SoFi Invest review: A worthwhile app for beginners without a ton of money to invest

SoFi Invest offers options for all types of investors.

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Bottom line: SoFi Invest is best for beginner investors in the US who are looking for an intuitive online trading experience and want to open an active or automated investing account, or explore cryptocurrencies. Its limited investment selection and features mean it might not be a good fit for advanced investors. It is only available to US residents.

Overall rating

FeatureInsider rating (out of 5)Fees5.00Investment selection4.00Platform navigability4.50Customer service4.25Trustworthiness5.00Educational resources/research4.50Overall score4.54

Is SoFi Invest right for you?

Editor’s Rating4.54 out of 5Fees0% for active trading and automated investing (1.25% for cryptocurrencies)Account minimum$0 ($1 to start investing)PromotionGet $10 in Bitcoin when you make your first crypto trade SoFi Invest

SoFi Invest (short for “social finance”) started out as a company focusing on student loan refinancing and personal loans. Since then, it has branched out into several other areas of personal finance, including investment accounts and checking and savings accounts.

Plus, the company’s stock recently rose after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) approved its request for a national bank charter. The decision comes months after SoFi acquired Golden Pacific Bancorp, Inc., a California-based community bank.

SoFi Invest is also a great option if you already have other SoFi accounts. This is because SoFi makes it very easy to move money between SoFi Money and SoFi Invest accounts.

If you are a more advanced investor, SoFi may not be a great choice, since SoFi does not offer stop-loss orders or tax-loss harvesting. But if you’re simply looking to get started with investing, SoFi has all you need, with complimentary access to Certified Financial Planners if you have questions. 

SoFi is currently only available to residents of the United States, so residents of other countries will want to choose a different brokerage.

ProsConsNo minimum to start investingNo account or trading fees, and low fees to own funds (investment funds, like ETFs, have expense ratios)Access to Certified Financial Planners at no additional chargeCryptocurrency trading available for bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital assetsNo tax-loss harvesting, an advanced investing technique where you sell a stock or mutual fund at a loss for a tax benefitNo option for stop-loss orders when actively investing; SoFi’s active investing account only uses market ordersLimited track record; SoFi’s automated trading platform has only been around since 2017, which isn’t as long as other brokeragesCurrently only available to US residents

Not sure if SoFi is right for you? Keep reading to see how it stacks up against similar platforms.

How does SoFi Invest compare?

Minimum Investment: $0Minimum Investment: $0Minimum Investment: $500Fees: NoneFees: NoneFees: 0.25% for automated investing

Investment choices

Stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies

Investment choices

Stocks, ETFs, options, cryptocurrencies, and ADRs

Investment choices


SoFi InvestRobinhoodInvestment Account

SoFi Invest, Robinhood, and Wealthfront are all competitive investment options for those in search of low fees and simple user interfaces. However, each platform offers different account types and investment choices.

While SoFi and Robinhood are best for traders of stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, SoFi offers a wider range of account types (e.g., automated investing accounts and IRAs). Robinhood only offers active trading accounts. And Wealthfront, on the other hand, best suits those solely in search of automated portfolio management. 

Note that if you are investing in ETFs, most funds do have expense ratio fees that are included in the price of the fund. All three of these brokerages offer several different funds, including those with very low expense ratios.

Ways to invest with SoFi

SoFi Invest is best for beginner investors who are looking for a simple way to get started with investing. SoFi has no minimum amount to open an account, so even if you don’t have very much to invest, you can still get started. It has a very basic set of features:

No account or management fees and very low fees on fundsComplimentary access to Certified Financial Planners (CFPs)The ability to invest in fractional shares of company stockActive or automated investingAccess to cryptocurrency

Its active investing account gives you complete control of buying and selling whichever stocks and funds you prefer, while its automated investing account (or robo-advisor) offers users pre-built portfolios based on risk level and financial situation. SoFi’s 10 robo-advisor portfolios are built by humans to reflect a range of financial situations.

SoFi also offers another option for investors who want to give newly public companies a shot: IPO investing

If all you’re looking to do is put your money in low-cost Vanguard or other index ETFs, then SoFi’s fee-free accounts may be all that you need. If you are interested in tax-loss harvesting or trading more actively with stop-loss orders, you may want to consider other brokerages.

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, SoFi offers bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and 27 other coins and tokens. SoFi charges a markup fee for each crypto transaction, so be prepared to pay an additional 1.25% in trading fees. You can find its complete list of cryptocurrencies here.

Account setup

Opening a new SoFi Invest account is a straightforward process. You will enter your name and a few basic identification questions, as well as questions about your risk tolerance and investing experience. The entire signup process only takes about two minutes. SoFi offers several different types of accounts, including taxable brokerage accounts as well as traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs. Each of these accounts can use SoFi’s automated investing system (also known as “passive investing”) or be actively invested and controlled by you.

SoFi Invest regularly offers bonuses for opening up new accounts. Sometimes these bonuses are publicly available, and other times they’re only available through a referral from a current customer. These new account bonuses change over time, and there’s no guarantee that there will be a bonus offer. Still, these offers can be worth hundreds of dollars, so it pays to check before opening a new account.

Is SoFi Invest trustworthy?

SoFi has received an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB uses a grade range of A+ to F when evaluating company trustworthiness and considers a number of factors — including customer complaint history, licensing and government actions, and advertising issues — when reaching a final rating.

Though SoFi’s A rating indicates that it interacts exceptionally well with clients, it’s also important that you do your own due diligence on the company. The BBB says its ratings don’t guarantee a company’s reliability or performance.

In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged that SoFi provided false information on how much customers saved through its loan options. The FTC approved a Consent Order with SoFi in 2019 that prohibited the company from providing misleading information about its loan refinancing savings. SoFi neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.

SoFi has closed more than 140 complaints in the last 12 months, according to the BBB.

Related terms

Stocks: Stocks are available on most exchanges and represent shares, or portions, of ownership within public companies. You can typically purchase stocks through online brokerages, robo-advisors, and other investment platforms.ETFs: These investment funds contain a mix of stocks, bonds, commodities, and other securities. ETFs are like stocks since you can easily buy and sell both during the stock exchange’s trading hours. But these funds are also less risky than stocks because they essentially contain a basket of different securities.Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrencies function as digital assets that rely on blockchain technology for decentralized transactions. This means cryptocurrency holders can exchange these assets without a centralized institution like a bank.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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