Update: Passfolio has shut down. The service is no longer available. Read the full update.
You’ve probably heard of Passfolio and wondering if you should invest through the platform. The allure of investing in high-performing U.S stocks and assets is just too enticing to resist. But have you done your due diligence on Passfolio? Is it a legit company to invest with? What are the risks of using this platform as a Nigerian? And how safe is your investment?
There are many questions to ask, and that is why I have come up with this review to do a sort of x-ray on Passfolio and see if it is the right fit for Nigerian investors.
I will be taking a look at the features of Passfolio and the pros and cons of investing with the platform, especially in Nigeria. This review is written from an individual perspective, and is by no means exhaustive.
That said, let’s see what Passfolio offers to us as investors.
What is Passfolio All About
Passfolio is a young startup out of San Francisco that wants to help investors living outside the U.S to invest in U.S stocks and assets.
We all know that the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is the most valuable, most traded, and most secure stock exchange in the world. And almost all U.S. public companies are listed on the NYSE. This is why investors around the world are interested in investing in the stocks of U.S traded companies.
Passfolio is the bridge that creates access to the U.S stock market for many investors around the world.
Through their website and mobile app, you can start trading the U.S stock market and other assets from Nigeria in just 5 minutes. I signed up on the app from Nigeria and my account was verified and approved in under 5 minutes.
How To Start Investing on Passfolio From Nigeria
To start investing on Passfolio from Nigeria, all you have to do is signup on their website and mobile app. The registration process is seamless and fast.
However, when signing up using the mobile app, I encountered a few issues. First was that the mobile OTP didn’t come and I had to opt for the email OTP which was fine. Also, I tried to add a contact as a guarantor and that too didn’t work, so I had to skip it.
Apart from those few glitches everything went fine and I was approved to start investing on Passfolio.
Nigeria Investors Requirements on Passfolio
To start investing on Passfolio from Nigeria, you will be required to input your BVN as a means of identity. I think this is quite good unlike many other fintech apps that will require you to do all sorts of identity verification.
One of those ridiculous fintech apps even required me to do a selfie video after providing my NIN and government-issued ID. So, this lean requirement from Passfolio is a really good move to avoid stressing investors.
Another requirement you might need is a bank app or active USSD. This is because to deposit funds into your Passfolio wallet, you will need to make a bank transfer via flutterwave. If you don’t have a banking app or USSD activated, investing on Passfolio might prove difficult.
How Much Can You Make on Passfolio?
Passfolio is a platform for investing in U.S stocks, REITs and cryptocurrencies, so how much you make on the platform would depend on your portfolio and choice of stocks.
Like any other investment platform, you could also lose money if the stocks or assets you invest in performs poorly. But there is a good chance that you will make good money as there are so many stocks and assets to invest in using Passfolio.
Passfolio also has a referral program where you can get free stocks worth up to $100. If you invite a friend or colleague to invest on Passfolio and they deposit $25 in cash or $50 in crypto, the both of you would get free U.S stocks worth up to $100.
How Much Commission Does Passfolio Charge?
The good thing about Passfolio is that unlike similar platforms, they do not charge any commission for investing in U.S stocks. What you invest is what you get, and what you earn is what you receive.
I think this was the biggest selling point that made me decide to start investing with Passfolio. I also think it is a deal breaker for many stock investors in Nigeria.
How Does Passfolio Make Money?
The question then is, if Passfolio doesn’t have any commission charge, how do they make money? Or are their services free?
Well, you don’t have to be mistaken because Passfolio makes money in several ways.
Firstly, when you want to deposit funds into Passfolio, bank transfer could take up to 2 days. But for a small fee of 0.5% of the deposit amount, you can make an instant transfer from 11:10 AM to 6:30 PM Nigerian time on Mondays through Fridays.
Passfolio also has a pro version for professional traders who want to trade the U.S stock market in real time and want to reinvest their dividends. This version comes at a reasonable cost of $5 per month.
Is Passfolio Legit or Scam?
So far so good. I think Passfolio is legit due to the several industry partnerships they have, such as Flutterwave.
Also, Passfolio is a U.S registered Broker-Dealer and a member of the U.S Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).
This essentially means that your investment with Passfolio is protected by the SIPC up to $500,000, with claims of up to $250,000 in cash.
So, Is Passfolio Worth Investing With?
The biggest point for me is that I can incur lower fees investing on Passfolio, unlike other similar platforms. Passfolio helps you lower the transaction fees so you could put more money into actual investments.
I also like that Passfolio offers diversified investment options such as stocks, REITs, and cryptocurrencies. This gives me more options when creating my portfolio unlike other platforms that are limited to U.S stocks alone.
Also, I like the fact that dividends are paid directly to my bank account in Nigeria. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I like to receive revenues from my investment and then choose what to do with it. Other investors might prefer to have their dividends ready to be reinvested.
Investing is a personal decision, so you need to have your own plan in order to make the most out of it. So, the choice to either use Passfolio or not is left to you.
You can sign up on the Passfolio website or mobile app and take a look around to see if it matches your investment needs. Are the costs affordable? Are the features good enough for your investment plan? Etc.
Personally, I’ve taken a good look at Passfolio and I like what I see.