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Overall

SogoTrade provides customers with competitive regular stock and option trades at the expense of a quality all-around, balanced client experience.

Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
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Best in Class
  • Commissions & Fees
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By Blain Reinkensmeyer on February 21st, 2017 | Last updated: March 21st, 2017

Dislikes
  • Outdated website
  • Mobile trading is extremely basic
  • Poor fundamental research
Special Offer 100 free trades for 30 days, then $3 trades for 12 months Learn More


SogoTrade Review

For our 2017 Stock Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked sixteen different online brokers over a period of six months. In total, we conducted 349 customer service tests, collected 5,277 data points, and produced over 40,000 words of research. Learn more.

SogoTrade is a deep discount online broker whose goal is to provide rock-bottom commissions for its customers, while still providing competitive industry tools.

Is SogoTrade the ultimate value broker or does its heavily discounted trades leave too little investment to achieve perfection in the eyes of customers? This review will uncover the answer.

Commissions & Fees

SogoTrade charges $5 for all stock trades placed during regular market hours. For clients who make over 149 trades per quarter, the rate is reduced to $3 a trade. Alternatively, SogoTrade allows its customers to prepay for trades at a discounted $4 per trade rate (minimum 20 trades purchase; trades expire after one year).

At the $5 base charge, SogoTrade is right in line with discount competitors OptionsHouse and TradeKing, which both charge $4.95 per trade. Options trades are more clean-cut, a flat $5.00 + $.50 per contract. No gimmicks. SogoTrades’ options commission structure is most similar to OptionsHouse, which charges $4.95 + $.50 per contract.

For mutual fund trades, SogoTrade charges $25, which is more than its discount competitors. The real drawback though is that SogoTrade does not accept web orders. All mutual fund trades must be executed via phone, which is certainly inconvenient for customers.

SogoTradeOptionsHouseTradeKingFirstradeJust2Trade
Stock Trade Fee (flat)$5.00$4.95$4.95$4.95$2.50
Options Base Fee$5.00$4.95$4.95$4.95$2.50
Options Per Contract Fee$0.50$0.50$0.65$0.65$0.50
Broker Assisted Trades Fee$25.00$25.00$20.00$19.95$22.50
Commission Free ETFs050120
Commissions & Fees 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4.5 Stars

Customer Service

For phone support, SogoTrade delivers with extremely quick pickup times. Not once did we have a hold period longer than one minute, with every test seeing a pickup in less than 60 seconds.

For phone support, SogoTrade delivers with extremely quick pickup times. Not once did we have a hold period longer than one minute, with every test seeing a pickup in less than 60 seconds. Once connected, reps were pretty well trained. Each said their name, greeted us warmly, answered all of our questions, and closed the call with a pleasant closer.

Positives aside, we found that less than half the time, phone support reps neglected to offer us contact information if we had further questions, and only half the reps asked if we had any more questions. We frequently ended up getting the same support reps, and overall our testers left feeling that the experience was “good” / borderline “ok.” All data tallied, SogoTrade finished 11th.

Phone support aside, email and live chat were also mixed bags. With email support, responses always came in less than one business day; however, one of our tests never received a response. Live chat connection times were always fast, less than one minute each time; unfortunately, overall opinion scores were extremely inconsistent. See: Best Brokers for Customer Service.

Platforms & Tools

When it comes to trading platforms and tools, SogoTrade has its high points and low points. When I first started using the broker, I was quickly confused by all the different platforms available to me. To provide clarity – there are five platforms in total – I will break them down individually:

  • SogoOnline – Essentially a basic order entry page on the website. Place to make basic stock and option trades as well as review order statuses.
  • SogoTrader – This is SogoTrade’s basic web-based stock-trading platform. Streaming real-time quotes, basic charting, watch lists, and order entry can all be found here.
  • SogoOptions – For options traders, SogoOption is the primary “go to” web-based platform. Functionality is widespread and the platform is well put together.
  • SogoElite – SogoTrade’s desktop platform. Built for advanced and active traders. The platform is a licensed version of ActiveTick, with numerous bells and whistles for stock trading.
  • SogoPlay – The newest platform to be added, SogoPlay is a licensed version of OptionsPlay, which uses technical and fundamental analysis to populate and score different option trade ideas.

Having numerous different platforms is confusing in itself, but naming them all similar names only makes the situation worse. Once you get past the names and confusion of which platform is which, the good news is that you can pretty quickly identify which platform is right for you.

Having numerous different platforms is confusing in itself, but naming them all similar names only makes the situation worse. Once you get past the names and confusion of which platform is which, the good news is that you can pretty quickly identify which platform is right for you. SogoOnline and SogoTrader are good for basic to intermediate investors, while SogoOptions and SogoElite will feel right at home for advanced options and equity traders. Lastly, the SogoPlay platform is really more a research tool than a trading platform. That said, SogoPlay’s user-friendly interface and clean ratings are easy to like for any style of trader.

SogoTrade SogoTrader

All the platforms are made available to all clients at no additional cost, which is a nice plus for customers. The one exception is SogoElite, which requires a $100,000 minimum portfolio balance for access.

SogoTrade SogoElite desktop platform

Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, I appreciate SogoTrader’s simplicity and ease of use; however, the charting is way too basic, even for a newer investor. SogoOptions does a good job in providing casual and advanced options traders the tools they need to succeed: streaming options chains with all the greeks viewable, basic and advanced probability analysis, and clean profit & loss charts. The downside to SogoOptions is its outdated interface. The list goes on for each platform.

SogoTrade option chain

When all 52 variables we score for Platforms & Tools are factored in, SogoTrade is unfortunately, on the whole, pretty weak.

When all 52 variables we score for Platforms & Tools are factored in, SogoTrade is unfortunately, on the whole, pretty weak. SogoTrade scored 59%, which places the broker well in the bottom half of the industry. That said, compared to other discount brokers, SogoTrade is somewhere in the middle, better than Firstrade and Capital One Investing, but worse than TradeKing, OptionsHouse, and Lightspeed. See: Best Brokers for Platforms & Tools.

Research

Like most other discount brokers, SogoTrade offers its customers little to no fundamental research. While customers can perform bare-bones basic research on stocks (balance sheets, income statements, SEC filings) and ETFs (fund descriptions, expense ratios, top 10 holdings), research for mutual funds, pink sheet equities, and fixed income are non-existent. Compared to other discount brokers, SogoTrade falls far behind. See: Best Brokers for Research.

SogoTrade research stock quote

If there’s one plus in SogoTrade’s research offering, it’s the SogoForecaster tool, which includes both stock and ETF screening, analysis, and ratings. The tool has a variety of different pages for users to browse through, but I found the depth and underlying value to be minimal beyond the basic screening capabilities.

SogoTrade stock screener

MobileTrading

And like SogoTrade’s research offering, Mobile Trading is a similar, non-existent experience. SogoTrade only offers a basic iOS iPhone app and Android app, with no support for tablets of any variety. Using the smartphone app, customers can view streaming real-time quotes and watch lists as well as option chains and very basic charts. For trading, only simple stock and single-leg option trades can be made. See: Best Brokers for Mobile Trading.

SogoTrade mobile stock quote

Other Notes

SogoTrade’s website is fairly straightforward to navigate, thanks to the clean primary header menu; however, the design is outdated. Font size, buttons, borders, boxes, etc. all flow cohesively together but clearly need a fresh design. In terms of usability, none of the trade platforms feel similar to one another. I also found it annoying to have to input my pin every time I logged into my account (something few brokers require, or if they do, it’s an optional feature).

Closing Thoughts

SogoTrade presents itself as a deep discount broker with great tools that will satisfy active traders and casual investors alike. While SogoTrade does provide customers with a strong diversity of platforms and competitive commission rates, there are noticeable holes throughout its offering.

SogoTrade’s website is outdated, and conducting research alongside trading on the go is a poor experience at best.

For the investor who can accept these drawbacks in return for discounted trades, SogoTrade could perhaps be a decent fit. SogoTrade’s customer service is responsive and the diversity of platforms does have advantages, as we explored earlier. Make no mistake though, discounted trades come with a price.


Blain Reinkensmeyer

Reviewed by Blain Reinkensmeyer Blain heads research at StockBrokers.com and has been involved in the markets since placing his first stock trade back in 2001. He developed StockBrokers.com's annual review format seven years ago which is respected by broker executives as the most thorough in the industry. Currently maintaining funded accounts with more than a dozen different US regulated online brokers, he's executed thousands of trades through his career and enjoys sharing his experiences through his personal blog, StockTrader.com.


Ratings Overall


Commissions & Fees

Commission Notes

SogoTrade full commissions schedule breakdown below. Note, SogoTrade does charge an account inactivity fee which they call a "Low equity fee". The fee, "$50 annual charged if total account equity drops below $100 (waived if at least 1 trade executed in previous 12 month period)"

Stock Trades - All market and limit order stock trades are $5 per trade up to 100,000 shares. Make over 149 trades per quarter and the rate is reduced to $3 per trade. Alternatively, trades can be prepaid for $4 each with a minimum purchase of 20 trades (trades are good for one year). Broker assisted trades are $25.

For stocks priced under $1.00 ($100 minimum investment), add the greater of $0.0003 / share (10% of principal max) OR 1/4% principal. Penny Stocks (OTCBB and Pink Sheets) may incur additional transaction fees based on DTC charges. These charges can be substantial, so they may be blocked from online trading. In this case, please contact the Trade Desk for more information.

Options Trades - Options trades cost $5.00 plus $.50 per contract. Spreads are only charged a single base rate. Any exercise or assignment costs $15. For broker assisted trades, add $25.

Mutual Funds - Mutual funds trading is not supported for web trades. Instead all orders must be placed via broker assisted (ie phone).

Other Investments - SogoTrade does not currently offer futures, bonds, or forex trading.





Trade Commissions Breakdown

Stock Trade Fee (flat) $5.00
Stock Trade Fee (per share) N/A
Options Base Fee $5.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.50
Options Exercise Fee $15.00
Options Assignment Fee $15.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $25.00
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $25.00
Minimum Deposit $500.00

Margin Rates

Margin Rate Under $24,999.99 9.00%
Margin Rate $25,000.00 to $49,999.99 8.00%
Margin Rate $50,000.00 to $99,999.99 7.00%
Margin Rate $100,000.00 to $249,999.99 5.75%
Margin Rate $250,000.00 to $499,999.99 5.25%
Margin Rate $500,000.00 to $999,999.99 4.75%
Margin Rate Above $1,000,000.00 4.25%

Miscellaneous Fees

Bond Trade Fee N/A
Treasury Trade Fee N/A
IRA Annual Fee $35.00
IRA Closure Fee $60.00
Returned ACH Fee $30.00
Returned Wire Fee $30.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee N/A
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A
Paper Statement Fee $10.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $5.00
Domestic Wire Fee $25.00
International Wire Fee $50.00

Account Features

Offering of Investments

Advisor Services help No
Bonds (Corporate) help No
Bonds (Municipal) help No
Bonds (US Treasury) help No
CDs help No
Clearing Firm help Apex
Commission Free ETFs help 0
Direct Market Routing - Stocks help No
Direct Market Routing - Options help No
DRIPs help Yes
# of Easy to Borrow Stocks help 4170
Forex Trading help No
Futures Trading help No
Member FINRA help Yes
Member SIPC help Yes
Mutual Funds help Yes
Mutual Funds (No Load) help 4642
Mutual Funds (Load) help 7584
Mutual Funds (NTF) help 340
Mutual Funds (Total) help 12222
Mutual Funds Phone Trades help Yes
Mutual Funds Web Trades help No
No Fee IRAs help No
No Inactivity Fees help No
No Minimum Deposit help No
Options Exercising (Web) help No
Options Exercising (Phone) help Yes
Options Trading help Yes
Complex Options Max Legs help 5
Options Trading (Mini) help No
Options Trading (Weekly) help Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets help Yes
Stock Trading help Yes

Customer Service

Phone Support help Yes
Email Support help Yes
Live Chat (Current Clients) help Yes
Live Chat (Prospect Clients) help Yes
24/7 Support help No

Platforms & Tools

Desktop Platform (Windows) help Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac) help No
Web Platform help Yes
Active Trading Platform help SogoElite
Charting - Display Corporate Events help No
Charting - View Historical Trades help No
Charting - Indicators / Studies help 52
Charting - Drawing Tools help 12
Charting - Trade Off Chart help No
Charting - Notes help No
Heat Mapping help Yes
Ladder Trading help No
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks help No
Level 2 Quotes - Options help No
Option Chains - Streaming Real-time help Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns help 22
Option Chains - Quick Analysis help Yes
Options Analysis - P&L Charts help Yes
Options Analysis - Probability Analysis Basic help Yes
Option Analysis - Probability Analysis Adv help Yes
Option Positions - Contract Rolling help Yes
Stock Alerts Delivery - Email help No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Sound help No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Text SMS help No
Streaming Time & Sales help Yes
Streaming TV help No
Trade Hot Keys help No
Virtual Trading help Yes
Watch Lists - Streaming Real-time Quotes help Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields help 49

Research

Research - ETFs help Yes
Research - Mutual Funds help No
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB help No
Research - Fixed Income help No
Misc - Global Markets Overview help Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation Breakdown help No
Misc - Portfolio Builder help Yes
Equity Research - Earnings Analysis help No
Equity Research - Insider Analysis help No
Equity Research - Metric Comparisons help No
Equity Research - SEC Filings help Yes
Equity Research - Social Sentiment help No
Equity Research - Research Reports help 0
ETF Research - Performance Analysis help Yes
ETF Research - Top 10 Holdings help Yes
ETF Research - Morningstar Style Box help No
ETF Research - 3rd Party Ratings help No
ETF Research - Research Reports help No
Mutual Fund Research - Fees Breakdown help No
Mutual Fund Research - Top 10 Holdings help No
Mutual Fund Research - Performance Analysis help No
Mutual Fund Research - Prospectus help No
Mutual Fund Research - 3rd Party Ratings help No
Mutual Fund Research - Research Reports help No
Screener - Stocks help Yes
Screener - ETFs help Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds help No
Screener - Options help No
Screener - Bonds help No

Education

Has Education - Stocks help Yes
Has Education - ETFs help No
Has Education - Options help Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds help No
Has Education - Fixed Income help No
Has Education - Retirement help No
Investor Dictionary help Yes
Client Webinars help No
Client Webinars (Archived) help No
Live Seminars help No
Videos help No
Retirement Calculator help No
Progress Tracking help No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes help No

Mobile Trading

iPhone App help Yes
iPad App help Yes
Apple Watch App help Yes
Android App help Yes
Android Tablet App help Yes
Mobile Site help Yes
Touch ID help No
Account Transfers help No
Quotes (Real-time) help Yes
Quotes (Streaming Real-time) help Yes
Watch List (Real-time) help Yes
Watch List (Streaming Real-time) help Yes
Watch List Syncing help No
Market Movers (Top Gainers) help No
Custom Screening / Scanning help No
Charting - Stock Comparisons help No
Charting - Technical Studies help 0
Charting - After Hours help No
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields help No
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields help No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Push Notifications help No
Customizable Homescreen help No
Streaming TV help No
Trading - Stocks help Yes
Trading - After-Hours help Yes
Trading - Conditional Orders help No
Trading - Mutual Funds help No
Trading - Simple Options help Yes
Trading - Complex Options help No
Trading - Option Rolling help No

Banking

Member FDIC help No
Checking Accounts help No
Savings Accounts help No
Debit Cards help No
Credit Cards help No
Mortgage Loans help No
Mobile Check Deposit help No
Online Bill Pay help No
Mobile Bill Pay help No
ATM Fee Reimbursement help No
No Fee Banking help No
Retail Locations help 0

Order Execution

Receives Payment for Order Flow (Equities) help Yes
Receives Payment for Order Flow (Options) help Yes
Client Liquidity Rebates help No
Financial Information Forum (FIF) Participant help No

Compare SogoTrade

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All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 2/20/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.




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