Founded in 2006, Sogotrade prides itself on its deep-discount commissions. While the firm offers a limited selection of different securities, customers comment that, unlike some competitors, they do have shares to short. Unfortunately, members are prohibiting from shorting stocks under $3, and they must be active traders – or prepay – to take advantage of the firm’s best prices. Some find the available trading technology lacking.
While Sogotrade’s graduated pricing structure does privilege active traders, its commissions for less-active traders are still low. The firm is less competitive when it comes to options, however – especially compared to brokerages focused on options traders – and has a host of other fees. After-hours trades receive a surcharge of $ .005 per share and penny stocks receive a surcharge of .5% of the principal value. There’s also a $30 annual maintenance fee for IRAs, although broker-assists are a somewhat-standard $25, with a per-contract charge for options.
Sogotrade customers have their choice of four platforms, including SogoOptions, SogoTrader and SogoMobile. Of the four, users are most likely to favor SogoOnline, which supports both stocks and options, although members say it’s nothing special. The platform lacks many advanced charting features and Level II access, and gets mixed reviews on execution. Members have also reported repeated trouble logging in, and many complain that the firm’s trading stops at 6 PM ET. The brokerage does offer some education and research – like a stock screener and market overview – on its site, which prospective users can preview before signing up.
Customer service has long been a problem for SogoTrade. Users report lengthy hold times, and long waits for the brokerage to process account openings and updates, as well as bank transfers. Many also mention unanswered emails and incorrect tax paperwork. If they’re patient, members can get through to a rep at the national call center between 7 AM and 9 PM on weekdays. Hours for regional call centers – covering the coasts, the Midwest and China – vary. The firm also offers Skype and live chat support.
It seems that with Sogotrade, investors do get what they pay for. However, the deep-discount commissions may be worth it for frequent traders if they can find a way to minimize their exposure to the firm’s fees.
Mobile Trading Seminars, Education