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SogoTrade Review

The StockBrokers.com annual review (9 years running) takes six months to complete and produces over 30,000 words of research each year. Here's how we test.

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.

Review Summary

Rank: 10th (of 16)

In today’s low-cost world, where big brands also offer trades for less than $5, SogoTrade struggles to compete.

Benefits

  • Discounted active trader commission rates for stocks and options.
  • The SogoOptions platform will satisfy casual and advanced options traders.

Considerations

  • Confusing platform offerings.
  • Mobile trading is extremely basic.
  • Poor research offering.

Special Offer:

  • Trades as low as $2.88 + 100 free trades. Switch to SogoTrade! Learn More

Commissions & Fees

Rank: 13th (of 16)

SogoTrade charges $4.88 for all equity trades. For customers seeking further discounts, this base commission rate can be reduced in several unique ways.

Benefits

  • 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.

Considerations

  • 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.

Further Reading

Fees Comparison

FeatureSogoTradeFirstradeTD AmeritradeFidelity E*TRADE
Minimum Deposit$500.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$500.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade)$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
Commission-Free ETFs0all313500295
View all 23 data points

Platforms & Tools

Rank: 9th (of 16)

When it comes to trading platforms and tools, despite offering five different platforms, SogoTrade underwhelms when compared to industry leaders.

Benefits

  • 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.

Considerations

  • 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.

Gallery

Further Reading

Tools Comparison

FeatureSogoTradeFirstradeTD AmeritradeFidelity E*TRADE
Web Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields491351491125
Charting - Drawing Tools125222233
Charting - Indicators / Studies5258411166118
Option Chains - Total Columns228332630
Streaming TV No No Yes Yes Yes
Paper Trading Yes No Yes No Yes
View all 59 data points

Research

Rank: 9th (of 16)

SogoTrade offers its customers little to no fundamental research, and falls far behind similarly priced brokers.

Benefits

  • None.

Considerations

  • 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.

Gallery

Research Comparison

FeatureSogoTradeFirstradeTD AmeritradeFidelity E*TRADE
Research - Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stock Research - Reports117124
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
View all 60 data points

Customer Service

Rank: 8th (of 16)

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.

Results

  • 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

Mobile Trading

Rank: 10th (of 16)

SogoTrade’s mobile trading experience has its high points and low points. Overall, it meets the industry standard.

Benefits

  • Apple Watch support.
  • Streaming real-time quotes throughout the app.

Considerations

  • 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.

Gallery

Further Reading:

Mobile Apps Comparison

FeatureSogoTradeFirstradeTD AmeritradeFidelity E*TRADE
iPhone App Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Android App Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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
View all 52 data points

Offering of Investments

Rank: 13th (of 16)

Beyond a basic offering of stock and options trading, SogoTrade has little to offer investors.

Benefits

  • 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.

Considerations

  • Mutual funds trading supported only by phoning in orders.
  • No fixed-income trading supported.
  • No commission-free ETFs offered.

Further Reading

Offering Comparison

FeatureSogoTradeFirstradeTD AmeritradeFidelity E*TRADE
Stock Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs52444
Futures Trading No No Yes No Yes
Forex Trading No No Yes No No
Mutual Funds (No Load)99645234518540316266
Advisor Services No No Yes Yes Yes
View all 40 data points

Final Thoughts

Rank: 10th (of 16)

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 our 2019 Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 16 different online brokers over a period of six months. How we test.


Blain Reinkensmeyer

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.

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. 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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