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E*TRADE vs Ally Invest Review

Blain Reinkensmeyer

The StockBrokers.com annual review (9 years running) takes six months to complete and produces over 30,000 words of research each year. Here's how we test.

Is E*TRADE better than Ally Invest? After scoring brokers in nine separate categories for our 2019 review, E*TRADE (83.68%) is better than Ally Invest (62.44%). While E*TRADE may not offer the cheapest trades, the Power E*TRADE platform is great for options trading, and the broker offers two great mobile apps.

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Overall

Trading Fees

Minimum Deposit
Stock Trade Fee (per trade)
Options Base Fee
Options Per Contract Fee
Mutual Fund Trade Fee
Broker Assisted Trades Fee
IRA Annual Fee
IRA Closure Fee
Commissions & Fees
Winner

Margin Rates

Under $24,999.99
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99
Above $1,000,000.00
Commissions & Fees
Winner

Trading Platforms

Desktop Platform (Windows)
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Web Platform
Paper Trading
Trade Journal
Watch Lists - Total Fields
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Heat Mapping
Platforms & Tools
Winner

Charting Features

Charting - Trade Off Chart
Charting - Indicators / Studies
Charting - Drawing Tools
Charting - Historical Trades
Charting - Corporate Events
Charting - Automated Analysis
Charting - Save Profiles
Charting - Study Customizations
Charting - Custom Studies
Platforms & Tools
Winner

Day Trading

Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Streaming Time & Sales
Streaming TV
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Direct Market Routing - Options
Ladder Trading
Trade Hot Keys
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Short Locator
Client Liquidity Rebates
Winner

Mobile Trading

iPhone App
Android App
Apple Watch App
Trading - Stocks
Trading - After-Hours
Trading - Conditional Orders
Trading - Mutual Funds
Trading - Simple Options
Trading - Complex Options
Trading - Option Rolling
Touch / Face ID
Watch List Syncing
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Charting - After Hours
Charting - Drawing
Charting - Study Customizations
Customizable Homescreen
Heatmapping
Stream Live TV
Barcode Lookup
Mobile Trading
Winner

Research Overview

Research - Stocks
Research - ETFs
Research - Mutual Funds
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Research - Fixed Income
Research - Futures
Research - Forex
Screener - Stocks
Screener - ETFs
Screener - Mutual Funds
Screener - Options
Screener - Bonds
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Research
Winner

Stock Research

Stock Research - Reports
Stock Research - Earnings
Stock Research - Insiders
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Stock Research - Social
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Stock Research - News
Stock Research - ESG
Research
Winner

Fund Research

ETFs - Strategy Overview
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
ETFs - Sector Exposure
ETFs - Risk Analysis
ETFs - Performance Analysis
ETFs - Ratings
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
ETFs - Reports
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Mutual Funds - Reports
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Research
Winner

Options Trading

Option Chains - Streaming
Option Chains - Total Columns
Option Chains - Greeks
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Option Probability Analysis
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Option Positions - Greeks
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Option Positions - Rolling
Option Positions - Grouping
Platforms & Tools
Winner

Investments

Stock Trading
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Options Trading
Complex Options Max Legs
Futures Trading
Forex Trading
Commission-Free ETFs
Mutual Funds (No Load)
Mutual Funds (Total)
Bonds (US Treasury)
Bonds (Corporate)
Bonds (Municipal)
Advisor Services
International Trading
Offering of Investments
Winner

Order Types

Order Type - Market
Order Type - Limit
Order Type - Stop
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Order Type - Contingent
Order Type - MultiContingent
Order Type - OCO
Order Type - OTO
Order Type - OTOCO
Offering of Investments
Winner

Beginners

Has Education - Stocks
Has Education - ETFs
Has Education - Options
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Has Education - Fixed Income
Has Education - Retirement
Paper Trading
Videos
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
Webinars (Archived)
Live Seminars
Progress Tracking
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Investor Magazine
Education
Winner

Banking

Retail Locations
Member FDIC
Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Credit Cards
Debit Cards
Mortgage Loans
No Fee Banking
Banking
Winner

Overall

Overall
Winner
Promo Offer Trade commission-free for 60 days & get up to $600. Join E*TRADE today! Learn More
$500.00
$6.95
$6.95
$0.75
$19.99
$25.00
$0.00
$60.00
3.5
10.50%
10.25%
9.75%
9.25%
8.75%
8.25%
7.25%
3.5
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
125
Yes
No
4.5
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Yes
118
33
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
6
No
4.5
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Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
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Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
5
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Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
4.5
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4
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
4.5
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Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
4.5
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Yes
30
5
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
4.5
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Yes
Yes
Yes
4
Yes
No
295
6266
9062
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
4.5
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Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
4.5
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Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
12
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
4.5
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30
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
4
4
check_circle
Special Offer up to $3,500 cash bonus + 90 Days Commission-Free Trades Learn More
$0.00
$4.95
$4.95
$0.65
$9.95
$20.00
$0.00
$50.00
3.5
check_circle
9.75%
9.50%
8.75%
7.50%
6.50%
6.00%
5.25%
3.5
check_circle
No
No
Yes
No
No
21
Yes
No
2.5
No
117
36
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
5
No
2.5
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
3
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
2
2
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
2
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
2
Yes
8
1
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
2.5
Yes
Yes
Yes
4
No
Yes
116
7200
14000
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
4
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
4
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
17
No
Yes
No
No
No
3.5
0
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
4
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Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers over six months, we can compare Ally Invest vs E*TRADE to determine which broker is best. Let's dive in.

First, we will break down the commission charges of both brokers for placing stock and options trades. E*TRADE charges $6.95 per stock trade which is $2.00 more than Ally Invest which charges customers $4.95 per trade. For options trading, E*TRADE has a base fee of $6.95, and Ally Invest a base fee of $4.95. Each option contract then costs $0.75 at E*TRADE and $0.65 at Ally Invest. Instead of flat rate fees, several brokers charge a per-share fee instead. For a complete review of trading charges, read our full online broker reviews.

Next, investors want to make sure they can trade the investment vehicle they want. E*TRADE supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Ally Invest supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Forex Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Ally Invest boasts an offering of 14000 mutual funds compared to E*TRADE's 9062 available funds.

Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Ally Invest nor E*TRADE offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Both Ally Invest and E*TRADE offer clients access to an iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts and Debit Cards are offered by E*TRADE while Ally Invest offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans.

Overall, between Ally Invest and E*TRADE, E*TRADE is the winner.

Ally Invest Review
E*TRADE Review


All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.

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