|Fees||$0/.25% for accounts over $10,000 if not a SoFi borrower|
|Types of Accounts available||Taxable, Joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA|
|Advisor type||Robo-Advisor + Human Financial Advisors|
|Asset Under Management||$12 billion|
|Access||Android/IOS Application & Website|
What is a Robo-Advisor?
A Robo-Advisor is a digital platform that provides financial advice or investment management online with little or no human intervention. They are algorithmic driven and collect information about their client’s financial situation and future goals to offer investment recommendations. Robo-Advisors typically automate and optimize passive investing for their clients for long-term wealth growth. Quality Robo-Advisors offer easy digital account setup, detailed goal planning, portfolio management, great security, attentive customer service and fees no 0%-.5%, much lower than a human, financial advisor of around 1%-2%.
SoFi was founded in 2011 by Stanford Graduate Business Students; Mike Cagney, Dan Macklin, James Finnigan, and Ian Brady. The founders wanted to create a company to provide more affordable loans to students. Initially, they were able to raise $2 million as a pilot program. Subsequently, they raised $77 million in 2012 and an additional $500 million in 2013 where they began their student loan refinancing and became the first company to provide refinancing options for federal and private student loans. As the company grew, it raised even more money and began to expand into a new product like mortgages and personal loans. SoFi continued to grow at an unprecedented pace, raising more and more money throughout the 2010s, then in 2019, they launched SoFi Money and SoFi Invest. SoFi might be new to the game when it comes to the investing and robo-advisory game, but it was founded a decade ago on sound lending principles.
SoFi’s mission is to help people reach financial independence to realize their ambitions. They’re not marketing themselves as a get-rich company. Their idea of financial independence is to have their customer’s money work for the life they want. And as you can see from their history of innovation and growth, they are continuously building ways to give their members the tools they need to make that happen.
Unique Features of SoFi
I’ll just start and say, SoFi was founded on loans, so loans are what they are good at. If you’re looking at not only funding an investment account but also taking out student, personal, private, business or mortgage loans, it might not be the worst idea to have all your finances in one place.
All loans require a good credit score of at least 680 with good income.
The loan process is completely digital, with no need for phone calls or going into a bank.
SoFi has no loan fees, late fees, and you won’t be penalized if you pay off your balance early.
This is SoFi’s bread and butter, what it was founded in 2011. To receive refinancing, one must be a graduate of an accredited university and graduate programs. Though there is no minimum income required to apply, we’ve found that the average income of a recipient is around $100,000. Interest rates vary but expect to pay 3.89% APR on fixed loans or 2.47% APR on variable. Expect to get a reduction of 0.25% if you automatically deduct from a bank account. Loans come in 5, 10, and 20 years. Another crazy feature about the is program is that SoFi also offers career coaching, community, and networking events. There’s even an entrepreneurial program that gives customers access to mentors and venture capitalists.
Mortgages through SoFi are not for everyone. 61% of SoFi’s business is jumbo loans. They offer and minimum down payment as little as 10% with loan sizes up to $3 million. They offer 15, 30, and 7/1 adjustment rates (a fixed-rate for the first 7 years, followed by rates that can adjust each year after). 7/1 rates require 25% down. Loans can be approved within 28 days, which is much lower than the standard. Loans can no be more than 80% of the property value for a cash-out refinance and 90% for other mortgage refinancings. Everything is online, which can be a tad nerve-racking with dealing with the largest purchase in your life, SoFi does offer loan officers and representatives to provide help via phone.
Personal loans are fantastic for consolidating credit card debt, home improvements, relocation assistance, medical procedures, and more. SoFi offers ease of use system that can finance loans from $5,000 to $100,000. Like anything with SoFi, there is a barrier to entry. Average loan recipients have an income of over $100,000 and have a credit score of over 700. They offer a fixed rate and variable rate loans ranging anywhere from 5.99% APR – 16.19% APR. Loan terms are 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 years.
Who knows where cryptocurrencies will be going in the future, they have had a long way to go after their peak in 2018 and subsequent fall. However, I’ve been seeing more and more investment companies adding cryptocurrency to their trading platforms. The days of going to sketchy crypto brokerages after funding your wallet through Coinbase are gone; now crypto is available to everyone SoFi will even give you an extra $25 for free if you use their service.
No Management Fee with Live Humans
You’ll be hard-pressed to have live human advisors for the low price of FREE. SoFi stands out from the competition here. All clients have unlimited access to financial advisors that are non-commissioned as well as certified as CFPs (Certified Financial Planners) or similar, where not all human advisors are certified at other sites.
Financial advisors are available via video of phone between 10am and 7pm Eastern, Monday through Friday. Technical service is available Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to midnight Eastern. Weekend technical service hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern.
Services Provided by SoFi Investing
It is what it sounds like; Active Investing is any brokerage account. They give you access to commission-free trade to manage your money as you see fit. Not always for beginners, but it allows you to buy that Tesla stock you’ve been eyeing. Simple as Robinhood, E-Trade, Charles Schwab, etc.
Active Investing (Self-Directed IRA)
Again what it sounds like, you can rollover or start your IRA through SoFi and actively manage it.
No, the most advanced financial planning tool out there for financial planning and investing. But it’s simple, if you’re new to investing, you like simple and cheap, this might be perfect for you. It might not be super-advanced, but you always have an opportunity to speak to a real person about what choice is right.
SoFi Money is a step beyond some of it’s competitors when it comes to online banking. They take no fees, offer cashback rewards with recurring $500 monthly deposits, which is a rarity. An interest rate of 0.25% and my favorite no ATM at 55,000 ATMs worldwide, not just nationally.
In summary, if you’re not a sophisticated investor that is looking for a low-cost option that is easy to use and access to a financial advisor, with the addition of access to various different loan options, this might be the one for you. Some say that SoFi is ideal for young investors and potential students if you’re looking for loans. SoFi does not offer tax-loss harvesting or Social Responsible Investing (SRI), and it also has fairly limited investment options. If you’re a bit more of an advanced investor looking to optimize your portfolio, you might want to look elsewhere.