Sogotrade rating

SogoTrade Review


SogoTrade Pricing and Minimum Deposit


InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $4.88 if making 0 - 149 trades per quarter; $2.88 if making 150+ trades per quarter
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $25
Options $4.88 + $0.50 per contract
Options broker assisted $25 + $0.50 per contract
Options exercise/assignment $15
Mutual funds $25

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs
Sogotrade minimum deposit to open account $0 cash account, $2,000 margin account


Overview of SogoTrade


SogoTrade is an ultra-low-cost brokerage firm that caters to high-volume traders. It's not the most well-known broker in the industry, but you may find something that piques your interest. Here's the 2018 SogoTrade review:


Customer Support


SogoTrade Customer Rating

A SogoTrade representative can be reached over the phone Monday through Friday from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm, EST. Unfortunately, the broker-dealer does not offer hours outside of these times, which means there is no weekend support.

We did like the fact that SogoTrade provides an international number for customers who travel outside the United States. Another plus is Sogo's social media presence; it has Facebook and Twitter accounts, although there's not a lot of activity there. SogoTrade has a YouTube page with 14 uploaded videos.

The SogoTrade website doesn't have an AI chatbot. We did find an on-line chat button at the top of the site, however. Here we were able to communicate with a live associate. It took us less than a minute to connect to an agent during a market day in a trial; although it took over a minute to get a response. Other days we were not able to reach a rep through the on-line chat function. Obviously, there needs to be more consistency here.

SogoTrade has no branch locations, and this omission will subtract another star.


Banking Features


SogoTrade Banking Rating

While we thought SogoTrade did an average job in the first category, it doesn't do well here at all. The brokerage house doesn't offer checks or a debit card at any price. There are no checking or savings accounts of any type. Investors need cash management services, and we hope SogoTrade will improve here in the future by adding features at least for a fee.


Mutual Funds


SogoTrade Funds Rating

Despite SogoTrade's emphasis on low-cost equity and options trading, it does offer mutual funds. In fact, there are over 13,000 available through the broker, with nearly 10,000 carrying zero load. However, we were disappointed to find no educational materials or third-party reports on these securities. Moreover, SogoTrade has no screener for them, which makes finding specific funds difficult. Every fund purchase or sale must be conducted over the phone with a live agent, an inconvenience for many traders to be sure, and SogoTrade charges $25 for this. (See Best mutual fund brokers)


ETF's


SogoTrade ETF Rating

SogoTrade does a little better for ETF investors. The broker-dealer offers a screener for exchange-traded funds plus some educational materials. SogoTrade displays the top ten holdings in each fund. We did not find any ETF third-party reports or rankings. Even worse, SogoTrade doesn't offer commission-free funds; and this increasingly puts the brokerage firm at a severe disadvantage as more and more companies are offering a large list of them.


SogoTrade Stock Trading


Other Investment Vehicles


SogoTrade Investments Rating

Besides stocks and funds, SogoTrade customers have access to options. We were only able to place derivative trades up to five legs, though. Besides options, there are over-the-counter stocks, including pink sheet securities (there is a $50 charge for ‘F' shares). SogoTrade also offers access to international markets. On the downside, there are no bonds here, and forget about futures or forex trading.


SogoTrade Commissions, Fees, and Account Requirements


SogoTrade Fees Rating

SogoTrade's equity commission starts at $4.88 per trade. This price is valid for unlimited shares. If you can place at least 50 trades per month, the commission drops to $2.88 per trade. Using a live broker over the phone to submit an order costs $25 on either plan.

SogoTrade is the only broker we know of to offer a prepaid commission package. Twenty trades can be purchased upfront for $97.60. This translates into $3.88 per trade. One issue that concerned us is that if you purchase these commissions up front, and then place a trade, the broker reports the commission as $0.00 on IRS form 1099. Also, equities must be priced at $1 or higher to qualify for the prepaid commission system.

There's a second prepaid package that offers fifty trades for $144. This translates into $2.88, which would be redundant for high-volume traders; but if you place less than 150 trades per quarter, this would be a second way to get the broker's best rate.

For options, SogoTrade charges 50¢ per contract plus the base charge, which could be $2.88, $3.88, or $4.88. If you place the order over the phone with a rep, the base charge would be $25. Assignments and exercises are $15.

Paper confirmations at SogoTrade cost $5 each, while hard-copy statements are a very expensive $10.

There is a $50 annual account fee at SogoTrade. It can be avoided by maintaining a $100 account balance or placing one trade per year. There is no charge to open or close a nontaxable account.

Margin accounts at SogoTrade carry above-average rates. A loan below $10,000 costs 10.5%, while above a million dollars, the rate is at 5.75%.


IRA's


SogoTrade IRA Rating

SogoTrade offers Roth, Traditional, and SEP accounts for retirement saving. Unfortunately, the SIMPLE IRA is not available here, nor is a solo 401(k) plan. A retirement plan from a former employer can be transferred into a Sogo IRA.

Any IRA with the broker comes with a $35 annual fee, and there is a $60 charge to close one. Because there's no mutual fund screener at Sogo, there's no way of knowing how many target-date funds are available here.

The broker does offer Coverdell Education Saving accounts and UTMA/UGMA accounts.


Investment Advice


SogoTrade Investing Rating

Through an affiliate company, Sogo MarketRiders, SogoTrade customers can sign up for portfolio management. The fee is 0.75% per year, with a minimum monthly charge of $5 (obviously, this is much higher than $0 charged by M1 Finance). No commissions are charged under this program, which uses a computer algorithm to make trading decisions. Personal guidance is also available.


MarketRiders Review


Market Riders has a minimum deposit requirement of $1,000 for an index-tracking portfolio, or $25,000 for an actively-managed account.

The robo program offers a very brief questionnaire on the MarketRiders website. It looks at current age, age at retirement, investment experience, current account balance, and desired account balance at retirement. We felt the questionnaire was too brief. Additional issues that need to be addressed include current and future tax brackets and projected length of time in retirement.


Trading Tools


SogoTrade Trading Tools Rating

SogoTrade's site does have a lot of useful tools, although some of them are rather simple. Besides account management, a basic trade ticket is available. (there's no trade bar on the site). The broker's more advanced platforms are launched from the top menu, funds transfers are initiated on the site, forms can be downloaded after logging in, and so forth.

Here's a rundown on some of the platforms that can be launched from the website:


SogoTrader

Stocks can be bought and sold on SogoTrader. The software has no options capability. The trade bar sits at the top of the screen. Order types include market, limit, stop, and trailing. Duration can be set to extended hours, GTC, or day. A medium-sized chart sits beneath this with information on the stock. Besides trade data such as the day's range, there is also info on market cap and sector. We were able to get GM's price history to go back to 1990; but otherwise, this is a very simple chart. There are no technical indicators, drawing tools, company events, or comparisons.

Beneath the graph lies a section devoted to orders, positions, watch lists, and news. Overall, it's a very simple software program; but some traders may like the uncomplicated feel to it.


SogoTrader Review


SogoOnline

We thought SogoTrader was simple, but when we came to SogoOnline, it was even more basic. This is a very simple web page with an order ticket. The same fields on SogoTrader are here along with stock information in a blue box that can be refreshed. Orders and positions are shown below the trading ticket. We liked the inclusion of account information and a customer service number here. Otherwise, there's not much else to report on.


SogoOptions

SogoTrade offers this browser-based platform for derivative investors. It offers many multi-leg strategies, option chains, a profit-loss diagram, a calculator, and Greek values. Charts show Greek values by strike price.


SogoTrade Options Trading Review


Within chains, it's easy to specify a trade simply by clicking in a small square once (for buy) or twice (for sell). A chain can also be exported into an Excel file or pdf document, a nice feature.


SogoElite

This is the broker's lone desktop platform. It offers ultra-quick streaming data, dynamic charting, option chains, watchlists, and more. Unfortunately, Sogo requires a subscription to real-time data to gain access to the platform. This only costs between $1.25 and $3.00 per month, depending on the package you sign up for. Placing a minimum number of trades will waive the charge.


SogoTrade Elite Review


Mobile App


SogoTrade App Rating

SogoTrade offers two mobile platforms: an app for Android and Apple plus a mobile site that can be used for other devices.

App

When we logged into the app, we had to use a 4-digit PIN in addition to a password and User ID. This is the same system that the website uses. Some traders probably won't like having to input three pieces of information.


SogoTrade App Review


When we got inside, we typed in a ticker symbol and found a small amount of security information, such as high and low prices. Alerts can be set, and a stock can be added to a watchlist.

For charting, a graph style can be changed to various options, such as OHLC bars, candlesticks, area, or line. Tapping at a specific point in the graph produces a small pop-up window with security data at that point in time.

News articles are available for any ticker symbol entered, although we found the font to be extremely small.

Option chains for a stock or ETF can be accessed by tapping on the ‘Options' link on the security's profile area. We only found calls and puts; there are no multi-leg strategies available. It is possible to populate an order ticket with multiple legs by tapping on multiple bid and ask prices. It's also possible to add contracts with different expiration dates and different strike prices. A stock trade can be appended to an option order.

As for mutual funds, the app unfortunately does not offer any trading capability for them. SogoTrade did include position, account, and order information on the app.


Web platform

The mobile browser-based system actually offers more security information, such as 90-day average volume, 52-week range, and market cap. Charting, however, is much worse, with only one graph style. The font for news articles is larger on this platform, but Sogo forgot to include alerts. The worst part about using this mobile platform is that options aren't available.


SogoTrade Mobile Review


Investment Education and Security Research


SogoTrade Research Rating

The SogoTrade website hosts a stock screener under the tab ‘Trade Ideas.' It comes with a host of criteria, such as dividend information, including the most recent dividend, the dividend for next quarter, and the dividend as a yield. Other searchable criteria include price/book ratio, profit margin, Beta, current assets, and long-term debt. It's also possible to search by technical values, such as MACD oscillator and relative strength.

One perk that SogoTrade offers that we really liked was free stock and sector reports from ValuEngine. The analyst covers over 5,000 stocks and multiple economic sectors. For the equities, the reports come with price targets and trade recommendations.

Also under the ‘Trade Ideas' tab is Morning Call. This is a newsletter delivered via e-mail every market day before the opening bell. It provides upside and downside price targets on 8 stocks or ETF's. Morning Call uses mostly technical analysis.

A stock's profile page includes multiple tables. On the overview tab, there is a small chart, which has a larger cousin on the charting tab. There is information on return history, fundamental analysis, SEC filings, news articles from the Associated Press and PR Newswire, and a list of competitors. Missing in this section was a collection of analyst reports. Apparently, only ValuEngine is used. Overall, we thought the stock profile was a little underdeveloped.

Lastly under ‘Trade Ideas' is leaderboards. Here we see market movers, the day's most active stocks, securities that are trending up or down, and equities that have hit 52-week highs or lows.


SogoPlay


Off the website, there is an options research platform called SogoPlay. It provides derivative trading ideas. On the left-hand side, it offers suggestions for bearish and bullish plays. You just need to click on the bullish or bearish button, and the software will automatically provide a list of option (and equity) trade ideas.

For example, British Petroleum was one of the stocks in the bearish column. We clicked on it, and SogoPlay suggested shorting 100 shares of stock, buying a put, or buying a bearish multi-leg strategy. Profit and loss information is displayed beneath these suggestions.

It's also possible to filter results by market cap in case you're interested in a certain type of company. The platform will also show you income-only strategies if you're just interested in quickly making some cash off a sale. SogoPlay will take into consideration if you already own shares of a stock, a nice plus.


Comparison


SogoTrade Comparison

SogoTrade's $4.88 commission is no longer competitive. Schwab and Fidelity have gone down to $4.95, and they provide many more services that Sogo does not. One of Sogo's major rivals, Firstrade, has dropped all the way to $0, and this puts Sogo at a significant disadvantage.

The $2.88 commission is much better; but with a high trading requirement, it's very likely Sogo will lose clients to Firstrade or another low-cost firm.

While SogoTrade does offer several platforms, they tend to be rather simple. Ally Invest LIVE is simple, too, but has better features. SogoTrade's most advanced system, SogoElite, has trading requirements; while Thinkorswim from TD Ameritrade and Active Trader Pro from Fidelity do not.

Many investors today expect cash management features with their brokerage accounts, which SogoTrade does offer. E*Trade and Merrill Edge are two examples that provide such benefits.

Most brokers today don't charge an annual IRA fee. Vanguard and Tastyworks are two examples.


Recommendation


It's hard to recommend SogoTrade for beginning investors because the broker does not have many educational resources, nor does it have 24/7 support.

We do approve of SogoTrade for frequent option and equity traders. With a low commission schedule and a great options platform, Sogo will meet the demands of many high-volume traders.

Small accounts can do well here as long as they keep a balance of at least $100.

We don't recommend SogoTrade for mutual fund investors due to the lack of mutual fund resources.

We also don't propose SogoTrade for IRA's or other retirement accounts. There are many better choices out there.


SogoTrade Review Summary


As you see from this 2018 brokerage review, SogoTrade used to be an low-cost broker. But other firms have lowered their commission schedules, and Sogo has not responded. As a result, the broker is no longer a great value, and better choices can easily be found.


SogoTrade Website


Open Sogotrade Account



SogoTrade reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com on . Rating: 3