Apps Investing Reviews

Public Review: Commission-Free Trading App for Stocks & ETFs (formerly Matador) is a Fee-Free Stock Trading app with social features, Read our review to find out more with all Pros & Cons
Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr has some good ideas about how people can trade stock with less stress. The Stock market is supposed to be for everyone and if you are new to investing or you are an experienced trader, Public can help you to become a more efficient investor.

Investing in stocks can be an intelligent way to grow your wealth.

A new generation of Americans is looking for fresh approaches to investing to meet their financial goals. The equity markets have a curious habit of rising over time. The S&P 500 has been a great place to be for decades, and people will need to have some amount of equity investments if they want to retire in the future.

With the increasing number of commission-free brokerage firms, the options that tech-savvy investors have is changing dramatically. Now the stock market is easily accessible without a dedicated brokerage, and people can get into equities for very little cash upfront.

While most retail investors make the vast majority of their returns with equities, there have always been some pretty stiff fees attached to trading stocks. Today, that has all changed, and platforms like Public are giving retail investors great tools for their financial lives.

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What is the Public App?

In this race to change the way investing works different brokerage apps using cutting edge technology have become popular among students, employers and small business owners who have less money to invest.

In this free equity trading arena, there are a lot of new companies emerging is one that should be considered by anyone who is comfortable with using an app to own and trade stocks.

Public is a social stock trading platform linked with brokerage T3 Securities and your bank account. The platform provides you a whole new way to invest, with free trades and no fees. With Public you can invest in the companies you like without loads of fees or other barriers to entry.

The public app used to be named “Matador” but underwent a rebrand last year and is now available at

Public is considered unique because of its social aspects, which may help you to learn more about the markets you are investing in. Unlike traditional equity investing that relies on the knowledge of a stockbroker, you can talk to other investors and learn about what is happening.


With Public there is zero commission when you buy or sell equities. The platform simplifies the process of buying and trading stocks. It’s a rebrand of one of the first app-based investing products, which was called Matador.

You can easily invest in fractional shares as well. A fractional share is just a part of a more expensive stock, like Alphabet, or Apple. This means that lower dollar amounts will be enough to buy some exposure to expensive shares, and you will have more time to save up for a whole share if that is your goal.

Interesting Facts to Know About

  • Public has raised a total of $8.5M in funding over 2 rounds
  • It is funded by 3 investors. Advancit Capital and Accel are the most recent investors
  • Public is actively using 16 technologies for its website like SPF, Content Delivery Network, and Google Apps for Business
  • Public is ranked 784,885 among websites globally based on its 47,874 monthly web visitors
  • Public has $1M in estimated revenue annually. Public main competitors are Robinhood, FutureAdvisor, and Freetrade
  • Public has 5 team members, including Co-Founder and Business Operations
  • Public has taken part in 2 events. Recently, they attended 2017 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards as a Finalist
  • Public offers 2.5% interest on your cash; Earn interest on up to $10,000 of your uninvested cash with the platform
  • Public is a registered member of SIPC & Finra. Securities in your account are protected up to $500,000
  • Public allows you to invest in fractional shares

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How to Get Started With

Like most financial apps, Public is very easy to use.

The platform has simple instructions to follow, and as long as you meet the requirements, your new Public account should be open in less than a day. You can use the Public app on just about any mobile device that runs iOS or Android, so getting up and running with Public is easy.

What is the 1st step?

The first step is to download the Public app – just enter your email on their site and they will send you the link to download.

It will take a couple of minutes to fill out your application in the app and once the company has verified your information, you’ll get an approval notification from Public. Then you’re ready to invest!

What are the Account Opening Requirements?

To apply for a Public account, the requirements below need to be fulfilled:

  • 18 years of age
  • Valid Social Security Number
  • U.S. residential address
  • U.S. citizen or have a valid visa

What is the minimum amount you need to invest?

As there is no minimum to invest, it’s totally your choice. You can start investing the amount you want with zero commission fees. But make sure to keep long-terms investment goal in your mind while investing. The more you put away now, the more you should have in the future!

Is the app is Secure and is my Money Safe?

Public uses bank-level security system to ensure that client funds are as safe as possible. It offers brokerage services via T3 Securities, Inc., a registered broker-dealer and securities in accounts are protected up to $500,000 USD.

So basically, your money is 100% safe (or as safe as it would be with any other registered broker) and this app is fully secure and you don’t need to worry.

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How does Work?

Public has made investment supper easy as it offers commission-free brokerage services for trading stocks in small slices or whole shares. This process works with 100% transparency and executing trades with Public is very straightforward.

You just need to search and pull up the company profile you want to invest in, and the page will pop up with company details and its history. Next, go with the Buy or Sell and select the button. This process is really user-friendly and quick.

Because stock trading is free, you can use “Day Trading” strategies if you like, but these short-term tactics may not be the perfect solution for long term savings and retirement planning.

If you do decide to do some aggressive trading, be sure to set some money aside that is off-limits, even if you have been on a good run of winning trades.

App Screenshots

Why Zero Trading Fees Matter

It might not seem like saving 1% or 2% on trading fees will make much of a difference, but in reality, the small fees that are applied to trading and portfolio management make a huge difference over the long run.

Retail investors make most of their money in the stock market, even with the occasional crash.

  • The thing is the seemingly small fees that money managers charge can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of an investor, which is why low-cost index-tracking funds are such a good way to beat managed funds over time.
  • While Public isn’t going to give you a way to max out your IRA, you can use Public for your taxable brokerage account, which every investor should have.
  • If you ever need to tap your savings for an emergency, this kind of brokerage account will give you near-instant access to funds, which can be deposited directly to your bank account.
  • To make it very simple: if you can cut down the fees you pay, do so. It may not seem like a few percent will add up, but it does.

Major investment firms have been making huge amounts of money from investors who think that managed funds will beat the market, although this is rarely the case on a multi-decade time horizon.

Platforms like Public give you the option to trade stocks for free, which is going to have a major impact on what you spend in fees over your lifetime.


There are a lot of commission-free brokerages available to US investors and if you are looking for a way to tap into the stock market, should be on your radar. The platform offers a no-frills trading experience that allows you to buy and sell stocks & ETFs, even if you need to do it on a fractional basis.

The fact that Public will pay you a competitive interest rate on your uninvested capital is a great perk and makes Public attractive as a one-stop-account for younger investors who need a flexible brokerage/savings account.

There are no real downsides to Public, although it is limited to stock trading. If you are looking for a more comprehensive investment platform with automated investment features, it isn’t going to be a good fit for your needs.

Overall Public has created a great stock trading platform that is fully insured and gives investors who don’t mind using an app to trade stock a free option for their investing.

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Ease of Use






Customer Support





  • Safe & Secure
  • Well Designed App
  • Easy to Get Started
  • Good for Beginners
  • No Trading Fees


  • Basic for More Advanced Investors
  • New On the Market

Nicholas is an experienced Finance Journalist who has written for a number of prominent online publications. He grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a father that would read him the Wall St. Journal along side of other bed-time fare. He has traveled extensively, and been lucky enough to study a changing global economy in person. Nicholas spent many years in the Southern Cone of South America, sometimes in the middle of the countryside where livestock starts its journey to all points of the globe. Today he is thoroughly bemused with the stance that Central Banks have taken in the wake of the 2008 meltdown. There is no telling what will come out of the global financial system next, but he is glad that he lives somewhere that gold can be bought and sold readily!