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SogoTrade review

SogoTrade review – The no frills stock broker

Moneywise.com / Moneywise.com

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Simply put, SogoTrade is a no-frills discount stock brokerage firm. With this broker, it's possible to get some of the cheapest commissions for stock trading that we've been able to find, but there's a catch. Read on to find out why.

3.8

Commissions and fees4.8

Customer service3.5

Ease-of-use3.8

Tools and resources3.5

Investment options3.5

Account options4

SogoTrade is a no-frills discount online stock broker. There are no maintenance fees, and commissions are low. However, while its pricing model should appeal to active traders, investors seeking more sophisticated features should look elsewhere.

SogoTrade seems great if you are just trading with stocks and ETFs, but with mutual funds it's not recommended. If you are a passive investor, SogoTrade is definitely not right for you.

Since Vanguard is without a doubt the low-cost leader in index funds of this nature, it might be a better option. Active traders are a better fit to SogoTrade's pricing model. Although its options trading prices are low, SogoTrade lacks the features a derivatives trader really needs.

SogoTrade offers international trading accounts and has customers in nearly 140 countries. Chinese-language customers will enjoy content in both English and Chinese, along with 24-hour Chinese language support and customer service.

Let's discuss the various characteristics and features of SogoTrade.

SogoTrade features

Minimum investment
$0
Stock/ETF trades
$4.88
Options trades
$4.88 + $0.50/contract
Mutual funds
25
Investment types
Stocks, OTC/penny stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options
Accounts types
Taxable, Joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA, trusts, limited partnerships, partnerships, coverdell
Broker assisted trade
25
Virtual trades
Customer service
Phone: M-F 7A-8P ET; Email; Chinese Language Phone: M-F 24 hours
  • Free Trading Ideas – Account holders receive free access to research tools including the Morning Call newsletter, ValuEngine reports and Options Play.
  • SogoMarketRiders (New) – SogoTrade's newest offering provides asset management solutions.
  • Application Programming Interface (New) – SogoTrade's new platform lets you build your own trading app, access your account data, view market data and more.

SogoTrade fees and commissions

As is often the case in today's investing environment, where we seem to have many different brokerages competing for our business/money, the fees, commissions and account minimum details are really what drive people's decisions about which investing house to go with.

SogoTrade offers prepaid packages that can help you save money. A 50-trade package costs $2.88 per trade, while a 20-trade package costs $3.88 per trade. In addition, if you deposit $10,000 or more when you get started with SogoTrade, you'll be locked in at a $2.88 commission rate per trade for 12 months.

There's no recurring/periodic account maintenance or inactivity fees on individual, taxable accounts. Online statements are free, but if you want a paper statement, it's $5 month. IRA accounts, unfortunately, have a $30 annual fee, but there's no fee for opening an IRA.

Visit the website for the complete listing of SogoTrade's fees. It also features a very nice comparison of SogoTrade's fees with other major brokerages.

Highlights E*TRADE Ally Invest TD Ameritrade
Rating 4.75/5 4.5/5 4.5/5
Min. investment $0 $0 $0
Stock trades $0/trade $0/trade $0/trade
Crypto trades
Mutual funds
Virtual trading
- Open account Learn more Open account
- E*Trade review Ally Invest review TD Ameritrade review

User experience

Overall, SogoTrade's online account/user interface offers the tools you need to execute trades without many added bells-and-whistles (which is what you'd come to expect from a low-cost leader in online stock trading).

Once you fill out all of the account sign-up forms and log in to your account, you'll be directed to a “starting” screen. Shown on this screen are the normal account details one would expect to see, including your cash balance, market value of your holdings, amount of cash you have available for trading, and total account equity. The screen also shows the current status of any open stock trading orders you have, as well as a snapshot of your portfolio positions and the market value of your total portfolio over time.

In order to get a more detailed view of what's going on with your portfolio holdings, you can navigate on the “start” page to the “account” drop-down menu and click the “account positions” menu selection.

Along with showing the normal investment holding details (ticker symbol, price per share, no. of shares, total purchase cost, market value, and % and $ value gain/loss), one fairly interesting feature of this tool is that it displays a pie chart that shows a breakdown of your portfolio by long and short positions. As you can see in the screenshot below, I don't currently have any short positions; however, this is a very useful tool to quickly capture the overall components of your portfolio.

Another important SogoTrade online account feature that I almost always have to use at tax time to tally up my stock gains/losses each year is the “account history” menu feature. An example of what this feature looks like is shown in the slideshow below. Using this feature, you can look up your stock purchase, dividend, commission, and selling records from a two year period.

Pros & cons

Pros

Pros

  • No-frills interface

  • No maintenance fees

  • Low commissions

Cons

Cons

  • Annual IRA fee

Best for:

  1. 1.

    Low minimums

  2. 2.

    DIYers

  3. 3.

    Options traders

  4. 4.

    Penny stock traders

Summary

On the positive, SogoTrade is currently among the lowest-cost brokerages available, although you have to be a frequent trader or prepay for trades.

However, since it's a low-cost leader in stock trades, do not expect a lot of extra bells and whistles or help to research which stock to buy. SogoTrade assumes that you have done this research independently.

Additionally, SogoTrade is not the best or lowest-cost option for purchasing mutual funds. If you are looking to invest in that type of security, we would recommend another broker. In addition, many commission-free ETFs available at other firms can save you considerable transaction fees as well.

For an IRA, SogoTrade is not recommended. There are many other low-cost brokers like Ally Invest that don't charge for maintaining an IRA account.

Larry Ludwig Freelance Contributor

Larry Ludwig is a freelance contributor for Moneywise.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.