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Robo advisors (digital platforms that offer investors automated financial planning services) are making big moves. Just this year, assets under management across Robo-advisors across the globe are expected to increase to a whopping $2.8 trillion by 2025 from the current $1.37 trillion as of 2021.

And now it looks like two of the most popular online brokerage platforms i.e. SoFi Invest and M1 Finance are battling it out to get a piece of the pie with an intriguing blend of tools and features designed to attract a crop of new and young investors.

While M1 Finance is one of the latest entrants in the Robo-advisor space having been established in 2015, its platform has been growing at a fast clip. The company has over $4.5 billion in assets under management and more than 500,000 customers.

SoFi (Social Finance) on the other hand, has only attracted over $100 million in assets under management even though it has been around since 2011. Originally launched as a consumer lending platform, SoFi Invest has since branched out to offer other financial services including mortgages, life insurance, and new investments.

Currently, both SoFi Invest and M1 Finance offer their consumers zero-commission trades and self-directed trading which are compelling offers to cost-conscious beginner traders and investors.

In this article, we take a closer look at the pros and cons of each platform to give you a better idea of which one might be the best for you.

M1 Finance Overview

M1 Finance offers a variety of investment instruments including portfolio customization, automatic deposits, expertly crafted investment portfolios to pick from, and even dividend reinvesting to mention a few. The company was launched in 2015 with its headquarters in Chicago USA and has since grown into one of the most popular Robo-advisor apps in the investment space.

According to their site, there are over 150,000 active investors using their app which is available on both Android and iOS devices. The platform offers its users the ability to build and continuously maintain their custom portfolios across various asset classes (stocks and ETFs) as well as borrow at competitively low rates. Its portfolio customization feature allows investors to build exactly what they want by mixing and matching over 6,000 stocks and ETFs.

M1 Finance is also known for its offer of zero service commission trades on stocks and ETFs which means that traders get complete freedom to invest in whatever form they want without incurring any fees. In addition, M1 Finance allows investors who opt for their portfolio plans to have their dividends automatically reinvested which can help compound returns over time.

M1 finance

M1 Finance

  • Banking super app with stocks, ETFs, IRAs, credit cards and more
  • Community pies where you can follow other investor’s strategies
  • M1 checking account offers up to 1% APY
  • Access to crypto-based stocks like COIN, Microstrategy and more
Cryptocurrencies supported None
Fees No management fees

M1 Finance Pros & Cons


  • Commission-free investing

  • Offers fractional shares and automatic portfolio re-balancing

  • Checking accounts are secured with FDIC insurance cover

  • Features a debit card cash back reward


  • The plus account comes at an annual fee after the first year

  • Customer service could be better

  • Trades can only be placed once a day with the basic account

  • No cryptocurrency

SoFi Invest Overview

Right from the start, SoFi Invest gained a reputation for its offering of student loan refinancing back in 2012. However, the company has since grown to offer an extensive list of financial products including mortgages, personal banking services, and now investment vehicles such as stocks, ETFs, and even cryptocurrencies.

Similar to M1 Finance, SoFi Invest does not charge any fees for investing and portfolio management, however, there is a 1.25% mark-up placed on each crypto transaction on top of the network transaction fees. Compared to M1 Finance, SoFi Invest goes a step further to give its users free access to financial advisers who add a personal touch to the platform’s user experience.

With support for more than 20 coins including popular options such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dogecoin, SoFi Invest gets an edge over M1 Finance which doesn’t offer any crypto assets to invest in.

SoFi Logo

SoFi Crypto

  • Receive $10 when you start trading crypto assets
  • Only available in the United States
  • Completely custodial platform
  • Supports BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH & ETC
Cryptocurrencies Supported 22+ (Bitcoin, Ether, LTC)
Fees 1.25%

SoFi Pros & Cons


  • Supports more than 20 cryptocurrencies

  • Offers fractional dividend-paying shares

  • There are no management fees

  • Commission-free trading


  • There is no options trading or bonds

  • Limited tactical trading tools

  • A large mark-up on crypto trades

  • The platform is only available in the U.S

Beginner Friendliness

Both SoFi Invest and M1 Finance compare well when it comes to beginner friendliness. They both feature intuitive user interfaces that are easy to navigate. Setting up an account on both platforms is straightforward. After you sign up, you can start investing immediately. There are no charges for setting up your investment portfolio and purchasing a couple of shares or assets is easily executed. However, SoFi Invest has an edge over M1 Finance when it comes to beginner friendliness because it offers access to financial advisors who are available for free consultations. So if you have any questions about investing or about your account, you can easily get help from a professional.

M1 Finance also offers expert support but in the form of ready-made portfolios built by a team of expert investors. M1 Finance users can model their portfolios after those made by experts to grow their wealth. The main advantage that M1 Finance has in this regard is that it allows its users to customize their portfolio in various ways while SoFi Invest users are locked into one strategy.

Fees & Transaction Charges

You can trade for free on both SoFi Invest as well as on M1 Finance. Both platforms allow users to benefit from zero commission trades however, SoFi Invest places a 1.25% markup on its crypto transactions.

On the other hand, while M1 Finance offers a free Basic Account, it’s M1 Plus account that comes with more perks features a $125 annual subscription fee. There is also an additional miscellaneous fee for additional account operations. M1 Finance also features an account minimum balance requirement of $100 for basic accounts and $500 for retirement accounts. SoFi Invest on the other hand, does not come with a minimum account balance requirement.

Trust and Security

When it comes to transparency and trustworthiness, SoFi Invest and M1 Finance are almost equal. Both platforms have a good reputation, and they both score high when it comes to customer satisfaction ratings.

SoFi Invest and M1 Finance also come with top-level security features that ensure the safety of your data and investments. M1 Finance for instance, uses bank-level security and features an FDIC-insured savings account. The platform also offers users a withdrawal limit to prevent unauthorized transactions and complete control over their accounts. SoFi Invest apart from using bank-level security also uses two-factor authentication, PGP encryption as well as insurance protection against cyber-attacks across the platform.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

SoFi offers over 20 different cryptocurrencies including heavyweights like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Solana, Polkadot and more.

The downside is that you only get crypto exposure through SoFi as you can’t actually withdraw your cryptocurrency to a private wallet.

That’s better than M1 Finance, however, which at the current time doesn’t offer any crypto. The only way to gain crypto exposure on M1 Finance is to invest in crypto-centric stock like Coinbase, Microstrategy and various mining firms. Not an ideal situation for anyone looking to buy crypto.

Customer Support

SoFi Invest stands out for its helpful customer support staff. The platform offers users round-the-clock live chat which makes it easy to get their queries answered at any time of the day.

There are also phone and email options that you can use if you prefer not to access SoFi Invest’s live chat service. M1 Finance on the other hand, does not come with a dedicated customer support line.

It only offers users an email support option that is mostly used to get questions about their accounts answered. With the lack of a live chat option, getting in touch with M1 Finance can be time-consuming because it could take days before your query is addressed by the staff.

Rewards and Incentives

SoFi Invest edges out M1 Finance when it comes to rewards and incentives. The platform offers users several benefits for being loyal customers. These benefits include waiver of trading fees, bonus interest on deposited funds, and early access to hot IPOs. SoFi Invest also offers points that can be redeemed for cash, crypto, or spend on the SoFi credit card.

M1 Finance also offers rewards in the form of M1 Plus account Perks. These perks include a 1% APY on the platform’s checking account and cashback rewards on the M1 Spend Visa debit card purchases. There is also a four-month ATM fee reimbursement as well as 0 international fees on debit card purchases. However, the rewards on offer pale in comparison to those offered by SoFi Invest.

Outstanding Features

SoFi Invest comes with several outstanding features that make it a great choice for those looking to invest in the stock market as well as have access to cryptocurrencies. These features include:

  • A wide range of investment options including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and cryptocurrencies
  • No minimum account balance requirement
  • No commission fees on trades
  • A great selection of educational resources
  • Round the clock customer support

M1 Finance also comes with several features that make it a great choice for those looking to invest in the stock market.

These include a wide range of investment options including stocks, ETFs, however, M1 Finance does not offer mutual funds or cryptocurrencies.

M1 Finance’s most outstanding feature is its expert “Pies” that allow investors to mimic the portfolios of expert traders and investors. M1 Finance also boasts of its security as investors’ accounts are insured up to $500,000.

CryptoVantage Verdict: SoFi Currently Better for Crypto

When it comes to features, SoFi Invest trumps M1 Finance with its wide range of investment options including stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.

Although M1 Finance offers several attractive features, it lacks the wide range of investment options that SoFi Invest has to offer. When it comes to customer support, SoFi Invest also trumps M1 Finance because of its live chat service. It is easy to get your account-related questions answered at any time since all you have to do is click on the live chat button and wait for a representative to answer your query.

M1 Finance on the other hand, relies on its email support which can take days before you get a response. SoFi Invest also has better rewards and incentives however, M1 Finance offers the highest level of security for the accounts of its users.

Jinia Shawdagor

About the Author

Jinia Shawdagor

Jinia is a fintech writer based in Sweden focused on the cryptocurrency market and blockchain industry. With years of experience, she contributes to some of the most renowned crypto publications such as Cointelegraph, Invezz and others. She also has experience writing about the iGaming industry.

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