SogoTrade Review

3-star brokerage firm rating

Sogotrade commissions structure. Brokerage trading account fee schedule, margin rates. Sogotrade IRA annual, inactivity charges, cost of investing.

Sogotrade Commission Structure

InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $4.88 if making 0 - 149 trades per quarter; $2.88 if making 150+ trades per quarter
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $25
Options $4.88 + $0.50 per contract
Options broker assisted $25 + $0.50 per contract
Options exercise/assignment $15
Mutual funds $25

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs
Sogotrade minimum deposit to open account $0 cash account, $2,000 margin account


Sogotrade Margin Rates

Debit Balance Margin Rate
$0.01 - $9,999.99 10.75%
$10,000.00 - $49,999.99 9.75%
$50,000.00 - $99,999.99 8.75%
$100,000.00 - $299,999.99 7.50%
$250,000.00 - $499,999.99 7.00%
$500,000.00 - $999,999.99 6.50%
above $1,000,000.00 6.00%

Overview of Hidden Fees at Sogotrade

If you are considering opening a Sogotrade account because of their low commissions and you’re just wondering if there’s a catch, you should continue reading. It’s true that Sogotrade has low commissions; however they have one of the more substantial lists of hidden fees that you should be aware of before opening an account. We’ll discuss these below, but first let’s start with those low commissions.

Commissions for the Less Active Trader

Similar to some other brokers, such as Ally Invest, Sogotrade offers two tiers of commissions to reward its more active customers, but we’ll start with the standard rates. If you are not an active trader (i.e. placing less than 150 equity and/or options trades a quarter) you will pay the standard flat rate of $4.88 per equity trade. They charge the same fixed rate for options trades plus a variable rate of $0.50 per contract.

Preferred Pricing for Active Traders

If you place at least 150 trades a quarter, you will automatically qualify for Sogotrade’s preferred rate of $2.88 per trade for equities and options (in addition to the $0.55 per option contract). And there is a fixed fee of $15 for each options position that is exercised, regardless of whether you are an active trader or not.

Other Commission Discounts

What if you don’t quite place 150 trades a quarter but you know you will make at least 50, or even 20 trades? One attractive feature at Sogotrade is that even if you don’t qualify for the preferred commission rate you can access it by prepaying for a chunk of trades. You can buy a lot of 20 trades at once for $77.60 or a lot of 50 trades for a one-time charge of $144. These each work out to a base rate of $3.88 and $2.88 per trade, respectively, and they are good for a whole year. So it makes a lot of sense to buy these packaged trades in advance if you’re fairly confident you will make at least the same number of trades within a year.

Sogotrade Hidden Commission Extras

There are a few other commission-related expenses that a Sogotrade account could incur in certain circumstances. If you are trading a penny stock (priced under $1.00) Sogotrade will charge you an additional fee equal to the greater of $0.0003/share (10% of principal maximum) or 0.25% of the principal amount. Good till cancelled orders (GTC) that are executed over multiple trading days are subject to a commission charge for each of those days.

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3-star brokerage firm rating

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Fees for Mailed Statements

As many brokers do, Sogotrade will charge you fees for opting to receive your account statements and other communications in paper form instead of online. They charge anywhere from $5 to $10 for paper account statements, trade confirmations, and prospectuses for any ETFs you trade.

Margin Trading

If you plan to use a margin account, you will be charged an interest rate between 6-11% on your margin balance, with the actual rate depending on how much you borrowed. And it’s important to keep an eye on this balance because if you experience a margin call (where Sogotrade needs to force close some of your positions to meet your required cash balance) you will be charged a $25 fee.

Transfer Fees

While inbound transfers are always free, Sogotrade charges a $25/$50 fee for domestic/international outbound wires. Transferring your assets to another broker (partial or full) will cost you $75.

IRA Fees

Opening an IRA with Sogotrade is free, however you will be charged a $35 annual maintenance fee. Closing your IRA will incur a $60 charge, or if you opt to transfer your IRA you will be charged the $75 transfer fee discussed above.

Inactive Account Fees

If your account becomes inactive (account balance under $100 and no trades in the past year) you will be charged a $50 low equity fee. If physical mail that they send you is returned twice within 6 months you will be charged a $10 “lost customer” fee, and if missing for 2 years your account will be charged a $100 deactivation fee.

Other Miscellaneous Fees

The commissions and fees discussed above encompass the extent of the fees that ~95% of individual investors will encounter with a Sogotrade account. That said, it is worth reading their full disclosure on fees before opening an account because there are a few other less significant fees that Sogotrade charges in unique circumstances, such as fees for trades placed over the phone (broker-assisted) and fees for bank-rejected checks and transfer requests.


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