SoFi Invest [2021: Review]: Pros & Cons Discovered

December 22, 2020
Brokers
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SoFi Invest started its brokerage services in 2018. The broker offers commission-free stocks & ETFs along with Litecoin, Bitcoin & Ethereum crypto options for users. The broker has a really good referral program that offers plenty of rewards for referring friends that you should definitely check out if you are into investing with friends and family. The broker is a good option for anyone looking to trade in stocks and ETFs and also anyone looking to avoid non-trading fees as the broker has no non-trading fees like inactivity or withdrawal fees associated with it. What are you waiting for signup now and enjoy the platform.

Capital.com also offers plenty of asset options within the commodities, bonds, mutual funds and forex domain. Moreover, even though SoFi Invest’s fee structure is good, Capital.com’s is better. In fact, it has one of the most competitive fee structures out there. Capital.com also offers every trader a dedicated account manager to cater to their needs (fancy huh?), and more than that, the account manager is completely free. So what are you waiting for sign up for Capital.com now and enjoy trading like a VIP.

We analyzed hundreds of data points relevant to the costs, benefits and features of trading with SoFi Invest and scored our findings on a 10-point scale across 10 distinct categories.
Fees 8
Signup Process 9
Minimum Deposit 10
Ease of Use 8
Deposit & Withdrawal Options 3
Customer Support 7
Asset Classes 2
Referral Program 10
Demo Account & Educational Resources 2
Safety & Regulation 10
Total 69

Introduction

SoFi Invest was Initially launched as a fin-tech start-up in 2011 for providing loan services for students and refinancing loans, SoFi invest started its own brokerage services in 2018. The broker has carried its positive reputation from its other businesses to its brokerage business as an institution that really listens to the voice of its customers and is with them through thick and thin. The sad news, however, is that it only offers its services in the USA.

If you are someone in Africa or Asia and are looking for a good broker, do check out IQ Option and easyMarkets as well, as these brokers cover a lot of African and Asian nations and offer some decent value for traders across regions. We also recommend you to have a look at CMC Markets as it is also one of the strongest brokers in our database and covers a lot of African and Asian nations. Many of our brokers in Southern African and far east countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe and Indonesia have tried these brokers and given us positive feedback.

Is SoFi Invest Good For You?

SoFi’s Automated Investing platform is a good option for investors looking for a rapidly growing broker. The portfolio construction and management are helpful and intuitive and has lower fees than many other brokers. In terms of assets, the broker has good offerings for stocks and ETFs.

This platform is also backed with amazing goal planning and tracking tools as well as the peripheral benefits of being part of the broader SoFi platform. The human advisors of the platform provide the ability to get help in other areas like career planning or managing student loans clearly shows that SoFi is suitable for a younger demographic. The robo-advisor is a good low-fee option for all looking for automated investment.

SoFi Invest Pros & Cons

SoFi Invest ProsSoFi Invest Cons
Commission Free Stocks & ETFsDoes not offer forex, bonds & commodities
Easy Signup ProcedureNo demo account
Regulated by SEC & FINRALack of quality educational resources
Offers fractional sharesLimited to the US only
Free financial counselling 

SoFi Invest Pros Explained

The broker offers commission-free stocks and ETF’s something that not many brokers offer. This helps a lot of beginners to get started with trading with the SoFi Invest platform. Because often beginners trade in small volume and having high commission fees can offset their interest in using a platform. SoFi Invest also has a very easy signup procedure that literally takes up no time.

Moreover, the verification process is also quick that allows you to get started with trading quickly. The broker is also regulated by SEC and FINRA which helps it in getting a lot of credibilities. Sometimes brokers can have issues with not being regulated. Often non-regulated brokers can engage in activities not beneficial for users. However, the regulation and oversight of FINRA lends a lot of credibility to the broker.

The broker also offers fractional shares that offer a lot of flexibility for new users looking to get started in the trading game. Fractional shares is basically an option that allows you to buy less than 1 share. For instance, $50 may buy you 0.5 shares of a particular company. This allows you to invest based on dollar amounts that you want to invest. SoFi Invest also allows you to get free financial counselling from an account advisor something that not many brokers have and offer. This can be really helpful for someone looking to get started with trading. Especially in times of market volatility, it is always good to do your research and get advice from someone who has trading experience.

SoFi Invest Cons Explained

The broker mainly offers stocks & ETFs which does not allow users to build diversification across different assets. Often profitable portfolios have diversification across different assets and asset types. For instance, you may invest in different stocks aswell as different assets such as gold, oil, forex and crypto. If you like investing in these assets check out Capital.com which offers over 1,700 stocks, 25+ commodities, 60+ forex pairs for you to achieve diversification.

SoFi Invest so far does not have a demo account. Having a demo account is a good way to get started with learning how to trade. This provides users with a lot of flexibility into learning the art of trading. Since you do not have to invest actual money in demo accounts they can help you gain understanding of trading and the platform. SoFi invest should definitely look into offering a demo account to entice newbies to test out the platform.

The broker also lacks a lot of quality educational resources like books and webinars to equip users with theoretical and practical knowledge. SoFi Invest should definitely look to bolster its educational resource for the new traders on the platform. Finally. the broker currently is just available in the US so if you are someone from outside the US you may want to look for other brokers (Have a look at our introduction section above where we have mentioned brokers that cover a lot of countries).

Account Types

SoFi Invest Active Investing

This is a traditional brokerage account where you yourself invest your own funds in stocks & ETFs. So you can build your own portfolios with the SoFi Invest platform.

SoFi Invest Automated Investing

In this case, the SoFi Invest platform handles your funds and invests them in different assets using their Robo Advisory. It can be a good strategy for you if you are a passive investor who does not have the time to invest their funds personally.

Here’s a breakdown of our 10 scoring categories, each scored out of 10 for a total of 100 points.

#1 SoFi Invest Fees

SoFi Invest Deposit & Withdrawal Fees

There are no deposit and withdrawal fees associated with SoFi Invest. This provides some good value for users because there are brokers like ITrader that can charge heavily for withdrawal fees and withdrawing your funds may cost you up to $100 per withdrawal.

Non Trading Fees

These fees are related to activities that are not directly linked with trading. Such as deposit fee, withdrawal fee, inactivity fee and membership fee. These can be quite annoying at times for users hence, the lesser these are the better it is for users and the more value a broker offers.

SoFi Invest Inactivity Fee

SoFi invest also charges no inactivity fee which means that the broker is easy to try out because you can always deposit a few funds to see if you enjoy using the platform without having to worry about the platform stripping your account clean without you noticing. Often brokers have a small inactivity fee that is activated after a couple of months of not using your account. The fee usually ranges between $10-$20 however, there are brokers like ITrader that can charge up to $50 for inactivity. So SoFi invest has you covered here.

SoFi Invest Stock & ETF Commissions

There are no stock and ETF commissions as you may have guessed from the title of our post. This provides some really good value for users because often these commissions can make trading expensive. Hence, SoFi invest provides some really good value by charging no fees here.

SoFi Invest Crypto Commission Fees

SoFi Invest does charge commissions when trading cryptocurrencies. The crypto commissions are around 1.25% which can be slightly expensive compared with other commission-based brokers.

How We Rank Fees

At Yore Oyster, we rank fees based on both trading and non-trading fees. Non Trading fees consist of deposit, withdrawal and inactivity fees. The commissions and spreads associated with each asset type are also built in the score to determine the overall value.

Final Verdict Fees

The broker loses a couple of points in the fees section due to these crypto fees, but apart from that, it provides some amazing value for users.

SoFi Invest Fees Score: 8/10

#2 SoFi Invest Signup Process

The application process with SoFi Invest is completely online and easy, and requries you to upload a few documents which may include:

Proof Of ID Documents

  • Passport / Drivers License

Proof of address

  • Bank Statement
  • Utility Bill
  • Credit Card Statement

Once you have uploaded the required documents to SoFi Invest, it takes one business day to verify the documents and opening of your account. While this is faster than many brokers, there are brokers like Capital.com. that allow for same-day account opening.

Final Verdict Signup Procedure

The broker loses a point for veridication as it takes a day for your account to verify. However, when it comes to signing up the process only takes a couple of minutes which bodes well for anyone looking to use the platform.

SoFi Invest Signup Process Score: 9/10

#3 SoFi Invest Minimum Initial Deposit

With SoFi Invest, you can get started with as little as $1. This provides some really good value for new users and individuals with limited budgets who want to get started with trading on the SoFi invest platform.

How We Rank Minimum Initial Deposit

The formula here is simple, the lower the minimum initial deposit the higher the score. We at Yore Oyster believe that everyone should be able to try out a broker without having to deposit thousands of dollars to get the opportunity to do so.

The Scoring Threshold For Minimum Initial Deposit

If a broker has a requirement for upto $100, the score here is a perfect 10, as most people can afford to invest. However, if a broker charges upto $500, it still scores a healthy 8 because most of our readers believe they can invest $500 to try out a broker’s services. However, as the minimum initial deposit requirements rise above $500 most of our readers feel a bit hesitant to try out a broker due to which the score decreases.

Related: If you want to look at other brokers that have no minimum initial deposit requirements you can get started with FXTM or IronFX for $0. FXTM and IronFX have some great demo accounts as well so you can learn to trade with paper money before you commit even small amounts in real investments.

SoFi Invest Minimum Initial Deposit Score: 10/10

#4 SoFi Invest Ease of Use

SoFi Invest Desktop Trading Platform

SoFi invest offers its services via a Web & Mobile platform however, they do not offer a Desktop platform.

SoFi Invest Web Platform

The web platform does a decent job at being intuitive and understandable for a common user however, we feel that it lacks features such as price alerts and the options to customize dashboards in a manner that is suitable for users.

SoFi Invest Mobile Platform

Has similar features as the web platform but offers much more customizability such as the fact that you can set price alerts for your assets on a daily basis, or alerts based on high or low fluctuations in price. However, the dashboard provided across the web and mobile platforms is a bit plain and lacks some important functionality. It can be improved significantly to be much more useful for the users by incorporating long term trends or box and whisker diagrams within the plotted trend line to indicate the volatility associated with each asset type.

SoFi Invest

The general ease of use and the manner in which the platform is designed, hold it in good stead compared to many other brokers. However, the lack of advanced statistical tools and the uncustomizable web platform means that the broker loses a couple of points on our scoring guidelines.

SoFi Invest Trading Ideas

 SoFi Invest does not provide advanced trading ideas. You can view the most traded stocks by other SoFi investors for a given day, but you cannot see professional recommendations by third-party providers. There is another recommendation bar in the interface that shows trending stocks and ETFs by sector which can be a bit helpful for users to know what is trending.

Charting Tools

The charting tools allow you to track the trend of your assets. However, the broker does not allow you to track advanced statistical measures like Bollinger Lines, Moving Averages and Standard Deviations. The broker should look to offer more of the aforementioned tools if it wants to provide more value for power users looking to get into the trading game with the broker.

News Feed

The broker has links to other third party news websites. This is perhaps because the broker may not have its own research team as of yet. Newsfeed features can often help traders gather an intuition of the market and make informed decisions.

Fundamental Data Features

This feature often has historical price trends and statistical measures associated with a broker. the broker just offers a few general stats with respect to every stock along with the markets it operates in and its history. The broker can further develop this feature to provide much more knowledge for users when chossing the assets that they want to invest in.

How We Rank Ease Of Use

Ease of use comprises of the overall user experience provided by a platform. We rank this dimension according to the following criteria:

  • Intuitive Interface Across All Platforms
  • Customizability Options Available To You
  • Advanced Research Tools For Analysis

Having an intuitive interface was ranked as the number one factor by most of our users in considering a broker with a good interface. The options available for customizing dashboards and statistical analysis were also very important factors according to our audience.

SoFi Invest Ease of Use Score: 8/10

#5 Deposit & Withdrawal Options

Deposit Options

The only way that you can deposit your funds is via bank transfer. This is a common issue with USA-based brokers as they often lack options for deposit and withdrawal of funds. Offering other ways of transactions such as debit, credit cards and electronic wallets like Paypal provides convenience and a quicker way of conducting transactions rather than relying on bank transfers like people used to do in the good old days back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, so that’s a thumbs-down for SoFi Invest.

Withdrawal Options

Funds can only be withdrawn with bank transfer like with deposit option which can be a bit of a pain at times. Offering other ways of withdrawals such as debit, credit cards and electronic wallets like Paypal provides convenience and a quicker way of conducting transactions which the broker should definitely look into

How To Deposit & Invest With SoFi Invest

  1. Invest in specific stocks you like on the platform
  2. Enter your phone number
  3. Verify your payment
  4. Sign security agreements for personal info
  5. Select your bank
  6. Add a recurrin deposit if you wish to

The process to invest is actually quite simple and helpful for most users.

How We Rank Deposit & Withdrawal Options

Having a lot of Deposit & Withdrawal options gives you the flexibility to deposit and withdraw fudns in the manner that best fits your needs. We rank this dimension according to the following criteria:

  • Ways in which you can deposit your funds
  • Ways in which you can withdraw your funds
  • Number of options within different Deposit and Withdrawal Types

We look at 3 main options that a broker needs to offer for a perfect score as these are the most commonly used by brokers:

  • Credit/Debit Cards
  • Bank Transfer & Wire Transfer
  • E-Wallets such as Paypal, Skrill and WebMoney

Final Verdict Deposit & Withdrawal Options

The fact that the broker only offers bank transfer as a deposit and wtihdrawal option means that it loses quite a few points and scores only a 3 as per our scoring guidelines.

SoFi Invest Deposit & Withdrawal Options Score: 3/10

#6 SoFi Invest Customer Support

Customer support is a key factor that our readers consider when choosing a broker and the broker does a really good job of providing users with decent customer service that does not leave them hanging in a quandary whenever they are faced with an issue. You can geet customer service via

  • Email on [email protected]
  • Telephone on +1 (855) 525-SOFI (7634)
  • Live Chat
  • Account Helper or Manager who helps you in trading
ProsCons
Quick Live chatMay not get relevant answers via live chat
Detailed & Quick Response via PhoneSlow Email Response
Detailed Response On Email 
Account Manager / Helper 

The response via telephone and live chat is very quick and usually just takes a couple of minutes. However, the email response can be slightly slow at times. Moreover, SoFi also has a dedicated account manager that you can contact for help on making trades which is a unique feature not offered by most brokers.

How We Rank Customer Support

Customer support plays an important role in getting much needed help. Our criteria takes into account the 3 most pivotal factors considered by our viewers which include:

  • Availabiltiy of Support via Live Chat, Phone & Email
  • Speed & Quality of Response Across Platforms
  • Availability of Customised Support Such as a Dedicated Account Mnager

The customer support dimension is a really important dimension for most of our readers. Hence, we not only take into account all the platforms that are used to provide support but the quality of the support provided and the consumer feedback.

SoFi Invest Customer Support Score: 7/10

#7 Asset Classes

SoFi Invest Stocks & ETFs

The broker offers more than 50 stocks & ETFs that you can trade in. ETFs offered by the platform include companies specifically picked by the platform in each ETF. Moreover, the broker offers stocks of all the big names in the book such as:

  • Alphabet
  • Amazon
  • Ali Baba
  • Apple
  • Boeing
  • Facebook
  • Disney
  • Invesco
  • Microsoft
  • Tesla
  • Lyft
  • Spotify

You can see from the list above that you can invest in the stocks of the hottest tech companies on the planet via the SoFi Invest platform. However, they could have also inculcated a wide variety of FMCG or Fast Moving Consumer Goods like Procter & Gamble or Unilever as these are always a good bet to invest in because of the stability that these businesses operate in.

Crypto

The broker only offers crypto from the top 3 crypto providers which are:

  • Bitcoin
  • Litecoin
  • Ethereum

However, there are many other cryptos out there. If you are into crypto, we suggest you check out ITrader as they offer a lot of crypto options.

How We Rank Asset Classes

The criteria for ranking asset classes is pretty simple and as follows:

  • Number Of Asset Classes Offered, such as crypto, forex, stocks, ETFs and bonds.
  • Options Provided within each asset class

The more asset classes a broker provides, the more the chance to diversify your portfolio. Diversified portfolios often help in mitigating risk and long term profitability. This is the reason due to whch we give higher ranking and weightage to brokers who give you the option to hedge your risk.

Final Verdict Asset Classes

Building diversification across different assets really helps to build profitable portfolios. SoFi has limited asset classes at the moment due to which you cannot build diversified portfolios across different platforms. The fact that SoFi Invest does not offer assets like bonds, mutual funds, forex & commodities means that it scores a paltry 2.

Related: If you want to trade bonds, mutual funds, forex & commodities, check out Capital.com by clicking the link below.

SoFi Invest Asset Classes Score: 2/10

#8 Referral Program

SoFi Invest is one of the few brokers in our database to score a complete 10 in terms of a referral program. You can earn rewards by referring your friends to the investing platform, and the rewards vary in terms of financial value. However, you can keep referring friends to the platform till you earn $10,000 in rewards. The sheer potential of the amount of funds that you can earn through using the broker and telling your friends about it means that it gets a perfect score. The referral program does full justice with the broker’s name which actually stands for Social Finance.

How We Rank Referral Programs

The more rewards a broker gives the higher the score for this dimension. Rewards are a good way for encouraging beginners to start trading with friends and family making the experience enjoyable, due to which we encourage brokers to offer more and more rewards. We also take into account how difficult it is to attain these rewards.

Final Verdict Referral Programs

SoFi Invest has an amazing referral program that really help individuals to get started with trading with their friends and family. The program does full justice to the name of the broker which is Social Finance and for that the broker gets a perfect score as per our guidelines.

SoFi Invest Referral Program Score: 10/10

#9 Demo Account & Educational Resources

Demo Account

SoFi Invest currently does not have a demo account. Demo accountsa re a good way of learning how to trade using paper money before you start investing your own money. Its a shame that you do not get to do so with SoFi invest because the platform has some really good fee structures for different assets and it can really attract a lot of new traders by giving them the opportunity to test out the platform to see if it is right for them.

Educational Resources

SoFi invest does not offer any educational resources through which you can start to learn to trade. However, the broker does have a Youtube channel through which you can learn how to trade the assets offered by the platform. Again the broker loses an opportunity to train novice traders in using the platform. The fact that the broker does not have a demo account and very basic educational resources means that it loses almost all its points here.

How We Rank Demo Account & Educational Resources

The purpose of a demo account and educational resources is to train users to make informed decisions. Our crtiteria marks every broker on the quality of training that they provide beginners with. Our criteria is as follows.

  • The demo account should not have a time limit or a paper trading limit to get a perfect score
  • Educational Resources should include tutorials, webinars and online courses to ensure that anyone new to trading can quickly learn and trade profitably

SoFi Invest Demo Account & Educational Resources Score: 2/10

#10 Safety & Regulation

SoFi Invest boasts solid credentials as a legit broker as it is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This ensures that your funds are safe and that you will not be unduly swindled your hard-earned funds. There have been cases of unregulated brokers who have lost their clients’ hard-earned money due to irregular practices. However, please note that regulation does not protect you against bad investments and you can lose money if you invest in companies that are on the financial wane.

SoFi Invest also has 2-factor authentication which provides a lot of safety for users against hackers. The broker also has encryption which provides added security for users. Moreover, the broker also has an AAA+ rating from the Better Business Bureau in America which gives a lot of solid credibility to the broker as not many brokers have this seal of approval from the Better Business Bureau. This also means that the broker adheres to the strict rules and regulations that are needed for this ranking.

How We Rank Safety & Regulation

If a broker is regulated by a tier 1 broker like the Financial Conduct Authority of UK (FCA), Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), or Australia Securities & Exchange Commission (ASIC) it scores a perfect score. However, if it is regulated from a tier-2 broker like the Cyprus Securities & Exchange it scores an 8. The score for most tier 3 brokers is a 6 and the score for no regulation is 0. Regulation is an important factor for brokers as non-regulated entities can engage in harmful practices for investors that can be detrimental for them.

Final Verdict Safety & Regulation

The broker is regulated by the prestigious Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It also has a 2 step authentication which provides extra safety for users. Moreover, the broker also has a AAA+ ranking from the Better Business Bureau that helps it getting a perfect score as per our guidelines.

SoFi Invest Safety & Regulation Score: 10/10

SoFi Invest FAQ’s

How Does The Broker Make Money?

The Broker makes money by charging spreads and commissions.

Is The Broker Legit?

Yes, the broker is regulated which means that it is answerable for its business practices.

Does The Broker Allow Bank Transfers?

Yes, the broker allows you to transfer funds through bank transfer.

What Are Fractional Shares?

Fractional shares basically provide you with an option that allows you to buy less than a whole number of shares. For instance, $50 may buy you 0.5 shares of a particular company or you may buy 2.5 shares in a company.

Does SoFi Invest Offer Depsoti and Withdrawal ?

The broker does offer bank transfer as a method for depositing and withdrawing funds

Does SoFi Invest offer any other deposit and withdraawal methods?

No the broker does not offer any other methods like Paypla or credit cards for deposit and withdrawal of funds.

While researching 100+ of the world’s top brokers, we’ve noticed what works and what doesn’t from the customer’s point of view. That’s why our final test for any broker is to compare it to Capital.com, which scores 91/100 points across the 10 categories mentioned in this review.

SoFi Invest vs. Capital.com

While SoFi invest performs well on several dimensions such as having a good fee structure with commission-free stocks, ETFs and a quick signup procedure, there are a couple of dimensions that the broker could improve upon compared to Capital.com

More Assets

Capital.com offers more than 1,700 stocks, plenty of bonds, forex pairs, commodities, crypto and mutual funds, something that SoFi Invest currently lacks, hence you should definitely look at Capital.com if you are someone who likes to trade in these assets.

State Of The Art Research Tools

Capital.com has more thorough research tools such as very detailed charting tools. Moreover, they also have a very detailed fundamental data feature that allows you to track the historical trends of financial measures. The broker also has a very active market research team that has developed a very robust news feed feature something that SoFi Invest currently lacks.

Better Educational Resources

Capital.com is like a university for learning to trade. Capital.com really provides a lot of quality educational resources. Some of the resources offered include:

  • Educational videos on trading different assets
  • Webinars
  • Tutorial videos on using the platform

The resources offered to users start by teaching you how the platform works and then with webinars and articles Capital.com keeps you updated with what’s happening in the market. Capital.com also offers asset trading training guides.

Training Guides

  • Trading psychology guides
  • Shares trading guides
  • Forex trading guides
  • CFD training guides
  • Commodities training guides
  • Indices trading guides

Capital.com is with you if you want to start trading an asset that you have not traded before. They also offer 5 courses that are aimed at training beginners and refreshing the knowledge of experienced traders.

Capital.com Online Courses

  • Financial instruments
  • Derivatives and risks of trading
  • What are leverage and margin
  • Introduction to financial markets
  • ABC of derivatives

The online courses are designed for beginners but anyone can benefit from them in learning the basics and good practices and knowledge of the industry.

So what are you waiting for signup today for the most complete broker in the business.

Related: If you want to learn more about this broker, you can read this amazing review of Capital.com.

In Summary

SoFi Invest is a very good platform for anyone looking to trade commission-free stocks and ETFs. The platform is also really good for friends who want to start trading together because of the rewards that you can earn from referring your friends to the platform. Moreover, the broker is also regulated by the esteemed SEC and by the FINRA. If you are an experienced stock or ETF trader, this could be that low-cost broker you’ve been looking for.

On the other hand, if you are someone looking to trade bonds, commodities, mutual funds or someone looking to learn the art of trading, SoFi Invest is definitely not a viable option. But don’t worry, Capital.com has you covered with more diverse asset types and hundreds of asset options in stocks more than 25 commodities, 60 forex pairs and plenty of crypto options. Amazing asset options coupled with award winning customer service offer amazing value. Moreover, Capital.com also has one of the best fee structures in the industry, as well as unparalleled learning resources that can help you in turning into a trading wizard.

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