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Public vs. Robinhood
Beginner-focused and well-matched, the best platform comes down to mobile app performance.
Both Public and Robinhood offer commission-free trades and are suitable for new traders, but Public takes the cake for its social networking feature and well-reviewed mobile app.
Which one is better?
- Choose Public if you’re interested in trading with a social networking twist.
- Choose Robinhood if you want access to options or cryptocurrencies.
All things considered, Public and Robinhood are remarkably similar. They both offer commission-free stocks and ETFs, cater to beginner traders and impose no account minimums.
And it’s not only their strengths they have in common — they also share a similar collection of drawbacks. These include limited securities, barebones research tools and a meager selection of accounts.
Robinhood offers options and cryptocurrency trading, which Public lacks, but both are missing mutual funds, bonds, futures and forex. Not to mention you can’t open a retirement account with either platform.
Now, to be fair, both platforms are worthy of consideration — especially if you’re a new investor. Their mobile apps boast intuitive interfaces and newbies likely won’t feel overwhelmed by an abundance of choices: What you see is what you get with these services. Plus, commission-free trades are certainly attractive.
And as far as a winner is concerned, I’ve got to give this one to Public. Why? Three reasons.
First, Public’s app is better-reviewed. Second, the platform has a unique social networking feature that encourages you to connect with and learn from other traders. And third, Public has recently ditched its Payment for Order Flow (PFOF) profit model and switched to optional tipping instead.
For more information on why this is a big deal, check out our Public review.
How do Public and Robinhood compare?
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|Minimum deposit to open||$0||$0|
|Tools and research|
|Reputation and customer reviews|
|Mobile app reviews|
How we rate trading platforms
★★★★★ 5/5 — Excellent
★★★★★ 4/5 — Good
★★★★★ 3/5 — Average
★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar
★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor
We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability.
For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms.
Both of these platforms cater to new traders and offer commission-free trades alongside sleek, easy-to-navigate mobile apps. With so much in common, it comes down to the wire with these platforms — but Public edges out its competitor with a unique social networking feature you can’t get anywhere else.
Before you apply, compare your account options by features, research tools and investor feedback to find the platform best suited to your investment goals.
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