Sofi Invest rating

Sofi Invest Review


Sofi Invest trading account review: options platform, broker fees, stocks, futures, trading costs, and commissions. Is Sofi Invest a good brokerage firm?


Overview of SoFi Invest


Perhaps you’ve heard of SoFi and its student loan services. Officially known as Social Finance, Inc., the company began in 2011 with an objective of providing affordable loan programs for students. Today, the company has expanded into brokerage services with SoFi Invest. Let’s find out what the new investment firm has to offer.


SoFi Invest Pricing and Minimum Deposit


InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $0
Options not offered
Mutual funds not offered

Investments stocks, ETFs, crypto currencies
Minimum deposit to open account $0
FeesSofi fees
Promotion Sofi promotions


Opening and Funding an Account


Sofi Invest Account Opening Rating

SoFi has a user-friendly online form where an account can be opened at lightning speed. This is because the form does not require much information to get an account open—just a name, email, and password. After clicking on the “Invest now” button on the SoFi Invest home page, you’ll get a variety of pictorial selections. For a brokerage account, be sure to select “SoFi Invest.”


Sofi Open Investing Account


When you’re ready to fund an account, you’ll need to provide the standard list of data points, like Social Security Number and date of birth. Linking an external bank account is quick and easy. We were able to submit a trade the same day we made a deposit.


Investment Services


Sofi Investments Rating

SoFi offers brokerage services through three closely-related but independent firms: SoFi Wealth LLC, SoFi Digital Assets LLC, and SoFi Securities LLC. The first offers portfolio management, the second provides trading in digital currencies, while the third operates self-directed trading.

The company’s investment advisory service is called “Auto Investing” and consists of a software program that makes trading decisions and a team of human financial advisors for extra support. Amazingly, the brokerage firm charges nothing for either side.

A $1 deposit is required to begin the digital investing service. Low-cost ETFs are the asset of choice (and the only choice) in the program. The company’s robot rebalances accounts on a quarterly basis.

The human advisors are on standby to answer any questions or provide some financial guidance to SoFi Wealth customers. There is no limit on the amount of access that’s available, which is another amazing feature.

SoFi Securities handles self-directed accounts, which are referred to on the broker’s website as “Active Investing.” Through these accounts, investors can buy and sell stocks, closed-end funds, and ETF’s.


Sofi Investing Review


Stock Bits are fractional shares that can be purchased for some stocks and ETF’s. During our research, it appeared that most securities don’t qualify; and in all cases, only market orders can be used.

As of now, the brokerage house does not offer trading in mutual funds, bonds, options, forex, futures, warrants, or precious metals.


Website


Sofi Investing Account Rating

SoFi’s website offers a single login for student loan and brokerage customers. A top menu offers tabs for Money (the company’s cash management tools, which we’ll discuss here shortly), Invest, and Loans.

The Invest section is very underdeveloped. During our testing of it, we frequently had difficulty getting the Invest tab to load. At other times, the site was slow. When we did get information to display, we didn’t find a lot of tools.

Charting, for example, has no notable features of any kind. There is only one graph format (line), and a chart cannot be displayed the width of the monitor. Despite the name “Active Investing,” it is clear to us that this broker doesn’t specialize in active investing at all.


Sofi Invest Charting


The trade ticket offers the ability to make a purchase based on dollar amount or number of shares. Choosing the former option is the route to take if you want to trade fractional shares.


Sofi Invest Trading


Mobile App


Sofi App Rating

The broker’s mobile app isn’t much better than its website. While it is easy to navigate, there are many features missing that self-directed traders would want. These include charting and a decent order ticket. There is a watchlist and selections of popular investments SoFi customers are making.


Sofi Invest App


At the bottom of the app is a row of icons that provide gateways to other parts of SoFi, including loans and money management.

The app has a customer service contact, but mobile check deposit is missing.


Other Trading Tools


Sofi Invest Tools

SoFi’s mobile platform is able to function on tablets. The company doesn’t have any smartwatch platform; and just forget about Apple TV, desktop software, or Amazon Echo skills.


Account Types


Sofi Trading Rating

The brokerage arm of SoFi currently offers individual and joint accounts for the taxable side of things. For the non-taxable side, the company provides Roth, traditional, and SEP IRA’s. A former employer’s plan can be rolled over into a SoFi IRA.

There is no SIMPLE IRA option, and the broker also doesn’t have a self-employed 401(k).


Crypto Trading


Sofi Crypto Rating

Perhaps the most enticing part of SoFi’s investment offerings is crypto trading. Currently, the company offers trading in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Other coins may be offered in the future. As of now, coins can’t be transferred into or out of a Crypto Investing account.


Sofi Bitcoin Investing


Trading tools are once again rather rudimentary. Charting comes with no tools, and mountain is the only graph style. The order ticket does offer trading in either shares or dollars.

SIPC does not cover crypto accounts, and SoFi has no private insurance for digital currencies.


Cash Management Tools


Sofi Cash Management Rating

SoFi Money® is a cash management account that links to any of SoFi’s brokerage accounts. It has no fees; and when SoFi says no fees, it really means it. There aren’t even overdraft fees on this account.

SoFi Money comes with a free Visa debit card. Currently, the account pays 1.6% annually in interest, which is very competitive. Moreover, SoFi reimburses ATM fees, and there’s no cap on this great policy. There is a 1% foreign currency surcharge.

No minimum deposit is required to open the account, and SoFi has no minimum balance requirement, either.

Funds in a SoFi Money account are FDIC insured up to $1.5 million, possible because of the company’s sweep program.


Security Research and Financial Education


Sofi Investments Rating

The SoFi website has very minimal information on securities. A stock’s profile displays a basic chart with up to 5 years of price history and brief trade data. This include 52-week high and low numbers, average daily volume, dividend yield, market cap, and just a few other numbers.

News articles make an appearance courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, but you have to have a subscription to read them. Free articles are posted by Zacks, Yahoo Finance, and Benzinga.

There are no third-party reports on stocks; and we didn’t find any information on competitors, technical events, ESG numbers, social signals, upcoming company events, ownership and insiders, fund ownership, or other details that are available at rival brokerage firms.

Things look a lot better in the investment education category. An “Investing 101” section on the SoFi site hosts a glossary of investing terms along with articles on investing basics, such as “How to Choose Your First Stock.”


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Pricing


Sofi Invest Pricing Rating

Neither crypto accounts, nor self-directed accounts, nor managed accounts at SoFi come with any account fees. Besides the free robo and human management services, self-directed trades also have no commissions.

Crypto customers aren’t so lucky. They have to pay up to 1.25% on transactions of digital currencies. The fee is assessed as a markup or markdown.


Other Services


Sofi Services Rating

Investors at SoFi don’t get to sign up for recurring deposits into mutual funds for the reason already mentioned. As for dividends from stocks and ETF’s, in managed accounts these are automatically reinvested in the securities that pay them. In self-directed accounts, they are deposited into the core position. There is no DRIP option.


Comparison


SoFi is a modern brokerage firm that targets Millennials. There are a few others out there, like Acorns and Stash. The former broker offers a round-up service that takes change from a point-of-sale terminal and deposits it into a brokerage account. But Acorns customers can only invest in 6 ETF’s.

Stash clients get stocks and ETF’s, but the selection is limited. Some stocks and ETF’s are simply absent. And Stash charges a monthly fee. Neither Stash nor Acorns offers crypto trading.

M1 Finance offers trading in fractional shares of stocks and ETF’s; and the broker-dealer doesn’t limit its fractional-share trading service to just certain securities.


Recommendations


Mutual Fund Investors: We obviously can’t recommend SoFi here. But USAA and TD Ameritrade have large selections of funds, including no-load, no-transaction-fee funds.

Individual Retirement Accounts: Ally Invest has IRA’s with target-date mutual funds.

Beginners: We do like SoFi’s educational materials, which are geared towards new investors. We also like their intuitive and easy to use tools.

Active Stock and ETF Trading: SoFi has nothing in this category. We propose Webull and Interactive Brokers instead.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: Ally Invest has much better resources here.

Small Accounts: This is another area where we can recommend SoFi.


Sofi Invest Review Summary


SoFi has some attractive services. We particularly like its banking tools and cryptocurrency service. This is a great service for millennials to start investing.


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