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Firstrade vs Ally Invest 2024

StockBrokers.com

Written by StockBrokers.com

January 31, 2024

Is Firstrade better than Ally Invest? After testing 18 of the best online brokers, our analysis finds that Firstrade (87.6%) is better than Ally Invest (84.6%). Firstrade scored well for penny stock trading in our 2024 Annual Awards, and is a great choice for Chinese-speaking investors. However, it lags behind the competition in certain areas, especially platforms, tools and education.

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Compare

0 of 5
Overall Rating Firstrade Ally Invest
Overall 4.5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Investment Options 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 3.5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 4.5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Research 4.5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Customer Service 3.0/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Education 3.5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Ease Of Use 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Winner check_circle
Review Firstrade Review Ally Invest Review
Broker Screenshots Firstrade Ally Invest
Trading Platform & Tools Gallery (click to expand)
Research Gallery (click to expand)
Mobile Trading Apps Gallery (click to expand)
Education Gallery (click to expand)
Trading Fees Firstrade Ally Invest
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trades $0.00 $0.00
Penny Stock Fees (OTC) info $0.00 $4.95 info
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $0 $0.00
Options (Per Contract) $0.00 $0.50
Futures (Per Contract) (Not offered) (Not offered)
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $19.95 $20
Margin Rates Firstrade Ally Invest
Margin Rate Under $25,000 13.75% 13%
Margin Rate $25,000 to $49,999.99 13.5% 12.75%
Margin Rate $50,000 to $99,999.99 13% 12%
Margin Rate $100,000 to $249,999.99 12.5% 10.75%
Margin Rate $250,000 to $499,999.99 12.25% 9.75%
Margin Rate $500,000 to $999,999.99 10.35% 9.25%
Margin Rate Above $1,000,000 9.75% 8.5%
Account Fees Firstrade Ally Invest
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $25.00
Account Transfer Out (Partial) info $55.00 $50.00
Account Transfer Out (Full) info $75.00 $50.00
Options Exercise Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Assignment Fee $0.00 $0.00
Investment Options Firstrade Ally Invest
Stock Trading info Yes Yes
Margin Trading Yes Yes
Fractional Shares info No No
OTC Stocks info Yes Yes
Options Trading info Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs info 4 4
Futures Trading info No No
Forex Trading info No Yes
Crypto Trading info No No
Crypto Trading - Total Coins info 0 0
Mutual Funds (No Load) info 15460 13000
Mutual Funds (Total) info 19666 14000
Bonds (US Treasury) info Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate) info Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal) info Yes Yes
Traditional IRAs info Yes Yes
Roth IRAs info Yes Yes
Advisor Services info No Yes
International Countries (Stocks) info 0 0
Order Types Firstrade Ally Invest
Order Type - Market info Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit info Yes Yes
Order Type - After Hours info Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop info Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop info Yes No
Order Type - OCO info Yes No
Order Type - OTO info Yes No
Order Type - Broker Assisted info Yes Yes
Beginners Firstrade Ally Invest
Education (Stocks) info Yes Yes
Education (ETFs) info No Yes
Education (Options) info Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds) info No Yes
Education (Bonds) info No Yes
Education (Retirement) info Yes Yes
Retirement Calculator info Yes No
Investor Dictionary info Yes Yes
Paper Trading info No No
Videos info Yes No
Webinars info Yes No
Webinars (Archived) info Yes Yes
Progress Tracking info No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes info No No
Stock Trading Apps Firstrade Ally Invest
iPhone App info Yes Yes
Android App info Yes Yes
Apple Watch App info No No
Trading - Stocks info Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours info Yes Yes
Trading - Simple Options info Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options info Yes Yes
Order Ticket RT Quotes info Yes Yes
Order Ticket SRT Quotes info Yes No
Stock App Features Firstrade Ally Invest
Market Movers (Top Gainers) info Yes Yes
Stream Live TV info No No
Videos on Demand info No No
Stock Alerts info Yes No
Option Chains Viewable info Yes Yes
Watch List (Real-time) info Yes Yes
Watch List (Streaming) info Yes No
Watch Lists - Create & Manage info Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Column Customization info Yes No
Watch Lists - Total Fields info 50 21
Stock App Charting Firstrade Ally Invest
Charting - After-Hours info No No
Charting - Can Turn Horizontally info Yes Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames info Yes Yes
Charting - Technical Studies info 81 17
Charting - Study Customizations info Yes No
Charting - Stock Comparisons info No Yes
Trading Platforms Firstrade Ally Invest
Active Trading Platform info Firstrade Navigator N/A
Desktop Trading Platform info No No
Desktop Platform (Mac) info No No
Web Trading Platform info Yes Yes
Paper Trading info No No
Trade Journal info No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields info 50 21
Stock Chart Features Firstrade Ally Invest
Charting - Adjust Trades on Chart info No No
Charting - Indicators / Studies info 102 117
Charting - Drawing Tools info 8 36
Charting - Notes info No Yes
Charting - Index Overlays info Yes Yes
Charting - Historical Trades info No No
Charting - Corporate Events info Yes No
Charting - Custom Date Range info No No
Charting - Custom Time Bars info No No
Charting - Automated Analysis info No Yes
Charting - Save Profiles info No Yes
Trade Ideas - Technical Analysis info No Yes
Charting - Study Customizations info 6 5
Charting - Custom Studies info No No
Day Trading Firstrade Ally Invest
Streaming Time & Sales info No No
Streaming TV info No No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks info No No
Ladder Trading info No No
Trade Hot Keys info No No
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks info No No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting info No No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Adv info No No
Short Locator info No No
Order Liquidity Rebates info No No
Research Overview Firstrade Ally Invest
Research - Stocks info Yes Yes
Research - ETFs info Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds info Yes Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB info Yes Yes
Research - Bonds info Yes No
Screener - Stocks info Yes No
Screener - ETFs info Yes Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds info Yes No
Screener - Bonds info Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation info Yes No
Stock Research Firstrade Ally Invest
Stock Research - PDF Reports info 1 2
Stock Research - Earnings info Yes Yes
Stock Research - Insiders info Yes Yes
Stock Research - Social info No Yes
Stock Research - News info Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG info No No
Stock Research - SEC Filings info Yes Yes
ETF Research Firstrade Ally Invest
ETFs - Strategy Overview info Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Inception Date info Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Expense Ratio info Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Net Assets info Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Total Holdings info Yes Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings info Yes Yes
ETFs - Sector Exposure info Yes No
ETFs - Risk Analysis info Yes Yes
ETFs - Ratings info Yes Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap info Yes No
ETFs - PDF Reports info Yes Yes
Mutual Fund Research Firstrade Ally Invest
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview info Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Performance Chart info Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Performance Analysis info Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus info Yes No
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings info Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown info Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings info Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation info Yes No
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation info Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation info Yes No
Mutual Funds - StyleMap info Yes No
Options Trading Firstrade Ally Invest
Option Chains - Basic View info Yes Yes
Option Chains - Strategy View info Yes Yes
Option Chains - Streaming info No Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns info 8 8
Option Chains - Greeks info 5 1
Option Chains - Quick Analysis info No Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts info Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis info No Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv info Yes No
Option Positions - Greeks info No Yes
Option Positions - Greeks Streaming info No No
Option Positions - Adv Analysis info No Yes
Option Positions - Rolling info Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping info No Yes
Banking Firstrade Ally Invest
Bank (Member FDIC) info No Yes
Checking Accounts info Yes Yes
Savings Accounts info No Yes
Credit Cards info No No
Debit Cards info Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans info No Yes
Customer Service Firstrade Ally Invest
Phone Support (Prospect Customers) info Yes Yes
Phone Support (Current Customers) info Yes Yes
Email Support info Yes Yes
Live Chat (Prospect Customers) info Yes Yes
Live Chat (Current Customers) info Yes Yes
24/7 Support info No Yes
Overall Firstrade Ally Invest
Overall 4.5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Investment Options 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 3.5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 4.5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Research 4.5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Education 3.5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Ease Of Use 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Winner check_circle
Review Firstrade Review Ally Invest Review
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Firstrade vs Ally Invest Comparison

Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. We spend hundreds of hours each year testing the platforms, mobile apps, trading tools and general ease of use among online brokerages, as well as comparing commissions and fees, to find the best online broker.

Though many U.S. brokers offer basic trading features, such as an app, charting tools, stock research and educational content, the depth of those features can vary widely. Let's compare Firstrade vs Ally Invest.

Is Firstrade or Ally Invest better for beginners?

In stock trading, the more you know, the better you’ll do. Taking advantage of resources like articles, webinars, videos and interactive elements is a great way to shorten the learning curve. In our analysis, we examine the availability of several different types of educational materials.

For 2024, our review finds that Ally Invest offers more comprehensive new investor education for beginning investors than Firstrade. Firstrade offers investors access to Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (Options) and Education (Retirement), while Ally Invest offers investors access to Education (Stocks), Education (ETFs), Education (Options), Education (Mutual Funds), Education (Bonds) and Education (Retirement). Neither have Paper Trading.

What about Firstrade vs Ally Invest pricing?

Firstrade and Ally Invest charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $0.00. Option contracts are pricier at Ally Invest, costing $0.50 per contract versus $0.00 per contract at Firstrade. Firstrade and Ally Invest both charge (Not offered) per option contract. For a deeper dive, see our best brokers for free stock trading guide.

Does Firstrade or Ally Invest offer a wider range of investment options?

Looking at a full range of investment options, including order types and international trading, our research has found that Firstrade offers a more comprehensive offering than Ally Invest. Firstrade ranks #6 out of 18 brokers for our Investment Options category, while Ally Invest ranks #8.

Firstrade offers investors access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, OTC Stocks and Mutual Funds, while Ally Invest offers investors access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, OTC Stocks, Mutual Funds, Forex Trading and Advisor Services. Neither have Fractional Shares and Futures Trading Looking at Mutual Funds, Ally Invest trails Firstrade in its offering of no transaction fee (NTF) mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 4206 and Ally Invest offering 3900.

Do Firstrade and Ally Invest offer cryptocurrency?

In our analysis of top U.S. brokerages, we research whether each broker offers the ability to trade cash cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin and ethereum. Though crypto has risen steadily in popularity, availability still varies from broker to broker. Our review finds that neither Firstrade and Ally Invest offer crypto trading.

Which trading platform is better: Firstrade or Ally Invest?

To compare the day trading platforms of Firstrade and Ally Invest, we focused on trading tools and functionality across both web and desktop-based platforms. Popular day trading platform tools include streaming real-time quotes, stock alerts, trading hotkeys, direct market routing, streaming time and sales, customizable watch lists, backtesting, and fully functional charting packages, among many others. For day trading, Firstrade offers a better experience.

Does Firstrade or Ally Invest offer a better stock trading app?

After testing 25 features across the stock trading apps of Firstrade and Ally Invest, we found Firstrade to be better overall. The best stock market apps are easy to use, have excellent design, and deliver a fully featured online trading experience. Firstrade ranks #6 out of 18 brokers, while Ally Invest ranks #13.

Firstrade Trading App Gallery

Ally Invest Trading App Gallery

Which broker is better for researching stocks?

For research, Firstrade offers superior market research than Ally Invest. Firstrade ranks #6 and Ally Invest ranks #7.

Over the years, we've found that the best brokers provide rich market commentary, a variety of third-party research reports, and thorough quote screens that are not just easy to navigate, but that also include a comprehensive selection of fundamental data. Robust stock, ETFs, and mutual fund screeners are also must-haves for trade idea generation.

How do Firstrade and Ally Invest compare in terms of minimum deposit required?

Firstrade requires a minimum deposit of $0.00, while Ally Invest requires a minimum deposit of $0.00. From our testing, we found that SoFi is the only broker that requires a minimum deposit.

Which broker offers better margin rates for accounts under $25,000?

Firstrade charges 13.75% for accounts under $25,000 while Ally Invest charges a margin rate of 13%. The industry average of the 18 brokers we track is 9%.

Does Firstrade offer fractional shares? Does Ally Invest?

Fractional shares are not offered by either broker. Our research has found that 39% of brokers offer fractional shares investing. Fractional shares allow traders to buy a part of a whole share of stock. For example, if Amazon is trading at $1,000, you could buy half a share for $500.

Can you trade penny stocks with Firstrade or Ally Invest?

Both Firstrade and Ally Invest allow you to trade penny stocks. Firstrade charges $0.00 per trade while Ally Invest charges $4.95. Penny stocks are companies whose shares trade for under $5 and are listed over the counter (OTC). For brokers that do offer penny stock trades, the average commission is $3.

Does either broker offer banking?

Online banking can be a benefit for investors, and some brokerages do provide banking services to customers. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are offered by Firstrade while Ally Invest offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Mortgage Loans. Neither have Credit Cards.

Which broker offers stronger customer service?

StockBrokers.com partners with customer experience research group Confero to conduct phone tests from locations across the United States to thoroughly evaluate the quality and speed of brokerage customer service. (Read more about How We Test.) Here are the results of our current testing.

Firstrade was rated 9th out of 13 brokers, with an overall score of 7.43 out of 10.

Ally Invest was rated 4th out of 13 brokers, with an overall score of 8.69 out of 10.

Is Firstrade good?

Firstrade scored well for penny stock trading in our 2024 Annual Awards, and is a great choice for Chinese-speaking investors. However, it lags behind the competition in certain areas, especially platforms, tools and education.

In the 2024 StockBrokers.com Annual Awards, Firstrade placed among Best in Class for Penny Stock Trading.

Is Ally Invest good?

For current Ally customers looking to invest in stocks, Ally's universal-accounts experience and easy-to-use website offer a convenient solution. Its website is far stronger than the mobile app.

In the 2024 StockBrokers.com Annual Awards, Ally Invest ranked among Best in Class for Bank Brokerage and Customer Service.

Firstrade vs Ally Invest Winner

Overall winner: Firstrade

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