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 Charles Schwab and Ally Invest. 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 Charles Schwab and Ally Invest
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 Charles Schwab.
Next I'll consider cost per trade for both brokers.
Both Charles Schwab and Ally Invest cost the same at $4.95/trade and are equal in price.
Both Charles Schwab and Ally Invest offer mutual funds. So this feature isn't a clear difference between the stock brokers.
|Review||Charles Schwab Review||Ally Invest Review|
Overall rating as by Investor Junkie.Rating
|Commissions & Fees|
|Ease of Use|
|Tools & Resources|
|Amount of Deals|
|Promotions||None||Get up to a $3,500 Cash Bonus|
|Stock Trades||$4.95/trade||$4.95/trade ($3.95/trade – 30 trades per quarter or $100k+ balance)|
|Options Trades||$4.95/trade + $0.65/contract||$4.95/trade + $0.65/contract ($3.95/trade + $0.50/contract)|
|Investment Types||Stocks, Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds||Stocks, Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, FOREX, Futures|
|Access||Website, iOS App, Apple Watch, Android App||Website, iOS App, Android App|
|Broker Assisted Trade|
|No Fee ETFs|
|Sign Up||Sign Up|
About Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab is the Nordstrom of the investment world, and customers virtually always leave happy. As a customer, you'll get access to virtually all the investment services that come standard at any major brokerage. However, if you're an active trader, you might find other firms with better options.
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.