Public.com is a platform ideal for those who wish to invest in stocks, ETFs, NFTs, crypto, and art, all in one place. The company was established in 2019; although it’s still in development, it has already generated a lot of buzz.
That is just one of the reasons we were intrigued enough to thoroughly explore this subject and write this Public.com review. We’ll cover everything this brokerage has to offer, from its fees and commissions to its unique features. Finally, we’ll compare Public.com to some of its main competitors to see what sets it apart. Let’s get started!
Affordable Premium plan
Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.
- Cryptocurrency investing
- Free stock and ETF trading
- Exhaustive knowledge base
- Alternative assets for trade
- Affordable Premium plan
- No options trading
- No phone support
- No mutual funds
Public.com is a commission-free platform for trading all sorts of assets. Thanks to its real-time analytics on social media data, investors get the tools they need to never miss out on a good investment opportunity and make smarter investment decisions.
Public.com is regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), so investors don’t have to worry about their assets being safe. In other words, all the securities in user brokerage accounts are protected for up to $500,000 or up to $250,000 in cash claims.
On top of that, the platform secures all user accounts with AES 256-bit encryption and provides two-factor authentication as an additional layer of protection.
Now that we’ve given you a brief overview of what Public.com is and how it works, let’s take a look at Public.com’s features in more detail.
As we already mentioned, investors can use Public.com to trade some assets without any commission involved. So, as long as you’re trading in stocks and ETFs during regular stock market hours (i.e., from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.), you don’t have to worry about the brokerage taking a percentage.
If you’re new to investing and looking to save money on trading fees, you will surely appreciate this benefit. What’s more, if you have a Premium account, you get to trade during extended hours as well – we’ll get to that part later.
Now, here’s something you don’t get to see on other trading platforms: Themed investing is designed with the idea of helping inexperienced users easily find investments by splitting assets into categories based on their features, popularity, etc.
On the more traditional end, the most popular investment categories you’ll find on the Public.com app are ETFs, NFTs, crypto assets, collectibles, and alternative assets. However, other exciting categories, such as blockchain technology, fine art, sports, artificial intelligence, combat carbon, etc., are also at your disposal.
Social Investing Tools
Social investing tools are another feature we highly appreciate about this platform, as they allow users to engage with one another or follow popular creators and invest in their work. They also get to share ideas with the community and gain valuable insights into how other investors are doing.
This can be especially beneficial for new traders, as it allows them to connect to more experienced peers, create groups, message other members, and learn along the way.
All the previously mentioned features would not mean much if the platform is too complicated to use. Luckily, we did not have such issues with Public.com: While testing out the Public app for this review, we could confirm it’s intuitive and easy to navigate.
All the information and trading options are just a few clicks away from you, making it easy to keep track of your portfolio, look for new opportunities, and start investing.
Public.com offers users a great variety of assets to invest in. We’ve listed the most popular categories below:
If you’re interested in trading stocks, Public.com is the right place for you. This investing platform facilitates commission-free trading for stocks of companies listed on US exchanges. You can choose from thousands of assets listed on the NYSE, Nasdaq, and other major exchanges. There’s also the option of buying fractional shares for beginner investors who are just growing their capital.
Exchange-traded funds are also a part of Public.com’s offerings. An ETF is an investment fund that tracks a basket of assets, such as stocks, bonds, or commodities, that are especially beneficial for diversifying portfolios and spreading investments across different asset classes.
At Public.com, traders can invest in ETFs from major conglomerates, such as Schwab, Fidelity, and others. Fractional share investing in ETFs is also an option on the Public investment app.
Cryptocurrency as a tradable asset has gained a lot of popularity among investors in the past few years. However, many brokerages don’t offer this novel type of investment. Luckily, this company understands how important it is to keep crypto enthusiasts happy; at Public.com, they get to review the performance of and invest in over 25 cryptos. These include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and others.
All cryptocurrency trading on Public.com is backed up by Apex Crypto LLC, a company licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services to conduct virtual currency operations.
Alternative investments are another category you will find at Public.com, and it treats alts as stocks and other investment assets. This means investors can buy shares of a specific NFT or art piece instead of buying the whole asset.
The main advantage of assets such as fine art, antiques, precious objects, etc., is that they don’t follow volatile market trends. Instead, practically as a rule, they either maintain or appreciate over time. Therefore, they represent a solid investment choice - the only issue is that they’re usually extremely expensive.
To bypass that hurdle, Public.com goes a step further and allows you to buy fractions of such collectibles. That way, you get all the benefits of this asset class, while investing far less capital than you would otherwise have to.
For example, interested parties can invest in Michael Jordan’s sneakers, Cristiano Ronaldo’s rookie card, the first edition of Harry Potter, and more.
There are also some popular NFTs to invest in, such as Chromie Squiggle #2241, CryptoPunk #2142, and others.
Public.com Premium Review
In addition to the previously mentioned features available to all members, Public.com also has a premium membership with advanced tools and insights.
Here’s what you get with the Public Premium subscription:
- Advanced stock and ETF insights: As a premium member, you get access to advanced stocks and ETF insights. You can view top ETF holdings, revenue multiples, and more. You also get unique data on how the companies you are interested in are performing.
- Expert ratings, reports, and insights: The Premium membership also provides access to expert ratings, reports, and insights from Morningstar analysts. Morningstar will provide the bull and bear cases for all popular stocks to help you make better investment decisions and boost your portfolio.
- Extended-hours trading: Extended-hours trading is another excellent possibility you get as a premium member. This means you can trade from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, instead of being limited to regular trading hours (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET) as other users. That way, you have much more time to explore new investments and take advantage of them before anybody else – something active traders will surely appreciate.
- Price alerts: Being able to set price alerts is another Premium perk of the Public investing app. By setting these alerts on their chosen assets, users don’t have to worry about missing out on any investment opportunities, as they will get alerted when the price is right to buy or sell them.
- Advanced portfolio management tools: The premium account allows members to personalize their investing experience even further. For example, they can build custom portfolio groups to make the most of their capital.
- VIP customer support: Finally, all premium members have access to dedicated customer service, as the Premium Support team is there to assist them with any inquiry they might have.
The best thing about the Premium membership is that it’s quite affordable. The monthly subscription costs only $10, and those with a balance of $20,000 or more in their Public.com account can unlock complimentary access.
Account Verification Process
The verification process at Public.com is pretty straightforward:
- The first step is to download the free app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
- Then, make an investor profile. You will be asked a few questions about your investment preferences and goals, as well as provide your Social Security number and bank account details.
- After this, all that’s left is to review Public.com and its offerings. Once your account is validated, you can start trading in real time.
If you end up liking Public.com, you can become a part of the Public Referral Program. Through it, you share your referral code with friends and associates, for mutual benefit. Once your friend deposits at least $20 in their account, you both get to claim rewards from $3 up to $300.
How Does Public.com Compare to Other Investment Platforms?
$0-$10 per month
$0-$5 per month
$3-$5 per month
Customer support is another vital factor to consider when looking for an investment platform. Public.com’s customer service team operates through a few different channels: You can email them at [email protected] or by in-app/web chat. The live chat feature is available Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.
Besides this, the platform has an extensive FAQ section that answers pretty much any question you might have. Lastly, you can follow Public.com on Twitter or Instagram to keep track of the latest news and updates.
Public.com is a trading app that offers its customers a great variety of features. Thanks to its intuitive interface and advanced social investing tools, even new traders can easily develop personalized strategies.
Unfortunately, Public.com is currently available only to US customers. However, the company did announce it will go global in 2023. Traders outside the US can join the waitlist to be the first to know when they can sign up from their country. Also, the company does not offer mutual funds, so if you’re interested in investing in them, you will have to look for some Public.com alternatives.
Disclosures: This does not constitute investment advice. Investing involves the risk of loss, including the potential loss of principal. Public.com launched in October 2019. Brokerage accounts opened on Public.com are held through the registered broker dealer, Open to the Public Investing, Inc. (Public), a member of FINRA and SIPC. Public provides brokerage services for US listed and registered securities only. Cryptocurrency trading on Public.com is conducted through Apex Crypto LLC. (NMLS ID 1828849). Apex Crypto is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Brokerage services for alternative assets on Public.com are offered through Dalmore Group LLC, a registered broker dealer and a member FINRA and SIPC. Alternative assets and cryptocurrency investments are not covered by SIPC and are not held in a brokerage account. New customers of OTTP receive free stock valued between $3 - $1,000 (0.3% receive the maximum value). *Full terms, conditions and disclosures including fractional share disclosure and fee schedule at www.public.com/disclosures. New customers of Public receive free stock valued between $3 - $1,000 (0.3% receive the maximum value).
How does Public.com make money?
Since it is a commission-free trading app for stocks and ETFs and does not accept payment for order flow either, Public.com has to make money in some other way. It makes a profit through securities lending, markups on cryptocurrency transactions, instant withdrawal fees, interest on cash balances, and alternative asset fees.
The company also offers optional tipping for any member that wants to support its services.
Is Public.com legit?
Public.com is a reputable trading platform. It uses AES 256-bit encryption and two-factor authentication to secure all user accounts. Furthermore, as a member of the SEC and FINRA, the platform secures all user’s stocks and ETF holdings with up to $500,000 and covers cash amounts up to $250,000.
Does Public.com have fees?
Public.com is a commission-free platform for ETFs and US-traded stocks during regular stock market hours. There’s also no commission for crypto transactions. However, there is a 1%-2% markup you would have to pay when trading crypto.
Alternative Assets come with a 2.5% commission per transaction, while instant withdrawals have a fee of 3.5% of the amount withdrawn, with a minimum of $1. To see the complete list of fees on Public.com, you can review the Fee Schedule section on its website.