SoFi’s mission is to help people reach financial independence to realize their ambitions. And financial independence doesn’t just mean being rich—it means getting to a point where your money works for the life you want to live. All-in-one investing that's easy to use. Build confidence as an investor. Trade stocks, fractional shares, and ETFs or start automated investing.
How you make money
When you invest with SoFi, you get access to financial planning with human financial planners at no extra charge. They provide personalized advice based on your unique financial situation and goals ($590 in value, free of charge).You can use there self directed trading and invest on your own or you can use their robo advisor for hands off investing. With SoFi you can also automatically reinvest your dividends, invest in crypto, and even purchase fractional shares of stock, called Stock Bits, for as little as $5. You earn with SoFi through returns generated from stock price appreciation and dividends.
For reference: according to historical records, the average annual return from the S&P Index since its inception in 1926 through 2018 is approximately 10%–11%. The average annual return since adopting 500 stocks into the index in 1957 through 2018 is roughly 8%. Adjusted for inflation, the historical average annual return is around 7%. However, it's important to note that each Robo has their own investment strategy that can influence returns.
How SoFi makes money
For SoFi Invest, they used to make money from management fees, but recently decided to offer their Automated Investing (formerly known as SoFi Wealth), a robo-advisor, with no SoFi management fees. They also offer Active Investing, the ability to buy and sell individual stocks and ETFs, without any account minimums or commissions. Through Active Investing, they earn revenue in a variety of ways, all of which help to keep the service free for their members. They earn interest from both uninvested cash held in the account (through an FDIC sweep program that also helps keep your cash safe) and from securities that are lent to institutions that need to borrow shares. They also earn a small amount of money from rebates that they receive from market makers through their clearing firm, Apex Clearing, for choosing them as their execution partner.
Sofi also offers many products beside their investment services such as banking, lending, credit card, insurance, and many more products. Sofi generates revenue from many different avenues.
Is it safe?
The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation. SoFi Securities is a Member of SIPC, which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash).