Our SogoTrade review explores the in’s and the out’s of this deeply discounted broker so you can decide if it’s is right for you. Looking for the lowest commission prices, fastest executions, friendliest customer service and the most advanced trading technology? Well, SogoTrade claims they offer it and you can have it.
Table of Contents
Review of SogoTrade
Established in 1986, SogoTrade is a St. Louis-based online broker that provides service in both Chinese and English. Generally speaking, SogoTrader is a basic platform if you simply want to trade stocks and options. It includes streaming quotes, option chains and reports for analytics.
Our SogoTrade review was done because brokers are an integral part of trading. As a result, you want one that you’re comfortable and happy with.
Our stock trading service reviews brokers for you so you know what you’re in for ahead of time. That way you can be comfortable when it comes to day, swing or options trading.
The 5 Minute Summary
Their fees for active traders are some of the lowest I’ve seen. Hence, investors and options traders who place a lot of trades in a quarter or 12-month period and will find value with SogoTrade.
However if you’re an advanced trader who relies on technical analysis, the Sogo platform won’t be the best for you. The reason why is their platform lacks advanced tools.
About 15% of clients are from Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, as well as Australia. Generally speaking, SogoTrade offers a catered experience for Chinese-American customers. After all, their website includes a Chinese version not to mention Chinese customer service.
The brokerage recently introduced Marketriders, a robo advisory service. In fact, the Marketriders portfolio is fully automated. For instance, it can construct at least 18 various portfolios based on your risk profile.
- LOW COST – Compared to similar brokers
- FEES – As long as 1 trade/year is made you will pay no account minimum, inactivity or software fees
- VARIETY – You can trade domestic stocks, international stocks, options, ETF‘s and mutual funds
- OPTIONS PLATFORM – Easy to understand
- MULTI-LANGUGE SUPPORT – Chinese speakers have support here that other brokers cannot provide
- SPECIALIZED TOOLS – Limited tools and special features in comparison to larger brokers, especially for advanced users
- INVESTMENT OPTIONS – No bonds, fixed income, futures, currencies, or commodities can be traded
- MOBILE TRADING – Mobile trading is extremely limited, cannot trade options
- CHARTING – The features are weak, advanced traders who rely on technical analysis will have difficulty
- CUSTOMER SERVICE – only available 13 hours/day with no live, online chat service
- RESEARCH & EDUCATION – poor research and education offering
With SogoTrade, there is no minimum amount for trades, so you can order a single trade and only pay the set trade fee. For example, the fee for stock trades is $5, unless you order more than 150 trades in one quarter, in which case the $5 drops to $2.88.
Moreover, options trade for $4.88 + $0.50 per contract fee. Once again, this is fairly cheap. Yet, exercises and assignments are a rather expensive at $15 each.
Of all of our trading companies comparisons, this is one of the cheapest for stock trades.
For customers seeking further discounts, this base commission rate can be reduced through their Pre-Paid Commission Package option.
Users have the option of buying trades up front before buying or selling any securities. This is the first time I heard of this and reminds me of buying a pre-loaded credit card.
It’s a unique concept and you can select from two packages. For $77.60 you can have 20 trades which equals $3.88 a trade. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, $144 will get you a 50-trade bundle. Broken down, this is $2.88 a trade.
These trades however, expire after 12 months.
But keep in mind, commission rates have gone down across the industry over the past several years. You will be able to find comparable rates with other household brands like Fidelity and Charles Schwab, which both charge $4.95 per trade.
*For more details, please visit their Commission, Rate and Fees page.
What Are SogoTrade’s Fees and Commissions? (Pricing Review)
- An investment account at SogoTrade can be opened with zero deposit.
- If your account balance goes below $100 you will be charged a $50 low-balance fee.
- 150+ trades QTR: $2.88 (base rate).
- 0-149 trades QTR: $4.88 (base rate).
Get updated pricing here.
To be honest, I am disappointed with the trading platforms. Despite offering 5 different platforms, Sogotrade under performs in this arena.
To begin with, the company has not invested heavily into sophisticated data research. Furthermore the technical charting tools are weak.
Knowing that SogoTrade is meant to be lean and inexpensive, it should come as no surprise that the platform’s special features are limited.
But, it’s not all doom and gloom. Investors who don’t rely heavily on technical indicators are less likely to realize the short-comings of SogoTrade’s platform.
The Desktop Experience
SogoTrade delivers a functional trading platform for stocks, ETFs and options. Open up the dashboard and you’ll see quotes, charts, historical pricing and journals.
Like I mentioned above, day traders who rely on momentum and advanced technical analysis will be disappointed. First, the charting tools are lacking.
Second, you can’t save charts or import custom indicators. Thus, it’s quite difficult to quickly identify a potential trade opportunity.
Look at Options
I am impressed with the options platform. It does a good job providing casual and advanced options traders the tools they need to succeed.
With lots of rich features, streaming options chains, Greeks viewable, and clean profit-and-loss charts, the options trader will be satisfied.
What’s especially helpful is the after-hours quotes and trading. People in other time zones or with limited trading schedules will find this feature handy.
On the other hand, a downside to SogoOptions is its outdated interface.
The Mobile Experience
Much like other brokerages, SogoTrade has jumped onto the mobile band wagon. Their app works on both iOS and Android Platforms.
Once downloaded you’ll see streaming charts, quotes, watchlists, a news feed. And it’s not just stocks but options you can trade. Quotes are delayed 15 minutes, but this may not matter as much to less active traders.
Don’t jump for joy just yet. A quick glance online shows poor reviews with most users complaining they can’t log in.
In reality, the mobile platform is adequate for an occasional user. But it struggles to compete with with others such as TD Ameritrades ThinkorSwim app. The active trader who trades off their mobile device, this app won’t be enough.
Research & Insights
When I looked on their website I noticed information mostly on fundamental analysis. Fundamental data is more prevalent which makes sense as SogoTrade doesn’t cater to the active day trader.
Unfortunately SogoTrade offers its customers only one third-party research report provider. ValueEngine. Meanwhile, Fidelity and Charles Schwab offer customers 12 and eight, respectively.
If you’re in the options arena, SogoPlay offers trade ideas and screening tools, and users can easily translate this advice into action.
What’s more, SogoTrade offers very little in terms of proprietary research and insights. Anyone somewhat savvy with navigating the internet, can find this info for free. Users looking for unique research report will have to look elsewhere.
The educational materials available on this site are not sufficient to allow beginning investors to craft a personalized, principled approach.
Instead, we offer online trading courses that teach how to trade not only stocks but options. And we teach you how to day trade and swing trade both.
If you need help between Monday and Friday, an associate can be reached over the phone or in an online chat.
You’re out of luck if you need help after hours (8:00 pm EST) or on the weekends.
Who Is Sogotrade Best For?
Sogotrade likely most appropriate for higher volume, do-it-yourself traders with some experience and sufficient analytical resources available off the platform.
Think those who trade a lot in a quarter or over a annual basis. If you want this to be you, make sure you have proper stock training.
The Bottom Line
Simply put, SogoTrade has some of the best prices, although you have to be a frequent trader or prepay for trades. Think more than 150 trades in a single quarter. However, since it’s a low-cost leader in stock trades, do not expect a lot of extra bells and whistles or help researching which stock to buy. To sum it up, if you’re in the market for execution price guarantees, speedy execution or strategy back testing functions I recommend to look elsewhere.
But, SogoTrade delivers on their goal to provide a suitable discount brokerage for retail investors. So if that’s you, head over to their website to sign up.