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SoFi Active Investing review 2023

Updated February 2, 2023
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SoFi Active Investing: Best for

  • Fractional shares
  • Commission-free stock and ETF trades
  • New investors

SoFi Active Investing is a low-cost broker that focuses on handling the basics well and should appeal to investors who are just starting out. You can start investing with just $5 and will have access to more than 4,000 stocks and ETFs that are available using fractional shares. Plus, you won’t pay commissions on stock or ETF trades, so more of your return stays with you. SoFi also offers cryptocurrency trading in about 30 different coins, but you will pay a 1.25 percent markup as part of those trades. SoFi’s mobile app makes it easy to track your finances at any time. 

SoFi’s biggest shortcoming is that it doesn’t offer options or mutual fund trading. Options are popular with more experienced traders, while mutual funds have long been a staple of retirement accounts. If you’re looking for brokers that offer options trading, you might consider Firstrade or Webull. Mutual fund investors should check out Interactive Brokers or E-Trade.

Ally Invest: In the details

Broker logo
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Accounts & Trading
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Research and Education
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
About Bankrate Score
Minimum Balance
Cost per stock trade
Cost per options trade
Not available
Up to $1,000 in stock for new accounts
Commission-free ETFs
No-transaction-fee mutual funds
Mutual funds not available
Securities tradable
Stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies
Customer service
Phone Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET, chat support
Account fees
$75 transfer out fee; $20 IRA closeout fee
Mobile app
SoFi offers a mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store
Rates as of March 2, 2023 at 4:46 PM

Pros: Where SoFi Active Investing stands out

Fractional shares

SoFi offers fractional shares on both new purchases and reinvested dividends, allowing customers to get started with as little as $5. Fractional shares are particularly popular with new investors who may not be able to afford entire shares in multiple companies. Fractional shares can allow you to build a diversified portfolio even if you don’t have a lot to invest. 

SoFi allows fractional shares trading in more than 4,000 stocks and ETFs including popular companies such as Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN) and Tesla (TSLA). The offering gives SoFi a leg up on other brokers that don’t offer fractional shares at all or only offer them on reinvested dividends. 

Crypto trading

SoFi also sets itself apart by being one of the few brokers to offer cryptocurrency trading. While other brokers offer futures trading or ETFs associated with crypto, SoFi lets you trade digital coins directly. You’ll be able to trade about 30 different coins, including popular coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin

You can start trading crypto with just $10, but note that SoFi charges a 1.25 percent markup, which is higher than other brokers that offer crypto trading such as Interactive Brokers and Webull. Crypto enthusiasts who are only looking to trade the most popular coins may feel more comfortable with a more established broker like SoFi rather than a dedicated crypto exchange. 

Commission-free stocks and ETFs

You won’t have to worry about commissions eating into your investment returns thanks to SoFi offering commission-free trading of stocks and ETFs. This has become the industry standard after leading brokers such as Charles Schwab and Fidelity cut commissions to zero in 2019. 

Historically, these pesky trading fees could have a big impact on the ultimate returns you earn over your investing life. Over long time periods, even small differences in the return you earn can have a major impact on the value of your investments due to the effects of compounding. 

Mobile app

SoFi’s mobile app is easy to use and allows you to track your finances all in one place. Whether you use SoFi for its checking and savings accounts or are looking to trade stocks, you can access everything you need in the app. 

It’s simple to place a trade or just check in on your portfolio’s value when you’re on the go. Not all brokers offer access to all accounts through mobile apps, so SoFi stands out here.

Cons: Where SoFi Active Investing could improve

No options or mutual fund trading

One major drawback of SoFi’s brokerage platform is that you won’t be able to trade options or mutual funds. The lack of options trading could be a big deterrent to active traders who use options in the hopes of boosting their returns. Firstrade, Robinhood and Webull all offer commission-free option trades for those customers looking to be active traders. 

While the lack of mutual fund trading is surprising and rare in the brokerage industry, SoFi does offer ETF trading. ETFs have a lot in common with mutual funds and even have some advantages such as greater liquidity and lower minimum investments. If mutual fund trading is important to you, you might consider Interactive Brokers or E-Trade. 

Account fees

While SoFi emphasizes its low costs, it does still charge account fees for a variety of different actions. You’ll pay $25 for an outgoing wire transfer, $75 to transfer your account to another firm and a $20 IRA closing fee. There are also fees for paper statements and participating in an IPO.

These fees aren’t likely to be regular occurrences, but they still eat into the returns investors earn and can be sizable for those who manage small portfolios. Fees are almost always a negative for investors.

Limited research offering

SoFi doesn’t offer much in the way of investment research for customers. You’ll get some basic stock pages with key information, but it doesn’t come close to matching what is available through other brokers such as Fidelity or Merrill Edge. Serious investors expect access to research from a variety of sources, so it would benefit SoFi to boost its offering here. 

To be sure, SoFi does offer a solid educational site that can be helpful to new investors who are looking to understand basic terms and concepts. You can even get ideas for how to set your own financial goals and which investment strategies might be the best fit for you.

Review methodology

Bankrate evaluates brokers and robo-advisors on factors that matter to individual investors, including commissions, account fees, available securities, trading platforms, research and many more. After weighting these objective measures according to their importance, we then systematically score the brokers and robo-advisors and scale the data to ensure that you are seeing the top options among a field of high-quality companies. Read our full methodology.