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Updated on Wednesday, July 28, 2021
SogoTrade is a discount broker that offers few frills, but has the basic bones to attract some high-volume traders looking to save a few bucks. It doesn’t provide the sophisticated, robust tools that many well-experienced traders will likely want, and its limited research and education resources don’t make it a particularly great choice for beginners either.
SogoTrade is best for high-volume traders with some experience. It also may be an attractive choice for those who speak Chinese, as SogoTrade offers dedicated support for Chinese-speaking customers and its tools can easily be translated into Chinese as well.
|No minimum deposit|
|Sign-up bonus||None offered currently|
- What SogoTrade offers and who it’s for
- SogoTrade fees and costs
- SogoTrade investing tools and research
- SogoTrade user experience
- SogoTrade investor education
- SogoTrade security
- Alternatives to SogoTrade to consider
What SogoTrade offers and who it’s for
SogoTrade offers a number of online trading platforms that allow users to tap into a variety of tools from nearly any device. SogoOnline is its basic online platform, and SogoTrader is a more advanced, customizable platform. For options trading, there’s SogoOptions, while SogoElite is a downloadable platform for stocks and options. The company also offers a mobile platform (SogoMobile), an app (SogoApp) and an Application Program Interface (API). While choice is good, figuring out which one to use and how to maneuver between them could be overwhelming, especially for beginning investors.
SogoTrade offers users a fairly wide variety of assets including stocks, ETFs and options. Customers can also trade cryptocurrency through Apex Crypto. For those who want more help with trading decisions, SogoTrade also offers robo-advisor accounts they call “power portfolios.” With this option, customers answer a few questions to evaluate their risk and timeline, and then the company’s rebalancing technology will build and manage their portfolio.
- “Get Paid to Trade” program: High-volume traders may be able to bring in a bit of extra income as SogoTrade offers $1 per 1,000 shares traded on qualifying limit orders.
- Cryptocurrency trading If you want to trade cryptocurrency, SogoTrade provides access to Apex Crypto in all U.S. states except for New York and Alabama.
- Chinese language support: With the click of a button, SogoTrade’s website and tools can be translated into Chinese. The broker also has a nationwide service center for Chinese-speaking customers.
- Limited education and research resources: While SogoTrade does offer some resources, they’re basic and quite dry. The Q&A that’s part of its “Education Center” reads like a textbook, and its “Trade Ideas” section is limited and populated primarily with third-party resources.
- Potentially confusing fees: SogoTrade’s fees may be confusing to fully understand. For example, while there’s $0 commission for some stocks and ETFs, there are fees for market orders and a contract fee for options.
- Separate platform for options trading: Instead of one platform for seamless trading of all securities, users have to use a separate one for trading options.
SogoTrade fees and costs
|Option trading fees||Commission: $0
Contract fee: $0.50
Broker-assisted trades: $25 plus $0.50/contract
|Stock trading fees||Commission on limit orders: $0
Commission on market orders: $2.88
Commission on non-qualified odd lot orders: $2.88
Broker-assisted trades: $25
|Mutual fund trading fees||Broker-assisted commission: $25|
|Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)||IRA annual fee: $25
Inactivity fee: $0
Maintenance fee: $0
Incoming transfers: $0
Outgoing transfers: $75
Other transfers: $50 and up
|Banking fees||ACH transfer: $0
Regular check withdrawal: $5 (domestic)/$10 (foreign)
Overnight check withdrawal: $50 (domestic)/$100 (international)
Other fees for wire transfers, returned payments and stop payments: $30 and up
SogoTrade fees aren’t as straightforward as some other online brokers, and they vary depending on what you’re trading. While the broker touts no commission fees for basic stock and options trading — which is common for many other brokers, including Charles Schwab and Robinhood— there is a commission fee of $2.88 for orders of less than 100 shares. In addition, there’s a per-contract fee of $0.50 for options, which some competitors, like Robinhood, don’t charge. And if you want to make a broker-assisted trade, that’ll cost you $25 for either stock, mutual fund or options trading, with an additional $0.50 per trade for options.
Depending on how you prefer to manage your account, there are a plethora of banking fees you may encounter. For example, if you want a check withdrawal, it will cost you $5 for domestic ones or $10 for foreign ones. If you want it overnight it will cost even more — $50 for domestic withdrawals and $100 for international. There are also transfer fees and other miscellaneous fees that may add up.
While SogoTrade doesn’t currently offer a sign-up bonus, if you’re trading limit orders, you can earn $1 for every 1,000 shares traded through SogoTrade’s Get Paid to Trade (GP2T) program. However, that promotion only applies to qualifying limit orders, those that are at least one penny below the ask price for a buy, or at least one penny above the bid for a sale.
SogoTrade investing tools and research
The SogoTrade Morning Call is a free daily newsletter for its customers, presenting research on eight featured stocks and ETFs each day before the markets open. The content is provided by Trading Central, a third-party research team.
SogoTrade customers have free access to ValueEngine services, which provide forecasting and valuation for stocks. They also receive a monthly newsletter from ValueEngine.
SogoPlay provides free tools to help investors evaluate risk and reward when it comes to their trading choices. The company provides trade scores for options and equities and lets you compare trading ideas for them.
SogoTrade user experience
In general, SogoTrade has the basic online tools that traders need — they’re just not necessarily the most robust or easiest to use. Particularly when it comes to research and education, SogoTrade seems stuck in a middle ground in which the limited offerings don’t suit the needs of either beginner or advanced traders.
In addition, choosing among the trading platforms and figuring out the various fees may be overwhelming for investors that are just getting started. More experienced traders may find the experience more clunky than other more straightforward platforms, such as Thinkorswim or E*TRADE.
Support is available through email and by telephone Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time. A Chinese support line offers services 24 hours a day, Monday- through Friday.
SogoTrade investor education
SogoTrade’s education center is as basic as it comes, starting with questions and answers for true trading beginners, such as “What is a stock?” It covers the mechanics of trading, advice on how to select a stock and an overview of options and margins, as well as a glossary. Experienced traders will likely have no use for this section, but for those just getting started in the trading world, it may be useful — though it is quite dry, and offers no videos or interactive tools.
- Insured through FINRA and the SIPC
- Data encryption
- Personal Information Number (PIN)
SogoTrade is a member of FINRA and the SIPC, and its accounts are protected up to $500,000. SogoTrade also provides additional insurance of up to $37.5 million on accounts. However, protection does not apply to cryptocurrency investments, which are made through another company — Apex Crypto.
SogoTrade’s account protection methods are fairly basic: It uses tools you’d expect from any service, like data encryption and secure URLs. Users also create a PIN, as well as a personal image and phrase, to further protect their account. The broker doesn’t offer two-factor identification or biometric authentication, such as fingerprint or face recognition.
Alternatives to SogoTrade to consider
SogoTrade is a basic online trading platform that requires no minimum deposit. Customers can use it to trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options. While there’s no commission fee for trading stocks and ETFs, there are a variety of fees that traders may encounter beyond that.
For example, some competitors, such as TradeStation, offer no contract fee for options, while SogoTrade charges $0.50. And some competitors, like E*TRADE, offer no-transaction-fee mutual funds — SogoTrade only offers broker-assisted mutual fund trades, which cost $25. SogoTrade customers can also trade cryptocurrency, but it’s done through a third party — and customers living in New York and Alabama aren’t eligible for this option.
SogoTrade may be especially attractive to Chinese-speaking customers as the site and tools can be translated into Chinese with the click of a button. Overall, SogoTrade’s educational and research offerings are limited, and there’s no option to upgrade to more robust ones.
In order to find the best online discount broker to meet their individual needs, investors may want to compare the offerings of competitors, such as Firstrade and Robinhood.
|Average cost per trade||Minimum deposit||Best for...|
|SogoTrade||Varies depending on security||$0||Chinese-speaking traders|
|Firstrade||$0 for stocks, options and mutual funds||$0||Hands-on traders|
|Robinhood||$0 for commissions on trades||$0 for a brokerage account, $2,000 for Gold account (required for margin)||Beginning and advanced traders|
SogoTrade vs. Firstrade
Overall, Firstrade is less expensive than SogoTrade. This broker doesn’t charge trading fees or commissions on stocks, options, ETFs or mutual funds, while SogoTrade does charge fees for some of these trades (and particularly options). While SogoTrade charges some transfer fees, Firstrade offers a rebate of up to $200 if you incur a transfer fee from your former broker.
If you’re looking to trade cryptocurrency, however, then SogoTrade may be a better choice — Firstrade doesn’t offer access to cryptocurrency trading, while SogoTrade does. Firstrade doesn’t offer a robo-advisor product either, so it may be better for hands-on traders. Neither broker provides access to futures or foreign exchange (forex) trading.
SogoTrade vs. Robinhood
While SogoTrade and Robinhood both offer multiple platforms for trading, Robinhood is generally regarded as easier to use and more intuitive. Robinhood’s basic platform doesn’t offer deep education and research offerings, though customers can access resources through Robinhood Gold. Still, this higher tier comes with a fee — $5 per month for margin up to $1,000 or 5% annually for margin above $1,000.
Both SogoTrade and Robinhood offer the ability to trade options; however, at SogoTrade, there’s a $0.50 contract fee, while Robinhood charges neither commission fees nor contract fees. Both allow cryptocurrency trading, as well — however, Robinhood offers the ability to do so directly, while SogoTrade simply connects customers with Apex Crypto.
All rates and fees mentioned in this article are accurate as of the date of publishing.
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