Ally Invest Managed Portfolios is a robo-advisor option from a trusted online-only financial institution.
It can make managing your money simple: Just answer a few basic questions about your goals and risk tolerance and your funds are invested for you. However, you’ll need a big chunk of change to get started thanks to a high minimum balance requirement. And, while fees are competitive, they aren’t the lowest among other robo-advisors’ offerings.
If you have the $2,500 minimum deposit necessary to open an Ally Invest Managed Portfolio, you don’t mind not getting a bonus for opening the account, and you want to take a hands-off approach to building wealth, Ally Invest may be a good option.
Who should consider Ally Invest Managed Portfolios?
If you’re looking for a robo-advisor that allows you to build a diversified portfolio without a lot of advanced knowledge about investing, Ally Invest Managed Portfolios has you covered.
You’ll answer a few questions about your age; timeline for investing and risk tolerance; and whether you’re investing for retirement, wealth-building or a big purchase. Then, Ally Invest comes back with a recommended portfolio you can accept or tweak.
You can open a joint, custodial or individual taxable account with Ally Invest Managed Portfolios, or can opt for a traditional IRA, Roth IRA or rollover IRA. Unfortunately, unlike with Ally Invest’s self-directed accounts, there’s no promotion or bonus for transferring funds into a managed portfolio. And, you’ll need quite a bit of money to get started — more than many competitors in the robo-advisor industry require.
Still, if you don’t mind a bigger initial deposit or a lack of physical branches, Ally Invest is a worthy competitor to consider when looking for help managing your money.
Ally Invest Managed Portfolios fees and features
|Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)|
|Tax loss harvesting|
|Tax loss harvesting detail||No tax-optimized portfolios are currently offered but Ally plans to roll out tax loss harvesting in 2019.|
|Offers fractional shares|
|Ease of use|
|Mobile app||iOS, Android, Windows Phone|
|Customer support||Phone, 24/7 live support, Chat, Email|
Strengths of Ally Invest Managed Portfolios
Ally Invest Managed Portfolios has some significant advantages worth considering:
- Investing in a diversified portfolio is easy. You’ll answer basic questions about your 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, so you take on more or less risk based on your comfort level.
- Ally Invest Managed Portfolios offers a full-featured online website. You can view all your accounts with Ally under one login—- although managed and self-directed portfolios are kept separate. And Ally’s online goal tracker makes it easy to monitor progress so you can see how successful you are at hitting investment goals.
- Ally Invest Managed Portfolios offers automatic portfolio rebalancing. This helps to ensure you remain invested in the right mix of assets if certain investments under- or over-perform.
- Customer service. Ally Invest offers phone, email, and chat support. Customer service agents are available 24/7 with little or no wait. Agents will do their best to provide answers, although it may take a little time if your questions are technical since you may need to be transferred to an investment advisor.
Drawbacks of Ally Invest Managed Portfolios
You’ll also want to consider the potential downsides of choosing Ally Invest Managed Portfolios.
- You need a $2,500 minimum deposit to open your account. This is pretty high for a robo-advisor, especially as competitors such as Betterment have no minimum deposit requirements at all. Of course, $2,500 isn’t the highest in the industry either. E-Trade’s Core Portfolios, for example, requires a $5,000 minimum deposit.
- Ally Invest Managed Portfolios charges fees that are slightly higher than several competitors. You’ll pay .30% for Ally’s robo-advisor service, compared with .25% for Betterment’s digital account or for Wealthfront.
- Ally Invest Managed Portfolios currently does not offer tax loss harvesting, which involves selling investments at a loss to offset taxable gains. Competitors such as Betterment do offer this feature. However, Ally representatives indicate tax loss harvesting is expected to be rolled out in 2019 and investors with managed portfolios will be able to transition their accounts into a portfolio with tax loss harvesting.
- No physical branches. If you’d prefer to go into a branch for local customer support, you’ll need to look elsewhere, such as E-Trade, which has more than 30 branches across the country.
- Mobile apps aren’t very advanced. While Ally Invest allows you to use mobile apps on iPhone and Android phones to access basic account information, the offered apps aren’t as feature-rich as competitors such as Betterment.
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 you in 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 Broker Check tool. Ally Invest is also a member of the FDIC and SIPC, both of which ensure cash in bank and brokerage accounts respectively.
Ally Invest Managed Portfolios is a viable choice for investors looking for an easy, hands-off way to invest and seeking responsive customer service. But the $2,500 minimum balance requirement, lack of a promotional offer, higher management fees, and the fact 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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