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SoFi Invest Review 2019

4.2 4 stars · Aug 2019
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SoFi Invest logo

SoFi or Social Finance is a US-based fintech startup founded in 2009. SoFi is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA. SoFi Invest is the brand name of SoFi for zero-fee or discount brokerage services. 

SoFi Invest offers active and automated investing services. The prior means a self-directed account where you can trade with stocks and ETFs on your own. The SoFi Invest automated investing is a robo-advisory service where SoFi Invest handles your investments. In this review, we tested SoFi Invest active investing.

SoFi Invest is considered safe because it is regulated by the top-tier financial authorities and provides a maximum of $500,000 investor protection including a $250,000 limit for cash as part of the SIPC protection scheme.

 

Recommended for beginners and investors looking for zero commission and focusing on US market.

Pros
  • Free stocks and ETFs
  • Fast and fully digital account opening
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • Available only for US clients
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Basic research tools

SoFi Invest pros and cons

SoFi Invest offers commission-free US stock and ETF trading without withdrawal or inactivity fee. The account opening is seamless, fully digital, and really fast. Customer support gives relevant and quick answers.

SoFi Invest is available only for US residents. The product portfolio is limited, covering only stocks and ETFs. The research tools are very basic.

Compare to other brokers

SoFi Invest review
Fees 5 stars

SoFi Invest has low trading fees and low non-trading fees. It offers commission-free trades for US-based stocks and ETFs. There are no inactivity and withdrawal fees.
Pros
  • No withdrawal fee
  • No inactivity fee
  • Free stocks and ETFs
Cons
None
SoFi Invest fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock Low $0 per trade
EURUSD - Not available
US tech fund - Not available
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

We ranked SoFi Invest's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things rolling, let's go over some lingo relating to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees, financing rates, and non-trading fees.

We also compared SoFi Invest's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Robinhood and Fidelity. This selection is based on factors like products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc.

Let's start with the trading fees.

Trading fees

SoFi Invest's trading fees are low and easy to understand.

Stock fees and ETF fees

SoFi Invest offers free stock and ETF trading. It's better than Fidelity's offer, but the same as Robinhood's.

Stock fees of a $2,000 trade
  SoFi Invest Robinhood Fidelity
USA $0.0 $0.0 $5.0

Financing rates

SoFi Invest doesn't offer margin or leveraged trading, i.e. you can't rade with money borrowed from the broker. Therefore, financing rates are not applicable for SoFi Invest.

Non-trading fees

SoFi Invest has low non-trading fees. It charges no account, inactivity, and withdrawal fees.

SoFi Invest non-trading fees
  SoFi Invest Robinhood Fidelity
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

SoFi Invest review
Account opening 5 stars

Account opening at SoFi Invest is seamless and fully digital. Your account will be opened within a day. On the flip side, the account opening is available only for US clients.
Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum deposit
Cons
  • Only US clients

Can you open an account?

Only US citizens and green card holders can open an active investing account at SoFi Invest. In the case of robo-advisory account, visa holders also considered.

What is the minimum deposit at SoFi Invest?

There is no required minimum deposit for SoFi Invest accounts. This is ideal if you plan to invest smaller amounts.

Account types

There are basically two big investment areas the client can choose from:

  • SoFi Invest active investing - a self-directed investment account where you can trade with stocks and ETFs on your own
  • SoFi Invest automated investing - robo-advisory-based service where SoFi Invest handles your investments

In this review, we tested the SoFi Invest active investing accounts. Within the SoFi Invest active investing, you can select only a personal investment account. It would be a plus if SoFi Invest would offer more account types like tax optimized and business accounts for the self-directed investment as well.

How to open your account

The account opening is user-friendly, fully digital, and fast. The online application takes roughly 20 minutes and it took 1 business day until our account was verified.

Steps at SoFi Invest to open an account:

  1. Register a SoFi account, while you give your name, email address, and a password
  2. Acknowledge the terms and conditions
  3. Choose between the self-directed and robo-advisory account types
  4. Add personal information, like your address, phone number, and employment status
  5. State your residency and give your Social Security Number or other ID details
  6. Review your information plus add financial data and preferences
  7. Choose your funding method
SoFi Invest review - Account opening

SoFi Invest review
Deposit and withdrawal 3 stars

SoFi Invest's deposit and withdrawal are free and user-friendly. On the negative side, credit/debit cards are not accepted and there is only USD as a base currency.
Pros
  • Free withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • Only one account base currency

Account base currencies

SoFi Invest offers only USD-based accounts. It's not a surprise as SoFi Invest offers its service only in the US. 

Robinhood has a similar account base currency offer, while Fidelity has a much wider offer.

Base currencies at SoFi Invest vs similar brokers
  SoFi Invest Robinhood Fidelity
Number of base currencies 1 2 16

 

Why does this matter? Two things. First, if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, you won't be charged a currency conversion fee. Second, if you trade assets in the same currency as your account base currency, you will not have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on the currency conversion fees can be to open a multi-currency bank account. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. The account opening only takes a few minutes on your phone.

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Deposit fees and options

SoFi Invest charges no deposit fees. US clients can use check, ACH, and wire transfers for the deposit. Credit/debit cards and electronic wallets are not provided.

SoFi Invest deposit options
  SoFi Invest Robinhood Fidelity
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No Yes

We tested ACH transfer for deposit and it took 2 business days. You can only deposit money from accounts which are previously linked to your brokerage account.

A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant.

You can only deposit money from accounts which are in your name.

SoFi Invest review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Withdrawal fees and options

SoFi Invest charges no withdrawal fees. You can use the same options as for the deposit.

SoFi Invest withdrawal fees and options
  SoFi Invest Robinhood Fidelity
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from SoFi Invest? We tested the ACH bank transfer and it took 2 business days.

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from SoFi Invest? You can withdraw money from SoFi Invest by selecting "Withdraw Money" under the "Settings" menu.

Compare to other brokers

SoFi Invest review
Web trading platform 3 stars

SoFi Invest has an OK web trading platform. It is user-friendly and has a clear design. However, it offers only market order, lacks customizability, and unique price alerts are missing.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Two-step (safer) login
  • Looks appealing
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Only market order type
  • No unique price alerts
SoFi Invest platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 3 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 4 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop - No

SoFi Invest offers an in-house developed web trading platform. The trading platform is available in English.

Look and feel

The SoFi Invest web trading platform is user-friendly and has a clear design, mainly focusing on investors. It goes with minor customizability and lacks some handy searching tools.

SoFi Invest review - Web trading platform

Login and security

SoFi Invest provides a two-step login. You can turn it off and on under your profile name, "My profile" menu "Account settings".

Search functions

The search functions are OK. We missed the screener function, it is somewhat hard to conduct thorough searches. As a plus, it is easy to put assets on a watchlist.

SoFi Invest review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

SoFi Invest offers only a market order type, lacking other basic order types, like limit, stop-loss. It doesn't offer order time limits either.

If you are not familiar with the basic order types, read this overview.

SoFi Invest review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set only a few pre-set alerts, like a notification when the stock's or ETF's price on your watchlist reaches the 52-week high or low. We missed unique alerts, like setting notification when the asset reaches a certain price level.

You can turn the pre-set alerts off and on under your profile name, "My profile" menu "Push Notification Preferences".

Portfolio and fee reports

SoFi Invest offers a clear portfolio report. You wouldn't expect a clear fee report, because SoFi Invest doesn't charge fees.

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SoFi Invest review
Mobile trading platform 4 stars

SoFi Invest mobile platform is great. It is well-designed and user-friendly. However, you can place only market orders and there are no unique price alerts.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Two-step (safer) login
  • Looks appealing
Cons
  • Limited order types
  • No unique price alerts

SoFi Invest mobile trading platform is available both on any iOS or Android devices. We tested it on iOS.

SoFi Invest mobile platform has the same design and the same functionalities as the web trading platform. We overweight simplicity and easy-handling for mobile trading platforms. That is why SoFi Invest mobile trading platform has a bit higher score than the web trading platform.

SoFi Invest review - Mobile trading platform

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SoFi Invest review
Desktop trading platform

SoFi Invest does not offer a desktop trading platform.

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SoFi Invest review
Markets and products 1 stars

SoFi Invest has a limited product portfolio. It offers only US-based stocks and ETFs. It lacks funds, bonds, forex, options, futures, or CFD.
  SoFi Invest Robinhood Fidelity
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex No No No
Fund No No Yes
Bond No No Yes
Options No Yes Yes
Futures No No No
CFD No No No
Crypto No Yes No

SoFi Invest has average stock and ETF offers. You can also find a cryptocurrency section, but at the time of the review, SoFi Invest is prepared to cryptos as well, however, at the moment you cannot trade them.

Stock and ETF

SoFi Invest gives access only to the US market. It is the same as Robinhood's offer but lags behind Fidelity which gives access to international stock exchanges as well.

  SoFi Invest Robinhood Fidelity
Stock markets (#) 3 5 29
ETFs (#) 2,300 100 2,300

You can trade with stocks on these stock exchanges: NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX. You can't trade with low-priced stocks or “penny stocks” and OTC products.

We liked the "Stock Bits" feature, which allows buying fractional shares. It's great for investors investing with lower amounts.

SoFi Invest Automated Investing

Besides SoFi Invest active investing, you can use SoFi automated investing which is a robo-advisory service. It is great if you need help to manage your investments.

First, you have to answer a few questions and select your risk-preference. After, SoFi Invest compiles a portfolio and rebalances it automatically when needed. 

There is no annual management fee for SoFi Invest's robo-advisory service. It's great as the most robo-advisors charge an annual management fee between 0.20-0.50%.

SoFi Invest review - Automated Investing

 

SoFi Invest review
Research 1 stars

The research tools are very basic and limited at SoFi Invest. There are no analyst recommendations, fundamental data, and more sophisticated charting tools. There are only a basic chart and a few data, like the highest or lowest price on the current day.
Pros
None
Cons
  • Limited interactive charting
  • No analyst recommendations
  • No fundamental data available

Trading ideas

SoFi Invest does not provide professional trading. In your account, you can see the most traded stocks by other SoFi investors for a given day, however, we missed the professional third-party providers' recommendations. There is another recommendation bar, which shows the trending stocks and ETFs by sectors.

Fundamental data

SoFi Invest does not offer fundamental data.

Charting

SoFi Invest has limited charting tool. There are no technical indicators and other charting tools, like a trendline editor. 

SoFi Invest review - Research - Charting

News feed

The news feed consists only links to the relevant third-party websites. We missed the archive feeds and visual elements, like charts or tables. 

Compare research pros and cons

SoFi Invest review
Customer service 5 stars

SoFi Invest's customer service is great. They give fast and relevant answers. On the flip side, there is no 24/7 service.
Pros
  • Live chat
  • Fast response time
  • Relevant answers
Cons
  • No 24/7 availability

You can contact SoFi Invest via:

  • live chat
  • telephone
  • email

SoFi Invest has a fast live chat. The relevancy of the answers was satisfactory.

SoFi Invest 's telephone support gave relevant and helpful answers. The speed was OK as we had to wait ~1-1,5 minutes until someone was connected.

On email, we got fast and informative answers. It took 0.5-1.5 days to answer. It's also a nice feature that you could email the CEO.

We missed 24/7 availability.

SoFi Invest review - Customer Service

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SoFi Invest review
Education 1 stars

SoFi Invest's education can be improved. There are no demo accounts, educational videos, webinars, etc. You can find only some educational content published on SoFi blog.
Pros
None
Cons
  • No demo account
  • No educational videos
  • No webinars

At SoFi Invest you can learn with the help of different educational articles, which are available on the SoFi blog. However, it is not well structured.

The FAQ is also hard to search and not well structured.

SoFi Invest review - Education

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SoFi Invest review
Safety

SoFi Invest is regulated by top-tier financial authorities, like the SEC and FINRA. You are also protected by a high investor protection amount, $500,000 which includes $250,000 for cash. On the negative side, SoFi Invest is not listed on any stock exchanges and doesn't publish any financial information.
Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
Cons
  • Not listed on stock exchange
  • Financial information is not publicly available

Is SoFi Invest regulated? Yes, it is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Is SoFi Invest safe? To be certain, it is best to check two things: how you are protected if something goes wrong and what the background of the broker is.

How you are protected

This is important for you because the investor protection amount and the regulator differ from entity to entity. With SoFi Invest this is not an issue though as all customers are covered by SoFi Securities LLC and the US investor protection scheme, called SIPC. The SIPC investor protection scheme protects against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker goes bust. The limit of SIPC protection is $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash. This amount is substantially higher than the amount most investor protection schemes provide.

Background

SoFi Invest was established in 2011. The longer the track record of a broker, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

You may have some troubles if you are looking for more information about the company. The amount of financial information is quite limited compared to other brokers.

Being a US regulated broker and offering a high amount of investor protection are all great signs for SoFi Invest's safety.

Filter the brokers by investor protection

SoFi Invest review
Bottom line

SoFi Invest's fees are great. You can trade with US-based stocks and ETFs listed on major markets. The account opening is easy, fully digital, and fast. The customer service responses quickly and gives relevant answers.

SoFi Invest has some drawbacks though. It is available only for US clients. The product portfolio is really limited, covering only US stocks and ETFs. Lastly, research tools are very basic. 

As the account opening is seamless, and SoFi Invest offers commission-free stock and ETF trades, feel free to try it.

SoFi Invest main features and highlights

🗺️ Country of regulation USA
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged No
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account 1 day
💳 Deposit with credit card Not available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Not available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 1
🎮 Demo account provided No
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF

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SoFi Invest logo

SoFi or Social Finance is a US-based fintech startup founded in 2009. SoFi is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA. SoFi Invest is the brand name of SoFi for zero-fee or discount brokerage services. 

SoFi Invest offers active and automated investing services. The prior means a self-directed account where you can trade with stocks and ETFs on your own. The SoFi Invest automated investing is a robo-advisory service where SoFi Invest handles your investments. In this review, we tested SoFi Invest active investing.

SoFi Invest is considered safe because it is regulated by the top-tier financial authorities and provides a maximum of $500,000 investor protection including a $250,000 limit for cash as part of the SIPC protection scheme.

 

Recommended for beginners and investors looking for zero commission and focusing on US market.

Compare to other brokers

Overall 4 stars

Pros
  • Free stocks and ETFs
  • Fast and fully digital account opening
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • Available only for US clients
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Basic research tools

Fees 5 stars

Pros
  • No withdrawal fee
  • No inactivity fee
  • Free stocks and ETFs
Cons
None

Account opening 5 stars

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum deposit
Cons
  • Only US clients

Deposit and withdrawal 3 stars

Pros
  • Free withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • Only one account base currency

Web trading platform 3 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Two-step (safer) login
  • Looks appealing
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Only market order type
  • No unique price alerts

Mobile trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Two-step (safer) login
  • Looks appealing
Cons
  • Limited order types
  • No unique price alerts

Markets and products 1 stars

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Stock
  • ETF

Research 1 stars

Pros
None
Cons
  • Limited interactive charting
  • No analyst recommendations
  • No fundamental data available

Customer service 5 stars

Pros
  • Live chat
  • Fast response time
  • Relevant answers
Cons
  • No 24/7 availability

Education 1 stars

Pros
None
Cons
  • No demo account
  • No educational videos
  • No webinars

Safety

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
Cons
  • Not listed on stock exchange
  • Financial information is not publicly available

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager

METHODOLOGY

Everything you find on Brokerchooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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