Public App Review 2024: Investing in Stock Slices

Explore the future of investing with Public, an app that lets you invest in stocks, crypto, and connect with fellow investors for a one-of-a-kind investment experience.

Imagine having an investing app, a high-yield cash savings account, and a social network all in the palm of your hand.
Public
Public
★★★★☆ | 4.3 / 5
Commission-Free Trades
User-Friendly
Social Investing
No Retirement Accounts
No Mobile Banking
With Public, you have an investing app that offers the convenience of investing in fractional shares of stocks and ETFs, the tax advantages of being able to invest in government bonds, and the integrated platform to invest in alternative assets such as crypto and art.
notion image
Anyone can get started investing on Public with as little as $1. It's simple to use and the platform is flexible with features for both investors and traders.

Video Summary

Video preview

Key Takeaways

  • Public provides access to stocks, ETFs, bonds, treasury bills, crypto, and fine art.
  • Public merges investing with community feeds to enhance the experience and education of users.
  • The app offers no minimum investment requirements and fractional share investing
Try Public, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try Public, and get a special sign-up bonus here.

What Is Public

notion image
Public is not your typical investment platform; it’s a modern investing app with a user-friendly approach to the financial markets.
You can trade  thousands of stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and options commission-free and also invest in alternative assets like cryptocurrency and Treasury Bills.
But here's where Public truly shines: it’s more than just a trading platform; it's a community where you can connect with your friends and other investors, share insights, and learn from each other as you grow your portfolio.
Getting started on Public is hassle-free; there's no minimum investment required which makes it much more accessible.
Through its no-commission structure and zero account minimums, Public makes it accessible for those looking to enter the stock market without feeling overwhelmed by hefty starting costs.
They even provide educational content to help boost your investing knowledge.

How Does Public Work?

notion image
Your journey on Public begins by creating an investment portfolio.
Whenever you're ready, buying and selling can be done with just a few taps. No need to purchase whole shares either—if you’re not ready to commit to a full share,  you can easily invest in fractional shares.
Fractional Shares allow you to invest in high-priced stocks like those tech giants or blue-chip stocks without the high upfront costs. Simply put, you buy a piece of a stock instead of the whole pie.
Once you're inside the Public app, you can invest in a range of assets, from stocks and ETFs to crypto and Treasury Bills (T-bills), making it easy for anyone to diversify their portfolio.
Public also provides you with expert market analysis and insights for every stock available.
It's like having a market tracker, a stock exchange, and a social network all rolled into a single app.

Public’s Best Features

notion image
As you explore the app, you'll appreciate Public’s approach to combining investing with access to educational guides and resources.
In addition to their social feed and easy-to-use interface, they also offer investing automation features that make it easy for anyone to get started investing.

Fractional Shares

One key feature is Public’s fractional share investing, which allows you to invest in slices of higher-priced stocks without needing to invest in a full share upfront.
Imagine you've set your sights on a high-price stock that may cost hundreds of dollars just to buy one share. Thanks to Public's fractional shares, you can own a piece of your dream company with as little as a dollar.
It's as simple as choosing your favorite stocks and deciding what dollar amount works for you.
Fractional shares make investing accessible, especially for first-time investors who are eager to get started in the stock market without breaking the bank.
notion image

Zero-Commission Trades

With zero-commission trading on thousands of stocks and ETFs, you can trade without worrying about transaction fees eating into your returns.
In combination with fractional shares, this makes Public an affordable and cost-effective way to build your portfolio.

Dividend Reinvestment

Let's say your investments start paying dividends. Instead of taking this cash and letting it sit idle, Public's automatic dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) springs into action.
It's like planting a seed every time a dividend is paid, growing your investment portfolio without lifting a finger.
This compounding effect can significantly amplify your portfolio's growth over time, as each reinvested dividend buys more shares, which in turn may generate more dividends.

Recurring Investments

But what if you want to keep adding to your investments regularly? Public's got you covered with its recurring investment feature.
It's like setting up a subscription for your financial future—you decide the amount and the frequency, and Public takes care of the rest.
Whether it's weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, your chosen amount will be automatically invested into the stocks, ETFs, or cryptos of your choice, harnessing the power of dollar-cost averaging to potentially smooth out the bumps of market volatility.
Try Public, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try Public, and get a special sign-up bonus here.

User Experience

notion image
Whether you’re on iOS, Android, or desktop the user experience on Public is pretty straightforward. The app is designed to be intuitive, making it easy for you to navigate and manage your investments.
It's easy to use, with a clean layout that makes it simple to find stocks or view your portfolio.
The platform is designed to make investing as hands-off or hands-on as you like. With Public’s investment plans, you can build a portfolio that aligns with your goals and let it run on autopilot.
And if you're the type who likes to keep a close eye on things, you can set custom price alerts and never miss an opportunity on your favorite stocks.
Public combines the convenience of automation with the control of personal management, giving you the tools to tailor your investment journey.

Investments Available

notion image
When exploring Public’s investment options, you'll see a diverse range of assets to choose from.
Public offers a multi-asset portfolio, allowing you to invest in thousands of stocks, ETFs, bonds, treasury bills, crypto, and even alternative assets like art and music royalties.
The platform also provides AI-powered data and analysis to help you make informed investment decisions.
Investments Available
Stocks & ETFs: On Public, you have the freedom to invest in over 9,000 stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
With fractional share investing, you can buy slices of your favorite companies today without needing to wait till you can afford a full share.
Whether you prefer picking individual stocks or diversifying with ETFs, Public provides you a robust portfolio mix to match your investment profile.
Bonds: Public offers a modern way to discover, evaluate, and buy bonds. This includes access to corporate, Treasury, and municipal bonds.
Government bonds are tax-advantaged and considered lower-risk investments compared to stocks. They can also provide a steady income stream and a source of fixed income to your portfolio.
Through the bond dashboard, you can easily filter and explore bonds based on today's highest yielding, highest coupon, shortest term, or most popular bonds in just one click.
You can buy from over 40,000 bonds, including investment grade and high-yield bonds, in increments as small as $100.
Try Public, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try Public, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
notion image
Options Trading: Public also provides options trading, allowing you to research, build, and execute options trading strategies.
With their options strategy builder, you can plan your trades based on your outlook on a stock and visualize your potential profit and loss outcomes.
Options trading on Public is also commission-free. Public even shares 50% of its options revenue with you, increasing your cost-effectiveness even further.
Crypto: Public lets you add crypto to your portfolio, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and several other coins.
While investing in crypto on Public involves opening an account with Bakkt Crypto, you can seamlessly view and manage your crypto holdings alongside your stocks and ETFs, all inside the same Public app.
Alternative Assets: Public also offers access to alternative assets such as NFTs, fine art, and music royalties.
While more volatile, alternative assets can diversify portfolios beyond traditional stocks and bonds, potentially offering unique growth opportunities.

Treasury Bills

notion image
In addition to all those assets, Public also lets you invest in Treasury Bills (T-Bills).
T-Bills are short-term debt securities issued by the U.S. government. They're considered a safe and conservative investment since they're backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
On Public, you can buy T-Bills with as little as $100. This makes them an accessible investment option for many users.
Getting started with T-Bills on Public is simple:
  • First, you'll need to move at least $100 into your Treasury Account on Public
  • From there, you can invest in T-Bills in increments of $100.
T-Bills are sold at a discount to their face value, which is paid out in full when the T-Bill reaches maturity. For example, a $1,000 T-Bill might cost $950 to purchase, generating a $50 return.
You can manage your T-Bill investments right alongside your stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, making it easy to keep track of your entire portfolio.

Minimum Investment Required

notion image
Account Minimum: There's no minimum investment required. You can start investing with as little as $1, making it accessible to just about anyone who wants to get started investing in stocks, ETFs, and crypto.
Minimum Deposit: There’s no minimum deposit to kick off your investments, so you can fund your account on your terms.
Try Public, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try Public, and get a special sign-up bonus here.

Account Types

notion image
Individual Account: Your standard investment account with Public will be an individual investment account, which lets you invest in stocks, bonds, and ETFs.
Crypto Account: In partnership with Bakkt Crypto, Public offers a crypto account that integrates with your Public portfolio and lets you manage your stocks and crypto all in one place.
Treasury Account: Public’s Treasury Account is a convenient and secure way for you to earn yield through automatic purchases of T-bills, one of the safest investments around.
High-Yield Cash Account: Public's cash account for earning higher returns on your cash savings.
While Public offers a powerful platform for trading and investing in various assets it doesn't currently offer tax-advantaged retirement accounts like traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

High-Yield Cash Account:

notion image
Beyond investing, let's not forget the icing on the cake, Public’s high-yield cash account.
The High-Yield Cash Account allows you to earn a competitive annual percentage yield (APY) on your savings.
It offers an impressive APY that allows your uninvested funds to grow while they wait for their next investment opportunity.
As of the current date, the account offers an industry-leading 5.1% APY, which is significantly higher than the average savings account in the U.S
The High-Yield Cash Account comes with no fees, no minimum balance requirements, and no maximum balance limits. Plus, you can make unlimited transfers and withdrawals.
The account isn't your typical bank savings account, but it does offer 20 times the standard Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance. How? Well, it partners with 20 banks, providing you with a combined coverage of up to $5 million.
Public's High-Yield Cash Account is an effective way for you to earn more on your cash savings.
It’s like having a savings account that operates in the background, ensuring that your money is always working for you, even when it's not actively invested.

Is Public Safe?

notion image
Yes, as a member of SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation), Public is SIPC-insured against brokerage failure. Securities in member's accounts are protected up to $500,000, including up to $250,000 for cash.
SIPC insurance is investor protection for investment brokerages. Public is also regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Public’s High-Yield Cash Account provides 20 times the standard FDIC insurance coverage.
This is achieved by partnering with 20 banks, providing a combined FDIC coverage of up to $5 million.

Pricing And Plans

notion image
Public offers commission-free trading on all stocks and ETFs, so you don’t have to worry about paying a fee every time you buy or sell an investment.
For options traders, options trading on Public is also commission-free. Public even shares 50% of its options revenue with you, increasing your cost-effectiveness even further.
However, there are fees cryptocurrency trading, where a 1-5% fee is applied.
If you want to access advanced data features, they also offer a paid plan called Public Premium for $10 per month.
Trading Fees
  • Stocks and ETFs: $0 commissions
  • Options: $0 commissions
  • Crypto: 1-5% fee is applied

Public Premium

All the core functionalities and features of Public are available without a subscription fee. For those wanting additional features, Public also offers an optional premium subscription called Public Premium.
For $10 per month, Public Premium provides fee-free extended hours trading and premium account management.
It also includes advanced data and insights like access to detailed performance metrics, Morningstar research, and Premium-only content.
notion image
You can also unlock complimentary Premium access with an account value of $20,000 or more.
For most long-term buy and hold investors you should be just fine with their free membership. But for more active traders who want access to deeper market insights Premium could be valuable if you’re looking to go beyond the basics.

Pros And Cons

notion image

Pros:

  • Easy-To-Use App: With a simplified interface, Public is ideal for beginners and investors who want to keep things simple.
  • No Minimum Investment: You can start with just $1, which means you're free to invest with an amount that’s comfortable for you.
  • Commission-Free Trading: You can trade stocks, ETFs, and options without worrying about fees, allowing more of your money to go into actual investments.
  • Fractional Shares: The ability to purchase fractional shares allows you to start investing in your favorite stocks and companies right away rather than having to wait.

Cons:

  • Limited Account Types: For now, you can only open individual investment accounts and a high-yield cash account. Public doesn’t offer retirement IRA accounts, banking accounts, or custodial accounts at this time.
  • No Robo-Advisor Features: Public does not offer any managed portfolios or robo-advisor tools, which could be a drawback for investors who prefer a more hands-off approach to investing
  • Advanced Trading Features: While Public does a great job at keeping investing simple, it may not be as ideal for more active traders. If you're looking for advanced trading tools, you might find the selection a bit light compared to other trading platforms.

Who is Public Ideal For?

Public is ideal for both new and experienced investors who value a community-driven experience and those who prefer an easy-to-use and mobile-friendly approach to investing.
It's also great for people who want to start small and gradually build their investment knowledge and portfolio.

Public Alternatives

Public is a user-friendly app for investors and traders, but here’s a few other apps worth considering.
Robinhood: Robinhood is a user-friendly stock trading app that offers commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, crypto, and options as well as access to a debit card and a 3% IRA match.
Robinhood: Robinhood is a user-friendly stock trading app that offers commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, crypto, and options as well as access to a debit card and a 3% IRA match.
Webull: Webull is a stock trading app that offers advanced trading tools, data, research and commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, and options.
Webull: Webull is a stock trading app that offers advanced trading tools, data, research and commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, and options.
M1 Finance: M1 is a comprehensive investment platform that offers a unique blend of automated investing and individual customization, allowing you to invest in fractional shares of stocks and ETFs.
M1 Finance: M1 is a comprehensive investment platform that offers a unique blend of automated investing and individual customization, allowing you to invest in fractional shares of stocks and ETFs.
Here’s a quick recap to keep things simple:
Platform
Features
Who it's for
Public
Invest in stocks, ETFs, crypto, options, and T-Bills
Investors & Traders
Robinhood
Trade stocks, ETFs, crypto, and options commission-free
Investors & Traders
Webull
Advanced trading tools, data, & commission-free trades
Active Traders
M1 Finance
Smart portfolios, fractional shares
All investors

Final Thoughts

Public is an innovative investing app that empowers users to invest in the stock market while following a community of like-minded investors.
With Public, you can buy fractional shares of your favorite companies, making investing accessible with as little as $1.
The platform emphasizes transparency, allowing you to see what stocks others are investing in and also allows you to share your investments. It's a social investing platform that combines financial growth with learning and interaction.
Try Public, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try Public, and get a special sign-up bonus here.