SogoTrade: A Comprehensive 2021 Sogotrade Review (Updated)

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sogotrade

If you are searching for an online stock broker with no maintenance fees and really low commissions, then think – Sogo Trade.


Sogo Trade is a no-frills discount stock broker that is perfect for trading with stocks and ETFs. With its large customer base in over 140 countries of the world, SogoTrade offers high quality trading services to its users.

But, is it just rosy? Or are there complications along the way? As a passive investor, is SogoTrade a good option for you or not?

Find out more about SogoTrade, and what makes it a good or bad option in this SogoTrade review.

About SogoTrade


Sogotrade is a U. S. online discount stock brokerage firm offering financial products including stocks, options, ETFs, and Education Savings Accounts. The firm offers five online trading platforms and provides market research tools to its customers.

Sogotrade has offices situated in New York, St. Louis, and Los Angeles with bilingual customer services. They maintain a mail center in Shanghai, China to accommodate their international customers and provide 24-jour customer service, Monday through Friday.


The firm is regulated and licensed in the US by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and insured by Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

It was founded in March 1986 as Coastal Investments Associates LTD in the state of South Carolina. The name was changed to Wang Investment Associates, Inc. in 1992 and operated as a traditional brokerage firm providing investment recommendations to its clients.

In June 2006,Sogotrade, then a division of Genesis Securities, was launched as a discount online stock brokerage firm with commissions of only $1.50 per trade.


By November 2006, Sogotrade was listed by Forbes as “The Deepest Discount Broker.” In 2008, Sogotrade increased its trade commissions to $3, which was still among the lowest in the industry. The Chinese version of the Sogotrade website was also launched in 2008.


In 2010, Wang Investment Associates, Inc. became incorporated in the state of Delaware and purchased the Sogotrade name and retail accounts from Genesis Securities.

Furthermore, in 2013, Jonathan Yao, former President of Scottrade Hong Kong LTD, led a group that acquired Wang Investment Associates, Inc. and purchased the Sogotrade online trading platforms.

In January 2014, Mr. Yao was named the CEO of the company and changed the name of the corporation to Sogotrade, Inc.

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Sogotrade Platforms

Sogotrade maintains a range of trading platforms (both web-based and mobile-based) and they include:

  • SogoOnline – Simple All–In – One trading platform for stocks, ETFs, and options.
  • SogoTrader – Customizable platform providing the tools and controls most traders need.
  • SogoOptions – Customizable Option Trading Platform with streaming quotes, analysis, and risk management.
  • SogoMobile – Simple and intuitive browser-based mobile stock and ETF trading platform allows traders to stay in touch with the markets when they are on the go.
  • SogoElite – A trading application platform designed for highly capitalized and active traders. It supports experienced traders with time and sales, advanced dynamic charting, and backtesting.

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What are Qualifying Limit Orders?

A qualifying limit order is an order placed at least one penny below the ask for a buy or at least one penny above the bid for sale.


BUY Order Example

Imagine you want to buy 1000 shares of XYZ stock that is trading $10 bid and $10.02 ask. To enter a qualifying limit order and Get Paid To Trade, you would simply enter an order to buy 1000 shares of XYZ at 10.01 or lower. Upon execution, you will receive 1000 shares XYZ at $0 commission and a credit to your account of $1. That’s it.

SELL Example

Lets assume you want to sell 1000 shares of XYZ at the same asking and bid. You would enter a sell order at 10.01 or higher, and upon execution, you would receive the proceeds from the sale plus the $1 Get Paid To Trade credit. That’s it.

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How do I enter Qualifying Limit Orders?

Sogotrade provides two methods for entering qualifying limit orders in its trading platform.

  • Traditional: Simply enter a limit order using the standard trading tools most of the customers are familiar with. If the order executes as illustrated in the examples above, you get paid to trade.
  • Get paid to trade limit: Sogotrade makes it easier for customers to enter qualifying limit orders by also offering a limit order type that helps endure the customer gets paid to trade.

Sogo Trade Minimum Deposit Amount

There is no minimum deposit required by Sogo trade. This means that it is an ideal broker if you want to trade or invest with a smaller amount.

It is a good broker to start your investment journey with, as you can add more funds to your account later as you get more experienced in managing your investments.

Brokers that do not require a minimum deposit do so to encourage people to try their service without requiring a large initial commitment.

There is no minimum deposit required. However, when purchasing stocks priced below $1 per share, the minimum investment required is $100.

Beyond the required minimum deposit, there are a couple of other factors to consider when you are about to open an account at Sogo trade.

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Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of depositing at Sogo trade:

Advantages of Depositing

  1. There is no minimum deposit required.
  2. No deposit fee is required.
  3. The depositing process is user – friendly.

Disadvantages of Depositing

  1. Credit/Debit card deposit is not possible.
  2. Only one account base currency.

Deposit fees and Deposit methods of Sogo Trade

Sogo Trade does not charge a deposit fee. This is great because the broker won’t deduct anything from your deposits and you only have to calculate with the costs charged by the bank / third party you send the money with.

While there is no deposit fee at Sogo Trade, the available deposit methods are important for you. Only bank transfers can be used to deposit in Sogo trade.

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Deposit Currencies

Each trading account has a base currency, which means that the broker would hold your deposited money in that currency. With some brokers, you can have more trading accounts with different base currencies.

Why does this matter? A currency conversion fee will be charged if you deposit in a different currency than the base currency of the target trading account. It’s likely not a big deal but it is something you should be aware of.

Unfortunately, Sogotrade supports only one currency which is USD. This means that if you send your minimum deposit in a currency other than this, Sogo Trade will convert it and charge a currency conversion fee. But this is not an issue if you would deposit in USD anyway.

A convenient way to save on the currency conversion fee can be to open a multi – currency bank account. Revolut or Transferwise both offer digital bank accounts in USD.

The account opening only takes a few minutes after which you can upload your existing currency into your new account, exchange it in-app at great rates, then deposit it into your brokerage account for free or cheap.

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Steps of sending the minimum deposit

The specific process of sending your minimum deposit to Sogo trade might vary slightly from the following, but generally, the process involves the following steps:

Step 1: Open your broker account

At most brokers, you can open your trading account online. To open an account, you have to provide your personal details, like your date of birth or employment status, and there is also usually a test about your financial knowledge.

The final step of the account opening is the verification of your identity and residency. For this verification, you will have to upload a copy of your ID card and a document that validates your proof of residence, for example, a bank statement.

Step 2: Make the deposit

First, you have to sign in to your already opened trading account and find the depositing interface.

After this, you select the deposit method the broker supports. For example, Sogo trade supports only the Bank transfer method so you select that.

Bank transfer (sometimes called wire transfer): You have to add your bank account number in the deposit interface.

The bank account has to be in your name. After this, you need to start a bank transfer from your bank.

The broker will give you a reference number that you will have to enter as a comment in your transaction. This will allow the broker to identify your deposit.

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Sogotrade Review

Sogo trade has a link to cryptocurrency trading by Apex Crypto. Sogo Trade clients can quickly move money from their account to cryptocurrency trading account.

Although cryptocurrency trading is not technically offered by Sogo trade, this link makes it a little easier to engage in the cryptocurrency market.

Sogo trade is still marketed to active traders looking for cost savings. As this space has grown smaller due to industry-wide pricing changes, Sogo trade has made efforts to broaden its appeal.

While Sogo trade has said it is focusing on attracting young investors, the bulk of its recent development efforts appear to be in its partnership with KGI, a Taiwan-based online broker.

How it Works

Sogo trade allows you to open and fund an account online. Unfortunately, once you get up and running, the process of finding and using the available tools is confusing at best.

Certain features such as streaming data are on Sogo trader while others are on SogoOnline. Searching for features on SogoOnline requires a lot of clicking around which some people might find confusing.

Customers will likely end up using only one of the Sogo trade platforms to avoid confusion even if that platform doesn’t have all the features that they need.

Furthermore, all of Sogo trade’s platforms have useful tools built-in, but they don’t communicate with one another.

This leads to a muddled research experience even for the most patient investors. There is no mutual fund or bond screener offered by Sogo trade.

The SogoOptions platform features in-depth strategy descriptions, a graphic display of each strategy, lookup and order entry.

The SogoPlay feature has a way to look for an options strategy once you have chosen the underlying stock and entered your market outlook.

As with many of the other research features, the tools are spread out over several different platforms and are hard to find.

Company news is provided by Comtex and Streaming Market. Most of the news is displayed only in the SogoTrader platform, and usually spawns a new browser tab.

Analyst ratings are provided by ValuEngine on an individual stock basis on the SogoTrader platform. You have to type in a ticker symbol to read the report; there is no analyst overview available.

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Pros of SogoTrade

  • Customer service for those who call in is prompt: Customers who call the support line have quick access to human assistance, both in English and Chinese.
  • The options platform, SogoOptions, is tightly integrated with the OptionsPlay tool set: It offers streaming quotes, analysis and risk management with fast execution, and has the OptionsPlay tool set built-in.
  • Chinese language support is available for customers who want it: There is Chinese language translation button customers can click on if they want the entire platform converted.
  • Fully paid stock lending program can help generate additional income: Customers can opt into Sogo trades fully paid stock lending program, which pays interest on stocks that are borrowed from you by short – sellers. This program can help generate additional income for your portfolio.

Cons of SogoTrade

  • Sogo trade still charges commissions for equity market orders: They still charge $2.88 for market equity trades and also per-contract fee for option trades. You will also pay $2.88 ticket fee for penny stock transactions.
  • You cannot choose a tax lot when closing a position: Average cost is assumed for calculating the cost basis of a trade. There is no way to change to a more favorable calculation when closing a position.
  • Switching from one web-based platform to another requires several unnecessary steps.
  • No interest paid on idle cash: No interest is paid on idle cash that is money you are not using to trade and there is no money market sweep option available to investors.

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Bottom Line

On the positive side, SogoTrade is one of the lowest-cost brokerages available. But its low-cost comes with some complications like a limit to your investment portfolio, and experience in trading.

Also, it is not the best option if you want to trade mutual funds or IRA.

Hence, using SogoTrade, really depends on what your trading needs are.

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