If traders are looking for a bargain broker to trade ETFs, Ally Invest should be in the first place. Established in December 2005 and located in Boca Raton, Florida, United States, Ally Invest (formerly TradeKing) is an online broker under the management of Ally Financial. The broker is famous for offering a large selection of financial services and trading instruments with very low trading costs across the board. That’s why Ally Invest is highly preferred by beginners and short-term ETF traders.
- One of the lowest-cost brokers
- Offers various trading assets
- Great 24/7 customer service
- Requires no account minimums
- 1. Trading Offers: Numerous Asset Classes
- 2. Exchanges and Trading Centres: Trade With Many Exchanges
- 3. Trading Conditions: Ally Invest Fees are Highly Competitive
- 4. Trading Platform: Powerful and Comprehensive
- 5. Usability of the Website: Easy to Access Information
- 6. Customer Support: Excellent
- 7. Methods of Payment: Popular Options
- 8. Additional Offers: Liberal
- 9. Regulation & Deposit Protection: Trading with Ally Invest is Safe and Secure
- 10. Awards: Multiple Achievements
- 11. Conclusion: A Low-Cost Broker With Great Services
Trader Rating Total
1.) Trading Offers: Numerous Asset Classes
Ally Invest offers a wide range of trading instruments, including Stocks, Options, ETFs, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Forex, and Futures.
ETFs: This broker provides traders with thousands of ETFs to choose from. However, there are no commission-free ones.
Stocks: Buying stocks is the most common investing way nowadays. At Ally Invest, there are thousands of stocks to choose from, and multiple ways to invest in.
Options: These are contracts allowing their holders to buy or sell an asset at a fixed price for a specific period of time. Some of the most prevalent options include stocks, ETFs, or indices.
Bonds: A bond is a form of debt security in which investors lend money to a corporation or government in return for interest. Higher interest rates usually go along with higher risks.
Mutual Funds: A mutual fund is where the money of many investors is used to purchase a group of securities. Ally Invest offers traders more than 12,000 funds to choose from.
The company provides traders with two types of accounts: Self-Directed Trading and Managed Portfolios. The Corporate Custody Account and saving plans are also available here.
- Ally Invest offers a large selection of trading instruments, including Stocks, Options, ETFs, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Forex, and Futures.
- There are more than 250 ETFs for traders to choose from.
- 12,000+ mutual funds are available for investing on this broker.
2.) Exchanges and Trading Centres: Trade With Many Exchanges
The major exchanges providing ETFs for this broker are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ Stock Exchange (NASDAQ). There are more than 2,400 companies and innovators listed on NYSE, while this number on NASDAQ is 3,300.
Ally Invest also connects with many exchanges across America, Europe, and Asia. Some of them include London Stock Exchange, German Stock Exchange, OMX Copenhagen, OMC Helsinki, Spanish Stock Exchange, Philippine Stock Exchange, Dubai Financial Market, New Zealand Stock Exchange, Euronext Paris, AIM Stock Exchange, etc.
Trading outside the US is regarded as foreign trading. When traders want to trade with exchanges outside the US, they can call directly to Ally Invest to place orders. In case a request is received at the closed time of a foreign exchange, the broker will log that request and place it in the next open time.
- New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ Stock Exchange (NASDAQ) are the main ETFs providers for Ally Invest.
- This broker also connects with many international exchanges such as London Stock Exchange, German Stock Exchange, OMC Helsinki, Spanish Stock Exchange, etc.
- Trading with exchanges outside the US can only be done using phone .
3.) Trading Conditions: Ally Invest Fees are Highly Competitive
From the perspective of transaction fees, Ally Invest is a serious competitor compared to other ETFs broker.
With ETFs trading, this broker’s standard pricing is only $4.95. If traders perform more than 30 trades per quarter or reach a daily balance of $100,000, the fee will decrease to $3.95 per trade. Meanwhile, the fee charged by E*TRADE and TD Ameritrade for an ETF trade is $6.95, and Wells Trade is $5.95.
Fees charged by Ally Trade on other trading instruments are also competitive. With Options, the fee is $4.95 plus 65¢ per contract. Given performing over 30+ trades per quarter or reaching a daily balance of $100,000, traders only have to pay $3.95 plus 50¢ per contract. Trading fees for Bonds and Mutual Funds are $1 per Bond and $9.95 per Mutual Fund trade.
Ally Invest requires no account minimums, and also no inactivity charge. Traders using Ally Invest Managed Portfolios service, however, will be charged an annualized 0.3% for all balances.
- Trading fees at Ally Invest are highly competitive compared to other ETFs broker.
- If performing more than 30 trades a quarter or reaching a daily balance of $100,000, traders can even experience cheaper fees.
- The annual fee for using this broker’s portfolio managing service is 0.3% for all balances.
4.) Trading Platform: Powerful and Comprehensive
Ally Invest trading platform is rated as very powerful and comprehensive. It is customized for online traders with six chart types, second-by-second market updates, news, research data, and more than 90 supportive trading tools. This helps traders make more deliberate and accurate trading decisions.
Traders can also create custom watchlists such as groups of bonds, options, or securities on Ally Invest’s platform. Observing the performance of a specific group of assets enables traders to improve their focus.
One of the most prominent functions of this broker’s platform is the Probability Calculator. Using implied volatility, this tool allows traders to predefine the probability of reaching their targets.
Besides, Ally Invest also has some features that other brokers don’t have, such as Profit/loss graph (a chart which clarifies a trade’s potential based on profit/loss calculator) and Options chains (a display helping traders easily see what’s available for trading).
Ally Invest also provides traders with a mobile platform compatible with iOS and Android devices.
- Ally Invest’s powerful trading platform is designed to help online traders be more confident in trading.
- Market stats, company quotes, charts, news, peer performance comparisons are totally at traders’ fingertips.
- This broker also offers a mobile platform compatible with iOS and Android devices.
5.) Usability of the Website: Easy to Access Information
Ally Invest’s website design is quite simple with the white and violet being the main colors.
Information about the broker’s products and services is lined up right at the top of the homepage. Laying in each menu is a call-to-action button. This intentional placement helps traders easily take actions right after they found their interesting products and services.
Seemingly, Ally Invest always tries to simplify their descriptions of financial instruments they offer. We highly appreciate this because it enables beginners to easily access and understand more about what they invest in.
Ally Invest begins their homepage with reasons why traders should invest with them. They show benefits that traders can receive, followed by features. Offered account types, account protection, and other information that most traders care about are also mentioned.
The official website is also optimized for mobile devices. We found no issues of misalignment of banners, menus or sections when testing across popular browsers.
- Ally Invest’s website interface is simple and easy to use.
- Product and service descriptions are simplified to make sure every trader can understand.
- Their website is also optimized for mobile devices.
6.) Customer Support: Excellent
The Ally Invest customer support team is available 24 hours on 7 days a week. To contact Ally Invest specialists, traders can use one of the following ways:
Phone: Contacting via phone is the fastest way to get questions answered. The broker’s helpdesk phone line is 1-855-880-2559. If traders locate outside the US, they can call on 1-818-459-4591
Email: The Ally Invest support team email is [email protected]
Mail: Traders can also send mail, check, forms, and letters to
P.O. Box 49050
Charlotte, NC 28277-3432
Live chat: The broker also offers live chat support; however, it’s not available for visitors. Traders must register accounts to use this service.
Social Media: Various social channels are found on Ally Invest’s official website, including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google+, and LinkedIn.
Frequently Asked Questions: Ally Invest has a quite comprehensive Help Center. Traders can use the “search” box laid at the top of the website to quickly find answers to their questions.
- Ally Invest offers various contacting methods.
- Phone call and Live chat are the fastest channels to get problems solved. However, this broker’s live chat service is only available for registers.
- Specialists are available to speak to at the firm 24/7.
7.) Methods of Payment: Popular Options
At Ally Invest, traders can choose from various payment methods to fund their accounts.
Wire Transfer: This method is too familiar with traders, and is also the most common one used to deposit to financial brokers nowadays. The depositing time varies from a few hours to one business day, depending mostly on how quickly the banks initiate the wire.
Mailing a check: Mailing personal checks normally takes three business days to clear. Traders can start trading right after their bank check are verified by Ally Invest. Please note that this broker doesn’t accept starter checks, credit card checks, or money orders.
Account transfer: If traders want to transfer to Ally Invest from another broker, they must fill in the Account Transfer Form (PDF). This method normally takes 5 to 7 business days to clear, counted from when Ally Trade receives the paperwork.
Transfer from a bank: This is a very convenient method to transfer money. Traders can link their bank accounts to their Ally Invest ones. Given being transferred from an Ally Bank account, the funds can immediately be available for trading. Transfers from a different bank or financial institution usually take 3 business days to clear.
- Ally Invest provides traders with various transaction methods.
- Withdrawals are usually made in the same manner with deposits.
- Transfers from an Ally Bank account can be cleared immediately.
8.) Additional Offers: Liberal
This Ally Invest review found many offers available for traders on the broker’s official site.
Transfer fee credit: This is applied for traders who are trading at other brokers but want to move their accounts to Ally Invest. The broker pledges to repay up to $150 if traders make a transfer of $2500 or more. To receive the credit, traders need to fill in the Automated Customer Account Transfer form and send to [email protected] within 15 days since their accounts are opened. Ally Invest will then process the reimbursement within a month of receiving proof of charge. One important note, this fee credit isn’t applied to maintenance or termination fees.
Education: Ally Invest’s education center is much richer compared to most other financial brokers’. As Ally Invest clients, traders can access to thousands of helpful and practical articles written by specialists with years of experience in various fields. Not only do traders at this broker have access to basic trading education, but they are also able to access many advanced materials like financial planning, stock trading, options, mutual funds, etc.
Cash bonus and free trades: The broker also offers up to $3,500 in cash bonus and free trades, based on the deposit amount.
- As Ally Invest clients, traders can receive up to $150 transfer fee credit.
- The broker has rich educational materials.
- Ally Invest offers cash bonus and free trades for traders with large deposits.
9.) Regulation & Deposit Protection: Trading with Ally Invest is Safe and Secure
Why can traders rest assured trading with Ally Invest?
Fully regulated: Ally Invest is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and National Futures Association (NFA) (ID #0408077). Hence, traders can claim up to $500,000 in compensation (including $250,000 for cash claims) in case the company has difficulties making payments.
Insurance policy: Besides remaining under SIPC protection, the funds of Ally Invest clients are also protected by an additional insurance policy through a group of London Underwriters. In case the SIPC protection reaches the limit, this insurance policy will become available, providing traders with cash and protection for securities up to $150 million.
Data encryption: Encrypted by a 128bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, Ally Invest’s official website provides a maximum data protection. Therefore, clients’ important data such as names, DOBs, passwords, and bank details are always safe and secure.
- Ally Invest is a member of FINRA, SIPC, and NFA. It means traders can claim up to $500,000 in compensation in case of broker insolvency.
- Clients’ funds are also protected by an additional insurance policy through a group of London Underwriters.
- The broker’s official website is secured by SSL.
10.) Awards: Multiple Achievements
Ally Invest is one of the brokers earning many awards for its top-notch products and services as well as the core values it conveys. Several of the most honorable awards include:
Barron’s: Ally Invest constantly received 4-star ratings from Barron’s (a premier financial magazine) from 2007 to 2016. The broker is also rated as one of the best brokers for options traders in a 2016 survey based on Usability, Trade Technology, Range of Offerings, Research Amenities, Mobile, Customer Service & Education, Portfolio Analysis & Reports, and Costs.
Stockbrokers.com: In 2015 and 2016 broker reviews from Stockbrokers, Ally Invest received 4 out of 5 stars. It’s hence acknowledged as “a top brokerage” in both reviews.
In the 2016 review, the broker also achieved “Offering of Investments” and “Best in Class for Commission & Fees” awards. The Ally Invest platform was ranked #1 in the 2015 Broker Innovation survey 2015, and its Trader Network also finished in first place in the 2014 Community survey.
Nerdwallet: Ally Invest also received a 5-star rating for Stock Trading Costs 2017.
- Ally Invest is an award-winning broker.
- The broker won multiple Barron's awards from 2007 to 2016.
- It’s also rated as “a top brokerage” in Stockbrokers.com’s 2015 and 2016 broker reviews.
Conclusion: A Low-Cost Broker With Great Services
Despite the fact that Ally Invest is a relatively new broker, its financial services can be compared to old brokerage firms.
The most prominent feature of Ally Invest is that it charges very low fees on services. This broker’s fees are averagely 20% to 30% lower than its competitors’. This enables Ally Invest to compete with other large brokers such as E*TRADE, TD Ameritrade, or Interactive Brokers.
Another advantage here is the always available support team. There are not many brokers offering traders 24/7 support (normally 24/5).
One of the disadvantages of Ally Invest is there are no commission-free ETFs. However, this deficiency has been partially offset by low trading costs.
Generally, Ally Invest is worth investing with in the long term. With a wide range of financial instruments besides ETFs plus low fees, this broker is an awesome place for investors and traders to start their careers.
Want to know more good brokers like Ally Invest? Check our ETF broker comparison page now.
- low costs
- zero inactivity fee
- no account minimum
- excellent customer service
- no commission-free ETFs
- No transaction-fee-free mutual funds