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Ally Invest vs Firstrade 2020

Is Ally Invest better than Firstrade? After testing 15 of the best online brokers over five months, Ally Invest (79.49%) is better than Firstrade (76.33%). Ally Invest's universal-accounts experience and easy-to-use website is a winning combination for current Ally Bank customers.

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Overall Rating

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Overall 4 4
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Offering of Investments 4 4
Platforms & Tools 3 2.5
Mobile Trading 3.5 3.5
Research 3.5 4
Education 3.5 3
Ease of Use 5 5
Banking 4 2
Ally Invest Review Firstrade Review
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Trading Fees

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $0.00 $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Base Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.50 $0.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $9.95 $0.00
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $20.00 $19.95

Margin Rates

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Under $24,999.99 7.75% 8.75%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 7.50% 8.25%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 6.75% 7.75%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 5.50% 7.25%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 4.50% 7.00%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 4.00% 5.10%
Above $1,000,000.00 3.25% 4.50%

Account Fees

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $50.00 $0.00
Returned ACH Fee $30.00 $50.00
Returned Wire Fee $30.00 $50.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $300.00 $300.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee $300.00 $300.00
Paper Statement Fee $2.00 $5.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $1.00 $3.00
Domestic Wire Fee $30.00 $30.00
International Wire Fee N/A $50.00

Investment Options

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
Fractional Shares
No No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
4 4
Futures Trading
No No
Forex Trading
Yes No
Crypto Trading No No
Mutual Funds (No Load)
11153 11134
Mutual Funds (Total)
18352 18322
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
Yes No
International Trading
No No

Order Types

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
No Yes
Order Type - Contingent
Yes No
Order Type - MultiContingent
No Yes
Order Type - OCO
No Yes
Order Type - OTO
No Yes
Order Type - OTOCO
No No

Trading Platforms

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Desktop Platform (Windows)
No No
Desktop Platform (Mac)
No No
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Trade Journal
No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
21 47
Heat Mapping
No Yes
AI Assistant Bot
No No

Charting Features

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Charting - Trade Off Chart
No No
Charting - Indicators / Studies
117 102
Charting - Drawing Tools
36 8
Charting - Historical Trades
No No
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes No
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations
5 6
Charting - Custom Studies
No No

Day Trading

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
No No
Streaming Time & Sales
No No
Streaming TV
No No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
No No
Direct Market Routing - Options
No No
Ladder Trading
No No
Trade Hot Keys
No No
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
No No
Level 2 Quotes - Options
No No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Yes No
Short Locator
No No
Order Liquidity Rebates
No No

Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
No No
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
No Yes
Trading - Conditional Orders
No No
Trading - Mutual Funds
No No
Trading - Simple Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Option Rolling
No No
Touch / Face ID
Yes Yes

Mobile App Features

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts
No No
Charting - After Hours
No No
Charting - Drawing
No No
Charting - Study Customizations
No Yes
Heatmapping
No No
Stream Live TV
No No
Barcode Lookup
No No

Research Overview

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income
No Yes
Screener - Stocks
No Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Screener - Options
No No
Screener - Bonds
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
No Yes

Stock Research

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Stock Research - Reports
2 1
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
No Yes
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Social
No No
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes Yes
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
No No

ETF Research

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Sector Exposure
No Yes
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Ratings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
No Yes
ETFs - Reports
Yes Yes

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Reports
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
No Yes
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes Yes

Options Trading

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes No
Option Chains - Total Columns
8 8
Option Chains - Greeks
1 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes No
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes No
Option Probability Analysis
Yes No
Option Probability Analysis Adv
No No
Option Positions - Greeks
Yes No
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Yes No
Option Positions - Rolling
No Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes No

Beginners

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Education (Stocks)
Yes Yes
Education (ETFs)
No No
Education (Options)
Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds)
Yes No
Education (Fixed Income)
Yes No
Education (Retirement)
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Videos
No Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
15 6
Webinars (Archived)
Yes Yes
Live Seminars
No No
Progress Tracking
No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No No

Banking

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Retail Locations
0 1
Member FDIC
Yes No
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
Yes No
Credit Cards
No No
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
Yes No
No Fee Banking
Yes No

Overall

Feature Ally Invest Firstrade
Overall 4 4
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Offering of Investments 4 4
Platforms & Tools 3 2.5
Mobile Trading 3.5 3.5
Research 3.5 4
Education 3.5 3
Ease of Use 5 5
Banking 4 2
Ally Invest Review Firstrade Review
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Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2020 annual broker review, we spent hundreds of hours assessing 15 brokerages to find the best online broker. Let's compare Ally Invest vs Firstrade.

Is Ally Invest or Firstrade better for beginners?
Ally Invest is better for beginner investors than Firstrade. Ally Invest offers investors access to Education (Stocks), Education (Options), Education (Mutual Funds), Education (Fixed Income) and Education (Retirement).

What about Ally Invest vs Firstrade pricing?
Ally Invest and Firstrade both cost $0 per trade. For options trading, both Ally Invest and Firstrade charge the same base fee of $0. Option contracts are pricier at Ally Invest, costing $0.50 versus $0 at Firstrade. For a complete commissions summary, see our best discount brokers guide.

Does Ally Invest or Firstrade offer a wider range of investment options?
Ally Invest offers a more diverse selection of investment options than Firstrade. Ally Invest offers investors access to Stock Trading, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Forex Trading and Advisor Services. Looking at Mutual Funds, Ally Invest boasts an offering of 18352 mutual funds compared to Firstrade's 18322 available funds.

Which trading platform is better: Ally Invest or Firstrade?
To compare the trading platforms of both Ally Invest and Firstrade, we tested each broker's trading tools, research capabilities, and mobile apps. For trading tools, Ally Invest offers a better experience. With research, Firstrade offers superior market research. Finally, we found Firstrade to provide better mobile trading apps.

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 available to clients of Firstrade while Ally Invest offers customers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Mortgage Loans.

Overall, between Ally Invest and Firstrade, Ally Invest is the better online broker.

Ally Invest Review
Firstrade Review

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All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/20/2020 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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