SoFi gets into wealth management

SoFi wants to be at the center of its members’ financial lives, and believes the best way to do so is to provide new products that complement its existing portfolio of student loan, mortgage and other loans. Today the company is announcing the launch of SoFi Wealth, a product it believes will compete with Wealthfront, Betterment and other low-cost wealth management platforms.

SoFi Wealth will allow members to sign up and create low-cost, tax-efficient investment portfolios. Like other products on the market, SoFi’s wealth management service offers individual and retirement accounts that automatically rebalance and optimize portfolios.

But the company is looking to go a step further than just creating yet another roboadvisor. SoFi Wealth will offer access to non-commissioned, licensed financial advisors that members can reach by phone or by chat to answer investment questions or just help them improve their overall financial health.

Wealth management customers will get the same benefits as other members, including access to community events, career coaching and discounts on other SoFi products. Management fees will be waived for SoFi loan borrowers, but otherwise are just 0.25 percent and will be waived for the first $10,000 invested.

SoFi had previously made its wealth-management product available in a limited capacity to its existing user base. But now the company is launching SoFi Wealth to the general public, allowing anyone to become a SoFi member without having to open a loan account. People interested can sign up with as little as a $500 initial investment or monthly recurring deposit of $100 for access to any of its low-cost ETFs.

There’s no shortage of wealth-management options out there for those who have money to invest. In addition to more traditional offerings from the likes of Fidelity and Vanguard, startups like Wealthfront, Betterment and Wealthsimple have emerged to make investing for the long term simple and cost-effective.

But SoFi’s bet is on offering a more comprehensive suite of financial services to its users. That started with student-loan refinancing and expanded to mortgage and other lending products. Now SoFi can extend its relationship with existing members by managing their assets once their loans are paid off.

In addition to wealth management, SoFi has launched an insurance offering and has plans to offer more traditional deposit, savings and credit card products later this year. To do that, the company acquired alternative banking startup Zenbanx earlier this year and has plans to apply for an industrial bank charter over the next month.

We’ll hear more about SoFi Wealth, the company’s plans for banking services and other topics, as CEO Mike Cagney will be onstage at Disrupt NY later today.