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Betterment vs Sofi Invest vs Wealthfront


Sofi Invest versus Wealthfront and Betterment - which is better in 2020? Compare margin accounts, online trading fees, stock broker extended hours, and differences.



Overview of Betterment, Wealthfront, and SoFi Invest


Three brokerage firms that market their services to Millennial investors are Wealthfront, SoFi Invest, and Betterment. They do differ quite a bit in what they offer, however. This guide will help you pick the right one for your trading needs.


Sofi Invest and Betterment Cost


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Sofi Invest $0 na na $0 $0
Betterment $0 na na 0.25% 0.25%
Wealthfront $0 na na 0.25% 0.25%


Sofi Invest and Betterment Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Sofi Invest
Betterment
Wealthfront


Promotions


Sofi Invest: Buy and sell stocks at no cost. Plus, there are no account minimums.

Betterment: Get 1 month free of Betterment service if you invest $5,000 – $24,999.

Wealthfront: None



Securities and Account Types


Wealthfront and Betterment use ETFs to create digitally-managed portfolios for their clients. These are the only investment choices traders with the two firms have, and even worse, not all ETFs are available.

SoFi Invest customers get all U.S.-listed ETFs, plus the following securities:

- Stocks
- Cryptocurrencies
- Closed-end funds

Unlike Betterment and Wealthfront, SoFi Invest offers both self-directed and robo accounts. The latter option uses just exchange-traded funds.

Winner: SoFi Invest


Sofi vs Betterment


Trading Tools


Managing investments in the 21st century does require the use of software programs. All three brokerage firms in this appraisal do have user-friendly websites. However, you won’t find other advanced tools, such as desktop platforms.

SoFi Invest’s website has small charts with only one graph format and zero charting tools. There is a trade ticket for self-directed customers. It is very simple, however, without many advanced features. There is a watchlist on the site, one of the few highlights.

The Wealthfront site has no trade ticket because there is no self-directed trading. Instead, the firm provides user-friendly account management tools. For example, there is a chart that shows account value over time. Another widget can be used to establish automatic transfers, and goals can be tracked.

Betterment has a similar website. There are no trading tools because there are no self-directed accounts. The broker’s site is easy to use and provides simple tools for tracking account performance.

Winner: SoFi Invest


Mobile Platforms


Since all three broker-dealers in this matchup are modern, digitally-focused firms, you probably can guess that they have mobile apps. Like the websites, they tend to be on the elementary side with few actual trading tools.

The SoFi app does have basic charts and an order ticket in case you want to do some actual trading. The other two apps provide account management tools, and that’s it.

Winner: SoFi Invest


Wealthfront vs Sofi


Education and Research


Although trading is not high on any of the brokers’ list of priorities, education is a different story. Because SoFi Invest targets young traders, the company has plenty of learning materials on its site. Some of these actually cover products that SoFi doesn’t offer, like fixed-income securities. And SoFi goes much further than investing by providing a lot of personal financial articles. For example, we found materials on:

- Term life insurance
- Home Loans
- Undergraduate Student Loans

Besides articles, there are some videos, too.

Betterment has a helpful FAQ section on its website that hosts answers to many questions, such as:

- What are your fees? How does pricing work?
- How do I plan for my retirement? (answered in just 3 paragraphs, probably not a very sufficient answer)

That’s about the extent of Betterment’s educational materials.

Moving on to Wealthfront, we do find more resources. The company’s website has articles covering a very wide range of subjects, from home ownership to retirement to education savings. There is also a list of FAQs.

Winner: SoFi Invest


Betterment vs Sofi


Other Services That Are Available


Dividend Reinvestment Program: SoFi Invest self-directed clients can sign up for the broker’s DRIP service.

IRAs: Individual Retirement Accounts (including the SEP IRA) are available at all three brokerage firms.


Recommendations


ETF and Stock Trading: SoFi Invest for reasons already mentioned.

Beginners: This one is a little trickier. Although all three firms do cater to young investors, SoFi Invest has a larger selection of learning materials. Plus, it’s the only firm in this survey to offer self-directed trading, and this we view as a must have to really learn the ropes of investing.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: We pick Betterment for its human-advisory service that comes with unlimited access to Certified Financial Planners® (although a $100,000 balance is required).

Small Accounts: Wealthfront or SoFi Invest.


Promotions


Sofi Invest: Buy and sell stocks at no cost. Plus, there are no account minimums.

Betterment: Get 1 month free of Betterment service if you invest $5,000 – $24,999.

Wealthfront: None



Betterment vs Sofi Invest Results


Wealthfront and Betterment may have started the robo-advisory craze, but they have a lot of competition today. Not only is SoFi’s robot cheaper (it’s free), the company succeeds in delivery cryptocurrency trading and much more.


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