How Does a Wealth Management Account Work?

Planning for your financial future isn’t just about taking care of your credit score and managing your student loan debt. Investing in the market is an important part of any financial plan. Understanding the market and investing wisely can require a lot of time and self-education.

Some of us may put off investing because we aren’t sure how to get started, or we’re worried that investing requires large sums of money up front. A wealth management account is one way to help simplify investing for those new to the game and for experienced pros.

What Is A Wealth Management Account?

A wealth management account is any account that invests your funds in the stock market. While there are many different types of asset management accounts, historically, many of these accounts have been available only to those with a significant wealth or assets to manage.

If you’ve avoided opening a wealth management account because of high investing minimums, know that there are now more options available than ever to investors of any income bracket.

For example, a SoFi Invest® account has many of the benefits of a traditional wealth management account, without the red tape. At SoFi, you can start investing with as little as $1. You set your financial goals, whether that is saving for a shorter-term goal like a down payment on a home, or a long-term goal like retirement.

Using your preferences, SoFi Invest technology recommends the right investment strategy and level of risk to help you reach your goals on schedule.

Based on your personalized investment strategy, your SoFi Invest account invests your money in ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, which allows you to efficiently invest in a diverse portfolio of stocks and/or bonds. While there is always a risk of devaluation and loss of money with market investments, investing early and leaving your money in the market may help your money grow over time.

Pay a little, invest in a lot.

Distributor, Foreside Fund Services, LLC

Why Invest with a Wealth Management Account?

You might think you’re too young to worry about investing, but whatever your goals are, remember that investing may help you reach them even sooner. Think of it this way: Let’s say you start saving $100 a month at age 25, and you keep that $1,200 per year in a coffee can under your bed. After 40 years of saving, when you retire at 65, you’d have $48,000 in your coffee can.

Now, what would happen if you still saved $100 per month, but instead of stashing it under your bed you invested that money? Putting that $1,200 in the market allows your money to grow and compound. While rates of return cannot be guaranteed, and it is possible that investments will lose money, over time, money tends to grow when left in the market.

Long-term market growth and the magic secret sauce known as compounding interest means that by the time you’re 65, your investments could be worth way more than $48,000. Investing is a way to put your money to work for you. While you’re busy earning paychecks, your money can be hard at work earning compound interest in the market.

How Does Investing with a Wealth Management Account Work?

First a financial planner take a good hard look at your goals. Of course, every good goal needs an action plan to make it happen.

A SoFi Invest advisor will recommend a personalized investment portfolio for you based on things like your age, the amount you wish to invest, your risk tolerance, and your assets.

Don’t worry, though, you always retain ultimate control. You have the power to adjust your risk level and select the plan best for you. SoFi’s goal planner includes a risk simulator, so you always know how both your risk tolerance is factoring into your investment plan.

Once you have an investment plan in place, SoFi Invest builds you a portfolio from a wide selection of ETFs. These ETFs might include things like U.S. stocks, treasury bonds, international stocks, high-yield bonds, and real estate. Your SoFi Invest Account helps you avoid some risk by diversifying the types of investments you own.

Instead of sticking all your money in one asset, SoFi leverages your ETFs over many different asset classes. That means that if one asset tanks, not all your eggs, or all your money, are stuck in that one basket. No investment is risk-free, but diversifying your holdings can undoubtedly help you weather the market.

How Do Financial Planners Help with Wealth Management Accounts?

One significant benefit of a SoFi Invest account? You’re not beholden to a bot. While many robo-investors simply invest your money according to an algorithm, SoFi pairs the best investment technology with something even better: human advisors.

SoFi Invest accounts come with free access to credentialed financial advisors whose job it is to help you plan for a smart financial future. SoFi’s financial planners are registered investment advisor representatives, and we hold them to the highest fiduciary standard, to act in their clients’ best interest.

Investing with SoFi’s easy-to-use Invest account while having access to on-demand to financial planners is a win-win. Easy, manageable ETF investments and real, human input come together to help you on the path to investing.

Ready to make your money work for you? Learn more about how a SoFi Invest account can help you get started investing.

SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance.
This information isn’t financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on specific financial needs, goals and risk appetite.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

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Common Student Loan Servicers

You’ve walked across the stage at graduation looking scholarly in your cap and gown. You’ve hit the pavement in search of your dream job and maybe you even landed it. Congrats! You’re doing this whole adulting thing really well! So, what’s the next step? Figuring out your student loans.

Sure, you might be hoping they’ll go away if you don’t think about them, but with every passing month your six-month grace period is coming closer to an end, and your repayment is looming.

It’s time to figure out how to pay them. Think you can just write the government a check for those federal student loans? Think again! You need to figure out who your loan servicer is and coordinate your repayment with them.

What Are Student Loan Servicers?

They are companies that take care of the disbursement, billing, and customer service aspects of your federal student loans. They can help you figure out things like which repayment plan you should be on and whether to consolidate your student loans.

Need deferment or forbearance? They can also help you set that up. Loan servicers are basically a one-stop shop for everything you need to know or changes you need to make on your federal student loans.

Major Student Loan Servicers

Here are some of the major student loan servicers:

Aspire Resources Inc.
Address: PO Box 65970, West Des Moines, IA 50265-0970
Phone: 1 (855) 475-3335

Founded in 2001, Aspire Resources is a for-profit subsidiary of Iowa Student Loans. They provide customer service for private and federal student loans. Their revenue is used by Iowa Student Loans to fulfill its non-profit mission to help Iowa students access post-secondary education.

Address: P.O. Box 145122, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5122
Phone: 1 (800) 663-1662

CornerStone has been providing customer service for over 35 years to student loan borrowers across the country. They are a not-for-profit servicer that works with the Department of Education to service federal student loans.

EdFinancial Services
Address: P.O. Box 36008, Knoxville, TN 37930-6008
Phone: 1 (855) 337-6884

Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, Edfinancial Services has been providing loan servicing for over 25 years. They work with both federal and private student loans, as well as schools that need help with things like financial aid processing.

FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)
Address: P.O. Box 69184, Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184
Phone: 1 (800) 699-2908

FedLoan Servicing is a not-for-profit organization that was created in 2009 to service federal student loans through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Education. It is run by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and is headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Granite State Management and Resources (GSMR)
Address: PO Box 2097, Concord, NH 03302-2097
Phone: 1 (888) 556-0022

Granite State Management and Resources is based in New Hampshire and run by the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation. They’ve been servicing federal and private student loans since 1986.

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Inc.
Address: PO Box 7860, Madison, WI 53707-7860
Phone: 1 (800) 236-4300

For over 50 years, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates worked as a non-profit organization dedicated to helping students access college by acting as a guarantor, servicer, and philanthropist. They service both federal and private loans and were purchased by NelNet in 2017.

Address: 633 Spirit Drive, Chesterfield, MO 63005-1243
Phone: 1 (888) 866-4352

MOHELA is a student loan servicer headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with offices in Columbia, Missouri and Washington, DC. They have been around for over 30 years and focus primarily on federal student loans.

Address: P.O. Box 9500, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9500
Phone: 1 (888) 272-5543

Navient is a for-profit student loan servicer that’s been in business since 1973. They provide asset management and business processing solutions for government, education, and healthcare at state, federal and local levels. They are headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and are one of the biggest student loan servicers and were previously a part of Sallie Mae.

Address: P.O. Box 82561, Lincoln, NE 68501-2561
Phone: 1 (888) 486-4722

Nelnet is one of the biggest student loan servicers in the country. Headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska they service federal and private student loans. They also own Great Lakes Educational Loan Services and are a for-profit company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

OSLA Servicing
Address: 525 Central Park Drive, Suite 600, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: 1 (405) 556-9224

OSLA has been servicing student loans since 1972, and focuses on servicing federal student loans. The organization was created as a public trust by the state of Oklahoma and is a non-profit.

VSAC Federal Loans
Address: Po Box 777, Winooski, VT 05404
Phone: 1 (888) 932-5626

VSAC stands for the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. It was created in 1965 by the Vermont Legislature and is a non-profit public agency. They award loans and also service student loan payments.

How to Find out Who Your Student Loan Servicer Is

You don’t get to pick your student loan servicer, since they’re assigned to you when your loan is disbursed. Can’t remember who your servicer is? It’s not uncommon!

College is a busy time and who your loan servicer is probably isn’t something you paid much attention to—you just needed the student loan cash, stat, to buy books. Also, sometimes student loans can be transferred between servicers, although you’re supposed to be notified if that happens.

If you don’t know your servicer, that’s no big deal because you can easily find out who your loan servicer is by visiting the Department of Education’s student aid website , which has all the information about your federal student loans and contact information for the loan servicers.

Can You Change Your Student Loan Servicer?

While sometimes your student loans can be transferred from one servicer to another, this usually doesn’t happen simply because a borrower requests it. The only way you usually change servicers is if you refinance your student loans from federal loans to private student loans.

By refinancing, you can potentially save money on interest or change the term length on your loans. The latter can be a great strategy to help you repay your loans faster.

But there are also some downsides. If you refinance your federal student loans with a private lender, you’ll no longer be eligible for income-based repayment plans, and you might lose other federal loan protections like the option for deferment or forbearance. This may be important if you are uncertain about your future income or you are struggling with your repayment.

If you’re interested in paying back your loans quickly, refinancing your loans may help you save money on interest and fast-track your repayment with a shorter term.

We want to help you focus on your degree, not your debt. Our mission is to help students get low-rate loans they can pay back on their own terms. Learn more.

Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.


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How Doctors Can Retire Early and Enjoy Life Outside the Hospital

Being a doctor is super rewarding. (We’ll admit, it’s pretty hard to beat saving lives every day.)

But there can be some downsides to the career path, especially when it comes to saving. Because physicians are known to have higher incomes, they are often ineligible for a number of tax breaks and retirement programs. And while recent studies show that 60% of doctors are retired just shy of turning 70¹, current doctors have the opportunity to pursue life outside the hospital long before that.

With a few smart moves, early retirement is possible. Here are three ways doctors can save more now and end their careers at an early retirement age:

Refinance Your Student Loans

Paying back med school loans could keep you working for a while. One way to pay them off more quickly? Refinancing to a lower interest rate or choosing better terms.

As a bonus, this move can save you thousands of dollars that can help you head to earlier retirement. (However, if you are pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, don’t do this with your federal student loans—it will make them ineligible.)

Save, Save, Save—Up to 30%

The average worker should aim to save 15% of their income for retirement4. However, it’s different for doctors—due to all the extra schooling and high burnout rates in the field, their earnings window is much smaller. That means physicians have less time to take advantage of the compounding interest that comes with investing, or even a regular savings account.

To make up for this, doctors should consider saving at least 30% of their income if they want to retire early. (One helpful tip: Live like you’re still making what you made as a resident!)

Considering Taking Advantage of any and All Pre-Tax Programs at Work

Got an employer match on a 401(k) and 403(b)? HSA or FSA accounts? Commuter benefits? Consider taking advantage of them as a way to put away more money, pre-tax.

Any opportunities you have to save money on taxes can help out a lot when it comes to your goals toward early retirement. In fact, saving money on taxes is one of the best options for doctors with early retirement goals.

These strategies are just a few of the ways you can start working toward financial independence.

If you’re interested in saving money on student loans, one thing you can do right now is check your rate in just two minutes.

SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance.
SoFi doesn’t provide tax or legal advice. Individual circumstances are unique. Consult with a qualified tax advisor or attorney.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
This information isn’t financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on specific financial needs, goals and risk appetite.
Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

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4 Top Student Loan Repayment Options for Medical Residents

As a medical resident, your schedule is incredibly busy. (And even that’s an understatement.) On top of that, you’re saddled with student loan debt—and your residency salary isn’t exactly going to make a huge dent in it just yet. So what should you do about it?

There are options that can help reduce the stress of student loans—and even save you money in the long run. Here’s a quick guide to the four top student loan repayment options, so you can choose the best one for you:

1. Deferment

What it is: A temporary suspension of federal loan payments, where interest DOES NOT accrue on certain types of loans.

Pros: If you’re struggling to repay loans due to challenging short-term circumstances, it can be beneficial. Big caveat, though—residents tend not to qualify for deferment.

Cons: Not all loans are eligible for deferment, and only subsidized federal loans do not accrue interest. So if you have unsubsidized loans (typically used for medical school), your balance will still increase during deferment.

Best for: Residents who qualify. Those who have other debts to pay off first that make it a challenge to pay back loans, such as higher interest credit card debt, could be in this category.

Not great for: Residents who need a more long-term or permanent option, as interest will still accrue on unsubsidized loans, growing your balance.

2. Forbearance

What it is: A temporary suspension of loan payments, where interest DOES accrue on all loan types.

Pros: Medical residency and internship programs are usually qualifying circumstances for forbearance. As long as you meet basic requirements1, mandatory forbearance is an option that can be granted for residents up to 12 months, and be extended for up to three years, upon request.

Cons: As mentioned, interest will continue to accrue on all loans in forbearance. That means your balance will grow.

Best for: Residents with lower loan balances, or who are experiencing financial hardship where the burden of student loan payments would be significantly challenging.

Not great for: Residents with normal to high balances who have the ability to make payments and start making progress on their debt.

3. Income-Driven Repayment (IDR)

What it is: A repayment program where your monthly loan payment is a percentage of your discretionary income, typically between 10-20%. Options include PAYE, REPAYE, IBR and ICR, which vary by the percentage of income you owe and the amount of time they add to your loans.

Pros: IDR allows borrowers to keep monthly payments low without defaulting on their loans. For residents who eventually pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)2, this option can lead to the greatest amount forgiven.

Cons: IDR will often extend the term of your loan to 20-25 years. Plus, your payments may not cover the full interest owed. If that is the case, interest will compound monthly, and you will be paying interest on interest.

Best for: Residents who plan to pursue federal student loan forgiveness.

Not great for: Residents who don’t plan to pursue loan forgiveness and would like the avoid compounding interest that creates a higher loan balance.

4. Medical Resident Refinancing

What it is: Refinancing is consolidating your student loans (federal and/or private) with one private lender, usually for a lower interest rate. During residency, refinancing reduces student loan payments to just $100/month. Check out SoFi’s medical resident loan refinancing rates & terms.

Pros: Refinancing simplifies your student debt by reducing your student loan payments to one low monthly payment. This option also makes it possible to avoid compounding interest during residency.

Cons: Refinancing makes you ineligible for PSLF or other federal repayment benefits. Interest will still accrue during residency, but it will not compound during that time, so you won’t pay interest on interest.

Best for: Residents who plan to work in the private sector (like a private hospital or for a private practice), and would like to reduce their interest rate on their student loans, keep payments low during residency, and save money on compounding interest.

Not great for: Residents who plan to pursue loan forgiveness or other federal repayment options by working in a public sector hospital.

It’s worth considering all your medical school loan repayment options before you dive back into the throes of residency—after all, you have patients to see and work/life balance to manage and lives to save.

Interested in seeing how much you could save by refinancing your student loans? Check your rate in just two minutes.

Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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10 Questions About the Equifax Security Breach, Answered

Identity theft is a nightmare millions of Americans go through every year. It starts when a cybercriminal gets hold of your personal information (Social Security number, birth date, driver’s license number, etc.), and sells it to others who then pretend to be you.

Except it’s you on a spending spree. They might open bank and credit card accounts, or maybe file for a hefty income tax refund in your name. It can take months or even years to find out you’ve been victimized, and even longer to clean up the mess.

A year ago, Equifax, one of the big three credit reporting bureaus, disclosed that a data breach it discovered on July 29, 2017, may have exposed as many as 143 million U.S. consumers to the risk of identity theft. Seven months later, in March 2018, the company announced that another 2.4 million people had their data stolen in the same breach. That means close to half the U.S. population could feel some impact.

The fallout was substantial, including class action lawsuits, a Federal Trade Commission probe , and a move toward more regulation regarding corporate security defenses and timely disclosures. Still, anxious consumers continue to question how such a failure could happen and what’s next.
Here are answers to 10 common questions about the Equifax security breach and identity theft in general:

1. Should I ever Trust Equifax Again?

You don’t have much choice. Equifax is one of three major for-profit credit reporting agencies in the United States. The others are TransUnion and Experian. (There is no federal credit bureau.) Each agency collects and stores financial data submitted by creditors—large and small—you’ve dealt with over the years.

That information goes into the credit reports they sell to lenders, landlords, potential employers, and others. Those folks are their customers. You’re the commodity. That said, your personal stats should be more secure than they were a year ago.

Since the breach, Equifax has hired a new chief information security officer, Jamil Farschchi , who told Wired Magazine the company has invested $200 million in its data security infrastructure.

2. It took nearly six weeks for Equifax to disclose the 2017 security breach and months before we learned even more people were affected. Why so long?

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have enacted legislation requiring private or governmental entities to notify individuals of security breaches involving personally identifiable information.

Still, it can take weeks, months, or longer depending on protocols, to discover a data breach. A company is allowed to delay disclosure if law enforcement asks them to hold off. Of course, it’s also in a business’s best interests to try to get ahead of a hack before announcing it. A statement that reads, “We know what happened and we’ve fixed the problem” comes off a lot better than, “Sorry, folks. We have no clue what going on!”

3. If I didn’t do anything to protect myself when the Equifax security breach was announced, is it too late now?

Yes and no. A 2017 FTC study found that when leaked consumer data goes public, thieves will grab it and get to work trying to use it within minutes. So, the faster you take steps to put protections in place, the better off you’ll be.

If are still concerned about the Equifax breach, check to see if your data was affected . You also can get a free credit report annually from each of the big three credit bureaus, and it’s always smart to review those for errors.

Soon, thanks to new legislation, you’ll be able to freeze your credit for free, as well. New rules in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act , signed by President Trump on May 24, 2018, should start in September. (Equifax, which planned to provide breach-related free freezes until June 30, told The New York Times they would extend the offer until the new law takes effect.)

4. I keep hearing the terms credit freeze and fraud alert. What’s the difference?

A credit freeze clamps down tight on your credit, while a fraud alert allows creditors to get a copy of your credit report as long as they take steps to verify your identity. According to the FTC, a fraud alert may stop someone from opening new credit accounts in your name but won’t necessarily prevent the misuse of your existing accounts.

You’ll still need to monitor all bank, credit card, and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions. The credit bureaus also now offer something called a “credit lock,” which is more convenient than a full-on freeze. But Consumer Reports says a lock doesn’t offer the same protections , so check it out before signing up.

5. Will a credit freeze hurt my credit rating?

No, freezing your credit won’t affect your credit score, and you’ll still be able to get free credit reports annually.

6. How do I contact the three major credit bureaus if I want to do a credit freeze or fraud alert?

For Equifax, call 800-349-9960 or go to their website ; for Experian, call 888-397-3742 or go to their website ; for TransUnion, call 888-909-8872 or go to their website .

7. When I’ve thought about cybercrime, I guess I’ve mostly been worried about somebody racking up charges on my credit card. What else can be compromised if my data is stolen?

Your identity is valuable to different people for different reasons. The big focus is on financial crimes, but the bad guys can use your Social Security number, passwords, and PIN numbers to get medical benefits, file false tax returns, or get certain government benefits.

They can create a fraudulent job history or steal your work if you’re a researcher or writer. They can open utility and other accounts in your name. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

8. If I think I’ve been the victim of identity theft, what should I do?

Report identity theft to the FTC at or call 877-438-4338. The FTC will use the information you provide to help create a personal recovery plan. Their website also offers a useful guide for how to proceed from there.

9. What can I do on a daily basis, to protect my data?

Practice good personal cyber hygiene.

•  Only give out your Social Security number when absolutely necessary. (Just because there’s a space for it on a form doesn’t mean you have to supply it.)

•  Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information.

•  Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender. And review your credit card and bank accounts regularly—at least every month.

•  Enable and update the security features on all devices and be cautious when using public WiFi.

•  Create complex passwords and change them occasionally.

•  Don’t share passwords and PINs.

10. How can I be sure the companies I deal with are looking out for my security?

That’s a tough one. As a consumer, you can take steps to protect yourself, but once you engage with the outside world—by choice or not, as with Equifax—you can only hope companies handling sensitive information have a sound security plan .

When it comes to financial transactions or online services, more and more companies are embracing two-factor authentication (sometimes shortened to 2FA). This means going beyond a simple password and using a second verification tool: fingerprint or facial recognition, for example, or a numerical code.

And when you’re online, look at a website’s URL. If it begins with “https” instead of “http,” it means the site is secured using an SSL certificate (the “s” in https stands for secure). SSL certificates secure all your data as it moves from your browser to the website’s server. To get an SSL Certificate, the company must go through a validation process.

If you’ve been burned by a data breach (maybe even going so far as to get a credit freeze). it can be difficult to build back to the same level of confidence you had before—particularly with businesses that handle money electronically. That’s why it’s so important to do your research. You should always be confident in the type of encryption and the protections put in place by the those handling your finances.

With SoFi Invest®, investors have access to human advisors, but the diversified investment portfolios they create are influenced by sophisticated computer algorithms—or robo-advisors. Robo-advisors actually have built-in protections.

SSL encryption keeps your information safe, and SoFi account holders can enable two-factor authentication (using a verification code), as well as facial identification or Touch ID on iOS. And you can start small—investing with as little as $100.

A SoFi Invest account combines convenience and security to help put your money to work for you. Learn more about investing with SoFi Invest in under two minutes.

SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance.
This information isn’t financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on specific financial needs, goals and risk appetite.
Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC, a registered investment advisor.
SoFi doesn’t provide tax or legal advice. Individual circumstances are unique. Consult with a qualified tax advisor or attorney.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

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