How to Start Trading Stocks for Free (and With No Minimum Balance Requirement)

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We all have that friend. The one who’s constantly checking the stock market like it’s a game and mumbling things like, “Ugh, I should’ve traded that yesterday!” You roll your eyes, but you also wonder: What am I missing out on?

Many financial experts encourage young people to invest in the stock market. Sure, it comes with risk, but it could pay out long term.

The only thing is… where do you start?

Lord knows you don’t want to ask that friend. Instead, you can start with as little as $1 and open fee-free account with SoFi Active Investing.

Investing for Beginners: Don’t Pay to Play

SoFi Active Investing leans into a “learn by doing” approach. That means you can experiment with buying and trading stocks — no fees and no account minimums attached.

If you buy something and immediately regret it? You can trade it seconds later. No penalty. (Honestly, it’s perfect for those of us with commitment issues.)

But maybe you have questions before you get to the whole buying and trading part… Take all the time you need to explore stocks through your SoFi dashboard.

For example, maybe you’ve heard everyone abuzz about Roku stock. Search for it on your dashboard, and you’ll see that SoFi has outlined the stock’s market price, its performance history and even recent company news hits — everything you need to know to make an informed decision is right there.

Pro Tip

Add stocks you’re interested in to your SoFi watchlist. There, you can monitor their daily performances. Like what you’re seeing? Make a move as soon as you’re ready to buy.

If you want some human input? Reach out to a SoFi financial adviser for free via phone, email or chat at any time.

How to Open a Fee-Free Investing Account

Are you ready to give this whole investing thing a try?

Here’s how to start:

  1. Sign up here by clicking “Invest Now.”
  2. Connect your bank account. This will fund your investments. (There are bank-level layers of security, and SoFi won’t store your info, so you’re safe!)
  3. Ready to go? Click “Add Buying Power” to deposit money into your SoFi Active Investing account. Choose a one-time transfer or set up recurring monthly transfers. It’ll take up to four business days for this money to land in your SoFi account.

From there, invest the money from your SoFi account into stocks of your choice.

Don’t feel like you’re marrying these stocks. You can buy and trade fee-free at any time the market’s open, but remember: Some of the smartest investors suggest riding out the market’s ups and downs long term for the greatest gains.

Oh, and if you want to really get serious? Download the SoFi app. Then, when that friend starts talking about stocks, you can add your two cents.

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her boyfriend inspired the character of that friend in this article.