Public.com review 2023

Public is a commission free trading platform that lets you invest in a wide range of assets, including stocks, crypto, and fine art. This Public review compares its features to other top trading platforms.
By: Prash Raval
Prash Raval
Prash is a financial writer for Invezz covering FX, the stock market and investing. For over a decade he has traded… read more.
Updated: Dec 9, 2022
4/5 Star rating
17 min read
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Public is an investing platform allowing users to invest in several asset classes, including stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. It also includes alternative markets where you can invest in less traditional assets such as Birkin handbags, rare comics, fine art, and more. 

The platform has only been around for a few years and was launched in 2017. It offers accessible investing options, like commission-free trading and the ability to buy fractional shares. Public also incorporates some social network elements and makes your portfolio public to other users – hence the name. You can browse other users’ portfolios to get ideas of what to trade, making it a very beginner-friendly service.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

Commission free stock and ETF investing
Share and compare your portfolio on a social trading platform
Trade crypto, fractional shares, and alternative investments

Cons:

What can I do with Public.com?

You can buy and sell more than 9,000 stocks and ETFs on its proprietary trading app, which is available on desktop, iOS, and Android. In addition to stocks and ETFs, Public also has a selection of 25 of the largest cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. There is also an alternative section, which includes non-traditional assets such as fine art and NFTs. 

Public also doubles as a social trading network; you can easily browse other users’ portfolios to see exactly what they’re investing in. Its platform has features for all levels of investors. Beginners can toggle their portfolios to track trending stocks and ‘top movers’. Experienced investors can use Public’s premium service to access advanced analytical tools.  

Public.com markets, assets, and options

What assets and products can you trade on Public.com?

Public has over 9,000 stocks and ETFs available. It includes big names like Apple, Amazon, and Tesla, along with thousands of smaller companies. In addition to stocks and ETFs, Public has 25 of the best-known cryptocurrencies and a selection where you can buy shares in rare books, comics, and other alternative investments. Here’s a full list of assets available:

ProductOffering
Cryptocurrency29
Stocks and ETFs9,000 +
Alternatives28
See all products >

What leverage trading options are there?

There are no leveraged trading options available on Public.com. The broker offers a simple, cost-effective way to buy a range of assets without using margin or leverage. 

What are the spreads?

Public.com charges a 1% – 2% markup on all cryptocurrency trades. This is added to orders when they are opened and closed. Public does not offer forex or commodity trading services and there are no minimum spreads. It charges zero commissions but does offer a ‘tipping’ service, where you can add a tip for using the platform.

ProductAverage spreadFixed or variable?
Cryptocurrency1% – 2%Markup
See all spreads >

Fees, limits, and payment options on Public.com

What are the deposit and withdrawal fees, limits, and speeds?

Public currently offers only debit cards, cheques, and bank transfers as payment options. It has a partnership with Plaid, the United States’ largest bank connector. Plaid allows you to connect your bank account to Public to make deposits and withdrawals. Here’s a full list of payment options and key information relating to each one.

Payment methodDepositWithdraw
Debit card
– min/max
– fees
– speed
Yes
No min / $5000
Free
Instant
No
Must use bank transfer


Bank transfer
– min/max
– fees
– speed
Yes
No min / $1000
Free
Instant
Yes
$1 / no max
3.5%
2 business days
Cheque 
– min/max
– fees
– speed
Yes
No min / $5000
Free
5 – 7 days
Yes
$1 / no max
$30
5 – 7 days
See all payment options >

How much are Public.com’s fees and commissions?

Public.com is a zero-commission broker, which means you won’t pay any charges when buying and selling on the platform. There are other fees to consider, which are mainly applicable to cryptocurrency and alternative transactions. Here’s a rundown of the fees you will be required to pay when using the Public platform.

Fee typeFee amountCommission
Crypto1% – 2% mark upNo commission
Stocks & ETFsZeroZero
Stocks & ETFs after hours$2.99Zero
Alternative assetsAsset specific2.5%
Premium subscription$10 per month
Inactivity fee$5 every six months
See all fees and commissions >

Public.com trade sizes and limits

There is no minimum trade size when using Public and, because it offers fractional shares, it is possible to invest with very little money. Below is some information about the minimum and maximum positions you can put on when using Public.com.

ProductMinimum tradeMaximum trade
CryptoNo minimum
StocksNo minimum
ETFsNo minimum
See all trading limits >

Public.com trading platform

What devices can I use Public.com on?

Public has a proprietary trading platform accessible on desktop and mobile devices. Heres a list of available devices you can use Public.com on. 

  • Desktop (Windows/Mac)
  • Web browser
  • Tablet
  • iOS mobile device
  • Android mobile device

Can I use Public.com in my country?

At present, Public.com is only available to citizens of the United States. However, the company is expanding its reach and in 2023, will be available in over 50 countries. Here’s a list of some key countries that Public.com will be accessible from in 2023. 

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • India
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom

Is Public.com available in my language?

The Public website and platform are currently only available in the English language, however, when it starts accepting global clients in 2023, more languages may be added. 

How easy is it to use Public.com?

Public has a very user-friendly interface and is simple to use for all levels of investors. Creating an account with Public is fast and takes approximately five minutes. The same can be said for making a deposit or withdrawing funds, both of which involve a simple and standard process. 

Using other features on the Public platform is also smooth. The interface is simplistic and searching for a specific stock or asset is quick and easy. Its proprietary platform allows you to buy and sell at the click of a button easily. Its social trading tools are also very easy to use and similar to larger networks. Overall, using Public.com is easy; there are also many guides to help if you get stuck. 

Key features

The main feature most investors will be drawn to when using Public is the zero commissions on stocks and ETFs. However, the platform has many additional tools that make it different to other platforms, such as its social network. Here’s a quick look at some key features on Public.com. 

Zero commission and fractional shares

On Public, when you buy or sell stocks or ETFs, you’ll pay zero commissions or fees. This is one of the platform’s top features, which means you’ll always know what you’ll be paying. It also offers fractional shares, which allows you to own a portion of a full share, meaning you can get started with very little money. 

Social trading network

Public also doubles as a social trading platform where you can view and follow other users’ portfolios. The network makes it easy to connect and chat with other traders to discuss investment ideas. You can also follow other investors and the platform will notify you anytime they make a new trade. 

Investing themes

When you’ve signed up for a Public.com trading account, you have a few options when it comes to choosing stocks to invest in. You can search for yourself or use themes, where different stocks or ETFs are grouped together depending on certain criteria. For example, you can search for crypto stocks, weed stocks, AI stocks, and many more. 

Education and guides

Public has a library of educational content, including how to guides and general investing material. While the platform is very easy to use, there are several guides to help you should you not know how a particular feature works. There is also a host of information on all aspects of investing to help new traders get started.

Security and regulation

Is Public.com safe?

Yes, Public.com is a safe broker to use. All accounts using Public.com are secured by bank-grade AES 128-bit encryption. Two-factor authentication is also a default setting when logging into your trading platform.  

Am I and my funds protected?

Yes, your funds are protected when using Public.com. It is fully regulated as a broker-dealer and the securities in your account are protected up to $500,000 by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). 

Is Public.com regulated?

Yes, Public is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It is also a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, which means your funds are protected up to $500,000. 

Do I have to verify my account with Public.com?

Yes, investors must verify their account information as Public is a licensed and regulated broker and verification is necessary for KYC purposes. When linking your bank account to the payment platform, you must also undergo a verification process. This involves two small transactions leaving your bank account. Here’s a list of documents required to verify your trading account. 

  1. Identity Proof: International Passport or National ID card
  2. Proof of Residence: Any address proof, like utility bills containing both name and address issued in the last six months

Extra information

Educational resources 

Public has a vast educational section on its website that is available for registered users. This includes a number of how-to guides explaining how the platform works and troubleshooting tips. There is also a lot of information on general investing, explaining different types of assets and how the stock market works. 

It also offers ‘town halls’, public chats, and public talks, where you can submit a question and its experts will answer via video chat, together with other users on the platform. 

Tools and charting

Public.com has a basic platform where you can view simple price history without any additional analytical tools. You can embed charts into your social feed or share them with connected users on the network.  

Customer support

Public offers a few different ways to contact customer support. It has a chat function available on its app and desktop platform. You can also email support or use its social media profiles to get in contact with them. 

Our verdict

Public.com is a multi-asset broker that offers access to several live markets with zero commissions and fees. The platform has over 9,000 stocks, ETFs, and a selection of cryptocurrencies and alternative markets. 

While it does offer a range of assets, stocks and ETFs make up the bulk of what is available on the platform. You can only buy 29 cryptocurrencies and you’re limited to storing those coins on Public.com, as it is not possible to transfer to another wallet. Its alternative markets are a good option if you want to invest in a non-traditional asset, although this type of investing is best suited to someone with experience or willing to take on some risk. 

Overall, the platform offers easy access to the stock market without high fees or commissions. The ability to trade fractional shares is a plus for newer investors or those with smaller balances. However, there are better places to trade the crypto market, such as exchanges or brokerage platforms. If you’re a beginner wanting an easy-to-use platform, then Public.com is a good option.  

How to open an account with Public

Opening a trading account with Public is easy and you will receive step-by-step guidance on the site. These are the steps to follow:

  1. Click the ‘get started’ button at the top of the Public.com homepage. 
  2. Enter your email address and phone number
  3. Verify your email and phone number 
  4. Fill out the form with your information, including name and address
  5. Choose how much you want to deposit
  6. Start investing

FAQs

How does Public.com make money?
Do I have to pay tax on Public.com profits?
Does Public.com offer CFD trading?
How do I sell on Public.com?
How do I delete my Public.com account?
What if I forget my account password?
Can I transfer from my Public.com account into my PayPal account?
Can I pay in cryptocurrency with Public.com?
Does Public.com offer bonuses?

Sources & references
Risk disclaimer

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

Prash Raval
Financial Writer
When not researching stocks or trading, Prash can be found either on the golf course, walking his dog or teaching his son how to kick a… read more.