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Ally Invest Managed Portfolios Review 2019

Oct. 10, 2019
Advisors, Investing
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Ally Invest Managed Portfolios offers a broad choice of investments, seamless integration with Ally’s banking arm and, in a recent change, the potential to have your assets managed for nothing.

Investors can avoid advisory fees with Ally’s Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio, which requires they keep 30% of their portfolio in cash. (While out of the investing action, that cash earns interest at 1.80%.) Customers who don’t want so much of their holdings in cash can opt for a lower allocation with Ally’s legacy Managed Portfolio and its annual advisory fee of 0.3% of assets.

Either way, Ally Invest Managed Portfolios creates and maintains a diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds, and boasts 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.

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Quick Facts

  • Management fee: 0% in its Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio; 0.3% in its legacy Managed Portfolio
  • Account minimum: $100
Get started on Ally Invest Advisors' secure site
Get started on Ally Invest Advisors' secure site

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

4.0 NerdWallet rating
Account minimum

Account management fee

  • 0% in its Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio, which requires a 30% cash allocation
  • 0.3% in its legacy Managed Portfolio option, which does not have that cash requirement
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
Accounts supported

  • Individual and joint nonretirement accounts.
  • Roth, traditional, SIMPLE, SEP and rollover IRAs.
  • Trusts.
Tax strategy

Tax-sensitive investments in taxable accounts. No tax-loss harvesting
Automatic rebalancing

Free on all accounts
Human advisor option

Not offered

Portfolio tracking and management tools
Customer support options (includes website transparency)

Phone, email and live chat support 24/7

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

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.

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