Ally Invest rating

Ally Invest Review


Ally Invest Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit


InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $4.95 ($3.95 per trade if making 30+ trades per quarter or for $100,000 balances)
Options $4.95 + $0.65 per contract ($0.50 per contract if making 30+ trades per quarter or for $100,000 balances)
Mutual funds $9.95
Bonds $1 per bond with $10 minimum, $250 maximum
Treasuries commission-free
Certificates of Deposit (CDs) $24.95

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, forex, treasuries, ETFs
Ally Invest minimum deposit to open account $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
FeesAlly Invest fees
Promotion link Ally Invest promotions


Ally Invest New Account Setup

The regular Ally website is at ally.com. There is now a link in the top menu simply titled ‘Invest’. Clicking on this new menu option produces a page that describes many parts of Ally’s new brokerage arm. Most users start by going to company's current promotion offer: Switch to Ally Invest and get up to $150 in transfer fees reimbursed. A button entitled “Open Ally Invest Account” will take an investor to a step-by-step on-line application.

Applicants who already have an Ally Bank account can login and submit a shorter form. There is no minimum deposit required to open an Ally Invest brokerage account. All applicants must reside in the U.S. to submit an application, although the broker makes exceptions for active military personnel stationed abroad.

TradeKing assessed an annual fee for small balance, inactive accounts, but Ally has eliminated it. Traders who have been avoiding this $50 fee no longer have to worry about it.


Ally Invest Mutual Funds Review


Ally Invest customers have access to a good selection of mutual funds. The broker provides over 8,000 products that are open to new investors. More than 1,600 have no load. These securities have a transaction fee of $9.95 on both the buy and sell sides. If a fund carries a load, Ally does not charge the transaction fee. There aren’t any mutual funds at Ally that are both no-load and no-transaction-fee. The company is one of the very few brokers in the industry not to charge a short-term redemption fee when a fund is sold soon after purchase.


Ally Invest Mutual Funds Review


The Ally website has a good mutual fund screener that is able to search for investments using a wide range of variables. These include dividend yield, fund family, manager tenure, expense ratio, and much more. A screener’s results can be sorted by any of these criteria.

A fund’s profile page includes a lot of helpful information, including Lipper rankings. There are also handy buy and sell links. An interactive chart can display a fund’s NAV history going back decades. Other useful data include total assets, major holdings, dividend ex-date, and turnover ratio.


IRA's


In addition to regular brokerage accounts, Ally Invest also offers retirement accounts. An IRA at Ally comes with all the standard features and pricing schedule as a non-retirement account. The annual IRA fee that TradeKing charged has been removed, and there is no minimum deposit requirement for Ally Invest retirement accounts.

There are some decent retirement tools on the Ally site. Educational articles cover a variety of topics that retirees may find helpful. These resources include information on taxation, mutual funds, and bonds. Many of the videos TradeKing had seem to have been lost in the transition, although there are some videos on the investment blog, which Ally has kept.

Ally has target-date mutual funds, which were designed for pensioners. They take a lot of the guess work out of retirement planning by automatically becoming less risky as retirement approaches. Some of the available fund families include Vanguard and T. Rowe Price.


Ally Invest Website/Trading Platform/Tools Review


Website

The broker's website has easy-to-use trading tools. Simple trading forms appear on web pages. Stocks, bonds, ETF’s, and mutual funds can all be traded on these. Screeners are available for all securities the broker offers, including options.

The website boasts some pretty good charting. Upper and lower technical indicators can be added to a chart, along with company events, such as splits, earnings, and dividends. Comparisons can be made to stocks, indexes, and commodities, a rare feature. Graph styles include mountain, OHLC bars, and candlesticks. Trend lines can also be added.

A handy trade bar appears at the bottom of the browser. Orders for stocks and ETF’s can quickly be placed on it. Important trade information, such as real-time tick data, is displayed. The bar does not always function correctly in Google Chrome. There is no way to minimize it after it has been expanded. Trading options is cumbersome because there are no option chains. A graph cannot be shown on the bar, either. Clicking on the chart button produces a web page with a graph.


Ally Invest Website Review


Advanced Trading Platform

Ally has incorporated all of TradeKing’s technology into its new brokerage house. This includes TradeKing LIVE, a simple web-based trading system. Renamed Ally LIVE, it has all the same features, including order status, index returns, account documents, and quotes. And of course, there’s a handy trade ticket that appears on the right-hand side of the monitor. It provides useful quote information, such as volume and bid-ask spread. The ticket can place orders for equities or options.

Ally Invest LIVE has a fixed-income search and trading feature. A bond ladder can be built on the platform.


Ally Invest Website Review


Mobile Trading

The TradeKing mobile app has been phased out. Ally has incorporated brokerage accounts into its own mobile platform. There are charts for securities. Technical indicators are available, the chart style can be changed, and comparisons can be made. An order form can be used to buy and sell stocks, ETF’s, and options. Watchlists and market news are also available.

Ally Invest allows its clients to build their own application programming interface (API).


Ally Invest App Review


Ally Invest Trader Community

The top menu on the Ally Invest site displays a link entitled Trader Network. This area presents many opportunities for the broker’s customers to connect with other traders or a company associate. There is a blog where Ally Invest financial advisors post important notes. There are also forums for various groups of investors, such as beginners and option traders. An Ally representative can respond to the threads when needed. There is also an area where Ally clients can post their most recent trades. Ally’s trader community would be an especially good place for new traders to seek advice and help.


Ally Invest Pricing


Ally has incorporated TradeKing’s commission schedule, albeit with some notable changes. As already mentioned, TradeKing’s annual account fee has been eliminated. The $4.95 stock and ETF commission has been retained, but Ally is offering a $1 discount to large accounts and active traders. To qualify, clients must have 30 or more trades in the previous quarter, or have had an average daily balance of at least $100,000.

Option contracts are an additional 65¢ at Ally Invest, with a 15¢ discount for customers who meet the above requirements. Ally will also charge an additional 35¢ per contract on specific option index securities if an exchange charges special fees.

Other features of the pricing schedule have remained the same. This includes bonds at $1 each, with a $10 minimum and a $250 maximum. Treasuries are on a markup or markdown basis, and CD’s are $24.95 on both the buy and sell sides. Transferring a full account costs $50, while partial transfers are $10 per security.

Retaining TradeKing’s cash management policies has created a strange schedule. A debit card with Ally Invest costs $35 per year, but having one attached to an Ally Bank account, which can be linked, costs nothing. ATM withdrawals with the securities account debit card cost $1 with no bank machine rebate. Ally Bank, on the other hand, charges nothing and reimburses fees that the ATM charges.


Customer Service


An Ally Invest associate can be reached over the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The broker also provides a convenient on-line chat feature. An international phone number is available for clients who are temporarily outside the U.S., and the broker has an e-mail address for customer support. Ally Invest does not have any brick-and-mortar locations.


Alternative Investments


Besides the normal range of securities, Ally Invest also offers trading in forex and futures contracts. There are over 50 currency pairs the broker offers. Spreads on many pairs are pretty low. EUR/USD was recently at 1.8 pips, and GBP/JPY was at 4.1. Ally forex specialists are available over the phone while the currency markets are open. This is from Sunday at 10 o’clock in the morning, EST, until Friday at 5 pm.

The broker provides a dedicated futures trading platform for investors who are interested in agriculture, metals, and more. Contracts starts at just 45¢.


Ally Invest Bonds Review


Ally Invest Pros


  • Very low commissions
  • No minimums, or maintenance or hidden fees
  • Free real-time quotes
  • Top-rated customer service
  • Best online investor community
  • Fee-free IRAs
  • Free DRIPs (dividend reinvestment plans)
  • Low cost professional portfolio management


Ally Invest Cons


  • Additional $0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced at less than $2
  • Short after-hours trading: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
  • No NTF funds


Promotion



Ally Invest will reimburse another firm's transfer fee, up to $150, when a client moves an account worth at least $2,500. There is no promo code required for this offer. The special only refunds transfer fees. It does not cover closeout or termination charges.


Recommendations


Ally Invest would be a good broker for cost-conscious stock traders, especially those who place at least 10 orders every month. Fixed-income traders might find good deals on U.S. Treasury bonds, although the exact commission is hidden in the price of the asset. Ally would also be a good option for investors who are interested in trading more than just securities. Because Ally Bank accounts are conveniently linked to an Ally Invest account, current Ally Bank customers would have just one login.

The broker would not be a good choice for investors who plan to CD’s. Because Ally doesn’t have any branch locations, investors who need in-person assistance won’t find it here.


Ally Invest Review Summary


Ally has become a major player in the brokerage industry virtually overnight by purchasing TradeKing. The Ally Invest trading environment has an easy-to-use look and feel. Ally has made the old broker’s pricing schedule more competitive, and the Ally brand will attract the attention of many banking customers; investors looking for a bargain pricing as well as option, bond, and futures traders.


Ally Invest Promotion Offer



Switch to Ally Invest and get up to $150 in transfer fees reimbursed.


Open Ally Invest Account



Ally Invest reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com on . Rating: 4.5



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