SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI) announced on June 2 that its SoFI Invest unit is adding 4.5 hours to the trading day. As a result, its members can now trade from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. While this simple act likely won’t do much for SOFI stock, it will give its members 4.5 more hours each day to contemplate buying shares in the fintech.
While SoFi’s share price appears to have bottomed around $5.25, it is still down more than 50% year-to-date. It needs a bigger news morsel to move SOFI higher. An excellent place to start would be the company’s introduction of 24-hour stock trading.
After all, if crypto’s traded 24 hours a day, why not stock trading?
|SOFI||SoFi Technologies, Inc.||$6.90|
Why 24-Hour Trading Would Be Good for SOFI Stock
Obviously, some regulatory hurdles would have to be dealt with before 24-hour trading could be greenlighted. One group that would be happy with round-the-clock trading would be anyone who works the graveyard shift. It can get pretty lonely sitting alone as most of your co-workers are sleeping at home.
CEO Anthony Noto explained why SoFi is expanding its trading day:
We know that making everything from saving to investing easier is key to helping our members get their money right. For years, the rigid traditions of the finance industry have left many people behind because it didn’t work for them. This is the latest in a series of traditions we’ve sought to break to ensure everyone has access to investing on their terms.
Since the pandemic created stars out of retail investors, the subject of democratizing investing has been bantered around as if such a thing could ever exist.
Cowen CEO Jeff Solomon wrote a piece for the Milken Institute on the subject in October 2021.
“Now is the time to reconsider how we might democratize investment opportunities by opening them to a broader segment of investors across the socioeconomic spectrum in a safe, well-informed manner,” Solomon wrote.
Part of this democratization is 24-hour trading. Not everyone sleeps from 10 p.m. ET to 6 a.m. ET. Some people are wide awake during these hours. Cops, firefighters, doormen, factory workers, the list goes on.
If SoFi is about pushing the boundaries, it should go all the way and introduce 24-hour trading.
Crypto Has 24-Hour Trading
It’s not a great example, but when I first started to inform myself about cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, many digital asset proponents trotted out that trading never stops. It’s 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In March 2020, CoinDesk Director of Research Noelle Acheson wrote an article for its weekly newsletter, Institutional Crypto. Acheson discussed why it was a good thing that crypto markets never closed.
Remember, this was right in the middle of the most significant correction the stock markets had experienced since 2008. In March 2020, Acheson wrote, the S&P 500 had lost more than $3 trillion. She pointed out that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested it might reduce opening hours to stem the flow of losses.
As I interpret Acheson’s article, markets couldn’t go 24/7 because circuit breaker put in place after the 1987 crash would make it impossible to do so. She goes on to discuss the pros and cons of crypto circuit breakers.
“This [circuit breakers] is a fascinating conversation for market nerds like me, as it gets to the root of what markets are for. Are they for allocating resources and messaging value? Or are they for protecting capital and preserving wealth? Are they there to crowdsource opinions as to economic outlook? Or are they there to boost investing confidence?” Acheson wrote in 2020.
These are all excellent questions. The answers probably have a lot to do with stock markets not being open 24/7.
The Bottom Line
I don’t know when 24/7 trading will materialize, but it will happen. In the meantime, if you own SOFI stock, you at least can rest assured that SoFi is trying its best to nudge the industry in that direction.
Will SoFi’s latest announcement do anything for its share price? I doubt it.
In this market, investors are only interested in bottom-line financial results. Everything else is just noise. I would dare say that some who read SoFi’s press release will cynically regard the 4.5 hours as window dressing intended to make it look like a disruptor.
I believe it is. History will decide if I’m right or not. With or without 24-hour trading, I maintain that SOFI is a long-term buy for aggressive investors under $10.
On the date of publication, Will Ashworth did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.