457 vs 401(k): What’s the real difference?


Written by:


Depending on where you work, you may be able to save for retirement in a 457 plan or a 401(k). While any employer can offer a 401(k), a 457 plan is commonly associated with state and local governments and certain eligible nonprofits.


Both offer tax advantages, though they aren’t exactly the same when it comes to retirement saving. Understanding the differences between a 457 retirement plan vs. 401(k) plans can help you decide which one is best for you.


And you may not have to choose: Your employer could offer a 401(k) plan and a 457 plan as retirement savings options. If you’re able to make contributions to both plans simultaneously, you could do so up to the maximum annual contribution limits — a terrific savings advantage for individuals in organizations that offer both plans.

401(k) Plans

A 401(k) is a tax-advantaged, defined contribution plan. Specifically, it’s a type of retirement plan that’s recognized or qualified under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).


With a 401(k) plan, the amount of benefits you can withdraw in retirement depends on how much you contribute during your working years and how much those contributions grow over time.

Understanding 401(k) Contributions

A 401(k) is funded with pre-tax dollars, meaning that contributions reduce your taxable income in the year you make them. And withdrawals are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate in retirement.


Some employers may offer a Roth 401(k) option, which would enable you to deposit after-tax funds, and withdraw money tax-free in retirement.

401(k) Contribution Limits

The IRS determines how much you can contribute to a 401(k) each year. For 2022, the annual contribution limit is $20,500; $22,500 in 2023. Workers age 50 or older can contribute an additional $6,500 in catch-up contributions. Generally, you can’t make withdrawals from a 401(k) before age 59 ½ without incurring a tax penalty. So, if you retire at 62, you can avoid the penalty but if you retire at 52, you wouldn’t.


Employers can elect to make matching contributions to a 401(k) plan, though they’re not required to. If an employer does offer a match, it may be limited to a certain amount. For example, your employer might match 50% of contributions, up to the first 6% of your income.

401(k) Investment Options

Money you contribute to a 401(k) can be invested in mutual funds, index funds, target-date funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Your investment options are determined by the plan administrator. Each investment can carry different fees, and there may be additional fees charged by the plan itself.


The definition of retirement is generally when you leave full-time employment and live on your savings, investments, and other types of income. So remember that both traditional and Roth 401(k) accounts are subject to required minimum distribution (RMD) rules beginning at age 72. That’s something to consider when you’re thinking about your income strategy in retirement.


Recommended: 5 Steps to Investing in Your 401k Savings Account

Vesting in a 401(k) Retirement Plan

A 401(k) plan is subject to IRS vesting rules. Vesting determines when the funds in the account belong to you. If you’re 100% vested in your account, then all of the money in it is yours.


Employee contributions to a 401(k) are always 100% vested. The amount of employer matching contributions you get to keep can depend on where you are on the company’s vesting schedule. Amounts that aren’t vested can be forfeited if you decide to leave your job or you retire.


Employer’s may use a cliff vesting approach in which your percentage of ownership is determined by year. In year one and two, your ownership claim is 0%. Once you reach year three and beyond, you’re 100% vested.


With graded vesting, the percentage increases gradually over time. So, you might be 20% vested after year two and 100% vested after year six.


All employees in the plan must be 100% vested by the time they reach their full retirement age, which may or may not be the same as their date of retirement. The IRS also mandates 100% vesting when a 401(k) plan is terminated.

457 Plans

A 457 plan is a deferred compensation plan that can be offered to state and local government employees, as well as employees of certain tax-exempt organizations. The most common version is the 457(b); the 457 (f) is a deferred compensation plan for highly paid executives. In certain ways, a 457 is very similar to a 401(k).


•   Employees can defer part of their salary into a 457 plan and those contributions are tax-deferred. Earnings on contributions are also tax-deferred.

•   A 457 plan can allow for designated Roth contributions. If you take the traditional 457 route, qualified withdrawals would be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate when you retire.

•   Since this is an employer-sponsored plan, both traditional and Roth-designated 457 accounts are subject to RMDs once you turn 72.

•   For 2022, the 457 plan annual contribution limit is $20,500. Catch-up contributions of $6,500 are allowed for workers who are 50 or older. For 2023, the annual contribution limit is $22,500, and $7,500 for the catch-up amount.

One big difference with 457 plans is that these limits are cumulative, meaning they include both employee and employer contributions rather than allowing for separate matching contributions the way a 401(k) does.


Another interesting point of distinction for older savers: If permitted, workers can also make special catch-up contributions for employees who are in the three-year window leading up to retirement.


They can contribute the lesser of the annual contribution limit or the basic annual limit, plus the amount of the limit not used in any prior years. The second calculation is only allowed if the employee is not making regular catch-up contributions.

Vesting in a 457 Retirement Plan

Vesting for a 457 plan is similar to vesting for a 401(k), but you generally can’t be vested for two full years. You’re always 100% vested in any contributions you make to the plan. The plan can define the vesting schedule for employer contributions. For example, your job may base vesting on your years of service or your age.


As with a 401(k), any unvested amounts in a 457 retirement plan are forfeited if you separate from your employer for any reason. So if you’re planning to change jobs or retire early, you’d need to calculate how much of your retirement savings you’d be entitled to walk away with, based on the plan’s vesting schedule.

457 vs 401(k): Comparing the Pros

When comparing a 457 plan vs. 401(k), it’s important to look at how each one can benefit you when saving for retirement. The main advantages of using a 457 plan or a 401(k) to save include:


•   Both offer tax-deferred growth

•   Contributions reduce taxable income

•   Employers can match contributions, giving you free money for retirement

•   Both offer generous contribution limits, with room for catch-up contributions

•   Both may offer loans and/or hardship withdrawals

Specific 457 Plan Advantages

A 457 plan offers a few more advantages over a 401(k).


Unlike 401(k) plans, which require employees to wait until age 59 ½ before making qualified withdrawals, 457 plans allow withdrawals at whatever age the employee retires. And the IRS doesn’t impose a 10% early withdrawal penalty on withdrawals made before age 59 ½ if you retire (or take a hardship distribution).


Also, independent contractors can participate in an organization’s 457 plan.


And, as noted above, 457 plans have that special catch-up provision option, for those within three years of retirement.

457 vs 401(k): Comparing the Cons

Any time you’re trying to select a retirement plan, you also have to factor in the potential downsides. In terms of the disadvantages associated with a 457 retirement plan vs. 401(k) plans, they aren’t that different. Here are some of the main cons of both of these retirement plans:


•   Vesting of employer contributions can take several years, and plans vary

•   Employer matching contributions are optional, and not every plan offers them

•   Both plans are subject to RMD rules

•   Loans and hardship withdrawals are optional

•   Both can carry high plan fees and investment options may be limited

Perhaps the biggest con with 457 plans is that employer and employee contributions are combined when applying the annual IRS limit. A 401(k) plan doesn’t have that same requirement so you could make the full annual contribution and enjoy an employer match on top of it.

457 vs 401(k): The Differences

The most obvious difference between a 401(k) vs. 457 account is who they’re meant for. If you work for a state or local government agency or an eligible nonprofit, then your employer can offer a 457 plan for retirement savings. All other employers can offer a 401(k) instead.


Aside from that, 457 plans are not governed by ERISA since they’re not qualified plans. A 457 plan also varies from a 401(k) with regard to early withdrawal penalties and the special catch-up contributions allowed for employees who are nearing retirement.


Additionally, a 457 plan may require employees to prove an unforeseeable emergency in order to take a hardship distribution.


A 457 plan and a 401(k) can offer a different range of investments as well. The investments offered are determined by the plan administrator.

457 vs 401(k): The Similarities

Both 457 and 401(k) plans are subject to the same annual contribution limits, though again, the way the limit is applied to employer and employee contributions is different. With traditional 401(k) and 457 plans, contributions reduce your taxable income and withdrawals are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. When you reach age 72, you’ll need to take RMDs unless you’re still working.


Either plan may allow you to take a loan, which you’d repay through salary deferrals. Both have vesting schedules you’d need to follow before you could claim ownership of employer matching contributions. With either type of plan you may have access to professional financial advice, which is a plus if you need help making investment decisions.

457 vs 401(k): Which Is Better?

A 457 plan isn’t necessarily better than a 401(k) and vice versa. If you have access to either of these plans at work, both could help you to get closer to your retirement savings goals.


A 401(k) has an edge when it comes to regular contributions, since employer matches don’t count against your annual contribution limit. But if you have a 457 plan, you could benefit from the special catch-up contribution provision which you don’t get with a 401(k).


If you’re planning an early retirement, a 457 plan could be better since there’s no early withdrawal penalty if you take money out before age 59 ½. But if you want to be able to stash as much money as possible in your plan, including both your contributions and employer matching contributions, a 401(k) could be better suited to the task.

Investing in Retirement

If you’re lucky enough to work for an organization that offers both a 457 plan and a 401(k) plan, you could double up on your savings and contribute the maximum to both plans. Or, you may want to choose between them, in which case it helps to know the main points of distinction between these two, very similar plans.


Basically, a 401(k) has more stringent withdrawal rules compared with a 457, and a 457 has more flexible catch-up provisions. But a 457 can have effectively lower contribution limits, owing to the inclusion of employer contributions in the overall plan limits.


What similarities do 457 and 401(k) retirement plans have?

A 457 and a 401(k) plan are both tax-advantaged, with contributions that reduce your taxable income and grow tax-deferred. Both have the same annual contribution limit and regular catch-up contribution limit for savers who are 50 or older. Either plan may allow for loans or hardship distributions. Both may offer designated Roth accounts.

What differences do 457 and 401(k) retirement plans have?

A 457 plan includes employer matching contributions in the annual contribution limit, whereas a 401(k) plan does not. You can withdraw money early from a 457 plan with no penalty if you’ve separated from your employer. A 457 plan may be offered to employees of state and local governments or certain nonprofits while private employers can offer 401(k) plans to employees.

Is a 457 better than a 401(k) retirement plan?

A 457 plan may be better for retirement if you plan to retire early. You can make special catch-up contributions in the three years prior to retirement and you can withdraw money early with no penalty if you leave your employer. A 401(k) plan, meanwhile, could be better if you’re hoping to maximize regular contributions and employer matching contributions.


Learn More:

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


SoFi Invest
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Also, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA  SIPC  . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit sofi. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or prequalification for any loan product offered by SoFi Bank, N.A.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

More from MediaFeed:

50 investment phrases, decoded


Any new endeavor — from rock climbing to investing — means getting familiar with new words and phrases. Some investment terms may seem complex, but this list will take the mystery out of the most common investing terminology, so you can feel even more confident as you start your investing journey.


RelatedIs there such a thing as a safe investment?





Alpha is used to gauge the success of an investment strategy, portfolio, portfolio manager, or trader compared with a relevant benchmark. You may also hear alpha defined as “excess return” in that it refers to returns that can be attributed to active management, over and above market returns.




An asset is anything that holds value that can be converted to cash. Personal assets might include your home, a car or other valuables. Business assets might include machinery or patents. When it comes to investing, assets are typically the securities you invest in.





An asset class is a group of investments with similar characteristics that is likely to perform differently in the market than another asset class. Types of asset classes include stocks, bonds, real estate, currencies and more. Given the same market conditions, stocks and bonds often move in opposite directions. Most financial advisers recommend you invest in multiple asset classes in order to have a well-diversified portfolio and minimize risk.



1989_s/ istockphoto


An asset allocation fund is a diversified portfolio consisting of various asset classes. Most asset allocation funds have a mix of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents. These types of funds can be popular as some advisors stress the importance of having diverse portfolios to minimize potential losses.



GaudiLab // istockphoto


Beta refers to how risky or volatile a security or portfolio is compared with the market overall. Calculating the beta of the stocks in your portfolio can help you determine how your portfolio might respond to market volatility. You can also gauge the beta of a stock to help determine how much risk it might add to your portfolio.





A bear market occurs when the market declines, typically when broad market indexes fall 20% or more in two months or less. Bear markets can accompany a recession, but not always. They often signal that investors feel pessimistic about their investments’ ability to make money and the market’s ability to rebound.



monsitj / istockphoto


A bull market is the opposite of a bear market, meaning prices are rising or are expected to rise for extended periods of time. Bull markets usually mean security prices are rising for months or even years at a time.



gopixa / istockphoto


Blue chip companies are generally thought to be well-established, financially sound, and therefore high-quality investments. Blue chip stocks are typically large companies, and many of them are household names. In some cases, blue chips may be more expensive to invest in since they can be considered relatively stable and likely to grow.



zimmytws / istockphoto


When governments or corporations need to borrow money they issue bonds. Investors who buy the bonds are effectively loaning that entity cash, which will be repaid according to the terms of the bond (e.g. a 10-year bond with an interest rate of 3%). Bonds are often considered to be relatively stable, lower-risk investments compared with stocks.





An investment broker, whether a person or a firm, acts as a middleman to help investors buy and sell securities. Brokers may be necessary because some securities exchanges only allow members of that exchange to make an investment order. A broker’s primary function is to help clients place trades, although many brokers also help clients with market research and investment planning.



Antonio_Diaz / istockphoto


You’ve probably heard that you should aim to have a diversified portfolio. That means investing in a range of asset classes that are likely to behave differently under different market conditions, in order to mitigate risk. A portfolio of only stocks, for instance, could be more vulnerable to market volatility than a portfolio that also included bonds, real estate, commodities and so on.



SARINYAPINNGAM / istockphoto


When a company shares their profits with investors, these are called dividends. Dividends are often paid in cash (although they can be paid in stocks). Some companies — e.g. many blue chip firms — pay dividends, but not all companies do. Ordinary dividends are taxed differently than qualified dividends, so you may want to consult a tax professional if you own dividend-paying stocks.



ipopba/ istockphoto


Also called fractional share investing, dollar based investing is a way for investors to buy partial shares of stocks. Instead of buying shares of a company, you instead invest a dollar amount. Dollar based investing is a great way for smaller investors to buy into popular companies that they may otherwise be priced out of.



Antonistock / istockphoto


EBITDA is a way to evaluate a company’s performance that is considered more precise than simply looking at net income. EBITDA stands for: earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. To calculate EBITDA, use the following formula: Net Income + Interest + Taxes + Depreciation + Amortization.





EBIT is a simpler way to calculate a company’s profits than EBITDA, as it’s only one part of the EBITDA equation (literally!). It stands for “earnings before interest and taxes.” It’s calculated using this formula: Net Income + Interest + Taxes.





EPS stands for earnings per share, which is a common way investors measure how well a stock is performing. EPS is calculated by finding a company’s quarterly or annual net income and dividing it by the company’s outstanding shares of stock. Increases in EPS can be a sign that the company’s profit performance is on the upswing, whereas a decrease can be a red flag for investors.



SlavkoSereda / istockphoto


Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are similar to mutual funds in that the fund’s portfolio can include dozens or even hundreds of different securities, and investors buy shares of the fund. Unlike mutual funds, ETF shares can be traded like stocks throughout the day (mutual fund shares are traded once a day). Most ETFs are considered lower-cost, passive investments because they track an index, although there are actively managed ETFs.



TimArbaev / iStock


An expense ratio is an annual fee investors pay to cover the operating costs of mutual funds, index funds, ETFs and other types of funds. Fees are typically deducted from your investments automatically (you don’t pay a separate charge), and they can reduce your returns over time so it’s wise to shop around for lower fees. Expense ratios are calculated using this formula: Total Funds Costs / Total Fund Assets Under Management.



Bet_Noire / istockphoto


Free cash flow is the money a company has after it has paid its expenses. This number is important to investors because it can show them how likely it is that a company could have extra cash for dividends or share buybacks. A continuous decrease in free cash flow over a few years can also be a red flag to investors.



jat306 / istockphoto


Growth stocks are shares in a company that’s growing faster than its competitors, typically showing potential for higher revenue or sales. Growth stock companies may be considered leaders in their industry.





Hedge funds are usually managed by an LLC or limited partnership that invests in securities and other assets using money from multiple investors. Hedge funds tend to be more risky and expensive than mutual funds or ETFs, which often makes them accessible to more wealthy investors.





Index funds are a type of mutual fund that invest in securities that mirror a particular index, such as the S&P 500 Index or the MSCI World Index. Indexes track many different sectors, from smaller U.S. companies to big global companies to various kinds of bonds. Each index acts as a proxy for how that market sector is performing; the corresponding index funds reflect that performance.



William_Potter // istockphoto


The interest rate is the amount a lender charges to borrow money — and it can also mean the amount your cash earns in a savings, money market or CD account. The baseline interest rate in the U.S. is set by the Federal Reserve. This rate in turn influences savings rates, mortgage rates, credit card rates and more. Generally, when the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates, the stock market tends to rise.





A large-cap company has $10 billion or more in market capitalization. These companies are often considered industry leaders, and are relatively conservative, low-risk, and safe investments. A company’s stock may be considered large cap, mid cap or small cap.



Fokusiert/ istockphoto


Market capitalization, or market cap, is the value of a company’s total outstanding shares. It’s often used to measure a company’s value and build a diversified portfolio. You can calculate market cap by multiplying the number of outstanding shares by the current price per share. Companies with lower market caps usually have more room to grow and usually are associated with newer companies, meaning they can also be riskier.



Алексей Белозерский/ istockphoto


Mid-cap companies are usually between $2 billion to $10 billion in market capitalization, putting them somewhere between small- and large-cap companies. Many mid-cap companies are in a growth phase, making them attractive to some investors who believe the company may grow into a large-cap over time, although this is not guaranteed to happen.





Mega-cap companies are the largest companies you can invest in, with a market value of $1 trillion or more. Mega-cap stocks are typically industry leaders and household name brands, like Apple or Microsoft.



oxtain / istockphoto


Mutual funds may invest in stocks, bonds and other securities — or a combination of these (e.g. a blended fund). Mutual funds can also be industry-specific (such as a mutual fund consisting only of energy stocks, green bonds, or tech companies and so on).





When talking about investing, net income usually refers to how much a company makes (or its total losses) after it has paid all its expenses. Net income is therefore usually calculated by subtracting a company’s expenses from its revenue. Investors may want to know a company’s net income because it can help determine how profitable the company is, although EBITDA (defined above) is another measure.



SARINYAPINNGAM / istockphoto


Not all stocks are publicly traded. These “private” stocks, often called over-the-counter stocks, usually have to be traded through a broker. Companies may offer OTC stocks if they don’t meet the requirements to be traded publicly. Such companies are often startups or other small companies. So, while these companies may eventually grow to be able to trade publicly, investing in them also carries the risk that they may fold or even engage in fraudulent activity since the market is far less regulated than publicly traded markets are.



Victoria Gnatiuk / istockphoto


Investors commonly use P/E or price-to-earnings ratios to gain insight into how profitable a company is compared to its stock price. In other words, price-to-earnings ratios can help investors decide if the price of a stock is worth it when compared to how much a company is making.



gopixa / istockphoto


Banks are likely to offer their best customers — those with the best credit histories and the lowest risk of defaulting — a prime interest rate for a loan. The prime interest rate is generally the lowest rate the bank will offer. A bank’s criteria for determining their prime interest rate may vary, but most banks consider the federal funds rate when setting any interest rate.





Portfolio management simply refers to how you select and manage the investments in your portfolio. There are many different management styles, such as active or passive, growth or value. Additionally, you can elect to manage your own portfolio or hire an individual or group to manage it for you.



William_Potter / istockphoto


A preferred stock means investors own shares in a company and get scheduled dividends, similar to how bond interest payments work. Preferred socks may not fluctuate in price like common stocks do, meaning they are often less volatile and risky.





You probably know what profit and losses are, but do you know how to read a company’s P&L or profit & loss statement? It can help you determine a company’s bottom line, as it can show you how well a company is doing compared to its peers in the same industry. If you’ve never read one before, this article about profit & loss statements could give you some tips on what to look for.



small smiles/ istockphoto


Companies that offer stocks, bonds and mutual funds to investors are required to file a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission that provides details about the investment they are offering (e.g. the expense ratio, the constituents of a fund and more). Investors can use the prospectus to better understand a given security and how it might fit in their portfolio, or not.





A recession is a period of economic contraction. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)  defines a recession further as a decline in monthly employment, personal income, and industrial production. As an investor, a recession may indicate a drop in the value of your portfolio, although this may be temporary: When looking at the history of U.S. recessions, the stock market has typically rebounded after recessions.





Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a way that investors can further diversify their portfolios. Instead of having the responsibility of managing an investment property yourself, you can invest in REITs, which are generally large-scale real estate projects that investors can help fund in exchange for partial ownership. Most REITs are publicly traded and pay dividends to investors.





When looking for a company’s net income statement, you may come across the term “retained earnings,” also sometimes called unappropriated profit, uncovered loss, member capital, earnings surplus, or accumulated earnings. In general, retained earnings is the amount of money a company keeps and potentially reinvests after it gives its investors a dividend payout.


As an investor, knowing whether a company had positive retained earnings can help you determine how much money it has to continue growing. If its retained earnings are negative, that could be a sign the company is in debt and may not be a good investment.



artisteer / istockphoto


Return on equity, sometimes called return on net worth, can help investors compare how well companies are managing their stockholders’ contributions. You can calculate it using this formula: Net income/Average shareholder equity. A higher return on equity can signal to investors that a company is managing its money efficiently.





Return on investment (ROI) is just that: the return you get after making an investment in a stock, bond, mutual fund, and so forth. Investors generally hope for a positive ROI, meaning that their investment has made a profit. While a good ROI will vary depending on the type of investments you’re making, some investors look to the historic return of the stock market (about 7%) as a barometer.





A small-cap company usually has a market cap of $250 million to $2 billion. Investors may be attracted to a small-cap company because they believe it has growth potential or may be undervalued.





SPAC stands for special purpose acquisition company. SPACs are shell companies that list shares on an exchange to raise money so they can merge with a privately held company. Once the merger between the public SPAC and the private company is complete, that company is now in effect a public company — which is why a SPAC is sometimes called a backdoor IPO. Many companies may elect to use SPACs instead of traditional IPOs because they are often faster and less expensive.



iQoncept / istockphoto


If you’ve made it this far, you probably know what a stock is. To review, a stock is a way to buy a piece of ownership into a company. You can buy and sell your stocks depending on whether you anticipate your stocks will decrease or increase in value.



AUDINDesign / istockphoto


stock exchange is the place where you buy, sell, or trade stocks. Common U.S. stock exchanges are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq.



NicoElNino / istockphoto


A stop-loss order can help investors have more control over their stocks. When a stock reaches a certain price that you choose, your broker will sell, buy, or trade that stock. Having a stop-loss order can help you limit how much money you make or lose in the stock market.





A target date fund is a type of mutual fund that includes a mix of asset classes to provide investors with a portfolio that adjusts over time to become more conservative as they age. Target date funds are often used to help investors plan their retirements. Target funds are typically constructed around various target retirement years (e.g. 2030, 2040, 2050) so investors can pick a date that corresponds with their hoped-for retirement.



Deposit Photos


value stock is a stock that investors believe is undervalued and/or inexpensive compared to its past prices on the stock market or with its competitors. Investors may consider a stock’s price-to-earnings ratio to help them determine if something is a value stock.



Deposit Photos


Venture capital is money a startup uses to grow its business. This money usually comes from private investors or venture capital firms. Investors may elect to invest venture capital into startups they believe have the potential to be profitable with time.





Yield is another way of referring to the return of an investment over a set period of time, expressed as a percentage. You may hear the term in relation to bonds (e.g. high-yield bonds), but yield is more accurately a measure of the cash flow an investor gets on the amount they invested in a security during that time period, and is different from total return.





Getting familiar with a few key investing words and phrases can go a long way in helping you gain confidence when you’re new to investing. Getting fluent with investing terminology is like any other pursuit — there’s a learning curve at first, but the terms will feel more natural as you move forward and start investing regularly.


Learn more:

This article originally appeared on SoFi.comand was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


SoFi Invest
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRASIPC. SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.

1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).

2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.

For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.

Fund Fees
If you invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) through SoFi Invest (either by buying them yourself or via investing in SoFi Invest’s automated investments, formerly SoFi Wealth), these funds will have their own management fees. These fees are not paid directly by you, but rather by the fund itself. these fees do reduce the fund’s returns. Check out each fund’s prospectus for details. SoFi Invest does not receive sales commissions, 12b-1 fees, or other fees from ETFs for investing such funds on behalf of advisory clients, though if SoFi Invest creates its own funds, it could earn management fees there.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): Investors should carefully consider the information contained in the prospectus, which contains the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other relevant information. You may obtain a prospectus from the Fund company’s website or by email customer service at investsupport@sofi.com. Please read the prospectus carefully prior to investing. Shares of ETFs must be bought and sold at market price, which can vary significantly from the Fund’s net asset value (NAV). Investment returns are subject to market volatility and shares may be worth more or less their original value when redeemed. The diversification of an ETF will not protect against loss. An ETF may not achieve its stated investment objective. Rebalancing and other activities within the fund may be subject to tax consequences.

Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

Advisory services are offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC an SEC-registered Investment adviser. Information about SoFi Wealth’s advisory operations, services, and fees is set forth in SoFi Wealth’s current Form ADV Part 2 (Brochure), a copy of which is available upon request and at adviserinfo.sec.gov.




Featured Image Credit: dima_sidelnikov / istockphoto.