SoFi (2022) Review
It first started out a company focusing on student loan refinancing and personal loans. These days it has broadened into several other areas of personal finance, investment accounts and savings account it offers bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and 17 other coins and tokens.
It was launched in 2011 and expanded into the broker space in 2018. SoFi is regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA and is said to be the best for beginner investors.
What you can invest in
As mentioned above, SoFi.com offers active and automated investing services, loans, credit cards, insurance and crypto. SoFi offers bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and 17 other coins and tokens. SoFi has no minimum amount to open an account, and it has a very basic set of features. Also, you can trade crypto 24/7, weekdays, weekends and holidays. SoFi Invest comes filled with special features and bling’s for its users. There are two main account types you can choose from:
- SoFi Invest active investing – a self-directed investment account where you can trade stocks and ETFs all on your own.
- SoFi Invest automated investing – a robo-advisory-based service where SoFi Invest handles your investments.
SoFi is regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA. It uses a number of tools to secure crypto holdings against theft, including two-factor authentication and SSL encryption. All legal information is transparent and easy to find on their website.
Using a demo trading account means that you don’t need to worry about losing money, you can learn and gain skills before you go live with trading. It’s a good educational tool for beginners. For example, a demo account is important for me, because I am a beginner and testing investing before I go live is a big plus. Unfortunately, SoFi does not offer this.
The fees can vary and change, there may be additional fees that are not mentioned in this review. With SoFi, the account management is free, there is no account minimum and no ATM fees and very low fees on funds. From this point of view, it sounds great.
I am sure there must be some fee somewhere, but I wasn’t lucky finding information when going through their website. Maybe this is something they could do more transparently. Saying that, in their FAQ I found some information: “SoFi will charge a markup of up to 1.25% on crypto transactions.”
Opening an account is seamless, without any hassle and fully digital. While surfing through their website, you have the option to log in or register in the top pane. After clicking the “Get Started” button you have all their products in front of you and just choose what you`re into. If none of these products is what you want, or you want all of them, you can simply just open an account without choosing products.
I chose to go through without selecting a product I am interested in. A small form comes up for you to fill in.
They ask for your name, state, email and a password. Then click the box, that you understand the consent of SoFi and hit “Next”. I was in my account in a second. very quick and simple. In my account, I can pay bills, open another account, download their app or even invite friends.
You can go through the benefits there or look at their tools and calculators. There is a section there called “SoFi Learn” with some articles. And that is where I end. I can’t actually do anything as I am from the Czech Republic and SoFi is only for US residents.
So only US citizens and green card holders can open an active investing account.
Investing with SoFi
I`ve gone through several other reviews to see, what`s the experience with investing here. The app is a user-friendly web trading platform with a simple design. However, it’s missing customizability, price alerts, and other common order types. The app is available on your desktop, mobile and web. It is tailored mainly to the needs of investors rather than traders. It has few customization options, but enough for pros.
The website gives you a happy feeling with the chosen colors light blue and purple. The text on their website is simple, without any difficult expressions. I found everything I needed without a problem. The website worked fine, fast and no delays in loading up pages.
There is no chatbot and if you need to contact them, you have the “Contact Us” option in the page footer. In this section, you have telephone numbers, addresses and emails.
SoFi offers some educational content on its blog, and apparently, they have a YouTube channel with educational videos. I am missing more information for beginners, seminars, videos, “How To” content and so on. I wouldn’t mind some news feed, updates etc.
In the website footer, you can find their social networks. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In. No YouTube channel although I read, they are active there. What I don’t like, is when I click on the social network icon a message comes up:
On Facebook, they have around 250 000 followers, which is not bad. The last post though was in September. So, it doesn’t seem very much up to date to me. What I have noticed, not all comments are positive, there are some “hates” there too.
It’s good they’re “online” but keeping up to date would be good too. And if they are active on YouTube, they should add the icon to their footer, so it’s easily accessed by us.
Advantages and disadvantages
I find it best for beginner investors in the US who are looking for an intuitive online trading experience. The downfall for beginners though is the educational support, which I think it’s lacking, although you can go through some blog articles.
The app and the whole SoFi system are simple, clear and straightforward, but I couldn`t test that as I am not from the US and they do not have a demo account. It’s one of the best in fees, you pay little to nothing and their contact information is filled.
On the other hand, there is no chatbot. And because Facebook is not much up to date, I don’t think you could get some conversation there. The account opening is fast and fully digital. And their product portfolio could be wider.
- Simple and clean app
- Low fees
- Two step logins
- Blog articles
- Only for US residents
- No chatbot
- No demo accounts
- Educational support is low