SoFi Active Investing Review 2023: Pros, Cons and How It Compares
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The bottom line:
Pros & Cons
Commission-free stock and ETF trades.
Fractional shares available.
$1 account minimum.
Free financial counseling.
Small selection of tradable securities.
No mutual funds
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Where SoFi Active Investing shines
Beginner investment platform: SoFi Active Investing, a new offering from SoFi Invest, is squarely aimed at young investors with free trades of stocks, exchange-traded funds and options, the ability to buy and sell 30 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and fractional shares of blue-chip companies such as Amazon and Netflix.
Related products: The self-directed brokerage is part of the San Francisco company's growing line of financial products — which includes robo-advisor SoFi Automated Investing and online cash management account SoFi Banking — and gives members benefits such as free educational seminars and meetings with financial advisors.
Access to financial advisors: All SoFi clients have unlimited access to the company's financial advisors at no extra charge to help with long-term financial strategy.
Where SoFi Active Investing falls short
Investment selection: While SoFi Active Investing has bells and whistles such as fractional shares, IPO investments and cryptocurrency, there are no mutual funds, index funds or bond funds available through the brokerage, which is a big downside for retirement investors.
SoFi Active Investing is best for:
SoFi Active Investing at a glance
Stock trading costs
No contract fees.
Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity)
No account or inactivity fees; $75 partial or full outgoing transfer fee.
No-transaction-fee mutual funds
Limited features and tools.
Access to core account functions including tracking, quotes and trading. Available on iOS and Android.
Research and data
Free online resources, including historical data and stock performance, as well as webinars and live events.
Customer support options (includes how easy it is to find key details on the website)
Phone and chat support Monday through Friday 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.
More details about SoFi Active Investing's ratings
Account minimum: 5 out of 5 stars
SoFi requires only $1 to open your account and begin buying and selling stocks and ETFs.
Stock trading costs: 5 out of 5 stars
SoFi Active Investing came out of the gate as a competitor to Robinhood, offering free stock and ETF trades. However, toward the end of 2019, free trades became the industry standard at online brokers, causing the offerings from SoFi and Robinhood to lose their edge.
Options trades: 5 out of 5 stars
SoFi's commitment to low-cost trading also shows in its new $0 options trade offering, which charges no contract fee.
Account fees: 2 out of 5 stars
SoFi Active Investing charges no annual or inactivity fee, though there is a $75 full or partial outgoing transfer fee.
Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds: Not rated.
As noted above, one of the big downsides of SoFi Active Investing is the unavailability of any mutual funds.
Tradable securities available: 3 out of 5 stars
SoFi Active Investing may be leading the way with fractional shares, cryptocurrency, options and now IPO offerings, but the brokerage is behind the curve on other investment options. Want to buy mutual funds, index funds and bonds — bedrock investments in most retirement accounts — or more advanced strategies such as forex and futures? Look elsewhere.
Crypto offering: The brokerage launched SoFi Crypto in 2019, which allowed users to buy and trade three cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Fast forward to today, and users have access to 30 cryptocurrencies.
However, although the selection is strong, there aren't any free trades here: SoFi adds a 1.25% charge based on the amount of each cryptocurrency trade. Competitor Robinhood offers commission-free crypto trades (though its crypto selection is much smaller). And, when considered for our list of the best exchanges and platforms for cryptocurrency trading, SoFi Active's all-around score came out to 3.3 out of 5 stars when ranked among pure-play crypto brokerages.
Trading platform: 3 out of 5 stars
SoFi Active Investing offers a straight-forward trading platform with very limited features without the bells and whistles serious traders may enjoy, but a simple interface for new investors.
Mobile app: 5 out of 5 stars
SoFi Active Investing has two free mobile apps, available for iOS and Android, both highly rated by iOS and Android users, that allows users to make trades, as well as track performance and get real-time quotes.
Research and data: 3 out of 5 stars
Sofi has a sampling of free online resources, such as historical data and stock performance, as well as webinars and live events.
Customer support options 3 out of 5 stars
Customer support is available via email and chat, as well as by phone Monday through Friday from 5 a.m to 5 p.m PT.
If you'd rather skip learning and cede investment decisions to the experts, SoFi’s robo-advisor service, SoFi Automated Investing, will manage your portfolio for you for an annual advisory fee of 0% and a $1 account minimum. Robo-advisors are computer-based investment advisors who build and manage client investment portfolios.
Is SoFi Active Investing right for you?
SoFi Active Investing has attractive features for new investors: commission-free stock, ETF and options trades, a $1 account minimum, free financial counseling and cutting-edge offerings including fractional shares and cryptocurrency. However, the lack of investment options — such as mutual funds and index funds — will be a turnoff for long-term investors, and advanced investors will need to go elsewhere for forex and futures trading.
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