Online brokerage services have existed for over 20 years. Trading investments today has never been cheaper. So while the race towards cheap trades (in some cases free) is happening, other functionality is becoming more important when selecting a stock broker.
For this review, I compare Ally Invest and E*TRADE. Which one is better depends on your needs? So let's examine the major features first.
We've determined with online brokerages the most critical feature customers care about is the
cost per trade. The second most important feature is the minimum deposit, and the last is if the broker
offers mutual funds. Let's look at how Ally Invest and E*TRADE
stack up against each other on these points.
To start, we will consider the minimum investment required for both applications. In other words, how much does one need to invest to use the service? Out of the two, Ally Invest minimum investment of $0 is smaller than the deposit of required by E*TRADE.
Next I'll consider cost per trade for both brokers.
Out of the two, Ally Invest is cheaper per trade at $4.95 than E*TRADE at $6.95/trade.
Both Ally Invest and E*TRADE offer mutual funds. So this feature isn't a clear difference between the stock brokers.
|Review||Ally Invest Review||E*TRADE Review|
Overall rating as by Investor Junkie.Rating
|Commissions & Fees|
|Ease of Use|
|Tools & Resources|
|Amount of Deals|
|Promotions||Get up to a $3,500 Cash Bonus||Trade FREE for 60 Days and get up to $2,500|
|Stock Trades||$4.95/trade ($3.95/trade – 30 trades per quarter or $100k+ balance)||$6.95/trade ($4.95/trade for 30+ trades/quarter)|
|Options Trades||$4.95/trade + $0.65/contract ($3.95/trade + $0.50/contract)||$6.95/trade + $0.75/contract ($4.95 + $0.50/contract for 30+ trades/quarter)|
|Investment Types||Stocks, Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, FOREX, Futures||Stocks, Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, FOREX, Futures|
|Access||Website, iOS App, Android App||Website, iOS App, Apple Watch, Android App|
|Broker Assisted Trade|
|No Fee ETFs|
|Sign Up||Sign Up|
About Ally Invest
Ally Invest is the online brokerage firm of Ally Bank, and its great pricing and customer service make it hard to beat. Unfortunately, the funding process can be tricky, taking up to 10 business days. And if you are looking for a local branch office, you'll have to look elsewhere.
E*TRADE, the grandaddy of online discount brokers, is still a good choice for active investors. Its platforms are easy to use, customer service is responsive, and trades execute quickly. However, there are now many less expensive rivals on the market.