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Is Ally Invest available in the UK? Alternatives for 2022

Franklin Carneiro da Silva| Updated June 27th, 2022
Ally invest UK Alternatives

The investment industry in the US is still way ahead of other developed countries. Just ask Ally Invest clients! They have the best of the two worlds. By being Ally Invest customers, they also experience the Ally Bank structure, which means having checking, savings and retirement accounts, mortgage, auto loans, and much more. In plain English, it is a perfect tool for all-in-one money management.

Unfortunately, UK residents cannot open an Ally Invest account (or Ally Bank). The same applies to all European countries. As mentioned by its jurisdictions policy, “It is Ally Invest’s policy not to open or maintain accounts for residents of foreign countries”. So, only US citizens living in the USA or active military personnel stationed abroad can open an Ally Invest brokerage account.

If you are waiting for Ally Invest to open in the UK, don’t hold your breath. As of this writing, they have no intention of expanding their business segment internationally. However, you have plenty of European alternatives in both “Self-Directed Trading” (online investment platforms) and “Managed Portfolios” (Robo advisor approach).

Do you want to know the most suitable alternatives for Ally Invest in the UK? Keep on reading. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is Ally Invest, and why its extraordinary reputation in the US?

Ally Invest is Ally Financial’s online brokerage platform arm, operating Ally Bank. The idea was first designed to integrate existing clients who wanted to start their investment journey. As time went on, their platform became more user-friendly but still outdated than the new specialized fintech companies.

Ally Invest platform makes an effort to clearly distinguish between the “hands-on investor” segments with the “we can help you out” services.

Essentially, the company focuses on providing tools that are convenient for first-timers. In other words, If you have a do-it-yourself investor mindset, you will be pretty satisfied with their wide variety of investment choices and pricing: commission-free stocks and ETFs, $0.50 per option contract, and more! However, if expert traders want to enjoy advanced trading in options, forex, and penny stocks, they’ll have to turn to platforms such as Interactive Brokers or Saxo Bank.

On the other hand, by investing through the Robo-advisor alike feature (“Managed Portfolios”), you can have a professionally designed portfolio based on your personal goals, timeframe, and risk tolerance through the investment in ETFs. The process involves automatically rebalance so that you are not over ou underexposed to certain asset classes and free your time for other activities in your life.

Is Ally Invest available in the UK? What are their expansion plans?

Unfortunately, Ally Investment is one of those trading platforms that only US citizens are lucky enough to experience.

Do not despair! We have some good news for you in that there are online investment platforms and Robo-advisors in the UK who work in pretty much the same way as Ally Invest. These companies allow you to take both a hands-on and off approach to invest in the stock market while at the same time offering no commissions on stocks and ETFs trading and, in the case of Robo-advisors, low management fees based upon your own personal risk profile.

Ally Investment platforms alternatives in the UK

The number of fintech in the trading/investment space is overwhelming! Honestly, Ally Invest even comes a little late to the game because you can find it more customizable and intuitive to use competitors in the US or UK.

We have pre-select a group of online investment platforms that are fully operational in the UK and will be optimal for the needs of someone looking for Ally Invest, but that is not allowed to invest in it.

Here are our top picks:

eToro

No commission fee on stocks and ETFs. Slick, modern, and easy for anyone to use. It is trusted by more than 25 million clients worldwide. Read our eToro review.
Disclaimer: 67% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Interactive Brokers

Founded in 1978, IBKR is one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers. It offers an enormous range of financial products (stocks, ETFs, Options,…), and low currency conversion fees (FX fees). Check our Interactive Brokers review.
💡 Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks and ETFs, ideal for novice investors.

DEGIRO

it is a very low-cost dutch broker where you can buy stocks and ETFs with 0% commissions. Over 2 million customers in 18 European Countries. Read our Degiro review.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

Trading 212

Commission-free stocks and ETFs trading (+10,000 global stocks and ETFs), 0.15% of foreign exchange fees, and presents fractional shares. Over 15 million customers.
Disclaimer: 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

These trading platforms, except for Interactive Brokers, are quite recent. Despite this, we have seen that all of them could withstand the massive spike in volatility that occurred, especially in March and April of 2020 due to Covid-19. We hadn’t seen that market instability since 2007-08, during the Global Financial Crisis, so it gives us good comfort to know that none of those apps suddenly crashed as it happened with Robinhood, a US-based free online broker.

Ally Invest UK Alternatives | Investment Platforms

# eToro

etoro logo
Visit eToro
68% of retail CFD account lose money.

eToro at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsCFDs, ETFs, Stocks, Commodities, Forex, and Cryptocurrencies
Minimum deposit$10
RegulatorsCySEC, FCA, and ASIC

eToro is the world’s leading social trading platform with over 20 million clients in more than 140 countries. It allows retail account holders to mimic the trades and trading strategies of the most successful clients automatically and in real-time.

Still, it does not only focus on social trading! It is also a multi-asset platform offering many different financial instruments to trade, such as CFDs, ETFs, stocks, commodities, Forex, and cryptocurrencies. eToro provides 0% commission on stocks and ETFs (not all ETFs are commission-free).

The website and mobile app are nearly identical, attractively laid-out, and incredibly simplified. The account opening process is pretty easy and fast. You only need a couple of minutes to sign up and follow the identification procedure. Moreover, if you are not yet comfortable with investing or its comprehensive dashboard, eToro provides you with a practice account.

eToro is considered safe since top-tier financial authorities regulate it like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and it has shown resilience during the Covid-19 market turmoil.

On the downside, it only has one account base currency (USD) and charges a $5 commission per withdrawal. Plus, cost-free trading only applies when you trade real stocks or ETFs. In other words, if you leverage your positions, you’re trading CFDs and not real stocks or ETFs, and so you will incur spreads and overnight fees.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Ally Invest UK Alternatives | Investment Platforms

# Interactive Brokers

interactive brokers logo
Visit Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, ETFs, Bonds, Forex, Funds, Commodities, Options, Futures and CFDs
Minimum deposit€0
RegulatorsFINRA, SIPC, SEC, CFTC, IIROC, FCA, CBI, AFSL, SFC, SEBI, MAS, MNB

Founded in 1978 and publicly listed in NASDAQ (ticker: IBKR), Interactive Brokers is a global online broker which surpassed major financial crises, showing resilience and a rigorous risk management process.

Interactive Brokers offers an advanced investment platform that includes a wide range of products (stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, bonds, and currencies) from 150 markets, solid trade execution (IB SmartRouting), and a set of technical and fundamental tools to help you in your investment decisions.

Beginners and intermediate investors have educational tools to explore, but the learning curve will be steep. That´s why we mainly endorse it to more advanced traders. Besides, the customer service gives crystal clear answers to your doubts, so there is no need to go back and forth.

On the downside, Interactive Brokers’ fee structure is quite complex, the account registration is a bit longer but fully online, and the broker doesn’t offer commission-free trading. However, when considering FX fees, narrower spreads, and the stock loan program, Interactive Brokers’ clients still get significant savings compared to most brokers.

Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade  Stocks and ETFs, ideal for beginner investors. Some of the features of IBKR GlobalTrader include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares, demo account, and more.

Want to know more about Interactive Brokers? Check our Interactive Brokers Review.

Ally Invest UK Alternatives | Investment Platforms

# Degiro

DEGIRO logo
Visit DEGIRO
Investing involves risk of loss.

DEGIRO at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, Funds, ETFs, Futures, Leveraged Products, Bonds, and Warrants.
Minimum deposit€0
RegulatorsAFM, DNB

Founded in 2013, Degiro is a low-cost brokerage firm that has become very popular due to its low rates! With almost 2 million users, the innovative platform has become widely known for its “do-it-yourself” philosophy in the sense that you have everything at your disposal to start investing on your own. It offers a wide range of financial assets to trade, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures contracts, warrants, investment funds, and some leveraged products (not quite the same as CFDs. More info here).

For instance, you can trade some stocks and ETFs for free (a €0.50 flat handling fee – external costs – still applies). You also have a list of 200 ETFs where you may trade once a month completely free with no minimum amount required. The web trading platform is basic, but it is efficient and straightforward. In a matter of minutes, you get used to it. The same applies to its mobile app. On the downside, there is an absence of any significant fundamental research, a €2.50 connectivity fee applies, and pricing alerts are missing.

Regarding security, Degiro is the Dutch branch of flatexDEGIRO Bank AG (a German regulated bank). In the unlikely event that the segregated assets cannot be returned to clients, Degiro falls under the German Investor Compensation Scheme, which compensates any losses from non-returned assets up to 90% (with a maximum of €20,000), so do bear this in mind if you are planning to invest much larger volumes. Furthermore, any money deposited on a DEGIRO Cash Account with flatexDEGIRO Bank AG will be guaranteed up to an amount of €100,000 under the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

Still any doubts? Go through our Degiro Review!

Ally Invest UK Alternatives | Investment Platforms

# Trading 212

trading 212 logo
Visit Trading 212
76% of retail CFD account lose money.

Trading 212 at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, ETFs, CFDs, Commodities, Forex, and Cryptocurrencies
Minimum deposit€1
RegulatorsFCA, FSC

Founded in 2006, Trading 212 is a fintech based in London that aims to democratize the entire investment process through a simple mobile application. The company aims to do this by allowing anyone to invest in over 10,000 stocks and ETFs, Forex, commodities, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. Over 15 million people have already downloaded the app. In 2017, it was the trading app with the most downloads in Germany and, since 2016, it has remained 1st in the United Kingdom.

In Trading 212, you will find commission-free stocks and ETFs trading, fractional shares, and even an automatic investment system (Robo-advisor). Opening an account is extremely quick and easy and new users also get one free share of up to €100 by using the code IITW. On the downside, it shows limitations regarding available products, such as the lack of bonds and options. It charges a 0.15% currency conversion fee when buying assets in a currency different from your base account.

Within the app, you will notice two distinct sub-platforms: Trading 212 Invest, where you can trade a range of assets free of charge and trading 212 CFD, where you may trade leveraged financial products (CFDs).

If you want to learn more, check our Trading 212 Review.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Ally Robo Advisors alternatives in the UK

Portfolio-based ETFs/Index Funds are increasingly popular among retail investors. There is a clear reason for that: active funds have not delivered above-average returns, as they were supposed to. Robo-Advisors take advantage of the high liquidity in ETFs trading and create an investment structured that provides you with steady growth while considering your own attitude to risk. In other words, it should be treated as a long-term investment.

Our pre-selected alternatives based on goal settings, fees, account services, user experience, among others, are the following:

  • inbestMe: A Robo-Advisor with multiple portfolio options and customization. The service is fully automated and even offers tax-loss harvesting (tax efficiency). It charges a maximum management fee of 0.41%/year. Access to a human advisor is available for amounts above €100,000.
  • Indexa Capital: A leading Spain-based Robo-Advisor that allows you to optimize your portfolio through diversification, transparency, and cost-efficiency. It charges a fee of 0.44% a year.
  • ETFmatic: The most downloaded Robo-advisor app in Europe. It has no complexity involved and allows you to check your investments as easily as your Facebook feed. It charges you 0.48% a year. Read our ETFmatic review.
  • Saxo Bank: It has a “Managed Portfolios” feature, allowing you to let experts (Morningstar, Brown Advisory, BlackRock and Nasdaq) take care of your investments in a cost-effective manner. It charges 0.75% per annum for its services.
    70% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
  • Moneyfarm: Another great Robo-advisor to manage your investments in a stress-free wealth management service. The pricing varies according to your investment amount. It goes from 0.35% to 0.75% in case you invest £100.000 or 10.000£, respectively.
  • Scalable Capital: Robo-Advisor with £2 billion in assets under management. The ETFs asset allocation involves equities, bonds, real estate, commodities, and cash. It presents a 0.75% management flat fee for its service.

Ally Invest UK Alternatives | Robo-Advisors

# inbestMe

inbestme-logo
Visit inbestMe

inbestMe at a glance

Management Fees0.13%-0.41%/annually
Investment InstrumentsETFs and Index Funds
Rebalancing
Mobile App
Minimum deposit€5,000 (for ETF portfolios) and €1,000 (for Index Funds portfolios)
RegulatorCNMV

Launched in 2013, inbestMe is a Robo-Advisor that provides fully managed and personalized investment plans tailored to their users’ risk profile, goals and time horizon preference. You can easily monitor your portfolio on PC or within the mobile app.

The investment process is based on setting a dedicated portfolio to you using Index Funds (mainly for Spanish Investors) and ETFs (for international investors). These options come with a very transparent cost structure (a maximum annual charge of 0.41%) and diversification benefits. You are also provided with Value and Socially Responsible Investments portfolios.

By default, the website appears in Spanish. Still, you may change to English in one of the dropdowns at the top. Please remember that the educational materials are only in Spanish, so there is no way to work around that.

On the pitfalls, you are limited only to two asset classes: stocks and bonds. The distributing ETFs may be tax-inefficient in some countries, and the minimum investment for ETF portfolios is relatively high (€5,000). For Index Fund portfolios, the minimum lowers to €1,000.

inbestMe is registered with Spain’s Securities Market Commission (CNMV) with the number 272 and under the Fogain (Spanish Investor Protection Scheme). So, any international investor is as protected as a Spanish one up to €100,000 (cash + assets).

Ally Invest UK Alternatives | Robo-Advisors

# Indexa Capital

Is Ally Invest available in the UK? Alternatives for 2022 1
Visit Website

Indexa Capital at a glance

Management Fees0.15-0.44%/annually
Investment InstrumentsIndex Funds
Rebalancing
Mobile App
Minimum deposit€3,000
RegulatorCNMV

Founded in 2015, Indexa Capital is the top automated investment platform in Spain with over €750 million in assets under management (AUMs) and trusted by 33,000+ clients. When it launched, the company offered rates that were half of those of its competition. Since then, the company has cited low pricing as one of the reasons for its AUMs growth.

The investment process is quite simple. First of all, it starts with a questionnaire to determine your investor profile. The objective is to know the right asset allocation according to your risk tolerance. Secondly, it requires you to make a minimum deposit of €3,000. And thirdly, it will rebalance and monitor your portfolio to adjust your exposure to respect your risk profile. Everything for an annual fee of 0.44%. This charge can decrease up to 0.15%, depending on your investment amount.

Indexa Capital uses a different approach compared to other Robo-Advisors: it uses Index Funds instead of ETFs. Is that a big deal? Not quite. The only difference is that ETFs can be bought or sold at any time during the day, whereas Index Funds are only priced at the end of the day. In practice, investing through ETFs and/or Index Funds should present very similar returns.

The downsides of Indexa Capital are the minimum of €3,000 required to invest (quite high for younger generations) and the languages offered on its website: only Spanish and French. The company does not have an English version which is not common. However, you can fix this by using the google translation tool on your browser.

Finally, Indexa Capital is fully regulated and supervised by the financial markets regulator of Spain – CNMV (National Securities Market Commission).

Ally Invest UK Alternatives | Robo-Advisors

# ETFmatic

ETFMatic logo
Visit ETFmatic

ETFmatic at a glance

Management Fees0.48%/annually
Investment InstrumentsETFs
Rebalancing
Mobile App
Minimum deposit€1,000
RegulatorFCA

ETFmatic is the most download Robo-Advisor app in Europe. It was designed for people who want to enjoy the expected long-term performance of stocks and bonds, don’t want to allocate their time choosing the financial instruments, and prefer to have their savings automatically managed with rigorous risk controls.

Compared to traditional wealth management services, it has a transparent and low fee structure of 0.48% per annum. The Robo-Advisor allows clients to select their target percentage weights in each. However, the underlying ETFs are still chosen by ETFmatic, which, unlike other analysts, we find useful for their clients because it trims the thousands of options in the market, so you don’t need to focus on that. Wasn’t this one of the reasons that made you search for a Robo-advisor in the first place?

A drawback involves portfolio construction. That is, ETFmatic only uses distributing ETFs which, in some jurisdictions, may not be tax efficient due to dividend tax rates paid in the majority of European countries. In Indexa Capital, for instance, the income from the Index Funds will be reinvested and reflected in the price of shares in the Fund (no distribution, no tax on dividends).

ETFmatic is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the clients are covered up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Ally Invest UK Alternatives | Robo-Advisors

# Saxo Bank

Is Ally Invest available in the UK? Alternatives for 2022 2
Visit Saxo Bank

Saxo Bank at a glance

Management Fees0.75%/annually
Investment InstrumentsETFs
Rebalancing
Mobile App
Minimum deposit€10.000
RegulatorFCA, FSA

Founded in 1992, Saxo Bank is a Danish bank with an online trading platform with a wide range of products to trade (from stocks to more complex products like CFDs). It serves people in +170 countries with a combined $16 billion in assets under management.

We decided to include Saxo Bank in our preferred list of Robo-Advisors because it gives you access to “Managed portfolios”, which is just another expression for Robo-Advisors. Compared to other Robo-Advisors, the big expected advantage is the partnerships developed with world-leading asset managers, including BlackRock and Morningstar, to create a range of low-cost, institutional-quality portfolios.

The management fee is 0.75% per annum for Saxo Bank services. Each portfolio is constructed to meet your risk appetite and suit your investment goals. If you feel that a professionally managed portfolio is not of great value, it reveals a higher than average cost structure.

A shortcoming is the minimum deposit of €10,000 for Blackrock strategies and a minimum of €30,000 when using the pre-designed portfolios of Morningstar, Brown Advisory, and Nasdaq.

Saxo Bank is regulated by several financial authorities globally, including the Danish Financial Services Agency (FSA) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Ally Invest UK Alternatives | Robo-Advisors

# moneyfarm

Is Ally Invest available in the UK? Alternatives for 2022 3
Visit Moneyfarm

Moneyfarm at a glance

Management Fees0.35-0.75%/annually
Investment InstrumentsETFs
Rebalancing
Mobile App
Minimum deposit£1,500
RegulatorFCA

Founded in 2011 and originated in Italy (now based in the UK), Moneyfarm presents itself as a “digital wealth management company”. As with any other Robo-Advisor, they do not promise you any irrealistic short-term gains. Moneyfarm gives you the tools to increase your wealth through time.

Moneyfarm is not a 100% typical Robo-advisor. In general terms, Robo-advisors firms operate on an execution basis only, meaning that all the risk lies with you when choosing your final asset allocation. However, Moneyfarm makes FCA-compliant recommendations (Personal Advice) which carry more responsibility on their side to really access the suitability of your portfolio.

The minimum investment is £1,500, and the percentage charged in management fees will vary according to your investment amount. For instance, if you go for £10,000, it will charge you a total of 1.04% (management fee of 0.75%, ETF fees of 0.20%, and market spread up to 0.09%). If you opt for an investment amount of £30,000, it will cost you a total of 0.94% (management fee of 0.65%, ETF fees of 0.20%, and market spread up to 0.09%). The costs are a drawback.

Besides, it only accepts clients from the UKItaly, or Germany.

Finally, Moneyfarm is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an Investment Management Company and as an Investment Advisor.

Ally Invest UK Alternatives | Robo-Advisors

# Scalable Capital

Scalable Capital logo
Visit Scalable Capital

Scalable Capital at a glance

Management Fees0.75%/annually
Investment InstrumentsETFs
Rebalancing
Mobile App
Minimum deposit£10,000
RegulatorFCA

Established in Germany in 2016, Scalable Capital is an online Robo-Advisor that has shown incredibly rapid growth over the years. As of February 2021, it has 60.000+ customers who, in total, have placed more than £2 billion in this platform alone.

The tab “How we invest” on its website is very clear on its investment approach. It shows the requirements demanded to opt for their ETFs, which are based on costs, liquidity, tracking error and replication method, and the asset classes that they invest in, contrary to other Robo-advisor, are not concentrated in only stocks and bonds but rather a take a more peripherical view in also investing in real estate and commodities ETFs.

The portfolios are optimized and monitored to manage risk and, naturally, maximize returns. And they do all of this for much lower fees than traditional investment management firms but with a quite high fee relative to other Robo-advisors. It charges a flat fee of 0.75%, so you will not have discounts for larger amounts.

On the negative side, and in addition to the flat fee, the minimum deposit required is £10,000 (it may scare off a beginner), and it is only available in the UK, Austria, and Germany.

In safety terms, Scalable Capital is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The bottom line

Whether you are looking for an online broker platform or a Robo-Advisor, we think you are well served with the alternatives displayed.

In general, it is crucial always to be aware of the fee charged, make sure that top-tier institutions regulate them, know the range of products it allows you to trade (not all platforms allow you to trade EU stocks, for instance), how responsive the customer service is, the easiness of the online platform, among other factors.

The key aspect is always to know the alignment of interest of the fintech with your particular needs. Each investor has their own preferences. Unfortunately, it is humanly impossible to help every one of you individually, but we are convinced that our solutions will fit more than 90% of our readers.

Take your time and choose wisely!

A reminder that the above should not be construed as investment advice and should be considered information only. Investors should do their own research and due diligence about the services and opportunities best suited for their risk, returns, and impact strategy.

Hope we helped, and leave your comments below.

Happy investments!