Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our annual broker review, we assess over a dozen brokers on hundreds of different variables to find the best online broker
. Yielding a database of over 5,000 data points, let's compare Firstrade vs Ally Invest.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Ally Invest charges $4.95 per stock trade which is $2.00 more than Firstrade which charges customers $2.95 per trade. With options, the base fees charged are $4.95 (Ally Invest) and $2.95 (Firstrade). Each option contract then costs $0.65 at Ally Invest and $0.50 at Firstrade. It's important to note that not all brokers charge a flat fee per trade. Thus, it is important to read the full commission notes for each broker, which we include with each online broker review
Next to commission rates, being able to trade what you want is important. Ally Invest offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Forex Trading and Futures Trading while Firstrade offers Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Firstrade boasts an offering of 12603 mutual funds compared to Ally Invest's 10264 available funds. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Firstrade having the upper hand thanks to its 12 available commission free ETFs compared to Ally Invest's offering of 0.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Neither Firstrade and Ally Invest offer virtual trading. Taking a look at mobile trading, Firstrade along with Ally Invest both support the iPhone App, iPad 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 mobile trading, unfortunately, neither Firstrade nor Ally Invest received awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Ally Invest takes the upper hand with 4.00 stars over Firstrade's 3.50 stars.