and invest through the Ally Bank platform. Ally Bank is regarded for having some of the greatest savings interest rates available on the internet. They're also one of the best banks for auto loans.


Ally Bank offers interest-bearing checking accounts with remote deposit capabilities. Even though the bank does not have any local branches, you will have access to over 43,000 ATMs around the country. Meanwhile, Ally Bank will reimburse you for any ATM fees levied by other banks up to $10 every statement cycle. Savings The Online Savings Account from Ally Bank is a no-fee savings account that pays some of the greatest savings interest rates available. This account also allows you to deposit checks from anywhere.

Market for Money

The Money Market Account from Ally Bank pays excellent interest rates and has no monthly maintenance costs. You can also make remote deposits and make unlimited deposits and ATM withdrawals.

Deposit Certificates (CDs)

Ally Bank truly shines in this area. They have a number of appealing CDs with some of the highest interest rates available on the internet.

Lending by Ally Bank

Ally Bank has a mortgage lending division that can help you finance your home. They also have a cashback credit card with no annual fee and limitless benefits, providing 2% back at gas stations and grocery stores and 1% back on everything else. The account has no yearly cost and can be linked to Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.

Vehicle Financing

However, vehicle financing is likely to be Ally Bank's strongest area. They provide innovative automobile purchase and lease programs. They even offer customized car finance, which covers accessibility requirements such as wheelchair lifts and right-hand driving capability.

SmartLease from Ally Pre-Owned

The most intriguing of their auto finance alternatives is this. You can lease used vehicles through the SmartLease program. For the vehicle you're leasing, they have three requirements:
  • Have clean background reports
  • Are under the age of four model years
  • Have less than 75,000 miles on it
You'll also get immediate Guaranteed Auto Protection and the option to purchase maintenance coverage comparable to what's available for new vehicles with the SmartLease. This is an excellent financing choice for someone who wants to ease into car ownership by leasing a used car first. Ally Buyer's Choice gives you the option of selling or continuing to make payments for 48 or 60 months. You can get AllyBallon Advantage on new Mitsubishi, GM, and Chrysler automobiles, as well as some qualifying, used cars that are four years old or newer. Your monthly payments will be lower, and your end-of-contract payment will be greater with this loan, which has a fixed APR.

Ally Invest Advantages and Drawbacks

The Pros

Low fees. At $0 per trade, Ally Invest has one of the lowest costs in the business. Self-directed trading and Robo Portfolios are available at Ally Invest. You can have some of your money professionally managed while simultaneously dabbling in trading. Ally Invest staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for customer service. The Ally Bank connection Ally Bank has some of the greatest savings and CD interest rates available on the internet. You can also choose from a variety of auto finance alternatives offered by the bank. You can switch your risk tolerance, and hence your portfolio type, from one classification to another with Robo Portfolios. This gives you the option of making your portfolio more conservative or aggressive.

The Cons

There isn't a demo account available. Some investment platforms provide a paper account for you to practice with before investing with real money. Except for Forex and futures, Ally Invest does not offer this option. If you prefer face-to-face interaction, there are no local branches. Although there are Robo-advisors that have lower management fees than Robo Portfolios, the increased price may be worth it if you want to retain your money with the same broker.

What makes Ally Invest stand out?

How does Ally Invest stack up against the other leading trading platforms? Check out the table below to see how Ally Invest, E*TRADE, and M1 Finance stack up.
Company Best For Fees Investment Requirement Minimum
Ally Investments Investing choices are numerous. Robo Portfolios, self-directed stocks, ETFs, and a few mutual funds have none. Managed accounts cost $100, whereas self-directed accounts cost nothing.
E*TRADE Active Investors None A typical brokerage account costs nothing; automatic investing costs $500.
M1 Finance Stocks and ETFs Stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds have none. $100

Should You Put Your Money With Ally Invest?

TradeKing was one of the top trading platforms available at the time, with some of the lowest commissions accessible. By maintaining a solid self-directed investment platform, Ally Invest has enhanced its reputation. Robo Portfolios, on the other hand, take it a step farther. If you want to start with the managed option and work your way up to self-directed investment, this is the brokerage for you. You might even opt to strike a balance between the two in the future. If you're still not sure if Ally Invest is perfect for you, read our other brokerage evaluations before making a final decision.
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  • Review of TD Ameritrade
Another significant benefit of Ally is that there is no minimum initial deposit required to start a self-directed account. This is designed specifically for new and small investors who are just getting started with self-directed investing. Meanwhile, the platform provides excellent 24-hour customer assistance to assist you. Another big bonus is the link with Ally Bank. The bank not only offers among of the greatest CD and money market interest rates in the industry, but it also has a robust vehicle finance program. This is not surprising that Ally Bank is a descendant of General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC). They keep that business line alive and well, even expanding it with used automobile leasing agreements. You can look around the financial world, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a better overall platform than Ally Invest.

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