Webull vs. Public: Which is the Better Trading App? (2022)

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Webull vs. Public.com

Today’s investors have many options when it comes to online brokerages and investing apps. With so many choices, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. In this Webull vs. Public.com comparison, we’ll look at two of the most popular trading platforms.

With commission-free trades and no account minimums, both Webull and Public.com are appropriate choices for new investors looking to start investing with any amount of money. However, they take different approaches and, as a result, are most ideal for different types of retail investors.

Before we get into the detailed comparison, it’s important to point out that both Webull and Public.com offer signup bonuses for our readers.

Sign up for Public.com through our referral link to qualify for a free slice of stock worth up to $70.

Sign up for Webull through our referral link and deposit any amount of money to qualify for two free stocks worth up to a combined value of $3,300 (the first stock will be worth $3 to $300 and the second will be worth $7 to $3,000).

Webull Basics

Webull

Webull Financial LLC was founded in 2017 and the app launched in 2018. Investors can use Webull on a desktop or mobile device to make commission-free trades of stock, ETFs, and options, or buy and sell cryptocurrency. The most distinguishing feature of Webull involves the data and research tools it provides.

Read our Webull Review for full details.

Public.com Basics

Public

Public.com‘s investing app launched in late 2019 and quickly earned a reputation as one of the best options for new investors. Through the app, users can trade stocks, funds, and crypto. The user interface is clean and simple to use, providing an excellent experience for investors.

Read our Public.com Review for full details.

Webull vs. Public.com Overview

  • Commission-free trades: Both platforms offer commission-free trades of stocks and ETFs.
  • Fractional shares and account minimums: Both platforms support the buying and selling of fractional shares and no account minimums, allowing any investor to get started easily.
  • Cryptocurrency: Both platforms offer about 25 cryptocurrencies by partnering with Apex Crypto.
  • Social features: Public.com offers many social features that allow users to connect with and learn from other investors. Webull does not include social features.
  • Research: Both platforms help users to research and analyze, but they do it in different ways. Webull provides advanced research tools and Public.com offers themes that list stocks or funds by category.
  • Safeguards: Public.com uses built-in safeguards to notify users about certain risks. For example, the user will see a warning or notification about volatility before purchasing cryptocurrency. These safeguards can help new investors to recoginze risky situations.
  • Payment for Order Flow (PFOF): Public.com does not participate in the controversial (but common) practice of PFOF. Webull does make money through PFOF.
  • Access: Webull can be used as a mobile app, desktop app, or through an internet browser. Currently, Public.com can be used as a mobile app or in a web browser (the browser-based version is new and currently has some limited features).

Public.com

Vital Dollar rating

Mobile app (Android, iOS)

Desktop access

Trade stocks and ETFs

Trade options

No

Trade cryptocurrency

No account minimums

Purchase fractional shares

Extended trading hours

No

Tools for advanced research

No

IRAs

No

Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP)

No

Advanced social features

No

Discover stocks by themes

No

No payment for order flow (PFOF)

No

Signup bonus

Both Webull and Public.com are excellent online brokerages, but they target slightly different types of users.

Public.com is more suitable for new investors thanks to the learning opportunities through social features, investing themes, and built-in safeguards. The user interface is also very user-friendly.

While Webull can certainly be used by new investors, it’s more appropriate for those with some investing experience. The interface isn’t quite as simple to use, and the advanced reporting and analysis tools will be appreciated by experienced investors.

Now, let’s look at the Webull vs. Public.com comparison in several specific areas, and see which one comes out ahead in each area.

Pricing and Fees

Both Webull and Public.com are free to use with no fees to set up or maintain an account. You can trade stocks and ETFs commission-free on both platforms. In addition to purchasing full shares, Webull and Public.com both allow you to purchase fractional shares. Webull supports fractional shares for as little as $5, and Public.com allows you to buy fractional shares (they refer to them as “slices”) for as little as $1.

Of course, both Webull and Public.com do charge fees in some situations. However, neither trading platform currently offers a pro or premium account option.

Webull’s fee schedule:

  • Domestic Wire Transfer (deposit) – $8
  • Domestic Wire Transfer (withdrawal) – $25
  • International Wire Transfer (deposit) – $12.5
  • International Wire Transfer (withdrawal) – $45
  • Transfer from Webull through Apex – $75 per outgoing stock transfer
  • Paper Statements – $5
  • Paper Confirms – $2
  • Paper Prospectus – $2.50

Public.com’s fee schedule:

  • Domestic Wire Transfer – $30
  • Domestic Overnight Check Delivery – $35
  • Returned Check, ACH, Wire & Recall/Stop Payments – $30
  • ACAT – Outgoing – $75
  • Paper Statements – $5
  • Paper Confirms – $2
  • Domestic Overnight Mail – $35
  • International Overnight Mai – $50
  • Restricted Accounts – $10 + commissions
  • Worthless Securities Processing – $30 + other fees may apply
  • Tender Offer Order – $50

All fees are subject to change and a current listing of fees can be found on their websites.

Winner: Tie

With commission-free trades available from both Webull and Public.com, we consider this area a tie.

Top Pick
Get Free Stock from Public.com Get Free Stock from Public.com

Public.com offers fractional shares and the ability to start investing with any amount. You'll love the social aspect that makes it possible to connect with other investors. Get a free bonus worth up to $70 when you open an account through our link.

Pros:
  • Commission-free trades of stocks and ETFs
  • Buy and sell 25 different cryptocurrencies
  • Fractional shares
  • Easy to use and beginner-friendly
  • Connect with a supportive community of investors
Cons:
  • No tools for advanced analysis
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. Cryptocurrency trading offered by Apex Crypto LLC. See Public.com/disclosures/

Getting Started

Both Webull and Public.com make it very easy for new users to get started. You’ll create a free account and enter your personal details to create the account. Regardless of which trading platform you choose, the process will take only a few minutes.

Equally important, both brokerages allow you to get started regardless of how much money you have to invest. There are no account minimums, so even if you only have $1 to invest, that’s not a problem. As a result, both Webull and Public.com are legit options for new investors.

Winner: Tie

Getting started with either of these brokerages is very easy and can be done at your convenience.

Investment Options

Webull allows you to trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency trading is handled by Apex Crypto, an industry leader. Currently, there are about 25 different crypto tokens that can be traded through Webull.

When Webull originally launched, it did not support the buying or selling of fractional shares. Thankfully, this is a feature that was added later, and you can now buy or sell fractional shares of individual stocks and ETFs for as little as $5. That means, if you want to purchase a share of Apple stock or your favorite S&P 500 ETF, you don’t have to buy a full share.

Public.com allows you to trade stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. Like Webull, Public.com uses Apex Crypto to manage cryptocurrency trading. The crypto options are very similar with either trading platform (more options than you’ll get with Robinhood crypto).

Purchasing fractional shares is also an option for Public.com users, but they actually allow you to buy “slices” for as little as $1.

The main difference in the type of investments available is that Webull supports options trading, while Public.com does not. Webull also offers margin trading accounts for users with a balance of at least $2,000. Options, trading on margin, and day trading increase the level of risk, so it makes sense that Public.com does not offer options or margin trading. They’re focused on helping new investors, and encouraging them to trade options or use a margin account would go against the best interests of new investors.

Public.com offers automatic dividend reinvestment (DRIP), while Webull does not. DRIP allows you to have dividends automatically reinvested, which is a great feature if you’re investing in stocks or funds that pay dividends. Within the Public investing settings, there’s an option to turn DRIP on or off at any time.

Neither platform currently allows you to purchase a mutual fund.

Webull supports paper trading, which is essentially a demo account that doesn’t use real money and is helpful for practice.

Winner: Tie

Webull comes out ahead by offering options trading and margin accounts, but Public.com offers DRIP while Webull does not. Overall, we see this as another tie.

Account Types

Webull allows you to open a taxable individual brokerage account, traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or rollover IRA (the IRAs are somewhat recent additions). Investors using IRAs can take advantage of commission-free trades and fractional shares, just like investors using a regular brokerage account.

Public.com currently only offers one account type, individual brokerage accounts. The option to invest in an IRA would be a welcomed addition, so hopefully, retirement accounts will be offered in the future.

Currently, neither trading platform offers joint accounts or custodial accounts. If you’re interested in a joint or custodial account, we recommend M1 Finance.

Winner: Webull

Webull is the winner here by offering IRAs.

Commission-Free Trades
Get Two Free Stocks from Webull! Get Two Free Stocks from Webull!

Webull is a free investing app that provides advanced reporting tools and allows you to make free trades of stocks, ETFs, and options. Right now Webull is offering two free stocks when you signup through our link (use the button below) and deposit any amount.

Pros:
  • Commission-free trades of stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency
  • Buy fractional shares for any amount
  • Extended trading hours
  • Advanced reporting tools
  • IRAs now available
  • 24/7 customer service
Cons:
  • No joint accounts
  • No custodial accounts

Community and Social Features

One of the most significant differences between these two online brokerages is the social aspect of Public.com. Webull, like most brokerages, does not include social features. This is how Public.com stands out in a crowded market. The social features are both interesting and useful, especially for a new investor.

The social features of Public.com include:

  • Connect with other investors and get involved in community discussions
  • See the stocks and funds others are buying and selling
  • Learn from the supportive community of users

Public.com users can follow other users, connect with friends and family who are also on the platform, and make new connections. When you open the app, you’ll see discussions and opportunities to learn or get involved.

Overall, the community of users is very supportive and welcoming. Many users are willing to help others and answer questions. Community members want others to succeed and you’ll see a lot of people sharing.

One of the ways that Public.com encourages users to get involved is through “Town Halls”, which are discussions with founders or executives of publicly traded companies. The average investor typically doesn’t have access to executives of the companies they invest in or are considering investing in. Public.com changes this by giving users the chance to interact with executives and ask questions about their company. It’s a very valuable feature for those who get involved.

Winner: Public.com

Public.com is the obvious winner here. The social features are the main way that Public.com differentiates itself. If you have an interest in connecting with other investors or learning, you’ll appreciate the social aspect.

Desktop and App Options

Webull users can manage their accounts, place trades, and make deposits or withdrawals from the mobile app (for Android and iOS), a desktop app (for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux), or through an internet browser. The three different versions will naturally look and function slightly differently, but they all provide a similar user experience. For example, you’re not limited to what you can do on the mobile app. You can completely manage your account regardless of how you’re connecting to Webull.

Public.com users can manage their accounts, place trades, and make deposits or withdrawals through the mobile app (available for Android and iOS). Browser-based access was recently rolled out. While it is functional, not all features are available in the browser version just yet.

Winner: Webull

Webull comes out ahead here by offering full desktop access in addition to the mobile app, (although Public.com should be caught up soon).

Ease of Use

The Public.com user interface is very well-designed. It’s clean and very simple and logical to use. There’s very little learning curve and everything feels intuitive. Whether you’re a new or experienced investor, you’ll find Public.com easy to use.

Webull, on the other hand, is not as well-designed. There’s a lot going on and the user interface feels a bit cluttered. This is partly due to the fact that Webull offers more in terms of reporting and trading tools, but it’s also just a matter of Public.com having better design than Webull.

Winner: Public.com

I wouldn’t say Webull is difficult to use or poorly designed, but it’s not as easy to use as Public.com. It’s clear that Public.com has gone to great lengths to make its platform as user-friendly as possible.

Beginner-Friendliness

Overall, Public.com is very well suited for beginners and new investors. Between the user-friendly interface, the social features that offer outstanding learning opportunities, and the proactive notifications that warn users of many risky investments, Public.com is the best option for beginners.

Webull is more appropriate for investors who have some experience. However, it’s still relatively beginner-friendly. Both platforms are suitable for beginners by offering accounts with no minimums, and by offering fractional shares.

Winner: Public.com

Public.com comes out ahead here with several features that are extremely useful for new investors.

Related reading: M1 Finance Review

Data and Research

Both platforms provide some tools and data for research and analysis, but they do it in very different ways.

Webull offers tools like a stock screener (no screener for ETFs), charting functionality, fundamental data, and news. Users are able to get more information and do more research with Webull than almost any other stock trading app. This is where Webull stands out for the active trader.

While Public.com does not provide the same tools for research and analysis, they do offer investing themes that are incredibly helpful. They have a huge number of themes that basically categorize stocks and funds so users can find the right types of investment opportunities. You’ll find themes for things like dividend stocks, companies with female CEOs, e-commerce-based businesses, SaaS companies, green power energy companies, and much more. New investors are more likely to appreciate the themes than tools for technical research.

Winner: Tie

New investors are likely to appreciate the data provided by Public.com, especially the investing themes. Investors with more experience may appreciate the advanced tools offered by Webull.

Support and Customer Service

Public.com offers customer support via email and in-app chat functionality. Support reps are available to answer questions via chat from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.

Webull customers have access to customer service by phone (1-888-828-0618) or email. You can also submit a request for assistance directly through the app.

Winner: Webull

Both Public.com and Webull offer excellent support options compared to most stock trading and investing apps. However, Webull has a slight edge because they have support reps available 24 hours a day.

Free Stock Bonus

Both Webull and Public.com offer incentives for new users to sign up. If you sign up for Public.com through our referral link, you’ll get a free slice of stock worth up to $70.

Webull’s promotions change from time to time, but the current promotion offers one free stock when you sign up (valued at $3 – $300), and another free stock (valued at $7 – $3,000) for making an initial deposit of any amount.

Public.com gives you the option to choose the stock you want to receive, while Webull gives you stock at random. Still, there’s no reason not to sign up for both to get two bonuses. And if you like free stock, please see our article with many more ways to get free stock.

Webull Advantages

Now that we’ve covered a lot of details, let’s look at the ways Webull excels.

  • Tools for advanced research and analysis. Intermediate and experienced traders will appreciate that data that’s available from Webull. This is the most significant way that Webull is different from most other stock trading apps.
  • Extended trading hours. Webull supports pre-market and after hours trading (4:00 am – 8:00 pm) , while Public.com allows trading during the normal stock market hours of 9:30 am – 4:00 pm.
  • Desktop access in addition to the mobile app. You can manage your Webull account or trade from either a desktop or mobile device, while Public.com currently only offers the mobile device.
  • IRAs, Roth IRAs, and Rollover IRAs. In addition to taxable brokerage accounts, Webull offers IRAs, while Public.com currently does not.
  • Options trading. In addition to stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrency, Webull users can also trade options.
  • 24/7 customer support. Customer support reps are available 24 hours per day instead of only during normal business hours.

Public.com Advantages

Of course, Public.com also offers several important advantages, including:

  • Ease of use. The app is very well-designed and user-friendly, even for first-time investors.
  • Social investing. Public.com’s social features are perfect for new investors who want to learn, or anyone who enjoys connecting with other investors. It’s a very supportive community and a great place to learn.
  • Investing themes. Public.com provides lists of investment options in various categories, which makes it easy to find the companies and funds you want to invest in.
  • Built-in safe guards. Public.com will warn you if you’re about to make an investment that is deemed to be risky. Of course, this doesn’t prevent you from losing money, but it does show that Public.com is looking to protect the best interest of investors.
  • Beginner-friendly. For all of the reasons listed above, Public.com is an excellent option for new investors.
  • Automatic dividend reinvestments. With Public.com, you’ll have the option to automatically revinest any dividends you receive from stocks or ETFs (this is not currently available with Webull).
  • No payment for order flow. Payment for order flow (PFOF) allows brokerages to generate revenue with by directing orders to different parties for trade execution. It’s a somewhat controversial practice, and Public.com made changes to stop generating revenue with PFOF. Instead, Public.com instituted an optional tipping functionality so users can leave a tip if they choose when placing a trade.

Final Thoughts on Webull vs. Public.com

Both Webull and Public.com are excellent options for investors looking to trade stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrency. Many investors find these apps to be more convenient than traditional brokers like TD Ameritrade or Ally Invest. Webull and Public.com have slightly different approaches, and as a result, they’re ideally suited for different types of investors.

Our final Webull vs. Public.com verdict:

  • We recommend Public.com for new investors, those who want to connect with and learn from other investors, and those who are looking for an easy, user-friendly experience.
  • We recommend Webull for intermediate to experienced investors who will take advantage of the reporting and analysis tools that are available.

Read next: M1 Finance Review



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