Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2017 Broker Review, we assessed 16 brokers on 308 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. Firstrade and Ally Invest both cost $4.95 per trade. For options trading, both Firstrade and Ally Invest charge the same base fee of $4.95. Option contracts run $0.65 a piece at both brokerages. 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 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. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Ally Invest falling behind Firstrade, offering 0 commission free ETFs compared to Firstrade's 12.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Ally Invest makes virtual trading available to clients, 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 available to clients of Firstrade while Ally Invest offers customers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, 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.