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Ally Invest review: Good for both hands-on and hands-off investors who want choices

Ally Invest offers commission-free trading and four different types of managed portfolios.

NicoElNino | iStock | Getty Images

Online-only banking has made it easy for consumers to take care of all their financial needs, from bank accounts to investing products, in one place without ever having to step foot into a physical branch.

Ally is a leader in the online-banking space for this very reason. Customers can open an interest-bearing checking account, stash cash in a CD, high-yield savings or money market account, apply for mortgage and auto financing, and take out a personal loan — all from the comfort of home. But it doesn't stop there. Through Ally Invest®, investors can also build wealth.

Ally Invest offers commission-free trading for hands-on investors and automated investing for those who prefer to be more hands-off. You can also save for retirement through Ally's traditional, Roth or Rollover IRAs. And no matter your experience level, Ally has educational resources to help investors make the most of their investments, such as advanced charting tools and numerous calculators.

Below, Select reviews Ally Invest's offerings to give you the details on the investment options, features and fees so you can decide if it's right for your needs.

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Ally Invest review

Ally Invest®

On Ally's secure site
  • Minimum deposit and balance

    Minimum deposit and balance requirements may vary depending on the investment vehicle selected. No account minimum for Self-Directed Trading. $100 minimum for Robo Portfolios

  • Fees

    Fees may vary depending on the investment vehicle selected. Self-Directed Trading has zero commission fees for stock, ETF, options trades; $0.50 per options contract. Robo Portfolios have zero management fees

  • Bonus

    You may be eligible for up to $3,000 bonus cash when you open an Ally Invest Self-Directed account

  • Investment vehicles

    Robo-advisor: Ally Invest Robo Portfolios IRA: Ally Invest Traditional, Roth and Rollover IRAs Brokerage and trading: Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading

  • Investment options

    Stocks, bonds, ETFs, options, mutual funds, margin account and forex trading

  • Educational resources

    Offers informational articles to help users improve their understanding of investment strategies and market trends

Terms apply.


  • $0 minimum deposit for Self-Directed Trading
  • No commission fees for stock, ETF and options trades
  • Includes charts and calculators to help investors analyze their trades
  • Robo Portfolios available as automated service option with four different portfolio types to choose from
  • Offers informational articles about investment strategies and market trends
  • 24/7 live customer service with brokers


  • Robo Portfolios require a $100 minimum deposit
  • Mutual funds may require transaction fee

Investment options

With Ally Invest, you can choose how you want to grow your money. Active investors can trade stocks, ETFs and options commission-free through Ally Invest's Self-Directed Trading.

Beginner investors, or veteran investors who want to put their investments on autopilot, can choose to invest passively through Ally Invest's Robo Portfolios, which is a robo-advisor investing in a mix of low cost, diversified ETFs. Ally will recommend and manage a professionally designed portfolio based on your personal goals, time frame and risk tolerance. The automated investing platform will then monitor and automatically rebalance your portfolio to make sure your plan stays on track.

Ally Invest also offers mutual funds, a margin account where investors essentially borrow money against their investments and a securities income program that allows investors a chance to earn extra income on the shares they already own. Also, currency traders can trade over 50 currency pairs, including gold and silver, in real time using Ally Invest's forex trading service.

If you're simply looking to open a tax-advantaged IRA for retirement, Ally Invest offers traditional, Roth and Rollover IRAs.


There are a handful of benefits Ally Invest users will want to be aware of.

Ally Invest's Robo Portfolios have four different portfolio choices, helping you invest in what matters most to you:

  1. Socially Responsible: Invests in environmentally-friendly businesses
  2. Tax Optimized: Maximizes your after-tax contributions
  3. Core: Spreads out your investments across domestic, international and fixed-income assets
  4. Income: Offers higher dividend yields with conservative risk

Ally Invest will recommend a portfolio based on your future goals. With each portfolio choice, 30% of your portfolio is set aside as cash that earns interest and acts as a buffer against market volatility.

Not interested in the robo-advisor option? The Ally Invest Self-Directed account offers new traders up to $3,000 cash bonus when they open and fund an account. Investors can move over their other investments or individual stocks from most major brokerages online, and Ally Invest will reimburse up to $150 in transfer fees when you make a one-time transfer of $2,500 or more.

In addition to offering users informational articles about investment strategies and market trends, active investors have access to charts and calculators to help analyze their trades. Ally offers 24/7 live customer service over the phone, through online chat or on the Ally mobile app.

Ally's app is available to download for free in both the App Store (for iOS), where it has 4.1/5 stars, and on Google Play (for Android), where is has 4.7/5 stars at the time this article was written.‎


Minimum deposit and balance requirements vary depending on the Ally investment vehicle you select. While there is no account minimum to invest via Ally Invest's Self-Directed Trading, Ally Invest's Robo Portfolios require a $100 minimum.

There are zero commissions on stock, ETF and options trading. A $0.50 per contract options fee will apply. For the robo-advisor service, there are zero advisory fees, annual charges or rebalancing fees. While Ally Invest's Robo Portfolios set aside 30% of your portfolio as cash, if you decide to choose a lower cash allocation, there is a 0.30% annual advisory fee.

Additional fees and minimums may apply for other securities like bonds, mutual funds, margin accounts and forex trading.

Bottom line

Ally Invest offers solid options for both active and passive investors at industry-low fees. It stands out for its robo-advisor platform that offers four different portfolio types to choose from and an interest-earning cash cushion that balances out potential market risk.

Not all robo-advisors set aside cash as a permanent part of your portfolio, however: Consider popular robo-advisor Betterment if you don't want to hold onto so much cash, which charges no minimums and a low annual account fee. Read our full Betterment review.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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