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Etrade vs Sofi Invest


Sofi Invest versus Etrade - which is better in 2021? Compare margin accounts, online trading fees, stock broker extended hours, and differences.



Overview of SoFi Invest and E*Trade


SoFi Invest is a new brokerage firm that’s trying to take business away from companies like E*Trade. Does the new startup have what it takes? Let’s find out.


Sofi Invest and Etrade Cost


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Etrade $0 $19.95 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Sofi Invest $0 na na $0 $0


Sofi Invest and Etrade Services


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


Open Account


Etrade: Get zero commission on stock and ETF trades.

Sofi Invest: Trade crypto-currencies and stocks, including partial shares, at no cost.



Available Securities


Investors at E*Trade can buy stocks, fixed-income assets, funds (including ETFs, mutual funds, and closed-end funds), options, and futures. Penny and over-the-counter stocks are included in the stock category; and bitcoin futures are included in the futures category. E*Trade’s website has a section where clients can sign up for equity IPOs.

SoFi customers can trade closed-end funds, ETFs, three cryptocurrencies, and stocks. The last category includes penny stocks but not OTC stocks. We looked for IPOs on the company’s website but didn’t find any.

On the whole, we think E*Trade does the better job in the opening category.


Sofi vs ETrade


Education & Research


E*Trade’s website offers several channels of investment research. First is the “Knowledge” section, which is found under the “Research” tab in the top menu. We found articles on diversification, withdrawals from retirement accounts, long-term capital gains rates, how to sell covered calls, the basics of futures trading, and much more.

Upcoming webinars are displayed on the E*Trade site. On the day we did our research, we found topics on international stocks (E*Trade doesn’t offer direct trading on exchanges), technical analysis, and options trading. It’s free to register for these online events.

Security profiles at E*Trade have tons of information. And we really liked the broker’s in-depth screeners. They are easy to use.

Strangely, SoFi Invest doesn’t have any screeners. Instead, it provides collections of investments such as “Stocks under $10.” Profiles have a small amount of information compared to E*Trade’s site.

SoFi does have a learning hub on its site called “Investing 101.” Here, we located lots of articles designed for beginners. Examples include asset allocation, goal setting, and bonds (SoFi doesn’t offer fixed-income securities).

E*Trade wins the second category.


Trading Technology


E*Trade has a very large suite of trading tools. First is the broker’s user-friendly website, where trades for most products can be placed. The order ticket is easy to use, and we really liked full-screen charting with tools.

Traders who don’t find the website good enough can upgrade to Power E*Trade for free. This is the firm’s browser platform, and it has many advanced tools.

Last, but not least, is E*Trade Pro, the firm’s very good desktop program.

SoFi doesn’t offer a desktop program, nor does it have a browser platform. The website is it, and it doesn’t have very much. Charting is very simple. There is no full-screen mode, and just forget about technical analysis. Because SoFi is responsible for submitting orders to the exchanges, there is no trade ticket on the broker’s website.

E*Trade wins another one.





Investment Advice


E*Trade clients can sign up for the broker’s automated investing service. It costs 30 basis points annually, and a $500 minimum is required. Old-fashioned service with human managers costs more but comes with a lot more perks, including mutual fund and stock investments.

SoFi offers a hybrid system that uses a software program to make trading decisions with old-school advisors for guidance. Amazingly, the company manages to charge nothing for either part of the service. Managed account customers have unlimited access to SoFi’s lineup of human advisors.

We think SoFi offers the better value here.


Other Services


Dividend Reinvestment Program: E*Trade and SoFi offer a free DRIP.

IRA’s: Both firms have Individual Retirement Accounts. There are a few IRA types that E*Trade offers that SoFi doesn’t. SoFi also doesn’t have any IRA fees, but E*Trade has a few $25 fees.

Automatic mutual fund investing: E*Trade customers can sign up for recurring deposits into mutual funds.

Overall, we would take E*Trade here.


Recommendations


Beginners: E*Trade is better.

Mutual Fund Investors: E*Trade obviously.

Retirement Savers: Target-date funds and a 401(k) will be found at E*Trade, but not SoFi.

ETF and Stock Trading: E*Trade hands down.


Open Account


Sofi Invest: Trade crypto-currencies and stocks, including partial shares, at no cost.

Webull: Get 2 FREE stocks valued up to valued up to $1850 + $100 in ACAT reimbursement.

Etrade: Get zero commission on stock and ETF trades.



Etrade vs Sofi Results


While we do like SoFi’s cryptocurrency trading service and its portfolio management, it falls flat in other areas. To challenge the big dogs in the brokerage world, it will need to come up with more.

Value oriented investors can find a better deal at the other $0 commission broker, Webull.