Is Public a Safe Brokerage Firm? is a broker that has a slightly different approach to investing than most other brokers. The app, the process of buying stocks, and the social features are all quite unique. Given its differences from the norm, some may wonder if can be trusted or if it’s a scam. We’re here to tell you that is not a scam.

Here’s why. Company Profile is based in New York and Copenhagen. It received its first round of funding in 2018 from Greycroft and has several celebrity investors behind it. is a broker that allows investors to trade many different types of securities. It focuses on the social dynamic of investing and promotes sharing knowledge and ideas across its platform. Users can follow other investors and be followed in return, and there are also many live events hosted by staff.

Is Legitimate?

One of the most obvious places to look when trying to discern whether a broker is a scam is how it adheres to regulatory organizations.

The most prominent regulatory bodies in the world of investing are the Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Both focus on ensuring that investors have a secure place to conduct their business. Among the many regulations imposed by these agencies are rules obliging brokers to guarantee fair trade opportunities, protection of personal data, and transparent business practices. is registered with FINRA and SEC.

Public Promotion

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Is Public App Safe?

Another way to see if a broker is trustworthy is by looking at the types of relationships it has with other businesses.

A broker’s clearing house is an example. Clearing houses are separate companies but work in tandem with brokers: one cannot survive without the other (unless it is a self-clearing broker).’s clearing firm is Apex Clearing.

Apex is one of the largest clearing firms in the U.S., and it only works with brokers that follow industry-standard practices. If Public were a scam, Apex Clearing would not maintain a relationship with the broker.

Is Insured? offers SIPC coverage to all its customers. That means all securities held within the account are protected up to $500,000. Of that $500,000 in coverage, half can be applied to cash balances sitting in the account. Public’s Clearing firm also has additional insurance built-in for an added layer of protection.

The broker would not be able to offer that coverage if it didn’t live up to the regulatory mandates of FINRA and SEC.

Is Secure?

One of the things that regulatory bodies mandate is that brokers establish robust protections for their customers.

At Public, accounts are secured under AES 128-bit encryption. Information transfers such as bank account data and personal information are protected using TLS. In addition to military-grade security, employs two-factor identification ensuring unauthorized users don’t access accounts they shouldn’t. BBB Reviews

Apart from a broker’s licensing and insurance, another place we can look to see if business practices meet expectations is the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

BBB Rating is accredited and has an ‘A’ rating from the BBB.

According to the BBB, rating a business involves looking at several aspects of a company’s business practices. The primary considerations are the number of complaints, the type of business, how long a company has existed, transparency, and licensing.

Is Public app safe?

BBB Complaints & Reviews

In addition to the BBB rating, we can also gauge customer experience and satisfaction through reviews and complaints registered on BBB’s website.

Customers highlight positives like fast customer service, a responsive app, and a good selection of investment vehicles.

Negative reviews all seem to focus on the same issue. Some customers report problems with frozen accounts and trouble with withdrawals. Interestingly, the company’s feedback states the day trading rules and limitations imposed on accounts. The best way to avoid issues at is to read the rules before assuming anything.

Public app reviews

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Open Public Account Review is a broker that can be trusted and is not a scam. But how good is it? Here is a short review to help you decide.

To start with, the broker has many unique features (covered in more detail below). Some of the most prevalent are Public’s social feed and community sharing capabilities, no payment for order flow, and alternative assets.

You’ll also see thematic investing, recurring investment opportunities, and order entry options to fine-tune your purchases and sales.

Let’s take a closer look.

Investment Approach

If you are interested in using as your broker, there are a few things that you should know about the broker’s investment approach.

The first thing is that Public encourages long-term investing. The broker does not want its customers to day trade and offers several educational resources to support that opinion. Following a long-term and diversified approach is the recommended (by the broker) approach.

To assist investors in building balanced portfolios, Public organizes its assets in groups that it calls ‘themes.’ Themes make it easy to find stocks that fit into the different parts of a balanced portfolio. Examples of some of the themes on Public are Earnings this Week, Index ETFs, Dividend Stocks, Streaming Stocks, and Gaming & Sports.

To support its long-term investment approach, Public includes some specific services designed to benefit long-term investors. DRIP, automatic investments, and a fully paid stock lending program are examples of such services.

Available Securities

One exciting aspect of is the types of available securities. Investors have access to traditional assets like stocks and ETFs, but there are also ‘Alternative Assets’ like NFTs, collectibles, art, and more.

Stocks and ETFs

For the traditional investor, has plenty to offer. All (or at least most) of the stocks and ETFs trading on major U.S. exchanges are available. Whether you want to create a portfolio with single stocks or ETFs, you have many options.

Thematic Investing

As mentioned, Public has all its securities grouped according to the themes they belong to. Themes help you identify options for sector-specific stocks, securities paying high dividends, and stocks with upcoming earnings reports, among others. You can easily select the ones you are interested in from carefully curated lists.


In addition to stocks and ETFs, cryptocurrencies are available thanks to Public’s clearing firm, Apex Crypto.

All the leading cryptocurrencies are represented at Public. You can trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA), Shiba Inu (SHIB), Dogecoin (DOGE), and more than 20 other digital assets.

Is safe?

Alternative Assets

Public’s alternative assets trade in fractional shares. Whether you are investing in art, NFTs, or any of the other available collectibles, Public makes it very easy to enter into the world of ‘alternative assets.’

As Public is the only stockbroker offering assets like shares in real estate, music royalties, and luxury goods, it is helpful to know why the company has included them in its lineup. According to, many alternative assets can serve as diversification tools and provide some inflation relief. Investments in assets like art will perform quite differently than those tied to the financial markets.

Public’s alternative assets provide significant advantages, but investors should also be aware that trading in collectibles differs from stocks, bonds, and other commonly traded securities. As fewer people are trading alternative assets, buyers and sellers must work a bit harder to reach a price agreement.

Is legit?

Unavailable Securities

Although there are certainly many assets available at, some types of securities are not listed. Public does not allow trading in IPOs (before they go public), OTC securities, Forex, futures, and commodities.

Placing a Trade and Portfolio Management

Placing a trade is simple whether you use the broker’s website or mobile app.

You can navigate to the ‘Explore’ page to find securities to invest in. Public organizes securities thematically to make it easier for some. If you prefer the search bar method, that is also available. You’ll also see cryptocurrencies and many collectible items like paintings and playing cards.

When you find an asset to invest in, tapping a security’s icon brings up an information page full of valuable data. You can initiate a transaction from that page using the 'Buy' icon.

The default purchase option is a market order with fractional shares. You can easily invest in any security based on a predetermined dollar amount. Public’s trade ticket features ‘buttons’ ranging from $25-$1000, but you can also input your own dollar amount to fine-tune your purchase order.

Is Public app scam?

Limit orders and the ability to purchase full shares are available as well.

Is a scam?

Social Engagement

If you like to share ideas and see what other investors are looking at, you will likely enjoy the Public social feed.

Public provides a platform for Public customers to communicate with each other. Users can share information and ideas about specific tickers and post updates when they buy and sell securities. Investors can also find informative articles and videos on the feed, as well as news events covering corporate actions like mergers, earnings, and policy shifts.

In addition to sharing information and opinions about market events, the social feed can also be used for content curation. When investors see posts they are interested in, they can react to them with the heart icon or tags option. Public then populates your feed with content you have shown a preference for.

Costs and Fees is mostly free, but there are some costs to be aware of.

Notably, the broker does not accept Payment for Order Flow. That means it must look for other sources of revenue. Surprisingly, Public is still able to offer commission-free trading.

Non-premium members who want to trade in the extended hours will need to pay a fee of $2.99.

Standard regulatory fees and clearing fees apply to transactions on Public.

The fee for alternative asset transactions is 2.5%.

Public Premium membership costs $10 per month.

There are also some money movement costs associated with the broker. Wires cost $25, outgoing ACAT transfers cost $75, and check deliveries cost $35. Public also offers an instant withdrawal feature which can cost as much as 3.5% per withdrawal.

Public Incentive

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For investors looking to get even more features out of, the broker also has a premium service called Premium.

Public Premium is a subscription-based membership program that unlocks many valuable tools and services. The monthly cost of Public Premium is $10.

Premium customers have access to advanced data (for price and company) and information about unique market metrics like corporate actions, subscriber growth, and sales data. In addition to getting more profound insights into the securities, Public Premium members can access extended hours trading, analyst insights, and improved customer support.

Another nice feature built into Premium is that it can be a free service if you have at least $20000 in your account. Pros

Although there are several reasons to like, there are some areas we think the broker could improve.

Here’s a summary of’s pros and cons as we see them.

  • Mobile-friendly and easy to use
  • Public is now accessible from a browser
  • Secure app and brokerage service
  • Social aspects help investors see ‘popular opinion.’
  • Thematic investing is available
  • Extended hours trading is available (for Premium members)
  • Access to crypto, traditional securities, and alternative investment opportunities
  • Fast customer service
  • Extensive FAQ Cons

  • Subscription is necessary for the best features
  • No dedicated trading platform
  • No day trading
  • Restrictions on withdrawals if rules are broken

Is Legitimate Summary

Since we’ve established that the investing app is definitely not a scam, we feel that investors can feel secure about using the broker and its services. That said, may not appeal to everyone.

We recommend to investors looking for a simplified approach to long-term investing. Public customers enjoy having access to a variety of exciting investment products that help traders create balanced and diversified portfolios. Another thing that Public offers is the social feed that brings popular opinion into the investment experience. is inappropriate for investors wishing to trade options, forex, or futures. The broker is also not suitable for day traders.

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