Broker Reviews

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SogoTrade Platform Review

About Sogo Trading:

SogoTrade, previously SogoInvest is an online deep discount brokerage firm, affiliated to Wang Investments Associates Inc. and is based out of New York City. It was launched in the year 2006 by Genesis Securities LLC.  SogoTrade has a direct market access platform called Laser which connects to the exchanges through ECN.

Key offerings:

SogoTrade provides option to invest in Investment classes like ETFs, stocks, Mutual Funds and options.  It offers both online and standalone platforms to its customers. Apart from that Sogo is a member of Financial Industry regulatory authority (FINRA) and Securities Investor Protection Fund (SIPC) and insures its clients up to $150 million USD.

Advantages:

  • Low commissions are charged both for cash and margin trade.
  • No Inactive account maintenance charged
  • One of the lowest account opening charges to the clients.

 

Drawbacks:

  • SogoTrade does not offer trade in bonds, commodities, OTC market and Forex.
  • Poor Customer Service offered to the clients.
  • The trading platforms are considered to be primitive for active traders and also for investors.
  • Practically no risk management tools offered. Hence, it would be difficult to maintain the portfolios.
  • Speed of execution is slow and customer complaints are high.
  • Surcharge of $.005 per share for extended market hours.

Commission and Fees:
Equity trades are charged a flat $3 per transaction. Penny stocks are charged an additional 0.5 % of stock value. Apart from that there is a surcharge of $.005 per share for extended market hours trading.  Margin trading is charged an interest rate of 6.50% up to $50000 and gradually reduces to 4.50%.
Option trade costs 5.00 % per share plus and additional 50 cents per contract.
Mutual Funds can be purchased at a rate of $15 per trade.

Trading Platform and Tools:

Currently three different trading platforms are offered by SogoTrade and they are SogoTrade, SogoElite and Laser.  Laser is the DMA platform and SogoElite is the standalone platform. SogoTrade is the web based trading platform.  SogoTrade offers basic facilities for orders and execution of the trade. Stocks can be selected based on their quotes. A window on the left hand side displays the basic information about the trading on the share like open, close, 52 week high, low etc.  A chart is displayed for the same share, which contains information about the price and volume. Links are provided for research and news. The research centre contains some simple information such as information on various exchanges, top stories, market movers and IPO Center. There is a stock screening tool which filters stocks based on parameters like Profitability, Dividend yield, market cap, growth rate etc.
The Order Status module displays various orders and their statuses performed during the day. It also provides a watch list to track the movements of different stocks. Level I tick information is provided in the streaming Quote module.
The Company research tool offers some basic information on a company, such as charts, news and trade history. ETFs can be analyzed using the compare ETF tool and also a hypothetical ETF portfolio can be constructed and performance can be tracked.

Customer Care Service:

Customer service is available online through phone and live help is provided online. However it is not considered to be great owing to the lack of co-ordination and huge delays in solving the client’s problems.

Awards:

Received 4 star rating in Barron’s 2011 Stock Brokers Survey.

Peer Comparison:

SogoTrade operates in the low commission market and its competitors are firms like E*Trade, LightSpeed, MBTrading , TradeKing etc. SogoTrade wins among the competitors when it comes to commission charges where as it is behind others in terms of the trading platforms, diversity of asset classes and tools provided. It is trying to limit itself to the individual traders who trade who indulge in low volume and no frills trade and to those traders who do not need much research from analysts and are capable of choosing their own stocks. It also is also in the execution of the orders compared to other firms. However it has an advantage when it comes to things like no inactivity charges and also free electronic fund transfers.

Synopsis:

SogoTrade with its very low charges is targeting the deeply discounted market. It does not charge any fees for account inactivity and hence is very useful for a novice who does not wants to trade actively and pay high account opening fees. (Which is also low at $500)? However SogoTrade platform is very basic in nature and does not provide wide range of tool for research and investment management which is a turn off for active traders and also long term investors. The chart tools and stock screeners are also primitive. They do not support mouse click trade. Active traders would seek high level of technical analysis indicators where as investors would like to manage their portfolio and would like to manage their risk.  Also the latter would like to have specialist advice which this service provider does not have. Active traders would also complain about the surcharge applied on extended market hours trade. Also, for an investor who likes to diversify his portfolio SogoTrade is not the one he is looking for because it does not provide the option to trade in bonds, futures and other otc market products.

SogoTrade also does not help the cause of professional traders willing to perform rule based trading. Apart from this the customer service is considered to be poor with many complaints. There is no proper co-ordination between different executives as a proper database of customer calls in not maintained. Overall SogoTrade falls behind in many aspects of trading and leaves a lot to be desired.

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