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 more than Firstrade for placing regular stock trades ($4.95 and $2.95, respectively). Looking at trading options, Firstrade's base fee is $2.95 while Ally Invest's is $4.95. Firstrade's per contract rate of $0.50 is less than Ally Invest which charges $0.65. 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 provides its clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Forex Trading and Futures Trading while Firstrade provides clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Firstrade offers its clients access to 12603 different mutual funds while Ally Invest has 10264 available funds, a difference of 2,339. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, Firstrade offers 703 commission free ETFs versus Ally Invest's total of 0.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Firstrade nor Ally Invest offers virtual trading. Taking a look at mobile trading, Both Firstrade and Ally Invest offer clients access to an 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. Clients can have Checking Accounts and Debit Cards at Firstrade while customers at Ally Invest can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, both Firstrade and Ally Invest found themselves without awards for Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Firstrade boasts 4.00 stars versus Ally Invest's 3.50 stars.