Top rated brokerage firm to open investment account. Best place to safely invest money, retirement savings in 2019.

Best Investment Firm For Beginners Overview

Ally Invest customers typically choose the broker for its low commissions and good value. In other categories, is the firm as attractive? Let's take a look at four specific areas and see how the broker performs.

Best Investment Company For Beginners?

Novice traders need good educational resources and support from customer service. There are some learning materials on Ally Invest's website. For example, articles cover issues such as buying and selling mutual funds, ETF strategies, and fixed-income products. A pdf document entitled "Top Ten Mistakes New Option Traders Make" is available for download. Resources can be sorted by experience level, a feature that would benefit new investors.

Ally Invest is one of the very few stock brokers offering online investor community. There, beginner investors could learn the ropes, ask questions, follow successful, advanced traders and investors, and even get investing ideas. This is probably the most valuable feature novice investors could ask from a brokerage house and Ally Invest provides it.

Unlike most other brokers, Ally Invest doesn't charge additional commission if new investor calls a broker and places a trade with his or her help.

All the above makes Ally Invest the Best investing firm for beginners in 2019.

Is Ally Invest Good Company for Long-Term Investors?

Because buy-and-hold investors don't trade very often, commissions aren't as important to them. While Ally Invest does have a very low $4.95 charge for stock and ETF transactions, long-term traders don't have the opportunity to really benefit from it. Instead, they will prefer access to customer service and educational materials.

Fidelity has much more educational and research material on its website, compared to Ally Invest. Ally Invest also doesn't have 24/7 service, which Merrill Edge does have. There are no brick-and-mortar Ally Invest locations, which long-term customers may want. Schwab, by comparison, has over 300 offices across the United States. However, there is an extremely helpful Ally Invest customer forum on the broker's website. Most firms lack this very useful feature.

Long-term investors may also be interested in financial planning and retirement assistance. Ally Invest offers portfolio management services at some of the lowest rates on the market. Account management costs 0.25% annually, although the service only includes investment in passively-managed ETF's.

Long-term investors often invest in mutual funds. Ally Invest doesn't offer any no-load, no-transaction-fee products. Instead, the broker charges rock-bottom $9.95 to buy and sell funds without a load, while load funds are always free to trade. The mutual fund screener on Ally Invest's site returns 8,337 products that are available for purchase, while Capital One Investing has just one thousand.

Overall, Ally Invest is a good broker for long-term investing.

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Is Ally Invest Good Company for IRA's?

Several IRA types are available at Ally Invest. These include Traditional, Roth, SIMPLE, SEP, and Rollover. By comparison, E*Trade clients can choose from ten different types, while WellsTrade offers only four.

There are some articles and videos on the Ally Invest website, but most of them aren't devoted to retirement topics. There is a small IRA FAQ that covers questions such as how to add a beneficiary to a retirement account. There are no retirement calculators on the broker's website. Vanguard and Fidelity, by contrast, have several.

A Ally Invest IRA does come with some notable fees. There is a $50 charge for closing an IRA or for transferring one. If you do a full transfer to another broker, Ally Invest will assess two $50 charges. A partial transfer results in a $10 per security charge, with a $50 maximum.

Overall, Ally Invest does well for IRA's but TD Ameritrade is a better choice.

Is Ally Invest a Good Choice for Active Traders and Shorting Stocks?

Low commissions and advanced trading technology are the features that active traders need. Ally Invest's $4.95 charge for stock and ETF trades is one of the lowest in the industry. Its commission for option trades (65¢) is also very low, although Firstrade clients pay even less (50¢). Ally Invest LIVE is a web-based platform that is free for any account that avoids the annual inactivity charge. (An account must execute at least one trade per year or have a balance of $2,500). A more advanced platform called Quotestream is available at no cost for clients who execute at least 11 trades per month. TD Ameritrade's very advanced platform thinkorswim is free for all clients.

Margin is necessary to open short positions, and the feature can be added to accounts at Ally Invest. Currently, the broker charges 9.25% for debits under $5,000. By comparison, Optionshouse charges 8.00%, and TD Ameritrade is at high 9.50%.


Investors pick Ally Invest for its ultra-low commissions. Larger brokerage firms (TD Ameritrade and Scottrade) might be better choices for IRA's and for beginners, but investors will have to pay higher pricing. Overall, customers are very pleased with all three of these brokers.

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