Published in: Buying Stocks | Dec. 4, 2018
By: Eric Volkman
Ally Financial's core business units are exclusively digital and have no branches. This helps its brokerage arm, Ally Invest, keep costs down. The dynamic shakes out in trading commissions, which at $4.95 per stock are among the lowest in the brokerage space. This helped the company earn a place on our list of best online stock brokers.
In our recent review of Ally Invest, we were impressed not only with the brokerage's modest base trading fee, but its suitability for frequent traders and self-directed investors. If that's you and you're considering signing up for an Ally Invest account, here's how to do it.
Ally Invest offers two types of accounts -- self-directed (in which you're on your own regarding stock selection), and cash-enhanced managed portfolios. Since the former is the purer brokerage option, we're going to explore opening this type of account at Ally Invest.
The company currently has a special offer for new customers, in force until Nov. 30. Although the brokerage has no minimum opening deposit, newbies can reap cash bonuses if they put at least $10,000 into their new account.
On top of that, a $10,000 or more initial deposit will earn $500 worth of commission-free trades, which apply for the first 90 days the account is open.
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The cash bonus schedule is as follows. Bonuses are paid in the form of statement credit to the account:
|Opening deposit||Cash bonus|
|$10,000 to $24,999||$50|
|$25,000 to $99,999||$200|
|$100,000 to $249,999||$300|
|$250,000 to $499,999||$600|
|$500,000 to $999,999||$1,200|
|$1 million to $1.99 million||$2,500|
|$2 million and above||$3,500|
Data source: Ally.
As Ally Invest is an online brokerage, its front door for new customers is the "open account" page of its website.
When you navigate to that page, you'll be presented with two options; whether you're completely new to Ally, or are an existing customer of Ally Invest and/or corporate sibling Ally Bank. We'll assume that you're completely fresh to Ally, and must choose the former.
With that choice, you'll have to enter your name and email address. Once you input that into Ally Invest's system, you'll be inside the brokerage's application. Page one is simply a query as to what kind of account you're opening -- there are 13 possible types that cover a variety of IRAs, individual and joint accounts, and custodial accounts.
After you select the appropriate one, you'll input your basic biographical data on the next several pages. This includes, for both account verification and compliance purposes, your Social Security number. Ally Invest also wants to know the ranges of your annual income, net worth, liquid net worth, tax bracket, plus whether or not you're experienced with trading securities.
Following that, you'll tick boxes or use menus to select answers to questions asked to get Ally Invest's impression of you as an investor. You'll also be given an option to apply for margin within the account, and for option trading.
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And that's basically it. Once you've locked in you'll get a chance to review and confirm your information, and read and accept the customer agreement.
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