TD Ameritrade versus Sofi Invest - compare IRA, commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account differences, pros and cons. Which brokerage firm is better?

SoFi Invest vs. TD Ameritrade Introduction

Do you want to open a brokerage account with ultra-low fees? Are you looking for the best in trading software? Are you thinking robo account? Although all of these will be found at SoFi Invest and TD Ameritrade, they won’t all be found at each one. Have a look at the following comparison:

Comparison Table

TD Ameritrade Rating
Rating 4.5-star brokerage firm rating Sofi Invest Rating
Stocks $0 $0
Mutual Funds $49.99 to buy, $0 to sell na
Initial Funding Requirement $0 $0
Inactivity Fee $0 $0
IRA Annual Fee $0 $0
Full Account Transfer $0 $75
Partial Account Transfer $0 $75
Account Closing Fee $0 $0
Trading Experience & Technology brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Mobile brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Research Amenities brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Portfolio & Analysis Reports brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Customer Service and Education brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Open an account $0 stock/ETF trades and a transfer fee refund. Open a Sofi account and get $0 stock trades.


First Category: Investment Styles

SoFi Invest offers both managed and self-directed accounts. The former system is officially titled Automated and available only in robo format, as the title suggests. There are no human advisors. The upside is that the service is free. There is no management fee, other than ETF expense ratios. There is a $1 minimum to get started.

On the self-directed side, accounts are officially called Active Invest accounts. They have no fees and no minimums. They get the entire lineup of ETFs in the United States plus stocks and cryptocurrencies. Although stock and ETF trades have no commissions, crypto trades have markups/markdowns of up to 1.25%, which is a little pricey nowadays.


Sofi Invest vs Ameritrade


But that’s better than what TD Ameritrade offers in the crypto arena, which is nothing. TD Ameritrade makes up for this oversight in a fairly lengthy list of other financial vehicles. It includes not only stocks and ETFs, but traditional currencies, OTC stocks, futures contracts (including Ethereum and Bitcoin contracts), mutual funds, bonds, and closed-end funds.

As far as available account types, SoFi Invest offers joint and individual accounts on the taxable side and retirement accounts on the non-taxable side. Joint accounts cannot be opened in self-directed mode.

TD Ameritrade has a much longer list of account types, including custodial accounts, small business plans, trusts, and education accounts. Given SoFi’s emphasis on education and Millennials, it’s a little surprising not to find these account types at SoFi Invest.


TD Ameritrade vs Sofi Invest


Both brokerage firms accept payment for order flow (PFOF).

Winner: Disputable


Second Category: Margin

SoFi Invest recently added margin trading to its list of services for self-directed accounts. Although every Active Invest account is a margin account, a margin application is required to add actual margin trading. To fill out this online application, click on Buying Power on the website and then look for Margin Investing in the left-hand column. You’ll need to have at least $2,000 in account equity before placing margin trades.

SoFi Invest currently charges 5.25% across all margin tiers.

TD Ameritrade offers both cash and margin accounts. The broker’s online margin application can be found by clicking through these links on the website: Client Services -> My Profile -> General.

TD Ameritrade customers pay some of the highest rates in the industry for borrowed funds. The company’s tiered schedule starts at 13.25% and reaches a low of 11.25%.

Winner: SoFi Invest


Third Category: Websites

SoFi Invest and TD Ameritrade both have websites (not surprisingly). But that’s the end of the similarity. The two sites are in totally different universes.

SoFi Invest’s site integrates with other SoFi areas, including banking, loans, credit cards, insurance, and more. Accounts of any kind opened with the same tax ID number will be accessible with a single login.


Sofi vs TD Ameritrade


SoFi emphasizes simplicity, and it really shows on its website. Graphs can’t be expanded the width of the monitor, and there’s only one plot style (line). The order ticket has just three trade types (market, limit, and recurring).

A much higher level of trading will be found on TD Ameritrade’s site. This doesn’t mean it’s harder to navigate, though.


TD Ameritrade vs Sofi Invest


Graphs can be detached and displayed in full-screen mode. Unlike SoFi, TD Ameritrade provides lots of graphing tools, like technical studies and several plot styles.

There are multiple order tickets on the Ameritrade website. We really like bracket and contingent orders.

Winner: TD Ameritrade


Fourth Category: Other Software

SoFi Invest’s focus on elementary trading tools continues with its mobile app. We found the same order ticket with the same trade types. Graphs are equally elementary with no horizontal mode at all. There is also no mobile check deposit or streaming video news.


Sofi or TD Ameritrade


As with the website, the SoFi app displays lots of promotions and details on other products with the financial conglomerate. Examples include loan rates, a free credit score, a credit card application, and more.

TD Ameritrade doesn’t offer the breadth of personal finance tools on its two mobile apps. But the company does provide some very good trading tools. Graphs can be displayed horizontally, and there are lots of tools for charts. Order tickets have many advanced order types, and video news and mobile check deposit are icing on the cake.


TD Ameritrade vs Sofi Invest


TD Ameritrade also has a professional-level desktop program that is free to use. SoFi Invest has no such software.


Thinkorswim vs Sofi


Winner: TD Ameritrade


Fifth Category: Miscellaneous Services

DRIP Service: Both TD Ameritrade and SoFi Invest offer automatic dividend reinvesting at zero charge.

Extended Hours: SoFi Invest recently added extended-hours trading to its list of brokerage services. But TD Ameritrade still has longer sessions.

Fractional-Share Trading: SoFi Invest has it, but TD Ameritrade does not.

Recurring Purchases of Mutual Funds: TD Ameritrade customers can set up mutual funds for systematic investments.

Initial Public Offerings: Both brokerage firms offer early access to IPOs.

Banking Tools: SoFi Invest, through its partnership with program banks, offers FDIC insurance, debit cards, ATM fee rebates, credit cards, and checkwriting. TD Ameritrade offers everything on this list except credit cards.

Individual Retirement Accounts: Both brokerage houses have IRAs. TD Ameritrade has more account types, including one for kids that SoFi Invest doesn’t have.

Winner: TD Ameritrade


Promotions

TD Ameritrade: $0 stock/ETF trades and a transfer fee refund.

Sofi: Open a Sofi account and get $0 stock trades.



Recommendations

Beginners: An automated account with SoFi Invest would be a good place to start.

Long-Term Investing & Retirement Saving: TD Ameritrade has a much larger selection of retirement accounts, trusts, business accounts, and the like. But SoFi Invest has a greater emphasis on personal finance, including home loans, life insurance, and much more. Take your pick.

Stock & ETF Trading: TD Ameritrade has much better software and research materials but it lacks fractional-share trading. We would pick TD Ameritrade.

Mutual Funds: TD Ameritrade is the only choice.

Small Accounts: Either will work.


Sofi vs TD Ameritrade Summary

Novices and Millennials will find helpful financial resources at SoFi Invest. Heavy-duty traders will find what they’re looking for at TD Ameritrade.


Open TD Ameritrade Account


Open TD Ameritrade Account

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Open Sofi Account

Updated on 6/25/2022.




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