Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2017 Broker Review
, we factored in 308 different variables to assess 16 different brokers. So when taking a look at Firstrade vs Ally Invest, there is a huge database of information available to us.
To start this comparison, first we will take a look at the broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Firstrade and Ally Invest charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $4.95. With options, the base fee is $4.95 for both Firstrade and Ally Invest. Contracts run $0.65 a piece at both brokerages. Not all brokers charge a flat rate fee per trade though, so it is important to read the full commission notes to know the complete breakdown (go to any online broker review
page, then scroll to the "Commissions Notes" section).
Next to commission rates, being able to trade the instrument you want is important. Ally Invest supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Forex Trading and Futures Trading while Firstrade supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Firstrade offers its clients access to 12191 different mutual funds while Ally Invest has 10138 available funds, a difference of 2,053.00. Commission free ETFs also should not be forgotten, with Ally Invest falling behind Firstrade, offering 0 commission free etfs compared to Firstrade's 12.
Lastly, taking a look at popular features and functionality, we can go a bit deeper to really break down the difference of both brokers. Ally Invest offers virtual trading while Firstrade does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Both Firstrade and Ally Invest offer clients access to an iPhone App and Android App. Not to be left out, online banking is also a nice benefit for many investors, and some 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. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and trading on the go, Neither Firstrade nor Ally Invest were rated Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Ally Invest boasts 4.00 stars versus Firstrade's 3.50 stars.