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Ally Invest Review: Commission-Free Trading and Managed Portfolios

Are you looking for an online-only bank that offers robo-advisors and self-directed trading options? Then, you might want to check out Ally Invest, an online brokerage firm that offers both managed portfolios and self-directed investment options to their customers.

Founded in 2005, Ally Invest is a division of Ally Financial, a bank holding company that is based in Detroit, Michigan. Ally Financial is an online-only bank that was formerly known as GMAC Bank, but they rebranded themselves as Ally Bank in 2009.

Ally Invests goal is to provide their customers with affordable investment options, and they have done so by offering both managed portfolios and self-directed investment options that are commission-free.

Managed Portfolios

If youre interested in hands-off investing, then Ally Invest offers managed portfolios to their customers. Managed portfolios are a type of investment where Ally Invest will manage your portfolio for you, and they will do so by investing your money in Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

ETFs are a type of investment that is made up of a basket of different securities, such as stocks, bonds, and other assets, that are traded on stock exchanges, and they are a great way to get a diversified portfolio.

Ally Invest offers customers the option of choosing from five different portfolios, each with a different asset allocation.

These portfolios range from conservative to aggressive, and they are designed to meet the needs of investors at different stages of their investment journey. The portfolios are also re-balanced regularly to ensure that the asset allocation is consistent with the customers goals.

Self-Directed Trading

If you prefer a hands-on approach to investing, then Ally Invest also offers self-directed investment options. Self-directed investment gives you the flexibility to choose which securities you want to invest in, and it offers streaming charts and an ETF screener that can help you make informed decisions.

Ally Invest also offers customers an extensive selection of tradable securities, including stocks, bonds, forex, and options. For investors who are looking for a more traditional approach to investing, Ally Invest offers mutual funds, but they do charge trading fees for these investments.

Security and Fees

Ally Invest has no minimum account balance requirements and offers commission-free trades. This means that customers can invest as little or as much as they want, without worrying about expensive fees cutting into their investments.

They offer a range of different accounts, including individual and joint brokerage accounts, Traditional and Roth IRA accounts, and accounts for businesses and trusts. To ensure that your investments are secure, Ally Invest is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corp (SIPC), which means that your investments are insured up to $500,000 in the event that Ally Invest goes out of business.

Research Tools

Ally Invest offers a variety of research tools that can help you make informed decisions about your investments. They have partnered with Morningstar and Zacks Investment Research to provide their customers with expert analysis and recommendations about different securities.

These resources can be accessed directly through the Ally Invest website, and they are available to all customers free of charge.

Ally Invest Mobile App

Ally Invest also has a mobile app that is available for download on both iOS and Android devices. The app offers customers the ability to invest in stocks and ETFs, research different securities, and monitor their portfolio on the go.

The app also includes an ETF screener, a feature that allows you to easily find ETFs that meet your investment criteria.

Where Ally Invest Falls Short

One area where Ally Invest falls short is with their fees for mutual fund trading. While they are commission-free for most investments, they do charge a $9.95 fee for mutual fund trades.

Additionally, they charge a fee of $0.01 per share for any stock priced under $2.00, which can make investing in penny stocks expensive.

Final Thoughts

Whether youre interested in managed portfolios or self-directed investment options, Ally Invest is a great option for individual investors who are looking for a commission-free trading platform. Offering a variety of research tools and a user-friendly mobile app, Ally Invest provides customers with all the necessary resources to make informed investment decisions.

However, if you frequently invest in mutual funds or penny stocks, you may want to consider an alternative brokerage that doesnt charge fees for these trades. As the online brokerage market continues to evolve, Ally Invest faces fierce competition from other platforms such as Robinhood and Wealthfront.

In this article, well take an in-depth look at how Ally Invest stacks up against industry competitors and who should consider using the platform. Ally Invest vs.


Robinhood was founded in 2013 and has quickly become a household name in the online brokerage space. Robinhood is known for its commission-free trading, simple trading interface, and ability to trade popular cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

When it comes to trading platforms, Robinhood is more user-friendly and has a simpler interface compared to Ally Invest. Robinhoods platform is designed for customers who want to trade stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies in a simple and easy-to-use way.

However, Ally Invest offers a more full-featured platform, which includes a wealth of research tools, charting software, and screening tools. In terms of tradable securities, Ally Invest has more options than Robinhood.

Ally Invest offers commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, options, and bonds. They also offer forex trading for currency investors.

Robinhood, on the other hand, offers commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies only. Ally Invest vs.


Wealthfront is a robo-advisor platform, founded in 2011, which uses algorithms to automate investment decisions and create a diversified portfolio for its clients. Wealthfront is known for creating portfolios with low-cost ETFs and for offering external bank accounts that can be linked to the service.

While Ally Invest offers both managed portfolios and self-directed investment options, Wealthfront only offers robo-advisor services. With Wealthfront, customers answer a few questions about their investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon, and then Wealthfront invests the funds on their behalf.

Investors who are looking for more control over their investment decisions should opt for Ally Invests multitude of self-directed investment options. When it comes to fees, Wealthfront charges a 0.25% advisory fee, which is competitive compared to traditional wealth management firms but higher than what Ally Invest charges for its managed portfolios.

Wealthfront also charges a 0.85% fee on portfolios over $100,000, which is not ideal for investors with larger portfolios. Who Should Use Ally Invest?

Individual investors who are interested in a full-featured platform and investing knowledge will benefit from using Ally Invest. The platforms mix of managed portfolios and self-directed investing options provide different investment strategies for different types of investors.

Customers who prefer a hands-off approach to investing should opt for Ally Invests managed portfolios, which offer a diversified portfolio through the use of ETFs. Those who want more control over their investments may benefit from Ally Invests self-directed investment options, which include access to a variety of tradable securities. Additionally, the platforms educational resources, such as webinars and articles, can help novice investors gain the knowledge they need to invest wisely.

Moreover, Ally Invests overall fee structure is competitive, offering commission-free trades, low advisory fees, and no account minimums.

Next Steps

If youre interested in managed portfolios, Ally Invest offers a great option for hands-off investing that doesnt require a lot of knowledge. To get started with managed portfolios, all you have to do is answer a few questions about your investment goals and risk tolerance, and Ally Invest will create a diversified portfolio through the use of ETFs.

If youre interested in a more hands-on approach to investing, Ally Invest offers a variety of self-directed accounts and tradable securities.

To get started with self-directed accounts, you will need to open an account and fund it with your desired amount. Once your account is open, you can start researching and investing in a variety of securities, including stocks, bonds, options, and forex.

In conclusion, Ally Invest is a commission-free platform that offers both managed portfolios and self-directed investment options to individual investors. It provides a full-featured platform, educational resources, and an extensive selection of tradable securities to meet the different investment needs of customers.

While faced with stiff competition from Robinhood and Wealthfront, Ally Invest stands out as an excellent choice for investors who are looking for a mix of managed portfolios and self-directed options, as well as a broad range of tradable securities. With no account minimums, commission-free trades, and low advisory fees, Ally Invest is an attractive option for investors of all levels who are looking to invest in a simple and affordable way.

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