Ally Invest Review
Richard Montana | August 2, 2022
Ally Invest is a popular brokerage firm that provides self-directed trading and automated investing to USA clients. They have a good selection of trading platforms and very competitive fees, including commission-free trading. You will find lots of tools to get an in-depth insight into the markets that you want to trade. I think they can be a great choice for anyone who is already an existing customer of Ally and want to explore Ally’s brokerage services. You can choose how you want to invest with a wide selection of resources to help investors of all experience levels make the most of their investments, including advanced charting tools and numerous calculators.
Pros & Cons
- Powerful and fully customisable trading platforms
- Quality trading tools for analysing the markets
- Very competitive fees with commission free trading
- Educational guides to educate beginners
- No minimum deposit required (unless margin trading)
- Backed by a large bank in Ally Financial
- Other services including banking and savings
- Automated investing with Robo Portfolios
- Wealth Management services for investors
- Great customer support
- USA clients only
- Limited funding options
- Slightly restricted forex offering
Ally Invest is backed by a huge brand in Ally Financial who are a leading digital financial services company that provides a complete package of financial services. The company was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Detroit, MI.
Formerly known as TradeKing, Ally Invest offers you self-directed trading on user-friendly platforms and automated investing via managed investment products. They are a popular USA brokerage firm that already serves hundreds of thousands of clients with billions in assets that continue to grow.
I like how Ally Invest has a good range of quality resources to assist you with managing your various investments. This includes versatile trading platforms, advanced charting tools, numerous investment calculators and a comprehensive library of educational materials.
Whether you’re new to trading or an already experienced investor, or somewhere in between, they offer investment choices with some of the lowest commissions in the industry.
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. Foreign exchange (Forex) products and services are offered to self-directed investors through Ally Invest Forex LLC who are a member of the National Futures Association (NFA). I consider this to be top-tier regulation and wouldn’t have any problems at all trusting them with my funds.
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.
I am really impressed with the good variety of platforms you can use with Ally Invest. Not only do they have their own proprietary platform, you can trade on a dedicated forex platform and the easy to use MetaTrader platform. All of the platforms have plenty of functionality for all your trading activity. You can analyse charts, research markets, place and manage trades. If you are not sure where to start, maybe you could trial each platform to see which works best for you. Personally, I use MetaTrader but that is mainly because it was the first platform that I became accustomed to many moons ago.
Ally Invest Platform
For self-directed traders, Ally Invest provides you with a dynamic streaming experience via their award-winning proprietary platform. It is a powerful yet user-friendly platform where you can easily and efficiently manage your account, access your portfolio, and make trades seamlessly across multiple devices. I like how you can be using the web platform on your computer one moment and seamlessly switch to the mobile app without interruption. I am a big fan of the trading app as it enables you to research investments, analyse your investment portfolio and place or manage trades from anywhere at any time.
Some of the key features of the Ally Invest platforms include:
- Real time streaming charts
- Watchlists to keep track of your favourite instruments
- Profit/loss graph to see how your account is progressing
- Probability calculator to assist with trade decisions
- Detailed research, market data & stats
- Option chains (listing of all available options contracts for a given security)
- Available to use in your web browser & on your mobile devices
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 and mobile. I found the platform a pleasure to use, it was easy to navigate and I was quite surprised with the quality of the built-in tools. I have used some of the best platforms out there and this forex platform certainly didn’t disappoint. I like how it can run directly in your web browser so you can access it from any device.
Some of the key features of the Ally Invest Forex platform include:
- Great choice of 80 currency pairs, Gold & Silver
- Instant or market execution with dealing desk
- Easy to use & fully functional
- Fully customisable trading environment
- Good range of 80+ technical indicators & drawing tools for market analysis
- Multiple chart types & timeframes to choose from
- Automated trading strategies for a hands-off approach
- Streaming market commentary & research for inspiration
- Reuters news & economic calendar to keep you informed
- Access your account on the go from anywhere with an internet connection
Developed by software company MetaQuotes, MetaTrader is the industry standard CFD trading platform used by millions of 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. I use the desktop platform for running automated strategies and complex market analysis. The MetaTrader app is ideal to trade whenever you feel like it on your mobile devices. It is slightly limited in terms of functionality when compared to the desktop platform but perfect for quickly checking the markets.
Some of my standout features of the MetaTrader platforms include:
- Good selection of 80 forex pairs to trade
- Rapid market execution with dealing desk
- Fully customisable user interface
- Multiple chart timeframes & order types
- Create, save & load your own trading strategy templates
- Powerful automated trading capabilities via Expert Advisors (EAs)
- Decent range of 30+ technical indicators for analysing charts
- Reuters news & economic calendar to keep you up to date
- Built in MQL editor to program custom indicators & EAs
- Trade quickly & easily from your charts with one click trading
- Open, monitor and update an unlimited number of charts
- Marketplace where you can get free & paid trading tools
- Multi-lingual support available in 17 languages
I actually think the provided platforms should have more than enough tools for most of you. There are all sorts of quality indicators and research tool implemented within them. That being said, it is good to see that Ally Invest take things a step further by providing you with some advanced charting tools and numerous calculators that can help with analysing the markets for potential investment opportunities and money management.
Ally Invest provides you with all of the educational resources you need to learn more about investing and trading online. There is in-depth market research and analysis alongside a catalogue of informative investment articles to assist you with your decisions. I found these resources to be very helpful and believe that they can help to improve your knowledge of investment strategies, market trends and overall understanding of how the various financial markets work. There are a range of different topics which are covered that cater to new and experienced investors alike.
There is a good range of financial products available to you including self-directed investing and managed investment products. You can choose to invest 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 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.
The fees and commissions charged by Ally Invest are very 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 your 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 available to eligible clients
- 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 noticed that 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 am aware of GAIN Capital from other brokers that I hold account with, Forex.com and City Index.
The minimum deposit required for a forex account is $250. You can also try Ally Invest Forex with a free practice account and $50,000 in virtual money. Leverage of up to 1:50 is available on forex accounts and there is no commission charged.
With Ally Invest Wealth Management, you can receive personalized guidance from one dedicated fiduciary senior wealth advisor. This advisor will get to know you as a person and investor, understanding your goals and values in order to provide sustained support and build a suitable portfolio. A portfolio is expertly constructed to match your goals, risk tolerance, strategy, and market preferences. I like how you can track your progress online, anytime. They have digital tools which can provide insight into your entire wealth picture. All of the advisors are fiduciaries, meaning they’re required to act in your best interest. To participate in Wealth Management, they require a substantial $100,000 minimum in assets under care.
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.
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). Also, if you have a Wealth Management account, the dedicated concierge team is there to help with all things wealth, plus your other Ally Invest and Ally Bank accounts, too.
This was an aspect of Ally Invest that I was slightly disappointed with. They only provide you with a few options for funding your account, which are bank wire, debit card, ACH and check. You can also transfer individual stocks or all your investments online from most major brokerages.
I think they could improve by adding some other modern forms of payment including digital wallets. However, I do appreciate that they may not be able to due to regulations. This isn’t really a deal breaker for me personally, but keep in mind how long it may take for funds to arrive and any applicable fees that you may incur. 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 which is pretty standard nowadays.
Accounts can be opened in a great choice of currencies including 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.
There is a lot I like about Ally Invest. In particular, I enjoy the peace of mind they deliver being part of the Ally Financial group and regulatory licenses that they hold. Safety is one of the first things that I look for in a broker and they certainly tick that box. Customer support is also very important and they deliver on that front.
The Ally Invest platforms are modern, intuitive yet capable of performing in-depth market analysis. They have a great selection of tools to help you with your market analysis and making informed decisions. There is a good choice of asset classes to trade and invest in. You can trade manually by yourself or look at the automated investing options they have available.
Whether you are day trading or looking to hold positions for the long term, I think they are certainly worth consideration for anyone located in the USA. If you are outside of the US, please feel free to take a look at our broker ratings for an alternative option.