Active traders are a better fit to SogoTrade's pricing model even if it lacks the features that options traders really need.
- Low minimums
- Options traders
- Penny stock traders
Review of: SogoTrade
Reviewed by: Larry Ludwig
Last modified: October 23, 2018
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.
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 Fees & Features
|Stock Trades||$4.88/trade ($2.88/trade with a 50-trades package)|
|Options Trades||$4.88/trade + $0.50/contract|
|Investment Types||Stocks, Penny Stocks, Options, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds|
|Access||Website, iOS App, Android App|
|Broker Assisted Trade|
|No Fee ETFs|
|Customer Service||Phone: M-F 7A-8P ET; Email; Chinese Language Phone: M-F 24 hours|
|Promotions||Get 100 Free Trades|
- 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.
|Stock Trades||$4.88/trade ($2.88/trade with a 50-trades package)||Free||Free|
|Promotions||Get 100 Free Trades||Get a $200 Transfer Rebate From Firstrade||None|
|Review||—||Read the Review||Read the Review|
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 and Cons
- No-Frills Interface — If you're looking for serious, no-nonsense trading, SogoTrade should appeal to you.
- No Maintenance Fees — SogoTrade does not charge maintenance or inactivity fees on accounts.
- Low Commissions — SogoTrade has some of the cheapest commissions on the market.
- Annual IRA Fee — If you have an IRA with SogoTrade, expect a $30 annual fee.
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 researching 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.
If you’re interested in trying SogoTrade for yourself, check out the current promotions the broker is offering.