Warrior Trading Blog

Ally Invest Broker Review 2018

Ally Invest Review Photo

Ally Invest

Ally Invest is a discount brokerage arm of Ally Financial. Before being acquired by Ally Financial in 2016, TradeKing was an independent online broker and had been in operation for a decade.

Today, Ally Invest is an active investment arm of Ally Financial with a focus on providing a streamlined web based trading platform that enables traders to trade in a wide variety of financial instruments. Apart from stocks, traders have the opportunity of trading ETFs, mutual funds, futures, Forex and Options from their Ally Invest account.

As one of the most affordable broker, Ally Invest stands out from other brokers thanks to its user friendly platform, wealth of trading tools and access to investment professionals.

In our comprehensive Ally Invest review, we will reveal to you the products/services offered, trading/brokerage fees and why Ally Invest is a brokerage firm you should consider.

Ally Invest Features, Products and Services

Self Directed Trading

Ally Invest is a leading financial services company providing trading and investment services to businesses, consumers and corporate clients. Self-Directed Trading is one of its services. Suitable for a hands-on trader or investor, the Self Directed Trading account enables traders to invest in the following products:

Stocks
Options
Bonds
ETFs
Futures
Forex Mutual Funds

Aside from access to in-depth research and market analysis tools that enable traders to support different types of investment strategies, traders enjoy the lowest trading fees with no hidden fees.

To get started, new users must open an account. Start by clicking “Open Account” from the Self-Directed Trading section. From the web page presented to you, select one of the following options:

I’m new to Ally
I already have an Ally Bank Invest Account

As a new user, check “I’m new to Ally”, fill in your first name, last name and email address. Click “Register” to submit the details to Ally Invest and a welcome email will be sent to your account immediately. Click on the link provided in your welcome email to activate your account and proceed with providing more data in your profile.

Now that you have opened an account, you will be required to fund it. At the moment, there is no minimum amount required by Ally Invest to fund and start trading.

Managed Portfolios

Traders and investors can get to enjoy a tailored investment approach that is carefully managed by a team of investment specialists. From the start, you get to enjoy low advisory fees thanks to Ally Invest affordable and straightforward pricing.

Once you open an account, you can invest and build your portfolio while keeping your costs low. The best news is that there is no extra charge needed when re-balancing your portfolio.

Traders and investors also get to enjoy 24/7 support. Since users are looking for fast answers in regards to their portfolios, investment specialists are on standby to help you learn more about your investment options and new investment products.

Although Managed Portfolio is run by a group of investment professionals, they do so using intelligent tools. As a result, access to your account and portfolio is available at anytime to enable you see how your investment is growing as well as track your goals.

Here is how Managed Portfolio works:

It all starts when traders and investors select an approach. From there onwards, Ally Invest investment specialists will take it over. They will evaluate thousands of low cost ETFs that include bonds and stocks to find a financial instrument(s) that fits your investment goals.

Now, you can access your portfolio to deposit funds or to make changes to your investment goals. To help your portfolio grow, Ally Invest investment specialists will monitor your account on a regular basis to ensure everything stays on track.

Ally Invest Web Trader

As an investment arm of Ally Financial, Ally Invest provides an intuitive web trader with a wealth of tools designed for hands-on traders. To access the web trader, users need an account. If you select Self-Directed Trading option, you will be required to register for an account and fund it.

As said earlier in the Self Directed Trading section, no minimum amount is required to begin trading. The web trader is a powerful platform with a wealth of useful tools to help traders make informed decisions. Simply put, traders have access to everything they need to explore available opportunities, gain insight and build their portfolio.

Available tools include:

Streaming charts – traders can view six chart types with 90 chart studies and drawing tools. In addition, they can use charts to analyze the performance of different financial instruments such as ETFs, indices and stocks among others.

Stock watchlist – this tool enables traders to create their own watchlist which allows them to stay on top of market performance. With a custom watchlist, traders can view market data and also find a specific symbol.

Profit/Loss graph – traders have the option of crunching numbers using the profit/loss calculator. As a result, they will get to understand the potential of a financial instrument before investing.

Probability calculator – The tool utilizes implied volatility to help traders determine the likelihood of attaining certain targets.

Research and market data – this tool allows you to access market news, stats and detailed metrics on companies you are interested in.

Traders and investors will also have access to company quotes, high/low prices, news, peer performance and dividend dates.

Option chains – the web trader comes with an intuitive interface that provides a great desktop and mobile experience. In addition, it allows traders to view what financial instruments are available clearly.

Ally Invest Account Protection

Where money is involved, there is the probability of identity and financial theft. To prevent such incidences, Ally Invest is a member of Securities Investor Protection Corporation. As a result, all accounts up to $500,000 per client are protected as defined in SIPC rules.

While SIPC protects your funds in case Ally Invest ends up failing, it does not provide protection against losses incurred on investment during trading.

Apex Clearing firm is owned by Ally Financial and has purchased additional insurance policy via a group of London Underwriters. This insurance policy is meant to supplement SIPC protection and becomes available to customers in the event that SIPC protection limits gets exhausted. The insurance policy provides protection for securities and funds up to $150 million.

Just like SIPC protection, this insurance policy does not provide protection in case losses are incurred on investment during trading.

Ally Invest Fees

As a hands-on trader, Ally Invest offers you the opportunity of opening a Self-Directed Trading account. The standard pricing for trading stock and ETF trades is $4.95 and for option trading, you will be charged 65 cents per contract + $4.95 base. For Volume/Balance Pricing with $100,000+ average daily balance and more than 30 trades per quarter, traders are charged as follows:

Stock and ETF trades – $3.95
Option Trades – 50 cents per contract + $3.95 base.

For Managed Portfolio account holders with an account balance of $2,500, Ally Invest charges a monthly fee of $0.62 and an annual advisory fee of 0.30%. To help you estimate your monthly fee on Managed Portfolio services, Ally Invest has provided an intuitive calculator. Composed of a slider, users can estimate their monthly fee from a minimum of @$2,500 to a maximum of $5,000,000.

Here is the pricing structure for other financial instruments:

Futures- $0.45 per contract
Mutual funds – $9.95 for no-load funds
Forex – Bid-Ask spread cost
Bonds – $1 per bond with a minimum of $10
Penny stocks – fee + $0.01 per share
CDs – 1 year CDs beginning at 1.35%

Final Thoughts

As a member of FINRA and SIPC, Ally Invest provides protection to all its clients. In addition, it has taken measures to protect its client’s data by providing a special security key for new or different devices and password protecting the web platform.

As a discount broker, Ally Invest charges affordable fees which are much lower than for renowned brokers. In addition, traders have access to 24/7 support via phone, email and chat. As a result, they can keep track of their portfolios as well as their goals.

Although Ally Invest has worked hard to provide the best trading tools and environment, it falls short in a few areas. For starters, it does not offer backtesting, auto trading, order routing and international trading.

Secondly, its web trader does not seem to be competitive because it lacks numerous functionalities that can help advanced traders make the best trading decisions. Lastly, its mobile application offers the same tools as its web trader and also lacks advanced tools like option analytics.

Overall, Ally Invest is a great platform for traders who are focused on options and stock trading. It is also favorable for traders concerned about lowering their trading costs.

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