Ally Invest vs Charles Schwab: online stock brokers comparison: which brokerage firm to choose?

Charles Schwab Review
Rating TradeKing brokerage firm rating 4-star brokerage firm rating
Stocks $4.95 $4.95
Options (per contract) $0.65 $0.65
Mutual Funds $9.95 buy and sell $76
Initial Funding Requirement $0 $1,000
Inactivity Fee $0 $0
IRA Annual Fee $0 $0
IRA Termination Fee $50 $0
Outgoing Wire Fees (Domestic)$30$25**
Full Account Transfer Out$50$50
Partial Account Transfer Out$10.00 per security, $50 maximum$25
  • A single source of third-party research
  • High commissions on stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds
  • Access to forex or futures markets only through additional account at OptionsXpress
Open an account Get a $200 cash bonus or $500 in commission-free trades. Open an account with Schwab

** - Charles Schwab gives three free online domestic wire transfers per quarter for accounts with $100,000 or more. Accounts with 36 or more stock or option trades per year will receive three free domestic wire transfers per quarter.


Ally Invest vs Charles Schwab Brokerage Comparison

While Charles Schwab, the well-known investment company with a long history, has been among the five largest brokers in the United States for many years, Ally Invest has significantly grown in size in the last few years and joined the list of the biggest firms in the U.S. taking the sixth position. Both well-known solid brokerage companies provide high-quality brokerage services and are ranked high by the industry reputable magazines.

Firms' pricing range is the first thing that catches one's eye when comparing Ally Invest versus Charles Schwab. While Schwab's $8.95 stocks and ETFs commissions are one of the highest among the leading discount brokers' , Ally Invest has the industry's lowest cost for trading stocks and ETFs, which is only $4.95.

However, when it comes to commission-free ETFs, Charles Schwab with its largest in the industry array of no-cost ETFs has huge advantages over Ally Invest. The company offers a selection of 200 commission-free ETFs, whereas Ally Invest has nothing to offer.

Trading options with Charles Schwab is also more expensive. The brokerage charges $8.95 + $0.75 per contract versus Ally Invest's $4.95 + $0.65 per contract.

Ally Invest has a low flat fee for investing in mutual funds. It is only $9.95 for buying and selling any fund from its vast selection of 12,000 mutual funds. Company's selection of mutual funds is one of the largest among what the leading investing companies offer.

Charles Schwab offers its own selection of mutual funds (Schwab's Mutual Fund OneSource®) with no charge, yet it will cost investors $76 to buy mutual funds that are not on the company's list. None of the large competitors charges commissions on mutual funds so high.

Ally Invest's low commissions are more appealing for frequent traders than Schwab's pricing. Ally Invest's fee schedule is clear and straightforward and can be easily found on its official website. Schwab's fee schedule is more complex. Finding fees on the Schwab's official website is a time-consuming process.

Ally Invest does not require initial funding to open an account and does not charge setup or maintenance fees.

Schwab's minimum deposit to open an account is $1,000. On the contrary, it is $0 for IRA accounts. The broker charges high fees for full and partial account transfers, which are $50 and $25, respectively.

Both companies offer quality trade tools and excellent educational materials. Schwab's sophisticated platform stands close to thinkorswim, the best-in-class trading platform by TD Ameritrade. Ally Invest with its user-friendly, intuitive tools can be a great brokerage for beginners.

Charles Schwab provides one of the best in terms of industry research. One thing that is pleasantly surprising about Ally Invest is that despite its very low commissions, the firm provides access to a single source of independent research. Still better than nothing!

Schwab provides in-person guidance for customers at its local offices and basic banking services. Ally Invest doesn't offer these additional services; however, its customer services via email, phone and chat system as well as its great pricing are exceptional. Additional benefits, expert support and high credibility of the brand name of Charles Schwab are the price for high commissions.

If as an investor you prefer expert support with a more personal touch, you would never go wrong choosing Charles Schwab as your brokerage firm. To leran more about the brokerage, visit Charles Schwab review ».

Very low pricing for Ally Invest does not mean lower quality of services. The brokerage firm has claimed the top spots in the industry reputable surveys and rankings. The company has been striving to provide the best service possible since its foundation. Joint efforts with other innovative brokerage companies in the recent years have allowed Ally Invest to offer a wider selection of investment options, modern trading technologies and an improved, excellent service in general.

The brokerage is an excellent firm for experienced and active investors, casual traders and people new to investing.


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