Ally Invest Review (Formerly TradeKing)

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated September 7, 2021

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September 6, 2021

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Ally Invest, formerly TradeKing, offers the largest variety of investing opportunities when it comes to the best online investment sites. Ally acquired TradeKing in 2016. Not only do they have a broker/trading site — which also offers a wide range of trading options, including mutual funds and IRAs — but it also offers an automated investing service which does all the work of investing for you. Here is a better breakdown of the services that Ally Invest offers.

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Ally Invest Review

Ally Invest Review image
  • Best for: Beginners. Ally Invest makes investing easy and offers a lot of education around the process, so you can make the best decisions when it comes to your money.
  • Price: There are no advisory fees for managed account.
  • Features: Ally Invest offers all the typical investing options, including stocks, options, ETFs, IRAs, mutual funds, bonds, forex and trading on the International Stock Exchange.
  • Other highlights: Ally Invest sets aside a “cash buffer” which is about 30% of your investment, so if the markets suddenly crash, you have cash in the account that is safe from wild fluctuations. It also offers an easy-to-use platform and a mobile app, which are benefits for beginners.
  • Customer service: Ally Invest offers customer service both for technical issues and when you have questions about trading. It has brokers on hand to help with any of your investment questions.

Ally Invest is a discount brokerage firm that only does business online. The company, which is owned by Ally Financial, lets you invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and securities.

Some investors stay away from discount brokerages because they don’t think they will get good services and tools. Ally Invest shows that it’s possible to offer a balanced approach that charges low fees while meeting the needs of investors.

Whether you’ve just started investing or you’re a seasoned pro, Ally Invest has tools that will help you reach your financial goals.

One of the best things about using Ally Invest is that you gain access to a browser-based trading platform that makes it easy for you to plan and execute trades.

There is a slight learning curve for people who don’t have any experience with online trading. As long as you watch the tutorials and give yourself a little time to learn how the system works, though, you shouldn’t have any problems using Ally Invest.

Ally Invest gives members access to a wealth of features to help them make accurate, informed trading decisions.

Education Center

Ally Invest has an Education Center that can teach you something new, whether this is your first trade or your millionth. The Education Center is designed to introduce you to new materials.

When you visit the Education Center, you get to select what level of trader you are (Rookie, Veteran or All-Star). This selection puts you on a track that’s customized for your level of knowledge.

After telling Ally Invest how much experience you have, you can choose a subject that you want to learn about. Subjects include stocks, bonds, ETFs, options and mutual funds. You can even learn by market outlook to take advantage of bullish, bearish, neutral and volatile market environments.

If you don’t know where to start in the Education Center, then it makes sense for you to visit the feature’s most popular content. You’ll find articles, videos and books that change the way you think about earning money from your investments.

Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio

While most people know Ally Invest as an online brokerage that lets investors make their own choices, the company does offer Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio services that may help you earn higher profits.

Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolios from Ally Invest work much like those from other brokerages. You invest a certain amount of money, decide what types of investments interest you and take advice from a professional who knows how to meet your goals.

Using Ally Invest’s Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio service doesn’t guarantee that you will make more money. After all, no one can predict how markets will behave in the future. If it were possible to predict market behavior perfectly, no one would ever lose money investing in markets. Letting a professional manage your investments, however, will increase your chances of turning your investment dollars into larger profits.

Maxit Tax Manager

The federal government always wants to take a cut of the money you earn. Depending on how you invest, though, you could lower your tax burden while still making money. Ally Invest’s Maxit Tax Manager will help you choose investment opportunities that keep your taxes reasonable. It will even generate a 1099 form upon request at any time during the year. Instead of calculating profits and losses on your own, Ally Invest gives you an official form that you can file with your taxes.

Ally Invest Mobile Tracking

A lot of today’s investors know that they have to place trades at precisely the right moment. Making a move a few minutes too early or late could cost them significant profits. Ally Invest offers a mobile app (available on the Google Play and App Store) that makes it possible for you to trade no matter where you go.

The lightweight app is designed to give you real-time updates on your portfolio and balance. When you want updated information, just shake your phone. Your devices sensors will communicate with the app to give you the latest numbers.

Even traders without Apple or Android smartphones can use Ally Invest’s mobile platform. It gives you the same functionality that you get to use when you access the site via a laptop or desktop computer.

Unlike other current trading apps, Ally Invest does not allow fractional shares investing.

With the Ally Invest app, you can stay connected to your account at all times. You never have to miss another trade opportunity that will earn you money.


With so many discount brokerages operating online, companies have to attract potential clients with promotions. Ally Invest offers several promotional opportunities that can put more money in your account.

First up, you can get 90 days of commission-free trades (up to $500 in value), and you can also get up to $3,500 in bonus cash.

If you currently use a different online brokerage, you might face transfer fees when you move your money from the account to Ally Invest. Companies have these fees to prevent customers from leaving. Ally Invest eases the cost of transition by refunding up to $150 of your transfer fees. To qualify, you must open a new account, submit an Account Transfer Form and complete a Transfer Reimbursement Form.

Ally Invest will also pay a portion of your wire transfer fees when you fund your account via wire. To qualify, though, you must make an initial deposit of $2,500 or more. As long as you meet that minimum, Ally Invest will make it cheaper for you to fund your account.

Ally Invest has used these promotions for several months, but they could change at any time. Always check their website to find the latest promotional codes.

Ally Invest uses the LIVE platform, which includes a wide range of tools to keep investors informed. LIVE has gotten a lot of attention from brokerage reviewers. It stands out as an exemplary platform that pleases beginning and expert traders.

Ally Invest LIVE

Ally Invest LIVE is at the heart of why so many people prefer using Ally Invest over other discount brokers. The platform has a simple dashboard that makes it easy for you to understand how your investments are performing. The drag-and-drop feature makes it possible for you to customize the dashboard even if you don’t have any experience with trading, and you can customize the dashboard to show you the information that affects you most.

You also get a wealth of charts. The charts let you choose indicators that may influence your investment choices. With the charts on your side, you can make informed options. You even get several drawing tools so you can create charts that make sense to you. People understand information in different ways. With Ally Invest LIVE, you always get to choose a chart option that fits your learning style.

When you want in-depth information about your account, you can rely on Ally Invest LIVE’s Accounts Overview feature. It goes far beyond the basics to let you know how all of your accounts are performing. You can arrange accounts and trades however you please to make tracking easier.

Speed is one of the most crucial aspects of LIVE’s success. Today’s markets move so fast that you can’t make decisions based on information that’s more than a few minutes old. Ally Invest LIVE provides real-time streaming updates so you have all the information you need to make smart investment decisions.

When it comes to trading platforms, you won’t find many options that beat Ally Invest LIVE. Most investors find that it’s intuitive, fast and full of helpful information.

There aren’t many online brokerages that have prices as low as Ally Invest’s. You pay a $4.95 commission when you trade stocks. Prices go up when you trade other options, but they’re still quite reasonable compared to the cost of using other online brokers.

No-load mutual funds cost $9.95 with Ally Invest. Most online traders charge at least $20. Some charge as much as $50 for no-load mutual funds.

If you want help from a broker, then you can expect to pay $20 plus the commission. Considering that broker-assisted trades can make it easier for you to earn higher profits and avoid trading mistakes, many investors think the extra money is worth it. Besides, you’d pay significantly more if you got in-person advice from a professional broker.

Ally Invest’s prices start to look exceptional when you compare them to other online brokerages. An equity trade that costs $4.95 with Ally Invest will cost $8.95 with OptionsXpress, $9.99 with TD Ameritrade and $9.99 with E*Trade.

Ally Invest also helps you save a considerable amount of money when you trade options. Ally Invest charges $11.45 for 10 contracts. You’ll pay $14.95 with OptionsExpress, $17.49 with TD Ameritrade, and $17.49 with E*Trade.

If you want to trade 100 contracts, Ally Invest helps you save money by charging just $69.95. OptionsXpress charges a whopping $150. E*Trade and TD Ameritrade will ask for $84.99.

It’s smart to read online reviews before you decide whether you want to use an online discount brokerage. Keep in mind, though, that some complaints may come from disgruntled clients who are unhappy because they didn’t make profitable decisions.

In some cases, people will post negative reviews because they are mad. Those reviews don’t necessarily mean that Ally Invest won’t work well for you. In fact, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Ally Invest an A+ rating, which indicates that the company does its job well.

Ally Invest charges $4.95 for each trade, which includes Ally Invest’s penny stock fee.

IRA Fees

Ally Invest charges a $25 IRA closing fee.

Ally Invest gives its members access to free investment tools that can help them make profitable trade decisions. Some of its most useful research tools include:

  • Options pricing calculator
  • Probability calculator
  • Profit and loss calculator
  • Options and strategy scanners
  • Stock, ETF and mutual fund screeners
  • Technical analysis

The calculators make it easy to predict where an investment will head in the near future. An options calculator isn’t a fool-proof oracle, of course. But it can help you determine whether you should take a chance on a trade. It’s always a good idea to consult the probability calculator for extra information. Since the calculators are free for members to use, you shouldn’t ignore them.

The options and strategy scanners let you hone in on option contracts that match your specific criteria. You get to set up to 25 features, such as cost and risk, to determine which contracts meet your investment needs. The scanner will review more than 150,000 options and give you results within seconds. Instead of slogging through research manually, you get immediate answers.

Keep in mind that Ally Invest does not offer cryptocurrency options, so if you are looking to get involved in cryptocurrency trading, you might one to check out some of the cryptocurrency apps available to get started.

The stock, ETF and mutual fund screeners let you choose from a wide range of pre-defined screens. You just pick one that fits your investment strategy. Advanced investors can create custom screens.

Ally Invest’s suite of technical analysis tools uses Recognia software to recognize useful patterns. When it detects a bullish pattern that can help you earn money, it will show you how to take advantage of the trend. You can even have the software send you email alerts when it finds patterns that interest you most.

Whether you want to enjoy Ally Invest penny stocks or Ally Invest forex, these research tools will give you an advantage that leads to more money in your account. After all, Ally Invest benefits when you win.

Experts’ Ally Invest reviews are excellent and celebrated for low pricing, intuitive Ally Invest LIVE platform and abundant educational materials. If you still find yourself asking “is Ally Invest good?” then you should read more Ally Invest reviews, or TradeKing reviews, to see how many positive things people say about the company and its platform.

Just because most experts give favorable reviews (including Ally Invest forex reviews), that doesn’t necessarily mean that Ally Invest is the right online brokerage for you. Negative comments point out that the brokerage doesn’t work well for people who trade infrequently. If you don’t place commission-based trades at least once per year, then you will have to pay the Ally Invest inactivity fee. Currently, the Ally Invest inactivity fee is $50.

Some reviewers complain that Ally Invest doesn’t offer commission-free ETFs. If that’s something that you need, then you should look elsewhere.

You have plenty of discount online brokerages to consider before committing to one. Exploring those options is never a bad idea. Considering that Ally Invest offers so many services and gets so many positive reviews, though, there is a good chance you will decide to use it.

Some people worry that Ally Invest’s low prices indicate lackluster services. None of Ally Invest’s reviews, however, give any credence to this suspicion. Instead, clients often get better research and trading services. If nothing else, the LIVE platform convinces most traders that Ally Invest has the ability to compete against brokerages that charge exceptionally higher fees.

No one else can choose an online brokerage for you. Before you make a financial commitment, review your options, learn about each company’s research tools and get to know the Ally Invest LIVE platform. Every investment comes with some amount of risk. By choosing the right brokerage, you can reduce your risk and improve the possibility of earning more money from your investments.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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