Indexfundfan\’s blog (new URL is Indextown.com)

August 3, 2006

Sogoinvest experience

Filed under: Investing — indexfundfan @ 9:15 am

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.

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30 Comments

  1. I recently signed up for a Sogo Invest account as well. I’m curious about how quickly trades will be made and if price increases are coming.

    Comment by Alex — August 7, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

  2. […] [This post continues from my earlier post on my Sogoinvest experience.] […]

    Pingback by Indexfundfan’s blog » Sogoinvest experience update — August 12, 2006 @ 6:52 pm

  3. I signed up with Sogo Invest on 8/14/06. My inital deposit was an ACH withdrawal from my savings account which occurred on 8/16/06. As of today, 8/21/06, I HAVE YET to see the funds posted to my new account. After numerous emails and phone calls, I am told something new each day. Supposedly the last person that I spoke with claims that I can use my account tomorrow. As this point, I do not believe a word that they say. So far this company lacks credibility with me.

    Comment by Jeannette — August 21, 2006 @ 1:34 pm

  4. Hi Jeannette, thanks for your participation.

    Yeah, I was quite positive when I first sign up with Sogoinvest but my impression has gone downhill since then. You must have already read my Sogoinvest update post, but briefly, Sogoinvest has the following unfair practices:

    1. Start charging margin interest on day T+1, even before the trade settles.

    2. Holding your ACH money hostage with no interest paid for 3 extra days (more days if it spans over the weekend) compared to other financial institutions.

    Comment by indexfundfan — August 21, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

  5. The nightmare continues with Sogo. I noticed 2 small withdrawals from Sogo on my checking account. I then checked my other bank account which is a money market account. I had 2 small withdrawals on that as well. I called Sogo, and it was explained as an error. These were supposed to be credits to these accounts, as they were “testing” the ACH system. Apparently they made a mistake and made withdrawals instead. One major problem for me, as I have already reached the maximum amount of withdrawals on my money market account, and will be charged 2 enormous fees for the withdrawals of 17 cents, and 44 cents! It gets better. It was explained, that they will credit the funds on Monday, and then they will make withdrawals yet again, only to re-credit again! In the meantime, they do not currently have a policy in place to refund me for the bank charges that I will incur for my over-limit of withdrawals from the account. Sogo is getting on my last nerve. They do not seem to have proper policies in place, nor it does it seem that anyone knows what they are doing. They are making it up as they go along.

    Comment by Jeannette — August 25, 2006 @ 10:24 am

  6. I also noticed the same thing this morning. But for me, the withdrawals were my 4th and 5th and I haven’t hit the limit. I did call Sogo and the CSR said they would consider reimbursing the bank fees. You might want to call them again.

    The CSR did say that for bank verification, they will make deposits but will not make the withdrawals. I made the CSR double-check this point and I sure hope she is correct.

    Comment by indexfundfan — August 25, 2006 @ 12:17 pm

  7. […] It is difficult at this point to decide which is better, especially when Sogoinvest is very new and still improving on its offering; although I must say that I am not particularly thrilled with Sogoinvest’s ACH and margin interest accruing timeline. I have already written comments about these in my previous Sogoinvest experience posts [1] [2]. […]

    Pingback by Comparing Ameritrade Izone and Sogoinvest « Indexfundfan’s blog — August 29, 2006 @ 11:27 am

  8. Stay away from SOGO INVEST. Non-existent customer service and they have sneaky ways of making money of the accounts. I mean be honest, we are all in this to make money. Tell us that the trade is $4 or $5. Dont cheat and say its $3 and then slap costs left and write. As indexfundfan said, they do have unfair practices. They are not SOGO INVEST, they are NO GO Invest!

    Comment by Indexcamp — August 31, 2006 @ 2:23 pm

  9. Indexcamp, thanks for your contribution.

    Wow, what did Sogoinvest do to you? I am sitting out watching and kind of still hopeful that Sogoinvest might change its rules on ACH and margin interest. If they don’t improve in a few months, I would ACAT my holdings out.

    Comment by indexfundfan — August 31, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

  10. I signed up for Sogo Investments a couple of days ago and it’s been horrible. They don’t respond to any emails, have no customer service, and take forever to fund your account. It took them more than a week and half to fund 1,000.00. I really got sick and tired of it and i’d rather pay a few extra bucks than go through this agian. I even had to file a claim against with my bank. It’s like they want you to stay with them no matter what. After i withdraw my funds, i’m staying far far away from Sogo Investments. I suggest TD Ameritrade or sharebuilder, there way better and actually write back.

    Comment by Raj — September 1, 2006 @ 6:09 pm

  11. Raj , How long will it take to get your money out? Did it really take a week and a half to get the money there or did it SEEM like it did. That would make a difference to me . I was really thinking about opening an account with them next month(maybe) and was wondering if there service is that bad. Thanks for your time Raj and we would like to hear any further problems you are having with Sogoinvest.(“it’s only money, but it is MY money that I had to work to get, so lets not lose it now”)A quote in our local paper. Let us know before anybody else gets into trouble! Have a good weekend.

    Comment by Vacman — September 3, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

  12. Vacman, Well I’m really not kidding. It took a week and a half for them to complete the transaction(ACH). I’m not going to put down the company just because of what happend to me but my experience with them was not really that great. Infact from what other people wrote and my own research, the company is unknown and I really should have looked into it a little more before investing. It’s not like there going to steal your money, but they really make it hard on you. The first thing that I looked for was a SIPC certificate which means that your money is protected in your brokerage account from fraud(never use a brokerage without this). And then I thought that the fees were really low and it seemed to have great features(research, realtime trades, PR and M1 updates, etc). And although i can’t tell you if those worked good or not, I can tell you the service was nothing compared to some of the other brokerages i’ve had. I called them up three times and each time the same lady picks up the phone and tells me that it’s still going through. So, i waited a week until I finally canceled my ACH transfer and by that time it was processing and so I ended up disputing the charge with my bank. I just got the papers from Bank Of America and now they have it transfered so I’m probably going to ask my bank to get it back for me. So, if your going to use Sogo Invest, just remember that there’s a reason why there prices are so low. I didn’t actually buy anthing so I don’t know if it’s really that cheap, but just be careful and try investing a small amount of money first and see how it goes. I hope that helps….I’ll keep you guys informed.

    Comment by Raj — September 5, 2006 @ 12:25 am

  13. Lol, sorry i ment L1, not M1. Don’t know what i was thinking.

    Comment by Raj — September 5, 2006 @ 12:28 am

  14. Raj, thanks for providing feedback. Sogoinvest is said to be improving on the ACH timeline. We’ll see what happens.

    Comment by indexfundfan — September 5, 2006 @ 8:41 am

  15. Raj, Thanks for your response. I ,like indexfundfan would like to here everything you have to say GOOD or BAD and let everybody decide on the facts what we should do about opening an account with SOGO.Let us know how long it take to get your money back!!! You’ll get it back!!!! I REALLY don’t think SOGO is out to take your money but it is a matter of how fast and how WELL they handle OUR MONEY.. There is a little of me that says, “IT’S A NEW COMPANY GIVE THEM A CHANCE” and there is a little of me that says”WHY GO WITH SOMEONE NEW ,LIKE SOGOINVEST, WHEN MY CURRENT BROKER IS DOING JUST FINE” except the trade cost is cheaper with SOGOinvest. Buying stock or ETF’s is more than the cost of the trade, it’s how well they handled our trade.(from ach to trade time to settlement day and our paper trail) Let us know Raj how things are going. Vacman

    Comment by vacman — September 6, 2006 @ 9:31 pm

  16. I too am not happy with SogoInvest, they took a week to fund the account and for 2 days after the money was withdrawn from my Checking account, it sat in Limbo apparently, coz it was not in my Checking account and not in my SogoInvest account, finally it is there and now these are the problems I see:
    1) From the Account page I type in a Symbol and click on “Go” .. it says “CreateXMLRequest() not able to get Request Object” ??
    2) So I go to the Trade -> Real Time Trade page and type a symbol and click on Quote and it does NOTHING!!!!
    3) If you try and get a quote anywhere else it gives a 20 minute delayed quote!!!!!
    This system sucks. How can they be handling Nasdaq trades if they cant get a webpage right!!!

    Comment by Srujan — September 8, 2006 @ 11:00 am

  17. Ok, So they need ActiveX enabled or the quote system does not work in the website, They should atleast tell you that. I should’nt have to debug my system to figure it out. But will overlook and trade a few times before I come to a final conclusion (the quest for cheaper trades goes on eh 😉

    Comment by Srujan — September 8, 2006 @ 11:10 am

  18. Srujan, Are you sure it is not just your computer acting up. If you go to yahoo, you can get streaming quotes for free. But, yeah Sogo stinks!

    Comment by Raj — September 8, 2006 @ 4:38 pm

  19. Raj, did you get your money out yet? Or are you going to stay with Sogo for a while?Let us know what is happening. Have a good weekend. Vacman

    Comment by Vacman — September 8, 2006 @ 7:35 pm

  20. Vacman, I asked my bank and decided it’s a lot quicker to get the money straight from Sogo than go through the process they told me. It really is just quicker and easier and so i sent them a withdrawl form. They should send me a check back soon.

    Oh and just wanted to ask, what broker are you using and how long have you been trading?

    Well anyway, You have a great weekend too.

    Comment by Raj — September 8, 2006 @ 7:55 pm

  21. Raj,I use Scottrade for all Stocks and Funds and Sharebuilder for all ETF’s. I’ve been very happy with both. Not a single problem at all. Sharebuilder pays 4.45 interest on MM and Scottrade pays 1.75 interest on MM. Scottrade is coming out within 30 days with ACH’s so I can tranfer money fast.I really like Sharebuilder because for $12.00 a month I get 6 trades(Tues buys). Let us know anything new or if you have any other questions write back. Have a good weekend.( My Favorite is problably Sharebuilder,except selling) Vacman

    Comment by Vacman — September 9, 2006 @ 5:39 am

  22. Thanks for continuing the discussion. By the way, Sogoinvest’s statement for August is out but when I click on the link, nothing happens. Can anyone open the statement at all?

    Vacman, if you purchase several ETF’s regularly a month, you might also want to look at http://www.buyandhold.com. For $15 a month, you get unlimited window trades, executed 3 times a day, for both buys and sells. See

    http://buyandhold.com/bh/en/help/helpdesk/trading.html

    Comment by indexfundfan — September 9, 2006 @ 6:03 am

  23. indexfundfan, yeah I looked at BuyamdHold but they don’t have a lot of the ETF’s I like. But thanks for the info. Indexfundfan, do you know how I can can get a copy of a monthly statement at Sogoinvest Brokerage? I wonder if Sogo will fax me a copy without a name or account#? I would like to see how their statements are? Yeah, I like that Buyandhold buys 3 times a day!!!!Do you know if you buy $500.00 of Walgreen Co at BuyandHold ,do they take the whole $500.00 or do they buy $499,98 dollars worth.?( because of the fractions)At Sharebuilder they take the whole $500.00 and use it all and give you fractions up to .1234 decimals to the right. Vacman

    Comment by Vacman — September 9, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

  24. vacman, I had an account with buyandhold 5 years ago. At that time, they round the shares you buy up to 3 decimal places, so for those stocks with higher prices, you could possibly end up with $499.98.

    Comment by indexfundfan — September 9, 2006 @ 11:48 pm

  25. Thanks for the info Indexfundfan. I don’t see why we would want to go the fractional way, if it ends up being $499.98. Here is the way I see it!!! #1. buy whole shares only so you keep track of the whole shares easier. #2. buy fractional shares only and keep track of the investment only .(example: $250.00, $300.00, $500.00, $750.00)It’s easier FOR ME to see that I’ve invested $2,000.00 in Walgreen Co. or $3,000.00 into Walmart Co. If we buy 67.123 Shares through Buy/Hold you would also have a cost basis of $1,998.56(example) With Sharebuilder you would have 67.1234 shares with a cost basis of $2,000.00(example).I think FOR ME that it is easier to figure my cost basis (and look at it weekly)and when I do sell the stock that my cost basis is $2,000.00.(easier) Maybe I’m looking at it wrong but I like to keep my investment plan as easy and simplier as possible! I’ll guit talking. Vacman

    Comment by Vacman — September 10, 2006 @ 5:34 am

  26. Vacman, I understand your concerns. But the 3 decimal places was 5 years ago. They might have moved to 5 decimals now for all we know. Maybe you want to ask them in an email?

    Comment by indexfundfan — September 10, 2006 @ 7:19 am

  27. […] Sogoinvest has been reasonably receptive to client feedback. I have provided feedback to them through various channels, including emails, this blog [1] [2] and through Grant’s TheCornerOffice blog. […]

    Pingback by Indexfundfan @ Indextown » Positive steps taken by Sogoinvest — September 14, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

  28. Vacman, I moved your latest comment to my new site at http://www.indextown.com. The link is

    http://www.indextown.com/archives/2006/08/03/sogoinvest-experience/

    Comment by indexfundfan — September 15, 2006 @ 5:20 am

  29. […] It is difficult to decide at this point which is better, especially when Sogoinvest is very new and still improving on its offering; although I must say that I am not particularly thrilled with Sogoinvest’s ACH and margin interest accruing timeline. I have already written comments about these in my previous Sogoinvest experience posts [1] [2]. […]

    Pingback by Indexfundfan @ Indextown » Comparing Ameritrade Izone and Sogoinvest — September 16, 2006 @ 9:08 am

  30. […] Check out more reviews for Sogo here and here. […]

    Pingback by grumpstump.com » Blog Archive » SogoInvest Review — November 29, 2006 @ 12:34 pm


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