Ally Invest review

Online trading with commission-free stocks, options and ETFs.

finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5.0

★★★★★

Ally Invest gives you access to a wide range of investments, plus helpful market research and analytic tools for your own use. But it doesn’t offer fractional shares or futures contracts.

  • Consider Ally if you’re an active investor seeking an individual brokerage account or a passive investor seeking hands-off portfolio management.
  • Look elsewhere if you’re new to investing.

0%

Annual fee

Details

Annual fee0%
Option trade fee$0 + $0.50/contract
Asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
Account typesBrokerage, Retirement, Robo-Advisor
Government bond trade fee$1
Corporate bond trade fee$1
Mutual fund trade fee$9.95
Account transfer fee$50

What I think of Ally Invest

Ally Invest is a solid pick as far as trading platforms go. There’s no real standout feature that makes it worthy of a bonus star. But it’s well-rounded and fairly priced, which means it’s capable of serving a wide range of investors.

All things considered, Ally Invest stands out for the following two reasons:

  1. Wide range of investment options. Pick from stocks, funds, options, bonds — even forex. The only thing Ally’s missing from its security lineup are futures contracts.
  2. Free portfolio management. How many platforms can claim free automated portfolio management? Not many. What’s the catch? There isn’t one — unless you count the $100 minimum deposit requirement.

Oh, and Ally Invest’s research tools are nothing to sneeze at. Investors gain access to eight chart types with 117 chart studies and 36 drawing tools. Plus, watchlists, screeners and additional market data are available to help analyze trades.

The main drawbacks? No fractional shares and a less-than-stellar online reputation. Investors primarily complain of frustrating customer service experiences and sudden account closures.

Fees

★★★★★ 4.2/5

Ally charges for penny stocks and options but has no advisory fees for managed portfolios.
Available securities

★★★★★ 5/5

It’s got all the standards you’d expect, plus forex trading.
Customer support

★★★★★ 5/5

Quickly access support in three ways.
Mobile app

★★★★★ 4.5/5

The app gets high marks in the Apple App Store but isn’t as highly reviewed by Google users.
Research and tools

★★★★★ 4/5

Platform tools are sufficient for active and passive investors.
Reliability

★★★★★ 4/5

No major outages have been reported but traders complain of occasional refresh rate delays.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read the methodology at the bottom of the page.

What investments does Ally offer?

With an Ally investment account, you can trade the following securities:

  • Stocks and ETFs. Available with Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) and Pink Sheet stocks starting at a minimum of $100 per order.
  • Bonds. Start at $1 per bond with a $10 minimum.
  • Options. No commission fees, but expect to pay a $0.50 per contract fee.
  • Mutual funds. Over 12,000 no-load mutual funds are available at $9.95 per trade.
  • Forex. Ally Invest offers 24/5 real-time access to over 50 currency pairs, including gold and silver.

What types of portfolios does Ally Invest offer?

Interested in having Ally’s financial advisors manage your investments? You have four portfolios to choose from:

  • Socially responsible. Invest in businesses that support sustainability and clean energy through eco-friendly initiatives.
  • Tax-optimized. Diversify your portfolio with a mix of tax-advantaged, low-cost ETFs.
  • Core. Select your preferred level of risk, and Ally’s team will spread your investments across domestic, international and fixed-income assets.
  • Income. Tap into high-yield dividends through a conservative risk profile that focuses on yield and income.

Who is Ally best for?

With self-directed brokerage accounts, managed portfolios and forex trading, Ally Invest is well-suited to the following investors:

  • Active investors. Commission-free stocks, ETFs and options trading makes Ally a viable choice for experienced investors.
  • Hands-off investors. For those who prefer passive investing, Ally offers portfolio management with no advisory fees.
  • Forex traders. Not many platforms offer access to the forex market — Ally Invest does. Active accounts come with no commission costs, and investors can start trading with as little as $250.

Ally Invest’s variety of investment products coupled with its research tools makes it suitable for both passive and active investors.

Portfolio management comes in four distinct flavors with investment trajectories guided by short- and long-term goals. Investments are hand-picked by Ally’s team of financial advisors, and dedicated support is available by phone and email.

Individual brokerage accounts can trade stocks, bonds, ETFs and options with access to Ally’s comprehensive research tools, complete with an ETF screener, option chains, market stats and detailed company metrics.

Pros and cons

Pros

Here are five distinct advantages of the Ally Invest platform:

  • No commissions. Like many of its closest competitors, Ally Invest has significantly lowered its commissions on stocks, ETFs and options trades. You’ll pay $0.50 per options contract.
  • Variety of products. Choose from accounts based on how you invest. Self-directed accounts require no minimums. You can transfer your existing IRA and open a managed account or a margin account.
  • No advisory fees. For a managed portfolio, pay no annual fees or percentage of your managed assets.
  • Live market data. Stay current with the market during Nasdaq trading hours.
  • Easy to use. Investing with Ally is simple, more so if you already own an Ally bank account. Trade online or through a mobile app.

Cons

Consider a few of Ally’s drawbacks before investing:

  • Limited support. Ally is an online-only investment service. With no physical locations, support is limited to online or over the phone.
  • No futures. While Ally has a variety of investment products to choose from, you can’t trade futures or futures options.
  • No fractional shares. Investors can’t invest in slices of a single stock, potentially leaving some money uninvested.

Compare Ally Invest to similar brokers

These brokers trade some of the same securities and offer similar services to Ally Invest.

Robinhood

Sofi Invest

★★★★★

Finder rating 3.5 / 5

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.35 / 5

Go to site
on Robinhood's secure website
Go to site
on SoFi Wealth Management's secure website

Account types

Brokerage

Account types

Brokerage, Retirement, Robo-Advisor

Asset types

Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency

Asset types

Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency

Fees and costs

Like many of its competitors, including Robinhood, SoFi and JPMorgan Self-Directing Investing, Ally doesn’t charge annual account fees or commissions on stocks, ETFs or options. Its options trading fee at $0.50 per contract is fairly standard in the industry, but if you’re exclusively interested in options, specialty platforms like Gatsby waive the per-contract fee altogether.

A standout pricing perk is Ally’s lack of advisory fees for managed portfolios. Most platforms that offer portfolio management charge an annual or advisory fee — typically 0.25% to 0.35% of the account balance.

Self-directed trading fees

Minimum deposit to open$0 for self-directed accounts
Annual fee$0
Stocks priced less than $2$4.95 + $0.01 per share
Stocks priced $2 and above$0
ETF trade fee$0
Bond trade fee$1 per bond, $10 minimum
No-load mutual funds trade fee$9.95 per trade
Option trade fee$0 commission + $0.50 per contract
Account transfer fee$0

Managed portfolio fees

Minimum deposit to open$100
Advisory fees$0
Account transfer fee$50

Forex fees

Minimum deposit to open$250
Commission fee$0

How do I sign up?

To sign up for an Ally Invest account, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident who’s at least 18 years old. You must also provide a Social Security number, valid bank account and valid US residential address for approval.

  1. Go to Ally’s website and select Invest.
  2. Select either Self-Directed Trading or Managed Portfolios.
  3. Select Start Trading or Create My Plan based on which option you chose.
  4. Enter your full name and email to register for an account.
  5. Provide basic information, including your date of birth, residential address and Social Security number.
  6. Review and sign the required legal documents.

Once your account is reviewed and approved, you can fund your account by ACH transfer, wire transfer, paper check or by transferring funds from a different brokerage account.

Eligibility

To qualify for an Ally Invest account, you’ll need:

  • To be a US citizen or a legal resident.
  • A valid Social Security or Tax ID number.
  • To be at least 18 years old.
  • A state-issued ID.

Required Information

Have the following information handy when you open a self-directed or managed portfolio account:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Address
  • Online banking information
  • Social Security number or Tax ID number
  • Employment info and earnings

Research tools

Self-directed traders can access the following research tools:

  • Streaming charts. Access eight chart types with 117 chart studies and 36 drawing tools to analyze stock, ETF and index performance.
  • Watchlists. Create your own watchlists to stay on top of groups of securities.
  • Profit and loss graphs. Break down potential profits and losses before you place an order.
  • Probability calculator. Use implied volatility to calculate the probability of hitting your targets.
  • Research and market data. Compare company quotes, charts, dividend dates, market stats and more.
  • ETF screener. Compare performance and price data for thousands of ETFs.
  • Option chains. Review available options, and place trades.

    Is Ally legit?

    Yes. Ally Invest is a subsidiary of Ally Bank, a member of the FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. Ally Invest serves over 373,000 brokerage accounts with over $7.5 billion in assets. Its securities products and services are offered through Ally Invest Securities, a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Its advisory products are offered through Ally Invest Advisors, a Securities and Exchange Commission-registered investment advisor.

    Ally reviews and complaints

    Feedback on Ally Invest is mixed.

    As of August 2021, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Ally Financial an F rating and Trustpilot isn’t much better. The majority of these negative reviews relate to poor customer service while trying to resolve sudden account closures. However, those who praise Ally are primarily satisfied with Ally’s banking services.

    BBB ratingF
    BBB accreditedNo
    BBB customer rating1.15/5 based on 33 customer reviews
    Trustpilot score2/5 out of 35 customer reviews
    Google Play app4.1/5 stars based on 19,911 reviews
    Apple app store4.7/5 stars based on 33,959 reviews
    Customer reviews verified as ofAugust 2021

    Redditors say they like keeping bank and brokerage accounts under the same roof and praise Ally Invest’s well-rounded research tools. Reviews on Google Play and the App Store report that the app is sleek and easy to use but complain of refresh rate delays and inaccurate account values.

    How do I contact Ally support?

    Get in touch with Ally Invest by:

    • Phone. Call 855-880-2559 on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET.
    • Email. Send an email to support@invest.ally.com for a response from the team.
    • Live chat. Log in to your Ally account to chat with an Ally rep.

    Compare with a wider range of brokers

    Before you open an account, review your brokerage options by comparing features and fees.

    Name Product Asset types Option trade fee Annual fee Signup bonus
    Robinhood
    Robinhood
    Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
    $0
    0%
    Free stock (chosen randomly with a value anywhere between $2.50 and $200)
    Sign up using the "go to site" link
    Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options with Robinhood Financial.
    J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
    Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
    $0 + $0.65/contract
    0%
    N/A
    INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
    Vanguard Personal Advisor
    Stocks, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
    N/A
    $20 per year
    N/A
    Financial advice powered by relationships, not commissions.
    TradeStation
    Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
    $0 + $0.50/contract
    $0 per month
    $50
    Deposit qualifying assets of $5,000+
    A platform built for all kinds of traders and all styles of trading
    Sofi Invest
    Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
    N/A
    0%
    Get one free stock worth up to $1,000
    Open an account
    A free way to invest in stocks, ETFs and crypto.
    Moomoo
    Stocks
    $0
    $0 per year
    Get a free stock valued up to $350
    Open your Futu brokerage account via Moomoo
    Trade stocks on the US, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen markets.
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    *Signup bonus information updated weekly.

    Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

    Bottom line

    Ally Invest offers a number of commission-free trading options and a wide range of products to choose from. But its support is limited to online and telephone inquiries, and you may still encounter trading fees, depending on the investment product and vehicle you choose.

    There are no guarantees when it comes to trading securities, so research and compare available platforms to find one that meets your needs and budget.

    How we rate trading platforms

    ★★★★★ 5/5 — Excellent

    ★★★★★ 4/5 — Good

    ★★★★★ 3/5 — Average

    ★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar

    ★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor

    We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability.

    For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms.

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