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TD Ameritrade Review 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It may not have not been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners or the Investment company.

Disclosure : MagnifyMoney is an advertising-supported comparison service which receives compensation from some of the financial providers whose offers appear on our site. This compensation from our advertising partners may impact how and where products appear on the site (including for example, the order in which they appear). To provide more complete comparisons, the site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

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TD Ameritrade is one of the leading U.S. brokerages in today’s market. It offers a comprehensive range of account types, and there is no minimum investment requirement. With over 350 brick-and-mortar branches, and a choice of online and mobile trading platforms, TD Ameritrade bridges the gap between a traditional and online brokerage for investors who may want the option for in-person consultations.

TD Ameritrade
VISIT TD AMERITRADE Secured
on TD Ameritrade’s secure website
The bottom line: TD Ameritrade appeals to investors of any skill level, but watch out for trading fees for short-term ETF holdings and no-load mutual funds.  
  • Over 350 brick-and-mortar branches for in-person customer support as well as phone, text and chat support
  • Robust web, mobile and desktop apps integrated with financial news and a proprietary social signal tracker that interfaces with Twitter to assess consumer sentiment
  • More than 2,300 commission-free ETFs.

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Who should consider a TD Ameritrade brokerage account?

With an extensive range of services and investment products, TD Ameritrade aims to reach investors of all levels, from beginners to experienced traders.

The fact that there’s no account minimum to open a TD Ameritrade brokerage account is attractive for new investors. Beginners and other hands-off investors will also appreciate the opportunity to invest in thousands of commission-free ETFs, which can make building a diversified portfolio easy. Active ETF traders, however, may wish to look elsewhere because TD Ameritrade charges a hefty $13.90 fee on commission-free ETFs held for less than 30 days.

Investors who want face-to-face interaction and customer support will appreciate the fact that there are brick-and-mortar branches of TD Ameritrade throughout the country. Educational seminars offered at local branches will also appear to beginning and experienced investors alike.

More seasoned investors will like TD Ameritrade’s robust resources, including pro-grade trading platform, thinkorswim, plus a comprehensive suite of investment research tools. These tools include Social Signals, which pulls Twitter insights on particular investments into one place as well as a trading simulator that allows you to track investment performance without putting real money at risk.

All investors have the option to set up a free consultation with an independent registered financial advisor through TD Ameritrade’s AdvisorDirect referral program.

TD Ameritrade fees and features

Stock trading fees
  • $0.00 per trade
Amount minimum to open account
  • $0
Tradable securities
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures / commodities
  • Forex
Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)
  • $0 annual fee
  • $75 full account transfer fee
  • $0 partial account transfer fee
  • $0 inactivity fee
Account types
  • Individual taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • 529 Plan
  • Joint taxable
  • Rollover IRA
  • Rollover Roth IRA
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account(ESA)
  • Custodial Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA)/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA)
  • Custodial IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • Solo 401(k) (for small businesses)
  • SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees)
  • Trust
  • Guardianship or Conservatorship
Mobile appiOS, Android, Windows phone
Customer supportPhone, 24/7 live support, Chat, Email, 364 branch locations
Research resources
  • SEC filings
  • Mutual fund reports
  • Earnings press releases
  • Earnings call transcripts
  • Earnings call recordings

TD Ameritrade offers numerous features that set it apart from other online brokers, including an extensive library of educational materials as well as investor education seminars held periodically throughout the year.

While its resource materials and trading platforms are a cut above competitors, many of its costs and fees are in-line with industry averages:

  • There are no commissions charged for online stock or ETF trades
  • There are no commissions, assignment fees, or exercise fees for option trades, and contract fees are just $0.65 per contract
  • Online trades of stocks not listed on U.S. stock exchanges incur a $6.95 commission
  • A $25 fee is charged for broker-assisted trades
  • There is a $5 fee for using the interactive voice response phone system

TD Ameritrade trading fees for certain ETFs and mutual funds

Although TD Ameritrade offers thousands of commission-free ETFs, any funds participating in the ETF Market Center and sold for no commission must be held for at least 30 calendar days. If you sell before this time is up, you’ll be assessed a $13.90 short-term trading fee.

The day the ETF is purchased counts as calendar day zero, so the clock doesn’t start on your 30 days until the next business day following the purchase. Because of this fee, the actual cost of a commission-free ETF could exceed the expenses associated with buying and selling ETFs that aren’t commission-free.

TD Ameritrade lets users trade over 13,000 mutual funds on its platform, including hundreds of funds that carry no transaction fee. However, TD Ameritrade charges a $49.99 trading commission to trade no-load mutual funds. Users looking to minimize costs should carefully review potential trading fees involved in buying and selling many funds.

TD Ameritrade investment options

TD Ameritrade offers investors the opportunity to invest in a wide range of different asset classes including:

  • Stocks
  • Options
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Futures
  • Forex
  • Bonds and CDs
  • Annuities

It’s possible to buy stocks on U.S. exchanges and on overseas exchanges. Investors also have a choice of more than 2,300 commission-free ETFs as well as more than 13,000 mutual funds total including hundreds of funds with no transaction fees.

Investors benefit from the fact they’ll pay no commissions when trading most stocks, options and ETFs — but should be aware that there are still trading costs associated with some investments.

Trading stocks not listed on U.S. exchanges will result in a charge of $6.95 for buying and selling, while there is a fee of $2.25 per futures contract and a fee of $0.65 per options contract. No load mutual funds also come at a cost of $49.99, although investors can avoid this fee by choosing from one of the many no transaction fee funds.

No commissions also doesn’t mean no trading expenses. Investors who purchase certain commission-free ETFs still have to pay fund management expense ratios, which are charged by the fund itself and entirely separate from trading commissions charged by brokers. However, TD Ameritrade‘s ETF screener can help you to find ETFs with 0% expense ratios, as well as other low-cost exchange-traded funds to keep fees to a minimum.

Trading platforms and tools

TD Ameritrade has a desktop trading app, a mobile app, and a web app, letting you buy and sell assets whenever and wherever you like. Some of the features you can expect from these platforms include:

  • Integrated research and data, including third-party research as well as financial news and social insights from Twitter
  • Real-time streaming quotes
  • Advanced charting tools including the ability to incorporate data from the Federal Reserve including more than 400,000 economic indicators
  • Access to current and historical market data

Unfortunately, not all tools are available on all TD Ameritrade platforms. Portfolio Planner, which assists you in building a portfolio that exposes you to an appropriate level of risk depending on your investment goals, is available only on TD Ameritrade‘s online platform.

Beginning investors may also find ThinkorSwim, TD Ameritrade‘s free desktop trading platform, to be too complex to navigate even with in-app support.

Research resources and trading simulator

TD Ameritrade truly sets itself apart from other brokers because of the quality and quantity of research and educational materials the brokerage provides. Some of these tools include:

  • Immersive online courses taught by investment coaches that provide education for all levels of investors. Courses include an introduction to retirement planning; lessons on fundamental analysis to help you learn to identify value stocks or technical analysis to help you learn to read the market; introductions to options trading or futures trading; and much more.
  • More than 200 instructional videos for investors at all experience levels, including an introduction to trading stocks.
  • Access to market news, including from third party sources such as Yahoo Finance as well as briefings on market events prepared by TD Ameritrade strategists.
  • Webcasts on a wide range of subjects including long-term investing, active trading, and portfolio management.

TD Ameritrade also offers paperMoney, a virtual stock market simulator so you can test trading strategies and track performance. With paperMoney, you can virtually trade stocks, options, futures and forex. You’ll have access to the same charting data and market indicators available to those trading actual money, but won’t put assets at risk.

Strengths of TD Ameritrade

  • No account minimums for TD Ameritrade brokerage accounts and no account value thresholds for site access: The fact that there are no account minimums is a huge draw for beginning investors, who should know that all online tools are available to them regardless of account balance.
  • Robust research tools and analysis: TD Ameritrade offers live CNBC streaming and access to third-party research tools to help investors come up with a customized strategy.
  • Robust mobile experience: In addition to being able to buy, sell and trade via the app, the app also allows access to more than 20 educational videos as well as research from leading financial analysts.

Drawbacks of TD Ameritrade

  • Short-term ETF trading fees: TD Ameritrade offers over 2,300 commission-free ETFs. You must own them for at least 30 days before selling, or you may be charged a $13.90 short-term trading fee — something to be aware of if you’re an investor who regularly trades ETFs and you’re focused on keeping costs as low as possible.
  • Higher costs and a higher account minimum for robo-advisory services: While competitors allow you to get started with just $500 — and some don’t even have minimum investment requirements — TD Ameritrade‘s robo-advisor requires a $5,000 minimum
  • Some trading platforms are complicated: Beginning investors will likely find thinkorswim to be overwhelming.

Is TD Ameritrade safe?

TD Ameritrade has a history of 40-plus years in investing. The online and mobile platforms have strong security requirements, including two-factor authentication, and shut down account access at the first sign of suspicious activity. TD Ameritrade also offers an asset protection guarantee that promises reimbursement for any securities or cash lost as a result of unauthorized account activity.

TD Ameritrade manages $1 trillion in client assets and has over 11 million funded client accounts. TD Ameritrade is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and securities in your account are protected up to $500,000. Certificates of deposit (CDs) purchased by TD Ameritrade are issued by banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Cash in your investment account can be held in an FDIC-insured deposit account, where it is insured by the FDIC up to the legal limit per depositor, per bank.

Final thoughts on TD Ameritrade

Investors who have a range of investment needs may find TD Ameritrade to be a good all-in-one option. The robust online tools, accessible customer service and lack of account minimums make TD Ameritrade appealing to investors of all levels. Those looking for an affordable robo-advisor or who wish to actively trade ETFs, however, may wish to look elsewhere as their costs with TD Ameritrade will likely be higher than with many competitor offerings.

The rates and fees mentioned in this article are accurate as of the date of publishing.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Thinkorswim Review 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It may not have not been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners or the Investment company.

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Reviewed By

Thinkorswim is a free trading platform available to TD Ameritrade customers. You must have a TD Ameritrade account to use thinkorswim, which is described as a “professional-level trading platform for serious traders.” It lives up to this promise, providing one of the most feature-rich trading platforms on the market, right up there with Interactive Brokers or TradeStation.

Users get a raft of premium features, including real-time data streaming, more than 400 technical studies and advanced charting tools. For this reason, thinkorswim can be complicated for those not used to navigating an advanced platform.

T.D. Ameritrade
Visit thinkorswim Secured
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The Bottom Line: A trading platform with everything a professional trader needs.

  • All TD Ameritrade customers can use thinkorswim for free.
  • Investors can use thinkorswim to trade a variety of assets, including options, futures and forex.
  • You can trade select securities 24 hours per day, five days per week (except holidays).

Who should consider thinkorswim?

If you’re a TD Ameritrade customer, consider using thinkorswim if you’re an active trader or you want to test out investing strategies risk-free. It’s available as a desktop platform or an app for iOS and Android devices.

If you don’t have an account with TD Ameritrade, it might be worth opening one to get access to this powerful trading platform, which includes its paperMoney stock market simulator. The simulator allows you to test trading strategies and monitor progress without putting real money at risk. Because no minimum deposit is required to open an account with TD Ameritrade and all account holders can access thinkorswim for no fee, you have little to lose by giving the platform a spin.

Although thinkorswim provides the data you want in an intuitive and easy-to-use platform, TD Ameritrade charges a high fee of $13.90 if you invest in commission-free exchange traded funds (ETFs) and don’t hold them for at least 30 days. If you’re a frequent ETF trader and want to make regular trades, you might pay more for the privilege through thinkorswim.

thinkorswim fees and features

Option trading fees
  • $0.00 / trade + $0.65 / contract
Stock trading fees
  • $0.00 per trade
Amount minimum to open account
  • $0
Tradable securities
  • Options
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Futures / commodities
  • Forex
Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)
  • $0 annual fee
  • $75 full account transfer fee
  • $0 partial account transfer fee
  • $0 inactivity fee
Account types
  • Individual taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • 529 Plan
  • Joint taxable
  • Rollover IRA
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account(ESA)
  • Custodial Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA)/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA)
  • Custodial IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • Solo 401(k) (for small businesses)
  • SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees)
  • Trust
  • Guardianship or Conservatorship
Mobile appiOS, Android
Customer supportPhone, 24/7 live support, Chat, Email, 364 branch locations
Research resources
  • Mutual fund reports

Trading commissions on thinkorswim

As with most online brokers, thinkorswim charges no trading commission for most services, including:

However, some fees are associated with thinkorswim. These include:

  • A $0.65 per contract fee for options trading
  • A $6.95 commission for trading stocks not listed on U.S. exchanges
  • A $25 fee for broker-assisted trades
  • A $5 fee for using the interactive voice-response phone system

Tradable asset classes on thinkorswim

Thinkorswim users can invest in a full array of investment products offered by TD Ameritrade. This includes:

  • U.S. and international stocks
  • Options
  • ETFs, including more than 2,300 commission-free funds
  • Futures
  • Forex

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Trading tools on thinkorswim

All the data and charting tools an investor could hope for are available on thinkorswim. When analyzing markets, you’ll have access to more than 400,000 data points from the Federal Reserve. The accessible information covers six continents, which makes it easy to examine economic indicators from around the globe.

With so much data available, robust search features are essential, and thinkorswim delivers. Those who want to track data over time also can generate charts that include data points that span decades.

Traders also can make sure they never miss opportunities that all this data helps them to identify, because thinkorswim allows traders to set rules to trigger orders automatically. So, if you’re unavailable to enter a trade manually, you won’t miss out.

Trade 24 hours per day, 5 days per week

With thinkorswim‘s advanced charting tools and ample available data, investors might find trading opportunities outside of customary trading hours. Fortunately, thinkorswim makes that possible with 24/5 trading.

Thinkorswim’s 24/5 trading covers international markets as well as a list of securities in multiple sectors. Trades made outside of normal business hours become active immediately, which enables experienced investors to react to market moves immediately.

Investor education on thinkorswim

Because a TD Ameritrade account is required for access, thinkorswim users benefit from the robust educational resources that TD Ameritrade provides. This includes:

  • Real-time streaming of quotes
  • Financial news from third-party sources, such as CNBC, as well as market briefings that include commentary from in-house strategists
  • Courses on a wide range of subjects taught by investment coaches, which provide opportunities for new investors and seasoned traders to increase their knowledge
  • In-person educational seminars periodically throughout the year
  • More than 200 instructional videos and webcasts that appeal to investors at all levels

Strengths of thinkorswim

  • Professional level-trading tools, rich data sources: Thinkorswim provides access to advanced charting tools including visuals, Fibonacci tools, and a choice of 20 drawings. You also can use thinkorswim to analyze more than 400,000 economic data points and economic indicators across six continents, build algorithms through thinkScript. You even can access options statistics, such as the Sizzle Index, which allows you to compare current option volume with the five-day average.
  • Easy navigation and support: You can find the information you want quickly through a dedicated search engine. And if you run into trouble when you use the trading platform, a chat feature allows you to text with a trading specialist and even share your screen to get immediate assistance.
  • The paperMoney trading simulator: This stock market simulator is a great option for beginning traders and experienced investors who are more risk-averse and want to see real-world results before putting their hard-earned money to work.
  • 24/5 trading of a wide range of investments: You don’t have to limit your trading to standard market hours.

Drawbacks of thinkorswim

  • Expensive fees for active ETF traders: For traders who take advantage of commission-free ETFs, a $13.90 fee is charged if the fund is held for fewer than 30 days. This can make frequent ETF trading costly.
  • A steep learning curve: Mastering thinkorswim can be difficult for beginning investors who aren’t familiar with professional-level trading tools. A learning center is available, but it might take a lot of time to watch demos and read the training manual to learn how to navigate the platform.

Is thinkorswim safe?

Investing is never risk-free. When you buy stocks, ETFs or other investments, you assume the risk of losing money if the investments perform poorly.

However, the fact that thinkorswim is provided by TD Ameritrade should give you some peace of mind. TD Ameritrade has $1.3 trillion in assets under management and is a well-respected and well-established brokerage company.

TD Ameritrade is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC), so cash that’s deposited into your account is federally insured against insolvency. And TD Ameritrade’s FINRA BrokerCheck listing attests to the fact that it’s in full compliance with regulatory requirements.

TD Ameritrade also aims to deliver the tightest security in the industry. It even promises to reimburse you for cash or shares lost from your account because of unauthorized activity that occurs through no fault of your own.

Final thoughts on thinkorswim

If you want a full-featured trading platform that provides round-the-clock trading, automatic orders and all the data you could want, thinkorswim is a great choice. The educational information and extensive data library alone make it well worth trying out this professional trading platform — particularly because it’s free to all TD Ameritrade customers.

Fees mentioned in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Ally Invest Managed Portfolios Review 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It may not have not been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners or the Investment company.

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Ally Invest Managed Portfolios is a robo-advisor that allows you to begin investing with a small amount and take a hands-off approach to building wealth over time. Existing Ally Bank customers will appreciate this platform, as it integrates with your other Ally accounts, making it easy to review all your finances in one place.

Ally Invest Managed Portfolios guides your choice of investing strategy, and automates the management of your investments. It’s a good choice if you’re looking to build wealth without doing a lot of the heavy lifting yourself.

Ally Financial Inc.
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The Bottom Line: Robo-advisor Ally Invest Managed Portfolios is competitive with similar automated investing apps. But the lack of tax-loss harvesting, plus fees that are higher than some competitors, may prompt you to look elsewhere if you’re not already an Ally customer.

  • The minimum deposit to invest in Ally Invest Managed Portfolios is $100
  • The management fee is 0.30%, no matter how high your account balance
  • You can avoid the management fee by keeping 30% of your portfolio in cash
  • Customer service is available 24/7, but there are no local branches to visit

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Who should consider Ally Invest Managed Portfolios?

Ally Invest Managed Portfolios is ideal for someone who prefers a hands-off approach to managing investments and would like guidance for long-term investing options. The app asks you questions about your risk tolerance, timeline for investing and other details to help you choose the right investment portfolio. You can tweak the portfolio, but you cannot make active trades.

With Ally Invest Managed Portfolios, you don’t have to worry about rebalancing — the app handles this task automatically. If you prefer to maintain a large cash buffer, the cash-enhanced option places 30% of your portfolio in cash. This is a good option for those who are more risk-averse.

You should also be comfortable with an all-online experience. With Ally Invest Managed Portfolios, there are no branch offices where you can consult with an advisor face-to-face, although the company does offer 24/7 support via online chat, phone or email.

Those who like a hands-on experience or want to choose individual stocks should choose a different product. You won’t have direction over what happens with your portfolio, other than tweaks to asset allocation.

Ally Invest Managed Portfolios fees and features

Amount minimum to open account
  • $100
Management fees
  • 0.30% for standard accounts
  • 0.00% if you allow Ally to keep 30% of your portfolio in cash
Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)
  • $0 annual fee
  • $50 full account transfer fee
  • $50 partial account transfer fee
  • $0 inactivity fee
Account types
  • Individual taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • 529 Plan
  • Joint taxable
  • Rollover IRA
  • Rollover Roth IRA
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA)
  • Custodial Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA)/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA)
  • SEP IRA
  • SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees)
  • Trust
Portfolio
  • Ally Invest managed portfolios cover 3 asset classes and 9 major market segments
Mobile appiOS, Android, Windows Phone
Customer supportPhone, 24/7 live support, Chat, Email

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Ally Invest Managed Portfolios management fees

Ally Invest Managed Portfolios charges a flat annual advisory fee of 0.30% on portfolios that don’t use the cash-enhanced option. If you’re willing to keep 30% of your portfolio in cash, you don’t have to be worried about being charged a fee at all. The return you receive on the cash portion of your portfolio depends on market rates.

However, expense ratios will still be charged on the exchange traded funds (ETFs) that comprise your portfolio. In general, though, expense ratios are low with Ally Invest Managed Portfolios. They are taken automatically from the ETFs, so it likely won’t be noticed in your portfolio.

Portfolio options and portfolio management

Ally uses ETFs to create its portfolios. ETFs are allocated based on your investment goals and risk tolerance. Investors receive recommended portfolios that they can tweak as needed to better reflect their individual circumstances.

It’s possible to construct a portfolio based on your own preferences when you use Ally Invest Managed Portfolios. Some of the options Ally offers for portfolios include:

  • Core: This basic portfolio allows you to choose your risk tolerance level and then uses that information to construct a portfolio that includes highly diversified assets.
  • Income: If you are approaching retirement, this portfolio can be a good choice. It focuses on investments that offer higher dividend yields.
  • Tax optimized: Even though Ally Invest Managed Portfolios doesn’t offer tax-loss harvesting, it is possible to get a tax-optimized portfolio. This type of portfolio is designed for those making after-tax contributions. Assets include municipal bonds, whose tax treatment is designed to help you maximize tax efficiency.
  • Socially responsible: Investors interested in doing the right thing can choose to invest in companies that meet certain social responsibility standards related to energy efficiency, sustainability and environmental friendliness.

All of these portfolios come with the ability to include a cash buffer. This cash-enhanced option is designed to keep at least 30% of the portfolio in cash at all times. While you might see changes to your other investments through rebalancing, the cash portion will remain mostly steady.

It’s important to note that if you use a cash buffer in your portfolio, you won’t be able to access the money the same way you would a traditional bank account. Instead, the money is a permanent part of the portfolio. Choosing the cash-enhanced option will help you avoid the 0.30% management fee.

Ally manages and monitors these portfolios daily and rebalances the portfolio based on your investment goals.

Integration with other Ally products

Not only does Ally Invest Managed Portfolios make it easy for you to move forward with investing with as little as $100, but it also integrates with the rest of your Ally account. You can log into your account and see everything in one place.

In fact, it’s easy to transfer money from your Ally Bank account into your Ally Invest Managed Portfolios account from a single Ally login. You can even set up automatic transfers so that each month you can move money from your Ally Bank account into your investment account.

It’s also possible to transfer between Ally Invest accounts, and pretty much anything else you need to do, from your Ally login, making it simple to integrate your investments with the rest of your finances.

Strengths of Ally Invest Managed Portfolios

  • Investing in a diversified portfolio is easy. You’ll answer basic questions about investment goals and Ally Invest will suggest a portfolio with an appropriate mix of U.S. and foreign bonds, international and U.S. stocks and cash. You can also tweak the suggestions Ally Invest Managed Portfolios makes to take on more or less risk based on your comfort level.
  • Low minimum deposit requirement. A mere $100 is required to open an Ally Invest Managed Portfolios account. While some competitors—such as Betterment—don’t have a minimum deposit requirement at all, $100 still falls on the very low side of the scale. Wealthfront, for instance, has a $500 minimum requirement.
  • Ally account dashboard. Ally offers a full-featured website where you can view all your Ally accounts under one login. The app’s online goal tracker makes it easy to monitor progress so you can see how successful you are at hitting investment goals.
  • 30% cash portfolio eliminates the annual management fee. If you’re willing to keep 30% of your portfolio in cash, there is no annual management fee for Ally Invest Managed Portfolios.

Drawbacks of Ally Invest Managed Portfolios

  • Fees are slightly higher than some competitors. You’ll pay a 0.30% annual management fee for this robo-advisor service unless you agree to the cash-enhanced option. That is more than Betterment’s 0.25% digital account fee and Wealthfront’s 0.25% annual advisory fee.
  • No tax-loss harvesting. Other robo-advisors offer this feature, which involves selling investments at a loss to offset taxable gains. Note that there is a tax-advantaged portfolio, which adds municipal bonds to the investment mix. We spoke to representatives of the company who indicated this feature is expected to be rolled out later in 2019.
  • Mobile app isn’t very advanced. While Ally Invest Managed Portfolios allows you to use mobile apps on iPhone and Android phones to access basic account information, the app isn’t as feature-rich as ones from competitors.

Is Ally Invest Managed Portfolios safe?

Whenever you invest your money, there’s a risk you may lose some or all of it. This is no different with Ally Invest Managed Portfolios. The assets your robo-advisor invests in on your behalf could decline in value and your portfolio could lose money.

But Ally Invest is as safe as any trusted online brokerage, and there’s little risk of losing assets if the investment firm goes bankrupt. Ally Invest is in compliance with regulatory requirements according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck tool.

Ally Invest is also a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), both of which ensure cash in bank and brokerage accounts, respectively. In addition to SIPC protection, Ally Invest has a policy underwritten by London Underwriters through its clearinghouse, Apex Clearing. It’s important to note that SIPC insurance only protects you against losses in the event the broker fails. It won’t protect you against market losses.

The final word on Ally Invest Managed Portfolios

Ally Invest Managed Portfolios is a viable choice for investors looking for an easy, hands-off way to invest—especially with its low $100 minimum deposit requirement. Ally also offers a socially responsible portfolio, which should interest investors who want to consider more than just financial returns. For those with other interests, the ability to tweak a portfolio with a specific purpose can be attractive.

Additionally, this can be a good account for those who already have an Ally account and want to keep their money in one place.

But the lack of a promotional offer, higher management fees and the fact that tax-loss harvesting isn’t currently offered makes Ally a less-than-ideal option for investors looking for the most affordable way to build a diversified portfolio. If you want a lower-cost option that does offer tax-loss harvesting, consider robo-advisors such as Betterment or Wealthfront.

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Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.