Sogoinvest experience

Important note: My impression of Sogoinvest has gone downhill since writing this post. Do remember to also read this post.

Recently, I wrote about the new Sogoinvest brokerage. I decided to pull the trigger and apply for the Sogoinvest account today. The application is pretty standard among brokerage accounts. You need to key in your personal information, home information, employment information, etc. It took me about 10 minutes from start to finish to apply for a joint account. This included the time taken to print to PDF a copy of every page of the online application for my own safekeeping.On the night before my application, I shoot an email to Sogoinvest with some questions. I received a reply the next morning. Here are the questions and replies:

  • Qn: Are there any charges for incoming DTC stock transfers? Ans: No.
  • Qn: Do you support specific tax-lot sale? Ans: No, we will not accept request for specific tax-lot sale.
  • Qn: Do you do a hard credit check for a margin account application? Ans: No, but we do an identity verification check and a check against the OFAC list.
  • Qn: According to the FAQ, it seems like the only way to withdraw money is waiting for a check or by wire. Is there a possibility of a withdrawal by ACH to the original funding bank account? Ans: The FAQ should be updated soon, currently you can withdraw back to original account via ACH, given some paperwork to verify the bank account as yours.
  • Qn: Do you offer streaming quotes? Ans: We do offer streaming L1 quotes, not L2.

After the application was submitted, it “could take up to one business day for the account to be activated”. An activation email will be sent when the account is ready.
2006-08-03-sogoinvest.PNG
Timeline:

Start 2006-08-03 : Application submitted online in the morning (PDT).

Update 2006-08-04 : Morning (PDT), received activation email in ~23 hours. Added ACH bank accounts and submitted transfer requests.

Update 2006-08-07 : Morning (PDT), ACH transfers debited from bank. Night (PDT), money posted into Sogoinvest and available for investing.

Update 2006-08-08 : Trading enabled. Fills seemed OK but the trading screen is very basic — no before/after market trading, no AON or AOK, no shorting. And to change the price of an already submitted limit order, you cannot just change the price and click submit (as in Izone). Instead, you need to cancel the entire order and re-submit a new one.

70 Comments

  1. Vacman

    Indexfundfan, right now, that’s what I’m thinking also.Vacman

    Reply
  2. Vacman

    Indexfundfan, have you ever bought stocks through Soginvest by using their Automated buys. You put in a order to Buy $500.00 dollars of xyz company and the next day Sogo makes your purchase and also buys fractional shares? If yes, do they buy $500.00 of xyz company or do they buy $499.96 dollars.(because of the fracionals shares.) With Sharebuilder they take $500.00 (to the penny) and buy shares. Are their monthly statements easy to understand? Do they show what your last months balances are on the current months statement as well. Sharebuilder shows last months values then shows this months value with an increase or decrease value.How many decimals to the right does Sogo go?If you buy fractional shares!(example:12.123456 shares)Thanks , Vacman

    Reply
  3. indexfundfan (Post author)

    Vacman, I have not used Sogoinvest’s fractional shares purchase. As for their statement, they only list the holdings at the end of the month. It does not list the change in value.

    Reply
  4. Vacman

    Thanks Indexfundfan

    Reply
  5. Rachael

    Wow, I started off
    here. That led me here. And now I am here. I see you guys are all over the place. How much time does it take out of your day to blog and how much do you spend on trading or research? I am fascinated.

    Reply
  6. indexfundfan (Post author)

    Hi Rachael, thanks for commenting. I think people who blogs does it as a hobby, and as such will not consider the time spent as ‘wasted’.

    Reply
  7. Vacman

    Rachael, I just blog on 2 or 3 places. It takes about 10 minutes a days for me sometimes on a Friday night I may blog for 2 hours then I never get back on for 4 or 5 days. I really learn from Indexfundfun and Grant and some others at Brightinvesting. You have to want to learn and help others, is why I do the blogging.I really learn more from others.(I hope others learn from me) Again I’m thankful for Grant,Indexfundfan,Raj and others for giving me their insights!! Very helpful. Thanks Vacman

    Reply
  8. mrtismo

    I recently decided to close my sogoinvest account. After selling my stock, I requested an ACH withdrawal from my sogoinvest account to my checking account. It’s interesting how they’ll let you deposit funds electronically via ACH for funding your account, however when you want to withdraw funds you have to fax them a form and a copy of a voided check.

    I requested an ACH withdrawal on 10/30/06 and am still waiting today, 11/17/06. I’ve made numerous phone calls and left messages for numerous individuals, each time I call they ask if I can call back the next morning. Today when I called they say they processed the ACH to my checking account on 11/7/06, however upon logging in to my sogoinvest account I see my balance is still in the account and I’ve seen no deposit in my checking account.

    I’d say get your money out while you can. Also file complaints with the better business bureau, federal trade comission and new york state attorney general’s office.

    Reply
  9. Ebbenezer_Scrooge

    Wow – I have recently been trading with SogoInvest. I have only been an account holder for about 3weeks now. I have had nothing but positive expereinces with them. Granted I have only been transferring in – lol. However, I opened an account on monday and it was funded by thursday. I Also use sharebuilder but have been thinking about oving to sogoinvest for the cheaper fees. So far my expereince has been equal to my sharebuilder exp. I trade weekly and like the fact that I can do it anyday of the week compared to sharebuilder (Tue). I’m also looking into zecco but will wait and see on that one. Maybe give them a year or two to iron out the bugs.

    Reply
  10. indexfundfan

    So far, I have only been adding money to Sogoinvest, so I have not encountered the funds withdrawal problem. But mrtismo’s comment does raise a serious concern and I hope Sogoinvest would implement the online ACH withdrawal soon.

    For myself, if I ever need to close the Sogoinvest account, I would use the free ACAT out to transfer out my shares in-kind, and side-stepping the delayed ACH out problem.

    Reply
  11. Jan

    Indexfan,

    Planning to dollar cost in to each month:
    SPY 14%; VTV 7%; IWC 7%; VBR 7%; EFA 7%; EFV 7%; DLS 14%; VWO 7%; 30% AGG

    I see you that you have used buyandhold. What do you think about them?
    Do you suggest any other option?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  12. indexfundfan (Post author)

    Jan,

    I like the look of your ETF portfolio: 35% US, 35% foreign and 30% bonds, and very diversified. The only negative I can think of are the transaction fees if you need to invest in 9 ETFs every month.

    Based on that, I can see why you want to use buyandhold — one fixed fee of $15 lets you make any number of purchases every month.

    I used them back in 2000; and I guess I can say that the brokerage works but I remember I do tend not to get the best fill prices since buyandhold uses essentially market orders to fill your purchases. If the ETF is thinly traded, you could lose out quite a bit on the spread between the bid-ask prices.

    You also need to consider that $15 adds up quite quickly to $180 a year.

    Reply
  13. Jan

    Indexfan,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    If ETF is bought with in the daily price range,
    I am ok with it as its a periodic investment.
    I hope this is the case.

    Is there a way to lower yearly cost (lower than $180).
    Zecco doesn’t charge commission. But they don’t offer
    dollar based investment.

    Thanks.
    Venkatesh

    Reply
  14. indexfundfan (Post author)

    Jan,

    One thing you can consider might be to stagger your investments, say out of the 9 ETFs, invest in 4 in Jan, the other 5 in Feb, and back to the first 4 in March and so on.

    If you do so, you can look into using Sogoinvest’s Gold plan which for the price of $10 a month, gives you 5 free automatic trades. I believe their automatic trades are dollar-based.

    Reply
  15. Jan

    Indexfan,

    Foliofn has all the right tools for DCA for index portfolio.
    They have both dollar based investing and withdrawal. They
    provide automatic portfolio rebalancing. They also provide
    check writing. Sogoinvest doesn’t provide these.

    The fee is $199/year, $19 more than sogo. Not bad with large investment amount.
    But the question is what happens if they close the shop?
    Will their clients need to get their investment money from SIPC?
    I see in sipc’s web site several brokerage/investment companies
    cases were handled before. This one concern may be the reason Vanguard
    has so many clients compared to Foliofn.

    Reply
  16. vacman

    Jan, I think you’re right! BUT Foliofn can go out of business as well! With Foliofn you can’t get money deposited into your account EXCEPT by sending a check. The $199 yearly fee IS GREAT if you makes alot of trades(in and out) BUT the average person shouln’t be trading 200 times a month (like Foli is set up for!).Foliofn REALLY is for the person who is a trader!!!(or is DCA) A person who puts in $1,000.00 a month and devides that money into 20 different stocks)then it’s GREAT! I would rather devide up the $1,000.00 amount into 5 $200.00 purchases a month. I’d rather have 60 trades a year at a cost of $240.00 than have 240 trades at a cost of $199.00.(unless I’m a trader) I wouldn’t like to track 240 trades! Foliofn system is the BEST though!!! I would use Foli over Sogo IF Foli had EASY money transfers!

    Reply
  17. M COOLE

    GOOD BLOG! I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO WITHDRAWL MY FUNDS SINCE 02-03-07. TODAY IS 2-20-07. NUMEROUS CALLS AND SEVERAL E-MAILS AND MESSAGES. I HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE RUNAROUND SEVERAL TIMES AND I AM TIRED OF HEARING “ITS BEING PROCESSED.” SOGO IS A JOKE. THEY HAD NO PROBLEM TAKING MONEY OUT OF MY BANK ACOUNT IMMEDIATELY, BUT CANT SEEM TO GET IT BACK TO ME. MAKES ME WANT TO JUMP ON A FLIGHT TO NY AND SEE SOMEONE FACE-TO-FACE. 3 WEEKS FOR MY WITHDRAWL??? IM SO PISSED THEY ARE LUCKY IM NOT THEIR MAILMAN, CAUSE IM ABOUT TO GO POSTAL YOU KNOW? ITS TRUELY NOT WORTH THE CHEAPER FEES. SHAREBUILDER LET ME WITHDRAWL MY FUNDS ELECTRONICALLY, AND I HAD MY MONEY NEXT BUSINESS DAY! IN THIS COMPUTER AGE THERE IS NO EXCUSE. IF YOU CANT TAKE CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS HOW CAN YOU EXPECT TO STEAL PEOPLE FROM YOUR COMPETITION??? ILL GLADLY PAY TWICE THE FEES SOMEWHERE ELSE.

    Reply
  18. Vacman

    Hey M Coole,We are hearing that alot lately about Sogoinvest. Thanks for the update!! Sharebuilder does a good job! (except they only buy on Tues, But they do pay 4.43% int. till Tuesday buys)Thanks for your responding thoughts.

    Reply
  19. indexfundfan (Post author)

    Thanks for all your comments.

    For what is worth, I am moving to Wells Fargo’s free trade platform. I don’t trade often but I don’t see any reason to pay the $3 when I can trade for free.

    Vacman, if you have $25k in securities to spare and DCA very regularly, you might want to look closer at Wells Fargo’s latest offering.

    Reply
  20. Vacman

    Yes I’m looking at that as well!!! BUT I trade some funds at Scottrade as well as stocks. I think I’ll see what you have to say about them!!! PLEASE let us know like ACH’S etc.!!! We’re waiting. I want to know MORE about how long it took to get your money from Sogoinvest to Wells’, etc!!!( I’m more likely to go with Wells instead of Sogoinvet because of their length of time in business is WAY longer that Sogos’) Really like to know how everything trades and their ACH’s !!!!! Bye, Vacman

    Reply

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