For Most Investors, I Recommend TradeKing

TradeKing(Update: TradeKing is now Ally Invest. New name but everything else is the same)

A large number of the readers who find their way to this website are beginner investors. In many cases they know very little about stocks, don’t have an online broker account yet, and just want to learn how stock investing works. They probably have under $5,000 to invest and want to find out how they can get started buying stocks without paying high fees.

For this type of investor, I recommend TradeKing (now named Ally Invest) because it is a reliable online broker that consistently gets good reviews but charges half the fees ($4.95) that many other online brokers charge. In today’s online world, why pay more than you need to when you have options that are very similar and half the price?

TradeKing/Ally Invest Has No Account Minimums

One of the questions I often get asked is about account minimums and it is important for soon to be investors. Many people who want to get started investing are concerned that they don’t have enough. They may only have $100 to $1,000 and fear that amount is too little. With TradeKing though, there are no minimums of any kind and that means you can open an account with as little as zero dollars just to test it out. Further more, there are no balance minimums that must be maintained in order to avoid charges to your account like at many other brokers. That means you can start with as little as you want and not worry about being charged an account “maintenance” fee. 

$4.95 Per Trade – Why Pay More?

E*Trade charges $9.99 per trade. TD Ameritrade charges the same $9.99. Charles Schwab charges $8.95 per trade fees. Those are all good online brokers and there are a few others that charge similar fees. 

But why pay that much when you can get $4.95 with TradeKing? For investors who don’t have a lot in their account or trade often, those fees become extremely meaningful. If you start with, lets say $500, you want to pay as little per trade as possible as those fees eat into your cash quickly. Remember, when you buy a stock you will eventually have to sell it and that is a total of two trade fees. So $4.95 x 2 is a lot better than $9.99 x 2.

The bottom line is that TradeKing is an established broker that has been online since 2005 and has all the services most investors need. There just isn’t any reason to pay more in fees to another broker, especially if you are just starting out. 

10 Responses to “For Most Investors, I Recommend TradeKing”

  1. Kian Tadjbakhsh says:

    Hi Bruce
    First off I’d love to thank you for really going in depth on your blog. Its been a tremendous tool for me. However, I do have on question I live in Canada and tradeking isn’t available with a Canadian address. Do you have any recommendations for a young investor in Canada?


  2. Jonathan says:

    Hey Bruce,

    I’m looking to start investing my savings into the stock market and have been doing research on online broker accounts. TradeKing is a great option from the ones I’ve researched so far but I also found Robinhood. In Robinhood they have no trading fees and from what I’ve seen they look pretty user friendly. I was wondering if you had any insight and weather they are another good option for first time investors? Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Bruce Alan says:

      Before using Robinhood I would suggest trying to find as many online reviews of the service as possible, keeping in mind that many of those reviewers could be being paid for those reviews. Personally, I would NEVER RECOMMEND Robinhood because it is free and no free broker has ever been able to survive in this industry to my knowledge. Do you want to put your money into some brand new unproven broker that might go under at some future time? I wouldn’t.

      Additionally, there are reports of slow response times when you place an order, traders getting worse prices on their trades than with established brokers, and delays/frustration when trying to get money back out. Again, I have never used it so I have no first had knowledge so I suggest you search online for reviews from actual users.

  3. Krishnan Menon says:


    Just came across your site and will start to read more indepth but I like the format so far. I will say as a TradeKing account owner i appreciate the 4.95 trading cost however I was caught in a scenario where I bought a stock valued under $2 on TradeKing and was charged a considerable amount of commision for each side of the trade to the tune of $95 per side. While i was able to cover the fee it definitely bit into my trade. Also spreads on TradeKing can tend to be higher than some other brokers so it might be advisable to have a few brokers to capture the best value. Im not sure if your trading strategy involves companies that would be catagorized under the penny stock market but if they do I would advise that you look at other brokers that have a flat fee and have solid trade execution and smaller spreads.

    Just my humble 2 cents. Looking forward to getting to know the blog.


    • Bruce Alan says:

      I definitely DO NOT buy penny stocks and advise anyone and everyone to stay away from buying them. IMO, when you buy penny stocks you are just asking for trouble. Also, I am a long term investor and NOT a trader. Thanks for reading.

  4. James says:

    I just started following your blog, and I love the way how transparent and methodical your strategy is in trading stocks.

    Keep it up and wish you all the success!

  5. Sree says:

    Hi Bruce, Interesting website with lots of info.

    I was wondering about your take on ETFs? i See that you have an impressive portfolio with individual stocks. Thank you.


    • Bruce Alan says:

      Hi Sree,
      I know a lot of investors like ETF’s but I have never invested in any. There are so many to choose from and for each one you have to research what stocks are in it… the end I think buying and selling individual stocks is the best way to go for me. Its easier for me to understand what one company does than to figure out exactly what I am getting with an ETF. Thats just my personal opinion though.

      • Sree says:

        Thank you for the prompt reply. I agree with understanding the company profile. very recently only I started looking into ETFs and they look very good. Some of the vanguard ones are very lucrative with minimal fees to maintain.(trading is free. and no, I am not a vanguard agent). From a tax point its a bit different, as per SEC/IRS. Thank you again for the info. I’m sure you are aware already: google ads will help generate gains through the website if not already.

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