Stock Trading

Public makes the stock market social. Follow other investors, discover companies you believe in, invest with any amount of money

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Public is a free social investing platform that offers fractional share investing and does not charge any commissions on standard trades. It allows investors to invest in portions of stocks, ETFs, and crypto for an equivalent portion of the price and has no minimum capital requirements. The social community of investing is what makes Public unique. Investors can connect with fellow investors and thought leaders to learn about investment strategies and new investment avenues. To make stock trading more accessible and engaging, they can also follow different companies to ensure that they’re investing in something they believe in.

Why Invest

  • Invest with friends. Share ideas and learn together.
  • Buy fractional shares. Start investing with as little as $5.
  • Build chat groups. Embed stock charts; no more screenshots.

How you make money

Public opens the gates by making investing free, social and slicing stocks into tiny bits so everyone can afford to own a piece of any public company. No matter your wealth or which circles you run in, you can easily invest with Public. Public offers automatic dividend reinvestment so you don't have to worry about reinvesting it yourself. 


For reference: according to historical records, the average annual return from the S&P Index since its inception in 1926 through 2018 is approximately 10%–11%. The average annual return since adopting 500 stocks into the index in 1957 through 2018 is roughly 8%. Adjusted for inflation, the historical average annual return is around 7%. However, it's important to note that each investor has their own investment strategy that can influence returns.

How Public makes money

Without commission fees, brokerages lean on other forms of revenue to sustain and grow their businesses, including Payment for Order Flow (PFOF), a much-debated practice in which a brokerage firm receives rebates on trades routed through its clearing firm. The main criticism of PFOF is that it creates misalignment between the financial aims of the brokerage and the interests of its clients. As of Feb. 16, 2021, Public is officially PFOF-free and will no longer have order flow as a revenue generator for their business. They are committing to this to better align their financial goals with the best interests of their growing community of investors.

  1. As a replacement for revenue they would otherwise generate via payment for order flow and to compensate for the additional costs of routing to exchanges, they have introduced an optional tipping feature for customers to use when they make a trade.
  2. Their clearing firm, Apex, is able to lend shares to investors and institutions that need or want to borrow them. Those parties (e.g., retail investors, banks, market makers, institutional investors) pay a market-driven interest rate for borrowing the shares and may use the borrowed stock to provide liquidity, hedge a position, arbitrage an opportunity, create a structured product, or bet against the price of the stock. Apex then provides Public a portion of the interest they receive as a rebate against their clearing and custody fees.
  3. They earn interest on uninvested cash balances. The current interest rate as set by the Federal Reserve is 0.2%.
  4. Currently, they don’t have any paid-for premium features, but as they develop the platform they intend to introduce new products for which they might charge a subscription fee.

Is it safe?

Safety is their top priority, which is why, at Public they employ Bank-Grade security with AES 128-bit encryption and TLS 1.2 to secure data in transit. Not only do they meet traditional banking security standards, they exceed them. They're also a member of SIPC so all members automatically qualify for protection on up to $500,000 in your account. Public is no longer receives revenue from Payment for Order Flow (PFOF) in order to better align their financial goals with the best interests of their growing community of investors. 

Things to know

  • You make money onValue + Dividends
  • Fees0%
  • Payout frequencyQuarterly
  • Term of investmentZero
  • LiquidityEasy
  • Open toAll Investors


  • Country availabilityUS only
  • Assets under managementUnknown
  • Established2017
  • Mobile ApplicationIOS, Android

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Any references to past performance, regarding financial markets or otherwise, do not indicate or guarantee future results.

Forward-looking statements, including without limitations investment outcomes and projections, are hypothetical and educational in nature. The results of any hypothetical projections can and may differ from actual investment results had the strategies been deployed in actual securities accounts.


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