Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the card links and products that appear on this website are from companies which AskSebby may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. You don't have to use our links, but we're grateful when you do! View our Advertising Policy .The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired.

Public is a social investing app that allows investors to trade without paying commissions. Formerly known as Matador, Public launched in March 2019. It is similar in scope to other investing apps designed for novice investors, but what sets it apart from the competition is “slice” investing and  interactive social features.

Public’s goal is to make it possible to own the companies you believe in, with any amount of money — commission free. If you’re just starting out building your investment portfolio, you might not have $1,000+ available to put toward a single share of stock. The “slice” feature allows people to own fractional shares of companies at a price-point that’s most comfortable for them.

Interested in opening an account? Get a free $10 “slice” of stock on Public when you open an account and make a deposit:

Is Public Safe to Use?

Public is a member of SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation), which means your money is safe. Your securities are protected up to $500,000 and $250,000 for cash.

Key Features of Public Investing App

  • Zero-commission stock trading: 100% commission-free trading and zero minimum deposit requirements
  • Social investing: exchange ideas within a community of friends and subject matter experts
  • Buy “slices” or fractional shares of stocks: invest in any public stock with any amount no matter the price per share. You’ll be able to pay for a  fraction or “slice” of the stock that you can afford.
  • SIPC protection: securities in your account are protected up to $500,000

Who Should Consider Using Public

The Public app is user-friendly to help new and experienced investors start trading right away. Public makes it easier for novice investors with little money to get started investing in major companies by offering them “slices” of stocks.

For example, instead of having to buy one whole stock of Amazon (AMZN), which costs over $1,500, you can buy a  fraction or “slice” of AMZN at any amount. Invest $10, $20, or any “slice” of AMZN amount you want.

If you don’t know where to start, there are several investing themes you can explore, or you can follow more experienced investor profiles for guidance.

Browse curated themes of stocks based on your interests. A few theme examples:

  • Tech Giants: The most influential and powerful tech companies, which include Netflix (NFLX), Alphabet (GOOGL), Oracle (ORCL), Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), etc.
  • The Future is Female: S&P 500 companies led by female CEOs, which include General Motors (GM), Kohl’s (KSS), IBM (IBM), Eventbrite (EB), Progressive (PGR), etc.
  • Clean & Green: Environmentally-friendly companies, which include Vivint Solar (VSLR), Waste Management (WM), Ecolab (ECL), Darling Ingredients (DAR), etc

For investors who want to be part of a community, Public lets you follow, interact, and share your trades with friends and industry experts.

Public isn’t a bank, but it is one of the few places where you can store your money and get a high return.

Who Should NOT Use Public

Public currently does not support buying options. Another drawback is that Public is only available via mobile app, and a web app does not exist yet.

If you’re looking for an alternative to buy options and/or a web interface, consider using Webull instead.

Commissions and Fees

Public offers zero commissions or fees for stock trade, along with no maintenance fees.

However, there are fees for other services:

  • All broker-assisted phone trade fee: $30
  • Returned check, ACH, wire, and recall/stop payment fees: $30
  • ACAT outgoing transfer fee: $75
  • Paper statements: $35
  • Domestic wire transfer fee: $30
  • Local overnight check fee: $35

How Does Public Make Money?

Although Public is a free investing app that offers no fees on trades and no account minimums, they do make money. Below are a few ways Public makes money.

Securities Lending

Some investors borrow stock to sell at the current price. The idea is to repurchase it at a lower price when the value drops. Thus, they make some money off the difference between the short sale and the cost of buying back the shares. Public lends out shares to such investors to short and makes some money through lending rebates.

Interest On Cash Balances

Public passes on passes on 2.5% interest to users on any uninvested cash up to $10,000.  However, Public earns interest on any uninvested funds above the $10,000 mark.

How to Open a Public Account

Public is available on iOS or Android mobile app. A desktop version is currently not available.

The requirements to open a Public investing account are:

  • Be 18 years of age
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Have a legal U.S. residential address
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident or have a valid visa

Interested in opening an account? Get a free $10 “slice” of stock on Public when you open an account and make a deposit:


The Public Investing App meets the needs of most investors – from novice to advance. The low barrier to entry makes it easy to build a portfolio and start investing. Their easy to use app, zero-commission trading and stock slices makes Public one of the most user friendly options you can check out.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Ask Sebby’s Picks
Advertiser Disclosure
Advertiser Disclosure:
Some of the card links and other products that appear on this website are from companies which AskSebby will earn an affiliate commission or referral bonus. AskSebby is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers.

Editorial Note:
Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
No items found.