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Public.com
4.2
★★★★★
Finder score
Advisory fee
$0
Minimum deposit
$0
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Our verdict

Build a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, crypto, alternative assets and more.

Public.com offers an uncomplicated, user-friendly investing platform and access to traditional and alternative assets. Invest in stocks, bonds, options, crypto, royalties and more, with no commission stock, ETF and options trades, no options contract fees and an options rebate program that offers up to $0.18 back per contract. Public is the only broker we review that offers an options rebate program. Its high-yield cash account pays up to 5.1% annal percentage yield (APY) as of June 2024. Unlike many other brokers, Public doesn't use payment for order flow on equities trades. Analytical investors will also find AI-powered fundamental data and analysis for $8 month. But unlike some other brokers, you won't find a robo-advisor or IRAs.

Best for: Beginner-friendly, multi-asset investing.

Pros

  • Trade stocks, bonds, options, crypto, ETFs and alternative assets
  • Earn up to $0.18 per contract traded, with no options commissions or per-contract fees
  • Earn 5.1% APY with a Public high-yield cash account
  • Doesn't use payment for order flow for equities
  • Get up to $10,000 and transfer fees covered when you move your portfolio to Public

Cons

  • $8 monthly fee to access advanced data and analyst research reports
  • Limited account types, with no IRAs
  • No margin trading
  • No robo-advisor

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Public.com at a glance

FeatureRatingDetails
Investment options

★★★★★

  • Stocks
  • Options
  • ETFs
  • Bonds
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Collectibles
  • Royalties
  • Art
Trading costs

★★★★★

Zero commission stock, option and ETF trades, with rebates on options trades and no options contract fees.
Account fees

★★★★★

No annual fee but a $3.99 inactivity fee applies every month for accounts with less than $70 in total value and no activity over the last 6 months.
Account types and minimums

★★★★★

  • Only individual brokerage accounts, with no IRAs
  • No minimum deposit requirements
Trading platforms and technology

★★★★★

  • Mobile and web-based trading platforms
  • Price alerts, watchlists, market news, advanced charts, company financials and statistics, trending stock lists, earnings estimates, analyst ratings, analyst reports and price targets
Features and amenities

★★★★★

  • Fractional share trading
  • Instant buying power
  • Extended hours trading
  • Educational articles and videos
Customer support

★★★★★

Contact Public customer support by live chat and email support during regular business hours.
Mobile app rating and security

★★★★★

Google Play app reviews: 4.1/5 stars based on over 47,100 reviews
Apple App Store app reviews: 4.7/5 stars based on over 69,280 reviews
Cash sweep rates

★★★★★

Earn 5.1% APY on your cash, but you’ll need to open a high-yield cash account and make manual transfers from your brokerage account.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read our methodology.

Public.com is best for beginner-friendly, multi-asset investing.

Public.com offers an intuitive and accessible platform for new and intermediate investors. With fractional shares, users can start investing with minimal capital. Meanwhile, the absence of stock, ETF and options trading commissions ensures cost-effectiveness. Public.com’s supported investment options span stocks, options, cryptocurrency and other alternative assets, as well as a high-yield cash account so your idle cash is at work earning money. All this with a straightforward trading process that simplifies investing.

Latest Public updates

May 20, 2024: Public introduced fractional bond investing, letting Public members buy and sell corporate and Treasury bonds for as little as $100.

January 23, 2024: Public has launched options trading. Activate options trading on the platform by March 31, 2024, to receive a lifetime rebate of 50% of Public’s options order flow revenue to reduce your trading costs.

December 14, 2023: Public introduced a high-yield cash account that pays 5.1% APY, with no minimum balance requirements and no subscription needed.

December 8, 2023: Public is gearing up to launch bond investing. In addition to T-Bills, Public users will be able to buy corporate, Treasury and municipal bonds, using intuitive filters to help you explore bonds based on today’s highest yielding, highest coupon, shortest term or most popular. Select the Notify me button in the bond section of your Public account for Public to let you know when bonds are available for purchase.

What we like about Public.com

Public.com stands out for its broad investments lineup, low trading costs and transparency.

Invest in traditional and alternative assets

Public.com makes it incredibly easy to build a diversified portfolio without needing multiple accounts at different brokers. Its growing list of asset classes is one of its biggest differentiators compared to similar brokers, giving investors access to a range of traditional and alternative assets — all from one trading platform.

Build a portfolio of stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, Treasuries, crypto, royalties and more. Public also offers a high-yield cash account that pays 5.1% APY. No subscription required, no minimum balance requirements to get the APY and it comes with unlimited transfers and withdrawals. Public also partners with 20 FDIC-insured banks, which gives you up to $5 million in combined coverage.

Low trading costs

Trade stocks, options and ETFs without commission. Public.com is also one of just a few brokers that doesn’t charge per-contract options fees, which are typically 65 cents apiece. What’s more, Public stands out as the only broker we review that offers rebates on options trades. Earn up to 18 cents per contract when you trade options with Public.

Transparency

Public.com is one of the only mobile-first trading platforms that doesn’t use the controversial practice known as payment for order flow (PFOF) on standard equities trades. This can minimize conflicts of interest since it doesn’t have an incentive to route orders to market makers that offer higher payment. It also lets Public focus on executing orders at the best available price.

Public’s platform is easy to use

Public.com offers a simple, user-friendly platform, which makes it incredibly easy to invest.

Here are some of the tools you can use to trade with on Public.com:

  • Company info
  • Key metrics
  • News feed
  • Basic chart
  • Advanced charts
  • Earnings and financials
  • Analyst ratings and price targets
  • Morningstar research reports
  • AI-powered insights through Public’s natural language interface, Alpha

Investors will find the Public app to be tidy, straightforward and easy to navigate. The app’s main tabs include a portfolio view, a section for exploring assets and other Public users, a feed with news, live events and educational resources and a tab for Public Premium.

Public.com app

Where Public.com falls short

While Public.com offers advanced research and analysis tools, they sit behind a $8 monthly paywall. Customers must subscribe to Public Premium to access advanced charts, extend hours trading and expert reports and insights. Investors also have to be sure to maintain at least $70 in total account value and be active in their accounts every six months to avoid a $3.99 monthly inactivity fee.

Meanwhile, Public only supports self-directed brokerage accounts at the moment — margin traders and investors looking for tax-advantaged retirement accounts or a robo-advisor need to look elsewhere.

Public.com’s fees

Type of feeFee details
Minimum deposit$0
Minimum investment$5
Annual fee$0
Stock trading fee$0
Options trading fee$0 contract fees; Earn up to $0.18 per contract traded
Alternative asset trade fee2.5% per transaction
Crypto fee1.25% of order amount
Treasury account management fee.05% per month based on the average daily balance of your Treasury account
Margin annual interest rateN/A
Account transfer fee$75
Wire transfer out$25
Inactivity fee$3.99
Public Premium$8 per month

Is Public.com legit?

Yes, Public.com is a legitimate, registered broker founded in 2019. It’s a member with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

In terms of platform and account security, Public.com utilizes two-factor authentication and bank-grade security AES 128-bit encryption. It also protects sensitive banking data in transit using TLS.

Customer experience

While there are no customer reviews on Trustpilot, Public has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile with an A+ rating. It’s been BBB accredited since 2020. Public has a rating of 2.54 out of five stars based on over 90 reviews. Positive reviews highlight Public’s responsive customer support and user-friendly and transparent investing platform. However, some negative reviews mention issues with withdrawal delays and delisted cryptocurrencies. Reviews on Reddit are mixed, with some praising the platform’s ease of use and others highlighting its lack of retirement accounts.

Compare Public.com to other platforms

Compare similar platforms by available asset types, trade fees and minimum deposit requirements. Select Go to site to sign up for an account.

Public.com logo

Public.com

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.2 / 5

Go to site


Available asset types

Stocks, Bonds, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Alternatives, Treasury Bills, High-yield cash account


Advisory fee

$0


Minimum deposit

$0


Signup bonus

Get up to $10,000 and transfer fees covered

SoFi Invest® logo

SoFi Invest®

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.2 / 5

Go to site


Available asset types

Stocks, Mutual funds, ETFs, Alternatives


Advisory fee

$0


Minimum deposit

$0


Signup bonus

Get up to $1,000 in stock

Tastytrade logo

Tastytrade

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.4 / 5

Go to site


Available asset types

Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Futures, Treasury Bills


Advisory fee

$0


Minimum deposit

$0


Signup bonus

Get $50-$5,000

Frequently asked questions

How does Public.com make money?

Public.com makes money in several ways. It charges a fee of up to 2% to process instant withdrawals. Revenue from interest comes from its securities lending program and interest on cash balances. And its Public Premium account has a $10 monthly membership fee. The company has also implemented an optional tipping feature for its services in lieu of the much-debated practice of payment for order flow (PFOF).

What is optional tipping?

Public.com‘s optional tipping feature lets investors choose whether to tip the company for its services. The option to tip appears when an order is placed, and the tip amount — which the investor can also choose — is deducted. There’s no obligation to tip to benefit from commission-free trades.

How do I place a trade on Public.com?

Once you find a security you want to buy, select “Buy,” then enter the dollar amount you wish to invest. Select the order type and then submit your order. This is where you’ll have the opportunity to tip Public.com, which is completely optional.

Public.com offers the following order types:
  • Market orders in fractional shares
  • Market orders in whole shares
  • Limit orders
  • Stop orders

What is Pulse partnerships?

Public.com Pulse is a product Public.com offers that connects publicly-traded companies with Public.com investors. Companies can syndicate live earnings calls, host Town Hall events and distribute company news and information with Public.com investors. Public.com makes money from its partnerships with these companies.

In which countries is Public.com available?

Public.com is only available to US citizens, US permanent residents or individuals with a valid visa who reside at a legal US residential address.

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.
Options are not suitable for all investors and carry significant risk. Option investors can rapidly lose the value of their investment in a short period of time and incur permanent loss by expiration date. Certain complex options strategies carry additional risk. Investors must review the Options Disclosure Document (ODD): public.com/ODD. See Fee Schedule and Options Rebate & Referral T&Cs: public.com/disclosures. Brokerage services for US-listed securities and options offered through Public Investing, member FINRA & SIPC. See terms of the Options Rebate Program. Rebate rates vary from $0.06-$0.18 and may depend on time of enrollment and number of referrals. Rates are subject to change at any time. All investing involves the risk of loss, including loss of principal. Brokerage services for US-listed, registered securities, options and bonds in a self-directed account are offered by Public Investing., member FINRA & SIPC. See public.com/#disclosures-main for more information. Transfer offer Terms and Conditions apply.

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Matt Finder

Editor, Investments

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