Ally Invest 5-star brokerage rating

Best Broker For Trading Options


Review of the best broker for options trading 2017. Top low options commissions and cost company for options traders in U.S.



Ally Invest Options Trading Overview


Option traders who want a low-cost broker to buy and sell derivatives should take a look at Ally Invest. In addition to low fees, the firm offers good trading technology and adequate research and educational tools. Let's make a detailed analysis of the firm and see how it compares to other options companies and what makes it one of the best brokers for options trading.


Ally Invest Fees and Commissions


Ally Invest clients pay $4.95 to buy and sell stocks and ETF's. This low, flat fee is valid per transaction and is good for any number of shares. Options are $0.65 per contract plus the $4.95 base charge. A single-leg charge is applied to multi-leg trades. Short options with a premium of $0.05 or less can be closed commission-free.

For active traders - those making 30+ trades per quarter or for $100,000 balances - commission drops to $3.95 base plus $0.50 per contract.


Ally Invest Options Assignments and Exercises


At Ally Invest, option exercises cost $9.95, while assignments are $4.95.





Ally Invest Option Research and Order Placement


There are some good informational tools on the Ally Invest website for derivate traders. A good place to start is with option chains. This tool appears on the website under the tab 'Quotes & Research' and is also available on Ally Invest LIVE, the broker's trading platform. Typing in a stock's ticker symbol displays call and put options that are near the money. This means the options' strike prices are close to the current stock price. The search tool on the website also allows for options that are away from the money to be displayed. Ally Invest LIVE has the same capability, although scrolling through the results is somewhat cumbersome. Hovering over a bid or ask price of an option produces buy and sell buttons for quick order entry. Alternatively, clicking on an empty square on the left side (calls) or right side (puts) produces a buy (one click) or sell (two clicks) order. Clicking on 'Trade' produces the order ticket. Besides regular calls and puts, Ally Invest's search tool also displays option strategies, such as collars, straddles, and diagonals.





Ally Invest also offers volatility charts and an options calculator. On the firm's trading platform, there is a probability calculator and a profit/loss graph. An options scanner, hosted by ivolatility.com, can be launched from the Ally Invest website.





Every Monday afternoon, the broker hosts a live on-line options webinar to discuss options news for the week. Customers can sign up on the Ally Invest site after logging in.





Beyond the website and Ally Invest LIVE, option chains and order placement are available on the broker's mobile app. Traders can use Apple, Android, and mobile web. Unfortunately, sophisticated option research tools are not available on the mobile platform.





Awards


The financial publication Barron's has awarded Ally Invest 4 out of 5 stars for the past five years in the newspaper's annual broker rankings. Ally Invest did especially well in the categories of range of offerings, mobile platform, research amenities, and education, security, and customer service. Ally Invest scored 4 out of 5 stars in the category of Best Broker for Options Trading. We also have regularly graded Ally Invest as one of the Best Options Brokers. Our analysis is based on Ally Invest's options trading technology and low commissions.


Comparison


Ally Invest is very competitive among option brokers. In the Barron's ranking mentioned above for option brokers, only TD Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers, scored higher, each receiving 4½ stars out of 5. TD Ameritrade charges $6.95 plus $0.75 per option contract, while Interactive Brokers has a more complicated commission schedule. Each account must spend at least $10 per month in commissions while the option commission for many orders is around $0.50 per contract with a $1.00 minimum.


Best Broker For Options Trading Summary


Option traders have excellent tools at Ally Invest at a very good price. Other option specialists, such as optionsXpress, don't offer the same value as Ally Invest. With good tools for other investments, such as ETF's, mutual funds, and forex, this broker is hard to beat.


Ally Invest New Account Promotion

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Updated on 8/3/2017




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