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Established in 1986, SogoTrade is an online broker whose goal is to provide discounted commissions for its customers, while still offering competitive industry tools.
As commission rates have gone down across the industry over the past several years, full-service brokerage competitors have caught up with SogoTrade on base rate commissions. Unfortunately, SogoTrade would require a significant drop in base commission rates to reassert itself as a provider of value for investors.
Founded in 1986, SogoTrade is an online discount brokerage that charges $4.88 base commissions and supports Chinese-speaking customers. Unfortunately, despite offering five trading platforms for stocks and options, SogoTrade struggles to stand out against the best brokers.
- Discounted active trader commission rates for stocks and options.
- The SogoOptions platform will satisfy casual and advanced options traders.
- Confusing platform offerings.
- Mobile trading is extremely basic.
- Poor research offering.
- Trades as low as $2.88 + 100 free trades. Switch to SogoTrade! Open Account
Commissions & Fees
SogoTrade charges $4.88 for all equity trades. For customers seeking further discounts, this base commission rate can be reduced in several unique ways.
- For customers who make over 149 trades per quarter, the rate is reduced to $2.88 a trade.
- Alternatively, SogoTrade allows its customers to prepay for trades at a discounted rate of $3.88 per trade (minimum 20 trades purchased; trades expire after one year). Prepay for 50 trades and the rate is further discounted to $2.88 per trade.
- At the $4.88 base charge, SogoTrade is right in line with household brands Fidelity and Charles Schwab, which both charge $4.95 per trade.
- One of SogoTrade’s key competitors, Firstrade, lowered its base commission rate to $0 in 2018, yielding far better value for investors.
|Stock Trade Fee (per trade)||$4.88||$0.00||$6.95||$4.95||$6.95|
|ETF Trade Fee||$4.88||$0.00||$6.95||$4.95||$6.95|
|Options Base Fee||$4.88||$0.00||$6.95||$4.95||$6.95|
|Options Per Contract Fee||$0.50||$0.00||$0.75||$0.65||$0.75|
|Mutual Fund Trade Fee||$25.00||$0.00||$49.99||$49.95||$19.99|
|Broker Assisted Trades Fee||$25.00||$19.95||$44.99||$32.95||$25.00|
|Commissions & Fees|
Platforms & Tools
When it comes to trading platforms and tools, despite offering five different platforms, SogoTrade underwhelms when compared to industry leaders.
- Once you get past the names and confusion of which platform is which, the good news is that you can quickly identify which platform is right for you. SogoOnline and SogoTrader are built for basic to intermediate investors, while SogoOptions and SogoElite will make advanced options and equity traders feel right at home. Finally, the SogoPlay platform is really more an options research tool than a trading platform.
- SogoPlay simplifies options trade ideation and offers good value to customers.
- SogoElite, SogoTrade’s active trader platform for stock trading, requires a $100,000 minimum portfolio balance for access.
- 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 new investors. SogoOptions does a good job 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-and-loss charts. The downside to SogoOptions is its outdated interface.
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Watch Lists - Total Fields||49||13||514||91||125|
|Charting - Drawing Tools||12||5||22||22||33|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||52||58||411||166||118|
|Option Chains - Total Columns||22||8||33||26||30|
|Platforms & Tools|
SogoTrade offers its customers little to no fundamental research, and falls far behind similarly priced brokers.
- Beyond basic stock and ETFs research, SogoTrade offers no research for investments such as mutual funds or fixed income.
- SogoTrade offers its customers only one third-party research report provider, ValueEngine. Meanwhile, for $.07 more per stock trade (base rate), Fidelity and Charles Schwab offer customers 12 and eight, respectively.
|Research - Stocks||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Stock Research - Reports||1||1||7||12||4|
|Research - ETFs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Research - Mutual Funds||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Research - Fixed Income||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Research - Futures||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Research - Forex||No||No||Yes||No||No|
To score Customer Service, StockBrokers.com partners with customer experience research group Confero to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the United States. For our 2019 Broker Review, 300 customer service tests were conducted over ten weeks.
- Average Connection Time: <1 minute
- Average Net Promoter Score: 7.9 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 7.9 / 10
- Overall Score: 8.14 / 10
- Ranking: 8 th (16 brokers)
- View Infographic
SogoTrade’s mobile trading experience has its high points and low points. Overall, it meets the industry standard.
- Apple Watch support.
- Streaming real-time quotes throughout the app.
- For trading, only simple stock and single-leg options trades can be made.
- Charting functionality is limited. No technical studies can be added to charts.
- No alerts functionality.
Mobile Apps Comparison
|Apple Watch App||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Stock Alerts - Basic Fields||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Charting - After Hours||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Offering of Investments
Beyond a basic offering of stock and options trading, SogoTrade has little to offer investors.
- SogoTrade offers a catered experience for Chinese-American customers. This includes a Chinese version of its website and Chinese customer service, among other features. For Chinese-American investors, Firstrade provides a superior offering at a lower cost.
- Mutual funds trading supported only by phoning in orders.
- No fixed-income trading supported.
- No commission-free ETFs offered.
|OTCBB / Pink Sheets||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Complex Options Max Legs||5||2||4||4||4|
|Options Exercising (Web)||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Options Exercising (Phone)||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bonds (US Treasury)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mutual Funds (No Load)||9964||5234||5185||4031||6266|
|Mutual Funds (Total)||11784||12603||12418||11782||9062|
|Offering of Investments|
SogoTrade presents itself as a deep discount broker with great tools that will satisfy active traders and casual investors. While SogoTrade does offer customers a diversity of platforms and low commission rates, there are noticeable holes throughout its offering.
For the StockBrokers.com ninth annual review published in February 2019, a total of 4,544 data points were collected over six months and used to score brokers. Each broker completed an in-depth data profile and provided executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting. This makes StockBrokers.com home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry.
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About the author: Blain Reinkensmeyer As Head of Research at StockBrokers.com, Blain Reinkensmeyer has 18 years of trading experience with over 1,000 trades placed during that time. Referenced as a leading expert on the US online brokerage industry, Blain has been quoted in The New York Times, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among others.