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TradeKing Review (2020 Ally Invest Update)

TradeKing reviews are found under the name Ally Invest since the company's acquisition in 2016. Ally offers full banking and investment services, but does not sell insurance.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Jun 25, 2020

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TradeKing
Fees
Trading Platform
Research Tools
Investment Choices



 

TradeKing (Ally Invest) Overview
Key Information Specifics
Year Founded 1919
Current ExecutivesJeffrey J. Brown, CEO
David J. DeBrunner, CAO
Jennifer A. LeClair, CFO
Number of Employees8,700
Headquarters Address500 Woodward Ave., Floor 10
Detroit, MI 48226
Phone Number(866) 710-4623
Company Websiteally.com
Get Your Rates Quote Now

TradeKing got its start in 2005 as a discount online brokerage firm, focusing primarily on self-directed stock and options traders. It was consistently an award-winning, low-cost broker.

In 2016, TradeKing was acquired by Ally Financial. At the time of its acquisition, TradeKing had approximately $4.5 billion in client assets, 250,000 accounts, and 20,000 daily average revenue trades. Ally rebranded TradeKing as Ally Invest in June 2016; Ally Invest operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc. Any TradeKing reviews and complaints are found under the Ally name.

After you read our TradeKing review, now known as Ally Invest, enter your ZIP code in our FREE quote comparison tool to compare rates from the best insurance companies.

TradeKind and Ally Financial

Ally Financial is a publicly-held corporation (NYSE: ALLY) that can trace its roots back to nearly 100 years ago when GMAC, a branch of General Motors, was formed, focusing primarily on financing for car dealerships. Throughout the following decades, the company expanded into consumer auto lending, auto insurance, and home lending.

With its TradeKing acquisition, Ally moved into the consumer wealth management arena. The insurance portion of the original GMAC business eventually became National General Insurance (GMAC).

Although you couldn’t buy insurance directly from TradeKing, you can get an idea what you might pay through GMAC in the table below.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Marital Status, Age, & Gender
Driver Marital Status, Age, & GenderAverage Annual Rates
Married 60-Year-Old Female$2,243
Married 60-Year-Old Male$2,308
Married 35-Year-Old Male$2,446
Married 35-Year-Old Female$2,449
Single 25-Year-Old Female$2,703
Single 25-Year-Old Male$2,889
Single 17-Year-Old Female$7,559
Single 17-Year-Old Male$9,028
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You can expect to pay more for your auto insurance the younger you are.

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Ally Invest

As of the end of 2019, Ally Invest managed more than $5.8 billion in assets for both self-directed investing and managed accounts; another subsidiary, Ally Bank, had total assets of $167.5 billion and total deposits of $120.8 billion.

Ally Invest Fees

When it acquired TradeKing, Ally Invest retained most of TradeKing’s competitive advantages: a self-directed trading platform, low trading fees, and responsive customer service.

In terms of the specific price structure for their online trading business, Ally offers the following:

Ally Invest Online Trading Commisions & Fees
Ally Invest Investment VehicleCommissionFee
StocksNone$0
ETFsNone$0
OptionsNone$0.50 per contract
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Ally mutual fund fees are $0 for the purchase of load funds; no-load fund fees are $9.95 per purchase or sale.

Unfortunately for Ally, these fees are fairly competitive with today’s online consumer trading market, so price is no longer a competitive advantage for them. In order for Ally to stay in this market, they likely had no choice but to cut their commissions out of the mix altogether.

You might wonder, then, how does Ally manage to stay in business with such low or non-existent fees?

Since their acquisition of TradeKing, Ally has built linkages between their trading and banking platforms, encouraging customers to use both and to hold free cash in the Ally bank in an interest-bearing account. Ally then, as a bank, earns the difference between the interest they pay to customers on these accounts and the interest they earn by lending this money to their loan customers.

Ally Invest Trading Platform

The TradeKing trading platform had been very favorably rated by consumers, but Ally might appear to have taken a step back from the perspective of former TradeKing customers. For example, TradeKing had provided a suite of analytics tools that gave these more sophisticated investors a unique glimpse into the options trading market; this seems to be absent from what Ally Invest provides.

Most Ally banking customers might find that the Ally platform, InvestLIVE, meets most of their needs; the more investing-savvy, former TradeKing customers, might not be quite as pleased.

Ally does offer, however, Level II data to customers who place at least 25 stock or ETF trades per month. This Level II data contains trade-specific information such as the names of the market makers and their bid/ask size. Level II information can be advantageous to the savvy consumer-investor who is seeking to make a trade at a certain price; it can also help with providing additional market information not available elsewhere.

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Ally Invest Banking Features

Whereas Ally might fall somewhat short in terms of retaining the savvy investors it got from TradeKing, its banking infrastructure and business model cater very well to consumers. For this customer segment, the ability to take advantage of Ally Invest in a nearly seamless manner may be a very attractive option.

Here’s a look at one of Ally’s commercials.

Ally Bank offers standard banking options such as savings, CDs, and IRAs.

Ally Invest Customer Service

Ally Invest offers customer service via phone seven days a week, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Eastern Time at (855) 880-2559.

Ally Invest Competitors

In terms of competitors for its online trading business, Ally battles against the following:

Be sure to research the competition before you settle on one.

TradeKing: The Bottom Line

For consumer banking customers looking for an easy way to get into stock market trading, Ally Invest is likely a logical next step. However, former TradeKing customers who are accustomed to a relatively sophisticated, consumer-directed investment platform and tools, might not be so willing to stay with Ally.

Although TradeKing customers couldn’t buy auto insurance from the company, you can compare auto insurance rates by entering your ZIP code below.

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Frequently Asked Questions: TradeKing

Below you can find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Ally.

#1 – Is Ally Bank a good investment?

It depends on what you’re looking for. As a publicly-traded company, you can follow the stock price for Ally Financial (NYSE: ALLY) and see for yourself if the volume of shares traded, the stock price volatility, the degree of insider trading (the legal kind!), and other factors align with your investment strategy when considered along with the rest of your investment portfolio.

#2 – Where can I find the Ally Invest interest rate?

Ally Bank publishes its current interest rates for CDs, savings accounts, checking and money market accounts, and IRAs on its web site.

#3 – I see some Ally Invest reviews on reddit, how reliable are they?

As with any platform where people gather for discussions or posting their opinions, you should always consider the source when weighing how much reliability you choose to place in the comment. For unbiased reviews, you’ll want to stick with the professional review agencies such as A.M. Best and the Better Business Bureau.

#4 – Where can I find the Ally Invest login?

You can log into your account with Ally Bank or Ally Invest on their web page by going to https://www.ally.com/invest/.

#5 – Is Ally a good investment company?

Assuming that Ally, or any other investment company for that matter, is adhering to the appropriate laws and regulations, and its fees and interest rates are competitive, your own experience with Ally is likely to determine whether it’s a good company or not. Reliable customer service and appropriate supporting technology can mean different things to different people and lifestyles, so it’s important that you research how Ally’s services align with your own preferences.

#6 – Is Ally Invest good for beginners?

The relationship between Ally Invest and Ally Bank makes it relatively easy for customers to move money from their bank accounts to their investment accounts. Beginning investors might find this feature appealing since it avoids wiring funds or other banking complexities.

#7 – Can you trade futures on Ally invest?

Ally no longer allows futures trading on its platform, but investors looking for something different can trade foreign currencies through Ally and its relationship with GAIN Capital Group.

#8 – What is Ally Invest Live?

Ally InvestLIVE is Ally’s online trading platform.

References:

  1. https://www.ally.com/bank/view-rates/
  2. http://ratings.ambest.com/search.aspx
  3. https://www.bbb.org/us/nc/charlotte/profile/investment-security/ally-invest-group-inc-0332-90034450
  4. https://www.gaincapital.com/
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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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