Can You Open a Savings Account for an Inmate?

Opening a Savings Account for an Inmate: All You Need to Know

You may wonder if it’s possible to open a bank account for someone who is in prison. The answer is, yes, it may be possible to start a bank account for a prisoner, provided it’s allowed by the Department of Corrections in the state where the individual is incarcerated. (Worth noting: It may also be a challenge to find a bank that offers this kind of account.)

Opening an account can be a positive step. Being imprisoned can limit someone’s ability to pay bills, grow savings, and generally manage their finances. Opening accounts for inmates at external banks can help them to earn interest on savings while saving money on fees. And it can potentially make their reentry into society easier upon release.

While inmates may have access to prison accounts, those can come with high fees, and they typically don’t pay interest. A prison account is a special type of account that allows an inmate to store funds which can be used to pay for hygiene items and other necessities while they’re incarcerated. It doesn’t impact their lives when released.

So, let’s take a closer look at this topic:

•   Whether it’s legal to open a bank account while in prison

•   How to apply for a bank account while in prison

•   What documentation is required to start an account

•   What kinds of accounts are available, including whether joint accounts are a possibility

Let’s start learning about accounts for inmates.

Is It Legal to Open a Bank Account While in Prison?

It’s legal to open a bank account while in prison, unless state law or correctional facility policy specifically prohibits it. The best way to find out whether opening accounts for inmates is allowed is to check with the Department of Corrections in the state where the person is incarcerated.

In Texas, for example, the Department of Criminal Justice encourages inmates to open accounts at an external bank of their choice. They can then link this bank account to their prison account. This can be used to replenish their account for items bought while in prison. Excess funds in their prison account can also be transferred to their external bank account.

The state of New York, on the other hand, prohibits inmates from opening outside bank accounts. Specifically, prisoners are not allowed to open:

•   Checking accounts

•   Savings accounts

•   Stock accounts

•   Mutual fund accounts

•   Money market accounts

•   Certificate of deposit (CD) accounts

•   “In trust for” accounts

Inmates in New York are also barred from receiving distributions from any U.S. savings bonds they might own. Prisoners who enter the system with existing checking accounts or other bank accounts are required to close them.

So, if you are thinking of opening a savings account for an inmate, whether or not you can will depend on where they’re imprisoned. If you’re able to open some kind of savings account for an inmate, the next challenge may be finding a bank that will allow you to do so. Let’s look at that issue in a bit more detail next.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


Why Banks Might Refuse to Help Prisoners

Not all banks are willing to open accounts for prisoners. Financial institutions can establish their own policies for when opening accounts for inmates is or isn’t allowed. If you’re trying to figure out how to open a bank account for an inmate and you’re hitting a brick wall with banks, it could be due to one of the following:

•   The bank requires a valid ID for the inmate, which you don’t have.

•   You have not been granted power of attorney (POA) for the inmate.

•   The inmate has a negative ChexSystems report (which is a reporting system for the banking industry) or previous issues with managing a bank account.

•   The bank is concerned that funds deposited to the account might be seized by a government entity.

•   The bank is concerned that the account may be used to conduct illegal activity.

It’s also possible that banks may be worried about running afoul of any rules or regulations established by their state’s Department of Corrections or Criminal Justice. In that scenario, it may be easier for the bank to simply not offer accounts for inmates to avoid any issues.

Applying for a Basic Bank Account for an Inmate

Let’s say that it is legal in the inmate’s state for them to hold a bank account, and you have found a financial institution that is willing to open an account. The next step would be to begin the account.

Keep in mind that opening accounts for inmates isn’t exactly the same as opening a checking account or savings account for yourself. In terms of how to open a savings account for an inmate, there may be one of three possibilities you can pursue. Again, the options you’re able to choose from could depend on what’s allowed by the inmate’s correctional facility and/or state.

Option 1: Specific Prison/Bank Arrangement

Correctional facilities may allow inmates to have outside bank accounts if they open them at an approved financial institution. For example, in Wisconsin inmates are allowed to open interest-bearing accounts at a bank that’s approved by the Department of Corrections.

If you’re trying to open a bank account for an inmate, you could check with the Department of Corrections or Criminal Justice to find out which banks are approved. The Department of Corrections should also be able to tell you what restrictions or requirements apply when opening accounts for inmates.

Recommended: How Much Money Do You Need to Open a Bank Account?

Option 2: Applying to Bank of Choice

While some correctional facilities require inmates to open external accounts at approved banks, others give you some leeway in deciding where to bank. As noted, Texas encourages prisoners to open accounts at the bank of their choice if they like.

If you’re trying to open a savings account for an inmate, the hard part may be finding a bank that will allow you to do so. You can start by checking at your current bank to see if it’s an option. If not, you can then try contacting other banks in the area to see which ones offer inmate accounts.

Recommended: How Many Bank Accounts Should You Have?

Option 3: Wait Until Release

Though not ideal, an inmate could simply wait until they’re released to open a savings account. This may be easier said than done, however, if the inmate isn’t able to meet the bank’s requirements for account opening.

What kind of requirements exactly? That could mean providing a valid ID and proof of address. And again, something like a negative ChexSystems report could lead the inmate to be denied a bank account. Unpaid balances or suspected fraud are other red flags that may result in an application for a new bank account being rejected.

Can Prisoners Be a Part of a Joint Bank Account?

You might be wondering how to open a joint bank account with an inmate or if it’s even possible. Whether a prisoner can open a joint bank account with someone else can depend on the bank’s policies. If you’re opening a joint bank account and the bank requires you to do so in person, for example, you may need to provide documentation showing why the joint account owner cannot be present.

Required documentation can include having power of attorney granting you legal authority to act on behalf of the inmate. The rules for establishing power of attorney and the scope of powers granted can vary from state to state.

If the bank allows you to open joint accounts online, then you may not be asked for this document. You will, however, likely need to provide the following for a joint account:

•   The inmate’s name

•   Their date of birth and Social Security number

•   A current address, phone number, and email address

If you’re missing any of those pieces of information, you may not be able to proceed with opening a joint account online. You could call the bank to ask how you can finish the account setup if you run into issues.

Keep in mind that managing a joint bank account — one shared with an inmate before they’re incarcerated — may be handled differently. As mentioned, New York requires inmates to close existing accounts before entering prison. But other correctional systems may allow those accounts to remain open.

If you have a joint account with an inmate, it’s important to note whether any court orders exist or are likely to be filed that would allow for seizure of account assets for repayment of a nondischargeable debt, such as back child support, past due tax bills, and federal student loans. Keep in mind that co-borrowers for joint loans are equally responsible for shared debts, even if one person is incarcerated.

Required Documents to Open a Bank Account

Banks typically have a standard list of documents they require to open a bank account. The list can include:

•   Valid government-issued ID

•   Proof of address

•   Social Security number

•   Birth certificate when other forms of ID are unavailable

Opening bank accounts for inmates can require additional documentation if the bank needs a power of attorney form. An attorney can help you complete a power of attorney for an inmate, which may require a visit to the correctional facility if state law prohibits digital signatures. State law can also dictate whether a power of attorney for an inmate needs to be notarized in order to be legally valid.

Types of Bank Accounts for a Prisoner

The types of bank accounts you can open for a prisoner will generally be governed by Department of Corrections policy. But if you’re able to open a bank account for an inmate, you might be able to choose from these options:

•   Checking accounts

•   Savings accounts

•   Money market accounts

•   Certificate of deposit accounts

These options may also be available once an inmate is released. If a former inmate is having trouble getting a regular checking account after release, they might consider second chance checking or a prepaid debit card instead. These can be easier to access and provide support for day-to-day banking in a way that can be very helpful.

•   Second chance checking is designed for people who have been denied a checking account in the past. Usually offered at online or smaller, local banks, these accounts can help people to develop good banking habits so they can upgrade to regular checking later. They may not offer the full array of bells and whistles, and they may involve higher fees.

•   Prepaid debit cards, meanwhile, allow you to load funds onto the card, which you can then use to pay bills, make purchases, or withdraw cash at ATMs. A prepaid debit card is not a bank account but it can provide a formerly incarcerated person with a way to manage their money until they can get an account at a bank.

The Takeaway

Having a bank account can be a positive experience for inmates, but opening a bank account for a prisoner can be quite challenging. Not all states allow inmates to start accounts, and not all banks are willing to have prisoners as customers.

Whether you’re opening accounts for inmates while they’re incarcerated or after they’re released, choosing the right place to bank matters. Specifically, it’s important to find a bank that offers the best combination of features and benefits for inmates and former inmates and makes it possible for you to open that account before the prisoner is released.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall. Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Can an incarcerated person open a bank account?

Whether an incarcerated person can open a bank account will depend on the policies set by the Department of Corrections in their state. Some correctional facilities allow inmates to have external bank accounts, while others limit inmates to having prison accounts only.

Can ex-prisoners have a bank account?

Yes, ex-prisoners can open bank accounts. However, their banking options may be limited if they have a negative ChexSystems report. Former inmates may consider second chance checking accounts if they’re unable to meet the requirements for a regular checking account.

How much money can a federal inmate have in their account?

The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) does not specify an upper limit on how much money a federal inmate can have in their prison account. Inmates can receive funds at a BOP-managed facility, which are deposited into their commissary accounts, by MoneyGram, Western Union, or U.S. Postal Service.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


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.

Our account fee policy is subject to change at any time.
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.

Photo credit: iStock/alfexe
SOBK0124030

Read more
paper pie charts

Dividends: What They Are and How They Work

A dividend is when a company periodically gives its shareholders a payment in cash, additional shares of stock, or property. The size of that dividend payment depends on the company’s dividend yield and how many shares you own.

Not all companies pay dividends, but many investors look to buy stock in companies that pay them as a way to generate regular income in addition to stock price appreciation. A dividend investing strategy is one way many investors look to make money from stocks and build wealth.

What Is a Dividend?

A dividend payment is a portion of a company’s earnings paid out to the shareholders. For every share of stock an investor owns, they get paid an amount of the company’s profits.

The total amount an investor receives in a dividend payment is based on the number of shares they own. For example, if a stock pays a quarterly dividend of $1 per share and the investor owns 50 shares, they would receive a dividend of $50 each quarter.

Companies can pay out dividends in cash, called a cash dividend, or additional stock, known as a stock dividend.

Generally, dividend payouts happen on a fixed schedule. Most dividend-paying companies will pay out their dividends quarterly. However, some companies pay out dividends annually, semi-annually (twice a year), or monthly.

Occasionally, companies will pay out dividends at random times, possibly due to a windfall in cash from a business unit sale. These payouts are known as special dividends or extra dividends.

A company is not required to pay out a dividend. There are no established rules for dividends; it’s entirely up to the company to decide if and when they pay them. Some companies pay dividends regularly, and others never do.

Even if companies pay dividends regularly, they are not always guaranteed. A company can skip or delay dividend payments as needed. For example, a company may withhold a dividend if they had a quarter with negative profits. However, such a move may spook the market, resulting in a drop in share price as investors sell the struggling company.

Types of Dividends

As noted, the most common types of dividends are cash dividends and stock dividends.

Cash dividends are dividends paid out in the form of cash to shareholders. Cash dividends are the most common form of dividend. Stock dividends are, likewise, more or less what they sound like: Dividends paid out in the form of additional stock. Generally, shareholders receive additional common stock.

💡 Quick Tip: How do you decide if a certain trading platform or app is right for you? Ideally, the investment platform you choose offers the features that you need for your investment goals or strategy, e.g., an easy-to-use interface, data analysis, educational tools.

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.

How Are Dividends Paid Out?

There are four critical dates investors need to keep in mind to determine when dividends are paid and see if they qualify to receive a dividend payment.

•   Declaration Date: The day when a company’s board of directors announces the next dividend payment. The company will inform investors of the date of record and the payable date on the declaration date. The company will notify shareholders of upcoming dividend payments by a press release on the declaration day.

•   Date of Record: The date of record, also known as the record date, is when a company will review its books to determine who its shareholders are and who will be entitled to a dividend payment.

•   Ex-dividend date: The ex-dividend date, typically set one business day before the record date, is an important date for investors. Before the ex-dividend date, investors who own the stock will receive the upcoming dividend payment. However, if you were to buy a stock on or after an ex-dividend date, you are not eligible to receive the future dividend payment.

•   Payable date: This is when the company pays the dividend to shareholders.

Example of Dividend Pay Out

Shareholders who own dividend-paying stocks would calculate their payout using a dividend payout ratio. Effectively, that’s the percentage of the company’s profits that are paid out to shareholders, which is determined by the company.

The formula is as follows: Dividend payout ratio = Dividends paid / net income

As an example, assume a company reported net income of $100,000 and paid out $20,000 in dividends. In this case, the dividend payout ratio would be 20%. Shareholders would either receive a cash payout in their brokerage account, or see their total share holdings increase after the payout.

Why Do Investors Buy Dividend Stocks?

As mentioned, dividend payments and stock price appreciation make up a stock’s total return. But beyond being an integral part of total stock market returns, dividend-paying stocks present unique opportunities for investors in the following ways.

Passive Dividend Income

Many investors look to buy stock in companies that pay dividends to generate a regular passive dividend income. They may be doing this to replace a salary — e.g., in retirement — or supplement their current income. Investors who are following an income-producing strategy tend to favor dividend-paying stocks, government and corporate bonds, and real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Dividend Reinvestment Plans

A dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) allows investors to reinvest the money earned from dividend payments into more shares, or fractional shares, of that stock. A DRIP can help investors take advantage of compounding returns as they benefit from a growing share price, additional shares of stock, and regular dividend payments. The periodic payments from dividend stocks can be useful when utilizing a dividend reinvestment plan.

Dividend Tax Advantages

Another reason that investors may target dividend stocks is that they may receive favorable tax treatment depending on their financial situation, how long they’ve held the stock, and what kind of account holds the stock.

There are two types of dividends for tax purposes: ordinary and qualified. Ordinary dividends are taxable as ordinary income at your regular income tax rate. However, a dividend is eligible for the lower capital gains tax rate if it meets specific criteria to be a qualified dividend. These criteria are as follows:

•   It must be paid by a U.S. corporation or a qualified foreign corporation.

•   The dividends are not the type listed by the IRS under dividends that are not qualified dividends.

•   You must have held the stock for more than 60 days in the 121-day period that begins 60 days before the ex-dividend date.

Investors can take advantage of the favorable tax treatments of qualified dividends when paying taxes on stocks.

How to Evaluate Dividend Stocks

Evaluating dividend stocks requires some research, like evaluating other types of stocks. There’s analysis to be done, but investors will also want to take special care to look at prospective dividend yields and other variables related to dividends.

In all, investors would likely begin by digging through a stock’s financial reports and earnings data, and then looking at its dividend yield.

Analysis

As noted, investors may want to start their stock evaluations by looking at the data available, including balance sheets, cash flow statements, quarterly and annual earnings reports, and more. They can also crunch some numbers to get a sense of a company’s overall financial performance.

Dividend Yield

A dividend yield is a financial ratio that shows how much a company pays out in dividends relative to its share price. The dividend yield can be a valuable indicator to compare stocks that trade for different dollar amounts and with varying dividend payments.

Here’s how to calculate the dividend yield for a stock:

Dividend Yield = Annual Dividend Per Share ÷ Price Per Share

To use the dividend yield to compare two different stocks, consider two companies that pay a similar $4 annual dividend. A stock of Company A costs $95 per share, and a stock of Company B costs $165.

Using the formula above, we can see that Company A has a higher dividend yield than Company B. Company A has a dividend yield of 4.2% ($4 annual dividend ÷ $95 per share = 4.2%). Company B has a yield of 2.4% ($4 annual dividend ÷ $165 per share = 2.4%).

If investors are looking to invest in a company with a relatively high dividend yield, they may invest in Company A.

While this formula helps compare dividend yields, there may be other factors to consider when deciding on the suitable investment. There are many reasons a company could have a high or low dividend yield, and some insight into dividend yields is necessary for further analysis.

Tax Implication of Dividends

Dividends do, generally, trigger a tax liability for investors. There may be some special considerations at play, so if you have a lot of dividends, it may be beneficial to consult with a financial professional to get a sense of your overall tax liabilities.

But in a broad sense, regular dividends are taxed like ordinary income if they’re reinvested. If an investor receives stock dividends, though, that’s typically not taxable until the investor sells the holdings later on. Further, qualified dividends are usually taxed at lower rates that apply to capital gains – but there may be some variables involved that can change that.

Investors who do receive dividends should receive a tax form, a 1099-DIV, from the payor of the dividends if the annual payout is at least $10.

💡 Quick Tip: When you’re actively investing in stocks, it’s important to ask what types of fees you might have to pay. For example, brokers may charge a flat fee for trading stocks, or require some commission for every trade. Taking the time to manage investment costs can be beneficial over the long term.

The Takeaway

Dividends are a way that companies compensate shareholders just for owning the stock, usually in the form of a cash payment. Many investors look to dividend-paying stocks to take advantage of the regular income the payments provide and the stock price appreciation in total returns.

Additionally, dividend-paying companies can be seen as stable companies, while growth companies, where value comes from stock price appreciation, may be riskier. If your investment risk tolerance is low, investing in dividend-paying companies may be worthwhile.

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

Are dividends free money?

In a way, dividends may seem or feel like free money, but in another sense, they’re more like a reward for shareholders for owning a portion of a company.

Where do my dividends go?

Depending on the type of dividend, they’re usually distributed into an investor’s brokerage account in the form of cash or additional stock. The specifics depend on the type of account that dividend-paying stocks are held in, among other things.

How do I know if a stock pays dividends?

Investors can look at the details of stocks through their brokerage or government regulators’ websites. The information isn’t hard to find, typically, and some brokerages allow investors to search specifically for dividend-paying stocks, too.


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.

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

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.

SOIN0124046

Read more
woman looking at papers in kitchen

Understanding Market Sentiment

Market sentiment concerns a complicated blend of thoughts, feelings, and actions, all of which have an effect on stock prices and markets. Flip on the cable news and the vibe might have you believe that political statements, economic data points, natural disasters, or global unrest have some sort of predictable or unilateral effect on investing behavior.

And they might! But in a slightly more roundabout way. These events may well change how investors feel about owning certain investments, which leads them to buy or sell those investments. And it is the forces of supply and demand that push asset prices higher or lower. Said another way, investor sentiment, also known as market sentiment, can cause price volatility.

Market Sentiment Defined

The collection of all investor feelings — and actions — amounts to what is called market sentiment. It is a powerful force in the markets and is the subject of much study (and cable news discourse).

Market sentiment is affected by millions of factors daily. That’s because there are at least as many participants in popular marketplaces, like the stock market.

While one investor may be selling stocks because of poor corporate earnings, others might simply sell because they woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It is overly simplified to assume only one cause of changes to asset prices.

💡 Quick Tip: How do you decide if a certain trading platform or app is right for you? Ideally, the investment platform you choose offers the features that you need for your investment goals or strategy, e.g., an easy-to-use interface, data analysis, educational tools.

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.

Collective Mood Swings

Market sentiment is the phrase used to describe the overall spirit of investors in a market. (The stock market was used in the example above, but market sentiment exists in all investment markets.) Think of market sentiment as a giant mood ring for a particular market at a particular time.

The collective psychology of the market has the power to move stock prices. (How much “we” demand something gives it its value.)

When prices go up, the overall tone of the market is said to be positive, or bullish. When prices move downward, it generally means that investor sentiment is negative, or bearish. Investor attitudes about investments are realized in the price of those investments.

And anyone who watches the market knows that investors can be quite emotional at times. It’s human nature. It’s best that investors accept this reality.

In fact, investors should find it freeing that humans aren’t always rational and that sometimes asset prices can have major swings along with global moods. It is not up to the investor to control the swings of the stock market, but instead to weather them calmly.

While company earnings are the engine that drives stock market returns over time, it is the act of buying and selling that, in the shorter term, can cause the stock market to wiggle.

The stock market is of particular interest when looking at market sentiment. It’s a popular, global market, for one. Second, volatility can be dramatic, unlike markets for bonds. Third, it is easy to witness changes happening in real time.

The stock marketplace is like few marketplaces in the world, where prices are updated constantly in direct relation to the buying and selling of items in question. (Imagine how wild that would be if it happened at a grocery store.)

Market sentiment is considered an important tool for market analysis. It is used to make decisions about the very market the sentiment applies to.

Market Sentiment as an Indicator

When analyzing markets in an effort to predict them, indicators are used. An indicator is a sign or trigger that may hold some sort of valuable information. Market sentiment is one such indicator.

Compare market sentiment as an indicator with fundamental analysis, which largely relates to business performance, projected business performance, and the prevailing conditions for business performance.

Imagine a new tax law that’s expected to have a strong impact on the profitability of businesses in a certain industry. This would be considered a fundamental indicator.

Sometimes sentiment indicators and fundamental indicators can be at odds with each other. Fundamental indicators appear to point in one direction, but investor emotion may say otherwise.

For example, a business could have poor business fundamentals, and investors may still feel exuberant about that company and pile into its stock, which pushes the price of that stock higher.

Examples of Market Sentiment as an Indicator

There are many ways in which market sentiment is used as a market indicator. Then there are even more interpretations for what that data could mean.

It’s important to realize that no market indicators should be taken alone as fact. Why? Market indicators are in the business of predicting the future, which, in the stock market and otherwise, is a difficult thing to do.

In forecasting the general trajectory of the stock market, investor sentiment is sometimes used as a contrary indicator.

As the old adage goes, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” In a broad sense, when market sentiment is poor, it could indicate that it’s a good time to invest. When market sentiment is hot, it could be a bad time to invest.

When do people feel the worst about investing? At market bottoms, when prices are low. When do investors feel best? After the market has done well, which could indicate that prices are too high.

This is a characteristic of market bubbles, where investor mania causes prices to soar beyond their fundamental value. (Exhibit A was the dot com bubble, which saw investors piling into internet stocks, some of which never had so much as a quarter of positive earnings.)

Another instance in which sentiment might be used to assess an investment is through a strategy called value investing. With this method, investors attempt to uncover underpriced stocks — stocks whose price is lower than the believed value.

This could mean looking for a stock that has a strong fundamental foundation but that has yet to catch fire with investors, or a stock that is being punished (perhaps unnecessarily) by investors. Finding the proverbial diamond in the rough requires both an understanding of a company’s fundamentals and the market sentiment surrounding it.

Day trading, which is the practice of making bets on the price movement of a security during the trading day, relies on what are called technical indicators. And because of the power of investor attitudes to move prices, factors of sentiment can play an important role in short-term market changes.

For example, technical traders may look at a security’s historical price movement, called moving averages, in an attempt to surmise what will happen going forward. It is common to look at both 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages in an attempt to predict what happens next.

Other examples of sentiment indices are the High-Low Index, the CBOE Volatility Index, also known as the “fear” index, and the Bullish Percent Index.

The BPI measures the number of stocks with bullish and bearish patterns according to point and figure charts, ultimately producing a read on the sentiment of the overall market. An output of 50% is neutral, while reads above 80% are bullish and below 20%, bearish.

Some investors might argue that the above technical indicators have a serious limitation: They are using data from the past to project into the future and that the future is more or less unknown.

💡 Quick Tip: When you’re actively investing in stocks, it’s important to ask what types of fees you might have to pay. For example, brokers may charge a flat fee for trading stocks, or require some commission for every trade. Taking the time to manage investment costs can be beneficial over the long term.

Building an Investment Strategy

Market sentiment concerns the overall thoughts, feelings, and actions of market participants, and has an effect on what happens in the stock market. Negative sentiment can drive stock values down, while positive sentiment can lead to market euphoria and higher values.

It can be difficult to keep up with market sentiment, or to even read it accurately. But knowing what sentiment is, and how it can affect the markets, can be important when making investment decisions.

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.


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.

SOIN0124057

Read more
What Is an Exponential Moving Average (EMA) in Stock Trading? How Does It Work?

What Is Exponential Moving Average (EMA)?

An exponential moving average (EMA) is a commonly used average price calculation done for a specific time period that places more weight and importance on the most recent price data. Since it is weighted this way it reacts faster to recent price changes than a simple moving average (SMA) which is a type of average price calculation, which equally weights all data points within a time period.

Moving averages are technical analysis trading indicators used by traders to help them understand the direction, market trend, and strength of price movement of an asset. They measure the average price of a security by taking averages of the prices of the security over a specific period of time, and can be used to show traders the location of support and resistance levels. Read on to learn more about the meaning of EMA in stocks, the EMA formula, and how to calculate EMA.

What is EMA?

An EMA, exponentially weighted moving average, is a type of moving average (MA) used by traders to evaluate the potential trajectory of a financial security. Using the EMA calculation, the most recent price data has the greatest impact on the moving average, while older data has a lower impact. The previous EMA value is included in the calculation, so the current value includes all the price data.

As noted, it reacts faster to price changes than a simple moving average, which may be helpful to some investors.

EMA Formula

The formula for calculating EMA is:

EMA = (K x (C – P)) + P

Where:

C = Current Price

P = Previous Period’s EMA (for the first period calculated the SMA is used)

K = Exponential Smoothing Constant (this applies appropriate weight to the most recent security price, using the number of periods specified in the moving average. The most common smoothing constant is 2, but the higher it is the more influence recent data points have on the EMA)

💡 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).

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.

How to Calculate EMA

Technical analysts follow three steps to calculating an EMA.

1.    Calculate the simple moving average (SMA) to find the initial EMA data point. The SMA is used as the previous period’s EMA for the first calculated data point of the EMA. To calculate the SMA of the last 20 days, a trader would add the amounts of the last 20 closing prices of the security and then divide that sum by 20.

2.    Calculate the weighting multiplier for the number of periods that will be used to calculate the EMA. The number of periods used for the EMA has a significant impact on the value of the weighting multiplier.

   The formula for finding the weighting multiplier is:

   EMA(current) = ((Price(current) – EMA (prev)) x Multiplier) + EMA(prev)

3.    Calculate the EMA using the formula described above.

Some traders also use the open, high, low, or median price instead of the closing price for the EMA calculation.

Example of EMA

Taking the above into consideration and following the three steps to calculate EMA, here’s an example of how it might all come together.

Again, here’s the EMA formula: EMA = (K x (C – P)) + P

We’ll assume that the previous period’s EMA is 50, and that the current price is 60. We’ll also assume that our smoothing constant is 2, for simplicity’s sake.

So: EMA= (2 x (60 – 50)) + 50 = 70

What Does EMA Show You?

An EMA follows prices more closely than a SMA since it puts more weight on recent data points. This is helpful for determining when to enter and exit trades. EMA is a lagging indicator that shows market trends and directions and the strength of price movements. It’s best used in trending markets.

By looking at past trends traders can gain an understanding of what might happen with a security’s price in the future, which may help them identify investment opportunities. Although past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

Limitations of Using EMA

Although EMA is a very useful trading tool, it does have some constraints.

•   Spotting trends and directions using EMA is difficult in a flat market.

•   The EMA shows present market trends but is not a predictor of future trends and prices. It also doesn’t show exact highs and lows or precise entry and exit points.

•   The EMA can show false signals and can show more short term price changes that aren’t trading indicators.

•   Even though it is weighted toward recent prices, the EMA does rely on past price movements, so it is a lagging indicator. Because of this the optimal time to enter a trade may have already passed by the time the trend direction shows up in an EMA chart.

How Investors Can Use EMA

Usually traders look at the direction the EMA is going in and they trade in the direction of the trend. In addition to spotting market trends and direction, EMA can also identify spot reversals that occur when a security is overbought or oversold.

The EMA is a fairly accurate tool because stock prices typically only stray so far from the average before returning to test the average, creating support or resistance and continuing to rise or fall. Even beginning investors can use EMA to spot trends and gain an understanding of what direction the market is heading.

Like other indicators, It’s best to use EMA in conjunction with other tools such as relative strength index (RSI) and moving average convergence divergence (MACD) to get a more comprehensive and accurate picture of the market. There are a few ways investors can use EMA:

Trend Trading

Traders can use the EMA to discover and trade primary market trends. When the EMA rises this is a bullish indicator, a trader may buy when the stock price dips to hit the EMA line or just below it. When EMA goes down, a trader might sell their position when the stock price goes up to hit the EMA line or just above. If the stock has a closing price that crosses over the average line, the trader closes out their trade.

Support and Resistance

EMA lines can track support and resistance levels, another useful way to track price movements and trends. If EMA goes up, this is a support indicator, while if it goes down this shows resistance to the security’s price movement.

Buy and Sell Signals

Traders can set up fast and slow moving averages and then find buy and sell signals when the two lines cross each other.

💡 Quick Tip: The best stock trading app? That’s a personal preference, of course. Generally speaking, though, a great app is one with an intuitive interface and powerful features to help make trades quickly and easily.

The Takeaway

EMA is a useful tool for both advanced and beginner traders to understand market trends and directions. It’s a technical indicator that evaluates a stock’s price trend with a greater emphasis on recent price levels.

Whether you’re planning to use in-depth technical analysis or not, a great way to get started building a portfolio is by opening an investment account on the SoFi Invest® stock trading app. It lets you research, track, buy and sell stocks, exchange-traded funds, and other assets right from your phone.

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

Which EMA is best?

Day traders often use 8- and 20-day EMA periods, while long-term investors use 50- and 200-day EMA. Indicators such as the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) and percentage price oscillator (PPO) use 12- and 26-day periods. If a security passes over a 200-day EMA this is a technical sign that a trend reversal has occurred.

What’s the difference between EMA and SMA?

Both simple moving average and exponential moving average are used by traders to measure market trends. They both create a graphical line that smoothes out price fluctuations using calculated averages. But they weigh price data differently, and may have different sensitivities to price changes.

What is 5 EMA and 20 EMA?

There are different EMAs referring to different time periods that can identify trends. In that sense, 5 EMA and 20 EMA refers to the 5-day and 20-day EMA, a shorter and longer-term EMA measure.


Photo credit: iStock/South_agency

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.

SOIN0124043

Read more
man checking his investments

Dollar Cost Averaging: Definition, Formula, Examples

Dollar cost averaging is a way to manage volatility as you continue to save and build wealth. Volatility is a natural part of investing. Virtually every part of the market is impacted by volatility in one way or another — thus, nearly every investor must contend with inevitable price fluctuations, and one way to do this is by using dollar cost averaging.

With this strategy, you decide on the securities you want to purchase, and the dollar amount you want to invest each month (or the interval you choose), and then ideally automate that amount to be invested on a regular basis.

What Is Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA)?

Dollar cost averaging is a basic investment strategy where you buy a fixed dollar amount of an investment on a regular basis (e.g. weekly or monthly). The goal is not to invest when prices are high or low, but rather to keep your investment steady and repeatable, and thereby avoid the temptation to time the market.

That’s because with dollar cost averaging (DCA) you invest the same dollar amount each time, so that, effectively, when prices are lower, you buy more; when prices are higher, you buy less. Otherwise, you might be tempted to follow your emotions and buy less when prices drop, and more when prices are increasing (a common tendency among investors).

How Dollar Cost Averaging Works

Dollar cost averaging works by making more or less the same investment over and over on a repeating basis. For an investor, it may be as simple as investing $5 in Stock A every Monday, or something similar, no matter what’s going on in the market.

That way, you’re investing the same amount whether the market goes up, down, or sideways. For example, if you invest $100 in Stock A at $20 per share, you get 5 shares. The following month, say, the price has dropped to $10 per share, but you stay the course and invest $100 in Stock A — and you get 10 shares.

Over time, the average cost of your investments – the dollar amount you’ve paid – may end up being a little lower, which can benefit the overall value of your portfolio.

Example of Dollar Cost Averaging

Here’s an example of how dollar cost averaging might look in practice.

Investor A might buy 20 shares of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) at $50 per share, for $1,000 total. This would be investing a lump-sum, rather than using a dollar cost averaging strategy.

Investor B, however, decides to use a dollar cost averaging strategy.

•   The first month, Investor B buys shares of the same ETF at $50/share, but spends $300 and gets six shares.

•   The next month the ETF price drops to $30 per share. So Investor B once again invests $300 and now gets 10 shares.

•   By the third month, the ETF is worth $50 per share again, and their regular $200 investment gets them six shares.

Investor B now owns 22 shares of the ETF, at an average price of $40.90 per share, compared with Investor A, who paid $1,000 ($50 per share for 20 shares) in one lump sum.

💡 Quick Tip: Did you know that opening a brokerage account typically doesn’t come with any setup costs? Often, the only requirement to open a brokerage account — aside from providing personal details — is making an initial deposit.

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 and Disadvantages of DCA

Every strategy has its pros and cons, of course. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of DCA.

Dollar Cost Averaging Benefits

DCA forces you to stay the course, regardless of volatility. It keeps you from trying to “time the market.” By investing the same amount of money every month, you will buy more shares when the market is down and fewer shares when the market is up. You’re not investing with your emotions, which can lead to impulsive choices.

DCA allows you to “set it and forget it.” Investing the same dollar amount every month is a straightforward strategy, and technology makes it easy to automate. You don’t have to keep your eye on different investments or even market volatility. Just stick to the plan.

You also don’t have to be wealthy in order to use the dollar cost averaging method. You can start small, but all the while, you will be contributing to and growing an investment portfolio.

Dollar Cost Averaging Disadvantages

In some cases, investing a lump sum may net you a higher return over time. Although DCA works well in terms of helping to manage the impact of volatility, the reality is that over the course of many years, the market trends upward, as the average market return shows. Although there are many factors to consider when it comes to investing returns — including the impact of fees, of selling when the market is down and locking in losses, and so forth — the market’s upward trajectory is something to bear in mind.

When you use any kind of “set it and forget it” strategy, you run the risk of missing out on certain market opportunities — and red flags. Although the upside of dollar cost averaging is its consistency, the potential downside is that you may be less aware if there are new opportunities or the need to avoid losses.

Last, dollar cost averaging doesn’t solve the problem of rebalancing — another strategy that’s designed to mitigate volatility.

💡 Quick Tip: How to manage potential risk factors in a self-directed investment account? Doing your research and employing strategies like dollar-cost averaging and diversification may help mitigate financial risk when trading stocks.

When to Use Dollar Cost Averaging

There are certain times when dollar cost averaging makes sense, and certain investments that are suited to this strategy.

•   For example, many people believe they need to invest large sums of money to invest successfully. In fact, DCA is evidence that you can invest small amounts, steadily over time, and reap the benefits of market growth.

•   Funds: Mutual funds allow you to purchase a share, which represents a very small allocation of the underlying investment portfolio. This means that you can diversify with much smaller dollar amounts than if you purchased the securities on your own.

•   ETFs (exchange-traded funds): Similar to mutual funds, ETFs provide an opportunity to diversify with smaller dollar amounts. Additionally, ETFs are available to trade throughout the day, generally have low expenses, no investment minimums, and may offer greater tax-efficiency.

The Takeaway

Dollar cost averaging is a fairly straightforward strategy that can help mitigate the impact of volatility on your portfolio, and also help you avoid giving into emotional impulses when it comes to buying or selling. Thus, dollar cost averaging can help you stay in the market, even when it’s fluctuating, with the result that you buy more when prices are low and less when prices are high — but overall, you may end up paying less on average.

But dollar cost averaging isn’t an excuse for literally “setting and forgetting” your portfolio. It’s still important to check on your investments in case there are any new opportunities or bona fide laggards. And once a year, it’s wise to rebalance your portfolio to restore your original asset allocation (unless of course your risk tolerance or goals have changed).

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

Is dollar cost averaging a good idea?

Dollar cost averaging may be a good strategy for many investors to employ, as it has certain advantages that beginner investors, in particular, may use to their benefits. But it’s important to consider the downsides or disadvantages, too.

When is the best time to do dollar cost averaging?

There isn’t really a bad time to use a dollar cost averaging strategy, as such, investors interested in implementing one could likely do it at nearly any time.

How often should you do dollar-cost averaging?

When using a dollar cost averaging strategy, investors can choose a cadence that is best suited to their overall financial goals. For some, it may involve weekly investments, while it may involve daily or monthly investments for others.

Where is dollar-cost averaging most commonly done?

Dollar cost averaging is a strategy commonly used in retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, although it can be used in various types of investment accounts.


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.

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.

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.

SOIN0124049

Read more
TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender