Ally Invest versus Robin Hood

Ally vs Robinhood

Compare Robinhood versus Ally Invest - which broker is better in 2021? IRA/Roth accounts, online investing fees, stock broker mutual fund rates, and differences.


Ally Invest and Robinhood are two brokers that offer securities trading at bargain basement prices. However, reducing fees to such a very low level can come at a cost. Let's take a look at these two firms and try to determine if broker is better - Robinhood or Ally Invest.


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
Ally Invest $0 $9.95 $0.50 per contract $0 $0
Robinhood $0 na $0 per contract $0 na


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


Ally Invest: Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades.

Robinhood: Get one free $2-$7 value stock when you open an account.

Fees and Commissions

Robinhood is offering $0 stock, options, and ETF trades. It's able to do this by charging for paper statements ($5) and trade confirmations ($2), passing on regulatory and exchange fees, and not providing mutual funds or fixed-income trading. Placing an equity trade with the assistance of a human broker costs $10.

Ally Invest's commission is also ultra-low $0. Options are available and cost 50ยข extra.

The broker charges $4 for paper statements and $2 for hard copy confirmations. Using a live rep to execute a trade costs $24.95.

Although pricing can't be compared on some products, because the broker doesn't offer them, we'll award this category to Robinhood.

Robinhood stock


Robinhood's website has little material on it. It is used mainly for advertising and account sign up. Users will find few educational or research tools on it. There is a Robinhood mobile app for Android and Apple devices, where trades can be placed. The broker also has an app for Apple Watch. Charting on the app is fairly rudimentary. There are no drawing tools or technical indicators. A chart also can't be rotated, and the only option for graph style is line. Without charting on the website, the mobile app's charting capability is a real disappointment.

The Ally Invest website can be used for a host of functions. There is a trade bar at the bottom of the browser where orders can be placed for stocks, options, and ETF's. Charting is available on the site, with technical studies and more. A web-based platform named Ally Invest LIVE is free for all customers. More advanced desktop software is available for active traders. The broker does not offer a platform for Apple Watch; but it does have a mobile app, where charting is more advanced than on Robinhood's.

Ally Invest easily wins here.

Ally Invest vs Robin Hood


All U.S. exchange-traded funds can be traded at either broker. Robinhood does not offer any mutual funds, however. Ally Invest has over 12,000 mutual funds that are open to new investors. If a fund is no-load, the broker charges $9.95 per transaction. All ETFs could be traded commission-free at Ally.

Ally Invest wins here, too.

Customer Service

An Ally Invest representative can be reached over the phone 7am-10pm ET, 7 days a week. On-line chat is also available during customer service hours. The Ally Invest website has a customer forum where traders can post questions that can be answered by other traders or a company representative.

Robinhood can be reached over the phone during market hours. Unlike Ally Invest, the broker does not have a toll-free number. There is a Robinhood Twitter account, and the firm has an e-mail address; although it took two days for the company to respond to one test e-mail.

Ally Invest wins here.

Investment Research

The Ally Invest website has a lot of good material devoted to security research and education. Several videos and articles are devoted to essential investment topics, such as how to place a stop loss order. Future webinars are posted on the site as well. Stock reports from S&P Capital IQ are free. Screeners for securities are also available. Neither the Robinhood site nor the mobile app has any research or educational materials.

Obviously, Robinhood loses this category.

Robinhood vs Ally

Cash Management Options

Ally Invest clients can have a debit card and checks added to a securities account. Although there are account requirements for these additions, the broker's policies are better than those of Robinhood, which does not offer any cash management features.

Ally Invest wins again.

Ally vs Robinhood

Alternative Investments

Ally Invest customers also have access to the forex market. The broker has a dedicated currency platform that is free to use. More than 50 currency pairs can be traded, some with spreads as low as 1-2 pips. The firm has forex specialists who can be reached by phone 7am-10pm ET, 7 days a week. Robinhood, by contrast, does not offer any forex trading; nor does it offer any access to the futures markets. In fact, the broker does not even offer mutual funds.

Ally Invest wins once again.


Ally Invest: Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades.

Robinhood: Get one free $2-$7 value stock when you open an account.

Ally Invest vs Robinhood Results

Ally Invest won seven categories, and Robinhood succeeded in just one. Ally Invest is the winner by a mile. With very little besides free trades, Robinhood is difficult to justify. Ally Invest is definitely the better value.