Ally Invest vs Interactive Brokers (2023)

Compare IB versus Ally Invest—which trading broker is better in 2023? IRA/Roth accounts, online investing fees, stock broker mutual fund rates, and differences.

Overview of Ally Invest and Interactive Brokers

Ally Invest and Interactive Brokers (IBKR) are two financial companies that appeal to different types of investors. Ally attracts its banking customers, while IB caters to professional and advanced traders. Despite the latter firm’s emphasis on professional trading, Ally Invest may have some advantages.

Compare Costs

Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
Ally Invest $0 $0 $0.50 per contract $0 $0
IB $0 $14.95 $0.70 per contract $0 $30

Compare Services

Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Ally Invest


Ally Invest: Get zero commission on stock and ETF trades.

Interactive Brokers: Use this referral link to get up to $1,000 of IBKR stock for free!

Range of Investments

Ally Invest offers its clients the usual range of investments: stocks, bonds, and options. It also recently added binary options to this list. Mutual funds and ETF’s are also on tap. Ally Invest is one of the few online discount brokers to also provide trading in forex.

While Ally is pretty impressive in this category, Interactive Brokers actually does even better. The brokerage firm offers the usual range of securities plus structured products, warrants, forex, futures, options on futures, cryptocurrencies, and access to foreign markets. This last offering opens up a large world of investment opportunities. We counted around 30 countries, 20 currencies, and 100 financial markets that were available to IB clients.

Mutual Funds & ETF’s

Both brokerage firms offer funds, including exchange-traded and mutual funds. There are over 34,000+ mutual funds at Interactive Brokers. Over 8,300 of these products have zero transaction fees. Some of these funds will be no load. All ETF’s at IB can be traded without paying any commissions. One of the great advantages of Interactive Brokers in this category is access to ETF’s that trade on foreign exchanges. Interactive Brokers is charging $14.95 for mutual funds.

Ally Invest customers can trade 12,199 mutual funds commission-free.

Ally Invest vs IB

Trading Tech

For the actual buying and selling of securities, Ally Invest provides Ally Invest LIVE. This is a browser-based trading system. Although it’s not a desktop program, it does offer some very useful tools. For example, charting comes with several drawing tools. We counted more than 20. They include ellipses, pitchforks, and timecycles. A chart can also be detached and displayed full screen. There are roughly a hundred technical studies as well.

The trading ticket on LIVE comes with several order types, such as trailing and market on close. We were only able to submit a day order during our testing. Besides stocks and ETF’s, the trading ticket can also be used to buy and sell options and mutual funds.

LIVE comes with a host of other features, such as a market clock, funds transfer, index data, and account information.


Moving from Ally Invest to Interactive Brokers, we get a desktop platform. Called Trader Workstation, it offers much more than LIVE. One feature we really liked was direct-access routing, which LIVE of course does not have. Some of the venues we found include NYSE and EDGEA.

IB vs Ally

There are also many more order types available on Trader Workstation, and we found several time-in-force choices. When we entered a symbol in the software’s trading ticket, we found not only U.S. investments but also foreign securities.

Charting on TWS has a much more sophisticated feel to it. Right-click trading, for example, is possible on the platform, but not on LIVE. Active traders will most likely prefer Trader Workstation.

Besides laptop and desktop trading, both brokerage firms offer mobile apps. Ally’s has a check deposit feature, which IB has neglected to incorporate. On the other hand, the IB app has better features for trading, such as advanced order types.


Ally Invest: Get zero commission on stock and ETF trades.

Interactive Brokers: Use this referral link to get up to $1,000 of IBKR stock for free!

Customer Service

Ally Invest offers customer support over the phone 7am-10pm ET, 7 days a week. The broker-dealer’s online chat service has more limited hours. There is one phone number for customers travelling outside the United States. An e-mail address is also available for support purposes.

Interactive Brokers caters to global traders, and as such, it has many phone numbers for many nationalities. It does not offer 24/7 service for any of them, however. It does have an online chat feature. The IB website also has a chatbot that can answer some questions.

Neither broker operates a chain of branch locations. Adding some physical branches would be a welcome addition.

Security Research and Financial Education

Both brokers provide financial education on their websites. Interactive Brokers has good videos and Ally Invest provides short articles. For fund research, we liked the resources on the Ally Invest website. Trader Workstation seems more suited to stock and option traders. The software has a variety of apps that can scan for these securities. For example, a volatility lab program analyzes a stock’s past price swings to help make better trading decisions.

Ally Invest vs Interactive Brokers Judgment

While Interactive Brokers excels at trading technology and range of investments, Ally Invest is the better choice for customer service and portfolio management. Ally is a recommended broker for beginners and retirement investing, while IB is our recommendation for traders.

About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.