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Is Ally Invest available in Canada?
Ally won't let you open an account if you live in Canada - but there are other investment services that will.
Choosing a way to invest your money can be tough, and the growing popularity of robo-advisors gives you even more choices. US-based Ally Bank provides an array of online banking and investment services that provide low-cost ways to invest in stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, forex currency pairs and futures contracts.
But can you take advantage these opportunities if you live in Canada? Does Canada have any similar financial companies?
Is Ally Invest available in Canada?
Unfortunately, no. To open an Ally Invest or Ally Bank account, you need to be a full-time resident of the United States and have a valid Social Security number (active US military personnel living abroad may be allowed to open an account). Foreigners who reside in the US can possibly fulfill these requirements. But if you live in Canada, you’re out of luck.
As of the time of writing, Ally Financial has not announced any plans to begin offering services to customers based in Canada.
Are there alternatives to Ally Invest in Canada?
Yes. There are a number of robo-advisors in Canada that offer low fees, diverse investment options, professional investment guidance and more. Many of these services also come with the option of connecting with real, human professional advisors for additional advice and guidance.
Robo-advisors are a popular alternative to brokerage firms and self-directed investing platforms because of super low costs and the ability to “set and forget” your investments.
Robo-advisors use advanced algorithms to create and automatically rebalance portfolios customized to suit your individual financial preferences, risk tolerance and investment goals. Check out the table below to compare some of Canada’s most popular robo-advisors and read our reviews of each to decide which one is right for you.
Compare robo-advisors in Canada
What features should I look for in an investment company?
There’s no investment platform that’s right for everyone, and each comes with its own features, fees, pros and cons. Consider the following points when shopping around to find the right investment service for your needs:
Is there a minimum upfront investment?
If you’re just starting out, chances are you don’t have much to invest upfront. Or perhaps you have accumulated savings and are ready to make it grow faster. Newbies may find themselves drawn to investment companies with low barriers to entry including low (or even $0) upfront investments. Companies that require higher minimum investment amounts are often for investors with some level of experience or who have sizeable portfolios to manage.
Will your investments be managed for you, or do you have to monitor your own portfolio?
If you have some investing experience and enjoy getting your hands dirty tracking stock prices and following the latest business news, you might prefer a little more autonomy in managing your investments. However, if you’re still getting your feet wet and don’t understand all of your options, having securities selected for you based on your own risk-tolerance, financial goals and personality can be enormously helpful. That’s where robo-advisors shine.
What are the trading fees? For managed funds, what is the MER?
Most platforms charge a fee every time you buy and sell stocks. Over time and after many trades, this can add up. If you’re investing in mutual funds or other professionally-managed investment pools, you’ll be charged a fee that encompasses both trading costs and management expenses. This fee is known as a management expense ratio, or MER. The lower the MER, the faster your money will grow.
Are there any monthly or yearly account maintenance fees?
Some investment companies charge no account maintenance fees, drawing profits instead from trading fees, commissions and other forms of revenue. Other companies waive monthly fees if you keep up a certain level of trading activity or earn a certain amount on your investments within a given time period. Some companies prefer to keep things simple with a predictable monthly fee. Check out online reviews and read the fine print of your investment agreement to make sure you know what costs to expect.
What kind of professional help or customer support is available if you need it?
Customer service might sound like a less-interesting facet of an investment company. But don’t underrate its importance. When you want to take advantage of market trends and every passing second affects the value of an investment, having round-the-clock, on-demand service from company representatives can be crucial. Even if you aren’t independently managing your investments, it can be frustrating to be limited by short customer service hours or under-trained representatives when you need to ask a question or make a request.
Compare online trading platforms
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