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Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading Review 2022: Is It Right For You?

Ashley Jackson

Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading offers competitive pricing on stocks, ETFs, options contracts, and robust research tools to help you make better-informed investment decisions. There is no minimum deposit requirement and investors looking to transfer in from another broker could receive up to $75 to cover the cost. 

Overall rating

4.5

Summary: Ally Invest is best for investors looking for a low-cost self-directed platform and several product offerings to build a diversified portfolio. 

Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading

ally invest logo

$0 - $9.95

Fee Per Trade

$0

Account Minimum


Reviews

5

Account Opening

4

Fees

5

Deposits & Withdrawals

5

Trading Platform

4.5

Markets & Products

4.5

Research Tools

5

Education

3

Customer Service

5

Safe & Secure

Pros

  • No minimum deposit required 
  • Receive up to $75 for brokerage transfers 
  • Several product offerings 
  • Low fees for options contracts 
  • Up to $3,000 cash bonus

Cons

  • Crypto not supported
  • Mutual fund fee

Best For

  • No commissions 
  • Range of ETFs 
  • Research tools

Features

HQCharlotte, North Carolina, United States
AccountsIndividual, joint, and custodial taxable accounts, traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRAs, and Coverdell accounts 
InstrumentsStocks, ETFs, Options, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Low-Priced Securities (less than $2) 
RegulationMember of FINRA and SEC-registered 
Minimum Deposit$0
Fees– $0 commission for most assets
– $9.95 per mutual fund trade
– $0 + 0.50c per options contract 
– $1 per bond 
– $4.95 per low-priced security
Demo AccountNone
LeverageMargin lending is available. Ratio is not disclosed
Trading PlatformsWeb and Mobile App
State RestrictionsAvailable in all States

In depth review on Ally Invest Self-Direct Trading  

Ally Invest Self-Direct Trading is ideal for investors looking for no account minimums and competitive fees. In addition, investors may find it helpful to use some of the research tools to make better-informed decisions.

Ally Invest Self-Direct Trading is best for  

  • No commissions: With Ally Invest you can start trading with no commission fees for stocks and ETFs.  
  • Range of ETFs: Diversify your portfolio with a range of ETFs from Vanguard, iShares, and many other market leaders.  
  • Research tools: Use charts, and watchlists, and get market stats that help you make better-informed investment decisions.  

Ally Invest Self-Direct Trading benefits   

  • No minimum deposit required: You can get started with a self-directed brokerage account for $0. Margin accounts require a $2,000 minimum deposit.  
  • Covers up to $75 for brokerage transfers: When you transfer funds from another broker, Ally Invest will cover up to $75 in brokerage fees. The minimum transfer to qualify is $2,500.  
  • Several product offerings: Get started with a range of product offerings including stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, and mutual funds. 
  • Low fees for options contracts: Investors looking to trade in options can place orders with a low 0.50c fee per contract.  
  • Up to $3,000 cash bonus: When you open an Ally Invest Self-Directed account you could be eligible to receive between $100 to $3,000 as a cash bonus. The minimum qualifying deposit is $10,000 to receive a $100 bonus and $2 million to receive a $3,000 bonus. All accounts are reviewed within 60 days of opening to determine whether you qualify for the bonus. Other restrictions apply.  

Ally Invest Self-Direct Trading drawbacks   

  • Crypto not supported: If you’re looking to directly invest in crypto assets, it’s best to consider alternative brokers as Ally Invest only accepts interactions with US dollars. However, you can invest in crypto trusts, and bitcoin futures via ETFs and crypto stocks such as Coinbase or MicroStrategy to gain indirect exposure. It’s important to understand the risk before investing in crypto as these can be highly volatile assets. 
  • Mutual fund fee: There is a $9.95 fee per trade for mutual funds.  

Account opening   

5

Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading supports a range of accounts including: 

  • Individual taxable account  
  • Joint accounts
  • Custodial taxable accounts 
  • Traditional IRA 
  • Roth IRA 
  • Rollover IRAs 
  • Coverdell accounts 

You can open an account online in a few minutes. Once you fill out the application and choose the account type, you’ll receive an approval email inviting you to start investing.  

To be eligible to open an account, you’ll need to have a social security number and a US residential address. In addition, you must be a US citizen and over the age of 18 years old.  

Fees   

4

There are no commissions for US stocks or ETFs. However, you can expect to pay the following fees for other product offerings: 

  • Options: $0 + 0.50c per contract 
  • Bonds: $1 per bond 
  • Mutual Funds: $9.95 
  • Low-priced securities: $4.95 

Other account fees for Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading include: 

Foreign Stock Incoming Transfer Fee $50 per position 
Paper Confirmations $2 
Paper Statements > 2 Years $4 per statement 
1099 Request for Exempt Accounts $50 
Pre-Pay Settlement Fee $20 
Source: Ally Invest 

You can view a full list of Ally invest Self-Directed Trading on their website.  

Deposits and withdrawals   

5

To request a transfer from another broker, you can fill out an online application. It typically takes 5 – 7 business days to complete a request. Brokerage fees are eligible to be reimbursed for up to $75 when you transfer $2,500 or more.  

Other methods to deposit funds include: 

  • ACH transfers  
  • Wire transfers  
  • Checks  
  • Cashier’s check 

For withdrawals, there is a $30 fee for wire transfers and a $5 fee for checks.   

Trading platform   

5

Ally Invest offers web and mobile app platforms. With the mobile app, you can track your portfolio and stay up to date with the market from anywhere.  

Plus, the browser-based platform offers several features including charts, watchlists, profit/loss, and research tools to stay on top of market data and events. 

Markets and products   

4.5

With Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading, you can invest in a broad range of products. These include: 

  • Stocks 
  • ETFs 
  • Options 
  • Bonds 
  • Mutual Funds 
  • Low Priced Securities 

When you invest with a self-directed trading account, you have complete control over your portfolio and decisions. Certain products such as options are subject to greater volatility than others.

Cryptocurrencies are not available.

Research tools   

4.5

Ally Invest provides several research tools to help you make better-informed decisions about your investments. Experienced investors can benefit from option chains, profit and loss calculators, or probability calculators. Beginner investors may find the performance charts and watchlists a great way to follow market data and stay on top of their portfolios.  

Education   

5

Ally Invest provides a range of articles on the following topics:  

  • Savings  
  • Retirement  
  • Building a nest egg  
  • Managing family finances  

In addition, you’ll find further information on getting started with stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, mutual funds, and low-priced securities on their website. Some examples of articles include: 

  • The importance of rebalancing your portfolio 
  • Tax implications between ETFs and mutual funds 
  • Market volatility for stocks 

For more tips, you can visit the Ally Invest blog.   

Customer service   

3

You can get in touch with Ally Invest via chat, phone, or email. 

Unfortunately, according to Trustpilot, Ally Invest have a less than positive rating on Trustpilot where many users complain about the lack of quality customer service.  

Safe and secure   

5

As a member of the SIPC, investments are insured for up to $500,000 and up to $250,000 cash. In addition, for your peace of mind, Ally Invest implements security measures to protect your information. Some of these include: 

  • 2-step authentication: Adds an extra layer of protection to prevent unauthorized logins on your account.  
  • Anti-virus and anti-malware protection: Prevents viruses and malicious software. 
  • Firewalls: Blocks unauthorized access.  
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption: Protects information from being intercepted through the use of secure connections.  
  • Automatic logout: Logs you out of your session after a period of inactivity.  
  • Account monitoring: Ally Invest monitors your account for potential fraud.  
  • Credential security: All customers will have a unique username and password. Ally Invest recommends that you do not share this information with others.  

Plus, the online and mobile security guarantee ensures that customers are not liable for unauthorized transactions as long as they are reposted within 60 days. To report an unauthorized transaction, you can call 1-877-247-2559.  

If you suspect fraud, you can call the Ally Invest fraud helpline at 1-833-226-1520. 

Is Ally Invest Self-Direct Trading right for you?  

Ally Invest Self-Direct Trading is best for investors looking for a range of product offerings at a low and affordable cost. There is no minimum balance to open an account and you could be eligible to receive $75 to cover brokerage fees when you transfer $2,500 or more. 

While some crypto-specific funds and stocks provide your portfolio with indirect exposure to crypto, Ally invest does not directly support crypto assets. Investors looking to invest directly in cryptocurrencies should consider alternative options.