Ally Invest
Ally Invest rating

Ally LIVE Trading Platform Review


2018 Ally LIVE platform review. Ally LIVE cost, trading software requirements, pricing, fees, charting features. Is Ally LIVE free?



Overview of Ally LIVE


Traders at Ally Invest have access to a trading platform that includes a lot of useful features. Called Ally Invest LIVE, the program is browser-based and offers charting, market indices, funds transfer, quotes, and more. Let’s check it out and see how it compares to other free platforms.


Ally LIVE Cost


Naturally, investors are wondering whether Ally LIVE platform is free. There is nothing to worry about - there are no requirements or any cost for Ally LIVE platform.


Navigating Through LIVE


Launching Ally’s trading platform is fairly straightforward. After logging into the broker’s website, ‘Ally Invest LIVE’ is displayed at the top of the screen. Clicking on this generates a new browser tab where the web-based platform is displayed. The trading environment is organized by tiles. Each tile has a subject, such as account information, global indices, market clock, funds transfer, the year’s gain or loss, and working orders.


Ally Invest brokerage platform


At the top of the platform is a row of options, one of which is ‘Dashboard’. Clicking on this choice produces a slightly different arrangement, with balances, watchlists, a small chart, and option chains. Any of these windows can be edited by clicking on a gear icon. For example, chart settings is one of the drop-down options under the chart window’s gear icon. Clicking on chart settings produces several customizations that can be made to a graph.

There are two color themes available for LIVE: light and dark. Tiles in the platform can be removed and added. They also can be moved around. The width of LIVE can be modified, spacing can be changed, and the number of columns can be adjusted.


Ally LIVE Review


Security Research


Minimal stock and market research can be performed on Ally Invest LIVE. The platform includes market news articles from Briefing.com, PRNewswire, and Benzinga. There is no video news incorporated into the software.

A stock’s profile page includes general trade information, such as bid-ask spread, and the day’s volume. There is also a chart and dividend information. Important metrics are shown as well, including EPS and P/E ratio.

News articles related to the company under investigation are also shown. Despite the information on the platform, the regular Ally Invest website is a better place to conduct security research. More information is available, including a free stock report in pdf format from CFRA. A chart on the regular website shows a stock’s performance history against many of its competitors. This chart isn’t available on LIVE. More information on a stock’s option contracts is also on the website. Buy, hold, and sell analyst ratings from several third parties are shown for a stock. Detailed financial analysis is on the website, but not on the platform. Because there is so much data on the website compared to LIVE, it doesn’t make much sense to conduct research on the platform.

Ally Invest LIVE does show several important indexes, including not just the standard stock indexes, but also VIX, the volatility index, and TNX, the rate on the 10-year Treasury bond. Major stock movers can be shown for the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and the NYSE MKT, formerly known as the American Stock Exchange. These stocks can be sorted by the day’s greatest dollar gain, the most volume, the greatest percent loss, and other criteria.


Promotion


Up to $3,500 cash bonus + commission free trades for new accounts.


Placing Trades on Ally LIVE


One of the selections in the top menu of the platform is ‘Trading.’ Clicking on this link produces a drop-down menu for stocks, ETF’s, options, mutual funds, and fixed-income. Selecting the last security produces a bond search and trade page. Choosing one of the other items generates a trade ticket that can be used for any of the securities.

Orders for stocks and ETF’s can be either long or short. Besides market and limit orders, stop, stop limit, trailing stop, and market on close can be selected. An order’s duration can be set to day or good until cancelled (GTC).

Mutual fund orders have several types, including buy, sell, sell all, full exchange, and partial exchange. The platform provides selections for dividends and capital gains to be reinvested or paid into the core account.


Ally Invest brokerage platform


Selecting the options order form produces a few selections for action, such as buy to open, expiration date, strike price, and call or put. There are no chains here, although chains are available elsewhere on LIVE. An order for the underlying stock can also be inserted here.

Selecting fixed income from the ‘Trading’ menu produces a different page within LIVE. There are advanced search engines for various bond types on this page. Ally provides a search engine for municipals bonds, along with agencies, corporate debt, STRIPS and Zeros, CD’s, and Treasuries. There are many criteria that can be selected while searching for fixed-income products. These variables include CUSIP, yield to worst, call protection, bond rating, call status, payment frequency, and many more.


Ally LIVE Platform Review


Ally LIVE Charting


Ally’s platform offers Java-based charting with several nice features. First is the ability to display a graph the width of the monitor. A chart can also be detached into its own separate window, although this really isn’t necessary since a chart can already be shown full screen.

There are about 90 technical studies that can be used in LIVE. Some of them will be shown below a chart’s price history, while others will overlay the graph. The colors of these studies can be changed. There are also some handy drawing tools, including ellipses, horizontal lines, and Fibonacci tools. Available graph styles include line, mountain, candlestick, hollow candlesticks, and OHLC bars.


Ally LIVE Trading Platform


Right-clicking on a chart does not produce a trading menu. However, there is a ‘QuickTrade’ button at the top of a graph. Clicking on it produces a trading ticket on the right-hand side of the screen. Here, an order can quickly be submitted for a stock, ETF, or option contract. A chart can also be saved within Ally.

LIVE shows the ability to display price histories out to 20 and 30 years, but no price history of any stock goes beyond 2004 for some reason. The tick interval can be anywhere from 1 minute to monthly.


Ally Account Review


Review of Ally Invest »


Ally LIVE Option Tools


Underneath the ‘Research’ tab is ‘Option Tools.’ Selecting this produces several features to help derivative traders. Option chains are first on the list. Typing in the underlying equity symbol generates several contracts. The number of contracts can be multiplied by increasing the number of expiration dates and strike prices.

Clicking on an empty box next to a contract produces a buy signal. Clicking on it again produces a red letter S for sell. Multiple contracts can be selected. Clicking on the trade button below the chain will trade all of these contracts on the same ticket. The underlying stock can be added to the order as well.


Ally LIVE Options Trading


The option strategy workbench displays the various contracts and stocks that have been selected. Here, more detailed information is shown, such as net delta, and the middle of the bid-ask spread.

There is a probability calculator that looks at the odds of hitting a certain price between high and low parameters. A target date is inserted, and the calculator estimates the likelihood of finishing at, below, or above a price on that date.

A profit/loss graph shows the amount of gain or loss that will be incurred with an option order, based on the underlying stock’s possible price in the future.


Comparison


Ally Invest LIVE is a useful platform, especially given its requirements, which are none. Other brokers maintain various account minimums to gain access to their software. These firms include Fidelity and Firstrade.

TD Ameritrade offers two platforms, both of which are free to use. The simpler of the two is Trade Architect, which is browser-based like LIVE. However, Trade Architect includes heat maps and live streaming of CNBC, both of which are missing on Ally’s platform.

The other TD Ameritrade program, thinkorswim, is a desktop platform with much more advanced charting and the ability to trade forex and futures, which LIVE lacks. Thinkorswim is also more customizable than Ally’s software.


Ally LIVE Review Judgment


Ally Invest (read account review) is a budget brokerage firm, and it has a decent platform that carries no account minimums or trading requirements. Better platforms are out there — particularly TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim — but the trading commissions there are higher.


Ally Live Promotion



Open Ally Invest Account



Ally Live reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com. Rating: 4