Ally Invest

Ally Invest is a branch of Ally Financial, a broad financial services company. As a result of its background, Ally Invest easily provides investing experiences that are integrated with banking capabilities. It avails its clients with powerful tools which are embedded into its highly customizable trading platform. If you are interested in having your investing and banking functions in a nest, Ally Invest is the right choice for you.

Regulation and Safety

Regulation

  • Ally Invest is regulated and fully authorised by both the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Safety

  • Ally Invest is safe. It is SIPC insured. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation, SIPC for short, is a deposit insurance scheme that protects clients’ funds in the event of any disastrous occurrence. Hence, you can have peace of mind about your funds when using the broker.
  • The parent organization of the company, Ally Financial Inc., is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Therefore, the broker has a huge capital base and declares its financials, contributing to its stability.

Customer Support Service

  • The broker has a first-rate 24/7 customer support service which is available in the three forms: telephone, email and live chat. Support via telephone is available only during selected hours – 8am to 11pm ET from Monday to Friday and 9am to 7pm ET on Saturday. The email is best for non-urgent inquiries as response can take up to 24 hours. The live chat support, on the other hand, is available all around the clock and is sufficient to answer most simple queries.
  • Nevertheless, Ally Invest’s customer support service has a downside: unlike many other brokers, it does not have an extensive branch network.  Thus, with this broker, you can hardly get the chance to have physical interactions with any of its customer support representative if the need arises.

Account Types and Opening

Account Types

  • Ally Invest offers two types of account which are the Self Directed Trading account and the Managed Portfolio account. You can trade a wide array of asset classes such as stocks and ETFs on the self-directed trading account and you make your choices yourself. The managed portfolio account uses a Robo-Advisor technology to place trades and manage your portfolio on your behalf.
  • The Self Directed Trading account is in multiple forms depending on the individual’s trading preferences. They include individual, joint, custodial taxable, Traditional Roth, Rollover, and SIMPLE IRAs.

Leverage

  • Ally Invest allows trading on margin. However, with just a leverage level of up to 50:1, the leverage offering is relatively low.

Account Opening

  • Opening an account with Ally Invest is easy and straightforward. Depending on the type of account that you wish to open, you login to the appropriate page on its website and enter your personal information such as your full name, phone number, and email address and then choose your funding options. An email notifying you of the approval of your application will follow.

Minimum Deposit

  • Ally Invest does not have any minimum balance requirement for its Self Directed Trading account. However, minimum deposit for Managed Portfolio accounts is $2500.

Charges and Rates

Trading Fees

  • Ally Invest has a fixed price scheme. It charges $4.5 per basic stock and ETF trades. It does not charge any commission on Forex trades.

Non-trading Fees

  • The broker charges withdrawal and deposit fees. There is a $30 flat fee for funds wiring to U.S. account and $50 for overseas accounts. Cheque withdrawals also attract a charge of $5 per transfer. However, withdrawals are free if you use Ally as your bank.
  • There is also a $50 maximum fee when you transfer funds or a segment of your portfolio from your account to another broker.

Financing Rates

  • Not stated. However, it charges an annual 0.3% advisory fee on managed portfolios.

Markets, Products, and Investments

Markets

  • The broker covers many financial markets including stock, fixed income securities, options (equity and index), and Forex.

Products

  • Ally Invest offers thousands of mutual funds, over 80 currency pairs including gold and silver, binary return derivatives, penny stocks, equity and index options, over 100 commission-free ETFs, and different types of fixed income securities (corporate, agency, treasuries, and municipals).

Investments

  • The broker offers thousands of mutual funds. Its robo-advisor called Managed Portfolios can help you build a portfolio based on your preferences and risk tolerance. The broker will manage the portfolio on your behalf. However, you need a minimum of $2,500 and you will be charged an annual fee of 0.3% of the assets you have under management.

Trading Platforms, Educational Resources, and Research Tools

Trading Platforms

  • Ally Invest offers the Ally Mobile app, which also doubles as its online banking app, in both iOs and Android forms. Ally Forex is an entirely separate platform and mobile app developed for Forex trading.  All Ally Invest platforms are 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) secured. This means that they do not make clients’ information available to a third party. The Ally Forex platform has a two-factor authentication login. Also, it has a customisable layout and you can easily automate your trading strategies on it.

Educational Resources

  • Educational resources provided by Ally Invest are subpar compared to its peers. Most of them are in long, article-form which clients may not find really interesting. Also, except for webinars, the broker does not offer any of its educational resources in video form. Nevertheless, the materials are comprehensive and cover almost every investing topic. There is also a free $50,000 virtual practice account with full access to the platforms and tools for 30 days.

Research Tools

  • Ally Forex has tools for both fundamental and technical analyses. The platform has over 80 technical indicators and drawing tools for advanced charting functions. It enables you to stay on top of the market with streaming updates and market news and forecast.

Methods of Payment

Deposit

  • Debit Card (instant)
  • Bank wire (usually takes 1-2 working days before funds get posted to account)
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH, 2-5 working days)
  • Cheque Payments (5-10 working days)

Withdrawal

  • Same as for deposit.

Bonuses, Promotions, and Prospect

Bonuses

  • The broker has multiple cash bonus policies depending on opening deposit. However, only new customers who have funded their accounts for at least 60 days are eligible. For instance, a new Ally Invest customer with $25,000 minimum opening deposit and who has funded their account for at least 60 days gets a $200 cash bonus plus promotion.

Promotions

  • Ally Invest offers a 90-day commission-free trade promotion together with the cash bonus policy. This promotion is, however, for all new customers irrespective of their minimum opening deposit.

Prospect

  • The broker, being an arm of a stable and well-capitalised company is expected to be in business for long.

Conclusion

Ally Invest is the online brokerage subsidiary of Ally Financial, a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). It is fully authorised and regulated by both the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Plus, it is Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) insured. Hence, it is safe. Whether you are new or a bit advanced, if you want your investing and banking functions close together, Ally Invest should be your choice. Its InvestLIVE platform has a wide array of assets, is responsive and easy to use, and integrates both banking and brokerage roles. The broker can easily pass for a discount broker as it has one of the lowest commissions in the industry. Also, it has no minimum deposit requirement and offers some exciting promotions and bonuses