SoFi Active Investing Review 2023: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

SoFi Active Investing is geared toward young investors getting their start in trading, with commission-free trades of stocks, ETFs and fractional shares. SoFi also offers cryptocurrency trading.
By Kevin Voigt and  Alieza Durana 

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Our Take

4.2

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

SoFi Active Investing's $0 trading commission and $1 account minimum is attractive to new investors, but a lack of investment choices such as mutual funds and bonds is a drawback for those saving for retirement.

SoFi Active Investing
Fees
$0
per trade
Account minimum
$0
Promotion
$5 to $1,000
in free stock for users who sign up via mobile app
Learn more

on SoFi Invest's website

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Commission-free stock and ETF trades.

  • Cryptocurrency trading.

  • Fractional shares available.

  • $1 account minimum.

  • Free financial counseling.

Cons

  • Small selection of tradable securities.

  • No mutual funds

Compare to Similar Brokers

Current Product

NerdWallet rating 

4.2

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5

Fees 

$0

per trade

Fees 

$0

per trade for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

Fees 

$0.005

per share; as low as $0.0005 with volume discounts

Fees 

$0

per trade

Fees 

$0

per trade

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Promotion 

$5 to $1,000

in free stock for users who sign up via mobile app

Promotion 

Get $100

when you open a new, eligible Fidelity account with $50 or more. Use code FIDELITY100. Limited time offer. Terms apply.

Promotion 

Exclusive!

US resident opens a new IBKR Pro individual or joint account receives 0.25% rate reduction on margin loans. Tiers apply.

Promotion 

Get up to $600 or more

when you open and fund an E*TRADE account

Promotion 

None

no promotion available at this time

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Full Review

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:

  • Active traders.

  • ETF investors.

  • Fractional shares.

  • Options.

  • Cryptocurrency.

SoFi Active Investing at a glance

Account minimum

$1.

Stock trading costs

$0.

Options trades

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

Not available.

Tradable securities

  • Stocks.

  • Options.

  • ETFs.

  • Cryptocurrencies.

Trading platform

Limited features and tools.

Mobile app

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.

How do we review brokers?

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers by assets under management, along with emerging industry players. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The questionnaire answers, combined with demonstrations, interviews of personnel at the providers and our specialists’ hands-on research, fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across more than 20 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars).

For more details about the categories considered when rating brokers and our process, read our full methodology.

on SoFi Invest's website