Investing apps such as Robinhood, Acorns, M1 Finance, or modern robo advisors seem to be the names that come to mind when it comes to modern stock investing. However, Public is another awesome investing app that brings a good deal of competition to the table in the mobile investing world.
With Public, you can invest in stocks without any fees and learn from their investing social environment. What is the public investing app and how does it work? Is it safe, reliable and does it benefit investors to use? Should you invest with Public?
Here is a detailed Public Investing App Review with detailed answers and a firsthand look at their modern investing platform.
What Is the Public Investing App?
Public is an investing app that lets anyone invest in the stock market for free and with as little as just $5. You can choose from almost any major publicly listed stock company to invest in, and from many of the most reputable Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).
Furthermore, Public focuses on making their platform a safe investing environment for new investors by adding in built-in safeguards for risky investments, and detailed explanations of investing terms when they are used.
In short, Public is a beginner friendly modern investing platform aimed at making it easy and safe for investors to invest in the stock market for free and with little investing experience required.
Why Invest Using Public?
There are many modern investing platforms available that let you invest in fractional shares with zero commission fees. At some point, an investment app needs to carve out a competitive advantage to fulfill the wants and needs of today's investors that aren't available on other platforms.
Public offers a unique set of benefits that combined make a world class beginner investing platform. They are:
- Buy fractional shares
- Commission free trades
- Different investing themes
- A social investing environment
- The ability to make your portfolio “Public” to others for combined peer-to-peer learning opportunities
- Group messaging
- A safer investing environment for beginners
Here are the details of each…
Commission Free Trades
This isn't a new concept, but a necessary one if you're an investing app looking to carve out your niche. Public offers commission free trades on any investment purchases. Traditionally, investment brokers charged a commission each time you placed an order. Now days, companies like Public have set the new norm to zero cost investing.
Keep in mind that some investments such as an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) may still have an expense ratio (aka management fee) that is charged by the fund, not the investing platform. If an S&P 500 Index ETF charges a 0.02% annual fee, that fund will have the same fee regardless of which platform you invest with.
Suffice it to say that Public charges no commissions on investment transactions.
Choose Different Investing Themes
Rather than searching for investments by company name, industry, or market sector, you can search for companies based on different themes such as:
- Fighting Disease
- Women in Charge
- Stay at Home
- American Made
- Cash Cows
- Rise of the Machines
- And many more…
Why is this beneficial? It allows investors to invest not only in companies they like, but also in movements or causes they support. The more personal your investments are, the more exciting investing becomes.
The Best App For “Social Investing”
Social investing is a growing concept that has had an upward trend ever since social media took flight. You can learn a lot from hearing what others have to say about different investments, companies, strategies, or ideas.
Other investing programs and apps like StockTwits, Seeking Alpha or even The Motley Fool have engaging communities, but lack the ability to combine it with an investing platform to buy and sell stocks.
Public lets you post your opinions and comments to your profile feed about different companies and strategies. You can even create messaging groups to discuss opinions and topics of different market events.
The social environment of Public is the closest thing available to being able to invest and socialize about your investments in one place. It's the Facebook or Twitter platform combined with commission free investing.
Learn from Others Via “Public” Portfolios
Your personal social feed will include comments on favorite companies, funds, and market events, as well as updates on your buys and sells should you decide to make them public to everyone else.
You can view other people's public portfolios and publish your own for others to see and comment on. Furthermore, you can organize your portfolio by categorizing investments as “long term” investments and posting comments on why you think that company or fund is in your long-term investment.
A Safer Place for New Investors
You rarely see the words safe and investing used in the same sentence. But in this case, it's relevant. One of the notable features that makes it safer for new investors is their built-in safeguards for risky investments. Should you want to invest in a company classified as “risky”, you'll get an alert before making a purchase to confirm that you're OK with the added risk.
What's more, Public's investing platform makes it a safer environment for new investors by:
- Built in safeguards for riskier stocks (see image above)
- New investing terms explained to you when you see them on the app
- No day trading is allowed (day trading is considered a risky type of short-term investing, and requires expert experience in most cases)
- You cannot invest on margin with Public (investing on margin means you're borrowing money from your broker to purchase more stocks, a very risky strategy to say the least)
- No complex investment vehicles are available on the platform. With Public, they keep it simple and stick to the basics – investing in stocks and ETFs.
Is the Public Investing App Worth It?
In my humble opinion, I was incredibly surprised by Public when I set up my account to test the waters. I enjoyed the ease of use, the beginner friendly environment, and social aspect that just isn't present with other investing apps.
Who is Public best suited for? After doing an analysis myself, I think it's safe to say that the Public app is best suited for both beginner investors and investors just looking for simplicity. Furthermore, if you like being social and seeing what others are up to with their investments, Public is a great option.
Is the Public Investing App worth it? Absolutely.
Public Investing App Alternatives
If you're a more sophisticated investor who wants something with more options, here are some alternatives to consider:
M1 Finance lets you invest in the stock market for free and on automatic. Your portfolio consists of individual companies and/or “pies” which are funds. You can create your own “pie” or invest in an expert pie.
Acorns is the pioneer of investing your spare change in the stock market. By linking your bank account, Acorns will round up your daily purchases to the next whole dollar and invest your spare change in a customized portfolio.
Stash is an investing app that lets you invest in fractional shares of stocks. It also makes it easy for new investors to learn the basics of the stock market and set goals to take your investing to the next level. They offer basic checking accounts with “stock back” offers.