Ally Invest Review: Managed Portfolios with No Minimum Balance
If you’re looking for a place to invest for your future, Ally Financial might be a good option for you. When you visit Ally.com, you’ll find several different investment accounts you can quickly open online, including self-managed accounts and accounts managed by professionals.
“Transferring money from my savings account is quick and painless,” one Ally invest user wrote in an August 2017 review. “The money is available to be invested in one business day. All and all, I very much recommend Ally Bank. They have competitive rates, quality customer service, and a user-friendly platform.”
However, while Ally Invest has lots of perks, there are also a few downsides. Find out what Ally Invest can offer you so you can decide if it’s the best investment choice for you.
Ally Invest review: A versatile investment platform with low fees
Ally invest offers three different kinds of investment accounts: A self-directed investment account, a managed investment account, and a Forex account.
- Ally’s self-directed investment account puts you in control. You can invest in stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and bonds. There is no minimum balance required to open a self-directed investment account.
- Managed portfolios let you invest your money effortlessly, but there’s a $2,500 minimum balance requirement to get started. When you have a managed portfolio, a portfolio is recommended for you by Ally Invest, based on your investment goals and risk tolerance. Your money is invested in appropriate index funds, and your investments are continuously monitored and updated based on market conditions and changing risk tolerance.
- Forexfutures are for advanced investors and allow you to trade currencies. The minimum investment required to open a Forex account is just $250, but Ally recommends starting with at least $2,500 to take full advantage of features available.
You can find out about each of these three different options by selecting “Invest” from the Ally.com homepage.
How much does it cost to invest?
It doesn’t cost you anything to get started investing with Ally invest, although you will have to meet minimum balance requirements if your account has one.
You do, however, have to pay fees for making investments within your Ally Invest accounts — and you’ll also pay an advisory fee for managed investments. These fees vary depending upon the investments you make:
- ETFs or stocks: You’ll pay $4.95 to buy or sell ETFs or stocks. Stocks allow you to invest directly into companies, while ETFs are funds that give you exposure to different asset classes.
- Options contract: You’ll pay $0.65 per options contract plus a $4.95 base fee. An options contract guarantees you the right to buy or sell assets at a fixed price if you choose to do so.
- Bonds: You’ll pay $10 per bond with a $10 minimum. Bonds make it possible for you to invest in debt — they are essentially IOUs from governments or corporations.
- Managed account: You’ll pay a 0.30% annual advisory fee if you invest in a managed account. According to Ally, this is below the industry average of 1.02%.
- Forex futures: You’ll pay as low as $0.45 per contract for Forex futures, which are contracts that allow you to buy currency at a set price at a specific future date.
Fees for options and stock trades are on par with, or lower than, many competitors. For example, Fidelity also charges a $4.95 commission for stock trades, while Scottrade charges $6.95. However, Ally Invest does not offer any mutual funds or ETFs that are commission-free, while many competitors do.
How do you open an Ally Invest account?
You can open an Ally account online. You’ll need some basic information, including:
- Your name, address, and telephone number
- Your Social Security number
- Financial information to fund your account
Once you have everything ready, begin the process by visiting Ally.com/Invest. You can scroll down the Ally homepage to learn about the most common type of investment accounts Ally Financial offers.
After reading about the different account options, you can either click “Open Account” within the box describing your chosen account type or “Get Started” at the top of the page. You will then have to select either a self-directed trading account or an Ally Invest Managed portfolio.
On the next page, you can either sign up for a new Ally account or log in to your existing account if you already have a savings or checking account with Ally. To move forward, either enter your login information or input your full name and email address.
Next, select whether you want to open an individual account, a joint account, or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). A joint account is one you co-own with another person, and an IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement account you can use to put pre-tax funds aside to save for retirement.
You’ll need to fill out a detailed application, and an account can be opened right away online after completing the application process. Your account can then be funded in a number of different ways, including wire transfer, mailing a check, online transfer from another bank, or online transfer from another broker.
How does investing with Ally Invest help you?
Ally Invest provides flexibility since you can choose if you want to manage your money yourself or opt for the managed account to take a more hands-off approach.
No minimum balance requirements and an online process for opening an account make it easy to get started, and good customer service allows you to get questions answered quickly.
“Their customer service representatives are always knowledgeable and quick to find the correct and accurate answer to their customers’ questions,” according to one customer’s 2017 review.
Access to real-time stock quotes, in-depth research and market analysis, streaming charts, and informational services including a profit and loss calculator and a probability calculator also help you find the information you need to make smart investment choices.
Pros and cons of investing with Ally Invest
Ally Financial offers a versatile array of options with Ally Invest, making it a great choice both for beginning and advanced investors.
- Low costs:Credit Donkey described Ally Invest’s fees as some of the lowest in the industry.
- Flexibility: Choose if you want to manage your money yourself or hand over control.
- No minimum balances or low minimum balances: You don’t need a fortune to start investing, even if you opt for the managed investment account.
- Plenty of educational materials: Market and company snapshots, real-time streaming quotes, customized watchlists, and market data are just some of the informational tools you can use. You also have 24/7 access to brokers who can answer your questions.
- An absence of no-commission ETFs and mutual funds, which many competitors offer. Because you will have to pay a commission, it costs more for you to buy and sell ETFs and funds than with many competitors.
- No physical branches to visit if you have questions or concerns. Because Ally Financial is an online-only institution, you’ll need to rely on their 24/7 phone or computer support.
Because of the range of different accounts offered, Ally can be a great choice for both beginning investors who want a professional to manage their money and for advanced investors who want to control their investments and even enter the high-risk Forex market.
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