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Ally Bank Investment App Review: Is it Safe & Legit? +Fees & Good Info

Jordan Beaumont
Financial Guru
Updated: 6/2019
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Ally Invest
Why Ally Invest?
  • Relatively low fees
  • Variety of investment vehicles
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Option for Managed Portfolio or Self-directed Trading
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Ally Invest App ReviewMillions of Americans need to take advantage of the many investment opportunities available throughout the country. They have to start putting aside money that will appreciate in order to eventually realize the money that they will need to retire.

While many Americans only think about the next set of bills, they must make the shift towards long-term planning in the near future. But many people do not know how to get started with the investment process. They do not know who they should work with and what their first investment steps should be. This void is what Ally Invest hopes to fill.

Ally Invest is an investment suite offered by Ally Bank that is able to effectively streamline the investment process for both beginning and mature investors. In many ways, Ally Invest is the ultimate product for this wide range of individuals. In fact we reviewed it as one of the best investment app choices in another article recently published.

Table of Contents

The importance of investing

Investing is a critical skill that is lost on millions of Americans today. A shocking number of people have almost no money in savings and are instead thousands of dollars in debt. Millions of Americans that do save their money do not invest at all. They believe that a high amount of money in savings will save their chances for retirement in the long term. They may also believe that a few safe bonds that are insured by the United States government will provide the rest.

Such a combination can classify the high end of many retirement packages in the United States. These individuals fail to grasp the incredibly low returns on savings that have defined savings accounts over the past decade. The return from savings is simply not enough to keep up with inflation in the current savings scenario.

Ally Invest App Review

A seemingly prudent strategy based on savings is in fact not prudent at all. As a result, attempting to save for retirement without investing will simply lose an individual large amount of money over time. There has also been a virtual elimination of the presence of pension funds in many jobs. Jobs simply do not offer pensions anymore.

Individuals cannot count on their employer taking care of them when they retire. Employers offer 401K programs that allow an individual to take advantage of tax-deferred accounts to save for their own retirement. Those savings only make sense with an individual invests in trusts or in the stock market.

When they do become interested, many Americans only have a cursory understanding of the basic purpose of investing. They consistently worry about every fluctuation in the stock market. A bad day for the Dow Jones Industrial Average means that many people get skittish and even take their money out of the market. Individuals place their money in mutual funds that charge massive fees and produce relatively low returns.

Individuals are also often taken advantage of by brokerage firms. These firms offer tailored advice and the ability to buy and sell large numbers of stocks and complicated financial instruments. Brokers have highly-decorated offices, tailored salesman, and products that seem too good to be true.

Brokerage houses also charged several percent for their decisions and sometimes do not even act in the best interests of their clients. A large number of these firms are able to offer whatever potential suitable financial instruments will earn them the most money from commissions even if those instruments are not the best for clients.

But because American culture has hammered home the importance of these individuals, many Americans believe that they are required in order to assure a successful retirement. This advice is not particularly helpful. It is true that investing with a brokerage house is much more beneficial than simply working off of savings.

But the use of a brokerage house involves an individual paying five to ten times more than they would have to if they worked through an app such as Ally Invest. They can use Ally to embrace an investment strategy that focuses on exchange-traded funds and index funds. Ally invest provides the tools and information necessary to utilize the investment strategy that experts suggest will lead to the most financial success.

Ally Invest Target Audience

There are a number of groups targeted by this app. One group that needs an app like Ally Invest is young investors. Young investors may be confused about the process and not have considerable experience in investing. These individuals need help getting into investing. They need to be guided through the basics of picking an investment and following that investment over a period of time.

Young investors also need a certain amount of convenience in order to make investing is easy and simple as possible. Convenience allows young investors to make the most out of their potentially limited funds. The Ally invest app is particularly convenient because it is connected to Ally Bank.

Ally Bank is one of the largest online banks in the world and provides a much higher rate of interest than most competitors. Young people can easily check their bank account as well as their investment account in the span of a few seconds. If they already have an open bank account with Ally then its easy to sign up for an investing account too.

Young people also need guidance in many instances about how best to set and follow an investment plan. This information is provided by apps like Ally Invest. Ally Invest has tools that discuss and summarize the most common types of investment approaches. They provide the same amount and type of guidance as investment brokers for a fraction of the cost. One of these common investment attributes that Ally Invest provides is a targeted retirement investment fund.

Some individuals simply do not want to have to worry about balancing and redirecting their funds every month or every few months. They do not want to have to think about the importance of different asset classes and how that performance may have changed with recent news. A targeted retirement fund like that offered by Ally Invest allows an individual to have another company or another app decide what balance of risk and reward they should be invested in.

The targeted retirement fund changes allocations over time depending on what the company believes the individual should take on in terms of risk. Of course, Ally Invest is not the only app that offers this targeted retirement service for younger investors.

However, it offers the service without costly overruns and service charges that are associated with the vast majority of brokerage services. An individual can receive targeted retirement fund information at the lowest possible price and with a company that treats them well in the banking sector.

More mature investors may also take advantage of an app like Ally Invest. These individuals are much more worried about the amount of money that they will have for retirement than younger investors. Unlike younger investors, they have to constantly worry about a balance between risk and making enough money for them to retire in the near future.

Retiring in the near future is a daunting task that requires a close consideration of a large variety of investment products. Ally Invest provides this information along with guidance as to the specific instruments that mature investors might need. Ally Invest also provides metrics that guide older investors in tracking the success of stocks and bonds over time.

Ally Invest App Review

Ally Invest Platform

The Ally Invest platform has a number of different attributes to it. In one area, an individual can track their investments and their performance. They can view all of the potential investments that they could take advantage of and then pick the ones that are best for them. These individuals can see how their investments have performed over time and how they are projected to perform.

Invest has areas where individuals can view their connected bank information and any required forms or tax information that they have to process. This information is helpful whenever they have to report their investment income or pay taxes on that income.

In addition, users can easily access support areas where they can talk with an investment professional or a customer support representative when they need to. These officials can help guide an individual through either investing or the particulars of the website.

There is also a section for technical analysis. Technical analysis is a complicated process where individuals study past performance along with the psychology of investors in order to help determine how companies will perform in the future.

Ally Invest provides a basic number of charts, pattern guides, and informational documents that help uses explain and understand technical analysis for stocks. Individuals can view and compare charts from different historical periods in order to determine when and how to buy a particular stock. Finally, there are sections that provide news reports and trade publications that detail all of the fundamentals surrounding a stock. The fundamentals ensure that an individual will know how to best decide on a stock or investment fund.

Final decision

Ally Invest is a clear choice for almost all investors. Some investors will need more technical analysis tools and options for mutual fund and exotic instrument investing. But these exceptions are few and far between. Instead, many more individuals will enjoy and take advantage of the abilities and opportunities offered by Ally Invest. Ally Invest is also head and shoulders above many of its competitors offered by banks. The service has a much lower fee rate and the ability to invest without the expensive support of a broker.

In addition, individuals have a connection with a better bank than many other bank-connected investment accounts. Ally’s massive savings account interest rates allow users to make the most out of the money that is not being utilized in an investment account. Convenience, trust, and versatility are the primary reasons for using Ally Invest over its many potential competitors.

Conclusion

Individuals who have not considered investing need to do so immediately. Investing may be the future of their financial success. It could mean the difference between retiring on time or retiring five, ten, or twenty years later than an individual originally wanted. When an individual has decided what they want to invest, they should consider Ally Invest in most instances.

Ally Invest will help them make investment decisions, allocate their investments, and decide between different investments in a timely manner. It is essential for the vast majority of both young and mature investors alike.

If you’re looking to diversify your investments, you should also consider Motif investing and real estate investing. We also have a lot of resources to help you on that.

If you’re just looking for a convenient way to transfer money online, you should check out Square Cash

FAQ

Ford Lauderdale, Florida-based Ally Invest is a noteworthy and reputed online broker, offering options for automated portfolio management and forex trading at a reasonable base commission of $4.95.

Ally Invest is patronized mostly by active, options, and Forex traders because of reasonable costs, competitive commission rates, state-of-the-art trading and charting tools and calculators. More importantly, Ally Invest is a user-friendly trading platform. Beginners, moreover, require no account minimum. The following are the basic facts about Ally Invest.

The Basics

Here’s what you need to know about Ally Invest before signing up.

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What is Ally Invest?

Ally Invest is basically a web-based trading platform that streams on HTML 5. It allows online investor account management, portfolio access, and seamless trading across multiple devices including Android and iPhone tablet apps and/or mobile phones.

How does Ally Invest work?

To begin with, Ally Invest comes with no account minimum. You just need to set up an account of your choice and make full use of Ally Invest’s research tools and investment options to trade in stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, and options.

Is Ally Invest safe?

Yes, it is, as a simple online brokerage account for active traders looking at lower commissions; and advanced traders in the futures or Forex sectors.

Is Alley Invest good for beginners?

Not really. This is because Ally Invest doesn’t educate beginners on the principles of stock trading or virtual facilities to practice the art of trading before actually getting into the market.

Is Ally Invest legit?

General reports about Ally Invest’s legitimacy have been good so far. This is mainly because of the lower commissions, easy entry, advanced trading tools and research that the company does. However, there are no physical locations.

How to use Ally Invest?

You have to first open an Ally trading account and get into the screen for order entry. There are five options to buy and sell shares, read share prices, put in order types and mention the duration.

Does Ally Invest have mutual funds?

Yes, it does. The charges for buying and selling a mutual fund is $9.95. This, however, is a somewhat too high because some of Ally Invest’s competitors offer mutual fund trading for free.

Does Ally Invest offer portfolio margin?

No, currently it doesn’t. However, you may have a margin account to borrow funds to trade from Ally Invest against other securities held in your account currently as collateral like cash or stock.

Is Ally Automated Invest good?

Yes and no. Even though Ally Invest’s fees and commissions are reasonable, day traders don’t stand to gain. Moreover, it’s not the ideal platform for beginners because of its lack of simulator trading as also investment training.

Does Ally Invest charge fees?

Yes, it does. Stock Trades – $4.95 per trade; Options Trades – $4.95 plus $.65 per contract;
Mutual Funds – $0 for loaded funds and $9.95 for non-loaded funds; Bonds – $1.00 per bond; Treasury trades – $0.

Does Ally Invest have help for beginners?

No, it doesn’t because it doesn’t have either trading simulators or any form of investment training. However, its Featured Rookie Strategy helps you learn about investment strategies.

Does Ally Stock investing have an app?

Yes, it does. It’s an iPhone, iPad and Android App that requires your online banking password and username to trade in multi-leg options and stocks from a mobile device.

Why can't I update the Ally Invest app?

This is because the App is programmed to allow only stock and multi-leg options trading. It is not designed and created to buy bonds and other investment instruments.

What does Ally charge to transfer an investment account?

There are currently no charges for transferring an investment account to and from another institution. The same applies for electronic transfers if a bank account is linked to an Ally Invest account.

What company did Ally Invest acquire?

Ally Financial, which is an online firm for banking, insurance and automotive financing has acquired a robo-adviser, the TradeKing Group. The latter is a direct-to-consumer and brokerage robo-adviser.

Is Ally Invest an ECN broker?

No, it isn’t because Forex and Futures accounts are available to self-directed investors. These, however, are not protected by the SIPC or Securities Investor Protection Corp or FDIC or Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Is there an inactivity fee for Ally Invest?

Yes, it does. The inactivity fee charges are $50.00 annually for any account having a balance less than $2,500 balance or doesn’t trade at least once in a year.

Investing through Ally Invest

Known to be a user-friendly platform, investing through Ally Invest is easy. All you need to do is to open an Interest Checking, CD, Online Savings, IRA or Money Market account on the products page and subsequently choosing the funding options and terms you prefer.

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Can I invest in Ally while working abroad?

Yes, you can, provided you have a valid Social Security number and have resided legally in the US for a certain period of time. Accounts can also be opened by active defense personnel posted abroad.

Can a non-resident invest in Ally certificate of deposit?

No, they can’t. Ally Invest policies do not permit foreign residents to open accounts or hold certificates of deposit. Only US residents with a valid Social Security Number are eligible for the this. A Chase Bank savings account may be an option for you.

Can you open two accounts at Ally Investment?

Yes, you can. This will be in the form of savings accounts, each with its own goal of holding emergency funds, vacationing funds or for making housing payments.

Why is my account restricted at Ally Invest?

This is because deposits are sent to the DTCC for processing, while being monitored until clearance is received from the transfer agent. Until then the sale of a security is restricted at the account level from trading until the process of transfer is completed.

Can you buy and sell stocks at Ally Invest?

Yes, you can. Once you open a trading account with Ally Invest, you automatically acquire the right to trade online through buying and selling options available on your screen.

How do I add money to my Ally Invest?

This can be done through Debit Card (the most common method applicable), wire transfer, eChecks for transferring funds from your bank to the Ally Invest Forex account and Check Deposit.

How to buy 10-year bonds in Ally Invest?

On your trading options page, there is a Buy Bonds option on which you need to click. You then select the bond you wish to buy and make the payment from your account.

Why can’t I buy bonds through Ally Invest?

Buying bonds is possible through Ally Invest at a fee of $1 per bond. However, you need to carefully consider the bond terms, interest payable and other features before buying. 

Can I trade premarket with Ally Invest?

Yes, you can through Ally Invest Securities. The hours beyond customary market timings are 4PM-5PM and 8AM-9:30AM EST. However, the facility restricts you to enter limit orders only.

How to sync an Ally Investment account to Betterment?

You can sync your Ally Investment account with Betterment by using ACATS or the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service. Also called an in-kind transfer, this again is a fully online process.

How to use an Ally Invest tax form?

You have to be familiar with certain software for tax preparation such as TaxSlayer, H&R Block’s tax or TurboTax step-by-step guide to filling out the online form and uploading all required documents.

How to get approved for options trading on Ally Invest?

To get approval, you have to send a signed letter to Ally Invest outlining your trading credentials and awareness of all concerned trading risks. This would protect them from any liability in future.

How to sell the last stock bought on Ally Invest?

The last stock bought will show in your account. You just need to go to account settings, select the stock in question and click on the sell option. The sale proceeds will show in your account.

How to buy corporate bonds at Ally Invest?

It’s again through your Ally Invest trading account. You can buy either from the primary or secondary bond markets by clicking on the Bonds Purchase option of your account settings. 

What is an Ally Invest DTC number?

0158 is the DTC number and it’s used for transferring individual stock positions from one broker to another. A DTC transfer normally takes 1 day with the exception of certain OTC penny stocks as also pink sheets.

Does Ally invest in Keystone?

Not really. It has a strategic alliance with Thor, the world’s largest recreation vehicles manufacturer and Keystone RV offers its securities services and products through Ally Invest.

How to buy a mutual fund on Ally Invest?

You can either opt for lump-sum investing with a substantial amount of cash in one go or resort to dollar-cost averaging. Buying is done through the Mutual Funds option of your trading account’s settings.

How to buy bonds at Ally Invest?

There is a Buy Bonds option in the Products page. You have to log in through your account and click on Buy Bonds to do the needful.

How to make an order on Ally Invest?

You can make trailing stop, one-triggers-other or contingent orders through the Settings page of your personal trading account. Just select the stocks on which you want to place the order and click.

How to setup DRIP Ally Investment?

You need to place an online request for DRIP and Ally Invest will set up your account accordingly for automatically enrolling in DRIP for any eligible security you purchase. A security, however, needs enrollment for DRIP for reinvestment of any dividend.

How to sell investments in Ally Investment account?

You sell your investments through the Ally Invest platform’s advanced trading interface. This allows multiple transactions to be done from one page, including setting up covered calls, spreads, puts, and straddles.

Does Ally Invest trade OTCs?

Yes, Ally Invest allows its customers to trade in OTC or penny stocks. You have a choice from over 51,000 available stocks, even though Ally Invest’s screener can’t search specifically for OTC securities.

Does Ally Invest reimburse ACAT fees?

Yes, it does. The amount is up to $150 by way of fees to transfer an account from another brokerage firm. By ongoing market rates, this amount is quite generous. 

Does Ally Invest allow after hours trading?

Yes, this is possible through Ally Invest Securities LLC. The specified trading hours beyond regular hours are 8AM-9:30AM a s also between 4PM and 5PM EST. However, you can only enter limit orders.

How long does Ally Invest take to review transfers?

Wire transfers that take place through a non-banking institution take a few minutes only. A domestic wire transfer is usually done within 24 hours, particularly those occurring between accounts of a common financial institution.

How to download into Quicken from Ally Invest?

Log in to online banking for using Web Connect. Subsequently select the account to be reconciled in Quicken. Select Download in Transaction History, entering the date range. History over the last 18 months can be downloaded.

How to set price alerts with Ally Invest?

Select More and then Alerts to link your Mobile Number with Ally Invest. On receiving a text from the latter, reply YES for verification. Price alerts will be sent to that number thereafter.

How do I close my Ally investment account?

To close your account, you first move your investments to another broker or liquidate them all. Then you place a call to the Ally Invest client service center and request for an account termination.

Is Ally Invest Truly Worth Investing In?

It’s that inevitable and moot question now: Is Ally Invest truly worth patronizing? The answer is yes. However, a few drawbacks that the platform has, also need to be considered carefully before signing on. After all, it’s your money and you need to be doubly careful to protect it at all costs. Here are the Ally Invest pros and cons:

Pros:

Product Variety: Access to nearly all investment instruments, including Forex and futures, which many brokerages don’t offer under one roof.

Low Pricing: hard to beat low fees for trading at $4.95 only for ETF trades and basic stock, regardless of the trade value.

Research & Tools: The availability of real-time quotes, market streaming, account balances and data at the click of a mouse is most helpful to active and Forex traders, who constantly need to refer to the latest price fluctuations to book profits.

Availability of Financial Education: The Ally Invest education section and FAQ page clearly explain all relevant investment jargon for the benefit of novices to familiarize themselves with the intricate nuances of investing.

Efficient Customer Service: 24/7 customer service available over phone along with 24/7 live chatting option.

Cons:

Lack of physical locations: There is no place to visit as Ally Invest is an online-only organization. Face to face contact is, therefore, impossible to solve a problem or to ask for advice.

Transaction fees charged for mutual funds: Ally charges fees for trading in mutual funds whereas many of its competitors don’t. Can be a real bummer.

IRA fees payable: Even though you have the option of investing in an IRA straight from your personal brokerage account, a $50 fee is payable for transferring or closing the account.

If I put 2500 in an Ally investment, what is the growth?

You may expect an ETF expense ratio of around 0.09%. This would help you record more profits on your investments instead of losses.

How much interest does Ally Invest cash pay?

None. Ally Invest Securities LLC’s cash balances don’t currently offer any interest. However, its Cash Sweep Program, an FDIC- insured deposit account has a current yield of  0.01%

Who does Ally Bank invest in?

Ally bank invests mostly in the automotive, business services, consumer products/retail finance, industrial, distribution, manufacturing, healthcare and technology finance sectors by way of loans, leverage financing, and venture capital financing.  

How to get 10k from Ally Invest?

10K are regularly filed by Ally Invest with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). All you need to do is to contact the SEC for the relevant 10K that you’re looking for.

Jordan Beaumont

Jordan Beaumont

Financial Guru

Jordan's work focuses on helping people reach their financial goals so they can spend more time with family and friends and less time worrying about their budget. After finishing college with a degree in Accounting and Communication, he realized that these are the most important things in life and that people shouldn’t miss out because of money.

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