Real Estate Crowdfunding: What Is It?

Real estate crowdfunding allows investors to pool funds together to invest in property. Crowdfunding has become a popular way to invest in real estate, and gain exposure to an alternative asset class without owning property directly.

Adding real estate to a portfolio can increase diversification while creating a potential buffer against inflation. Real estate crowdfunding platforms make it possible to invest in commercial and residential properties online, with potentially low barriers to entry. But accredited and nonaccredited investors (retail investors) are subject to different rules.

How Real Estate Crowdfunding Works

Real estate crowdfunding platforms seek out investment opportunities and vet them before making them available to investors. The platform then enables multiple investors to fund property investments at lower amounts than the actual property would cost. The minimum investment varies by platform, and might range from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $5,000.

Real estate investors then gain a proportional share of the profits. Depending on the nature of the investment, investors may see interest payments, rental income, or dividends. If a property is sold or assets are otherwise liquidated, investors could also see a profit.

Regulation crowdfunding makes real estate crowdfunding possible, as entities can raise capital from investors without registering with the SEC, as long as they offer or sell less than $5 million in securities.

Real Estate Crowdfunding Examples

Investors can join a real estate crowdfunding marketplace and browse investment options, which may include:

•   Individual residential properties

•   Retail space

•   Office buildings

•   Warehouses and storage facilities

•   Multifamily housing

•   Real estate investment trusts (REITs)

•   Real estate funds

Rather than concentrating capital in a single piece of property, real estate crowdfunding allows investors to distribute their capital among different types of properties. If you’re interested in how to invest in real estate in a hands-off way, crowdfunding can help you do it.

Crowdfunding Explained

What is crowdfunding? In simple terms, it’s the act of raising money from a crowd or pool of investors.

Crowdfunding is possible through Title III of the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. The Act’s purpose was to make it easier for small businesses to raise funds following the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subsequently adopted a series of rules allowing crowdfunding to be applied to real estate investments.1,2

Recommended: Alternative Investments: Definition, Example, Benefits, & Risks

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Crowdfunded Real Estate for Accredited and Nonaccredited Investors

Today, accredited and nonaccredited (retail) investors can invest in crowdfunded real estate, but there are different rules for each.

Accredited Investors

An accredited investor, according to the SEC, is someone who:

•   Has a net worth exceeding $1 million, not including the value of their primary residence, OR

•   Had income exceeding $200,000 annually ($300,000 for married couples) in each of the two prior years and expects the same level of income going forward, OR

•   Holds a Series 7, Series 65, or Series 82 securities license

Investors who meet the qualifications to be accredited in the eyes of the SEC may invest any amount in crowdfunded real estate.

Nonaccredited Investors

Retail investors who don’t meet the criteria for accredited investors may be limited in how much they can invest in any Regulation Crowdfunding offering in any 12-month period. If either your income or net worth is less than $124,000, during any 12-month period you can invest up to $2,500, or 5% of your income or net worth, whichever is greater.

If both your income and net worth are $124,000 or higher, during any 12-month period you can invest up to 10% of your annual income or net worth, whichever is greater (not more than $124,000 total).

Advantages and Disadvantages of Real Estate Crowdfunding

Here’s a closer look at how the potential benefits and drawbacks of this alternative strategy compare.

Pros

Holding crowdfunded real estate in a portfolio can offer potential advantages:

•   Minimum investments may be as low as a few hundred dollars.

•   Crowdfunded property investments may yield above-average returns for investors who are comfortable with a longer holding period and highly illiquid assets.

•   Investors have flexibility in choosing which type of property investments they’d like to fund, based on their goals and risk tolerance.

•   Direct ownership isn’t required, which means there’s no need for investors to get a mortgage, come up with down payment funds, or deal with the headaches of managing a rental property.

•   Nonaccredited investors are not shut out of crowdfunding real estate, thanks to SEC rulemaking, but are subject to other restrictions.

Cons

While there are some attractive features associated with real estate crowdfunding, there are some things investors may want to be wary of:

•   Real estate crowdfunding platforms may charge hefty fees, which can detract from overall investment earnings.

•   Generally speaking, crowdfunded real estate is illiquid since you’re meant to leave your capital in the investment for the duration of the holding period.

•   Taxes on real estate gains can be complicated, as the dividend portion is typically taxed differently than profit from sales of properties. You may want to consult a professional.

•   Returns are not guaranteed, and properties may underperform as market or economic conditions change.

•   Nonaccredited investors are limited in how much they can invest in crowdfunded real estate by SEC regulations (see above).

Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms

Online platforms allow investors to crowdfund real estate with a relatively low minimum investment amount. A typical minimum investment is $10,000 though some platforms allow investors to get started with $500 or less.

When comparing platforms that crowdfund real estate, it’s helpful to consider:

•   Minimum and maximum investment thresholds

•   Range of investment options

•   Investment holding periods

•   Fees

•   Investment performance

•   Vetting and due diligence

It’s also important to look at whether a platform works with accredited or nonaccredited investors. The best real estate crowdfunding platforms thoroughly vet properties before making them available to investors, have low minimum investment thresholds, and charge minimal fees.

How to Get Started

If you’re interested in real estate crowdfunding you’ll first need to decide how much money you’re comfortable investing. How much of your portfolio you should allocate to real estate investments can depend on:

•   Your age and time horizon for investing

•   Investment goals

•   Risk tolerance

•   Risk capacity, meaning how much risk you need to take to reach your goals

There’s no magic number to aim for. Some investors may be comfortable allocating a larger portion of their portfolio to alternative investments like real estate while others may prefer to limit their allocation to 5% or 10% instead.

Once you’ve got an amount in mind you can move on to researching real estate crowdfunding platforms. Remember to look at whether platforms work with nonaccredited investors if you don’t yet qualify for accredited status.

The Takeaway

Real estate crowdfunding offers an exciting opportunity to expand your portfolio beyond traditional stocks and bonds. You might consider this option alongside REITs, real estate funds, or real estate stocks if you’d like to reap some of the benefits of property investing without having to purchase a rental unit or a fix-and-flip home.

Ready to expand your portfolio's growth potential? Alternative investments, traditionally available to high-net-worth individuals, are accessible to everyday investors on SoFi's easy-to-use platform. Investments in commodities, real estate, venture capital, and more are now within reach. Alternative investments can be high risk, so it's important to consider your portfolio goals and risk tolerance to determine if they're right for you.

Invest in alts to take your portfolio beyond stocks and bonds.

FAQ

How would earnings from real estate crowdfunding be taxed?

Owing to the complexity of real estate-related tax rules, you may want to consult a professional. Crowdfunded real estate investments can produce income in the form of dividends or interest, both of which are taxable at the dividend rate. Generally, any profits you clear when exiting would be treated as capital gains, and the holding period determines whether the short- or long-term rate applies.

Would real estate crowdfunding be considered a high-risk investment?

Real estate crowdfunding is risky, as interest rate fluctuations or changing market and economic conditions can affect outcomes. If you’re weighing real estate vs. stocks, remember that the two have little correlation to one another. Holding real estate in a portfolio can help balance risk and provide some protection against market volatility.

What is the difference between an accredited and nonaccredited investor?

An accredited investor satisfies one of three requirements established by the SEC, based on net worth, income, or securities licenses they hold. A nonaccredited investor does not meet these requirements and is generally considered a retail investor. A nonaccredited investor is subject to limits on how they may invest in crowdfunding opportunities.


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INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE

SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.


An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the Fund carefully before investing. This and other important information are contained in the Fund’s prospectus. For a current prospectus, please click the Prospectus link on the Fund’s respective page. The prospectus should be read carefully prior to investing.
Alternative investments, including funds that invest in alternative investments, are risky and may not be suitable for all investors. Alternative investments often employ leveraging and other speculative practices that increase an investor's risk of loss to include complete loss of investment, often charge high fees, and can be highly illiquid and volatile. Alternative investments may lack diversification, involve complex tax structures and have delays in reporting important tax information. Registered and unregistered alternative investments are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as mutual funds.
Please note that Interval Funds are illiquid instruments, hence the ability to trade on your timeline may be restricted. Investors should review the fee schedule for Interval Funds via the prospectus.

Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): Investors should carefully consider the information contained in the prospectus, which contains the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other relevant information. You may obtain a prospectus from the Fund company’s website or by email customer service at [email protected]. Please read the prospectus carefully prior to investing.
Shares of ETFs must be bought and sold at market price, which can vary significantly from the Fund’s net asset value (NAV). Investment returns are subject to market volatility and shares may be worth more or less their original value when redeemed. The diversification of an ETF will not protect against loss. An ETF may not achieve its stated investment objective. Rebalancing and other activities within the fund may be subject to tax consequences.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Disclaimer: The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results.
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Real Estate vs. Stocks: Pros and Cons

Stocks are typically a staple in many portfolios, but real estate can be a valuable addition as it offers the potential for diversification. Investing in real estate — through direct ownership or other means — can also be a hedge against inflation and market volatility.

When it comes to investing in real estate vs. stocks, it’s less of an either-or proposition and more a question of understanding the role that each asset class can play in your investment strategy, as well as the potential risks.

The Nature of Real Estate Investments

Real estate is considered an alternative asset class as it generally doesn’t move in tandem with traditional securities like stocks and bonds. As such, real estate can be attractive on several levels for investors who are interested in diversifying their portfolios to balance risk, and potentially generating income through dividends, interest payments, or rental income.

If you’re interested in learning how to invest in real estate, some options include:

•   Owning one or more rental properties

•   Buying shares in a real estate investment trust (REIT)

•   Investing in real estate funds or real estate stocks

•   Joining a real estate crowdfunding platform

•   Buying mortgage notes

•   Buying land

•   Purchasing a fix-and-flip property

Some of these options require more investment capital than others — it depends whether you’re buying shares of a real estate investment like a REIT, or purchasing a property outright — and each type of asset has different risks and rewards. Investors setting up a portfolio have flexibility in choosing where to put their money, based on their goals and risk tolerance.

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The Nature of Stock Investments

When comparing real estate vs. stocks, keep in mind there are only a few similarities. Unlike property, a stock is a type of security, meaning it has value and can be bought and sold. Owning shares of stock is a way of owning part of a company.

While it’s possible to own shares of a real estate investment — say, through a REIT, real estate-focused mutual funds, or crowdfunding platforms — investing in property often involves physical ownership, which is not the case with stocks.

Stocks are sold on exchanges in the U.S. The two largest are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq.1 Again, there can be some overlap with certain real estate investments, like REITS, that may trade on an exchange.

When you buy a share of stock you’re buying an ownership stake in a company. The more shares you buy, the more of the company you own. Some stocks pay dividends to investors, which represent a share of the company’s profits. Stocks can be:

•   Preferred, meaning shareholders lack voting rights but receive priority payment of dividends

•   Common, meaning shareholders have voting rights but are last in line to receive dividend payments2

Stocks can be bought and sold in individual shares or collectively through mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). When you buy a mutual fund or ETF you’re buying a basket of investments, which can include stocks from different companies.

Investors may actively trade stocks to try and leverage market trends from one day to the next, or they may use a buy-and-hold approach to benefit from capital appreciation over time. Which path you choose depends on whether you’re looking for short-term or long-term gains.

Comparing Returns of Real Estate and Stocks

In weighing the merits of real estate vs. stocks it’s important to consider return profiles. So, which tends to perform better over time: stocks or real estate?

Historically, the numbers show that stocks tend to perform better than real estate. If you look at 2023, for instance, the S&P 500 posted a 26.06% return. Real estate, by comparison, returned 6.29% to investors.

Stocks don’t always best real estate, of course. As recently as 2022, the S&P 500 posted a negative return of -18.04% while real estate returned 5.67%. However, when you compare the historical data year by year, stocks tend to outperform real estate more often than not.

Does that mean real estate is a poor investment? Given its low correlation to the stock market, real estate could bolster returns in years when stock prices drop due to increased volatility.

Liquidity and Accessibility Differences

Liquidity refers to how easily you can sell an investment that you own. When you compare stocks vs. real estate, stocks are typically the more liquid of the two because it’s relatively easy to sell one or more shares of stock on an exchange.

With real estate, however, there may be obstacles that could make liquidating your investment more difficult.

For example, if you’re investing in crowdfunded real estate you may have to wait until the holding period ends to withdraw your initial investment. It’s not uncommon to see holding periods that last five to 10 years with real estate crowdfunding.

Illiquidity is also typical with other categories of alternative investments.

REIT or real estate fund shares may be easier to unload if there’s demand for them in the market. However, trying to sell a rental property you own could take time if there’s a lack of eager buyers. Weighing the pros and cons of REIT investing against other real estate investments can make it easier to decide which ones align with your needs.

Risk and Diversification Considerations

Real estate and stocks have different risks to weigh, as well as different paths to diversification.

Real Estate Risks

With real estate, the biggest risks tend to be:

•   Market risk. Changing economic conditions or shifts in supply and demand can negatively affect real estate investment returns or make it more difficult to exit an investment.

•   Credit risk. Renting properties can provide a steady income but there’s always the risk that your renters won’t pay on time, or at all.

•   Location risk. A once-favorable location might suffer from environmental impacts or regulatory changes.

•   Interest rate risk. When interest rates fluctuate, that can impact the ability to get loans for new purchases or repairs. Interest rates can also impact cash flow from a property.

Equities Risks

With stocks, the biggest threats tend to be:

•   Market risk. Also known as systematic risk, market risk is the tendency of the market as a whole to rise and fall, impacting stocks in different sectors.

•   Volatility. Some stocks are more volatile than others, i.e., their share price tends to fluctuate versus other stocks that have fewer ups and downs, such as blue-chip stocks.

•   Inflation. Inflation can have a big impact on stocks owing to the change in demand for goods and the diminished purchasing power of capital.

•   Economic and political factors. Economic factors can play into stock market movements here and abroad, influencing political climates, and vice versa.

Diversification and Real Estate Investments

In terms of potential diversification benefits, real estate may counterbalance the volatility of stocks because property values tend not to fluctuate as dramatically within shorter periods.

Investing in real estate may offer some protection against inflation, since property prices tend to rise in tandem with increases in other consumer prices.

Diversification and Equities

Diversifying with stocks usually means choosing investments in companies that represent different sectors of the market. You might allocate some of your portfolio to defensive, lower-risk stocks in the utilities and healthcare sectors while also investing in some higher-risk stocks that may generate better returns.

It’s also possible to invest in mutual funds and ETFs, which are types of pooled investments that offer diversification owing to the number of securities each fund holds.

The Takeaway

Whether it makes sense to invest in stocks vs. real estate ultimately hinges on what you need your portfolio to do for you. There’s an argument for holding both positions. But it’s wise to consider the risk factors that may come into play with each type of asset.

Equities can help investors target growth in specific sectors, but can be subject to systematic risk as well as economic shocks, and other factors. As an alternative asset class, real estate may help provide some ballast in your portfolio if stocks turn volatile. Real estate may also hedge against inflation. But real estate is generally illiquid, and the risks of certain types of property investments, or crowdfunding platforms, may not be obvious.

Ready to expand your portfolio's growth potential? Alternative investments, traditionally available to high-net-worth individuals, are accessible to everyday investors on SoFi's easy-to-use platform. Investments in commodities, real estate, venture capital, and more are now within reach. Alternative investments can be high risk, so it's important to consider your portfolio goals and risk tolerance to determine if they're right for you.


Invest in alts to take your portfolio beyond stocks and bonds.

FAQ

What are the main types of real estate investments?

Rental properties and fix-and-flip properties are two of the most popular ways to get started with real estate investing, if you prefer a hands-on approach. If you’d rather invest in real estate for passive income, you might consider REITs, real estate funds, real estate stocks, or crowdfunded real estate investments instead.

How do the historical returns of real estate and stocks compare?

Historically, average stock market returns have more or less matched real estate returns. However, there have been years where real estate returns have significantly outpaced stocks. Economic conditions, geopolitical events, and the interest rate environment can all play a part in influencing whether stocks or real estate produce better returns.

Are stocks more volatile than real estate?

Stocks tend to be more volatile than real estate, which is one of the reasons to consider property investments. Real estate may help bring some stability to your portfolio when stock prices are fluctuating due to uncertain market conditions. That said, real estate investments are subject to other risk factors such as interest rate changes, which affect prices, as well as weather and/or climate changes; the rise and fall of a location’s popularity; local zoning rules, as well as other issues investors need to bear in mind.


Photo credit: iStock/andreswd

SoFi Invest®

INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE

SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.


An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the Fund carefully before investing. This and other important information are contained in the Fund’s prospectus. For a current prospectus, please click the Prospectus link on the Fund’s respective page. The prospectus should be read carefully prior to investing.
Alternative investments, including funds that invest in alternative investments, are risky and may not be suitable for all investors. Alternative investments often employ leveraging and other speculative practices that increase an investor's risk of loss to include complete loss of investment, often charge high fees, and can be highly illiquid and volatile. Alternative investments may lack diversification, involve complex tax structures and have delays in reporting important tax information. Registered and unregistered alternative investments are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as mutual funds.
Please note that Interval Funds are illiquid instruments, hence the ability to trade on your timeline may be restricted. Investors should review the fee schedule for Interval Funds via the prospectus.

Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): Investors should carefully consider the information contained in the prospectus, which contains the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other relevant information. You may obtain a prospectus from the Fund company’s website or by email customer service at [email protected]. Please read the prospectus carefully prior to investing.
Shares of ETFs must be bought and sold at market price, which can vary significantly from the Fund’s net asset value (NAV). Investment returns are subject to market volatility and shares may be worth more or less their original value when redeemed. The diversification of an ETF will not protect against loss. An ETF may not achieve its stated investment objective. Rebalancing and other activities within the fund may be subject to tax consequences.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Disclaimer: The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results.

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Commodity vs Security: What Are the Differences?

The main difference between a commodity vs. security lies in what you own. Commodities are raw materials and basic goods, while securities represent an ownership stake (e.g. stock) or a debt obligation (e.g. bonds).

As such, investing in commodities and securities can offer two different paths to diversification.

Both commodities and securities can be traded on market exchanges. Between the two, commodities are typically categorized as alternative investments to the traditional array of stocks, bonds, and cash many investors hold.

Understanding Commodities

What are commodities? The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recognizes three categories of commodities:

•   Agricultural

•   Natural resources

•   Financial instruments

In simple terms, commodities are raw materials typically used in the production of other goods. Commodities are considered a type of alternative investment because these products — whether oil, corn, or copper — don’t move in sync with traditional stock and bond markets, and may provide portfolio diversification.

Types of Commodities

Broadly speaking, commodities may be classified as hard or soft. Hard commodities are mined or extracted, while soft commodities are produced through agriculture.

Examples of agricultural commodities include wheat, soybeans, corn, and livestock. Natural resource commodities include gold, silver, copper, and timberland investments. Financial instruments include U.S. or foreign currencies, or options and futures contracts that invest in an underlying commodity.

The Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) regulates the trade of commodity futures in the U.S. Trading futures commodities must generally be done through a commodity exchange, with some limited exceptions. The CEA also enables the CFTC to regulate the commodities industry.

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Understanding Securities

Now, what are securities? The term securities refers to a broad range of investments where there’s an expectation that value or profit will be returned to the investor. Examples of securities include:

•   Stocks

•   Bonds

•   Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

•   Mortgage notes

•   Promissory notes

•   Limited partnerships

•   Oil and gas interests

•   Debentures

•   Investment contracts

Stocks and bonds are among the most commonly traded securities. When you buy shares of stock you’re getting an ownership stake in the underlying company. Should the value of your shares increase you could sell them at a profit.

Bonds are a debt obligation between the bond issuer and investors. When you buy a bond, you agree to let the bond issuer use your money for a certain period. During that time you’ll earn interest, and when the bond matures you can reclaim your original investment.

Certain types of financial instruments are excluded from this list. Checks, bank accounts, and traditional life insurance policies don’t meet the definition of a security.

How Securities Are Regulated

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates securities trading in the U.S. Some of the most significant laws relating to securities include:

•   The Securities Act of 1933

•   The Securities Exchange Act of 1934

•   Investment Advisers Act of 1940

•   Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

•   Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 20105

Many securities are publicly traded on market exchanges. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), for example, is the world’s largest stock exchange. Securities that do not trade on an exchange may be traded privately or over the counter. Over-the-counter trading relies on a network of broker-dealers to complete the sale or purchase of securities.

Comparing Commodities and Securities

Commodities and securities can be used to achieve different goals in a portfolio. Both allow for diversification but they differ in how they work, what you’re trading, and the associated risks and rewards.

Here’s a simpler way to think of the difference between a security vs. commodity. Securities often represent the end product, while commodities are the building blocks of that product.

For example, take a company that produces computer chips. If you invest in the precious metals used to make computer chips (e.g. gold, silver, platinum), you’re investing in commodities. If you buy shares of company stock, those are securities.

Here are some of the important things to know if you’re weighing security vs. commodity trading.

Commodities

Securities

Nature of the investment Raw materials and basic goods Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, investment contracts
Trading mechanism Futures contracts and options can be bought and sold on a commodity exchange; commodity mutual funds and ETFs can be traded on a stock exchange Publicly traded stocks and bonds can be bought and sold on stock exchanges
Potential Benefits Portfolio diversification, potentially higher returns, inflationary hedge, potential insulation against market volatility Potential gains through active trading, potential for long-term capital appreciation, potential for passive income from dividends
Potential Risks Supply and demand, weather/climate conditions, geopolitical events can influence commodity pricing Supply and demand, investor sentiment, economic conditions, interest rates, and company health can influence stock and bond prices
Regulatory body Commodity Futures Trading Commission Securities and Exchange Commission

Investing in Commodities vs Securities

Purchasing physical commodities isn’t realistic for the average investor, as doing so requires you to store them (or pay for storage) until you’re ready to sell. Instead, commodities are typically traded through one of the following:

•   Options contracts

•   Futures contracts

•   Commodity mutual funds and ETFs

•   Hedge funds (often the domain of high-net-worth investors)

Options and futures contracts are derivatives, meaning their value is determined by an underlying investment, i.e., the commodity you’re trading. Commodity funds and ETFs can offer exposure to a basket of investments, which may include individual securities.

For instance, rather than trading oil futures contracts, you might purchase an ETF that holds gas stocks. Or you could buy individual shares of energy stock if you prefer.

With securities, you have some of the same avenues for investing. You can purchase stand-alone stock shares or individual bonds. Mutual funds, an array of index funds, and ETFs can offer broad diversification. You could also trade stock options if you’re comfortable with speculative investments.

Whether it makes sense to choose a security vs. a commodity for your portfolio can depend on your risk tolerance and objectives.

Portfolio Diversification With Commodities and Securities

Commodities can offer exposure to alternative investments beyond traditional stocks and bonds. Thanks to options, contracts, and commodity funds you don’t need to purchase physical commodities. You can select which areas you’d like to target, based on whether you prefer hard vs. soft commodities.

You might choose to focus on a single category, such as agriculture. Or you might spread your investment dollars across agricultural commodities, natural resources, and financial instruments for a more well-rounded approach.

Diversifying with securities often means finding the right mix between stocks and bonds. Your optimal asset allocation may depend on your age, your time horizon for investing, and how much risk you’re comfortable taking. Within each securities category, you can decide how to invest based on:

•   Whether you’re looking for a quick profit vs. longer-term gains

•   Your preference for earning passive income from dividends or interest

•   How much risk you need to take to achieve your goals

All investments carry some risk, though some are riskier than others. Commodities tend to veer toward the riskier side which is important to remember when deciding how to allocate your portfolio.

The Takeaway

The main difference between a commodity vs. a security lies in what you own. With commodities, you’re most often trading futures or options contracts for an underlying good, such as pork bellies, oil, or aluminum. With securities, you’re typically buying stocks or bonds, or derivatives contracts.

Ready to expand your portfolio's growth potential? Alternative investments, traditionally available to high-net-worth individuals, are accessible to everyday investors on SoFi's easy-to-use platform. Investments in commodities, real estate, venture capital, and more are now within reach. Alternative investments can be high risk, so it's important to consider your portfolio goals and risk tolerance to determine if they're right for you.

Invest in alts to take your portfolio beyond stocks and bonds.

FAQ

What is the difference between a security and a commodity?

The main difference comes down to what you’re investing in. With commodities, you’re most often trading futures or options contracts with an underlying raw material or good, such as pork bellies, oil, or aluminum. With securities, you’re typically buying shares of a company or funding bonds with the expectation of earning interest.

Can a commodity become a security?

A commodity can become a security if it meets the definition of an investment contract under the Howey Test. This test, which was formulated through a 1946 Supreme Court decision, defines an investment contract as being an investment of money in a common enterprise, with the reasonable expectation of profits due to the managerial efforts of others.

Is gold considered a commodity?

Yes, gold is considered a commodity. In terms of its uses as a raw material, gold is often a key element in jewelry production and electronics manufacturing. Historically, gold has also been used as a form of currency and is a form of legal tender in the United States, but it is not considered a security.


Photo credit: iStock/Jacob Wackerhausen

SoFi Invest®

INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE

SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.


An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the Fund carefully before investing. This and other important information are contained in the Fund’s prospectus. For a current prospectus, please click the Prospectus link on the Fund’s respective page. The prospectus should be read carefully prior to investing.
Alternative investments, including funds that invest in alternative investments, are risky and may not be suitable for all investors. Alternative investments often employ leveraging and other speculative practices that increase an investor's risk of loss to include complete loss of investment, often charge high fees, and can be highly illiquid and volatile. Alternative investments may lack diversification, involve complex tax structures and have delays in reporting important tax information. Registered and unregistered alternative investments are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as mutual funds.
Please note that Interval Funds are illiquid instruments, hence the ability to trade on your timeline may be restricted. Investors should review the fee schedule for Interval Funds via the prospectus.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): Investors should carefully consider the information contained in the prospectus, which contains the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other relevant information. You may obtain a prospectus from the Fund company’s website or by email customer service at [email protected]. Please read the prospectus carefully prior to investing.
Shares of ETFs must be bought and sold at market price, which can vary significantly from the Fund’s net asset value (NAV). Investment returns are subject to market volatility and shares may be worth more or less their original value when redeemed. The diversification of an ETF will not protect against loss. An ETF may not achieve its stated investment objective. Rebalancing and other activities within the fund may be subject to tax consequences.


Options involve risks, including substantial risk of loss and the possibility an investor may lose the entire amount invested in a short period of time. Before an investor begins trading options they should familiarize themselves with the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options . Tax considerations with options transactions are unique, investors should consult with their tax advisor to understand the impact to their taxes.
Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

Fund Fees
If you invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) through SoFi Invest (either by buying them yourself or via investing in SoFi Invest’s automated investments, formerly SoFi Wealth), these funds will have their own management fees. These fees are not paid directly by you, but rather by the fund itself. these fees do reduce the fund’s returns. Check out each fund’s prospectus for details. SoFi Invest does not receive sales commissions, 12b-1 fees, or other fees from ETFs for investing such funds on behalf of advisory clients, though if SoFi Invest creates its own funds, it could earn management fees there.
SoFi Invest may waive all, or part of any of these fees, permanently or for a period of time, at its sole discretion for any reason. Fees are subject to change at any time. The current fee schedule will always be available in your Account Documents section of SoFi Invest.


Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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What Are Brokerage Checking Accounts?

Brokerage checking accounts combine the everyday usability of a checking account with the investment potential of a brokerage account, allowing you to manage both your bills and investments from a single platform. Often referred to as a “cash account” or “cash management account,” these accounts offer flexibility — you can buy, sell, or trade securities whenever you wish without facing penalties.

Understanding what a brokerage checking account is and how it works can help you determine if this type of account makes sense for your banking needs.

Key Features of Brokerage Checking Accounts

Investing can become quicker when you have an investment checking account, especially for active traders or those combining their checking and investment accounts. It gives you direct access to the stock market without the delays of traditional transfers between accounts.

Similar to other brokerage investment accounts, these accounts are not tax-advantaged. Here are some other noteworthy features.

💡 Quick Tip: Are self-directed brokerage accounts cost efficient? They can be, because they offer the convenience of being able to buy stocks online without using a traditional full-service broker (and the typical broker fees).

Linked to Brokerage Investment Accounts

Brokerage checking accounts let you invest directly from your account, so there’s no waiting for transfers to start investing. Instead of opening one with a bank or credit union, you’ll need to go through a brokerage firm to get a brokerage checking account. Brokerages typically charge fees for opening and maintaining them.

Debit/ATM Card Access to Funds

Brokerage checking accounts generally offer checks, a debit card, and ATM access, similar to other types of checking accounts. Depending on the brokerage you choose, you might also get perks like ATM fee refunds or earn interest on your account balance.

Some brokerages may even waive foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.

Get up to $1,000 in stock when you fund a new Active Invest account.*

Access stock trading, options, auto investing, IRAs, and more. Get started in just a few minutes.


*Customer must fund their Active Invest account with at least $25 within 30 days of opening the account. Probability of customer receiving $1,000 is 0.028%. See full terms and conditions.

Benefits of a Brokerage Checking Account

Brokerage accounts with checking offer features like traditional bank checking accounts, but they often come with additional benefits not typically found in standard checking accounts.

Easily Move Money Between Investments

For active investors who trade regularly, investment checking accounts may simplify the trading process. Depending on your brokerage’s rules, you may be able to buy securities straight from it. This can make investing quicker and more convenient, streamlining the whole process.

💡 Quick Tip: Look for an online brokerage with low trading commissions as well as no account minimum. Higher fees can cut into investment returns over time.

Potential for Higher Interest Earnings

Depending on the brokerage you choose, some accounts stand out by offering high annual percentage yields (APYs), allowing you to earn more interest on your money compared to regular checking accounts. This can make them a good choice for growing your savings while still having easy access to your funds.

Integrated Money Management

Instead of juggling separate accounts for savings, spending, and investing, investment checking accounts let you manage all your money under one umbrella. This means you can handle everything from one place, making it potentially easier to keep track of your finances.

Potential Drawbacks

While brokerage accounts with checking have many advantages, there are a few drawbacks to consider.

May Require Minimum Balances

While some brokerages let you open accounts with no upfront cost, others require an initial deposit. Additionally, you may need to keep a specific balance in your account to avoid incurring maintenance fees.

Fees for Certain Transactions

While brokerage checking accounts typically have low relative fees, you might still encounter some costs for opening and maintaining your account. Additionally, certain brokerages may require you to connect a separate investment account, which could come with additional fees. It’s a good idea to check the specific terms and conditions of each brokerage to understand all potential costs.

No In-Person Service

If you choose an online brokerage firm, remember that you may not have access to in-person services. These firms operate entirely online, so you won’t be able to visit a physical branch for face-to-face assistance. Instead, all your interactions will be digital, through their website, app, or customer service hotline.

Eligibility and Account Opening

Before selecting a brokerage account with checking, make sure to compare your options by looking at fees, interest rates, and accessibility. Then once you’ve picked a brokerage firm, you can usually get started by opening your account online. If you opt for an online brokerage firm, that’ll be your main route.

You’ll need to have your personal details ready and transfer money from another account to fund your investment checking account. Most of the time, there’s no need to meet a minimum balance requirement just to get things up and running.

Comparing To Traditional Checking

Choosing asuitable checking account depends on what you need and what you’re looking for in your banking experience. Whether it’s easy access, fees, or extra features, understanding the differences between traditional and brokerage checking accounts can help you make a smart choice. Let’s break down the main factors to compare.

•   Opening and maintenance fees: Traditional checking accounts usually have minimal opening fees and low maintenance costs, especially if you use your account abroad or maintain a minimum balance. Brokerage checking accounts also tend to have low fees, but some may require a significant initial deposit or a linked investment account, which could involve additional fees.

•   Access: Traditional checking accounts offer convenient in-person access through branches and ATMs. On the other hand, brokerage accounts with checking linked to online brokerages may not have in-person services, although they typically provide ATM access.

•   Features: Both account types generally include essentials like check-writing, debit card access, and online bill pay. Brokerage checking accounts often go further by offering investment options such as direct investing from the account and sometimes perks like ATM fee reimbursements.

•   FDIC Insurance: Money in traditional checking accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000, ensuring your money is protected. Similarly, some brokerage checking accounts may hold your uninvested funds in FDIC-insured banks, providing comparable security. But you may need to opt-in, and generally, this may not be standard practice.

The Takeaway

Brokerage checking accounts may give you the best of both worlds:allowing you to handle your everyday banking needs while also offering investment opportunities. In effect, you can manage your bills and investments all in one place, with direct access to the stock market. However, before you decide if a brokerage checking account fits your needs, be sure to compare fees, interest rates, and how accessible it is for your financial goals.

Ready to invest in your goals? It’s easy to get started when you open an investment account with SoFi Invest. You can invest in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, alternative funds, and more. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

For a limited time, opening and funding an Active Invest account gives you the opportunity to get up to $1,000 in the stock of your choice.

FAQ

What banks offer brokerage checking?

Online and traditional brokerages may offer brokerage checking accounts, but keep in mind they can differ significantly. So, take your time to shop around and find one that really suits your needs, with the features you want and fewer fees.

Can I have multiple brokerage checking accounts?

Similar to how you can have multiple investment accounts, you can have multiple brokerage checking accounts.

Are brokerage checking accounts FDIC-insured?

Brokerage accounts are backed by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) if your brokerage firm shuts down. For uninvested money, brokerage checking accounts usually keep it in FDIC-insured banks, just like regular banks do. Some firms might also offer extra FDIC coverage by using multiple banks.


Photo credit: iStock/miniseries

SoFi Invest®

INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE

SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Claw Promotion: Customer must fund their Active Invest account with at least $25 within 30 days of opening the account. Probability of customer receiving $1,000 is 0.028%. See full terms and conditions.

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What Is a Gold IRA? How Do You Invest in One?

While it’s common for people to use their IRA to invest in stocks, bonds, and other securities, it’s also possible to set up a self-directed IRA to invest in physical gold bars, coins, or bullion.

Although the assets within a self-directed IRA are considered alternative investments, these accounts still follow the standard IRS rules regarding tax advantages, annual contribution limits, and so forth.

That said, not all brokers offer self-directed IRAs. And investing in gold within an IRA may be more expensive owing to the cost of storing a physical commodity like gold.

Establishing a Gold IRA Account

It’s important to understand that there isn’t a dedicated “gold IRA” that’s geared toward investing in gold alone (or any other type of precious metal). Rather, investors interested in investing in gold or other types of alternative investments can set up what’s known as a self-directed IRA (or SIDRA) in order to choose investments that aren’t normally available through a traditional IRA account.

While alternative investments can be illiquid, volatile, or subject to other risk factors, investors interested in alts may be curious about the potential for greater diversification since these assets typically don’t move in tandem with conventional markets. In the case of precious metals, they can be an inflation hedge.

Understanding Self-Directed IRAs

Typically, most IRA providers only allow you to invest in securities like stocks, bonds, ETFs or mutual funds. If you want to invest in gold by buying shares in an ETF focusing on gold, or by purchasing stock in a gold mining company, then a traditional IRA custodian is fine.

But if you want to hold physical gold in your IRA, you’ll need to find a broker that will allow you to set up a self-directed IRA.

Self-directed IRAs and self-directed Roth IRAs allow account holders to buy and sell a wider variety of investments than regular traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

While a custodian or a trustee administers the SDIRA, the account holder typically manages the portfolio of assets themselves. These accounts may also come with higher fees than regular IRAs owing to the higher cost of storing physical assets like gold.

That said, a self-directed IRA follows the same general rules as ordinary IRAs in terms of tax rules, withdrawal restrictions, income caps, and annual contribution limits (see details below). A self-directed IRA can be set up as a traditional, tax-deferred account, or a self-directed Roth IRA.

Setting Up a Gold IRA Account

Once you’ve found an IRA custodian or brokerage that allows you to open a self-directed IRA and purchase physical gold, you can fund your account. Be sure you’re working with a reputable, experienced precious metals IRA custodian, and that the company is registered with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and with FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).

The two most common ways to fund a gold IRA are by contributing cash or transferring money from an existing IRA or 401(k) account.

After you’ve funded your account, your broker will purchase the physical gold and store it for you. These same steps will hold true if you want to invest in other precious metals, including silver or platinum.

Alternative investments,
now for the rest of us.

Start trading funds that include commodities, private credit, real estate, venture capital, and more.


Gold Standards for IRAs

Just as with a silver IRA, there are restrictions on the physical gold you are allowed to hold in an IRA. Any gold that is held in an IRA must be at least 99.5% pure.

Some common types of gold coins that are allowed to be held in a gold IRA include American Eagle bullion or coins, Canadian Maple Leaf coins and Australian Koala bullion coins.

Managing a Gold IRA Portfolio

The process for managing an IRA invested in gold is similar to managing an IRA that holds any commodity or security.

When you open a gold IRA, you will issue instructions to your broker to buy and sell physical gold, just as you would if you were buying stocks in a more traditional IRA. The value of your gold IRA portfolio fluctuates with the value of the physical gold that you hold.

You are not allowed to hold the gold yourself while it is part of your IRA. If you want to take possession of the physical gold bullion in your gold IRA, you will need to make a withdrawal from your IRA — which is subject to standard IRS rules governing IRA withdrawals.

An early withdrawal before age 59 ½ may result in taxes and/or penalties, so make sure you understand the terms before you take a withdrawal from a self-directed IRA.

Recommended: Portfolio Diversification: What It Is and Why It’s Important

Tax Advantages and Drawbacks of Gold IRAs

Remember that an IRA invested in gold still follows the basic structure and tax rules of traditional and Roth IRAs. The annual contribution limit for a regular, Roth, or self-directed IRA is $7,000 for tax year 2024, or $8,000 for those 50 and older.

•   With a self-directed traditional IRA, you save money that’s considered pre-tax (just as in a traditional IRA account). The value of the assets within the account may grow over time, but taxes are deferred. This means you will owe tax on the money when you withdraw it, which you can do without penalty starting at age 59 ½.

•   With a self-directed Roth IRA you make after-tax contributions, just as you would with a regular Roth IRA. Here the money grows tax free over time. In the case of a Roth account, qualified withdrawals are tax free starting at age 59 ½, as long as you have had the account for at least five years, according to the five-year rule.

In addition, investors who want to set up a Roth SIDRA must meet certain income requirements (the same income caps as for a regular Roth IRA). For single and joint tax filers: in order to contribute the full amount to a Roth IRA you must earn less than $146,000 (for single filers) or $230,000 (if you’re married, filing jointly), respectively. See IRS.gov for additional details, or consider consulting a tax professional.

One of the biggest drawbacks of a gold IRA is that the money in your IRA is generally intended for retirement. That means that if you withdraw the money in any IRA before you reach 59 ½, you may have to pay additional taxes and/or a 10% penalty. Another drawback is that you are limited by how much you can contribute to a gold IRA each year.

The Takeaway

There isn’t a specific type of IRA called a gold IRA — this is just a common way to refer to a self-directed IRA that is used to invest in physical gold. A gold IRA might be a traditional or a Roth IRA, which each come with certain tax advantages. Any gold that you hold in a self-directed IRA must be at least 99.5% pure. Additionally, not all brokers allow you to self-direct your investments and hold gold in your IRA.

Ready to expand your portfolio's growth potential? Alternative investments, traditionally available to high-net-worth individuals, are accessible to everyday investors on SoFi's easy-to-use platform. Investments in commodities, real estate, venture capital, and more are now within reach. Alternative investments can be high risk, so it's important to consider your portfolio goals and risk tolerance to determine if they're right for you.

Invest in alts to take your portfolio beyond stocks and bonds.

FAQ

What types of gold investments can be held in a gold IRA?

Like other commodities including silver or platinum, there are specific rules about what kinds of gold investments can be held in a gold IRA. Gold must be at least 99.5% pure to be eligible to be held in an IRA. This includes coins like the Australian Koala, Canadian Maple Leaf, or American Eagle.

How do you set up and fund a gold IRA account?

The most important step to setting up and funding a gold IRA is to find a custodian that will allow you to open a self-directed IRA and invest in precious metals. Once you have found a custodian that will, simply follow their account setup instructions. Then you can fund your gold IRA, by either making a new contribution, or transferring money from a 401(k) account or an existing IRA.

What are the tax benefits and restrictions associated with a gold IRA?

The tax benefits and restrictions of a self-directed gold IRA are the same as any other IRA. With a traditional gold IRA, you may be eligible for a tax deduction in the year that you make a contribution, but you’ll owe taxes on withdrawals. With a Roth gold IRA, you don’t get a tax deduction when you make your contribution — instead, your withdrawals are tax free. In most circumstances, you will have to pay taxes and/or penalties if you make a withdrawal before age 59 ½.


Photo credit: iStock/JohnnyGreig

SoFi Invest®

INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE

SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): Investors should carefully consider the information contained in the prospectus, which contains the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other relevant information. You may obtain a prospectus from the Fund company’s website or by email customer service at [email protected]. Please read the prospectus carefully prior to investing.
Shares of ETFs must be bought and sold at market price, which can vary significantly from the Fund’s net asset value (NAV). Investment returns are subject to market volatility and shares may be worth more or less their original value when redeemed. The diversification of an ETF will not protect against loss. An ETF may not achieve its stated investment objective. Rebalancing and other activities within the fund may be subject to tax consequences.


Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

Fund Fees
If you invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) through SoFi Invest (either by buying them yourself or via investing in SoFi Invest’s automated investments, formerly SoFi Wealth), these funds will have their own management fees. These fees are not paid directly by you, but rather by the fund itself. these fees do reduce the fund’s returns. Check out each fund’s prospectus for details. SoFi Invest does not receive sales commissions, 12b-1 fees, or other fees from ETFs for investing such funds on behalf of advisory clients, though if SoFi Invest creates its own funds, it could earn management fees there.
SoFi Invest may waive all, or part of any of these fees, permanently or for a period of time, at its sole discretion for any reason. Fees are subject to change at any time. The current fee schedule will always be available in your Account Documents section of SoFi Invest.


Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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