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Public.com Review: Best Social Investing App for Beginners?

Curious about entering the stock market but feeling overwhelmed? Discover how social investing platforms are reshaping the landscape for beginners, offering community support and accessible tools to help you navigate your financial journey with confidence.


Public.com Review: Best Social Investing App for Beginners?

Click to Try Public.com Public.com offers a compelling value proposition for new investors looking to enter the stock market. Its user-friendly interface, commission-free trading, and fractional shares make investing more accessible than ever before. The social features create an engaging environment where you can learn from others and share ideas, potentially accelerating your financial education.

However, it’s important to weigh these benefits against some potential drawbacks. While the social aspect can be enlightening, it may also lead to herd mentality or impulsive decision-making if you’re not careful. The platform’s limited advanced tools and research capabilities might leave you wanting more as your investing knowledge grows.

For beginner investors, Public.com is definitely worth considering. Here’s why:

  1. Low barrier to entry: With no account minimums and fractional shares, you can start investing with whatever amount you’re comfortable with.

  2. Educational opportunities: The social feed and in-app content provide a wealth of information to help you learn about investing.

  3. Engagement: The platform’s social features make investing more interactive and potentially more enjoyable, which could encourage you to stay committed to your financial goals.

  4. Transparency: Seeing other investors’ portfolios can provide insights into different investing strategies and help you diversify your own holdings.

  5. Values-based investing: Thematic investing options allow you to align your portfolio with your personal values, which can be particularly appealing if you’re just starting out.

However, as you gain experience, you may find yourself outgrowing some of Public.com’s features. The lack of advanced charting tools, limited asset classes, and the potential for information overload in the social feed are factors to consider.

Ultimately, if you’re new to investing and value a supportive community and user-friendly experience, Public.com is an excellent starting point. It can help you build confidence, learn the basics, and develop good investing habits. Just remember to approach the social aspects with a critical mind, verify information independently, and don’t let the ease of use lead to overtrading.

As you become more experienced, you might want to complement Public.com with other resources or platforms that offer more advanced features. But for taking those crucial first steps into the world of investing, Public.com provides a welcoming and accessible entry point that can set you on the path to financial growth.

Public.com Review

Public.com is transforming the stock investing landscape by blending social connectivity with financial education, creating an engaging platform tailored for the digital age. At its core, Public.com aims to democratize investing, making it more accessible and less intimidating for newcomers to the market.

When you join Public.com, you’re not just getting a trading platform - you’re entering a vibrant community of investors. The social feed allows you to follow other users, share insights, and learn from experienced investors. This peer-to-peer learning environment can be invaluable as you navigate the complexities of the stock market.

One of Public.com’s standout features is fractional share investing. This means you can own a piece of high-priced stocks like Amazon or Google without needing to buy a full share. It’s a game-changer if you’re starting with limited capital, allowing you to build a diversified portfolio from day one.

The platform’s commission-free trading further lowers the barrier to entry. You won’t have to worry about fees eating into your returns, which is especially beneficial when you’re making smaller investments. This can encourage you to start investing earlier and more frequently.

Public.com’s educational content is seamlessly integrated into the platform. You’ll find bite-sized lessons, articles, and explainers that break down complex financial concepts. This on-the-go learning can help you make more informed investment decisions over time.

The community engagement aspect of Public.com adds a unique dimension to your investing journey. You can see what stocks other investors are buying (though not the dollar amounts), which can spark ideas for your own research. However, it’s crucial to use this feature responsibly and not blindly follow others’ trades.

For new investors, Public.com’s value proposition is clear. You get a user-friendly platform that combines practical investing tools with social features and educational resources. This holistic approach can help you build confidence, expand your knowledge, and potentially make smarter investment choices.

However, it’s important to remember that while Public.com makes investing more accessible, it doesn’t make it risk-free. The social aspect, while beneficial, could potentially lead to herd mentality if not approached critically. Always conduct your own research and consider your personal financial goals before making investment decisions.

In essence, Public.com is revolutionizing stock investing by making it more approachable, educational, and community-driven. It’s designed to empower you with the tools and knowledge to take control of your financial future, all within a supportive, socially-connected environment.

The Good

Fractional shares open doors: You can now own a slice of your favorite high-priced stocks without breaking the bank. Want to invest in Amazon or Google but don’t have thousands to spare? Public.com lets you start with as little as $1, making premium stocks accessible to you regardless of your budget.

Thematic investing sparks your passion: Align your portfolio with your values and interests. Whether you’re passionate about clean energy, artificial intelligence, or women-led companies, Public.com offers curated lists of stocks that match your beliefs. This approach not only makes investing more engaging for you but also helps you understand market trends in sectors you care about.

User-friendly mobile interface keeps you connected: Public.com’s sleek, intuitive app design puts the stock market in your pocket. You can easily track your investments, discover new opportunities, and make trades on the go. The streamlined interface is perfect if you’re new to investing, eliminating the intimidating charts and jargon that often overwhelm beginners.

Social feed fuels your learning: Learn from other investors in real-time. The app’s social feed allows you to see what stocks others are buying and why, giving you insights you might not find elsewhere. This feature is particularly valuable if you’re just starting out, as it exposes you to diverse investment strategies and thought processes.

Educational content boosts your financial literacy: Public.com doesn’t just give you a platform to invest; it helps you become a more informed investor. The app offers bite-sized educational content, from basic investing concepts to more advanced topics. This ongoing education can help you make more confident decisions with your money over time.

Commission-free trading maximizes your investment: Every dollar counts when you’re building wealth. Public.com’s commission-free trading means more of your money goes directly into your investments, not to transaction fees. This is especially beneficial if you’re starting with a small amount and want to make frequent investments.

By combining these features, Public.com creates an environment where you can learn, grow, and invest with confidence. Whether you’re making your first investment or looking to diversify your portfolio, these tools are designed to support your financial journey every step of the way.

The Hype

While Public.com offers an innovative approach to investing, it’s important to look beyond the marketing hype and consider some potential drawbacks:

“Learn from top investors”: Public.com promotes the idea that you can follow and learn from successful investors on the platform. However, it’s crucial to remember that past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. The investors you’re following may not have long-term track records or could be taking risks that aren’t suitable for your situation. You need to develop your own investment strategy rather than blindly copying others.

”Invest in any company with any amount of money”: While fractional shares do make it easier to invest in high-priced stocks, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Just because you can buy a fraction of an expensive stock doesn’t make it a good investment. You still need to do your due diligence and consider how each investment fits into your overall portfolio strategy.

”Built-in financial literacy”: Public.com offers educational content, but it’s important to recognize its limitations. The in-app resources are a good starting point, but they may not provide the depth needed for truly informed investing. You’ll likely need to supplement with external sources to gain a comprehensive understanding of financial markets and investment strategies.

”A community that helps you be a better investor”: While community insights can be valuable, they can also lead to herd mentality or echo chambers. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of trending stocks or popular opinions. You need to maintain independent thinking and not let the community sway you from your personal investment goals and risk tolerance.

”Commission-free trading”: This is a great feature, but it’s not unique to Public.com. Many platforms now offer commission-free trading. Additionally, the ease of free trades could tempt you into overtrading, which can hurt your long-term returns. Remember, just because you can trade frequently doesn’t mean you should.

”Invest in your values”: While thematic investing aligns with personal values, it’s important to ensure you’re not sacrificing diversification or potential returns. Focusing too heavily on specific themes could lead to an unbalanced portfolio.

Remember, while Public.com offers many attractive features, it’s not a magic solution for investment success. You still need to approach investing with caution, do your own research, and make decisions based on your personal financial situation and goals.

What Can Be Improved?

While Public.com offers an innovative approach to investing, there’s always room for growth. Here are some key areas where the platform could enhance your experience:

More advanced research tools: You’d benefit from having access to more sophisticated charting, technical analysis, and fundamental data. This would allow you to conduct deeper research and make even more informed investment decisions. Imagine being able to overlay multiple indicators on a stock chart or easily compare financial ratios across companies in the same sector.

Expanded asset classes: Currently, your investment options are somewhat limited. By adding access to options, mutual funds, or bonds, you’d have more opportunities to diversify your portfolio and tailor your investment strategy to your specific goals and risk tolerance. This expansion would give you more flexibility in how you approach the market.

Enhanced financial education: While Public.com provides some educational content, there’s potential to offer more in-depth, structured learning paths. You could benefit from comprehensive courses on topics like fundamental analysis, portfolio theory, or sector-specific investing. This would empower you to develop a stronger foundation in financial literacy and investing principles.

Improved filtering of social content: The social feed is a unique feature, but it could be refined to help you find more relevant and high-quality insights. Implementing better content curation algorithms or user reputation systems would help you cut through the noise and focus on the most valuable information shared by the community.

More robust portfolio analysis tools: You’d gain valuable insights from more detailed portfolio performance metrics, risk analysis, and allocation breakdowns. These tools would help you better understand how your investments are performing and identify areas where you might need to rebalance or adjust your strategy.

Integration with external accounts: The ability to link your other financial accounts would give you a more holistic view of your finances. This feature would allow you to see how your Public.com investments fit into your overall financial picture, making it easier to track your progress towards your financial goals.

By addressing these areas, Public.com could provide you with a more comprehensive investing experience. You’d have access to more tools, knowledge, and opportunities to grow as an investor, all while maintaining the platform’s user-friendly and community-driven approach. Public.com is reshaping the investing landscape, offering you a fresh approach to building wealth in the stock market. Its blend of social features and user-friendly design makes investing more accessible and engaging than ever before. You’ll find a supportive community ready to share insights and learn alongside you, potentially accelerating your financial education.

However, as you consider Public.com for your investing journey, it’s crucial to reflect on how its unique features align with your personal financial goals. The platform’s social aspects can be a double-edged sword - while they can expose you to diverse investment ideas, they may also lead to impulsive decisions if you’re not careful.

Remember, successful investing isn’t just about having the right tools; it’s about developing a disciplined approach and continuously expanding your knowledge. Public.com provides an excellent starting point, but your success ultimately depends on how you use the platform. Stay curious, keep learning, and always do your own research before making investment decisions.

If you’re ready to take a more active role in your financial future and enjoy a more interactive investing experience, Public.com could be the catalyst you need. Just ensure you’re prepared to balance the social aspects with sound investment principles. Your financial journey is unique - choose the path that best supports your long-term success.

FAQ: Public.com

  • Is Public.com really free to use? Yes, Public.com offers commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs. However, you may incur regulatory fees on sell orders and other miscellaneous fees for specific actions like wire transfers.

  • How secure is my account on Public.com? Your account is protected by bank-level encryption and two-factor authentication. Additionally, securities in your account are protected up to $500,000 by SIPC insurance.

  • How can I make the most of Public.com’s social features? To maximize the social features, follow experienced investors, engage in discussions, and share your own insights. Remember to use these features for learning and idea generation, not as your sole basis for investment decisions.

  • What strategies can I use to avoid herd mentality on Public.com? Always conduct your own research before investing. Use the social feed for ideas, but verify information independently. Set your own investment goals and stick to your strategy rather than following trends blindly.

  • How does Public.com compare to traditional brokerages for long-term investing? Public.com is great for beginners and offers a more engaging experience, but it may lack some advanced tools that traditional brokerages provide. For long-term investing, focus on Public.com’s educational resources and use its fractional shares feature to build a diversified portfolio over time.

  • Can I transfer my existing portfolio to Public.com? Yes, you can transfer your existing portfolio from another brokerage to Public.com. The process is called an ACAT transfer and can typically be initiated within the app.

  • What types of investments can I make on Public.com? You can invest in stocks, ETFs, and a limited selection of cryptocurrencies. Public.com doesn’t currently offer options trading, mutual funds, or bonds.

  • How does Public.com make money if trading is free? Public.com generates revenue through various means, including interest on uninvested cash balances, securities lending, and optional tipping on trades.

  • Is there a minimum amount required to start investing on Public.com? No, there’s no minimum account balance required to start investing on Public.com. You can begin with any amount, even just a few dollars, thanks to fractional shares.

  • How does Public.com’s thematic investing work? Thematic investing on Public.com allows you to invest in curated lists of stocks and ETFs based on specific themes or trends, such as sustainability or innovation. This feature helps you align your investments with your interests or values.

Best Alternatives

Embrace the power of community investing! Public.com's social features can help you learn from experienced traders, share insights, and build confidence. If you're interested in connecting with like-minded investors, I encourage you to explore Public.com's community-driven platform.

Robinhood vs. Public.com

Robinhood is a strong alternative to Public.com, particularly for users who prioritize a streamlined mobile trading experience. Like Public.com, Robinhood offers commission-free trading and fractional shares, making it accessible for beginners and those with limited capital. However, Robinhood provides a wider range of investment options, including options trading and a more extensive cryptocurrency selection, addressing some of the limitations noted in Public.com.

While Robinhood lacks the social aspect that defines Public.com, it compensates with a cleaner interface that may help you avoid the potential pitfalls of herd mentality and information overload. If you find Public.com’s social features distracting or potentially misleading, Robinhood’s more straightforward approach could be beneficial. However, be aware that Robinhood has faced criticism for gamifying investing, which could encourage overtrading – a concern also noted with Public.com.

Don't let fear of missing out drive your investment decisions. Public.com's fractional shares allow you to start small and grow your portfolio gradually. You can invest in top companies without breaking the bank, giving you the freedom to diversify your investments wisely.

E*TRADE vs. Public.com

ETRADE stands out as an alternative if you appreciate Public.com’s accessibility but desire more robust tools and resources for in-depth analysis. While ETRADE also offers commission-free stock and ETF trades, it provides a more comprehensive suite of investment options, including mutual funds and options trading, addressing the diversification limitations noted in Public.com.

ETRADE’s educational resources are generally more extensive and in-depth compared to Public.com’s in-app content, making it a solid choice if you found Public.com’s educational offerings lacking. While ETRADE doesn’t have the social investing aspect of Public.com, it compensates with professional-grade charting tools and analytics, catering to your desire for more advanced research capabilities.

The platform’s combination of user-friendly interfaces for beginners and sophisticated tools for advanced traders means you’re less likely to outgrow E*TRADE as you develop your investing skills. However, as a new investor, you might find the wealth of information and options initially overwhelming compared to Public.com’s more streamlined approach.

Take control of your financial future with Public.com's user-friendly mobile app. The platform's educational resources and real-time market data empower you to make informed decisions on-the-go. If you're ready to start your investing journey, I encourage you to explore Public.com's mobile tools and take the first step towards financial independence.

Betterment vs. Public.com

Betterment offers a different approach to investing that may appeal to you if you appreciate Public.com’s accessibility but struggle with the potential for impulsive decision-making or overtrading. As a robo-advisor, Betterment automates the investment process based on your goals and risk tolerance, potentially mitigating the risks associated with Public.com’s social-driven environment.

While Betterment doesn’t offer individual stock picking or the social aspects of Public.com, it provides a hands-off approach to diversification and long-term investing. This could be particularly appealing if you found yourself second-guessing your strategies or feeling overwhelmed by the constant stream of information on Public.com.

Betterment’s focus on goal-based investing and automatic rebalancing aligns well with the long-term investing mindset that Public.com encourages. However, if you enjoy the engagement and learning aspects of Public.com’s social features, you might find Betterment’s approach less exciting or educational in the short term. Nonetheless, if you prioritize disciplined, long-term wealth building over active trading, Betterment presents a compelling alternative.

Betterment offers a different approach to investing that may appeal to you if you appreciate Public.com’s accessibility but struggle with the potential for impulsive decision-making or overtrading. As a robo-advisor, Betterment automates the investment process based on your goals and risk tolerance, potentially mitigating the risks associated with Public.com’s social-driven environment.

While Betterment doesn’t offer individual stock picking or the social aspects of Public.com, it provides a hands-off approach to diversification and long-term investing. This could be particularly appealing if you found yourself second-guessing your strategies or feeling overwhelmed by the constant stream of information on Public.com.

Betterment’s focus on goal-based investing and automatic rebalancing aligns well with the long-term investing mindset that Public.com encourages. However, if you enjoy the engagement and learning aspects of Public.com’s social features, you might find Betterment’s approach less exciting or educational in the short term. Nonetheless, if you prioritize disciplined, long-term wealth building over active trading, Betterment presents a compelling alternative.

🧠 Thinking Deeper

  • ☑️
    Invest in yourself first. Developing your skills and knowledge is the best investment you can make.
  • ☑️
    Understand that risk and reward are inextricably linked. Higher potential returns come with higher risk.
  • ☑️
    Develop the ability to tune out market noise and focus on what truly matters.
  • ☑️
    Don't blindly diversify. Concentrate on your best ideas if you have conviction.

📚 Wealthy Wisdom

  • The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don't have to swing at everything — you can wait for your pitch. - Warren Buffett
  • ✔️
    The most important thing about an investment philosophy is that you have one. - David Booth
  • 🌟
    The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator. - Benjamin Graham
  • 🚀
    The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists. - Benjamin Graham