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Millennial Money rating

Expert Take

Public lets you invest in fractional assets, from stocks and ETFs to fine art, collectibles, and crypto. It’s also a great option for new investors looking for community insights and educational resources to help them invest.


  • HYSA
  • Fractional Shares
  • Diverse Investment Options


  • No Day Trading
  • Limited Account Types

User Interface




Trading Options


Referral Program

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at is an investing app that aims to let you invest in everything, with a growing list of asset classes, in one place. The sophisticated platform gives you access to stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, crypto, and alternative assets like music royalties, art, and collectibles.

It’s also backed by powerful investing tools, live shows, and community insights from millions of other investors. If you’re just getting into investing and wondering where to begin, Public is a great place to learn and start actively trading.

Read on to learn how stacks up to other investing apps based on its features, cost, and investment options. Features is not the first commission-free trading app, but it’s trying to stand out with several competitive features, which we’ve evaluated below.


One of Public’s largest draws is the ability to purchase any stock for any amount of money. This way you can use small investments to make money, called Slices.

With many brokerages, you can buy only full shares, which means that if you want to invest in companies like Amazon, Google, or Berkshire Hathaway, (to name a few), you’d have to shell out thousands to become a shareholder.

With Public, users pick their stock and the amount they would like to invest, and Public “slices” off a fractional share to fit the desired price.

Public offers more than 1,000 tickers available for slices including ETFs and alternative assets like NFTs, artwork, and comic books.

Investment Options

Public stands out from its competitors by offering a versatile lineup of investment options. You can invest in the following:

  • Stocks: Public offers over 300 OTC stocks, with powerful stock comparison, price alerts, and other trading tools to help you make informed decisions.
  • ETFs: Public offers PFOF-free ETF trading, and you can automate your ETF investments with recurring buys.
  • Bonds: Public also provides access to corporate, Treasury, and municipal bonds.
  • Treasuries: Public’s Treasury Bills offer a competitive yield and are held at the Bank of New York Mellon.
  • Options: With Public, you can earn an $0.18 rebate per contract traded with no commission and no per-contract fees.
  • Crypto: Public offers crypto trading through a partnership with Bakkt Crypto, letting you buy and sell with US dollars 24/7.
  • Alternative assets: You can buy fractional shares of a range of alternative assets like artwork and collectible sneakers.
  • Music royalties: Public recently launched music royalties investing with the exclusive Reg A+ IPO of the Shrek Franchise Original Music.

One of Public’s biggest perks is the ability to invest in all of these assets in one app.

In terms of account types, Public is a little more limited. You can invest in a taxable/individual brokerage account, but there are no joint accounts or retirement accounts.

High-Yield Cash Account now offers a high-yield cash account with some of the highest interest rates in the industry.

The account yields over 5.00% APY, and there are no account fees, minimum or maximum balance requirements, or subscriptions to worry about. You can also make unlimited withdrawals and transfers, which isn’t always the case with this type of account.

What’s more, Public partners with other banks to offer 20 times the traditional FDIC insurance limit. That means your funds are insured up to $5 million.

Investment Plans provides its members with a catalog of investment plans. These plans are a collection of assets you can choose to automatically contribute to on a recurring basis.

You can build an Investment Plan from scratch, use an existing one, or customize one to your liking. Employing dollar-cost averaging, these plans eliminate some of the risk of market volatility and emotional investing.


Public now has an AI-powered fundamental data and analysis tool called Alpha.

Essentially, Alpha lets you have open-ended conversations with the AI tool to get you up to date on the latest, most comprehensive market data and analysis Public has to offer. Rather than giving you financial advice, it’s a tool that provides insights to assist you with your investing strategy.

You can also get proactive alerts sent to your inbox. Alpha is free to use for all Public members.

Community of Investors

Public is the first investing app to offer social engagement features, and though sharing is optional, they are core to the experience. Most other apps offer a siloed experience —  just you and your account —  but Public has built its app to provide value to users through the collective wisdom of their network.

As an investor, not only can you browse stocks, but you can also find other investors to connect with, many of whom are subject matter experts. By engaging with others, you can share investment strategies and discover new companies to explore and perhaps even buy.


Public also aims to make it easy to find stocks that align with your values and interests through curated themes. Themes are simply bundles of stocks that are grouped under a central theme for the sake of discovery.

You can choose from around 50 themes, including:

  • Tech Giants: The most influential and powerful tech companies, which include Netflix (NFLX), Alphabet (GOOGL), Oracle (ORCL), Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), etc.
  • Women in Charge: Companies led by female CEOs, which include General Motors (GM), Kohl’s (KSS), Eventbrite (EB), Progressive (PGR), etc.
  • Crypto Assets: This theme features a diverse lineup of seven popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.

Real-Time Trading

Fractional investing features are becoming more commonplace, but Public approaches these a bit differently. is the first brokerage that allows you to buy fractional shares and trade in real-time. Why does this matter? With most, when purchasing fractional shares, you aren’t actually purchasing the stocks at the moment you hit the “buy” button ⁠— even if the market is open.

This delay means that there could be shifts in the stock price from the time you place your order to when the trading window opens. Without real-time fractional trading, your order is saved and executed during a trading window the next day.

With Public, as long as the market is open, your trade is executed at the same time.

Fees is the real deal when it comes to being free from commissions. However, you may still incur small exchange fees from your trades.

Public also charges fees for certain services, some of which we’ve listed below:

  • Domestic Wire Transfer: $25
  • Domestic Overnight Check: $35
  • Returned Check, ACH, Wire, and Recall/Stop Payments: $30
  • ACAT Outgoing: $75
  • Paper Statements: $5
  • Crypto Trades: 1.25% markup for all trades

Public also has a Premium version. For $10 per month, premium users get advanced data insights and expert guidance.

Referral Program

Like other investing apps, Public will reward you and your friends if you share your referral link, and they successfully open an account.

In the app, you can find your share link, which gives you and your friends $20 each to invest in the asset of your choice.


Public is SIPC-insured, so each customer is protected up to $500,000 in securities and a limit of $5 million in cash.

They also use AES 256-bit encryption and TLS 1.2 to secure data.

Pros and Cons


  • HYSA: Public’s cash account offers some of the highest interest rates and FDIC-insurance limits in the market, with no monthly fees or account minimums.
  • Fractional Shares: Public lets you in on investing in stocks from your favorite brands with as little as $1. While it isn’t the only platform that offers fractional shares, Public does allow you to invest in fractional shares of alternative assets, which many other robo-advisors don’t.
  • Variety of investment options: With everything from traditional stocks and bonds to unique assets like music royalties and artwork, Public lets you create a diverse portfolio in one streamlined app.


  • No Day Trading: If you’re looking to make bigger bets on a daily basis, a practice that is commonly known as day trading, then Public might not be right for you. Focused on longer-term investing strategies, Public will restrict users from making a high volume of trades in a day.
  • Limited Account Types: While Public offers plenty of assets to invest in, its account options are limited. You can only open an individual brokerage account, with no retirement account options.

Alternatives to

There are many great investing platforms to check out, here are some of Public’s top competitors:

  • Robinhood: Robinhood is a solid competitor that offers fractional shares and lets you move crypto in and out of your wallet.
  • Webull: Webull is an alternative worth considering if you like the features of Public but want to open an IRA.
  • Acorns: Acorns is a good alternative for beginners if you want help saving, with automated roundups to invest your spare change.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is trustworthy?

Yes, Public is trustworthy. Registered with both the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the brokerage offers insurance up to $500,000 for your securities.

Is Public better than Robinhood?

It depends on what you are looking for. Public’s community aspect of its trading platform sets it apart, so if you want a social investing app, Public is best for you. Public’s community aspect sets it apart. If you want a social investing app, Pubic is best for you.

Is Public a good trading app?

Public is a great trading app for novice and intermediate investors looking to invest in a range of assets in one place.

Is Public Investing for You?

Public’s mission to level the playing field in the public market is noble, and offering a platform that’s free of charge is definitely reason enough to give them a try.

While it might not be the right choice for a stereotypical day trader, it’s great for novice and intermediate investors looking to invest in a range of assets in one spot.

Their interface is intuitive and straightforward, and with a low barrier of entry, it’s worth a shot.

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