Is Ally Invest Available in Canada?

| September 23, 2022
✓ Verified by Vishesh Raisinghani

Ally Invest is not available in Canada.

Ally Invest is the subsidiary of Ally Bank that provides trading services.

It provides a good alternative for traders who are looking for a solid platform, low cost of entry, and low account minimums.

The platform also provides useful tools for executing advanced trades.

Alternatives to Ally Invest for Canadians

Interactive Brokers

Summary

A low-fee platform that offers access to a variety of asset classes. A great option for advanced traders, as the platform offers a variety of technical tools and market research.

Pros

  • Ability to purchase fractional shares.
  • Low commissions, especially for high-frequency traders.

Cons

  • The platform is not as user-friendly as other options.
  • The pricing structure is complex, and understanding commissions may be difficult at first.
Wealthsimple Trade

Summary

Wealthsimple was the first platform to offer zero-commission trading in Canada. The platform is a great choice for new investors, offering basic features with a polished, user-friendly interface.

Pros

  • No account minimums required.
  • Easy-to-use mobile and web platforms.

Cons

  • Plus subscription required to have a USD account to avoid FX fees.
  • Lack of advanced features such as options trading.
Questrade

Summary

Questrade is a Canadian company that offers an easy-to-use platform perfect for both experienced and beginner investors. With a tiered pricing structure, Questrade users can pick a plan to best meet their trading goals.

Pros

  • No fees to purchase ETFs.
  • Easy to navigate mobile and desktop platform.

Cons

  • Minimum account balance of $1,000 is required to trade.
  • Subscription required to stream real time quotes.

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is a great alternative for Canadians.

The costs of trading are extremely low, and there are several different pricing structures to choose from depending on the type of trader you are.

The fixed pricing structure offers trading for as low as $0.005 per share of US equities, with a minimum of $1 and a maximum of 1% of the trade value.

For the tiered structure, pricing starts at $0.0035 for the first 300,000 shares and drops to $0.0005.

As you can see, high-frequency traders are likely to benefit the most from the Interactive Brokers pricing structure.

Aside from stocks, investors also have access to a wide range of other assets, including ETFs, options, futures, FOPs, warrants, structured products, SSFs, currencies, commodities, indices, fixed income, and mutual funds.

Interactive Brokers offers their Canadian clients a variety of account options.

Both registered and non-registered accounts can be created in just a few simple clicks.

TFSA, RRSP, Spousal RRSP, margin, and various trust accounts are all available through the trading platform.

Interactive Brokers also offers the ability to trade fractional shares, except in RRSP and TFSA accounts.

This feature has been highly requested, as it allows for traders operating with small sums of money in their accounts to buy stock in companies with high individual share prices such as Amazon.

The investment platform offers both a mobile application and a desktop application, both of which have an initial learning curve to them.

However, once users get a grasp of the interface, there are a variety of useful features that can be used to conduct research to make better financial decisions.

Wealthsimple Trade

When looking for alternative trading platforms in Canada, Wealthsimple Trade offers an easy-to-use platform, low-cost fee structure, and a variety of service offerings to meet different needs.

Wealthsimple Trade offers a friendly interface and easy-to-navigate platform.

Account setup is extremely straightforward and can all be done through the mobile application.

Once you have an account, it is easy to search for stocks and make your first purchase.

While Wealthsimple did not initially offer a web-based platform, the feature has recently been added.

Both web and mobile offer a similar sleek and polished experience, making trading much more accessible to newer traders.

Wealthsimple Trade offers commission-free trading for most Canadian stocks and ETFs.

With a regular account, only Canadian dollars can be held, meaning that purchasing U.S. equities requires a 1.5% transaction fee.

However, the recent addition of their Plus subscription for $10 per month provides users with USD accounts or the ability to hold funds in USD.

Wealthsimple Trade offers fewer account options than other platforms.

Currently, only three types of accounts can be opened: RRSP, TFSA, and non-registered personal savings accounts.

While the selection is limited, many traders will prefer to trade in either an RRSP or TFSA due to the tax benefits associated with these accounts.

The lack of additional account options should not dissuade traders from choosing Wealthsimple Trade.

Wealthsimple Trade also recently began offering fractional trading on a limited number of Canadian and US equities.

As previously mentioned, this feature has received lots of positive reviews, as newer traders in Canada have long looked for opportunities to purchase stocks in companies like Amazon or Tesla.

Questrade

Questrade has been around in the Canadian market for over 20 years.

During this time, the company has consistently been rated amongst the top investing platforms in the country by offering low-fee trading and a variety of services that cater to both amateur and experienced traders.

Just like Interactive Brokers, Questrade offers a few different account options depending on user needs.

Regular accounts have commissions ranging from $4.95 to $9.95 for most Canadian and U.S. stocks. The company also offers an Active Trader package which can bring commissions down to as low as $0.01 per share.

Aside from stocks, Questrade offers access to several other assets including ETFs, options, forex, CFDs, mutual funds, bonds, GICs, and commodities.

In terms of account types, Questrade offers a large range of both registered and non-registered accounts.

This variety opens up investing to those with different financial goals, from saving for education to retirement planning.

Money can be held in either USD or CAD, which can allow traders to buy and sell both Canadian and U.S. equities with ease while saving higher-frequency traders hundreds of dollars in transaction fees each year.

One feature not offered by Questrade is fractional share trading.

In this area, both Interactive Brokers and Wealthsimple Trade come out ahead.

Both the mobile application and desktop application are fairly straightforward and easy-to-use.

A variety of customization options are available, allowing traders to focus on what is important to them.

Will Ally Invest be coming to Canada?

Ally Invest used to operate in Canada, but was acquired by the Royal Bank of Canada in 2013 and has since ceased to operate within Canadian borders.

There are no plans for Ally Invest to provide its services in Canada.

What is Ally Invest?

Founded in 2009, Ally Bank (Ally Invest) has its headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.

Ally Invest is the brokerage portion of Ally Bank, and was targeted at both experienced and beginner traders through no account minimum, low-cost options, and no trading costs on eligible US securities.

It offers automated portfolio management and free tools for investors who prefer to use technical analysis to make their trades.

Ally Invest doesn’t offer no-transaction-fee mutual funds and since it is an online only service, there is no option to schedule in-person meetings.

Fun Fact!

Ally Invest offers instant fund transfers between a user’s brokerage account and their savings account which allows for interest accumulation but keeps funds accessible to quickly take advantage of an opportunity that arises.

Ally Invest brokerage account open on laptop on desk

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Ally Invest available in Canada?
  • Who is Ally invest owned by?
  • Is Ally Invest trustworthy?

I have been investing for half a decade, using the perspectives gained from my work experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors to shape my investment outlook. I have a specific interest in the potential of emerging disruptive technologies and their impact on the future.