Public.com vs. eToro: Which is Better for Stocks, ETFs, and Crypto?

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Public.com vs. eToro

Over the past few years, investors have gained many new options for the ways that they can invest. One of the most interesting trends has been the growth in popularity of social investing platforms that provide a sense of community for users.

Two of the most popular social investing platforms are Public.com and eToro. Although they both have excellent social features and capabilities, there are significant differences between them. This Public.com vs. eToro comparison will help you to understand those differences so you can choose the one that’s right for you.

Join Public to get up to $300 of free stock when you make a deposit.*

Public.com vs. eToro Summary

The main difference between Public.com and eToro is that Public.com has a heavier emphasis on stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) while eToro has a heavier emphasis on cryptocurrency. Both platforms allow users to trade stocks, ETFs, and crypto. However, investors who are primarily interested in stocks and funds are likely to prefer Public.com, and investors who primarily trade crypto are likely to prefer eToro.

Public Overview

Public

Public.com has been in business since 2018. This is a mobile-first trading platform with a user-friendly interface and commission-free trades of stocks and funds.

The stand-out feature of Public.com is that it has collaboration built into the app where investors can interact with each other. So, more experienced investors can share their knowledge with new users, and this can be invaluable when you’re starting out.

As you build a contact list with Public.com, you’ll be able to see what other people are selling or buying and even ask questions of experienced platform users.

You can log in, check investments, and share strategies and advice with your contacts. This is an amazing resource for newbies that have little or no practical investing experience, but also beneficial for more experienced investors.

The goal of social investing is to help beginners develop better instincts, confidence, and a reliable set of investing skills. This is intentional and the original purpose of Public.com was to demystify investing and make it more accessible to the public (hence the name).

As a new investor, there’s no minimum amount required to open an account. The minimum stock purchase amount is set at $1 and there are no commissions charged on trades of stock and ETFs.

For more details, read our Public.com review.

Top Pick
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Public.com offers fractional shares so anyone can start investing. You'll love the social aspect that makes it possible to connect with other investors. Get a free stock slice worth up to $300 when you open an account through our link.

Features:
  • Commission-free trades of stocks and ETFs
  • Buy and sell 27 different cryptocurrencies
  • Fractional shares
  • Easy to use and beginner-friendly
  • Connect with a supportive community of investors
  • "Themes" help you to find investments that interest you
Offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. This is not a recommendation. You can lose money with any investment. Open To The Public Investing is a member of FINRA & SIPC. Regulatory and firm fees apply. New customers receive free stock with value $3-300; 0.3% receive the max value. Cryptocurrency trading provided by Apex Crypto LLC (NMLS ID 1828849). Apex Crypto is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services. See Public.com/disclosures/

eToro Overview

eToro

eToro was founded in 2007. It’s an international trading platform with a solid reputation and it entered the U.S. market in 2018 as a cryptocurrency platform. In early 2022, eToro added support for U.S. stocks and ETFs.

Users can now place commission-free trades of stocks and ETFs for as little as $10. Like Public.com, eToro also offer fractional shares.

At the time of writing this article, eToro offers trading in 120 different cryptocurrencies and investors can start trading with only $10.

There are social features built into the platform which allow an investor to mirror the trading strategies of successful traders. For example, you can copy a cryptocurrency trader, but the minimum investment is $200. Of course, there is no guarantee of success. There will always be risk when you trade in cryptocurrencies and other volatile assets.

Related reading: How to Get Free Stocks

Investment Options

Public.com provides direct access to more than 9,000 stocks and ETFs and you can purchase full or fractional shares with no trading commissions. It’s easy to search for companies by category and this helps you to build a portfolio around a category.

As an example, if you’re interested in environmentally conscious companies, you can find them quickly without searching for those businesses on an individual basis. Public.com offer Themes that are lists of stocks and funds in a particular category, so you can find investment ideas quickly. This is a great time saver and it’s helpful when you want to spread risk across a sector that you’re passionate about. 

Some of the popular Themes include combat carbon, immigrant founders, reuse and reduce, plant based movement, green power, women in charge, and many more.

Public.com has a simple description of every company that includes trends, user comments, and history. There are conversations about the company that you can read to give you a better feel for how they conduct business.

In 2021, Public.com also began supporting cryptocurrency trades. Over the past year, they’ve added many new cryptocurrencies that can be traded on the platform. At the time of this writing, you can trade 27 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and many others.

eToro offers 2,000+ stocks, plus ETFs and crypto. While they do not have Themes like Public.com does, eToro does offer pre-built portfolios that may appeal to some investors. For example, they have a dividend stock portfolio that makes it easy for investors to have exposure to a number of different companies through a single fund. The minimum to invest in portfolios is $500.

Where eToro really shines is in cryptocurrency. With 120 different cryptocurrencies to choose from, eToro has more to offer than Public.com in this regard.

The ability to copy other traders is a unique and interesting feature of eToro. Through CopyTrader™, you can automatically copy or replicate the trades of certain top users. Currently, this functionality is only available for crypto trading and not available for stocks and ETFs.

To use CopyTrader™, you’ll need a minimum of $200. There are no fees to use the service, but you will be charged spreads and transactions fees as if you were making each trade manually.

Ease of Use

Public.com has been designed to be user-friendly for new investors. The interface is clean and it’s easy to navigate. Simply log into your account, ensure that it’s funded and you’re ready to search for stocks and ETFs that you want to trade.

We find it so easy to use that we have it ranked as the best stock trading app for beginners.

If you prefer, you can peruse the portfolios of your contacts and use those as the starting point for your portfolio.

Stocks can be browsed by category. Clicking on a company will display the relevant information and this can help you to make a decision. There’s also a handy news feed on the home page and you can read posts from other investors by clicking their profiles.

It’s also easy to join discussion groups, follow other investors, direct message people, and even create a chat group of your own.

eToro is simple to use, but this platform does expect a trader to have at least a basic working knowledge of cryptocurrencies and how to trade them.

As such, new investors may struggle to understand some options and transaction types without extra research.

This is reflected in the educational properties of the eToro platform, which are limited. There’s a basic help center, but most of your questions will be answered on the eToro community forum.

Overall, Public.com offers better ease of use.

Pricing and Fees

Public.com charges no commissions on the stock or ETF trades. There are no account minimums, charges to open or close the account, and no maintenance fees to consider. There are fees that will be assessed in certain situations, like paper statements, returned checks, and outgoing wires. However, every brokerage or platform will assess fees in certain situations.

Cryptocurrency trades at Public.com are processed by Apex Crypto and there is a 1-2% markup applied to the transaction. For example, if you buy $100 of Bitcoin, the price you’ll pay will be $101-$102.

eToro also charges no commission on trades of stocks and ETFs. There are no rollover, ticket, management, or additional broker fees to consider. eToro does charge a 1% flat fee to buy or sell cryptocurrency. This will be added to the price (if you’re buying) or deducted from the amount that hits your account (if you’re selling).

Of course, like Public.com and other brokerages, eToro does charge additional fees in certain situations.

Security

To ensure that your investments are safe, it’s good to know that Public.com is a regulated member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). The accounts have automatic insurance up to and including $500,000 and this includes $250,000 for cash claims.

Please note that SIPC protection does not apply to cryptocurrency.

eToro has Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance to cover a cash balance of up to $250,000 (does not cover securities of crytocurrency). The platform is also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and it’s in compliance with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) too.

Both Public.com and eToro use bank-level security to protect user data.

Community and Social Features 

The social community is what separates Public.com from other stock trading apps like Webull and Robinhood. The is an excellent way to communicate and collaborate with other investors. When you share knowledge the entire community can benefit and this is helpful for new investors.

At the core of this functionality is the main feed, but you can track specific feeds easily and that’s where you can connect with others for feedback on strategies and ideas that are working.

Joining networking groups to generate ideas and fresh perspectives can be an extremely useful activity for a new investor.

Although it has fewer community-based features, eToro still has enough features to be considered a social trading platform. There’s a social news feed where you follow more experienced traders, make comments, set cryptocurrency alerts, and interact with others in a similar manner to other social media platforms.

You can check the activities of the more popular investors and search for other traders based on various criteria. Each eToro user profile page will display details about the portfolio of the investor with risk score stats, past performance indicators, and other pertinent parameters. Any trader can opt out of their profile page requirements if they wish, but many choose a public approach to attract followers.

Data and Research 

Public.com is designed to assist a new investor. As a result, there are minimal research and data options. The basic data will be sufficient to make investments, but there are no deeper research tools to explore. Users who want more data will need to turn to a service like Stock Rover.

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Features:
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  • Details on 4,000 ETFs and 40,000 mutual funds
  • Portfolio management (syncs with your brokerage)
  • Detailed portfolio performance
  • Powerful charting and screening
  • Fully customizable

The primary strength of Public.com lies in the investment Themes, which can act as a shortcut to industries and sectors that interest the investor. This allows a new investor to take part in a larger investing trend by matching a company to their criteria.

The eToro approach to research and data is more advanced. The dedicated “Research” tab is underpinned by TipRanks. The platform uses Fintech innovation to access five key criteria, including analyst consensus, analyst price targets, analyst ratings, insider transactions, and hedge fund activity.

The “Research” tab found on most of eToro’s pages is an aggregation of knowledge from leading experts and experienced investors.

Customer Support

Public.com uses a digital ethos when it comes to customer support with multiple channels of contact and no direct phone support. If you have a problem the solution lies within the app and you can connect with support via the live chat feature. Alternatively, you may prefer to use email or a social platform, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to connect with their support team.

The customer support options for eToro are similar (digital support with no phone number). Simply open a ticket, track the progress, search for answers to FAQs, access the knowledge basis, and submit your questions. Before you open a request ticket, check the help center page first because most questions have been answered there. If you need to open a ticket there will be a short waiting period, if you’re impatient and open multiple tickets this may slow down the response times.

Pros and Cons

Public.com Pros:

  • Access to fractional shares from $1: This allows a newer investor to trade in higher value stocks.
  • Automatic reinvesting of dividends: A newer investor can use reinvesting (DRIP) to their advantage.
  • Education: Public.com has a lot of investment education tools and resources that new and more experienced investors can learn from.
  • The community: Access to a lively community of experienced investors and live chat support can be invaluable for most investors.
  • Ease of use: There’s no other trading app that’s as user-friendly as Public.com.

Public Cons:

  • Limited account options: At this time there are no Public retirement accounts. An individual brokerage account is currently the only option.
  • Limited crypto options: Compared to eToro, Public.com offers relatively few cryptocurrencies,

eToro Pros:

  • Cryptocurrencies: There are 120 cryptocurrencies that can be traded on the eToro platform.
  • Learning: Following more experienced traders will help a new investor to learn quickly.
  • Pre-built portfolios: The investment portfolios offered by eToro will appeal to many users.
  • CopyTrader™: You can automatically copy the crypto trades of top traders (be aware that this still involves significant risk).

eToro Cons:

  • Limited options: eToro offers fewer stocks and funds as compared to Public.com
  • Higher minimum for trades: Trades at eToro must be for at least $10 as compared to $1 at Public.com.
  • No investment themes: The Themes offered by Public.com are extremely helpful for finding investments that appeal to you, but eToro does not offer this.

Public.com vs. eToro Conclusion

Both eToro and Public.com are high-quality and well-respected investment platforms with a host of useful features. But, as you can see, they have a unique approach and you will need to determine which one fits your needs.

At this time, eToro is more suitable for cryptocurrency while Public.com is better suited for trading stocks and ETFs. Think about which type of asset you’ll primarily trade and that should give you a good idea of which platform is better suited for you.

And of course, since it’s free to create an account at both Public.com and eToro, you can try each and see which one you like best.

Join Public to get up to $300 of free stock when you make a deposit.*

*Public.com offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. This is not a recommendation. You can lose money with any investment. Open To The Public Investing is a member of FINRA & SIPC. Regulatory and firm fees apply. New customers receive free stock with value $3-300; 0.3% receive the max value. Cryptocurrency trading provided by Apex Crypto LLC (NMLS ID 1828849). Apex Crypto is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services. See Public.com/disclosures/



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