ally invest ... opinions/experiences?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by stockmarketbeginner, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. Hello,

    Has anybody used Ally Invest? Their fees are lower than many others ($3.95 per trade with enough activity or enough balance), plus it is a reputable company and the interface looks nice (I really like nice interfaces... they add a lot of value to my experience).

    I don't know what their customer service is like or how well their platform executes orders. I probably wouldn't know what a "good" order execution is LOL. But experienced people here know all sorts of things.
  2. Robert Morse

    Robert Morse Sponsor

    The old TradeKing.
    tommcginnis likes this.
  3. tommcginnis


    I had a small IRA there for many years -- just to try it out.
    Stayed flat through the financial crisis, writing covered call on AMD and some little pharmas.
    (Again, "just for grins.")

    Depends on what you want them for, but from the get-go, I described them as "The firm I'd aim my Grandmother to..."

    Always had friendly help on the phone. (Well, called twice.)
    Met Brian Whuz'isname at more than a few of those "Trader Conferences" that pop up here and there -- always a nice guy. And if their trades have gone down to $3.95, they've gotten cheaper under the Ally umbrella.

    I liken trading platforms to automobiles: but it's "the more you are removed from a harsh ride, the more you pay." Some are rocket-ship-scalpels-on-wheels-Formula-1 mobiles: like IB. {Who's motto is, "If you don't like the ride, get out."} But your cost is squat.
    ToS might well be a Cadillac -- but you pay, too. TradeKing/AllyInvest is more like a Volkswagon Beetle is no shock absorbers: you won't feel the road, no -- but you won't pay too much, either.
    eliteubertrader likes this.
  4. Brian Overby
    tommcginnis likes this.
  5. expiated


    I opened a checking account with ALLY Bank intending to trade foreign currency pairs through ALLY Invest, but after opening a demo MT4 account there I discovered that: (1) OANDA offered a wider variety of assets; (2) OANDA allowed me to begin trading a live account with a smaller initial balance; and (3) OANDA had better spreads than ALLY Invest, whose spreads were often RIDICULOUS!

    Needless to say, I bank with ALLY, but trade Forex through OANDA. (I can't say how ALLY is with stocks.)
  6. Ally is ok, good. it's my current trading online brokerage.

    I started out with Etrade. Then Tradeking, now/acquired by Ally Invest. Somewhere down the line...I plan to try out Interactive Brokers. I need to do a heck of alot of options contracts though to be worthwhile for the switch from where I am now.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  7. You can download Interactive Brokers trading software for free/no obligation and do paper trading to get used to the interface. I personally find the interface to be ugly and confusing. I have no idea why they don't do a better job with their interface. IMHO, it looks like they haven't spent $5 in 20 years on the interface.

    IB reminds me of Walmart. I would go into Walmart sometimes, and the interiors of the store were unattractive. I thought it was a marketing gimmick ("make the interior cheap so the customers think they are getting a good deal"). Lately, the interiors of Walmart look nicer, and the stock price has been going up. It doesn't cost much to dress nicely, so to speak.
  8. tommcginnis


    Well, there's a filtering effect in there: if you don't like the interface (and simply take it as it's given), then they don't want you. [That's the legend, anyway. It was the legend 10 years ago, and they've even quadrupled their customer service since then. FWIW and all that.]

    The thing about that interface that is nearly impossible to present is that it's configurable in 10,000 different ways. And configurable to the point where, when the markets are moving, my mouse is a blur, my number keypad is melting down, and my screens never have time to take a fix on an image, cuz the whole thing is moving, changing, and following merrily along. The beast is *made* for trading. (Not for "investing" not for "analyzing" not for navel contemplation.... but trading. It's their Trader Work Station.)

    (Don't you think I should be paid for this? I mean, really.)

    So, watch one of those IB webinars on the set-up of the platform. (Hell -- there's a clue right there: it takes a dozen or more of them, at an hour a piece.)
  9. That is an interesting perspective. I get what you are saying, but I don't know why ugly is so often equated with advanced. The IB stuff looks like Java Swing code from 1997. I don't think the ugliness can be configured away. The Bloomberg terminal is advanced, but it is not ugly.

    I'd love a $2 per trade solution. The only things I like about IB are the low cost and the fact that you could trade international markets if you wanted to. Other than that, it sends some sort of negative signal to me. It just seems cold and off-putting. Even the CEO sends some sort of vibe I don't like.

    Vanguard has $2 per trades, but you need a large account. And many people complain their phone support has you stay on hold for long times.

    It looks like Lightspeed has low trade fees. But to get the "good" software, you have to pay $100 per month (not sure on that).

    Ally might have a good balance between low cost, nice interface, and responsive phone support.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  10. Robert Morse

    Robert Morse Sponsor

    We offer a number of platforms. Lightspeed Trader is a minimum of $100 in commissions per month. If you do that, we eat the cost. Other software costs more.
    #10     Jan 11, 2018