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Public App Review: Is Public App Legit & Worth Your Time? (+Pros & Cons)

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Public App Review

publicapp logo

Public is an investing platform that provides stock market information and advice to help you become a better investor. On the app, you can access stock market analyses from other investors and analysts, discover new stocks to invest in, and learn more about stocks and the stock market. Users can also start investing with any amount of money with the platform’s real-time fractional investing tech.

Legit & Safe

Service Fees

Min Investment

Portfolio Mix


  • Fractional investing – buy stocks from just $1. You don’t have to buy an entire share but can just buy a fraction of a share based on your capital.
  • No transaction fees – the app does not charge any commission or membership fees and you pay $0 in fees when you buy and sell stocks on the app.
  • Learn more about investing – Public offers over 100 free articles to teach new investors about aspects of the stock market, such as IPOs and crypto.
  • Low commission for crypto trades – crypto trades are processed by Apex Crypto, which charges a commission rate of between 1% to 2% for every trade.


  • Long waiting time for withdrawals – if you want to withdraw your cash from the platform, you will need to wait up to 5 days for the payment to clear.
  • Only available on mobile – there is only 1 way to trade stocks on Public – via the mobile app. Hence, you cannot view your investments from a desktop.

Jump to: Full Review

Compare to Other Investment Apps


Fundrise logo

Invest in real estate properties with a $10 minimum initial investment

Historical annual return varies from 8.8% to 12.4% (2019 – 9.47%)

Low annual fees: advisory – 0.15%; management fee – 0.85%

Public App

Public App logo

Manage your portfolio of stocks, ETFs, and crypto investments – all in one place

Over 5000 stocks and ETFs to choose from (dividend stocks available)

Follow other investors, see their portfolios, and exchange ideas


Acorns logo

Invest your spare change in a diversified portfolio built by experts

Expect up to 7.5% annually returns with plans starting from $3 a month

Earn bonus investments from 350+ Acorns Earn partners

How Does Public Work?

If you are looking for a way to grow your wealth through investing, you can use Public to do so. The platform allows you to conveniently access all your financial assets from a single dashboard. Public allows you to invest in thousands of different stocks, ETFs, and a growing collection of over 30 cryptocurrencies.

You can also use the fractional investing feature on Public to diversify your investments. With fractional investing, you can buy fractions of a single share starting from just $5. This feature can be helpful if you want to invest in pricey stocks but do not want to commit a large sum at once.

Apart from factional investing, Public offers some other features, including:

  • Commission-free trading that allows you to buy and sell shares with no extra fees
  • An easy-to-use dashboard that can help you organize your investments.
  • Educational resources to help you make better financial decisions.
  • Fast and friendly customer support.

Fractional investing allows you to diversify your portfolio by investing in different assets.

How Much Can You Earn With Public?

Your earnings on Public will depend mainly on what you choose to invest in on the platform. For example, if you invest in a stock that increases in value by 10%, you can earn a 10% return on all your investments in that stock.

Apart from investment earnings, Public also offers its users access to a high-interest cash account. This account allows you to enjoy a 2.5% annual interest rate on up to $10,000 of the cash in your Public account that you are not using for investments.

Who is Public Best for?

Public is one of the best investment platforms on the market, making it suitable for anyone who wants to invest. Both beginner and experienced investors can benefit from the platform’s commission-free trading features, allowing them to avoid trading fees that other platforms may charge.

It is also especially suitable for beginner investors who want to learn more about investing. This is because the platform also has various community features where other users can share their thoughts about investing. You can access this feature to discover new stocks and learn about investing.

Public Fees: How Much Does it Cost to Invest With Public?

Public is a free app that does not charge you any membership fees, making it free to download and join. There are also no transaction fees to make trades on the platform.

However, the platform will pass on any regulatory fees that the SEC or another government organization charges. Nonetheless, these fees tend to be very low, so you do not need to worry about paying high fees to invest.

Regulatory FeeFee Amount
SEC Regulatory Fee$5.10 per $1,000,000 of principal (sells only)
Trading Activity Fee (TAF)$0.000119 per share (equity sells), no greater than $5.95
Instant WithdrawalsUp to 2% of the amount withdrawn, subject to a minimum of 50 cents and a cap of $50
Domestic Wire Transfer out of Public (ACH withdrawals are free)$25

You can visit the Public website to browse the full list of additional fees you might incur. The platform is very transparent, so you do not need to worry about hidden fees.

Public Features: What Does Public App Offer?

Public‘s main feature is that it enables users to access public markets and invest in the different financial assets they are interested in. You can also use its fractional investing feature to buy portions of expensive shares.

The platform also offers additional features, such as:

  • Social features
  • User-friendly categorization
  • High-interest cash accounts
  • Built-in chat support
  • Cryptocurrency investing

Social Features

Publics allows you to view the portfolios of other users to find out more about their investment strategies. You can also use this knowledge to build a better financial portfolio. You can also create chat groups to discuss investment strategies and decisions.

You can also use the platform to discover new stocks you may not have considered before. You can also browse recent IPOs and see which companies are reporting earnings soon.

User-Friendly Categorization

Public helps you categorize the stocks available on the platform based on your personal preferences. This feature can help you find stocks in different categories.

Some of the different themes you can categorize stocks into include:

  • New Kids on the Block (recently IPO-ed companies)
  • The Future is Female (S&P companies with female CEOs)
  • Cannabis
  • BioTech
  • Self-Driving Cars
  • And many more

High-Interest Cash Accounts

In addition to the dividends and profits you can earn on your investments, Public also allows you to earn interest on your cash accounts. The platform’s interest rate of 2.5% is higher than many other financial platforms and bank accounts.

However, note that this 2.5% interest rate only applies to the first $10,000 in your account.

Built-in Chat Support

The platform also has chat support features built into the app itself. This allows you to contact customer support via live chat if you encounter issues while using the app.

Cryptocurrency Investing

You can also use Public to invest in a growing list of over 30 cryptocurrencies. Unlike with some other brokerage apps, you do not need to create a digital wallet to start buying and selling different cryptocurrencies.

Some of the different cryptocurrencies you can invest in on Public include:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ether
  • Cardano
  • Shiba Inu
  • Dogecoin
  • And many more

Public Requirements

To sign up for an account with Public, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Have a legal U.S. residential address
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident, or have a valid visa

Public App Payout Terms and Options?

Before you can withdraw funds from your Public account, you will need to first liquidate any assets you might have, such as stocks and cryptocurrencies. You can only withdraw settled funds from your Public account, which are funds not being held in investments and are past the settlement period.

After ensuring that your funds are eligible for a withdrawal, you can initiate a withdrawal from the app. Depending on your bank, it may take up to five days to receive your withdrawals.

Here are the steps you can follow to withdraw funds from Public:

  1. Select your Profile Icon in the top left corner
  2. Scroll down and select the Account Settings Icon
  3. Scroll down to Banking and select Withdraw Funds

You can withdraw your funds directly to a bank account or a credit card. For stocks that pay dividends, you have the option to reinvest the dividends or withdraw them at no additional cost.

If you have received free bonus stocks from promotions, the cash value of those stocks can only be withdrawn after 90 days.

Public Risks: is Public Safe to Invest With?

Public is insured by the SIPC for up to $500,000 against brokerage failure. Thus, if the company were to shut down, your funds are not at risk. Up to $250,000 of your investments and $250,000 of your cash are insured.

However, your investments with Public are subject to the same general investment risks. With all investments, you might lose money if the stock that you invested in does not perform well.

How Does Public Protect Your Money?

Public uses AES 128-bit encryption and TLS 1.2 to secure data in transit. This ensures that your funds is well-protected, so you do not need to worry about your funds or data getting stolen. The platform uses similar protection methods as other brokerage platforms.

Public Reviews: is Public Legit?

Review WebsitePublic Review
Apple App Store4.7 out of 5 stars
Google Play Store4.4 out of 5 stars
Trustpilot2.8 out of 5 stars

Public is a safe and legitimate investment platform that has received many positive reviews from users.

Many users have praised the platform for offering a highly interactive app that allows them to easily keep track of different stocks and assets they are interested in. Reviewers were also satisfied with how Public allowed them to invest in fractions of shares starting from just $5.

However, there have been some complaints from users who stated that the company’s customer support can sometimes be a bit slow. Users also reported problems they encountered when attempting to manage their cryptocurrency investments.

What Are the Public Pros & Cons?

Public Pros

  • It is free to join and use the platform, and there are no commission or transaction fees
  • You can interact with other investors to improve your investing skills using the platform’s social features
  • You can earn a high annual interest rate of 2.5% on any uninvested cash.
  • If you do not want to invest in expensive stocks, you can opt to purchase a fraction of it from just $5

Public Cons

  • Public only allows you to invest in different assets via the mobile app
  • The platform may not be suitable for beginner investors since you will need to have investing knowledge to choose the right stocks

How Good is Public Support and Knowledge Base?

Public has a comprehensive knowledge base on its website that it calls Public Learn. There are hundreds of different articles in this knowledge base that allow you to learn about investing and the stock market.

You can also view these learning resources on the Public mobile app. If you still have any questions after visiting the knowledge base, you can contact customer support using the app’s live chat feature or via email.

Public Review Verdict: is Public Worth It?

If you are an investor who wants the freedom and ability to choose the specific stocks and ETFs to invest in, Public is one of the best platforms you can use. Public enables users to invest in fractional shares, allowing them to invest in expensive stocks without committing large amounts of money.

One of Public’s other unique features is that it enables you to connect with other investors. You can view the profiles and portfolios of other investors to learn more about their investment strategies. By doing so, you can improve your investment skills.

Moreover, Public also allows users to invest in a growing list of over 30 cryptocurrencies. You do not need to create a digital wallet to trade and store your cryptocurrency on Public.

How to Sign Up With Public?

Step 1: Download the Public Mobile App

Public does not have a web-based trading platform. Thus, to use the platform to buy and sell different assets. You can visit the iOS app store or Google Play store to download the app.

Step 2: Apply for an Account

After downloading the app, you can sign up for a Public account. You will need to provide some information and data about yourself, including information proving that you meet the requirements for a Public account.

Once you submit your application, you will usually receive approval for your account within less than one week. If you do not receive approval for your account within a week, you can contact the company via email to check on the status of your application.

Step 3: Fund Your Account

Once your account has been approved, you can fund it by connecting your bank account and transferring funds directly.

You will also be able to browse the different public markets available on the app and issue buy and sell orders.

Sites Like Public

Logo publicapp logo acorns logo fundrise logo stash logo
Service FeesNo feesFrom $3 per month1%$1 to $9 per month
Min. Investment$1$5$10$5
Best ForStocks and ETFsSpare changeReal estateFractional investing

Public vs. Fundrise

Fundrise Summary

  • Low minimum starting investment of $10
  • High historical returns of 8.8% to 12.4%
  • 1% of management fees
  • Diverse portfolios of up to 16 investments

Fundrise is an investment platform that allows you to invest in real estate projects across the USA. Unlike Public which allows you to invest in a variety of different stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, Fundrise specializes in real estate investing opportunities.

Moreover, Fundrise has a low minimum investment amount of just $10. The platform pools together the investments from all its investors to purchase a portfolio of diversified properties. This diversified investment strategy allows you to reduce your risk by maximizing your potential returns.

Fundrise also pays dividends to investors using the profits from its rental incomes, making the platform ideal for creating a source of passive income.

Public vs. Acorns

Acorns Summary

  • Low account fees from just $3 per month
  • Get $5 in your account for referrals
  • Low minimum starting investment amount
  • High average return on investments of 7.5%

Just like the Public app, Acorns is a commission-free investment app that allows you to invest in ETFs. However, unlike Public, Acorn specializes in helping users invest their loose change by rounding up their spending to the nearest dollar.

When you invest with Acorns, you also do not get to choose the specific stocks you invest in. Instead, the platform allows you to select from a pre-selected list of professionally designed ETFs. Thus, Acorns may be more suitable for beginner investors who may not have the investing knowledge to select specific stocks.

Unlike Public, Acorns also charges a monthly fee starting from $3.

Public vs. Stash

Stash Summary

  • Start investing with any dollar amount
  • Buy fractional shares from just $0.05
  • Low monthly fee starting at $3
  • Insurance coverage of up to $10,0001

Stash is one of the most popular alternative brokerage platforms to Public. Both platforms allow users to invest in fractional shares so they can diversify their portfolios. Both platforms also offer users a wide range of different stocks and ETFs that they can choose from.

However, unlike Public, Stash is not free to use. The platform charges a monthly fee of between $1 to $9. Stash also does not allow you to automatically reinvest any dividends you earn. Nonetheless, Stash still offers a variety of useful and unique features that you can use to improve your investing and earn greater returns.

Other Sites Like Public

Public FAQs

What is Public?

Public is a renowned brokerage company that offers an online trading platform. You can use the platform to buy and sell different stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and other financial assets. The platform has over three million investors, content creators, and financial analysts.

The company also offers a mobile app that members can use to access their brokerage accounts. Public’s mission is to make public financial markets accessible to anyone who wants to grow their wealth. It has been around since 2019, and its headquarters are in New York.

Unlike some financial management platforms, Public also allows you to trade NFTs and art.

Does Public have a web platform?

No, you can only access your Public account and portfolio from the mobile app.

You can use Public App’s limit or stop orders to automatically set up your buy and sell price points. Thus, you can automate your trades directly from your phone.

Can you trade mutual funds on Public?

At present, you cannot trade mutual funds and bonds with Public. To trade those assets, you will need to try another brokerage platform.

Do I need a phone number to download Public?

Yes, Public uses your phone number to help you create an account and for two-factor authentication.

How does Public make money?

Unlike other apps, Public does not charge any commission or transaction fees to its users. Instead, Public makes money through other methods, such as securities lending and smart order routing.

Why does Public need my social security number?

The platform uses your social security number to verify your account details and approve your account for trading. This requirement is imposed by the SEC and will apply regardless of which brokerage platform you use.

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Kate Starr


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