Ally Invest vs Fidelity: Independent Comparison

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Fidelity and Ally Invest appear equal because they both have zero-dollar commission schedules. Customers may rest assured that Ally Invest will suit their demands because it is a reliable brokerage service. Still, it’s an excellent choice for those who already bank with Ally Bank, which is available only online. Its stock, bond, and ETF trading costs are modest, and its options commissions are at the bottom of the market.

A significant drawback for mutual fund investors is that the broker does not provide access to no-transaction-fee (NTF) funds. Ally Invest is a solid option for people who want to consolidate their financial affairs into a single location due to its helpful customer care and user-friendly mobile app.

Mutual fund investors may do best with brokers who provide access to a wide range of funds without charging commissions on trades. Provide investors with at least $3,000 in NTF funds, Fidelity.

 

Ally Invest Overview

Trading stocks, ETFs, options, and other assets are made simple on the Ally Invest direct stock trading platform. Ally Invest Inc. provides this service (formerly TradeKing). Providing investment brokerage services since 2009, this firm has a long history in the financial sector.

One of the best examples of a cheap brokerage is Ally Invest. Prices for stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds are among the lowest you’ll find anywhere. This is one of the most outstanding stockbrokers, with no commission and reasonable mutual fund trading prices.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) oversee the brokerage, ensuring that it operates ethically and lawfully. Ally Invest’s primary function is as an online investment platform where users may trade various securities such as stocks, ETFs, options, and more. Plus, it provides access to several investment opportunities, such as no-transaction-fee ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and more than a hundred others (ETFs).

Fidelity Overview

When it comes to assisting people with saving for retirement and other long-term financial objectives, Fidelity is a no-frills online brokerage. The corporation has been around since 1946, making it one of the world’s oldest and largest financial institutions.

FINRA and the SEC oversee its operations, and it adheres to a fiduciary standard of care. Trading is free for over 80% of Fidelity’s stocks and ETFs. Free virtual trading tools and powerful mobile trading applications are also available to consumers.

fidelity

Every aspect of Fidelity Investments is designed for investors, making it an excellent choice for novice and seasoned financiers. No matter what you’re looking for, Fidelity has you covered. They provide excellent customer service, fee-free mutual funds, reasonable pricing, a ton of research, and even the option to buy fractional shares, which was just launched. By working with this one, you can avoid fees that other brokers still charge. In exchange, you won’t have to put up with a frustrating user interface or subpar service.

In just a few minutes, you may speak with a real person who can help you with your issue. Fidelity is an excellent option if you’re looking for a broker. You can strengthen your bond while amassing riches thanks to the many options available.

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Ally Invest vs. Fidelity Service & Feature Comparison

Costs

Regarding stock trading, Ally has the lowest base fee at $4.95, reducing it to $3.95 for customers who make at least 30 trades every quarter. When buying or selling mutual funds, Ally charges a modest $9.95.

Fidelity’s fee to purchase mutual funds outside its NTF networks is $50. (no charge to sell at Fidelity). Ally’s lack of NTF mutual funds and ETFs is a significant downside that might cost you a lot in transaction costs if you make frequent purchases and sales of funds.

When it comes to trading options, Ally’s service is top-notch. Compared to the industry average of $0.65 per contract, their typical fee structure of $0.50 per contract is among the best-unreduced pricing for transactions. Ally is a wonderful alternative if you want low-priced options trading but don’t want to trade in large volumes to get a discount.

Fidelity has the lowest commission rates in the market. Still, it also has some of the fewest features, which is not a typical trade-off if all you care about is saving money. Fidelity’s stock and ETF trades are free, and the brokerage’s other services, such as its extensive library of instructional and research materials and its robust set of trading tools, are also available at no cost.

Fidelity also does not impose the standard bank costs associated with making bill payments from your brokerage account. Fees incurred at an ATM or when a check is canceled fall under this category. Investing with Fidelity is a breeze. In addition, there is no minimum to open an account with this broker.

.Account Types

All the most popular investment accounts are available at Ally Invest and Fidelity. Unless you have a plan for retirement and/or higher education funding, traders will find their demands met by a separate trading account. Ally Invest also offers Ally Invest Wealth Management, a managed account service for investors with more than $100,000 in assets and a maximum advisory fee of 0.85% of AUM.

Education and Research

For investors of all experience levels, Fidelity provides a wealth of information and tools. You may try them out without spending a dime, even if you aren’t a paying client, just to be sure they’re right for you.

The Fidelity website contains a wealth of valuable resources. Access financial data, competition analysis, news, and reports on specific stocks from a wide range of third-party research firms, such as Thomson Reuters, Ned Davis, Zacks, and many more, by visiting the website for that stock.

You may also read other market commentaries and SEC filings. More information about exchange-traded funds is also available. The amount of available information is quite staggering. Yet, because of the site’s straightforward organization, you’ll have no trouble locating the precise materials you want.

More than just planning and guidance is available to help you with your personal finances, including help with budgeting, debt management, and savings. Fidelity’s learning center features live and on-demand webinars covering a wide range of topics, including trading, options, funds, and the usage of Fidelity’s many trading tools (including Active Trader Pro). The quick courses are organized by difficulty so that you may advance as your knowledge and expertise grow.

Range of Investments

Bonds, foreign exchange, stocks, options contracts, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, penny stocks, and OTC securities are all tradable at Ally Invest. Those interested in the stock market can use Fidelity’s stocks, fractional shares, options, OTCBB, mutual funds, and advisor services.

In contrast, Ally Invest provides stock and options trading, Pink Sheets, mutual funds, foreign exchange, and Advisor Services to its clients. Not even Futures Trading has this. When comparing the two, Fidelity has a broader selection of investment options (including forex). Still, Ally Invest is behind in no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds. The brokerage firm now offers precious metals trading instead. Ally Invest doesn’t provide access to first public offerings (IPOs), while Fidelity does.

Fidelity doesn’t allow trading in less common markets or products like futures or currencies. But it can trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds, and options, so it’s useful for beginners. Probably more than 99 percent of investors won’t need more than that. Could we perhaps not quibble about such a nit? However, you should be aware of the broker’s limitations.

It’s important to remember that Fidelity won’t support direct bitcoin trading. That’s right, crypto enthusiasts: no Bitcoin and no Ethereum. Again, if you don’t require crypto, that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. You can still buy several bitcoin ETFs and other exchange-traded products through Fidelity.

Managed Accounts – Portfolios

Self-directed and managed accounts are available from both brokerage houses. For the latter, you can use the free robo-advisor program Ally Invest offers if you have a sizable cash reserve. The single drawback is the lack of a conventional management suite.

Fidelity provides clients with the option of either automatic or manual portfolio management. The company’s robo service is free up to $10,000 in account equity, after which annual fees of 0.35 percent are applied. Although certain ETFs have high trading minimums, traditional human management still accounts for most of all trades. However, the yearly costs begin at a low 30 basis points.

To start portfolio analysis, Ally Invest has you covered with the fundamentals. Maxit is Ally Invest’s tax manager. Users may check on realized and unrealized capital gains and adjust tax strategy options, including FIFO and LIFO. There was no way to view how your portfolio was stacked against significant indices. Unrealized and realized profits and losses, as well as the overall investment allocation of the account, are viewable.

The asset allocation presentation in the managed portfolio service is really well done. However, it doesn’t work with a self-directed investment account. Learn more about how Ally Invest’s robo-advisory, which utilizes the expertise of real investment managers, may help you grow your wealth by clicking here.

Trading Technology

Active Trader Pro is Fidelity’s premier trading platform and the most essential tool. You’ll be able to tailor the platform’s design to your liking, either by starting with one of several predefined templates or entering your own. Create stock charts, display hundreds of technical indicators, and make simultaneous transactions.

Ally Invest has fully working trading technology. There are a total of three desktop applications available through Ally Invest. First, there’s the third-party forex platform MetaTrader 4. It’s used in 17 different tongues. Ally Invest Forex, the broker’s own forex trading platform, is still another option. Last, there’s Quotestream, an online exchange for buying and selling stocks.

However, updates like conditional orders and trailing stops would significantly improve the website’s functionality. Any options strategy with four legs is supported by the platforms. Streaming quotations, which appear to be the norm on many platforms, are unavailable on the main website. Not even positions or orders could be plotted on the accompanying charts, and order input was quite basic. Furthermore, neither order automation nor order routing control is available at Ally Invest.

Most people would use Ally Bank, accessible via a link on the main Ally Invest website, to earn interest on cash holdings. 

Mobile Apps

Fidelity’s new Spire app may help organize your personal finances and reach your objectives. The software provides a consolidated view of your financial situation by allowing you to link all of your accounts in one convenient location. Then you may enter your immediate and long-term objectives and monitor your development toward them.

You will also have access to a streamlined interface for trading stocks, ETFs, and bonds. Please keep in mind that the Spire app is in addition to the more robust Fidelity mobile app.

Despite its uninspiring moniker, Fidelity Mobile is a powerful mobile software that can assist you in many ways.

  • Take charge of your finances by keeping tabs on your personal and professional accounts and holdings.
  • Conduct business in the securities market, which includes stock, ETF, mutual fund, and the more advanced options trading.

Ally Invest doesn’t provide a specialized app for trading on the go, unlike other brokers. On the other hand, the Ally Mobile app may be used for everything related to the business. For instance, you may view your brokerage, credit card, credit union, bank, and brokerage accounts in the same place. Clients who have previously established a relationship with Ally and prefer to maintain a unified financial profile would appreciate this function.

This one-stop app is convenient and easy to use; thus, it checks all the boxes. You’ll have access to many banking services, including depositing checks, transferring funds between accounts, making payments, checking tax documents, using savings tools, finding nearby ATMs, and more.

When it comes to investing, the app gives you even more power. Streaming quotations, stock trading, and multi-legged option trading are all available for your portfolio monitoring pleasure. Users access charting tools for conducting technical analysis and recent market news. Even though it lacks some of the functionality of Ally’s trading platform, it serves its purpose effectively when you’re away from your workstation.

Ally also has a specialized app called Ally Forex for currency trading. You may use this app to make trades of various sorts, read real-time news from Reuters and weekly reports, track price movements in the market, set price alerts, and manage your account.

Customer Support

Ally performs admirably in this regard. The broker provides around-the-clock access to a phone line and a live chat feature for instant connection to an agent. Email is one of the more usual options. However, there is no actual location where clients may go to get help. However, this last problem should not be a dealbreaker for most investors. Both Fidelity and Ally Invest offer continuous phone support.

Fidelity’s offices are conveniently located around the country, so customers can have their questions answered quickly and easily.

My Preference: Fidelity Edges Out Ally Invest

Since Ally Invest is affiliated with Ally Bank, it is not surprising that their margin rates are competitive. However, compared to Fidelity, its brokerage services fall short. Ally Invest is an excellent platform for online trading because of its low fees, valuable features, and user-friendliness. Due to the lack of a required opening balance, new users may jump right in. On the other hand, aggressive traders will value Ally’s zero-commission trading on certain U.S. assets and minimal costs per options contract.

If you want access to top-notch research, Fidelity is your broker. In addition to providing live market commentary, they also provide a wide range of investing opportunities. In addition, they provide information on market trends and movements by industry. Fidelity provides resources for investors of all styles, whether they choose to work with an adviser or not.

Fidelity is a distinctive broker that caters to active traders and retirees. It’s the gold standard in every respect, with more available mutual funds than the best broker and even complimentary items thrown in for good measure. In addition to its low fees and an extensive assortment of research tools, Fidelity’s many additional features are attractive to investors. It’s inconceivable that any Fidelity customer could be unhappy with their service.

Their options for commission-free investments and international marketplaces are expanded with Fidelity. However, certain brokerages make it more expensive to buy mutual funds. Although Ally Invest’s fee rates are low, the platform does not enable trading on international exchanges. Since there are no commission-free mutual funds or ETFs, fund investors must pay a transaction fee on every move.

FAQ

Is Ally Invest or Fidelity better?

Either broker could be ideal for you, depending on your circumstances. Fidelity gives you easier access to commission-free investments and international marketplaces. However, the cost of purchasing some mutual funds is more than a particular competing brokerage. Although Ally Invest’s fee rates are modest, the platform does not support trading on foreign exchanges. It does not provide commission-free exchange-traded or mutual funds, so investors will have to pay a charge for each trade they make.

Does Fidelity offer promotions and bonuses?

Fidelity, unlike many of its competitors, does not provide account bonuses. That’s a little price to pay for all else Fidelity offers, so don’t let it put you off if the broker suits your needs otherwise.

Is Ally Invest right for you?

Ally Invest is an excellent platform for online trading because of its low fees, valuable features, and user-friendliness. Due to the lack of a required opening balance, inexperienced users may jump in. On the other hand, aggressive traders will value Ally’s zero-commission trading on certain U.S. assets and minimal costs per options contract. However, sophisticated traders in futures may be better off with another broker.

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