In the world of financial markets, knowing the ins and outs of Ally Invest and SoFi is essential. You probably care about Ally Invest’s and SoFi’s reputation and how long they’ve been in business. Further, you should determine if the features and services offered by Ally Invest and SoFi satisfy your requirements as a trader.
Successful trading requires a trustworthy broker. This is due to a really elementary explanation. You must believe your funds are appropriately handled for your financial security. Let’s compare Ally Invest to Social Finance.
The quality of service provided by Ally Invest and SoFi Invest is comparable, and comparing their prices reveals that Ally Invest charges somewhat higher rates.
Ally Invest is comparable to SoFi Invest in terms of the time and effort required to register an account, the ease with which funds may be deposited and withdrawn, and the level of customer care provided. However, Ally Invest falls somewhat short of SoFi Invest in this regard.
Even if Ally Invest’s trading site isn’t as user-friendly as SoFi Invest’s, it provides clients access to a similar range of markets and products. SoFi Invest, on the other hand, has lower-quality resources for learning about investing.
Unless you know what you’re doing, don’t open an account with an internet broker like Ally Invest or SoFi. This may seem like clear guidance, but many new traders go in without first doing their research. Think carefully about your investment strategy before making any financial commitments without a better description.
The trading market is fraught with potential loss. Investments may increase or decrease in value due to the ups and downs of the financial markets. Learn as much as possible using Ally Invest’s and SoFi’s extensive instructional materials and research tools. Suppose you’re just starting out in the trading world. In that case, we recommend opening a demo account with Ally Invest and SoFi to get a feel for the platforms.
Table of Contents
The brokerage division of Ally Bank is known as Ally Invest. The low fees, low account minimums, and reliable though a little antiquated trading platform make it a good option for traders and investors. Minimum balances and account fees are minimal or nonexistent, and stock and ETF trades incur no charge. Options trading costs just $0.50 per contract. Ally Invest is unique among online brokers in that it offers specific options analysis tools, such as a probability calculator and dynamic profitability graphs, in addition to the standard fundamental and technical tools.
To many, Ally Invest represents the epitome of a bargain brokerage. It has some of the lowest costs for investing in equities, ETFs, options, and mutual funds. No commission is required for stock trading, and mutual fund trades are reasonably priced. This Ally Invest review will teach you all you need to know to make an informed decision about this brokerage, from the fees to the tools to how you may qualify for a bonus of up to $3,000. Read also the Ally Invest vs TD Ameritrade comparison.
SoFi’s business model has been well-known amongst investors since the company went public at the end of 2020. The stock price, however, has underperformed the market along with many other fintech businesses. With the help of its partners, SoFi plans to become a one-stop shop for high-income earners. The company provides a wide range of financial services, including checking and savings accounts, online investing, and loans, including home and auto financing, as well as credit card and loan options for individuals and students. SoFi serves over 12 million customers and has over $12 billion in assets. Through the acquisitions of Galileo and Technisys, SoFi has expanded into the banking technology sector.
Active trading, retirement planning, cryptocurrency trading, and automatic investing are some features of SoFi Invest. Select “automated investment” if you’re interested in the robo-advisor service.
Once you open an automatic investment account, you can decide between a tax-advantaged Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and a non-deductible Regular Investment Account. SoFi provides three types of individual retirement accounts (IRAs) for retirees: the standard IRA, the Roth IRA, and the SEP IRA.
A significant drawback for mutual fund investors is that the broker does not provide access to no-transaction-fee (NTF) funds. Ally Invest is an attractive option for anyone who wants to consolidate their financial affairs because of the company’s helpful customer service and user-friendly mobile app. Read also the SoFi vs Webull comparison.
|Features & Services|
|Education & Research|
|Fees & Costs|
|Range of Investments|
|Safety & Security|
Ally Invest vs. SoFi Invest Service & Feature Comparison
Fees, minimum deposits, and charges at Ally Bank are among the lowest in the industry. The options trading fee of $0.50 per contract is cheaper than other brokers, and there is no commission for trading stocks/ETFs or foreign currency. Most robo-managed accounts have a $100 minimum and charge 0.30 percent annually. Self-directed investing accounts have no restrictions (there are no management fees for cash-enhanced robo-managed portfolios holding a 30 percent cash balance). We also provide reasonable margin rates and fees for bonds, mutual funds, and low-cost equities (OTC/pink sheet stocks trading for less than $2).
Offering commission-free stock, option, and exchange-traded fund trading is standard practice, and Ally Invest follows suit. There is a maximum fee of $4.95 + $0.01 per share for equities with a price below $2 per share. The commission for trading bonds is $1, while no-load mutual funds cost $9.95.
Online stock and ETF trades executed through SoFi are free of fee, as are those executed through the vast majority of modern brokerages (including fractional shares). But remember that the management costs associated with ETFs can cut your profits.
Range of Investments
Participants in SoFi Invest’s trading program have access to the following asset classes:
- Closed-end funds
After eliminating digital currencies from the list, Ally Invest replaces them with mutual funds, bonds, FX, and options contracts.
Both companies facilitate the trade of specific OTC instruments. Although SoFi Invest does not impose a minimum on OTC securities purchases, Ally Invest does. During our investigation, we discovered that Ally Invest had a more comprehensive selection of OTC stocks than SoFi Invest.
You may trade US-listed stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, and fixed income products such as US Treasuries, CDs, and corporate, municipal, and agency bonds with Ally Invest. Ally Invest has a separate platform for forex trading, where 52 different currency pairings may be traded. They do not, however, provide futures trading, cryptocurrency trading, dealing in fractional shares, or trading in international securities listed on exchanges outside the United States.
Both brokerages provide trading in penny stocks on major markets such as the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange. However, a commission is added to trades for stocks, ETFs, and closed-end funds with a price below $2 on Ally Invest. You’ll have to pay $4.95 + $0.01 per share in fees.
The following account types are available at both Ally Invest and Sofi Invest:
- Individual and joint taxable
- Traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts (IRA)
- Coverdell education savings accounts (ESA).
Let’s say you’re not trying to save money for a specific goal like retirement or further education. If that’s the case, more traders can find what they’re looking for in a standard individual trading account.
Managed & Retirement Accounts
Ally Invest also provides more conventional forms of wealth management (but not at SoFi Invest). The fantastic thing about this service is that each account is assigned an actual, live financial counselor. Compared to other forms of asset management, its annual cost is relatively modest, coming in at around 0.75 percent to 0.85 percent.
When you sign up for SoFi, you have access to a team of financial experts who will examine your portfolio and provide personalized recommendations at no cost. All SoFi Investment Specialists have passed the Series 65 or a similar test to become registered as investment adviser representatives. The advisers have a fiduciary responsibility and must always look for your best interests.
Either broker-dealer is acceptable for starting an Individual Retirement Account. Ally Invest is the only brokerage that charges a fee to close an IRA account. The cost is a reasonable $25.
Automated & Robo Investing
Ally Invest Robo Portfolios, like the robo-advisors provided by other major financial organizations, are ideal for existing Ally customers interested in automated investing with no additional work.
You may get the same essential diversified portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from Ally Invest Robo Portfolios that you would get at just about any robo-advisor, plus the convenience of working inside the Ally ecosystem. You may make use of Ally’s comprehensive financial management tools, as well as those of its parent firm, ING Direct. There is a significant catch with Ally Invest Robo Portfolios: you must keep 30% of your account in cash or pay a 0.30% yearly charge to completely invest your money in the market. Some people may find a more suitable robo-advisor elsewhere. Still, if you’re looking for a one-stop shop, Ally is a good option.
SoFi Invest features a robo service called automatic investment. It deals in inexpensive exchange-traded funds, with a focus on SoFi funds. However, the program is managed at no cost to participants. You can get going with just a buck. Despite this, you should research before signing up with SoFi because of the company’s limited investment experience and how it generates revenue.
Education and Research
Although Ally Invest does not provide access to independent research, users may get information from sources like Morningstar and Lipper when researching certain stocks and screeners. Trading Central’s screeners also provide an algorithmic rating called “Quantitative Rating.” Screeners on the website had this feature, but the mobile app did not. TipRanks, a third-party app, is now available through Ally Invest.
Learn about stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, FX, and more using the Education section’s handy drop-down menu that categorizes securities types, users, and market outlook (bullish, bearish, neutral, volatile). Unfortunately, the content did not match the menus’ logical organization. Instead, nearly every option in this pull-down menu led directly to the Ally forum.
SoFi’s SoFi Learn website features an expanding collection of articles on various personal finance subjects. You may look for content based on your current life stage or by topic – investment, financial clarity, budgeting & goals, homeownership, debt repayment, student loans, credit, and life & career.
Ally Invest is head and shoulders above its rival robo-advisors because it offers round-the-clock phone support to its customers. You may contact the company via chat or email if you want.
Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, and Friday, 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. To contact SoFi Support, members can tweet at @SoFiSupport.
Both participating brokerages in this evaluation use banks that are FDIC-insured. Ally has debit cards and checks, while SoFi only offers debit cards.
Unlike Ally Invest, SoFi Invest allows trades in whole dollars.
Each brokerage house provides both early-morning and after-hours trading. The morning session on Ally is longer than the evening session on SoFi, and vice versa.
Dividend reinvestment is a feature offered by both SoFi Invest and Ally Invest.
The Ally main website is not a streaming platform but is user-friendly and updated often. You can easily navigate the site thanks to its user-friendly navigation. The core site has more features for screeners, trading items, and learning. Still, the streaming version has an intuitive layout and may be used in tandem with the primary site. Ally Invest’s accessibility was not hindered by the presence of many platforms.
You may need more than one screen or platform at once, but the Ally Invest platforms still function effectively despite their age. Initiating a session when entering the website, you’ll be sent to the main Ally home screen. This page displays all your connected accounts throughout the Ally Platform, including any bank accounts, car or house loans, individual accounts, managed accounts, etc. You may switch between managed and self-directed brokerage accounts from the Ally Invest homepage.
At the very top of the Ally, Invest homepage is a button that, when clicked, will take you to the Ally Invest Live platform, where you can get live quotations and other cutting-edge features. Despite being a little old-fashioned, the leading website still functions well and is responsive, with quick page refreshes. The website’s navigation menus were clear and straightforward, often revealing two levels of submenus for the selected subject.
SoFi Invest is an easy-to-use online trading platform created specifically for new investors. Although neat and orderly, it lacks some of the functionality severe investors and traders require. Besides the period shown by the chart, there is little room for personalization (one day to five years). The symbols, a chart summary, and the current price or today’s move in dollars or percentages may all be saved to a personal watchlist. You can only place market orders and limit orders. Stop, stop limit, trailing, conditional, and time limit commands are not accepted by SoFi.
SoFi Active Investing is designed for inexperienced traders. Hence it does not include backtesting or robot trading. These functions are standard on professional trading platforms.
The SoFi Invest mobile app maintains the company’s commitment to simplicity. Trade tickets on the digital platform are identical to those online. The same may be said about the charts. There is a synchronized watchlist between the mobile app and the leading site.
The Ally Invest Securities app is easier to use than the website. Despite this, the trade ticket provides 4 distinct trade options -market, limit, stop, and stop limit. Options are traded using a separate ticket, and several spreads can be activated immediately. If you tap a bid or ask price, the order ticket will be updated accordingly.
MetaTrader 4 and Ally’s forex trading software are two more options for currency exchange investors. Both include features such as simple trading buttons and sophisticated currency graphing.
Both the SoFi and Ally applications are loaded with personal finance resources since their respective parent businesses are significant players in the financial services industry. The SoFi app provides access to financial resources, including bank accounts, credit cards, and FICO ratings. Information about mortgages and Zelle payments may be found in Ally’s main app.
My Preference: Ally Invest Wins Over SoFi Invest
Suppose you already bank with Ally’s parent bank or want to consolidate your finances into one location. In that case, Ally is a good option for your next broker.
When you need to make a transaction or pay a payment urgently, the integration with Ally Bank will come in handy because of how simple it is to transfer money across accounts.
Stocks, ETFs, and bonds all have very competitive commission rates. Our options trading fees are among the lowest at only $0.50 per contract.
Although Ally offers a wide variety of investment options, including zero-transaction-fee mutual funds, fractional share purchases, and lower account minimums, it might be more investor-friendly.
With features including FX trading, an automatic portfolio management option, and a suite of free tools for technical investors, Ally is competitive with the top online brokers in more ways than price alone.
Ally Invest is an inexpensive broker with investment tools that go above and beyond what one would expect from a budget broker. It has a robust set of options trading tools, such as a strategy generator that develops strategies based on criteria you define and an options pricing calculator that compares current bid/ask prices to predicted theoretical values.
Although customers of Ally Invest cannot buy or sell cryptocurrencies directly, they have access to over-the-counter (OTC) products based on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin trusts.
Which is preferable, Ally Invest or SoFi Invest?
Simply said, Ally Invest provides a superior investment experience. However, SoFi Invest excels in specific markets, most notably initial public offering (IPO) and cryptocurrency trading.
Can you benefit from Ally Invest?
Ally Invest offers low fees, helpful trading tools, and a user-friendly interface. Inexperienced users need not worry about meeting any accounting requirements to start. Yet, aggressive traders will value Ally's zero-commission transactions on particular U.S. securities and competitive options contract costs. More experienced traders wishing to speculate on the futures market may do better with a different broker.
Can an IRA be opened with Ally Invest?
With as little as $500, you may start an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with Ally Invest, and there are no ongoing fees or penalties. With an Ally Invest IRA, you may save for retirement and benefit from tax-deferred growth on your assets. You may open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with Ally Invest and invest in stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and bonds, among other things.