In the world of stock trading, low-cost brokerages have really become a thing of the past. No-cost brokerages. like SoFi Active Investing, have become the new standard.
With zero fees on stock and ETF trades, you can’t get a trading platform that’s much cheaper than SoFi Active Investing. But should you use it?
We’ll explain the pros and cons of using the SoFi Active Investing platform. See how it compares to the best online stock brokers.
- Commission-free stock, option, and ETF investing
- Ability to invest in fractional shares
- No minimums and just $1 to open an account
SoFi Active Investing Details
SoFi Active Investing
Stocks, Options, and ETFs: $0
Cryptocurrencies: Up to 1.25%
Taxable, Traditional, Roth, SEP IRA
$50 to $5,000 bonus when you transfer investments from another broker
$10 Bitcoin bonus after your first eligible crypto trade
What Is SoFi Active Investing?
SoFi Active Investing allows users to buy and sell stocks, options, and ETFs commission-free. As its name implies, it's targeted at active investors who want to pick and choose individual securities. If you prefer a passive investing approach using a portfolio of index funds, you may want to check out our SoFi Automated Investing review instead.
SoFi Investing offers both taxable accounts and IRAs (Roth, Traditional, and SEP). You can contribution to an IRA up to the IRA contribution limits.
In addition to providing comission-free brokerage services, SoFi offers some limited investing features. For example, you can read explainers on how stocks work, and you can start a watch list of your favorite stocks.
What Does It Offer?
There’s plenty to love about SoFi Active Investing beyond the fact that it doesn't charge any trade fees. Here are a few of the most important benefits of the platform.
Become a SoFi Member
SoFi has created a network where membership has a lot of value. Members can attend local meetups (usually in major metro areas across the U.S.) or get advice from career coaches.
You can also receive a 0.125% rate discount on a SoFi personal or student loan or $500 off the Home Loan Processing Fee on your first SoFi mortgage.
Fractional Share Investing
One of SoFi's most compelling offer is the ability to buy fractional shares. This is great when you are starting out and don't have a lot of money.
SoFi supports fractional share investing for over 4,000 stocks and ETFs. You can invest as little as $5 in any of these securities.
SoFi allows its members to invest in 20 different cryptocurrencies. These include many of the most popular coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Cardano. You'll also get a $10 Bitcoin bonus after you make your first trade of at least $10.
Unlike stock and ETF trades, crypto trades come with a markup of up to 1.25%. That's higher than you'll pay in maker/taker fees with several of our favorite cryptocurrency exchanges. The nice thing about SoFi, though, is that it enables you to trade stocks, ETFs, and crypto all from within the same account.
SoFi currently supports level 2 options trading execution - which means that you can buy calls and puts, and sell to close positions.
Level 1 capabilities, such as selling covered calls and cash secured puts, should be available in the near future.
Related: See our Options Trading 101 Guide
No Mutual Funds
A big reason to consider active trading is to buy options to hedge against losses in your main portfolio. But SoFi doesn’t allow account holders to trade options.
If trading options is important to you, check out our list of the best places to trade options. They also don't allow you to invest in mutual funds. You have to stick to stocks, ETFs, of cryptocurrency.
In the past, investing in IPOs before they become available on the public exchanges has only a option for large institutions. But SoFi has opened up IPO investing to all of its members with no account minimums.
Member can visit the "IPO Investing" page to see an up-to-date list of IPO offerings. Note that SoFi will only allow you to invest in one IPO at a time. To invest in one, you'll need to enter your indication of interest, which tells SoFi how many shares/units you’re interested in purchasing.
When it’s time to confirm your buy order, you'll receive an alert from SoFi to let you know. SoFi says that you'll only have a short period of time to confirm.
Note that IPO investing is more risky than investing in companies that have a track record on the stock market. Share prices for IPOs are notorious for being extremely volatile during their first year after going public. To limit your risk, consider only investing a small percentage of your total assets in IPOs.
Are There Any Fees?
As previously mentioned, SoFi doesn't charge any fees on stock and ETF trades. And since it doesn't offer mutual funds or options, you won't have to worry about paying fund transaction fees or option per-contract fees.
There are fees, however, for crypto trades. Currently, SoFi charges a markup of up to 1.25% on both buy and sell orders.
There aren't any monthly account fees or inactivity fees either. But if you decide to transfer your account to another broker, SoFi will charge you a $75 ACAT fee.
How Does SoFi Active Investing Compare?
SoFi is certainly not the only brokerage offering free trades. It stands out by offering fractional shares but it falls short of some full-service brokers by offering fewer investment choices. Check out this quick comparison chart:
How Do I Open An Account?
It only takes a couple of minutes to open an Active Investing account with SoFi Invest. You'll begin by visiting the SoFi Invest page and clicking the "Invest Now" button.
You'll be asked a few questions about your risk tolerance and investing experience. Should you later decide to participate in Automated Investing as well, your answers to these questions will help SoFi to choose the appropriate robo-advisor portfolio for your needs.
Finally, you'll need to link a bank so that you can add funds to your brokerage account. Once your first transfer arrives, you can begin trading stocks and ETFs commission-free!
Is It Safe And Secure?
Yes, SoFi's website is TLS 1.2 Encrypted. For extra account security, users can set up two-factor authentication. SIPC insurance up to $500,000 is provided on all securities ($250,000 for cash). And if you also happen to have cash on deposit with SoFi Money, it's protected by FDIC insurance up to $1.5 million.
How Do I Contact SoFi?
SoFi has a dedicated customer service number for its Active Investing accounts. The phone number is 855-525-SOFI (7634). You can also access live chat support here. Representatives are available Monday-Thursday, 5 AM-7 PM (PT) and Friday-Sunday 5 AM-5 PM (PT).
Is It Worth It?
Right now, Fidelity, Vanguard, and TD Ameritrade are still the leaders of the pack when it comes to free brokerage accounts. Each platform supports a wide variety of investment types and offer robo-advisor portfolios as well.
However, none of those top platforms support crypto trading or IPO investing. And of those three brokers, only Fidelity supports fractional shares.
If you’re interested in any of those features, SoFi may be the route to choose. Just be careful when you start an active trading journey. It's easy to lose money by allowing your emotions to dictate what you’ll buy and sell.
SoFi Active Investing FAQs
Here are a few of the most common questions we see people asking about SoFi Active Investing:
Is SoFi Active Investing really free?
For stock and ETF traders, yes. But crypto traders will pay a markup of up to 1.25%.
Does SoFi Active Investing support real-time trading?
Yes, the stock market quotes that SoFi provides is live and updated to the second.
Can you trade on margin with SoFi Active Investing?
No. While SoFi's Active Investing accounts are technically margin accounts, they don't allow members to use margin for trading.
Can you trade penny stocks with SoFi Active Investing?
No, SoFi does not allow its members to trade penny stocks or any other OTC (over-the-counter) investments.
Does SoFi Active Investing have any bonuses or incentives?
Yes, SoFi is offering a ACAT promotion of $50 to $5,000 (depending on your account size) for new clients who transfer an account from another brokerage firm. It will also give traders a $10 Bitcoin bonus after they make their first crypto trade of at least $10.
SoFi Active Investing Features
No-Transaction-Fee (NTF) Mutual Funds
Basic Account Fee
ACAT Outgoing Fee: $75
Customer Service Number
Customer Service Hours
Monday-Thursday, 5 AM-7 PM (PT)
Friday-Sunday 5 AM-5 PM (PT)
Mobile App Availability
iOS and Android
$50 to $5,000 bonus when you transfer investments from another broker
SoFi Active Investing
Commission and Fees
Ease of Use
Tools & Resources
SoFi Active Investing charges no commissions on stocks or ETFs and supports IPO and crypto investing too. Check out our full review!
- Free stock and ETF trades
- Allows fractional share investing
- Members can participate in IPOs
- Supports cryptocurrency trading
- Limited investment types (no mutual funds or options)
- Up 1.25% markup on crypto trades
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.
Editor: Clint Proctor