- Low Commissions
- Low Fees on Options & Bonds
- No Downloads Required
- Auto-Balancing of Managed Portfolios
- Self-Directed Trading for Hands-on Investors
- Limited Range of Bonuses
- ETFs are not Commission-Free
Ally Invest Review
Ally Invest is a well-known broker with a lot to offer its clients with regards to tradeable assets, platforms, customer service, and educational tools. Ally Invest’s founding story is actually pretty interesting. Ally Financial was founded in 1919 by General Motors (yes, the car company), and it became a well-known bank holding company in Detroit, Michigan. The company went through some more changes, including a 51% sale to Cerberus, Inc., a private equity firm. The company rebranded itself as Ally Invest and became public in 2014 via an IPO.
Ally Invest offers self-directed trading, management of portfolios, and more tools to ensure that its investors are successful. There are tools and technology to help people research their decisions, and Ally itself has started an Ally Invest API, which allows developers to write fully-featured trading and analytical applications using their account.
At Ally, the tradeable assets include stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, options, bonds, futures, and forex. Should you choose the self-directed trading platform, you will be able to trade stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, and bonds. The commissions are low ($4.95 for stocks and ETFs, $4.95 plus $0.65 per contract for options, and $1 per bond with a minimum of $10 for bonds), and you can get further discounts if you do Ally volume/balance trading.
You can choose between Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading or Ally Invest Managed Portfolios for your account. The former is best for a hands-on investor who wants to be heavily involved with their own trading, and the latter is better for an investor who is okay with keeping their portfolio and trading a little more distant. The self-directed account provides you with the tools you need to benefit from the market, and there are also a wide variety of investment products geared towards DIY-investors. For the managed portfolio account, Ally recommends and manages your account after discussing your goals with you. The technology at Ally will monitor and rebalance your account to keep your finances on track and low-risk. The minimum investment for the managed portfolio is $2,500, and there is no minimum for the self-directed account.
Ally Invest is regulated by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), and it is also part of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). The SIPC covers customer claims up to half a million, with a $250K maximum for cash claims.
Ally Invest has a browser-based platform and a mobile platform. The web platform doesn’t require any downloads, which users in favor of simplicity will appreciate. The web platform allows you to have a customizable dashboard, real-time updates, educational tools and charts, and trading capabilities as well. The mobile platform, while slightly smaller, still offers the lion’s share of these capabilities too.
Ally Mobile Trading
Ally Invest’s mobile app is fast, free, and secure. It allows you to trade, access your account, make deposits, and follow the market through the app. To register the app, you will need your bank information. The mobile app has clear graphics, and it is easy to use, providing a good experience for traders who are on-the-go.
Ally Invest’s promotions are cash-based. You can get a $200 cash bonus with a qualifying deposit. Or, you can get 90 days of fee-free trades (no commissions or fees taken). You have to pick one or the other.
You can deposit using an ACH (electronic check), check, wire deposit, or stock certificate. If you choose a check deposit, it will take three business days to clear before you can use it to trade. The same goes for ACH deposits. Stock certificate processing depends on the amount (penny stock are deposited with Apex, the company’s clearing firm).
Withdrawal can come in the form of check, ACH, or wire deposits. For check and wire, it will take ten business days before you can release funds from your account. For ACH, that deposit has to remain in your account for six business days before it can be released for clearance purposes.
Ally’s customer service is responsive and dedicated. They have a chat, phone, and secure email option. You can mail payments to their brick-and-mortar location in Kentucky. If you choose to reach out via phone, Ally is open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 11PM and Saturday 9AM t 7PM.
Ease of Use
Ally’s website is very easy to use, with the different functions clearly laid out. It isn’t a treasure-hunt to find what you are looking for. The platform itself is web-based and requires no download. You are able to access all the trading capabilities and functions there without a problem.
Why Trade at Ally
Ally Invest has been around for almost a century, and it has given customers and clients a reliable, functional, and interactive way to trade. The firm offers tradeable assets in a wide range of markets, and their commissions are competitively low priced. Whether you’re a trader who is hands-on or one that prefers to have Ally manage your portfolio, you will be able to find what you are looking for with this broker.
To see how Ally ranks against other industry-leading trading platforms see our comparison charts. Read our expert reviews, see our ratings and compare the best online trading platforms, features, fees, and more.
Risk Warning: Users should be aware that all investment markets carry inherent risks, and past performance does not assure future results. Trading of any kind is a high-risk activity, and you could lose more than you initially deposited. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 73-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. Please be sure you thoroughly understand the risks involved and do not invest money you cannot afford to lose. Your capital is at risk. Advertiser Disclosure: TopBrokers.Trade is an independent professional comparison site funded by referral fees. The compensation TopBrokers.Trade receives is derived from the companies and advertisements featured on the site. Due to this compensation, we can provide our users with a free comparison tool. Unfortunately we are unable to list every broker or exchange available, however, we do our best to review as many as possible.