Ally Invest Managed Portfolios provides a range of account types, 24/7 customer service and seamless integration on Ally.com, the online-only bank.
Ally now offers this automated investing service for just a $100 initial investment, down from $2,500 — a welcome change for new investors. Ally Invest Managed Portfolios creates and maintains a diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds with an annual management fee of 0.30% — a competitive price, but slightly higher than some competitors.
The service — a rebranding of robo-advisor TradeKing Advisors after its 2016 acquisition by Ally Financial — has features like Goal Tracker, a wealth-forecasting tool that simulates a range of possible outcomes based on various market returns. Existing Ally Bank clients can view their checking and savings accounts, Ally Invest brokerage account and managed account within one dashboard.
Ally Invest Managed Portfolios is best for:
- Existing Ally banking or brokerage customers
- Hands-off investors
- Automatic rebalancing
Ally Invest Managed Portfolios at a glance
|Account management fee||0.30%
|Investment expense ratios||Expense ratios average 0.08%|
|Account fees (annual, transfer, closing)||$25 IRA closing fee; no fee to close brokerage account|
|Portfolio mix||Portfolios pull from 13 ETFs covering a variety of asset classes, plus new tax-sensitive and income portfolios|
|Tax strategy||Tax-sensitive investments in taxable accounts. No tax-loss harvesting|
|Automatic rebalancing||Free on all accounts|
|Human advisor option||Not offered|
|Tools||Portfolio tracking and management tools|
|Customer support options (includes website transparency)||Phone, email and live chat support 24/7|
|Promotion||None but for existing Ally Bank customers|
Where Ally Invest Managed Portfolios shines
Investments: As at many other robo-advisors, Ally Invest Managed Portfolios’ investment portfolios are made up of exchange-traded funds. From a menu of 13 ETFs, each portfolio contains around nine funds, with an average expense ratio of 0.08%. Unlike many other brokers, Ally does not have proprietary funds and so does not use its own funds in its managed portfolios.
New customers are directed to an assessment, with questions that determine an investor’s risk tolerance and goals and help the firm select an investment strategy for the client. The questions gauge how comfortable investors are with large portfolio fluctuations and what their investment time horizon is. The assessment then suggests a portfolio, with details about the asset allocation.
Ally Invest Managed Portfolios are monitored and automatically rebalanced as needed. In May, Ally rolled out new tax-optimized and income-based portfolios.
Integration with Ally: Current Ally account holders — both of the bank and brokerage arms — can open an Ally Invest Managed Portfolio account and easily view all of their accounts in one place. The platform is also mobile-responsive and consistent across devices. You cannot, however, combine self-directed and managed investment accounts, and Ally Invest Managed Portfolios’ minimum balance requirements are separate from any other assets held at Ally.
Customer service: Although robo-advisors are by definition hands-free investing, it’s comforting to know human help is a phone-call away if you’ve got a midnight question about creating your account: Ally Invest Managed Portfolios includes 24/7 customer support.
Where Ally Invest Managed Portfolios falls short
Management fee: Customer pay a 0.30% annual fee. That’s slightly higher than independent robo-advisors typically charge — both Betterment and Wealthfront have set their fee at 0.25% — but roughly in line with robo-advisory offerings from fellow online brokers.
Tax-loss harvesting: The company doesn’t offer this feature, which is standard at many robo-advisors, including several that charge the same management fee as Ally Invest Managed Portfolios. This year, however, customers with non-retirement accounts can opt into a tax-optimized portfolio, which uses municipal bond ETFs to help reduce Uncle Sam’s cut.
Is Ally Invest Managed Portfolios right for you?
That depends a great deal on what kind of account you’re interested in and which features matter most to you. The service is best suited to retirement accounts or loyal Ally customers who want to house a managed account, a trading account and their bank accounts under one roof. The lack of tax-loss harvesting will be an issue for investors with taxable brokerage accounts.