Ally Invest Logo

Summary

Recommended for investors and traders looking for low fees and focusing on the US market

Ally Invest is a US stockbroker regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Its parent company, Ally Financial Inc. dates back to 1911 as the former company, General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) was founded then. Ally Financial Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has a banking subsidiary, called Ally Bank.

Ally Invest is considered safe because it has a long track record and is regulated by top-tier financial authorities.

Overall Rating
4.6
Fees
4.5
Account opening
4.4
Deposit and withdrawal
2.1
Trading platform
3.0
Markets and products
2.9
Research
3.0
Customer service
3.5
Education
4.0

Ally Invest pros and cons

Ally Invest offers low trading and non-trading fees. The account opening is easy and fully digital. There are a lot of educational tools and they are high quality.

The product portfolio covers only the US market. Forex is available only through a separate Ally Forex account provided by GAIN Capital (Forex.com). The financing rates are also high when you trade on margin.

Pros Cons
Low trading and non-trading fees You can trade only on US markets
Easy and fully digital account opening Forex trading is available through a separate account
Great education High financing (margin) rates
Ally Invest main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation USA
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged No
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account 1-3 days
🎮 Demo account provided No
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Fund, Bond, Options
Gergely Korpos

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Author of this review

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

Ally Invest review
Fees

4.5
Ally Invest has low trading fees and low non-trading fees. It even charges zero base commission on stocks and ETFs. On the negative side, financing fees are quite high.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees High financing (margin) rates
Low non-trading fees
Zero commission stock, ETF and options trading
Ally Invest fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock Low Free stock and ETF trading for stocks priced above $2 and $4.95 per trade plus $0.1 per stock for stocks below
EURUSD - Not available
Mutual fund Low $9.95 per trade
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

We ranked Ally Invest's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things rolling, let's go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees, and non-trading fees.

Below you will find the most relevant fees of Ally Invest for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing commissions are the most important fees.

We also compared Ally Invest's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, E-Trade and Charles Schwab. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Ally Invest alternatives.

To have a clear overview of Ally Invest, let's start with the trading fees.

Ally Invest trading fees

Ally Invest trading fees are low. The fee structure is transparent and easy to understand. 

Forex products and services are offered through Ally Invest Forex LLC that is acting as an introducing broker to GAIN Capital Group LLC. We didn't include forex trading fees in this review, but if you need info on Ally Forex fees, head over to our Forex.com review.

Stock fees and ETF fees

Ally Invest charges no commission on stocks and ETFs priced above $2. If you trade with stocks/ETFs below $2, a $4.95 flat fee and $0.1 per stock fee are charged.

Stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade
  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $0.0

If you prefer stock trading on margin or short sale, you should check Ally Invest financing rates.

Financing rates or margin rate is charged when you trade on margin or short a stock. This basically means that you borrow money or stocks from your broker to trade. For this borrowed money/stock you have to pay interest. This is the financing rate that can be a significant proportion of your trading costs.

Ally Invest financing rates are high

Ally Invest annual financing rates for stocks and options
  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
USD margin rate 8.8% 9.8% 9.3%

The financing rates above are also applied for the Options trading.

Ally Invest financing rate for stocks and options is volume-tiered. It applies a base rate plus a premium/discount depending on the financed amount. 

Ally Invest - annual financing rates
Debit balance Rate%
$1,000,000 or more 4.25%
$500,000 - $999,999 5.00%
$250,000 - $499,999 5.50%
$100,000 - $249,999 6.50%
$50,000 - $99,999 7.75%
$25,000 - $49,999 8.50%
$10,000 - $24,999 8.75%
Under $10,000 8.75%

Fund fees

Ally Invest fund fees are generally low.

Commission for a $2,000 fund purchase
  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
Mutual fund $10.0 $20.0 $24.8

Ally Invest charges $9.95 per trade for mutual funds. It doesn't disclose specifics about the available free mutual funds. In mutual fund pricing, you don't get a discount if you trade frequently or maintain a higher account balance.

Bond fees

Ally Invest has generally low bond fees, especially if you compare with European stockbrokers where bond trades can cost as high as $50-70 per trade.

Commission of a $10,000 government bond trade
  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
US Treasury bond $10.0 $0.0 $0.0

The commission for bonds is $1 per bond with a $10 minimum. You don't get a discount if you trade frequently or maintain a higher account balance.

Options fees

Ally Invest options fees are low.

Stock index options commission of 10 contracts
  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
US stock index options $5.0 $6.5 $6.5

The options fees are $0 flat fee plus $0.5 per contract fee.

Non-trading fees

Ally Invest has low non-trading fees. It charges no inactivity fee and account fee.

There is no withdrawal fee if you use ACH transfer. However, the withdrawals to other banks using wire transfer cost $30. We tested ACH, so we had no withdrawal fee.

Ally Invest non-trading fees
  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee No No No
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

Ally Invest review
Account opening

4.4
The account opening is fully digital and user-friendly. It also has no minimum deposit. On the other hand, the account verification takes ~3 business days which is slower than at some other brokers.
Pros Cons
Fully digital Slow account verification
No minimum deposit
Low minimum deposit

Can you open an account?

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Only US residents can open an account at Ally Invest.

What is the minimum deposit at Ally Invest?

The required minimum deposit at Ally Invest is $0. The minimum deposit can be more if you trade on margin or prefer investing in portfolios.

Ally Invest minimum deposits by account types
Trading preferences Minimum deposit
Brokerage account $0
Managed Portfolios $100
Forex account* $250 ($2,500 recommended)
Margin account** $2,000

*Forex trading is available through a separate Ally Forex account provided by GAIN Capital (Forex.com)

**You trade with money borrowed from the broker, also called trading on leverage.

Account types

Ally Invest offers several account types:

Ally Invest account types
Account type Short description
Individual Account is owned by a single individual
Joint accounts Two or more account owners
Business accounts Account is owned by a legal entity
Retirement accounts (Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, etc.) Individual retirement accounts
Education Savings Account Savings account for quality educational purposes
Pension accounts Accounts for pension purposes
Custodial account Special accounts for custodial purposes
Managed Portfolios Accounts with portfolios managed by Ally Invest

In this review, we tested the Individual Brokerage Account without additional margin and option levels.

How to open your account

The account opening fully digital and user-friendly. The online application takes roughly 20 minutes, however, the account verification takes longer. Our account was verified after 3 business days. 

8 steps at Ally Invest to open an account:

  1. Add personal information and email address
  2. Choose the account type
  3. Continue with some more personal info, and details for later verification of the account like Social Security Number
  4. Add your personal phone number (which will your phone for the further registration process and contact point), and choose a security question
  5. Disclose your employment info
  6. Give your investment profile and trading preferences
  7. Add some investment objectives, state your margin and option preferences
  8. Upload the photocopy of the relevant ID card to verify your date of birth and the SSN

If you want to trade with forex, you need to register a separate Ally Forex account as well.

Ally Invest review - Account opening

Ally Invest review
Deposit and withdrawal

2.1
Ally Invest doesn't charge deposit fee and transferring money is easy and user-friendly. On the other hand you can use only bank transfer, and a high fee is charged for wire transfer withdrawals.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee Credit/Debit card not available
User-friendly High outgoing wire transfer fee
Free ACH withdrawal

Deposit fees and options

Ally Invest charges no deposit fees. Clients can use check, ACH, and wire transfers for the deposit, hence credit/debit cards and electronic wallets are not provided. This is similar to competitors.

Ally Invest deposit options
  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No

We tested ACH transfer and it took 2 business days to go through. You can only deposit money from accounts that are under your name.

Ally Invest review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Ally Invest withdrawal fees and options

Ally Invest charges no withdrawal fees if you use ACH withdrawal, but wire transfers cost $30.

Ally Invest withdrawal fees and options
  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from Ally Invest? We tested the ACH withdrawal and it took 2 business days. You can only withdraw money to accounts under your name.

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from Ally Invest? Follow these steps:

  • Log into the account
  • Go to the 'Transfers'
  • Select the 'Bank Transfers' menu, select 'Withdraw'
  • Choose your Ally Invest account in the 'From' field and your previously connected external account in the 'To' field
  • Add the amount you wish to withdraw and set the frequency and date of the withdrawal
  • Preview and initiate the withdrawal

Compare to other brokers

Ally Invest review
Web trading platform

3.5
Ally Invest's web trading platform is user-friendly, has a convenient search function. On the negative side, there is no two-step login and does not give a clear fee report.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No clear fee report available
Good search function No two-step (safer) login
Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
Ally Invest platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 3.5 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 3.3 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop - No

Ally Invest has three trading platforms which differ in the tradable products and the devices the platforms are offered for:

Ally Invest's trading platforms
  Ally Invest Ally Forex MetaTrader 4
Tradable products Stock, ETF, mutual fund, bond, options Forex Forex
Web trading platform offered Yes Yes No
Mobile trading platform offered Yes Yes Yes
Desktop trading platform offered No Yes Yes
Own or third-party provided Own Provided by Forex.com (GAIN Capital) Provided by MetaQuotes Software

In this review, we tested Ally Invest's web trading platform. This trading platform is available only in English.

If you are interested in Ally Invest Forex, you can read more in this Forex.com review.

Look and feel

The Ally Invest web trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed.

You can also make basic customization when making your dashboard. You can change the tabs' positions, but can't change their sizes.

Ally Invest review - Web trading platform

Login and security

Ally Invest provides only a one-step login authentication. A two-step login would be more secure.

When you first log in on a new device, you have to give an answer to your security question. After the registration, you can access your account using your regular ID and password combo.

Search functions

The search functions are good, you can search by typing both a company's name or asset's ticker.

There is also an auto-suggestion which is useful and shows relevant results.

Ally Invest review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

Ally Invest offers a wide variety of order types:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop-loss
  • Stop limit
  • Trailing stop
  • Market on close

If you are not familiar with the basic order types, read this overview.

You can also use basic order time limits:

  • Good 'til canceled (GTC)
  • Day
Ally Invest review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can easily set up price alerts. The alerts can be found if you click on the 'Investments', then go to 'Tools' and choose 'Alerts'.

You can't set to receive alerts on your email or mobile, they pop up only in the trading platform. 

Portfolio and fee reports

Ally Invest has a clear portfolio report, however, lacks a clear fee report. You can't see how much commission you paid to the broker.

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Ally Invest review
Mobile trading platform

3.3
Ally Invest mobile trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed. However, it lacks a two-step login, doesn't provide price alerts, and mutual funds or bonds can't be traded.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good search function No price alerts
Good variety of order types Mutual funds and bonds are not covered

Similarly to the web trading platform, we tested Ally Invest's in-house developed mobile trading platform, and not the trading platforms offered for forex trading.

The mobile trading platform is available both on iOS and Android. We tested it on iOS.

Look and feel

Ally Invest's mobile trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed.

Ally Invest review - Mobile trading platform

Login and security

Ally Invest provides only a one-step login. A two-step login would be more secure.

You can log in using your fingerprints. It's a convenient feature.

Search functions

The search functions are good, similar to the web-based platform. You'll easily find what you are looking for.

Ally Invest review - Mobile trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use similar order types, but a few more order time limits compared to the web trading platform.

These order types are available:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop-loss
  • Stop limit
  • Trailing stop

There are also order time limits you can use:

  • Good 'til canceled (GTC)
  • Good 'til time (GTT)
  • Pre-Market
  • Post-Market
Ally Invest review - Mobile trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can't set alerts and notifications on the Ally Invest mobile platform.

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Ally Invest review
Desktop trading platform

We didn't test Ally's available desktop trading platforms because they are only for forex trading. If you are interested in Ally Invest Forex desktop trading platform, read our Forex.com review.

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Ally Invest review
Markets and products

2.9
At Ally Invest you can trade with different asset classes, from stocks to options. On the negative side, the product selection covers only the US market. Forex trading is available only through a separate Ally Forex account.
  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex No No No
Fund Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes
Futures No Yes Yes
CFD No No No
Crypto No No No

​​​​​​Ally Invest has a great selection of bonds and mutual funds. The stock and options product ranges are average or below-average.

Forex trading is offered through Gain Capital's Forex.com brand.

Stocks and ETFs

Ally Invest covers only the US market. It is similar to E-Trade and Charles Schwab.

  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
Stock markets (#) 5 5 4
ETFs (#) 2,300 2,300 2,300

You can trade with stocks on these stock exchanges: NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, OTCBB, other OTCs.

Funds

Ally Invest has a great mutual fund coverage.

  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
Fund providers (#) 600 530 600

You will find funds from the biggest fund providers like BlackRock or Vanguard and from smaller ones too.

Bonds

Ally Invest has a wide bond offer. It is much better than E-Trade or Charles Schwab.

  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
Bonds (#) 221,000 88,000 60,000

Options

At Ally Invest you can trade with options only on CBOEThis offer similar to E-Trade but lags behind Charles Schwab.

  Ally Invest E-Trade Charles Schwab
Options markets (#) 1 1 8

Ally Invest Managed Portfolios

Ally Invest also offers a robo-advisory service, called Managed Portfolios. It is a great service if you need help to manage your investments.

First, you have to answer questions about your investment goal, risk tolerance, time horizon, and available funds. Then, based on your answers, a portfolio is created and the robo-advisor will automatically rebalance the portfolio when needed.

There is only a $100 minimum amount to start and the yearly advisory fee is low, 0.30% of the account balance.

If you are interested in such automated investment services, check out our robo-advisor reviews.

Ally Invest review - Managed Portfolios

Ally Invest review
Research

3.0
Ally Invest offers a handy charting tool and you can find good fundamental data for stocks and quality support for option strategies. On the other hand, research tools are generally limited.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart Basic recommendations
Trading ideas Missing screeners
Good option strategy analyzer

Ally Invest focuses on stock and option research tools, however these tools could be better.

We miss a good screener in these product categories and for the other marketed products as well. Regarding bonds, the platform offers a completely different structure, where you can find a useful screener too.

ETFs and mutual funds are treated the same way as stocks, however, you need to know what are you looking for. In the stock research area with the ticker, you can search for ETF and fund ratings as well.

Trading ideas

Ally Invest provides trading ideas. In case of stocks, the platform implements different third-party providers like Morningstar, CFRA.

ETFs and mutual funds are rated by Gold, Lipper, CFRA, and Morningstar and these latter two give explicit reports. On the flip side, the research is based on tickers. An integrated screener would be a useful plus.

Option trades are supported with an overall strategy evaluation tool (which calculates the aggregated greeks, etc.), meanwhile, you can test your strategy against different volatility settings. It would be great if you could save and download the results. 

Ally Invest review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

Ally Invest offers fundamental data on stocks. You will find mainly financial metrics (ie. performance measures, margin data) under the 'Fundamentals' menu. We liked that Ally Invest selects 4 other stocks and creates a quick peer comparison. We missed the customizable peer group option, and the detailed, financial statement dataset.

Ally Invest review - Research - Fundamental data

Charting

Ally Invest has good charting tools, which are easy to use and save it later. You have access to 120 technical indicators and approximately 30 charting options.

Ally Invest review - Research - Charting

News feed

The news is OK. It is easily readable but lacks visual elements, like charts or pictures. It is provided by a third-party news provider, MT Newswires.

Compare research pros and cons

Ally Invest review
Customer service

3.5
Ally Invest's customer service is available 24/7 and gives relevant answers. On the flip side, the speed of phone support and live chat were average.
Pros Cons
Phone support Average speed of customer support
Live chat
24/7 availability

You can contact Ally Invest via:

  • phone
  • email
  • live chat

The customer service is available only in English.

Ally Invest phone support gave us relevant answers, the speed was average.

On email, we got relevant answers, but it took a couple of days to get the answers.

Ally Invest's live chat could be improved. The response speed was average, but the relevancy of the answers was mediocre.

It is a big plus that Ally Invest support team is available 24/7.

Ally Invest review - Customer Service

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Ally Invest review
Education

4.0
Ally Invest offers a great amount of platform videos and good quality articles, but no demo account is available (except for forex which is a separate platform).
Pros Cons
Trading platform tutorial No demo account
Educational videos

At Ally Invest you can learn in the following ways:

  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars
  • Quality educational articles

The educational material covers a wide range of topics and has overall good quality.

The videos and educational articles are beginner friendly and have useful content. You can reach the written material in the 'Do it right' section. The platform tutorial 'How to' videos are linked to the relevant parts of the platform. 

The webinars are focusing on various subjects and mainly on a beginner level. You can also participate in basic financial education training. Training material is on a separate website called Ally Wallet Wise.

Ally Invest review - Education

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Ally Invest review
Safety

Ally Invest is regulated by top-tier US regulators, like the SEC and the FINRA. You are also protected by a high investor protection amount, $500,000 which includes $250,000 for cash. Unfortunately negative balance protection is not provided.
Pros Cons
Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority No negative balance protection
High level of investor protection No investor protection in case of forex
Banking background

Is Ally Invest regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for Ally Forex.

Ally Invest is based in USA and was founded in 1919.

Is Ally Invest safe?

To be certain, we highly advise to check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • and what the background of the broker is.

How you are protected

This matters for you because the investor protection amount and the regulator differ from entity to entity.

Ally Invest operates several legal entities, but all customers (except forex) are covered by the US investor protection scheme, called SIPC.

The SIPC investor protection scheme protects against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker goes bust. The limit of SIPC protection is $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash. This amount is substantially higher than the amount most investor protection schemes provide. 

Not all investments are protected by SIPC. In general, SIPC covers notes, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment company shares, and other registered securities. It does not cover instruments such as unregistered investment contracts, unregistered limited partnerships, fixed annuity contracts, currency, and interests in gold, silver, or other commodity futures contracts or commodity options.

For summarizing the different regulators, legal entities, investor protection amounts, we compiled this table:

Ally Invest legal entities
Country of clients Protection amount Regulator Legal entity
US (other than forex) SIPC: $500,000 ($250,000 cash limit)

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Ally Invest Securities LLC
US (forex) No protection Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Ally Invest Forex LLC

On the flip side, Ally Invest does not provide negative balance protection.

Background

Ally Invest was established in 1919. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

Ally Group has a banking license, and as such, it is subject to tougher regulations than brokers.

Ally Group (Ally Financial Inc.) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which is a big plus for safety as Ally Invest releases financial statements regularly and transparently.

Having a banking license, being listed on a stock exchange, providing financial statements, and regulated by a top-tier regulator are all great signs for Ally Invest's safety.

Find your safe broker

Ally Invest review
Bottom line

Ally Invest is one of the biggest US stockbrokers regulated by top-tier regulators.

Ally Invest has low trading and non-trading fees and offers a good product range in the US. The account opening is easy and fully digital. We also liked the quality of the educational tools.

It has some drawbacks though. You can trade only on US exchanges and margin rates are high. Forex trading is available only through a separate Ally Forex account provided by GAIN Capital (Forex.com).

As the trading fees are low and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to try Ally Invest.

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