Pros / Ally Invest offers a low, flat-rate trade fee.
Cons / The online platform is not customizable.
Verdict / With low trading costs and an easy-to-use platform, Ally Invest provides good value for experienced traders, but it’s not the ideal service for beginners since it lacks a trading simulator and investment training.
Ally Invest is an online stock broker that offers a variety of trading options and platforms to help you build your portfolio. Ally Invest offers a great selection of investment tools, charts, graphs and calculators to help you manage your account. The education center has free resources to teach you about different types of investments and trading styles. It also has an active trading network to connect you with other traders to exchange ideas and get advice for stock trading online.
The online stock trading website, Ally Invest, is web-based and is simple and intuitive to use. While the platform is easy to use, you also have less control over the layout. You can shift around sections, but you can't add new watch lists, option chains or other gadgets that other services offer.
You have access to resources on the same site as your investment platform. A wide variety of investment and trading tools are available to help you make the most of your investments. These tools help you track movements in the market and view your account information in detail.
Market snapshots and stats provide both real-time and historical views into the stock market. Snapshots show you quick pictures of what is happening in the market, while stats chart the 200-day averages of stocks. Other tools allow you to get in-depth looks at possible investments by showing company profiles and financial reports. With these tools, you can see company equity, profit margins, returns on assets and business descriptions – information that is vital when you are considering putting your money into a company. The watch list allows you to monitor investments you are interested in, in real time. You can also get streaming quotes.
Ally Invest offers technical analysis and research reports to help you gauge future movements in the market, and the company provides complex information in chart form to make it easy to understand. You can customize several interactive charts so that you easily see the data you want to view.
A mobile stock trading app is available for both iPhone and Android. You have access to your accounts and portfolio, and you can create charts, watch lists, option chains and alerts. In terms of online trading, you can complete standard stock trades and single or multi-leg options. One drawback of Ally Invest's mobile app is that it doesn't allow you to transfer funds into your account. You'll need to fund accounts through the desktop platform.
This service offers a low, flat-rate fee of $4.95 for stock, ETF and options trading. Its trade fee is not tiered, meaning you get the same price no matter how much or how little you trade. Options come with a standard per-contract fee of $0.65, which is lower than what many other services charge. The cost of an option exercise is $9.95 and assignment is $4.95.
Broker-assisted trades are $20, and there is a non-activity fee of $50 if you make no commissioned trades in a 12-month period and if your household account is less than $2,500. Margin interest rates are average, starting at 9.25% for balances under $5,000 and dropping to as low as 4.50% for accounts with balances greater than $500,000.
The education center is full of useful information about investments, investing styles and investing terms. You can choose the information you want to learn about based on your level of trading experience or by the topic.
You can learn basics about buying stocks online by reading short, comprehensive guides and blogs written by other traders. A key feature in the beginner’s section is the Featured Rookie Strategy, which gives you thorough breakdowns and explanations of investment strategies. These guides can even be useful to seasoned investors curious about using a new strategy. If you need additional assistance with your trading, you can access customer service agents during normal business hours over the phone, via email and through live chat.
Ally Invest's online stock trading software doesn't offer simulated trading as one of its training tools. This can be helpful for testing strategies and getting familiar with the trading platform, and some of the best services offer this training feature.
- Stock Trades
- 10 Option Contracts
- Broker-Assisted Stocks Trades
Ally Invest's non-tiered rates and uncomplicated pricing make it a good value among online brokers. You also get useful research information and analytical tools, and you have access to educational resources and customer service if you need it. It’s missing certain features such as a trading simulator and a customizable interface, but with Ally Invest's strong trading and investment tools, you can analyze your potential investments carefully and then execute with precision, making this one of the best online stock trading choices.