SogoTrade is a low-cost, relatively basic broker that does not strive to add value through a robust array of features and products. The platform is designed to comfortably meet the needs of the do-it-yourself crowd, but it is light on advanced features that might be valuable for experienced traders or training programs that could be helpful for novice users.
SogoTrade offers a platform for basic options and equity security trading that is suited for more speculative, active investors. Investors seeking access to fixed income products or more advanced categories such as futures, currencies and commodities will need to look elsewhere. SogoTrade is generally cheaper than the largest retail brokerage services. Other fees apply to a variety of situations. Stocks under $1 are subject to a small surcharge (either 0.25% of principal or $0.0003/share up to 10% of principal). Paper confirmations and statements range from $5 to $15. Options expiration management is $75 plus $0.50 per contract. Wire fund transfers range from $20 to $50 depending on international or domestic destination. IRAs are free to set up, but there is a $35 annual fee and it costs $60 to close an IRA. Accounts and trades are also subject to SEC fees.
SogoTrade is a member of the SIPC, meaning customer accounts are covered for up to $500,000 of securities or $250,000 of cash. Apex Clearing Corporation, which provides clearing services for SogoTrade, has an additional coverage in the event that SIPC limits are exceeded. The Apex policy's limits provide protection for maximum limits of $37.5 million for any one customer's securities and $900,000 for any one customer's cash, and overall securities and cash up to an aggregate of $150 million.
SogoTrade offers sufficient measures in the area of trust and security, but it falls short of being exemplary. The company is a member of both FINRA and the SIPC, and login requires multiple levels of security clearance. However, the broker does not use multi-factor authentication, and it provides no security guarantee for unauthorized account activity. SogoTrade's website does offer some helpful tips for data protection and the appropriate actions in the event that an account holder's identity is compromised.
SogoTrade is somewhat lacking in the special features category. The only special features not covered in other sections of the review are advisory and portfolio management services. Though these are helpful additions to the platform, they do not set SogoTrade apart.
Knowing that SogoTrade is meant to be lean and inexpensive, it should come as no surprise that the platform's special features are limited. Advisory services are available, and robo portfolio management is a strong feature that is gaining prominence in the retail investor world. Nonetheless, investors should look elsewhere for perks like execution price guarantees, speed execution or strategy backtesting functions. This bare-bones approach does not necessarily favor any particular experience level, but it is likely more appealing for the do-it-yourself user who does not expect extensive assistance from a simple trading program.
SogoTrade delivers a functional trading platform for stocks, ETFs and options. The basics for capable trading are all met, and users will see a dashboard with the quotes, charts and journals that investors have come to expect. However, more advanced functions are missing, which could be problematic for certain traders that rely on tools such as custom charting for success. Users relying on custom alerts will also be frustrated with SogoTrade.
SogoTrade covers the basics within its selected product categories, and it offers a sufficiently functional trading platform to users. There are charting functions alongside quotes and recent historical pricing and return statistics. The options-specific trading platform is even more feature rich, with chains, strategies and tools functions. The strategies tab allows users to identify and launch a number of common trading techniques, then review adopted strategies. The tools section includes profitability calculators, risk charts and other functions to quantify potential outcomes. Many traders will enjoy after-hours quotes and trading, which is helpful for people on specific schedules or in other time zones
SogoTrade's desktop experience is less robust than those of larger brokers with a broader soup-to-nuts approach. There are limitations to the number of products offered and some of the tools available for analysis. Advanced technical traders will likely find the charting section lacking. Customization and drawing are limited here, making it difficult to identify and track opportunities and risks in the portfolio. Users cannot save charts workspaces, there is no paper trading available and there is no opportunity to import custom indicators. Conditional orders are also unavailable. Mutual fund products can only be purchased through a broker-assisted channel, which adds to cost.
SogoTrade has a functional mobile platform with the more relevant features to assist account holders. However, the trading platform is relatively spare when compared to the more robust mobile products of competitors. SogoTrade mobile is fine for occasional users who do most of their work from a desktop or laptop, butactive traders who use mobile devices extensively will likely desire a richer set of mobile-specific functionalities.
SogoTrade has developed a mobile-specific trading platform that allows users to conduct many of the same trading activities offered through the desktop version. Quotes are delayed 15 minutes, but this may not matter as much to less active traders. Users can edit and monitor watchlists, place trades and browse market news. SogoTrade also has apps on both iOS and Android platforms. Some of the functions include streaming charts, quotes and watchlists, a news feed and the ability to trade options as well as stocks.
The limited mobile trading platform does not facilitate money transfers, so users will have to visit the SogoTrade website directly to conduct any account management functions. The mobile apps on both the Apple iTunes store and the Google Play store have relatively low reviews: 2.5 and 2.75 stars respectively. Users most often complain that the app won't let them log in.
SogoTrade offers a call center and an email service for customer service matters. Inexperienced investors who are likely to require substantial guidance or attention from customer service may find the limited hours and lack of a dedicated chat service lacking.
In line with its streamlined, low-cost niche, SogoTrade has a customer service system that will be sufficient for many but not all users. Customer service can be reached a variety of ways, but only 13 hours per day. In lieu of hands-on attention, the site contains an FAQ that covers a variety of basic topics including account management, trading, funding and margin trading. Do-it-yourself investors will find the answers to many questions satisfied in the various pages of the help section, and those willing to wait until extended business hours for direct help should find sufficient support. SogoTrade is probably less satisfactory for users expecting more extensive assistance.
SogoTrade does not set itself apart with research or insights, but it does create value for its users through the available materials. Resources for fundamental analysis are more extensive than those for technical analysis, though both strategies are covered. SogoTrade substantially bolsters is research offering by partnering with ValueEngine.
SogoTrade offers a number of basic financial data points along with news, a morning email blast and third-party equity research. Options traders will find value in SogoPlay, which provides resources based on fundamental and technical analysis. SogoPlay offers trade ideas and screening tools, and users can easily translate this advice into action.
SogoTrade offers very little in terms of proprietary research and insights. The trading data and financial information for stocks available on SogoTrade's website is almost all available for free elsewhere, and more in-depth ratio analysis is provided on free and pay-wall-protected platforms elsewhere. SogoTrade necessarily has fewer resources to draw upon than the largest brokers, so they do not benefit from the scale that allows large teams to economically create unique research reports.
SogoTrade does a good job of providing basic information and outsourcing more advanced education topics. Do not expect to become an expert or intermediate trader from the resources available through this brokerage. Instead, SogoTrade can lay a good educational base and help beginners know the relevant topics to dive into deeper elsewhere.
SogoTrade's educational offering reflects its goal to be a low-frills, inexpensive brokerage service. There is a substantial education section, so resources are not lacking for beginners. SogoTrade outsources some materials, notably on options trading. Intermediate and advanced users probably will not find much value in the education section, so there are limited opportunities to advance your development as an investor outside of gaining trading experience from trading.
SogoTrade has limited banking functions due to its focus on streamlined, inexpensive trading functions. It is not costly to move funds from SogoTrade to external banking accounts, but users will need to look elsewhere for their banking needs.
SogoTrade is not meant to offer comprehensive personal financial solutions to account holders. It therefore does not offer checking or savings accounts, mortgage banking or credit cards. Other brokers are probably better suited for investors who want banking services bundled with trading, but that is not SogoTrade's target market. Once again, more advanced investors seeking simple, cheap trading will find their needs met here with limited extraneous frills.