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Firstrade vs Ally Invest 2020

Is Ally Invest better than Firstrade? Based on over 4,000 data points from our 2019 annual broker review, Firstrade (67.1%) is better than Ally Invest (62.44%).

Firstrade

Best for Chinese-speaking investors - Open Account
Special Offer: Commission-Free Trading on 700+ ETFs

Firstrade offers $0 stock, ETF, and options trades, and is best known for its easy-to-use website, alongside its Chinese language services. While Firstrade offers Morningstar research and a variety of tools, its overall offering struggles to stand out against household name brands who are also priced at $0. Read full review

Ally Invest

Best for Ally customers
Backed by Ally Financial, Ally Invest is a low-cost broker providing $0 stock and ETF trades. Ally’s complete universal-account management experience and easy to use website makes the brokerage great for current Ally Bank customers and everyday investors alike. Read full review

Overall Rating

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Overall 3.5 3
Firstrade Review Ally Invest Review

Trading Fees

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
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 $0.00 $0.50
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $0.00 $9.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $19.95 $20.00
Commissions & Fees 4 3.5
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Under $24,999.99 9.00% 9.50%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 8.75% 9.25%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 8.25% 8.50%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 7.75% 7.25%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 7.50% 6.25%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 5.60% 5.75%
Above $1,000,000.00 5.00% 5.00%
Commissions & Fees 4 3.5
Winner check_circle

Account Fees

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $50.00
Returned ACH Fee $50.00 $30.00
Returned Wire Fee $50.00 $30.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $300.00 $300.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee $300.00 $300.00
Paper Statement Fee $5.00 $2.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $3.00 $1.00
Domestic Wire Fee $30.00 $30.00
International Wire Fee $50.00 N/A
Commissions & Fees 4 3.5

Investment Options

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
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
No Yes
Commission-Free ETFs all all
Mutual Funds (No Load)
10746 11234
Mutual Funds (Total)
14939 18728
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
No Yes
International Trading
No No
Offering of Investments 3.5 4
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Order Types

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Contingent
Yes Yes
Order Type - MultiContingent
Yes No
Order Type - OCO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTOCO
No No
Offering of Investments 3.5 4
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Trading Platforms

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
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
47 21
Heat Mapping
Yes No
Platforms & Tools 2 2.5
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Charting Features

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Charting - Trade Off Chart
No No
Charting - Indicators / Studies
58 117
Charting - Drawing Tools
8 36
Charting - Historical Trades
No No
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
No Yes
Charting - Save Profiles
No Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
6 5
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 2 2.5
Winner check_circle

Day Trading

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
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
No Yes
Short Locator
No No
Order Liquidity Rebates
No No
Winner check_circle

Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
No No
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes No
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
Winner check_circle

Mobile App Features

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts
No No
Charting - After Hours
No No
Charting - Drawing
No No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes No
Heatmapping
No No
Stream Live TV
No No
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 3.5 3
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Research Overview

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income
Yes No
Screener - Stocks
Yes No
Screener - ETFs
Yes No
Screener - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Screener - Options
No No
Screener - Bonds
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
No Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes No
Research 4 2
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Stock Research

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Stock Research - Reports
1 2
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Yes No
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
Research 4 2
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ETF Research

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes No
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Ratings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
Yes No
ETFs - Reports
Yes Yes
Research 4 2
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Mutual Fund Research

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Reports
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes No
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes Yes
Research 4 2
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Options Trading

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Option Chains - Streaming
No Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
8 8
Option Chains - Greeks
5 1
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
No Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
No Yes
Option Probability Analysis
No Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv
No No
Option Positions - Greeks
No Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
No Yes
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes No
Option Positions - Grouping
No Yes
Platforms & Tools 2 2.5
Winner check_circle

Beginners

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Has Education - Stocks
Yes Yes
Has Education - ETFs
No No
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Has Education - Fixed Income
No Yes
Has Education - Retirement
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Videos
Yes No
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
6 15
Webinars (Archived)
Yes No
Live Seminars
No No
Progress Tracking
No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No No
Investor Magazine
No No
Education 3 3.5
Winner check_circle

Banking

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Retail Locations
1 0
Member FDIC
No Yes
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
No Yes
Credit Cards
No Yes
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
No Yes
No Fee Banking
No Yes
Banking 2 4
Winner check_circle

Overall

Feature Firstrade Ally Invest
Firstrade Review Ally Invest Review
Overall 3.5 3
Winner check_circle

The StockBrokers.com annual broker review assesses more than a dozen different brokers over six months, surfacing the best online stock brokers. This review compares Ally Invest vs Firstrade. Is Ally Invest or Firstrade a better online broker?

First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Ally Invest and Firstrade both cost $0 per trade. With options, the base fee is $0 for both Ally Invest and Firstrade. Each option contract then costs $0.50 at Ally Invest and $0 at Firstrade. Note that some brokers charge a per-share fee instead of a flat-fee commission. For a full breakdown of commissions, read our online broker reviews.

For our next comparison of these two brokers, being able to trade the way you want is a must. Firstrade supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Ally Invest supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Forex Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Ally Invest boasts an offering of 18728 mutual funds compared to Firstrade's 14939 available funds.

Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Neither Ally Invest and Firstrade offer virtual trading. For mobile trading, Ally Invest along with Firstrade both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple brokerages provide these services to clients. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are offered by Firstrade while Ally Invest offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans.

Overall, between Ally Invest and Firstrade, Firstrade is the winner.

Ally Invest Review
Firstrade Review



All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/14/2020 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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