Ally Invest vs. Robinhood vs. TD Ameritrade

Daniel Penzing
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Few words on Each

Robinhood app is more touch-screen focused and is intended for fast-paced and instant trading.

TD Ameritrade is popular for providing free education to investors, its large selection of investment choices, and low commission fees.

Robinhood is an online brokerage firm that has earned a reputation as one of the best and most popular places to trade stocks, options, exchange-traded funds, and other securities. It is best-known for its user-friendly app and attractive trading commissions. However, there are a few other reasons why Robinhood has gained so much popularity in recent years, and many loyal users have flocked to this brokerage as a result.

The first reason is that it was formed by entrepreneurs who wanted to take the friction out of stock trading. The founders themselves were recent Stanford graduates who wanted to streamline simple stock trades in a way that was more unwieldy. Most other online brokerages made it difficult to trade stocks without extra fees.

Every dollar that someone invested with these brokerages, they would lose a small percentage of that value by the time they made a trade. Not so with Robinhood. Robinhood made it possible to make trades without any trading fees. This opened the door to a whole new set of consumers and investors who had previously been unable to trade with other brokerages.

About Ally Invest

The BOTTOM LINE Ally Invest offer some of the most competitive trading commissions and fees in the business. It is a good site for beginners due partly to its customer service, and partly due to its robust educational resources. They have ample information on topics in the “Help Center,” and they offer a wealth of educational and informational webinars. They also have a large marketplace of stocks that you can actually use to trade. Ally Invest is a good site to try if you are just getting started, but the lack of smart trading tools makes it difficult to build an advanced portfolio.

A major strength of Ally Invest is the convenience of being able to open an account directly through the company’s website. Currently, there is no physical location that you can visit to open an account, although this may change in the future. Part of the reason that the company does not operate physical branches is that it can cut costs. Ally Invest relies on other companies to provide the back office functions, which they oversee. This allows them to offer their customers lower trading rates. It is one of the reasons that they are able to compete with traditional stock brokers and earn an average customer rating of 3.6 stars. Ally Invest has a larger online database of investments than what you are going to find in a brick and mortar location.

About Robinhood

Robinhood is the most established start-up brokerage player in the market. It helps the first time investors to have an easy to navigate investing experience without the hefty regulatory requirements that most brokerage firms have. They have simplified the investor experience to the bare minimum with the following features:

Zero fee trading:

With the inability to choose from hundreds of funds, trading fees can really eat into your gains. Robinhood and Ally Invest don’t charge a commission on every transaction. So, it’s ideal for short term investing but a poor choice for long term investments as the fees will really add up.

Stock lending:

Robinhood has made press recently for their commission free stock lending program. You can now lend your shares to earn interest and Robinhood will do this through their SEC registered broker dealer affiliate.

Investing dollar cost averaging:

You can buy into your investments at regular intervals to reduce your average cost per share. With Robinhood, you can now set up a repeating schedule and establish the dollar amount you want to transfer to your account at specific intervals. This feature is available for both Traditional and Roth IRAs.

Micro-investing:

Robinhood has tied up with several other banks and financial service companies to help you invest or payday loans, mortgages, etc. Instant checking:

About TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp, which trades under the symbol “AMTD”, is an online discount broker headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.

Established in 1971 as a commercial paper trader, it opened its first retail account in 1975.

In 1981, TD Waterhouse was established and opened for business.

The company was particularly successful during the dot-com bubble.

In 2003, it was one of the first discount brokers to come out from a major bank and had over 180,000 client accounts.

In 2005, TD Ameritrade acquired KBW and its U.S. broker-dealer, which launched a retail business to trade on behalf of banks and credit unions and to serve as a fiduciary for retirement plans.

In 2006, the company acquired a Dutch discount broker Aristo for €40 million.

In 2008, the company hired a former Morgan Stanley sales trader to build out a commission-free trading platform.

In 2011, the company acquired the broker-dealer of Lehman Brothers.

In 2015, TD Ameritrade purchased Thinkorswim, a sophisticated trading platform offered by TD Waterhouse.

In 2016, it acquired Scottrade, another discount broker.

How Are They the Same?

Ally Invest, Robinhood, and TD Ameritrade are some of the most recognized names in the stock trading field, and for good reasons. They make stock trading simple and offer many of the same services, advantages and investments. They all charge low customer fees and offer online trading that lets you place trades, monitor your balances, and conduct research whenever you like.

Each of them also offer tutorials that can help you learn everything there is to know about the industry, and they all offer a variety of online tools that can help you track your rivals, follow hot topics, and even act as a drum major on Wall Street.

How Are They Different?

Ally Invest, Robinhood, and TD Ameritrade are three of the more popular online discount brokerage companies in the United States. They all represent an exciting and innovative way for individuals to own stocks and trade forex. They offer a variety of products and services, such as margin trading and stop loss tools.

They also offer trading in both stocks and forex, but they differ in how the account can be opened. Ally Invest and Robinhood are entirely online, whereas TD Ameritrade requires you to set up an account in an actual branch.

Let’s take a closer look and see how they compare to determine which one is the best choice for you.

Unique Features

The direct costs of future investment in the brokerage account are much lower, but the pace of deposit can be significantly higher. For example, the growth of a balance of 2,500 dollars, depending on the conditions, will range from 30 to 40 dollars. Ally Invest, despite the fact that it offers a lot of mutual funds and stocks of common enterprises, it offers fewer mutual funds compared to Fidelity.

But the minimum amount for the opening of the market account is 100 dollars, and if depositing via a bank transfer, it can be done in the form of a check. In addition, it is also possible to pay for investing through the payment of shares of leading companies like Apple, Cisco Systems and General Electric. There are no taxes on the capital of the money market or investment as it was with previous DTCC accounts, so this method involves minimal risks for the investor.

There is an opportunity to use the services of the advisory and trading programs of the brokerage agent. This feature is very useful to the beginner, because the assistance of a broker will help to prevent losses and get profits as much as possible. It should be noted that there is a need for some conditions in order to receive the brokerage expert. The minimum amount for opening a free account is 2000 dollars, and the deposit of a large sum is needed within three months. Moreover, to receive help, it is necessary to have at least 100 thousand dollars.

Ally Invest

Vs. Robinhood vs. TD Ameritrade: A Comparison

One of the most common questions people have regarding investment services, particularly online investment management services, is, “What’s the best broker to use?” A lot of research usually follows, and the answers to this question depend on your unique situation.

One of the major factors for investors to consider is whether they are investing to build cash flow by receiving quotes on dividend stocks, or whether they are looking to build real wealth by investing in growth stocks. After all, the needs of a young venture capitalist are going to be different from those of a retiree.

Another determining factor is your economic status ‑ are you an investor in the top tax bracket, middle, or bottom? A wealthy investor will most likely want to use an account that specializes in tax savings, rather than those of an investor who can save the tax payments on a yacht.

In addition to these factors, there are other things to think about, such as how active an investor you are and what type of investor you are. For example, are you a hands-off type who wants to leave the work to the experts? Or, do you want to be very involved in the process and become extremely involved with your investments?

All of these questions are important to answer before choosing a broker.

Robinhood

Is the coolest new tool to ever come out of Silicon Valley. It helps you build your portfolio and is free. However, in order to use this app, you must have a fairly decent amount of cash and must be okay with taking major risk with your assets.

Robinhood is primarily used by younger people looking to make their fortune in the stock market. They don’t want to deal with big fees or have to deal with complicated investments.

The app is very simple and easy to use. It’s designed around the idea of social media, so the interface is similar to navigating social media. Only for the stock market. You have your profile, you see news updates, you browse pricing and you buy or sell stock. You can set up recurring investments, but only if you have a fairly reliable amount of cash. Things like individual stocks, ETFs and mutual funds are not available.

If you are looking for an app to invest small amounts of money into high-risk stocks, you might want to consider Robinhood. However, if you are looking for something more complex, like a full-fledged online brokerage, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is one of the most popular discount online stock brokers. It is a strong asset for investors who prefer paper trading because the platform is easy to understand and the commission structure is reasonable. The TD Ameritrade platform offers paper trading for stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds. It also offers easy-to-use options and mutual fund trading tools. One of the most remarkable things about TD Ameritrade is that it allows both new and experienced investors to trade on the same platform. No matter what level of experience you have, you can start trading with this platform.

While the paper trading feature is very helpful for beginners, the platform is not recommended for advanced trading because it lacks advanced trading tools. Nonetheless, if you are just starting out, this is a great platform to utilize.

TD Ameritrade provides good research capabilities, which are available in the form of a platform or a desktop application. Although the research tools provided by TD Ameritrade don’t reach the same level as its competitors, they are perfectly adequate for the needs of many investors. This feature makes it easier for investors to complete their due diligence and make informed decisions. As a matter of fact, investors can use the platform to subscribe to a research provider at a discounted price.

Minimum Investments

A stock trading app is a must if you have a mobile device, and it will add access to the stock market to a device that is always on you. The iPhones and some Android devices have an increasingly intelligent voice command system that can be used to perform even more complex commands and actions. The only thing that you need to do besides selecting an app is to research what your options are.

Ally Invest

Ally Invest is a top contender among stock trading apps, and it’s free. The app is free, but if you trade on the stock market, you will need to have an account with Ally Invest. This is to hold your money as you invest in stocks. The money that you keep in the account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The advantage of the app is that you can place trades directly from the app, which is convenient, and you also have 24/7 access to your account. An expensive trading app is all about convenience, and Ally Invest has found a way to make it easy for you.

Ally Invest was ranked the top online broker by Investopedia multiple years in a row. The app allows you to view your account through your mobile device or on your computer. You can also do basic research on stocks with Ally Invest, although its research tools are nowhere near the quality and access that you can find with the other apps.

Pricing

Standout Features

Ally Invest is the one-stop shop for all your investment and trading needs, they have trading features such as low commissions, great market data, advanced order types and streamlined positions tracking.

Ally Invest

Vs. Robinhood vs. TD Ameritrade: A Comparison

One of the most common questions people have regarding investment services, particularly online investment management services, is, “What’s the best broker to use?” A lot of research usually follows, and the answers to this question depend on your unique situation.

One of the major factors for investors to consider is whether they are investing to build cash flow by receiving quotes on dividend stocks, or whether they are looking to build real wealth by investing in growth stocks. After all, the needs of a young venture capitalist are going to be different from those of a retiree.

Another determining factor is your economic status ‑ are you an investor in the top tax bracket, middle, or bottom? A wealthy investor will most likely want to use an account that specializes in tax savings, rather than those of an investor who can save the tax payments on a yacht.

In addition to these factors, there are other things to think about, such as how active an investor you are and what type of investor you are. For example, are you a hands-off type who wants to leave the work to the experts? Or, do you want to be very involved in the process and become extremely involved with your investments?

All of these questions are important to answer before choosing a broker.

Robinhood

Is the coolest new tool to ever come out of Silicon Valley. It helps you build your portfolio and is free. However, in order to use this app, you must have a fairly decent amount of cash and must be okay with taking major risk with your assets.

Robinhood is primarily used by younger people looking to make their fortune in the stock market. They don’t want to deal with big fees or have to deal with complicated investments.

The app is very simple and easy to use. It’s designed around the idea of social media, so the interface is similar to navigating social media. Only for the stock market. You have your profile, you see news updates, you browse pricing and you buy or sell stock. You can set up recurring investments, but only if you have a fairly reliable amount of cash. Things like individual stocks, ETFs and mutual funds are not available.

If you are looking for an app to invest small amounts of money into high-risk stocks, you might want to consider Robinhood. However, if you are looking for something more complex, like a full-fledged online brokerage, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is one of the most popular discount online stock brokers. It is a strong asset for investors who prefer paper trading because the platform is easy to understand and the commission structure is reasonable. The TD Ameritrade platform offers paper trading for stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds. It also offers easy-to-use options and mutual fund trading tools. One of the most remarkable things about TD Ameritrade is that it allows both new and experienced investors to trade on the same platform. No matter what level of experience you have, you can start trading with this platform.

While the paper trading feature is very helpful for beginners, the platform is not recommended for advanced trading because it lacks advanced trading tools. Nonetheless, if you are just starting out, this is a great platform to utilize.

TD Ameritrade provides good research capabilities, which are available in the form of a platform or a desktop application. Although the research tools provided by TD Ameritrade don’t reach the same level as its competitors, they are perfectly adequate for the needs of many investors. This feature makes it easier for investors to complete their due diligence and make informed decisions. As a matter of fact, investors can use the platform to subscribe to a research provider at a discounted price.

Customer Service

TD Ameritrade – 9.2

TD Ameritrade has been in business for a long time, and it shows. They provide more client education tools than any other brokerage firm that we reviewed. With 24/5 service and a broad range of account types to choose from, it is no surprise that TD Ameritrade gets our top rating for customer service.

Robinhood – 8.1

Robinhood prides itself on their customer service, providing a responsive service and coaching call with an industry expert. Individuals start trading with smaller minimums and get reimbursed if the price drops on a stock they bought. A huge range of price points makes the whole app very easy to navigate.

Ally Invest – 8.0

Ally has a 24/7 live chat service that is easy to use and much better than some of the websites for other investment companies. They also have an excellent online training platform that perfectly matches the needs of beginning investors.

Security

When it comes to security, Ally Invest does a great job. The company has three levels of security. At the first level, higher-value securities such as bonds and large cap stocks are stored in a multi-level monitored security. Small and mid-size company stocks are stored in a facility which also houses federal reserve bank data. Ally Invest utilizes a third-party security company to monitor this facility.

The second level involves protecting customer funds. Ally Invest ensures that the investments holdings are safeguarded. However, the customers are still responsible for making their own decisions on selecting their own investments. A comprehensive research strategy is also implemented when it comes to evaluating investment firms.

The third level involves protecting the computers that are linked to the internet. Ally Invest uses protection software and a platform based on the Linux and Apache computing platforms.

The programming language used is Python which is a platform that is also used by NASA to monitor rocket launches. Ally Invest implements firewalls to prevent potential hackers from accessing investor’s accounts. The firewalls are also used to prevent loss of personal and financial information.

Ally Invest operates a servers to ensure that the systems are properly monitored. The servers are shielded and the hosted on a means of separation through a physical barrier in the data center. The computers as well as all the proprietary applications are hosted in Canada. They are not located in the same facility.

Who Are They Best For?

Ally Invest is best for the seasoned investor who knows what they are looking for and has a lot of cash to invest. You can trade just about anything and access the deepest order books in the industry. You can even use Ally Invest to track real-time data on your investments.

Robinhood is best for the newer investor or for investors who only have a small amount of money to invest. While there are a couple of investment minimums, it is extremely easy to use and requires no money up front. Robinhood also does not charge any trading commission fees.

TD Ameritrade is best for the investor who wants to make a lot of trades per month, trade international stocks, trade in illiquid assets, or trade a combination of those. However, TD Ameritrade isn’t the best for those who don’t need a lot of hand-holding during the process of trading. For that, you should look at Ally Invest.

Ally Invest

Vs. Robinhood vs. TD Ameritrade: A Comparison

One of the most common questions people have regarding investment services, particularly online investment management services, is, “What’s the best broker to use?” A lot of research usually follows, and the answers to this question depend on your unique situation.

One of the major factors for investors to consider is whether they are investing to build cash flow by receiving quotes on dividend stocks, or whether they are looking to build real wealth by investing in growth stocks. After all, the needs of a young venture capitalist are going to be different from those of a retiree.

Another determining factor is your economic status ‑ are you an investor in the top tax bracket, middle, or bottom? A wealthy investor will most likely want to use an account that specializes in tax savings, rather than those of an investor who can save the tax payments on a yacht.

In addition to these factors, there are other things to think about, such as how active an investor you are and what type of investor you are. For example, are you a hands-off type who wants to leave the work to the experts? Or, do you want to be very involved in the process and become extremely involved with your investments?

All of these questions are important to answer before choosing a broker.

Robinhood

Is the coolest new tool to ever come out of Silicon Valley. It helps you build your portfolio and is free. However, in order to use this app, you must have a fairly decent amount of cash and must be okay with taking major risk with your assets.

Robinhood is primarily used by younger people looking to make their fortune in the stock market. They don’t want to deal with big fees or have to deal with complicated investments.

The app is very simple and easy to use. It’s designed around the idea of social media, so the interface is similar to navigating social media. Only for the stock market. You have your profile, you see news updates, you browse pricing and you buy or sell stock. You can set up recurring investments, but only if you have a fairly reliable amount of cash. Things like individual stocks, ETFs and mutual funds are not available.

If you are looking for an app to invest small amounts of money into high-risk stocks, you might want to consider Robinhood. However, if you are looking for something more complex, like a full-fledged online brokerage, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is one of the most popular discount online stock brokers. It is a strong asset for investors who prefer paper trading because the platform is easy to understand and the commission structure is reasonable. The TD Ameritrade platform offers paper trading for stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds. It also offers easy-to-use options and mutual fund trading tools. One of the most remarkable things about TD Ameritrade is that it allows both new and experienced investors to trade on the same platform. No matter what level of experience you have, you can start trading with this platform.

While the paper trading feature is very helpful for beginners, the platform is not recommended for advanced trading because it lacks advanced trading tools. Nonetheless, if you are just starting out, this is a great platform to utilize.

TD Ameritrade provides good research capabilities, which are available in the form of a platform or a desktop application. Although the research tools provided by TD Ameritrade don’t reach the same level as its competitors, they are perfectly adequate for the needs of many investors. This feature makes it easier for investors to complete their due diligence and make informed decisions. As a matter of fact, investors can use the platform to subscribe to a research provider at a discounted price.

Which Is the Best?

There are a lot of options when it comes to online brokerages, but not all of them can be classified as “online only.” All three of the following companies offer full service brokerages for clients, but the first two are online oriented while TD Ameritrade is primarily a traditional brokerage. All three brokerages have convenient and user-friendly web sites, but Ally Invest and TD Ameritrade also have apps you can use on your phone. Ally Invest gives you access to your investments through your Ally Invest account, while Robinhood offers a virtual trading system. All three brokerages offer cash accounts, checking accounts, as well as recording-keeping for an individual retirement account (IRA), and all three companies have a four-star rating on NerdWallet (as of November 2017).

Ally Invest was founded in 2009 and was acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2018. It primarily serves individual retail investors, but also has institutional investors on its platform. Its customer service is available 24/7 via email, by phone, via online chat, and via traditional mail. It accepts applications for new accounts online and will approve or deny the application within 48 hours. It then takes two to four days for your account to be funded after account acceptance.