Tips for Maximizing Time and Money

Tips for Maximizing Time and Money

Your finances and time, if managed well, can elevate your quality of life significantly. Finding ways to make the most of these two resources can enhance how secure and enjoyable your days are.

Read on to understand the time-money relationship and how to make it work as well as possible.

What Does ‘Time Is Money’ Actually Mean?

The phrase “time is money” means that a person can translate their available hours into money by getting paid to work. If you’re sitting around relaxing, for instance, you could instead be working and earning cash.

This saying can be further explained in terms of opportunity cost. Say a person has an hour to spend. That person can choose to work for that hour or they can choose to do something that does not yield any income, like reading a book. The person who reads the book loses the opportunity to earn income for that hour. If the person can earn $50 an hour, the opportunity cost of choosing to read a book is $50. Thus, time is money.

Of course, it’s every person’s decision about how much they want to work versus enjoy their free time as they see fit. Some people are driven to work 60 or more hours a week and are focused on how much they can deposit in their checking account. Others, craving work-life balance or, say, taking care of children, work much less (if at all). They have chosen a different path.

What Is the Relationship Between Time and Money?

Balancing time and money can involve a trade-off. To make more money, some people spend more time on their careers and have less time for the other obligations and pleasures in life, whether that means spending time with family, relaxing, or pursuing hobbies and passion projects. Working long hours can mean less time to clean, shop, and otherwise handle chores. If one makes enough by working, they can perhaps delegate those duties and hire someone to handle them.

For example, a lawyer might be able to afford to pay a landscaper $50 an hour to do yard work while they earn $300 an hour working with a client. The lawyer nets $250 by doing so. If the lawyer does the yardwork and not the landscaper, the lawyer loses the $300 they could have earned doing legal work. Seen through a financial lens, it could be sensible to embrace strategies that maximize your earning power with the limited time you have. If, however, you are a person who earns less than a lawyer and/or you love to garden and care for your property, you might well decide to do the yard work yourself.

Recommended: What Is the Time Value of Money (TVM)?

Tips for Managing Time and Money

As you may see from the yard work example above, good time management is not just about working every waking hour. It’s about allocating time for tasks wisely and balancing work and personal lives. Otherwise, your health, mood, and personal relationships could suffer. Not every minute of your time should have a price tag on it.

Here are some time and money management tips to get you started.

Prioritizing Tasks

You only have so many hours in a day to get things done, so prioritizing is critical. Work, picking children up from school or daycare, grocery shopping, and preparing food are daily and weekly priorities. So too are things like exercise, meditation, seeing loved ones, and doing whatever feeds your spirit, from rafting to reading. Plan your priorities daily, but typically no more than three or you could feel overwhelmed.

Writing Down Your Schedule

Your daily schedule is critical, but planning your time weekly and monthly can also keep you on-task and organized. More than that, it can help you visualize your available time and consolidate tasks so you can make your life more manageable. For example, can you combine one task with another? Can you go to the grocery store while your child is on a playdate, saving you a trip? Can you fit in a workout during your lunch hour? Organizing your time and life can make you much more efficient and reduce stress.

There are many calendar-keeping tools available, from cool journals to apps. Using alerts on your mobile phone can also help you keep track of the “musts” on your daily schedule.

Putting Time Limits on Tasks

Spending more time on enjoyable tasks and putting off the less palatable ones is human nature. But it’s also procrastination that can leave you short on time and stressed about deadlines at work and at home.

One good solution: Set time limits for activities, and schedule them wisely. Tackle a difficult project when you have the most energy, such as first thing in the morning. Block off an hour or two. If you split up challenging tasks into manageable chunks, you won’t become overwhelmed. Just getting started and seeing some progress can motivate you to continue.

Focusing on One Task at a Time

Multitasking can be a fast track to inefficiency. Walking the dog and listening to a podcast is one thing, but trying to write a report while your child is doing homework (and asking for help), is another — and probably not efficient — one.

Given a quiet room and time to focus, you might knock out the report in an hour or two. Multitasking, on the other hand, can mean for many of us that nothing receives your full attention and is done well.

Removing Interruptions While Working

Social media, pop-up notifications, emails, phone calls, colleagues who want to chat on Slack, family members, and pets all can enrich and inspire your life, but when you are balancing time vs. money, face the facts. They pull you away from work and from being efficient. Find ways to eliminate interruptions, and you’ll likely accomplish more things, more quickly.

If you have an urgent task and work at home, consider going to a coffee shop or a library where you might have more peace. If colleagues at work are a problem, ask to use a conference room temporarily to get your work done or say you are on deadline and pull back from chat apps and email alerts. To avoid technology distractions, try putting your phone away in a drawer so that it is out of sight and out of mind while working.

Creating a Realistic Budget

When it comes to the financial aspect of money vs. time, budgeting can really optimize your efforts to wrangle your funds.

A budget helps you account for your income, expenses, and savings so there are fewer surprises and so you hit your goals. Many people, in fact, believe that being disciplined with money or more accountable for it is a major key to wealth.

Making a budget typically involves looking at your monthly after-tax income, including keeping track of money from side hustles and the like. Then, you will subtract the cost of your monthly necessities (housing, food, medical care), as well as debt, and then allocate what’s left to spending and saving. This process should reveal if you are living within your means, or are you spending more than you earn?

If your expenses exceed your income, look for ways to cut back on spending, such as eating out less, biking to work instead of driving or calling an Uber, or perhaps consolidating high-interest credit card debt with a lower-interest personal loan. The ultimate goal is to create a budget that you can live with and with room to save for long-term goals, like the down payment for a house or for retirement.

Finding Ways to Invest Your Money

A reasonable goal for long-term financial planning is to set aside 10% of your income and invest it. You can educate yourself with books, podcasts, websites, and apps to, say, learn the pros and cons of stocks vs. bonds. A professional financial advisor can also help you to find the best vehicles to build wealth. For example, a 401(k), a diversified portfolio of stocks and mutual funds, or a passion like watch investing or whiskey investing can all play a role in your investing.

Remember, however, the golden rule for investments, though, since they are not covered by the FDIC, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Only invest what you can afford to lose.

Using Time for Yourself Wisely

Work-life balance is increasingly a goal for Americans, and a number of companies are experimenting with four-day workweeks as one path to achieving this.

Overwork and burnout are real dangers for those who Incessantly strive to capitalize financially. It’s definitely wise to schedule time for yourself. It can be as simple as meditating, spending time with family, working out, volunteering, or pursuing a hobby. Spending time on things that bring you joy can spur you to be your best when you are working, too.

Automating Your Bills and Payments

Automating your monthly bills can be a win-win. Paying bills on time is the biggest single contributor (at 35%) to your credit score, and taking care of those charges before they accrue late fees also makes good money sense.

What’s more, in terms of the time vs. money equation, setting up automated bill payments will also free up some space in your schedule. Your bills will be paid on time each month, without you having to click around websites or write checks and buy stamps to mail them. It will take a few minutes of work up front, but the task is then much easier.

Watching Your Spending

Remember that budget you diligently prepared? Stick to it by following the 30-day spending rule. Wait 30 days before purchasing an item to avoid overspending and racking up debt. If you do spend too much, you’ll pay unnecessary fees on overdrafts or credit card interest payments.

The Takeaway

There’s little doubt that time and money are two valuable but limited resources. Making the most of each requires some smart strategies, such as budgeting, scheduling, reducing overspending, and finding work-life balance. But by respecting the value of time and money — and managing them well, you’ll likely enjoy a better quality of life, today and in the future.

Want to have more time and watch your money grow faster?

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

Is time worth more than money?

The answer to this question is subjective. To a person who is terminally ill, time is clearly the most precious commodity; they might rather have less money and more time. In another scenario, someone might say money matters more. They might be willing to work every free minute for years to ensure they have a high-paying career, even if they don’t have much free time to enjoy the luxurious life they lead.

Is it worse to waste my time or money?

Neither wasting time nor money is a great idea, though many of us of course do so from time to time. A better approach can be to minimize the waste and balance your life so you have both enough time and money. This often requires prioritizing, planning, and budgeting.

What are the benefits of managing time and money wisely?

A key benefit of managing time and money wisely is better quality of life. Effective time and money management will make all aspects of your life easier because you gain peace of mind and may stress less about your money and your schedule. You can take control of two very important variables.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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.

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How Much Equity Do You Have in Your Home?

Making monthly mortgage payments can feel like chipping away at an iceberg, especially in the beginning. Savvy homeowners take heart that each payment earns them a little more ownership in their property. But do you know exactly how much ownership, commonly called “equity,” you currently have? Knowing how to calculate home equity can help you feel a growing sense of satisfaction as you make those mortgage payments.

Simply put, home equity is the difference between the value of a property and the outstanding balance of all mortgages, liens, and other debt on the property. Read on to determine how much of your home you really own, what you can do to increase your equity, and how you can leverage that equity to make it work harder for you.

How to Calculate Your Home Equity

As noted above, home equity is the difference between your home’s current value and the outstanding balance of your mortgage and other debt on the property. It’s a simple equation:

Home Equity = Home Value – Home Debt

How to Find Your Home’s Value

To estimate your home value, you can use the purchase price of your home, but that doesn’t account for any appreciation in value. For a precise calculation of your home equity, you’ll need to know your home’s current value with appreciation. You can get an estimate of your home’s value with an online property tracking tool. These calculators approximate the appreciation of your home by comparing it with similar properties in the area. While helpful, these tools can’t provide an exact measure.

To determine your real-time home value, you’ll need to contact your mortgage lender and request an official appraisal. Your lender will conduct an inspection and evaluation of what your home is worth in the current market. The appraiser may ask you for documentation of any work you’ve done on your home to come to a more exact figure.

How Much Is Left on Your Mortgage?

Calculating home equity also involves knowing what you owe on your current home mortgage loan. You can find your mortgage payoff amount (which is different from your balance) on your lender’s online portal. Add to that the outstanding amount you owe on any second mortgages, liens (for unpaid taxes or child support, for example), home equity lines of credit, and any other loans that use your home for collateral. The sum of these items is your home debt, the last figure in the equity equation.

Using the Loan-to-Value Ratio to Represent Home Equity

The loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is the percentage of your home’s value that is borrowed — it’s like the opposite of equity. Lenders set maximum LTVs, typically 80%, for home equity loans. This means homeowners cannot borrow more than 80% of their home’s value.

You can calculate your LTV by dividing your outstanding home debt, discussed above, by your home’s appraised value:

LTV = Home Debt ÷ Home Value

For example, if your home is worth $375,000, and you still owe $200,000, your LTV is 53%. (200,000 ÷ 375,000 = .53) This means you still owe 53% of the equity in your home. Subtract 53 from 100 to see how much equity you have built in your home: Your available equity is 47%.

Examples of Home Equity Calculations After 1, 3, 5, 10 Years

The table below shows how much equity a fictional homeowner accumulates over the first 10 years of their mortgage. This assumes an initial home value of $300,000, with annual appreciation of 10%, a mortgage APR of 7.5%, and a monthly payment of $1678.11. The LTV is rounded to the nearest whole percentage. (The actual annual appreciation for American homes over the last 10 years on average was 7.4%.)

Year Home Value Loan Balance Home Equity LTV
0 $300,000 $240,000 $60,000 80%
1 $330,000 $237,596 $92,404 72%
2 $363,000 $235,196 $127,803 65%
3 $399,300 $232,611 $166,689 58%
4 $439,230 $229,825 $209,405 52%
5 $483,150 $226,822 $256,327 47%
6 $531,470 $223,587 $307,882 42%
7 $584,620 $220,101 $364,519 38%
8 $643,080 $216,343 $426,736 34%
9 $707,380 $212,294 $494,085 30%
10 $778,120 $207,931 $570,188 27%

Recommended: How Much Will a $300,000 Mortgage Cost You?

What Is a Good Amount of Home Equity?

Common wisdom says that it’s smart to keep at least 20% equity in your home. This is why many lenders limit your LTV to 80%. To borrow against your home, then, you’ll typically need more than 20% equity.

Fortunately, that’s not a problem for most homeowners. Research firm Black Knight recently estimated that Americans have $193,000 of “accessible” home equity on average, over and above the recommended 20%. This is mostly due to rising home values.

Recommended: How Home Ownership Can Help Build Generational Wealth

How Much Home Equity Can You Take Out?

The amount of equity you can take out depends on the lender and the type of loan. However, most lenders will allow you to borrow 80%-85% of your home’s appraised value. The other 15%-20% remains as a kind of financial cushion.

A homeowner who doesn’t want to take out a home equity loan but needs cash might consider a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). A HELOC allows owners to pull from their property’s equity continually over time. Borrowers can take only what they need at the moment. HELOCs use the home as collateral, which might not appeal to all borrowers.

Tips on Increasing Home Equity

Your initial home equity is determined by your down payment. The larger the down payment, the more equity a homeowner has right off the bat. The average down payment among American homebuyers is currently 13%. But a down payment of 20% or more can qualify borrowers for more favorable mortgage rates and also helps you avoid paying for private mortgage insurance.

After the down payment, home equity typically accumulates in three ways: monthly mortgage payments, appreciation, and home improvements. Beyond waiting for their home to appreciate, homeowners can increase their equity in several ways:
Pay more than your minimum mortgage payment each month. The extra money will go toward your principal, increasing your equity more quickly. Learn how to pay off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years.

Make biweekly payments instead of monthly. Your mid-month payment will incrementally lower your interest due. And by the end of the year, you’ll have made an extra mortgage payment.

Make strategic home improvements. Certain updates increase your home’s value more than others.

Refinance to a shorter-term loan. By refinancing to a 10- or 15-year mortgage instead of a standard 30-year, each mortgage payment will increase your equity at a faster rate.

The Takeaway

Calculating home equity involves subtracting your mortgage payoff balance (found on your lender’s website) from your home’s current value. To get the most accurate idea of your home’s market value, you’ll need an appraisal by your mortgage lender, which can cost $300-$450. Homeowners typically can’t borrow more than 80%-85% of their home equity. Knowing how to calculate equity in your home can be a first step in determining how to use that equity to fund renovations or another important expense.

SoFi now offers flexible HELOCs. Our HELOC options allow you to access up to 95% of your home’s value, or $500,000, at competitively low rates. And the application process is quick and convenient.

Unlock your home’s value with a home equity line of credit brokered by SoFi.

FAQ

How do you determine your home equity?

To quickly estimate your home equity, subtract the amount you owe on your current mortgage from your home’s current value.

What is the formula to calculate home equity?

To figure out home equity, simply subtract the amount you owe on your home mortgage loan (and any other loan you may have that is secured by your home) from your home’s current value.

How much equity can you borrow from your home?

A lender will generally let you borrow 80%-85% of your home’s value, minus the amount you owe on your mortgage. Some lenders allow you to borrow more.


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Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

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.

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.

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

²To obtain a home equity loan, SoFi Bank (NMLS #696891) may assist you obtaining a loan from Spring EQ (NMLS #1464945).

All loan terms, fees, and rates may vary based upon individual financial and personal circumstances and state.

You may discuss with your loan officer whether a SoFi Mortgage or a home equity loan from Spring EQ is appropriate. Please note that the SoFi member discount does not apply to Home Equity Loans or Lines of Credit brokered through SoFi. Terms and conditions will apply. Before you apply for a SoFi Mortgage, please note that not all products are offered in all states, and all loans are subject to eligibility restrictions and limitations, including requirements related to loan applicant’s credit, income, property, and loan amount. Minimum loan amount is $75,000. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Products, rates, benefits, terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. Learn more at SoFi.com/eligibility-criteria.

SoFi Mortgages originated through SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC), (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Equal Housing Lender. SoFi Bank, N.A. is currently NOT able to accept applications for refinance loans in NY.

In the event SoFi serves as broker to Spring EQ for your loan, SoFi will be paid a fee.

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Margin Trading: What It Is and How It Works

In the investing ecosystem, the term “margin” is used to describe the money that may be borrowed from a brokerage to execute trades or a strategy. Buying assets on margin can help magnify gains and returns, but it can do the same with your losses.

When you buy on margin, you’re purchasing assets using money that you borrow from your broker. Margin trading might seem more complicated than some other ways to invest in the stock market, but it’s a method that many investors favor — especially experienced investors. If there’s one thing to know about margin trading, though, it’s that it can cut both ways, and may incur serious risks.

What Is Margin Trading?

Margin trading, or “buying on margin,” is an advanced investment strategy in which you trade securities using money that you’ve borrowed from your broker to potentially increase your return. Margin is essentially a loan where you can borrow up to 50% of your security purchase, and as with most loans, a margin loan comes with an interest rate and collateral.

Trading on margin is similar to “buying on credit.” Using margin for a trade is also known as leveraging. Margin interest rates are determined by your broker, and collateral types can be stock holdings or cash. Traders must also maintain a margin balance, known as the maintenance margin, in their accounts to cover potential losses.

As noted, margin trading is a bit more complicated (and risky) than some other ways to invest in the stock market, but it’s a tactic used by many investors.

How Does Margin Trading Work?

While margin trading may seem straightforward, it’s important to understand all the parameters.

For all trades, your broker acts as the intermediary between your account and your counterparty. Whenever you enter a buy or sell trade on your account, your broker electronically executes that trade with a counterparty in the market, and transfers that security into/out of your account once the transaction is completed.

To execute trades for a standard cash account vs. margin account, your broker directly withdraws funds for a cash trade. Thus every cash trade is secured 100% by money you’ve already deposited, entailing no risk to your broker.

In contrast, with margin accounts, a portion of each trade is secured by cash, known as the initial margin, while the rest is covered with funds you borrow from your broker.

Consequently, while margin trading affords you more buying power than you could otherwise achieve with cash alone, the additional risk means that you’ll always need to maintain a minimum level of collateral to meet margin requirements.

While margin requirements can vary by broker, we’ve defined and outlined the minimums mandated by financial regulators.

Term

Amount

Definition

Minimum margin $2,000 Amount you need to deposit to open a new margin account
Initial margin 50% Percentage of a security purchase that needs to be funded by cash
Maintenance margin 25% Percentage of your holdings that needs to be covered by equity

💡 Quick Tip: Options can be a cost-efficient way to place certain trades, because you typically purchase options contracts, not the underlying security. That said, options trading can be risky, and best done by those who are not entirely new to investing.

Increase your buying power with a margin loan from SoFi.

Borrow against your current investments at just 12%* and start margin trading.


*For full margin details, see terms.

Example of Margin Trading (Buying on Margin)

Here’s an example of how margin trading works, or could work, in the real world. Imagine you open a margin account with $2,000 at a brokerage firm. It’s helpful to keep the maintenance margin in mind, too, when reading through this example.

Now, say you have your eyes set on Stock X, that’s trading at $100 per share. You can afford to buy 10 shares with the cash in your account. But, you want to buy more — margin allows you to do that. Given your margin account’s 50% initial margin requirement, that means you can effectively double your purchasing power.

So, you can buy 20 shares of Stock X for a total of $2,000, and $1,000 of that purchase would be buying on margin.

If Stock X appreciates in value by, say, 100% (it’s now worth $200 per share), you could sell your holdings and end up with $4,000. You could then pay back your brokerage for the margin loan, and have realized a greater return than you would have without using margin.

But the opposite can happen, too. If Stock X depreciates by 50% (it’s now worth $50) and you sold your holdings, you’d have $1,000, and owe your broker $1,000. So, you’ve wiped out your cash reserves by using margin — one of its primary risks.

To recap: In both scenarios, the margin loan balance remains the same ($1,000), while the equity value took the entire gain or loss.

Bear in mind, too, that for simplicity, this example ignores interest charges. In a real margin trade, you would need to also back out any interest expense incurred on the margin loan before calculating your return; this would act as an additional drag on earnings.

Potential Benefits of Margin Trading

As noted, margin trading has some pretty obvious benefits or advantages. Those may include the following:

•   Potential to enhance purchasing power. A primary benefit of margin trading is the potential expansion of an investor’s purchasing power, sometimes exponentially. This could possibly help boost returns if the price of the stock or other investment purchased with a margin trade goes up.

•   Possible lower interest rates. Benefits of margin loans might include lower interest rates relative to other types of loans, such as personal loans, if the investor is borrowing money to make trades. Plus, there typically isn’t a repayment schedule.

•   Diversification. You could also use margin trading to diversify your portfolio.

•   Selling short. Another potential advantage might be a complicated trading method called short selling. Margin trading might make it possible for you to sell stocks short. Short selling differs from most other investment strategies in that investors make a bet that a stock’s price will fall.

Note, however, that the rules for short selling with a margin account can get even more complicated than a traditional margin trade. For instance, Regulation T of the Federal Reserve Board requires margin accounts to have 150% of the value of the short sale when the trade is initiated.

While the benefits of being able to buy more investments — and potentially generate larger returns — might seem appealing to some investors, there are also some potential risks to using margin. It might be worth considering these before you decide if trading on margin is right for you.

Potential Risks of Margin Trading

There are potential benefits, and there are potential risks associated with margin trading. Here are some of those risks:

•   Possible loss beyond initial investment. While a primary benefit of margin trading may be increased buying power, investors could lose more money than they initially invested. Unlike a cash account, the traditional way to buy stocks or other investments, losses in a margin account can actually extend beyond the initial investment.

For example, if an investor purchases $20,000 worth of stock with a cash account, the most they can lose is $20,000. If that same investor uses $10,000 of their own money and a margin — essentially a loan — of $10,000 and the stock loses value, they may actually end up owing more money than their initial $10,000.

•   Possibility of margin call. Another potential negative aspect of margin trading is getting a margin call. Investors might need to put additional funds into their account on short notice if a margin call is triggered because the investment lost value. Moreover, a drop in value might mean an investor needs to sell off some or all of the investment, even at an inopportune time.

The SEC warns investors that they must sell some of their stock, or deposit more funds to cover a margin call. If you get a margin call, it is your responsibility to deposit more funds, add securities or sell holdings in your account. If you don’t meet the margin call after a number of warnings from your broker, then the broker has the right to sell all or some of the current positions to bring the account back up to minimum value.

💡 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.

How to Get Started With Margin Trading

Typically, the first step to getting started with margin trading is to open a margin account with a brokerage firm.

Even if you already have a stock or investment account, which are cash accounts, you still need to open a margin account because they are regulated differently. First-time margin investors need to deposit at least $2,000 per FINRA rules. If you’re looking to day trade, this dollar figure goes up to $25,000 according to FINRA rules. This is the minimum margin when opening a margin trading account.

Once the margin account has been opened and the minimum margin amount deposited, the SEC advises investors to read the terms of their account to understand how it will work.
The SEC advises investors to hedge their risks by making sure they understand how margin works, understanding that interest charges may be levied by your broker, knowing that not all assets can be purchased on margin, or even communicating with your broker to get a sense if a margin account is the right tool for you.

The Takeaway

Margin trading, as discussed, means that investors are trading securities with borrowed funds from their brokers. This allows them to potentially increase their returns, but also carries the risk of ballooning losses. As with most investing strategies and vehicles, margin trading comes with a unique set of potential benefits, risks, and rewards.
Margin trading can seem a little more complicated than some other approaches to investing. As the investor, it is up to you to decide if the potential risks are worth the potential rewards, and if this strategy aligns with your goals for the future.

If you’re an experienced trader and have the risk tolerance to try out trading on margin, consider enabling a SoFi margin account. With a SoFi margin account, experienced investors can take advantage of more investment opportunities, and potentially increase returns. That said, margin trading is a high-risk endeavor, and using margin loans can amplify losses as well as gains.

Get one of the most competitive margin loan rates with SoFi, 12%*

FAQ

Is margin trading profitable?

Margin trading can be profitable, but there are no guarantees for investors that it will be. It can also lead to outsized and substantial losses for investors, so it’s important to consider the risks and potential benefits.

What happens if you lose money on margin?

If you lose money on margin, you may have a negative balance with your brokerage, and owe the broker money. You may also be subject to interest charges on that balance, too.

Should beginners trade on margin?

It’s best to consult with a financial professional before trading on margin, but generally, it’s likely that professionals would recommend beginners do not trade on margin.

How do you pay off margin?

Typically, if you have a negative balance in your margin account, you can reduce or pay it off by simply depositing cash into your account, or selling assets.


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.

*Borrow at 12%. Utilizing a margin loan is generally considered more appropriate for experienced investors as there are additional costs and risks associated. It is possible to lose more than your initial investment when using margin. Please see SoFi.com/wealth/assets/documents/brokerage-margin-disclosure-statement.pdf for detailed disclosure information.
Claw Promotion: Customer must fund their Active Invest account with at least $25 within 30 days of opening the account. Probability of customer receiving $1,000 is 0.028%. See full terms and conditions.

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Using Your 401(k) to Pay Down Debt

It may be tempting to tap your 401(k) retirement savings when you have pressing bills, such as high-interest credit card debt or multiple student loans. But while doing so can take care of current charges, you may well be short-changing your future. Early withdrawal of funds can involve fees and penalties, plus you are eating away at your nest egg.

Learning about the rules for withdrawing money from your 401(k) and the costs associated with deducting money in this way can help you make the right decision. Also valuable: Knowing some alternatives to 401(k) loans to pay off debt.

What Are the Rules for 401(k) Withdrawal?

Tax-deferred retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans, were designed to encourage workers to save for retirement. So the rules aren’t super friendly when it comes to withdrawals before age 59 ½.

When you make a 401(k) withdrawal, it removes money from your account permanently — you don’t pay the money back. You should expect to pay taxes on the amount you withdraw. Depending on your age, you may have to pay an early withdrawal penalty as well. (You’ll learn more about these costs below.)

Depending on your financial situation, however, you may be able to request what the IRS calls a hardship distribution. Employer retirement plans aren’t required to provide hardship distribution options to employees, but many do. Check with your HR department or plan administrator for details on what your plan allows.

According to the IRS, to qualify as a hardship, a 401(k) distribution must be made because of an “immediate and heavy financial need,” and the amount must be only what is necessary to satisfy this financial need. Expenses the IRS will automatically accept include:

•   Certain medical costs

•   Costs related to buying a principal residence

•   Tuition and related educational fees and expenses

•   Payments necessary to avoid eviction or foreclosure

•   Burial or funeral expenses

•   Certain expenses to repair casualty losses to a principal residence (such as losses from a fire, earthquake, or flood)

You still may not qualify for a hardship withdrawal, however, if you have other assets to draw on or insurance that could cover your needs. And your employer may require documentation to back up your request.

You probably noticed that credit card and auto loan payments aren’t included on the IRS list. And even the tuition requirements can be tricky. You can ask for a hardship distribution to pay for tuition, related educational fees, and room and board expenses “for up to the next 12 months of post-secondary education.” The student can be yourself, your spouse, your child, or another dependent. But you can’t use a hardship distribution to repay a student loan from when you attended college.

💡 Quick Tip: Before choosing a personal loan, ask about the lender’s fees: origination, prepayment, late fees, etc. SoFi personal loans come with no-fee options, and no surprises.

Understanding 401(k) Withdrawal Taxes and Penalties

Even if you can qualify for a hardship distribution, plan on paying taxes on the distribution (which is generally treated as ordinary income). Unless you meet specific criteria to qualify for a waiver, you’ll also pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you’re younger than 59 ½.

Example: If you’re 33 years old, and you have enough in your 401(k) to withdraw the $20,000 you need to pay off an urgent credit card bill.

•   Unless you qualify for a waiver, you can expect to pay a $2,000 early withdrawal penalty.

•   Then, when you file your income tax return, that 401(k) distribution will most likely be counted as ordinary income, so it will cost you another 25% or so in taxes.

•   If the added income bumps you into another tax bracket, your tax bill could be higher.

But taxes and penalties aren’t the only costs to consider when you’re deciding whether to go the distribution route.

Taking a Loan from Your 401(k)

You may be able to avoid paying an early withdrawal penalty and taxes if you borrow from your 401(k) instead of taking the money as a distribution.

A loan lets you borrow money from your 401(k) account and then pay it back to yourself over time. You’ll pay interest, but the interest and payments you make will go back into your retirement account.

But 401(k) loans have their own set of rules and costs, so you should be sure you know what you’re getting into. Also, depending on your employer, you could take out as much as half of your vested account balance or $50,000, whichever is less.
​​

Pros:

•   There are some appealing advantages to borrowing from a 401(k). For starters, if your plan offers loans (not all do), you might qualify based only on your participation in the plan. There won’t be a credit check or any impact to your credit score — even if you miss a payment. And borrowers generally have five years to pay back a 401(k) loan.

•   Another plus: Although you’ll have to pay interest (usually one or two points above the prime rate), the interest will go back into your own 401(k) account — not to a lender as it would with a typical loan.

Cons:

•   You may have to pay an application fee and/or maintenance fee, however, which will reduce your account balance.

•   A potentially more impactful cost to consider is how borrowing a large sum from your 401(k) now could affect your lifestyle in retirement. Even though your outstanding balance will be earning interest, you’ll be the one paying that interest.

•   Until you pay the money back, you’ll lose out on any market gains you might have had — and you’ll miss out on increasing your savings with the power of compound interest. If you reduce your 401(k) contributions while you’re making loan payments, you’ll further diminish your account’s potential growth.

•   Another risk to consider is that you might decide to leave your job before the loan is repaid. According to IRS regulations, you must repay whatever you still owe on your 401(k) loan within 60 days of leaving your employer. If you fail to pay off the outstanding balance in that time, it will be considered a distribution from your plan. And when tax time rolls around, you’ll have to include that amount on your federal and state tax returns, where it will be considered ordinary income.

If you’re under age 59 ½ and the loan balance becomes a distribution, you may also have to pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty. There may be similar consequences if you default on a 401(k) loan.

Recommended: Pros & Cons of Using Retirement Funds to Pay for College

How Early 401(k) Withdrawals Can Impact Your Financial Future

Now that you know more about cashing out a 401(k) plan or taking a loan from your retirement account, also take a big picture view of what early withdrawals can mean.

•   On the plus side, you can potentially pay off a loan and escape the monthly payments that are costing you. For instance, the money could go toward a high-interest credit card debt, which could be a big relief and lower your money stress. It could take those monthly payments off the table and free up cash in your monthly budget.

•   However, on the downside, there’s more to consider other than the penalties and taxes. By taking money out of your retirement fund, you are losing the chance for this money to grow and provide for you in your later years. Compound interest creates the potential for your initial investment to increase significantly over time. So every dollar you take out now could mean several dollars less in retirement.

•   Essentially, withdrawing from your 401(k) now is like borrowing money from your future self, because you’re losing long-term growth. Even if you put back in the initial funds you had invested, you won’t have that long runway, time-wise, to recoup the growth.

Recommended: Using a Personal Loan to Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Alternatives to Cashing Out a 401(k) to Pay Off Debt

When it comes to paying down debt, your 401(k) isn’t the first or only place you can look for relief. There are some solid alternatives.

•   Refinancing your student loan or auto loan can mean getting a lower interest rate than you’re currently paying. This can lower your monthly payments. Or you might extend the term of the loan, which is another way to lower the monthly payments.

However, if you have federal student loans, keep in mind that refinancing will mean you forfeit some benefits and protections, such as forbearance or deferment. Plus, if you refinance for a longer term, you are likely paying more in interest over the life of the loan.

•   If you have credit card debt or other high-interest debt, you could look into a credit card consolidation loan. Debt consolidation loans are personal loans that are designed to pay off your current loans or credit cards, ideally with lower monthly payments.

You can get these loans from a bank, credit union, or online lender, often by filling out a quick form and sending a few scanned documents. But it’s important to remember that this is still taking on debt, even if it’s debt with different terms. While extending your loan term means you’ll likely pay more in interest over the life of your loan, it might be a worthwhile move to ensure you can cover your debt payments.

What Are Some Ways of Minimizing Risks to Your Retirement?

If you decide using a 401(k) to pay off debt is your best (or only) option, here are a few things that could help you lower your financial risk.

•   Stop using your high-interest credit cards. If you continue to use your credit cards, and then have credit cards and the 401(k) loan payments to make every month, you could end up in even more financial trouble.

•   Continue to make contributions to your 401(k) while you’re repaying the loan — at least enough to get your employer’s match.

•   Don’t overborrow. Creating a budget could help you determine how much you can comfortably pay each quarter while staying on track with other goals. And try to stick to taking only the amount you really need to dump your debt and no more.

The Takeaway

While using your 401(k) to pay down debt is possible, it’s often not the best financial move you can make. That’s because 401(k) withdrawals often come with taxes and penalties that can eat up a third of your loan amount. Taking a loan from your 401(k) has its own disadvantages, including interest charges and strict repayment rules if you leave your job. But the most compelling reason is the effect that withdrawing retirement savings will have on your future lifestyle: Because of compounding interest, every dollar you withdraw results in several dollars of lost investment gains.

Before you use your 401(k) to pay off debt, consider other available alternatives, such as a personal loan.

Think twice before turning to high-interest credit cards. Consider a SoFi personal loan instead. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates and same-day funding. Checking your rate takes just a minute.


SoFi’s Personal Loan was named NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Personal Loan overall.

FAQ

How much is the penalty for an early 401(k) withdrawal?

If you withdraw funds from your 401(k) before age 59 ½, you will likely be assessed a 10% penalty, plus there may be fees involved and income tax due.

Can you take a loan from your 401(k)?

Your 401(k) plan may allow you to take a loan. This can be subject to fees and taxes, and, if you change jobs while you have the loan, the whole amount could become due.

What are alternatives to a 401(k) withdrawal to pay off credit card debt?

You might consider a personal loan (aka a debt consolidation loan) to help pay off the loan. You would look for a loan that offers for favorable terms than your card does to help you lower your monthly payment and get out of debt.


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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

*Awards or rankings from NerdWallet are not indicative of future success or results. This award and its ratings are independently determined and awarded by their respective publications.

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.

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.

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

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A Guide to Bitcoin ETPs

Spot Bitcoin ETPs are a type of investment vehicle that seeks to track the spot price of Bitcoin. ETPs, or exchange-traded products, are a broader basket of investments that include both exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and exchange-traded notes (ETNs), and are listed on an exchange, and can be purchased or sold much like a stock.

But what’s critical to know is that generally, ETFs are regulated by the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”). While the most common type of ETPs are structured as ETFs, not all are, and spot Bitcoin ETPs are a specific type of ETP that are not registered under the 1940 Act. As such, these ETPs are not subjected to the 1940 Act’s rules, and investors holding shares of Bitcoin ETPs may not or do not have the same protections as those that are regulated by the 1940 Act, which may mean these investments have relatively higher associated risks.

What Is a Bitcoin ETP?

As noted, Bitcoin ETPs are a type of exchange-traded fund or product that allow investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without directly owning it. These seek to track the price of Bitcoin. That means when the price of Bitcoin in U.S. dollars goes up, a spot Bitcoin ETP, trading on the stock exchange should also see its share values go up, and vice versa.

But it’s critical to note that Bitcoin ETPs have a much narrower focus than most other exchange-traded funds, which started out with the aim of giving investors broad exposure to the stock market. But, like all investments, they have various risks associated with them. In fact, it’s possible that an investor could lose the entirety of their investment.

An Introduction to Bitcoin ETPs

Bitcoin ETPs are exchange-traded products that, effectively, allow investors to gain exposure to the crypto markets as easily as they would buy or sell a stock, as discussed. Again, a Bitcoin ETP seeks to track the price or value of Bitcoin, and so the value of a Bitcoin ETP share is designed to rise or fall in relation to the change in value of the underlying cryptocurrency.

It also means that investors don’t necessarily need to directly own Bitcoin to gain exposure to the market in their portfolio — they can invest in a security, the ETP, that seeks to track it, instead. Note, too, that all ETPs have related fees and expenses, which vary.

💡 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.

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.

What Are Spot Bitcoin ETPs?

Spot Bitcoin ETPs are investment vehicles that trade at “spot” value. “Spot” value, in this case, refers to the price of the underlying asset at any given time. So, if a buyer and seller come together to make a trade, they would do so at the spot price. There are spot markets for all sorts of commodities.

Where Can Investors Buy Spot Bitcoin ETP Shares?

Investors can buy spot Bitcoin ETP shares via numerous exchanges and platforms. While previously, investors interested in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies would need to trade on platforms that supported cryptocurrencies, since Bitcoin ETPs are exchange-traded vehicles, investors are likely to find them available on many other platforms — that includes SoFi, which allows investors to buy spot Bitcoin ETP shares as well.

Are There Other Spot Crypto ETPs?

Spot Bitcoin ETPs seek to track the price of a fund’s Bitcoin holdings, and other spot crypto ETPs, if and when they are approved and hit exchanges, will do the same.

Spot Bitcoin ETPs were first approved for trading by regulators in early 2024. There are ETPs that seek to track Bitcoin-exposed or Bitcoin-adjacent companies, too, as well as Bitcoin futures. Spot Ethereum ETPs could be similar vehicles to to spot Bitcoin ETPs, in that they would seek to track the price of Ethereum, and allow investors to gain exposure to Ethereum in their portfolios without owning it directly.

What Are Bitcoin Futures ETPs?

Bitcoin futures ETPs are another type of ETP that give investors exposure to the price movements of Bitcoin via futures contracts. Futures are a type of contract that dictates the terms of a trade at a future date, and typically have underlying assets such as precious metals or other commodities — including crypto.

Accordingly, Bitcoin futures ETPs are crypto futures ETPs that specifically seek to track Bitcoin futures contracts. Regulators approved Bitcoin futures contracts in 2021, but again, investors should know that they don’t seek to track the price or value of the underlying asset exactly — which differentiates them from spot Bitcoin ETPs.

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

Are There US-listed Spot Bitcoin ETPs?

There are U.S.-listed spot Bitcoin ETPs. When the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) first granted their approval in January 2024, it opened the door to several Bitcoin ETPs hitting the market. As a result, investors were able to start buying and selling them via the stock market.

The SEC’s approval led to new spot Bitcoin ETPs being listed on a few different exchanges. Here’s a list of the first 11 spot Bitcoin ETPs that gained approval from the SEC:

•   Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)

•   Bitwise Bitcoin ETF (BITB)

•   Hashdex Bitcoin ETF (DEFI)

•   ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB)

•   Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCO)

•   VanEck Bitcoin Trust (HODL)

•   WisdomTree Bitcoin Fund (BTCW)

•   Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC)

•   Franklin Bitcoin ETF (EZBC)

•   iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT)

•   Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund (BRRR)

Note, too, that it’s anticipated that additional spot cryptocurrency ETPs will become available.

How Are Bitcoin ETPs Regulated?

Bitcoin ETPs are regulated by the SEC, which sets out guidance in terms of legality. Regulation in the crypto space is and has been murky — it’s been largely unregulated for the entirety of the crypto space’s existence. But the advent of crypto ETPs is likely to change that to some degree, as spot Bitcoin ETPs’ underlying asset is and can be Bitcoin itself, rather than Bitcoin derivatives.

Remember, too, that Bitcoin ETPs are not regulated under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as discussed. That differentiates them from most ETFs on the market.

That’s another important distinction investors should note: Spot and futures Bitcoin ETPs may be regulated under slightly different terms, as futures are derivatives. Investors should pay attention to the space and to any SEC guidance released regarding crypto regulation, as it may impact the value of their holdings in crypto ETPs, too.

Pros & Cons of Bitcoin ETPs

Like all investments, there are pros and cons of ETFs and ETPs — including Bitcoin ETPs.

Benefits of Bitcoin ETPs

Proponents of Bitcoin ETPs appreciate that they can give investors exposure to the complicated and volatile cryptocurrency market, without the need to personally hold actual crypto.

Convenience and Ease

Buying a spot Bitcoin ETP requires little tech know-how beyond knowing how to use a computer, open a brokerage account, and place a buy order.

ETPs provide a way for investors to indirectly add exposure to certain assets — like Bitcoin, in this case — to their portfolio. That may result in a return on investment, or a possible loss of principal. On the other hand, holding actual Bitcoin may require a somewhat advanced level of technical expertise.

Secure Storage Options

Some cryptocurrency exchanges might be trustworthy, but some users have also had a controversial history of being hacked, stolen from, or defrauded. Even reliable exchanges open investors up to risk.

Securely storing cryptocurrencies — for example, storing the private keys to a Bitcoin wallet — is most often done by using either a paper wallet that has the keys written in the form of a QR code and a long string of random characters, or by using an external piece of hardware called a hardware wallet.

Risks of Bitcoin ETPs

First and foremost, investors should be aware that it’s possible that they could lose the entirety of their investment when investing in Bitcoin ETPs. There are, of course, other risks to consider as well, including volatility, costs, and the unpredictable and still largely-unregulated nature of the crypto market.

Volatility

The volatility comes from the occasional wild swings experienced in the price of Bitcoin and Bitcoin futures against most other currencies. This could scare investors that have a lower risk tolerance, enticing them to panic and sell.

Fees

One of the risks that comes from holding an ETP of any kind involves its expense ratio. This number refers to the amount of money a fund’s management charges in exchange for providing the opportunity for investors to invest in their fund.

If a fund comes with an expense ratio of 2%, for example, the fund management would take $2 out of a $100 investment each year. This figure is usually calculated after profits have been factored in, cutting into investors’ gains. In other words, some Bitcoin ETPs could be relatively expensive for investors to hold, but it’ll depend on the specific fund.

There can be other various types of fees that may apply to an investment in ETPs as well. While the specific fees will vary from ETP to ETP, investors will likely encounter one or a combination of commissions, account maintenance fees, exchange fees, and wrap fees (a type of management fee). Again, investors will want to look at an ETP’s prospectus or related documents to get a better sense of the costs associated with a specific ETP.

Fraud and Market Manipulation

Regulators have cited fraud and market manipulation as reasons for why they were cautious about approving a spot market Bitcoin ETP. It’s unclear how the SEC’s approval of spot Bitcoin ETPs may affect fraud and market manipulation in the crypto space, but it’s something investors should be aware of.

The Takeaway

Spot Bitcoin ETPs were approved for trading by the SEC in early 2024, and as a result, it’s likely that many more crypto ETPs will also hit markets and exchanges in the future — though nothing is guaranteed. Investors may use them to gain exposure to the crypto markets. For investors curious about the cryptocurrency market but not yet ready to invest in crypto itself, a Bitcoin ETP may represent another option. It may be best to speak with a financial professional before investing, too.

If you’re ready to bring crypto into your portfolio, you can invest in a Bitcoin ETP with SoFi. Along with many other types of investments, SoFi’s platform offers investors access to the crypto space through spot Bitcoin ETPs.

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

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

FAQ

What are the options for Bitcoin ETPs?

There are Bitcoin futures ETPs and spot Bitcoin ETPs listed in the U.S., which investors can buy. Given the SEC’s approval of Bitcoin ETPs for trading in early 2024, there may soon be additional spot crypto ETPs available to investors in the future.

Are there US-listed Bitcoin ETPs?

As of July 2024, there are U.S.-listed spot Bitcoin ETPs after the SEC approved an initial batch of them, and it’s likely there will be more in the subsequent months and years.

Where can Bitcoin ETP shares be purchased?

Crypto ETPs can be purchased and traded on the stock market, alongside other ETPs.


Photo credit: iStock/JuSun

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.


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


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

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