Sofi Invest vs M1 Finance


M1 Finance vs Sofi Invest for online investing. Compare cost, brokerage fees, IRA accounts, and differences. Which firm is better?



Overview of M1 Finance and Sofi Invest


Which brokerage house is capable of delving the services you need, M1 Finance or SoFi Invest? M1 clients get to build their own funds, while SoFi Invest customers have access to cryptocurrency tools.

For a more detailed analysis, keep reading.


Pricing


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Sofi Invest $0 na na $0 $0
M1 Finance $0 na na $0 $0


Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Sofi Invest
M1 Finance


M1 Finance Pros and Cons


At M1 Finance, you’ll find these strong points:

- Fractional-share trading
- Broker-created baskets of securities
- Unique margin services

But you’ll also have to handle these downsides:

- Weak software platforms
- Best cash management tools come with fees


Sofi vs M1


SoFi Invest Pros and Cons


At SoFi Invest, you can take advantage of these services:

- Digital currency trading
- Whole-dollar investing in some securities
- Multiple sub-companies with many products and services

But you’ll have to put up with these flaws:

- Software is fairly basic
- Several investment vehicles are completely missing


1st Category: Security Analysis and Investment Education


You’ll find a host of learning materials at either brokerage firm in this dogfight. SoFi’s website has educational materials on many topics, including:

- Career coaching
- Student Loans
- Mortgages

For investing, the company’s Investing 101 section provides many articles on a wide variety of functions, including those that aren’t possible with the company, such as day trading.

You won’t find the same level of educational resources at M1 Finance, but M1’s website does have a collection of personal financial articles. During our research, we located:

- What is a family trust?
- The definition of wealth
- Taxes on dividends, dividend taxes

One highlight on M1’s side is a stock screener, something that SoFi strangely doesn’t have. You won’t find in-depth security profiles at either broker, unfortunately.

Winner: Draw


2nd Category: Tradable Assets


After you complete your investing education, it’s time to move on and start making actual trades. And what can be traded at M1 and SoFi?

M1 customers get these assets:

- Closed-end funds
- Stocks
- ETFs

That’s a pretty short list. SoFi Invest adds cryptocurrencies but nothing else. There are only three available (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin), but that’s better than nothing.

Winner: SoFi Invest


M1 vs Sofi


3rd Category: Banking Tools


After actually placing a trade, you might want to use your brokerage account for daily cash needs. Both firms offer services just for that.

M1 Finance has a debit card that comes with one ATM fee refund per month and no interest earned on free cash balances. There is no annual fee, though. Transactions in foreign currencies carry surcharges.

For $100 per year, M1 customers can eliminate forex charges, get 1% annually on cash balances and even earn 1% back on purchases.

For zero annual fee, SoFi customers can sign up for SoFi Money, the company’s banking service. It comes with a World Mastercard (debit variety) and unlimited ATM fee rebates at Allpoint machines. There is a rewards program and an APY up to 0.25%. Transactions overseas could cost an extra 0.2%.

Winner: Draw


Sofi vs M1 Finance


4th Category: Computer Platforms


Neither broker emphasizes active trading; so not surprisingly, neither one has a desktop platform. You won’t find a browser platform, either. Both firms have simple websites, and when we say simple, we really mean it.

Charting on both websites is pretty much dreadful, with no tools and not much price history. Looking for right-click trading capability? Forget it. That’s not the type of trading experience you’ll find at either firm here.

Trade tickets themselves are very simple. SoFi Invest does have limit orders, which is more than M1 offers.

Winner: SoFi Invest


5th Category: Mobile Apps


As the websites are rather basic, so are the mobile apps. SoFi Invest’s mobile platform has simple charts, a simple order form, and a simple funds transfer tool.

M1‘s app also has very simple charting, but a graph can be rotated horizontally, a feature not found on SoFi’s app.

Winner: M1 Finance


M1 Mobile App


6th Category: Miscellaneous Services


Dividend Reinvestment Program: M1 Finance has an auto dividend reinvesting program, and so does SoFi Invest. However, DRIP service can only be enabled inside a self-directed account.

IRAs: You can open an Individual Retirement Account at either firm.

Partial Shares: If you want to invest a whole-dollar amount, both M1 and SoFi have an answer for you: fractional-share trading at no additional cost. However, SoFi only has a handful of securities that can be traded in partial shares.

Winner: M1 Finance


Belatedly, Our Recommendations


Beginners: SoFi Invest has much better educational materials, which would be beneficial not only for novices, but anyone new to the world of personal finance and money management.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: M1 Finance offers pre-built retirement portfolios with target dates. SoFi Invest offers robo investing. Toss up.

Stock/ETF Trading: Neither broker in this survey is ideal for active equity trading. SoFi Invest has a slight edge over M1 with a slightly better order form.

Small Accounts: Even.


Promotions


M1 Finance: Pay $0 commissions. Transfer account to get up to $2,500 bonus at M1 Finance.

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



Recap


These two are overall pretty even. We do really like SoFi’s cryptocurrency trading service.