Sofi vs Ally Invest

Ally Invest versus Sofi Invest—which is better in 2023? Compare investing accounts, online trading fees, stock broker extended hours, and differences.

Ally Invest vs. SoFi Invest Introduction

Yes, Ally and SoFi both offer brokerage services. But which company delivers the better investing experience? We have an answer for you.


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


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

Category #1: Assets and Accounts

Traders at SoFi Invest get to buy and sell the following asset classes:

Closed-end funds

Starting with the above list, Ally Invest subtracts digital currencies but adds mutual funds, bonds, forex, and option contracts.

Both firms offer trading in some over-the-counter instruments. Ally Invest, but not SoFi Invest, has a $100 minimum purchase amount on OTC securities. During our research, we found more OTC stocks at Ally Invest than SoFi Invest. For example, BVHBB (Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corp) is available for trading at Ally but not SoFi. The stock trades on the OTCQX market.

Both brokerage firms offer trading in penny stocks on the major exchanges like Nasdaq and NYSE. However, Ally Invest does have a surcharge on trades of stocks, ETFs, and closed-end funds priced below $2. The fee is $4.95 plus one cent per share.

Because Ally Invest has more investment vehicles, we recommend it over SoFi Invest in the first category.

Category #2: Portfolio Management

The opening category was just for self-directed accounts. Both firms in this matchup also offer managed accounts. SoFi Invest has a robo service called automated investing. It trades low-cost ETFs, most of which are SoFi funds. There is no management fee for the program, though.

Ally Invest also has a free robo service. The program trades low-cost ETFs from a variety of fund families. It does keep a large percent of the portfolio’s value in cash. A second robo program eliminates most of this cash balance but charges 0.30% per year.

A traditional wealth management service will also be found at Ally Invest (but not at SoFi Invest). The really great thing about this program is that it has a living, breathing financial advisor attached to every account. It costs 0.75% to 0.85% per annum, which is pretty low by wealth management standards.

Ally Invest is our pick in the second category.

Category #3: Margin

Ally Invest and SoFi Invest both have margin accounts. It’s easy to upgrade a cash account at SoFi to margin status. To do this, you’ll need to be on the cash account’s dashboard page. Here, scroll down to the “Available funds” section and click on “Buying power.” On the next page, there will be a column on the left-hand side. One of the options is “Margin investing.” Click on this to add margin privileges to an existing account. It will have to have $2,000 in it first.

On the Ally Invest site, you’ll need to go to the “Margin/Option Trading Level” section. This will be found by hovering over the “Client Services” tab in the top menu and then hovering over “Forms.”

SoFi Invest, but not Ally Invest, displays margin requirements for specific assets on its website. Initial and maintenance numbers can vary from asset to asset and will be found on an asset’s profile.

As for pricing, Ally Invest charges 12.5% to 8% for margin debits. SoFi Invest has a flat rate of 8%.

We pick SoFi Invest primarily for its lower rate.

Category #4: Websites

When it comes time to actually do some research and place a trade, Ally Invest has a decent website. There are two areas where both tasks can be accomplished: the site itself and a browser platform named LIVE. Combined, they offer some pretty good tools. Examples include:

Ally vs Sofi

- Full-screen charting with many helpful features like technical add-ons
- Watchlist and alerts
- Pre-installed option spreads
- Good stock screener with many search variables
- Trade ticket with advanced order types like market on close and stop limit

SoFi Invest emphasizes simplicity in this category. Its website doesn’t have much of an order ticket. There are only market, limit, and recurring orders (and zero duration options). There is no discrete sell short button, and in fact, shorting is not possible (it is possible at Ally Invest).

Sofi Invest vs Ally

Charts on the SoFi site cannot be blown up the full width of the computer monitor, and there are no tools of any kind. Although there is a watchlist on the SoFi site, alerts are not available. The SoFi website permits just one watchlist. The Ally site, by contrast, offers the ability to create multiple lists.

Ally Invest easily wins this one.

Category #5: Mobile Apps

SoFi Invest continues its emphasis on minimalism with its mobile app. The digital platform has the same trade ticket as its website cousin. Charts once again are very simple. There is no horizontal mode, so they are worse than the website’s charts. The mobile app does have a watchlist that syncs with the website.

Sofi vs Ally

Ally Invest’s app for securities accounts is simpler than its website, although the trade ticket manages to deliver 4 trade types (market, limit, stop, and stop limit). There is a discrete ticket for options, and there are several spreads that are pre-installed. Tapping on a bid or ask price fills the order ticket.

Ally vs Sofi Invest

Notice that we said, “for securities accounts.” Ally has two more apps for forex traders: MetaTrader 4 and an in-house app. Both deliver lots of tools like user-friendly trade buttons and advanced charting for currencies.

The SoFi and Ally apps have plenty of personal finance tools as the parent companies of both brokerage firms specialize in general money management. The SoFi app has information on banking, credit cards, and credit scores. Ally’s regular app has details on mortgages and Zelle transfers.

Ally Invest wins again.

Category #6: Other Services

Cash Management Features: Both brokers in this examination have FDIC-insured banks. Ally has debit cards and checks, while SoFi only offers debit cards.

Fractional Shares: SoFi Invest customers, but not Ally Invest clients, can place trades in whole dollars.

Individual Retirement Accounts: An IRA can be opened at either broker-dealer. Only Ally Invest has an IRA termination fee. It’s $25.

Extended Hours: Early-bird and late-night trading are available at both investment firms. Ally’s morning session is longer than SoFi’s, while SoFi has the longer evening session.

DRIP Service: SoFi Invest and Ally Invest both offer the ability to turn cash dividends into additional shares of securities.

Periodic Mutual Fund Investing: Not available at either brokerage house.

Initial Public Offerings: IPOs are available only with a SoFi Invest account.

SoFi Invest is the outperformer here.

Our Recommendations

ETF & Stock Trading: The most advanced trading experience will be found at Ally Invest, thanks to its better software. But only SoFi Invest has fractional-share trading. Take your pick.

Beginners: A robo account with Chase would be a good way to begin investing.

Small Accounts: Ally Invest’s robo service has a $100 minimum. SoFi Invest’s automated service requires $1. Neither firm requires any deposit amount for self-directed accounts. Because of Ally’s IRA closeout fee, we suggest SoFi for small IRAs.

Mutual Fund Trading: Ally Invest is the only horse in the race.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: Most investors invest for retirement with mutual funds. Sofi does not offer these products.

Sofi vs Ally Invest Final Verdict

Ally Invest delivers better investing experience overall. But SoFi Invest does very well in some areas, most notably IPO and cryptocurrency trading.

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.