Public App Review 2022: Pros and Cons


It is obvious from the popularity of online forums about investment (Hi, Reddit) that many novice investors value the advice of other investors as much as the advice of actual financial advisors, or even more.

Therefore, it is only a matter of time before the investment application incorporates the community directly into its platform.

Listed It is one of the earliest active investment apps and the only app that puts people and communities at the center of its platform.

Through our public app review, we will show you the services the app provides for beginner investors, including investment options, fees and requirements (hint: very few), financial education, and more.

What is public?

The public is a popular event Investment application People-oriented and commission-free stock market transactions.

Through this application, you can buy and sell fractions of stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETF) and cryptocurrencies. Most users use the app for long-term investments, but as an active trader, you can also use it to build investment portfolios.

Public is one of the first applications to make fractional stocks easy to trade online, providing investment opportunities for countless everyday investors who will never be able to keep up with the pace of Wall Street and others.

The characteristics of the official account

The public investment application is designed to make it easy to buy and sell stocks, improve your financial knowledge, and connect investors to share, learn, and build communities.

Public comment: features and services

feature detail
Minimum investment 0 USD
Commission 0 USD
advanced options No
portfolio Score, ETF, encryption
Retirement account options No
College savings account No
Socially responsible investment Yes, various ways
Tax loss harvest No
Automatic rebalance No
Get a human advisor No
banking No
Community Focus on investors; cutting-edge
Financial education Guides and tutorials
customer service [email protected]

How does the public work?

Public is designed for active investment. It provides guidance through educational resources and the community to help you manage the short-term and long-term investment portfolios of your choice.

Open an account

To open a public account, you must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder, and have a valid Social Security number and U.S. address.

To get started, you can Download app Available for iOS or Android and create your account. Don’t forget to include a profile picture to connect with the community!

There is no minimum deposit requirement to open an account-but you cannot make an investment until you transfer the funds to the investment.

You can use Plaid to connect to your bank account (log in with your online banking username and password) or confirm your account with a small deposit to fund your account. You can also use a debit card to fund your public account. You can only withdraw funds to your bank account or by wire transfer, which requires a fee of $30.

Before you start investing, the Public team recommends that you browse its investment themes to understand the types of stocks and funds you want to own. You only need to invest $1 at a time.

Public expenses

The public application is free to use-you do not need to pay a subscription fee or account management fee to have an account on the application. You also do not need to pay commissions, nor do you need to pay any fees for basic operations such as deposits and withdrawals or transferring your portfolio balance from other brokers.

You only pay for less common operations (such as domestic wire transfers, blank checks, and paper statements).

Instead of transaction fees, Public includes an option to prompt you for transactions. You can still get completely commission-free stock trading, but the company hopes that users can support the platform with fair service tips, because this is one of the few ways it makes money.

If you invest in crypto through Public, you will pay a transaction fee, which is shared by the company and its crypto brokers. The fee is a 1% to 2% markup, so it is reflected in the price of the currency you purchased, rather than added as a separate fee.

Public investment options

Through Public, you can buy and sell shares on the American Stock Exchange through fractional stocks and ETFs.Provide more than 5,000 stocks and funds, covering most of the listed companies in the United States

Unlike many micro investment applications, Public does no Provide a planned or managed investment portfolio. You must choose every stock, fund or currency you want in your portfolio. It also does not support mutual funds.

However, it does propose an “investment theme”, which is a curated list of stocks and funds that align with a range of value interests, such as:

  • Female leadership
  • Educational Technology
  • Leadership diversity
  • Sporty
  • made in America
  • SaaS company
  • Cannabis business
  • Green Energy Enterprise

Tax management

Because you actively manage your public investment portfolio yourself, you are responsible for tax management of your investment. The public does not provide tax loss gains.

Enter the investor community

Public does not allow you to visit professional financial advisors to obtain personal financial advice. On the contrary, its unique appeal lies in its strong investor community and social media-style stock alerts and other investor activities.

Through this application, you can view the portfolios of other investors and track them to keep up with their movements in the market.

The app also has built-in learning tools, articles, and educational activities to help you understand the stock market and become a better investor.

Public customer experience

Public has very little one-on-one customer support.After logging into your account in the app, you can contact customer service via live chat or via email [email protected], But it doesn’t list a phone number.

It does not provide strong real-time support, but publishes a large number of self-help articles to answer your questions about the application. And you can always rely on the community to solve investment problems.

The public application has more than 1 million users, According to NextAdvisor, It is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars in the Apple App Store (iOS) and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google Play (Android).

About the pros and cons of public

Public is a popular investment application, but like other applications, it has advantages and disadvantages.


  • Commission-free trading
  • No minimum investment
  • Some stocks are available
  • Easy to find socially responsible investments
  • Active investor community
  • Strong investor education resources


  • Unmanaged funds
  • No human advisors or robotic advisors
  • Sparse customer support
  • No tax-friendly investment account for retirement or college savings

More ways to decide the public

If… public may be suitable for you.

  • You are a novice investor and want to know more.
  • You are interested in active transactions.
  • You like to learn from the community.
  • You want to invest in your interests or values.

If… Public may not be suitable for you

  • You are not interested in managing your investment.
  • You want a self-managed retirement account.
  • You want to open a college savings account.
  • You are not interested in connecting with the investor community.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the public

We have compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions about public investment applications.

According to data from TechCrunch, Public is a well-known and popular investment application. As of February 2021, the application has more than 1 million users and the company is valued at more than US$1 billion. The company is a member of SIPC and provides insurance for investments up to $500,000.

How does the public make money?

Without any subscription fees, management fees or commissions, Public makes money in a limited way. It includes the option to add a tip when you trade, but you can still trade completely for free. It also makes money in the usual ways for financial institutions: securities lending, interest on investment account balances, and markups for crypto transactions. The company has also received support from venture capital.

Will the public pay for the order flow?

Can not. Public used to make money through Order Flow Payment (PFOF), which is a rebate received by brokers when trading on their platform. As of February 16, 2021, it ceases to practice and no longer makes money in this way.

Is public investment safe?

Like any investment you make through a legal broker, your investment in Public is covered by SIPC insurance of up to $500,000. As with all investments, if the value of the stocks and ETFs you buy through Public declines, you will be at risk of losing money.

Dana Sitar is a certified educator in personal finance®. She has written articles on work and money for publications such as Forbes, The New York Times, CNBC, The Motley Fool, The Penny Hoarder, and Inc. magazine columns.She founded Healthy and rich Publish stories that illustrate the diversity of our relationship with work and money.


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