Ally Invest Advisors is a fee-only financial advisor firm that does all of its business through an online investing platform. Low- to mid-net-worth individuals make up the lion’s share of Ally Invest’s client base, with high-net-worth individuals and businesses coming occupying a smaller share of the firm’s focus. The services at Ally Invest revolve solely around portfolio management, as financial planning is nonexistent here.
Ally Invest Advisors Background
Ally Invest Advisors is wholly owned by Ally Invest Group, Inc., which in turn is under the ownership umbrella of Ally Financial, Inc., an online financial services company that specializes in banking. Therefore, even though Ally Invest Advisors is a fairly new branch of Ally Financial, its roots can be traced back to 1919.
The advisory leadership group at Ally Invest Advisors averages about 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, and it includes advisory certifications such as chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Ally Invest Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Ally Invest Advisors has a client base made up almost entirely of non-high-net-worth individuals. However, the firm’s clientele does include high-net-worth individuals and businesses.
To become a client of Ally Invest Advisors, you’ll need to deposit at least $100 in your new client account.
Services Offered by Ally Invest Advisors
The array of services available through Ally Invest Advisors centers exclusively around investment portfolio management. On the other hand, Ally does not provide any financial planning services. Check out everything the firm has to offer below:
- Professional portfolio management
- Discretionary service
- Customized, risk-adjusted investment planning
- Question-based investor profiling
- Specific investment recommendations
- Available as a PDF
- Brokerage services through Ally Invest Securities
- Wrap-fee program
Ally Invest Advisors Investment Philosophy
Ally Invest Advisors hinges its investment philosophy on modern portfolio theory, which holds that rather than just picking individual stocks, investors can create diversified portfolios that will deliver optimal returns given their particular tolerance for risk. MPT is about landing upon intelligent investment decisions whenever an investor takes on increased risk. More specifically, an advisor using this theory will only take on an uptick in risk when the associated returns are equally as valuable.
In order to satisfy the risk requirements of every client it works with, Ally Invest has developed portfolios for each tier of risk tolerance. These strategies include ample diversification across asset classes, market sectors and geographical locations, another hallmark of MPT. Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are the core of every portfolio strategy Ally creates, as they possess inherent diversification in a specific area of the market. Depending on your risk tolerance, your assets may be invested in stocks and bonds as well.
Ally will generally leave around 2% of each client’s assets in his or her account uninvested. This is done for a number of reasons, such as liquidity maintenance and for rebalances. Holding some of these funds also allows the firm to charge management fees without selling any of your investments.
Fees Under Ally Invest Advisors
In alignment with its overarching theme, Ally Invest Advisors charges a flat 0.30% annual fee on all balances for the Market-Focused Managed Portfolio. This fee is divided into monthly payments that are charged in arrears. Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio don't have an annual fee.
All fee arrangements at Ally Invest Advisors are negotiable, though this is entirely up to the discretion of the firm on a client-to-client basis. The dollar amount that’s used to calculate these charges is the combined average daily balance of your account during the corresponding month.
What to Watch Out For
Ally Invest Advisors also has one disclosure listed on its SEC-filed Form ADV.
Ally Invest Advisors lacks the in-person meetings that competing financial advisor firms consistently offer. While this may be preferential for some prospective clients, it’s worth evaluating how important this attention would be to you prior to joining up.
Financial advisor firms customarily provide both investment portfolio management and financial planning as a combined set of offerings. At Ally Invest Advisors, you will not have access to financial planning or any goal-related advice.
Opening an Account With Ally Invest Advisors
Unlike many advisory firms that operate on normal business hours, clients of Ally Invest Advisors can reach the company 24 hours a day, seven days a week over the phone or online.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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