Home | Stocks | Webull vs. Public

Webull vs. Public Review 2024: Which Trading Platform Is Better?

8 min read
Adam Koprucki Bio Image
Written by:

At no extra cost to you, some or all of the products featured below are from partners who may compensate us for your click. It's how we make money. This does not influence our recommendations or editorial integrity, but it does help us keep the site running.

Webull vs. Public: Which Commission-Free Trading App Offers the Best Features?

Webull vs. Public

Quick Comparison

  • Fees and Pricing: Webull charges lower fees than Public for most transactions.
  • Customer Service: Webull offers phone and email support, while Public provides support via email and chat.
  • Trading Tools: Webull offers a range of advanced trading tools, while Public offers a more straightforward trading experience focused on social investing.
  • Investing Options: Webull offers more investing options than Public, including options and cryptocurrencies.
  • Safety and Security: Both platforms offer similar safety and security measures, including membership in the SIPC and 256-bit encryption.
  • User Experience and App: Both platforms offer well-designed apps that are easy to use, but Webull is more focused on providing advanced trading tools. At the same time, Public is focused on social investing.

What is Webull?

Webull is a commission-free online brokerage firm that offers trading in stocks, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and cryptocurrencies. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in New York City.

Webull offers a mobile app and desktop platform that provides access to real-time market data, charting tools, and other features designed to help investors make informed trading decisions. The platform also offers a variety of order types, including market, limit, stop-loss, and trailing-stop orders.

In addition to its trading services, Webull offers a wide range of educational resources, including news articles, tutorials, and webinars. The company also provides a simulated trading environment that allows users to practice trading strategies without risking real money.

You might also be interested in: 2023 Webull Review

Webull Key Features

  • Commission-free trading: Webull offers commission-free trading for stocks, options, and ETFs.
  • Real-time market data: Webull provides real-time market data, including stock quotes, charts, and news.
  • Advanced charting tools: Webull offers advanced charting tools, including over 25 technical indicators and drawing tools.
  • Trading simulator: Webull provides a simulated trading environment that allows users to practice trading strategies without risking real money.
  • Cryptocurrency trading: Webull offers cryptocurrency trading, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
  • Margin trading: Webull offers margin trading, allowing users to borrow money to invest.
  • Investor education: Webull provides various educational resources, including news articles, tutorials, and webinars, to help users make informed investment decisions.
  • Security: Webull is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and its accounts are insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Webull also uses advanced security measures to protect user information and funds.

What is Public?

Public is a commission-free, mobile first investing app that allows users to invest in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and cryptocurrencies.

The company was founded in 2018 and is based in New York City.

Public stands out with its social investing experience, where users can follow other users and share their investment ideas and strategies.

The app provides access to real-time market data, news articles, and educational resources to help users make informed investment decisions. Additionally, Public offers fractional shares, allowing users to purchase small portions of expensive stocks.

Public.com

Public aims to create a transparent and inclusive investing community by providing free access to its platform and promoting social responsibility through its portfolio offerings. The company also donates a portion of its profits to charitable organizations its users select.

You might also be interested in: 2023 Public Investing Review

Public Key Features

  • Commission-free trading: Public offers commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.
  • Social investing: Public allows users to follow other users and share investment ideas and strategies. The app also has a feed where users can see what other users are investing in and their reasons for investing.
  • Fractional shares: Public offers fractional shares, allowing users to purchase small portions of expensive stocks.
  • Educational resources: Public provides a range of educational resources, including news articles, podcasts, and video content, to help users make informed investment decisions.
  • Social responsibility: Public promotes social responsibility by offering a range of portfolios focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.
  • No account minimums: Public does not have a minimum account balance requirement.
  • Security: Public is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and its accounts are insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Public also uses advanced security measures to protect user information and funds.
  • Fractional cryptocurrency trading: Public allows users to purchase fractional shares of cryptocurrencies, making it more accessible to invest in the cryptocurrency market.
  • Cash management: Public offers a cash management feature where users can earn interest on their uninvested cash and use it to buy stocks or withdraw it at any time.

Who Should Use These Platforms?

Individual preferences and investment goals will ultimately determine which platform is best for each person.

Webull is better for…

Webull may be a better option for experienced traders looking for advanced trading tools and a wider range of investing options.

Public is better for…

Public may be a better option for those who prefer a simpler investing experience and want to connect with other investors through social features.

Head-to-Head Comparison

Choosing between Public and Webull depends on your investment goals, preferences, and experience level. 

Below are key factors to consider when deciding between Webull vs. Public.

Investment Options

Winner: Webull

Webull and Public both offer a range of investing options, including stocks, options, ETFs, and fractional shares.

However, Public does not offer any options contracts, mutual funds, bonds, forex, ADRs, IPOs, or OTC stocks.

In summary, Webull offers more investing options than Public.

If you are interested in trading options or OTC stocks, then Webull may be a better option for you. However, if you are comfortable investing in stocks and ETFs, Public may offer the investment options you need.

Webull Investing Options:

  • Webull allows customers to trade stocks, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.
  • American Depository Receipts(ADRs)
  • 44 Cryptocurrencies from Bitcoin to Dogecoin
  • OTC stocks
  • Fractional shares
  • IPOs of companies going public

However, Webull does not offer mutual funds, bonds, or forex, which may concern some investors.

Public Investing Options:

  • Stocks and ETFs
  • Fractional shares
  • 27 Cryptocurrencies
  • NFTs
  • Alternatives assets like art, real estate, and music royalties.

Meanwhile, Public offers no options contracts, mutual funds, bonds, forex, ADRs, IPOs, or OTC stocks.

In summary, Webull offers more investing options than Public, including options and OTC stocks. 

If you are interested in trading options or OTC stocks, then Webull may be a better option for you. 

However, if you are comfortable investing in stocks and ETFs, Public may offer the investment options you need.

Fees and Pricing

Winner: Tie

Both Webull and Public offer commission-free stock and ETF trades. However, there are other fees and pricing differences to consider when comparing the two platforms.

For example, Webull charges fees for margin trading and short selling, while Public earns revenue through payment for order flow and charges a fee for ACH transfers. 

It is important to understand the fees and pricing of each platform to determine which one is the best fit for your investment needs.

Webull Fees and Pricing:

Webull does not charge trading fees to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, or ADRs. 

However, the platform does charge a 1% markup for cryptocurrency trades and may also charge fees for other activities.

  • Stocks, ETF, ADRs: $0 trading fees.
  • Cryptocurrency: 1.0% markup on cryptocurrency trades.
  • Options Trading: Webull may charge fees for options contracts and other related services if you trade options.
  • Margin Trading: Webull allows users to borrow money from the brokerage to buy securities. The interest rate charged on margin borrowing varies depending on the amount borrowed and the type of security but starts at 9.49% and requires at least $2,000 invested to use margin.
  • Short Selling: Webull charges a fee for short selling, which is selling a security you do not own with the expectation that its price will fall. The fee varies depending on the stock and the market conditions.
  • Transfer Fees: $75 fee for transferring your account to or from another brokerage.
  • Account Inactivity: If a user’s account is inactive for more than 12 months, Webull charges a $10 inactivity fee per month.

Public Fees and Pricing:

Public has a reasonable fee structure that aligns with other discount brokers — nothing extraordinary. They do not charge trading fees for US Equities or ETFs, and there are no costs to open an account.

There are fees for cryptocurrencies, alternative assets, and other add-on services, such as extended-hours market trading.

  • U.S. Stocks & ETFs: $0
  • Alternative Assets: 2.5%. Alternative assets may have additional fees to offset asset storage, insurance, and management costs and fees associated with asset sales or cash distributions. These fees are laid out in the specific asset’s offering circular.
  • Cryptos: 1 -2 % Mark-Up
  • Extended Hours Trading: $0 for premium members, $2.99/mo for non-premium members
  • Public Premium Subscription: $10/month (optional)
  • ACH transfer fees: Public charges a $2.99 fee for each ACH transfer, which is how users can transfer money into and out of their accounts.

Public also earns revenue by selling its customers’ orders to market makers, known as payment for order flow. This means that Public may only sometimes provide the best price for a trade, but rather the best price for Public’s profits.

User Experience and Mobile App

Winner: Webull

User experience and app quality are important factors to consider when choosing an investing platform. 

Here’s how Webull and Public compare:

Webull User Experience and App:

Webull’s app is user-friendly and provides a clean and simple interface.

It offers a range of advanced trading tools, customizable charts, and technical indicators, making it a good option for experienced traders.

Webull also offers a paper trading feature that allows users to practice trading without risking real money. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices.

Webull user interface.
Webull offers a clean and easy to use customer interface.

Public User Experience and App:

Public’s app is designed to be easy to use and offers a simple and clean interface. It is focused on social investing, allowing users to connect with other investors and see what they are investing in.

  • Public also offers a watchlist feature that allows users to track stocks and ETFs they are interested in. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices.

In terms of user experience and app quality, both Webull and Public offer well-designed apps that are easy to use.

Webull focuses more on providing advanced trading tools, while Public focuses on social investing. 

Choosing between the two will ultimately depend on your preferences and investment goals.

It’s worth noting that both platforms are constantly updating and improving their apps, so it’s possible that the user experience and app quality may change in the future.

Public Mobile App

Customer Service

Winner: Webull

Customer service is an important aspect to consider when choosing an investing platform.

Here’s how Webull and Public compare in terms of customer service:

Webull offers more options for customers to get help, including phone support. Meanwhile, Public only provides support through email and in-app chat. 

Both platforms offer a help center with articles, tutorials, and FAQs to assist customers.

Webull Customer Service

  • Webull offers 24/7 customer service via phone, email, and in-app chat.
  • Webull also offers a help center with articles, tutorials, and FAQs to assist customers with their questions and issues.

Public Customer Service

  • Public offers customer service via email and in-app chat.
  • Public also has a help center with articles, tutorials, and FAQs to assist customers with their questions and issues.

It is also worth noting that Webull has had some reported issues with customer service in the past, with some customers reporting long wait times on the phone or slow responses to emails. 

Public is a newer platform and may not have as much data on its customer service response times and quality.

Overall, if you value phone support and quick responses to your questions, then Webull may be the better option. 

However, if you are okay with communicating through email and in-app chat and prefer a more social investing experience, then Public may be the better choice.

Trading Tools

Winner: Webull

Webull and Public offer different trading tools to their customers. 

Webull offers a range of advanced trading tools like customizable charts, technical indicators, and real-time market data, which can be helpful for experienced traders.

Meanwhile, Public offers a more social aspect that allows users to connect with other investors, follow them, and see what they are investing in. This can be helpful for novice investors who want to learn from others.

Here’s how they compare:

Webull Trading Tools:

  • Webull offers a range of advanced trading tools, including customizable charts, technical indicators, real-time market data, and stock screeners. This makes it a great option for more experienced traders who want to conduct detailed analyses of the market and individual stocks.
  • Webull also offers a paper trading feature, which allows users to practice trading without risking real money.

Public Trading Tools:

  • Public offers a social investing platform that allows users to connect with other investors, follow them, and see what they are investing in. This social aspect can be helpful for novice investors who want to learn from others.
  • Public also offers a watchlist feature, which allows users to track stocks and ETFs that they are interested in.

Webull offers a wider range of advanced trading tools that can be helpful for experienced traders who want to conduct detailed analysis of the market and individual stocks.

Public, on the other hand, offers a social investing experience that can be helpful for novice investors who want to learn from others.

Public is a newer platform and may not currently offer as many trading tools as Webull. However, they are constantly updating and improving their platform, so it’s possible that they will add more trading tools in the future. 

Ultimately, the trading tools you need will depend on your individual investment goals and experience level, but Webull is the clear winner from a trading tools perspective.

Safety and Security

Winner: Tie

Safety and security are crucial aspects to consider when choosing an investing platform. 

Here’s how Webull and Public compare:

Webull Safety and Security

  • Webull is a Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) member, which protects investors’ securities up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for cash claims) in case the brokerage firm fails.
  • Webull uses 256-bit encryption to protect customer data and transactions.
  • Webull also offers two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security to users’ accounts.

Public Safety and Security:

  • Public is also a member of the SIPC, which protects investors’ securities up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for cash claims) in case the brokerage firm fails.
  • Public uses 256-bit encryption to protect customer data and transactions.
  • Public also offers two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to users’ accounts.

In terms of safety and security, both Webull and Public offer similar protections to their customers, including membership in the SIPC and 256-bit encryption. 

They both also offer two-factor authentication to protect users’ accounts.

Webull and Public take safety and security seriously and have implemented measures to protect their customers’ data and investments. 

That said, we’ll have to call in a tie between Webull and Public in the safety and security category.

PROS and CONs

Webull PROs

  • Commission-free trading. One of the main advantages of using Webull is that it offers commission-free trading of stocks, options, and ETFs. This can save you a significant amount of money on trading fees.
  • Advanced Trading tools. Webull offers a range of advanced trading tools, such as customizable charts, technical indicators, and real-time market data. This can be helpful for experienced traders who want to make more informed investment decisions.
  • No account minimums. Webull does not require a minimum account balance, which can be helpful for new investors who want to start small.
  • Good mobile app. Webull’s mobile app is highly rated and offers a range of features, such as real-time market data and trading alerts.

Webull CONs

  • No dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs). Webull does not offer automatic dividend reinvestment. This is a pain for some users as the dividend is paid out, which requires you to pay taxes on it.
  • Limited educational resources. Webull’s educational resources are limited compared to other investment platforms. While it offers a range of trading tools, it may not be better options for novice investors who need more guidance.
  • No Crypto Wallet. Webull does not currently offer a crypto wallet, so you cannot transfer your crypto out of Webull. It shouldn’t be an issue if you are buying and selling crypto for profit.

Public PROs

  • Commission-free trading. Like commission-free investing apps, Public allows users to buy and sell stocks and ETFs without incurring trading fees.
  • Social Aspect. Public offers a social aspect that allows users to connect with other investors, follow them, and see what they are investing in.
  • Fractional shares. Public allows users to purchase fractional shares, which means investors can buy a portion of a stock or ETF if they can’t afford to buy a full share.
  • No account minimum. There is no account minimum required to start investing with Public, which makes it accessible to investors of all experience level

Public CONs

  • No dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs). Webull does not offer automatic dividend reinvestment. This is a pain for some users as the dividend is paid out, which requires you to pay taxes on it.
  • Limited educational resources. Webull’s educational resources are limited compared to other investment platforms. While it offers a range of trading tools, it may not be better option for novice investors who need more guidance.
  • No Crypto Wallet. Webull does not currently offer a crypto wallet, so you cannot transfer your crypto out of Webull. It shouldn’t be an issue if you are buying and selling crypto for profit.

The Bottom Line

While Public and Webull appear similar at first glance, they are built to appeal to different demographics of users, and are best suited for different types of investors.

If you are an investor who needs advanced trading tools like charting and analysis, then Webull is the better option. Meanwhile, if you are a beginner to intermediate trader who doesn’t need access to as many stock market products like options and ADRs, and is interested in the social aspect Public offers, then Public is right for you.

Adam Koprucki

Expertise: Fixed-income investing, Macroeconomics, Personal Finance, Derivatives, Options, Index Funds

Professional Experience: J.P. Morgan, Deloitte Consulting, Societe Generale, The Vanguard Group

Education: Loyola University: Bachelor of Business Administration, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Certificate in Capital Markets

Adam Koprucki is the founder of Real World Investor, an investing website dedicated to reviewing the newest and latest investing tools and providing unique market insights for beginner to intermediate investors.

Before starting Real World Investor, he spent over a decade working at some of the world's largest investment banks and investment managers, such as Citibank, J.P. Morgan, Societe Generale, Deloitte, and The Vanguard Group.

His experience includes working with complex financial products such as exotic interest rate derivatives, structured products, and structured credit.

A dedicated and enthusiastic investor, he is passionate about macroeconomics and options trading. His work has been published in Nasdaq, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, and Seeking Alpha. He is also a contributing author at LendStart.