Ally Invest Review 2018 (Formerly TradeKing)

Investing Review

We believe you should have access to outstanding information so that you can build your best financial life. That’s why our researched content and expert recommendations are free.

If all of the content is free, how do we make money? We sometimes receive compensation from select advertising partners who offer a product or service that can benefit our audience. 

While compensation may influence the products we discuss, it doesn’t impact the qualitative and quantitative analysis demonstrated in each article and review. We try to objectively evaluate financial products and recommend those that are most beneficial to readers. Our site does not feature every company or financial product available on the market, and nothing written should be interpreted as financial advice. We are not responsible for your financial decisions. For more information, see our full disclaimer.

Facebook
Twitter
Email
Print

Ally Invest was formerly known as TradeKing. Ally Financial purchased TradeKing and rebranded the existing brokerage service in early 2017.

Ally Invest is a discount online broker, allowing self-directed investors to buy and sell stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, and forex.

Ally Invest Platform

Ally Invest offers several different ways to trade: a web-based platform, a streaming HTML 5 platform, and a sophisticated downloadable desktop trading platform. This allows you to manage your accounts, access your portfolios, and make trades across multiple devices.

Ally Invest also offers a mobile application for Android and Apple devices. The app is a simplified version of the desktop software which allows you to make trades on the go.

The platform features a number of tools designed for options traders, including an options pricing calculator and an options strategy scanner. Investors interested in technical analysis will find a suite of free tools powered by Recognia.

The biggest downside to the platform is the availability of data. Standard stock quotes are free for all customers, but real-time streaming data is only available to investors who place 10 or more trades per month.

Ally Invest Fees

Ally Invest offers the following fee schedule:

ActionStandard PricingDiscount Pricing
Trade Stock or ETF$4.95$3.95
Trade Options $4.95 base
+ $0.65/contract
$3.95 base
+ $0.50/contract
Trade Mutual Fund$9.95N/A
Inactivity FeeN/AN/A
IRA closure fee$50$50

The discount pricing applies when you make 30 or more trades per quarter and/or maintain an average daily balance of more than $100,000.

There are no minimum balance requirements or inactivity fees.

There are no fees to open or maintain an IRA account, but there is a $50 fee to close or transfer the account.

Ally Invest Customer Service

Several financial publications have praised Ally’s customer service, which includes the following support options:

  • Live chat support: 24/7 when logged into your account
  • Phone support (1-855-880-2559): 8 AM – 6 PM ET, Monday through Friday
  • Email support ([email protected]): Ally attempts to respond to every email within 24 hours

Ally Invest Security

Ally Invest offers the following cyber-security protections:

  • SIPC Coverage – Securities in your account are protected up to $500,000 in the case of fraud or mismanagement. Ally Invest has an additional insurance policy to protect members above $500,000.
  • Account Security – Ally Invest offers the option to establish two separate passwords: one to access account information, and another to place trades and execute fund transfers.
  • Automatic Logoff – Should you access your account and forget to sign out, Ally Invest will automatically log you off after 30 – 180 minutes (you select the time).
  • Limit Failed Logins – To protect your account from unauthorized users, Ally Invest blocks access to your account after a set number of unsuccessful login attempts.
  • 256-bit SSL Encryption – When you submit sensitive information via the Ally Invest website, your information is fully encrypted.

Ally Invest Drawbacks

ETFs – Ally Invest advertises $4.95 ETF trades, but the platform offers no commission-free ETFs. Self-directed investors should never trade commissioned ETFs with so many no-fee products widely available, so Ally Invest is entirely worthless for ETF traders.

Mutual Funds – Ally Invest charges $9.95 to buy/sell a mutual fund. That’s far too high. You can open a free account at Vanguard and trade mutual funds with absolutely no fees or commissions. Or you can replace mutual funds with ETFs, like most investors in the 21st century.

Is Ally Invest Right for You?

Ally Invest offers a reasonable fee schedule, but there are better alternatives for most of Ally’s offerings.

For stocks and ETFs, Ally Invest charges $4.95 per trade. M1 Finance (see my review) allows you to trade both asset classes entirely free. Furthermore, Ally Invest offers no commission-free ETFs while M1 Finance offers the universe of commission-free ETFs that can be traded without any.

Mutual funds are no better at $9.95/trade. It’s 2017, and no investor should be paying $9.95 to trade a mutual fund.

Options are the one thing worth considering through Ally Invest. The base rate is competitive with other brokerage firms, and the discounted rate is among the lowest offered by any broker.

Ally Invest Review
Summary
Ally Invest offers competitive pricing if you are looking to trade options. But for everything else, there are better alternatives available.
Pricing6
Features6.5
Ease of Use7
Customer Support8
Investment Options5
Strengths
Discounted options
Reputable brand and customer service
Weaknesses
No commission-free ETFs
Overpriced mutual fund trades
6.5
Overall

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

User Generated Content Disclosure: Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Facebook
Twitter
Email
Print

Leave a Reply

avatar

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.