Public.com brokerage app rating, pros and cons, commissions, fees, account minimums, trading platform, IRA investment research tools, education, and customer service.


Public Rating:  Public.com brokerage rating

  • Stocks & ETFs: $0
  • Options: n/a
  • Mutual Funds: n/a

Overview of Public

If you’re looking for a place to trade whole-dollar amounts of stocks and ETFs, then Public may be worth checking out. The broker has a simple mobile app and a very good commission schedule, but it lacks many other investment services. Here are the details:

Style of Investing

Public App Investing Rating

Public offers fractional-share trading of any amount in stocks, ETFs, and closed-end funds. There are no other investment vehicles available, which of course is a huge weakness. Even worse, stocks here do not include penny or OTC securities.

Orders for whole-dollar amounts are automatically market orders. If you want to trade whole shares, limit and stop orders are available as well.


Public.com Investing App

Customer Service

Public App Customer Rating

During our analysis, we didn’t find a phone number for Public, which obviously will subtract at least one star right off the bat. The company does have two branch locations, one in Denmark and the other in New York City.

The broker’s website has no login, and there is no contact feature on the site. The Public mobile app does have a contact tool, but it could take a while to get a response.

Public has a service e-mail address. It is hello@public.com.

Available Accounts

Public App Accounts Rating

Currently, Public only offers taxable individual accounts. Joint accounts aren’t available, and neither are IRAs or business accounts. Even margin is not offered.

Banking Tools

Public App Banking Rating

Public used to offer an interest-bearing cash account. But then the Fed lowered interest rates, and the account was discontinued. Now there’s just an ACH transfer tool to move funds between a Public account and an external bank account.

Mobile App

Public.com App Rating

For actual trading, Public offers a mobile app. Because there is no browser platform, desktop software, or even much of a website, this is also where security research and account management must be performed.

The app has a simple interface. This has both advantages and disadvantages. The primary advantage is that the app is easy to use; but the downside is that many tools are missing.


Public Brokerage App


For example, charting is very elementary. There are no graph tools, and line format is the only option. Price history only goes out 5 years, and a chart cannot be rotated horizontally.

On a more positive note, the app does offer a watchlist. On a security’s profile, just tap on the star icon, and it will be added to the list.

The watchlist displays a price in green if it is up for the day, or in red if it’s down for the day. Company icons are also shown on the watchlist for quick viewing.

The mobile platform’s order ticket is very basic, with just 3 order types. There are no advanced features at all.


Public Brokerage Account


Funds

Public App Mutual Funds Rating

As already alluded to, there are no mutual funds at Public. Although the company does offer exchange-traded and closed-end funds, we didn’t find much information on them. There is no fund screener. Stocks and funds are lumped together on the app, with only a list of securities with stocks on the top and ETFs on the bottom.

Fund profiles have almost no information on them. There’s a brief fund description, a recent trade price, and information on Public customers who own it. And this brings us to the next category.

Social Networking

Public App Social Rating

Despite Public’s lackluster performance thus far, it does have a really unique community forum on the app. Trades can be posted to a forum, where other users can comment on them.


Public Trading Account


You can add an avatar to your profile, like posts, follow other traders, and view their portfolio holdings. We found many lively discussions on the app.

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Free stock bonus! Stock, ETF, partial shares trades with $0 fees.

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Investment Education

Public.com Investments Rating

Public’s website has quite a few articles on many investing topics. We found materials on the basics of dividend stocks, asset allocation, penny stocks (even though Public doesn’t offer them), earnings announcements, retirement planning (even though Public doesn’t offer retirement accounts right now), and more.

On the mobile app, stock profiles have very limited information on them. There are no analyst reports offered. Earnings data is displayed along with trade recommendations from Wall Street analysts.

The app displays groups of stocks and ETFs by themes, such as telecom and the coronavirus economy.

Fees and Commissions

Public.com Cost Rating

And what do Public’s investment services cost? Not very much. Trades are commission-free. There are no account fees, and no minimums, either.

Miscellaneous activities usually do carry charges. For instance, a domestic overnight check is $35; and a paper statement will also set you back a steep $35.

Other Services

Public.com Services Rating

If you want to reinvest dividends from your stocks and ETFs, Public offers a service for that. Periodic mutual fund investing, however, is not available.

Recommendations


For mutual funds, we evidently can’t recommend Public. TD Ameritrade is a reasonable alternative.

For IRAs, we once again can’t pick Public. Firstrade is a good broker for IRA’s, though.

For beginners, we do like Public’s small collection of learning materials. But other firms, like Schwab, have even larger compilations. And Public’s customer service, something newbies will probably need, underperforms TD Ameritrade’s.

For small accounts, we can give Public our stamp of approval.

For frequent stock and ETF trading, we definitely can’t propose Public. Despite its commission-free trading, it just doesn’t offer the necessary software to engage in this type of financial management. Webull would be a good idea.

For retirement savers and long-term investors, we have to suggest TD Ameritrade. With a self-employed 401k plan and a large selection of target-date mutual funds, it fits the bill.

Public Brokerage Account Summary

It looks like Public’s primary strength is in the community feel it offers on its mobile app, a great service that other brokers fail to deliver. For other purposes, including fractional-share trading, investors can easily find better alternatives.

Open Public Account

Free stock bonus! Stock, ETF, partial shares trades with $0 fees.

Open Public Account


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