SoFi investing review
A commission-free platform with active and automated investment accounts.
SoFi is an investment platform that caters to active and passive investors with self-directed brokerage accounts and hands-off robo-advising. Commission-free trades and no-fee advising can make it an attractive choice, but securities and account types are limited.
- Consider SoFi if you want to swap commission-free stocks or access a no-fee robo-advisor.
- Look elsewhere if you’re an experienced trader seeking bonds, mutual funds, futures or forex trading.
Stock trade fee
Minimum deposit to open
Shannon Terrell is a writer for Finder who studied communications and English literature at the University of Toronto. On any given day, you can find her researching everything from equine financing and business loans to student debt refinancing and how to start a trust. She loves hot coffee, the smell of fresh books and discovering new ways to save her pennies.
SoFi’s commission-free trades and no-fee robo-advising are solid options for those new to trading. You can get started with a minimum opening deposit of $1 and the platform offers plenty of educational resources for newbies. Plus, human advisers stand at the ready to assist with portfolio management for automated investment account holders.
The biggest drawback? Limited securities and account options. SoFi doesn’t offer access to mutual funds, bonds, options, futures or forex. And if you want to open a trust or 529, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
What's in this review?
- Who is SoFi Invest best for?
- How does SoFi active investing work?
- How does SoFi automated investing work?
- What makes SoFi unique?
- What does SoFi cost?
- Sofi Invest reviews and complaints
- Compare with other stock trading platforms
- What are the benefits?
- What to watch out for
- How to sign up for SoFi
- How to get in touch with SoFi customer service
- What to do after you’ve signed up
- Frequently asked questions
Who is SoFi Invest best for?
With its pairing of brokerage accounts and robo-advising, SoFi Invest may be best for:
- New investors. A low $1 minimum deposit and educational resources make SoFi active investing a good option for those just starting out.
- Active traders. With commission-free trades on its brokerage account, active traders don’t have to worry about fees eating into their returns.
- Cryptocurrency investors. Many trading platforms don’t offer cryptocurrency trading, but SoFi offers 24/7 access to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum Classic.
- Hands-off investors. Investors who don’t want to manage a portfolio can take advantage of SoFi’s robo-advisor.
SoFi’s dual trading services allow it to appeal to both passive and active investors with commission-free, self-directed trades and free robo-advising. Active traders gain access to stocks, ETFs, fractional shares and cryptocurrency, while passive traders can choose from 401(k), Traditional, Roth or SEP IRAs.
How does SoFi active investing work?
A self-directed brokerage account with SoFi offers access to the following securities:
- Stocks and ETFs. Buy and sell stocks, ETFs and fractional shares with no commission fees.
- Cryptocurrency. Swap cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum 24 hours a day.
From the SoFi platform, you can build watchlists, browse popular stocks and access the platform’s Investing 101 Center, filled with market news, tips for beginners, need-to-know terminology and more.
How does SoFi automated investing work?
The SoFi automated investing process starts with selecting an account and indicating which investment strategy you’d like to employ.
From start to finish, here’s how SoFi handles automated investing:
- Set up your account. Register for a free account and create a profile. Choose from a variety of account types, including Traditional, Roth, 401(k) rollover and SEP IRAs.
- Enter your investment preferences. Enter your financial information, investment preferences and goals to give SoFi an idea of what you’d like to achieve.
- Get a recommendation. SoFi uses modern portfolio theory and will recommend an investment mix based on your age, finances, goals and investment preferences.
- Invest. Whether you take SoFi’s advice or choose your own path, you’ll invest in a diversified mix of ETFs and be able to track performance on the website or app. While all investments have the potential to lose value, SoFi is SIPC-insured, which covers up to $500,000 if the company were to shut down.
- Sit back. SoFi uses a passive investment strategy to build your portfolio, but actively makes adjustments to adapt to market changes and new information. Plus, it manages the mix of assets in your portfolio on a daily basis to ensure that it stays aligned with your risk tolerance and goals.
- Use your perks. Members get access to a number of perks, like free financial advice, career services and more. SoFi also offers a blog and learning center to help you improve your financial knowledge.
What makes SoFi unique?
We interviewed Anthony Noto, CEO of SoFi, and asked him what makes SoFi different from other investing platforms like Robinhood or Chase You Invest. According to Anthony, “Our goal is to provide an entire set of financial tools and products in one place to help our members achieve financial independence, offering both automated and active investing in one place, as well as access to our SoFi-branded ETFs and cryptocurrency. All of this is surrounded with content and membership benefits, including access to complimentary financial planning and career counseling sessions.“
While having some combination of these features isn’t unique — Robinhood offers cryptocurrency, You Invest offers both active and automated investing, and a number of platforms, including Fidelity and Betterment, offer personalized financial advice — offering all of these features on one platform sets SoFi apart.
What does SoFi cost?
SoFi is among the most competitively priced investment platforms on the market. It charges no commissions for self-directed share trading and no management fees for automated investing. While a number of its competitors have dropped their commissions, including Robinhood, Ally Invest and Webull, few platforms offer free portfolio management.
Most charge an annual or advisory fee — typically 0.25% to 0.35% of the account balance. It’s also rare to find an investment platform that offers free account transfers — most charge between $25 to $75 to move funds to a new investment account.
Because SoFi invests in ETFs, expect to pay a similar expense ratio as you would for an ETF with any other service. The amount of that fee will vary from one fund to another.
SoFi active investing
|Minimum deposit to open||$1|
|Stock trading fee||$0|
|Cryptocurrency trading fee||1.25%|
|Account transfer fee||$0|
SoFi automated investing
|Minimum deposit to open||$1|
|Account transfer fee||$0|
Sofi Invest reviews and complaints
Overall, feedback on SoFi’s investing platform is fairly positive, as is the reputation of the company as a whole. SoFi earns an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but is not a BBB-accredited business. As of May 2020, it has a TrustScore of 3.9 out of 5 stars based on over 2,427 reviews.
Most of the feedback we unearthed targeted SoFi’s banking products. And a majority of its 121 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaints were about SoFi’s student loans.
Reddit investors have no major concerns about SoFi’s automated investing, with numerous reports of satisfactory returns. For self-direct trades, Reddit users report that share trades are filled and confirmed in seconds — a hefty perk for a trading platform.
Federal Trade Commission alert
SoFi has an active alert on its BBB page. In October 2018, the Federal Trade Commission accused SoFi of making false statements to its customers about how much money they would save using its loan financing programs. In February 2019, a final Consent Order was approved that prohibits SoFi from misrepresenting potential savings to its customers without reliable evidence.
Compare with other stock trading platforms
What are the benefits?
Here’s how SoFi stands out from the rest:
- Low minimum deposit. You only need $1 to open a Sofi active or automated investment account.
- Fee transparency. There are no trading, transfer, custodian or commission fees, so you can hold on to more of your money.
- Free personalized help. SoFi financial advisers can help you adjust your goals, portfolio and strategy to align with your financial situation.
- Signup bonuses. Get $25 in free stock when you fund your account within 14 days. Or get $25 in Bitcoin when you make a trade of at least $10.
- Membership perks. Get access to local meetups, career coaches, unemployment protection and more when you open a SoFi account.
What to watch out for
As with any investment, there are a few things to look out for if you choose to invest through SoFi:
- No tax optimization. Unlike other services, SoFi cannot help you optimize your tax losses.
- Limited account options. If you’re looking to get a head start on saving for your kids’ education with a 529 account or set up a trust, SoFi won’t be able to help.
- Limited securities. SoFi doesn’t offer bonds, mutual funds, futures, forex or orders.
- Limited support. Customer support representatives are only available on weekdays.
How to sign up for SoFi
Whether you want to open an active or automated investing account, the SoFi signup process begins with creating an account:
- Go to the official SoFi website, hover over the Products tab and click SoFi Invest. Then, click Invest now.
- Enter your full name, state, email address and password and agree to the terms and conditions.
- Click Register.
From your SoFi account dashboard, click Start investing and select the type of account you’d like to open.
In order to sign up for a SoFi account, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a valid Social Security number or tax ID number
- Have a valid US address
- Make a minimum initial deposit of at least $1
When you sign up for an account with SoFi, you’ll need the following information:
- Name, date of birth and address
- Contact information
- Social Security number
- Current savings and income information
- Investment preferences and goals
How to get in touch with SoFi customer service
There are a few ways you can get in touch with a SoFi representative:
- Email. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Phone. Call 855-525-7634 Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
- Live chat. Chat with a member of the SoFi team, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
What to do after you’ve signed up
After you set up your profile, it’s time to take advantage of everything else SoFi has to offer. Here’s how:
- Keep your profile up to date. Make sure to keep your profile, preferences and goals up to date. If anything changes, you might want to consider adjusting your investment strategy.
- Manage your account. Log in or use the app to manage your account and track progress.
- Set up recurring deposits. You can set up weekly, biweekly, monthly or bimonthly recurring deposits to help reach your goals faster.
- Speak with a financial adviser. If you need financial advice, need to change your goals or simply want to speak with a professional, set up a free appointment with one of SoFi’s financial advisers.
- Use your perks. Take advantage of free perks like career advice, better loan rates, members-only events and more.
- Read up. Check out SoFi’s blog and learning center to brush up on your investment knowledge or read up about industry news.