Ally Invest Review
Alyaziah Hayat | May 19, 2022
Table of Contents
Ally Invest offers US traders self-directed and managed investing with competitive fees. However, it’s disappointing that their platforms, trading tools and educational materials are quite limited when compared to other online brokers. You can find better alternatives through our broker ratings.
Broker Pros / Cons
- Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) member
- Powerful & flexible trading platforms
- Competitive fees
- No minimum deposit (unless margin trading)
- Backed by a large bank
- US clients only
- Limited assets
- Limited funding options
- Restricted leverage
- Restricted forex offering
Ally Invest offers you self-directed investing and automated investing via managed investment products with competitive commissions. They serve over hundreds of thousands of clients with billions in assets that continue to grow.
Formerly known as TradeKing, Ally Invest has a range of resources to assist you with managing your various investments. I like how this includes flexible trading platforms, advanced charting tools, numerous investment calculators and a library of educational materials.
Ally Invest is a United States broker that is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Ally Financial Inc is the parent company who were founded in 1911 and are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Ally Financial Inc also has a banking subsidiary known as Ally Bank.
Eligible Ally Invest customers can claim up to $500,000, (maximum of $250,000 for cash claims) as they are a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Though I suggest going through their terms and conditions since they’re pretty specific on who is eligible for compensation. While SIPC protects your funds in the case that Ally Invest fails, it does not protect against investment losses from the market value of securities. Forex trading is also not protected.
In addition to this cover, I like how they also have an additional insurance policy for up to $37.5 million (up to $900,000 in cash) with an aggregate cap of $150 million. This policy becomes available to you in the event that SIPC limits are exhausted.
Ally Invest is currently authorised to do business in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. It is their policy not to open or maintain accounts for residents of foreign countries. If your region is not accepted by Ally Invest, I recommend checking out our broker comparison tool for alternatives.
Ally Invest provides you with an intuitive trading experience via their powerful award-winning proprietary web-based trading platform which is based on HTML5. I like this dynamic and user-friendly trading experience as it lets you easily and efficiently manage your portfolios and trades conveniently across multiple devices.
In addition to the web trading platform, they also have mobile applications so that you can easily access your account from mobile and tablet devices running on iOS and Android. I really like this feature as it enables you to research investments, analyse your investment portfolio and place or manage trades from anywhere.
Ally Invest Trading Platform Features:
- Web & mobile devices
- Real time streaming charts
- Profit/loss graph
- Probability calculator
- Detailed research, market data & stats
- Option chains
Ally Invest Forex Platform
This platform is for Ally Invest Forex trading accounts. It is easy to use, flexible, fully customisable and includes a wide range of professional charting and order management tools. The forex platform is available on desktop (Windows / Mac) and mobile (iPhone / iPad / Android / Tablet).
Ally Invest Forex Trading Platform Features:
- 80 currency pairs, Gold & Silver
- Instant or market execution with dealing desk
- Easy to use & fully functional
- Fully customisable trading environment
- 80+ technical indicators & graphical objects for market analysis
- Multiple chart types & timeframes
- Automated trading strategies
- Streaming market commentary & research
- Reuters news & economic calendar
- Access your account on the go from anywhere with an internet connection
Developed by Russian software company MetaQuotes, MetaTrader is the industry standard trading platform used by millions of forex/CFD traders around the world. It is well known for its user-friendly interface and advanced trading tools. It is my favourite platform as it is simple enough to use for beginners whilst having enough functionality to satisfy the more advanced traders. This platform is also for Ally Invest Forex trading accounts. MetaTrader is available for desktop, web and mobile (Android / iOS).
MetaTrader Platform Features:
- 80 currency pairs
- Market execution with dealing desk
- Fully customisable interface
- Multiple chart timeframes & order types
- Trading strategy templates
- Automated trading strategies via Expert Advisors (EAs)
- 30+ technical indicators for analysing charts
- Reuters news & economic calendar
- Built in MQL editor to program custom indicators & EAs
- Trade from charts with one click trading
- Open, monitor and update an unlimited number of charts
- Marketplace for additional free & paid trading tools
- Multi-lingual support available in 17 languages
Ally Invest provides you with investing tools and educational resources. There is in-depth market research and analysis alongside a catalogue of informative investment articles to assist investors. I like these resources as they can help to improve your knowledge of investment strategies, market trends and overall understanding of how the various financial markets work. A range of different topics are covered catering to new and experienced investors. The trading tools provided can help you with analysing the markets for potential investment opportunities, money management and more.
There is a range of financial products available to you including self-directed investing and managed investment products. I like how there is something for every level of investor whether you are new to investing or more experience. They support a mix of investment strategies, catering to individual needs.
They offer investing in a range of Stocks, Options, Bonds, Mutual Funds, ETFs from Vanguard, GlobalX, iShares, and more. They also offer around 50 major, minor and exotic currency pairs via Ally Forex accounts. I would’ve liked to see them offer a larger variety of trading instruments like other top brokers such as Swissquote.
The fees and commissions charged by Ally Invest are competitive in comparison to industry standards. I really appreciate how there is no minimum account deposit requirement nor do they charge any hidden fees with the self-directed trading model. However, the self-directed brokerage margin accounts do require a $2,000 minimum deposit. Managed Portfolio accounts also require a $100 initial minimum deposit.
This is for those of you who prefer to manage and control their own investment portfolio. Self-directed traders can start trading stocks and ETFs for $0 (other fees may apply) with no account minimums.
- $0 commission fees on all U.S. listed stocks and ETFs with no account minimum
- $0 commission fees on option trades and competitive contract fee of 50c per contract with no account minimum
- Bonds from $1 per bond with a $10 minimum
- Buy and sell no-load mutual funds from $9.95 per trade
- Low priced securities, for stocks priced below $2; $4.95 +$.01 per share
- Margin trading accounts
- A selection of different investment choices for the hands-on investor
- Variety of in-depth research and market analysis tools to assist with different investment strategies
- Transfer individual stocks and investments from most major online brokerages
The managed portfolio is an automated robo-advisor investment option where you invest into a portfolio that is managed by a team of investment specialists. You can invest from $100 and there are no advisory fees, annual charges or rebalancing fees. I like how they offer portfolios for different investment styles and can recommend them according to what matters most to you whether that be social responsibility, optimised for tax, high diversification, higher returns, conservative risk, etc.
- Minimum $100 investment
- No advisory fees, annual charges or rebalancing fees
- 30% of your portfolio is set aside as an interest-earning cash buffer
- Investment specialists recommend and manage a professionally built portfolio according to your personal investment goals, risk preferences and timeframe
- Your portfolio is monitored and automatically rebalanced to ensure that it sticks to your investment plan
- Portfolios consist of low cost, diversified exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Forex Trading Accounts
Foreign exchange trading (Forex) trading is offered to self-directed investors through Ally Forex. Ally Forex and Ally Invest are affiliated but separate companies. Ally Invest Forex LLC acts as an introducing broker to GAIN Capital Group, LLC.
I’m a bit disappointed that the forex accounts are not protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corp (SIPC) or Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC). The minimum deposit required for a forex account is $250. You can try Ally Invest Forex with a free practice account and $50,000 in virtual money. However, if you’re looking for a broker with better trading conditions on their forex accounts, I recommend checking out IC Markets.
Leverage of up to 1:50 is available on forex accounts and there is no commission charged. I find this leverage to be quite low as compared to other brokers like InstaForex.
I really appreciate that you can have 24/7 access to Ally Invest representatives who can get your general, technical, investment and account questions answered in a prompt and efficient manner. Support is available via online chat, telephone and email. Ally Invest prides itself on giving you the best possible customer service experience. The support team continuously strives to help investors make their investment strategies work harder for them. It should be duly noted that forex account support is available from Sunday 10am (ET) until Friday 5pm (ET). I would’ve liked to see them offer 24/7 support like other top brokers such as EXANTE.
Ally Invest provides you with a few options for funding your account, including bank wire, debit card, ACH and check. Please note that some methods may only be available to specific accounts and not all are available for both deposit and withdrawal. I would’ve liked to see them offer crypto as a method of funding like other brokers such as KOT4X.
You should know that some additional fees may be charged when using certain payment methods. The deposit and withdrawal time can vary depending on the payment provider and method. Bank transfers may take a few business days to clear whilst some methods can be instant.
Some payment systems may have transaction limits, restrictions, and requirements. All funds deposited into your trading account must be under the same name as your Ally Invest account.
Accounts can be opened in USD, EUR, CAD, JPY, GBP, AUD, CHF. The different currency options are beneficial as currency conversion fees do not apply when using an account in your own currency.
You can apply to open a self-directed investing account, managed investment account or forex trading account via the Ally Invest website. You will need to fill out some personal details and tell them about your investment experience and goals. Verifying your account requires a form of identification (passport, drivers licenses, etc) and proof of address (utility bill, bank statement, etc). Once your account has been verified you can start investing yourself or setup a managed portfolio.
|Broker Features||AvaTrade||IG||IC Markets|
|Regulated||ASIC, BVI, CBI, FFAJ, JFSA, FSCA, IIROC, ADGM FRSA||FCA, CFTC, NFA, BaFin, FINMA, ASIC, FMA, MAS, FSA, FSCA, DFSA, JFSA, METI, MAFF||ASIC, CySEC, FSA, SCB|
|Country||Australia, Ireland, South Africa, Japan, British Virgin Islands||Australia, UK, USA, Switzerland, UAE, Singapore, Japan||Australia, Seychelles, Bahamas, Cyprus|
|Min. Deposit||Min $250 Deposit||Min $100 Deposit||Min $200 Deposit|
|Commission||From $0||From $0||From $0|
|Instruments||Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Options, Bonds, CFDs, ETFs||Forex, Commodities, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Cryptocurrencies, Metals, Energies, Options, Bonds, ETFs, CFDs||Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Bonds, CFDs|
|Platforms||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaSocial, DupliTrade, ZuluTrade, Web, Mobile||MetaTrader 4, IG Platform, IG Progressive Web App, ProRealTime (PRT), L2 Dealer, FIX API, Web, Mobile||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader, Web, Mobile|
|Type||Market Maker, STP||STP, ECN, DMA||ECN|
|Funding||Wire Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, Paypal, WebMoney, Neteller, Skrill||Wire Transfer, Credit/Debit Cards, PayPal||Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, WebMoney, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, FasaPay, UnionPay, Qiwi, Bpay, Poli|
|Visit Broker||Visit Broker||Visit Broker||Visit Broker|
Ally Invest is backed by Ally Financial and offers you competitive fees along with user friendly platforms, trading tools and some educational materials. However, whilst they may be an easy option for existing Ally Bank customers, there are alternative online brokers in the industry that surpass them in many certain aspects including tradeable assets and accessibility. If Ally Invest does not meet your trading needs, I recommend checking out the best trading platforms for alternatives.