SoFi launches social network for investors

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SoFi has created a social network for investors.

The challenger bank, which began as a fintech focused on student loan refinancing before adding automated investing, small-business loans and other products, said in a Wednesday press release that the platform lets users follow other SoFi investors' portfolios, watchlists and investment activity.

The platform also lets members message each other and comment on one another’s trades, while including investment performance leaderboards.

SoFi has a million members; half of those use SoFi Invest. The number of brokerage accounts has grown by 257% since Jan. 1.

In a recent survey, 70% of SoFi Invest clients said they discuss their investments at least weekly with colleagues, peers and family members. SoFi already has a Facebook group with more than 50,000 members who ask each other for advice.

Users opt in to share their investing moves with others. SoFi doesn't display the amounts invested, only the stocks and exchange-traded funds.

“The target audience for our Invest product generally is newer investors, not because they don't know about investing, but maybe they have been held back previously by things like student loan debt, and so have been apprehensive of how to get started,” said Rachel Rosenzweig, SoFi's director of communications. “So the goal with any feature like this is just to say, 'Oh, I see one of my friends is doing these things, maybe that's something that I can undertake.' ”

SoFi applied for a national bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in July.

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