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Written by Logan Robison on February 11, 2021
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Webull vs Public 2021: Best App For Beginners?

Selecting an investing app is one of the most important and most frequently overlooked steps in getting started with investing.

Many new investors simply rely on whatever their friend is using without looking into the options out there. Or maybe they see an ad on their Facebook feed for an app and just decide to go with that.

In reality, all of the options out there are quite different and tailor towards distinct audiences. Depending on your investing style, it's likely that there is at least one app tailor-made for you. It's just a matter of doing some research and learning the ins and outs of each.

In this review, we dive into two great platforms for beginners known as Webull and Public.

Both are relatively new, but both have very unique roles to play.

Webull vs Public: The Basics

Webull is built for active investors and provides significant research tools and data to help traders move quickly. The app has a much more complex interface given all of the additional data. This can be intimidating for brand-new investors who are looking for a very simple way to buy and sell stocks.

Public provides a much simpler interface and tailors more so towards novice investors. The platform is quite unique thanks to the social aspect. One of the cornerstones of the app is the feed that gives you the ability to follow other investors and view their portfolios.

Both apps are commission-free and don't charge any monthly maintenance fee to use. On top of that, there is no required minimum for either account. So if you're a complete beginner investor, both apps will allow you to get started from scratch.

Here are the similarities and differences between Webull vs Public.

Product Features Overall Price Buy Now
webull review

Webull Review 2021: Best Free Investing App?

  • Pricing
  • Data & Charting Tools
  • Beginner Friendly
  • Account Types
  • Sign Up Incentive
  • Assets
Download Webull
Public Brokerage Review

Public App Review 2021: Best Investing App?

  • Pricing
  • Beginner Friendly
  • Account Types
  • Sign Up Incentive
  • Social Investing
  • Research/Data Tools
Invest With Public


Public vs Webull: Summary

  • Public allows investors to interact with other investors through chat and comment functions
  • Webull allows users to trade on a mobile app, web, or desktop platform
  • Both platforms offer trading without commissions or account minimums
  • Webull has advanced data and research that is free to use
  • Public offers automatic dividend reinvestment while Webull does not have that capability
  • Webull offers retirement accounts which Public does not
  • You get 2 free stock worth up to $1,850 when you sign up for Webull + deposit $100
  • Public offers you a free $10 stock slice when you open an account
  • Public offers prebuilt portfolios or investment themes that are free to invest in
  • Webull does not offer any kind of prebuilt portfolios

Offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. See

Account Minimums$0$0
Fractional SharesYesYes
Account TypesRetirement, Individual BrokerageIndividual Brokerage
Trading CommissionsNoneNone
Trading FeaturesStocks, ETFs, Margin Investing, Short-SellingStocks, ETFs
PlatformsMobile app, web version, desktop versionMobile app

What Is Webull?

Webull was founded in 2017 as an app-based brokerage for investors looking to explore stock and ETF trading. Since then, they have expanded into options trading as well as crypto trading.

While Webull does provide a lot of data, they have gone to great lengths to make sure this data is user-friendly and as simple as possible. They aim to supply you with all of the data and research tools you need in an easy-to-navigate platform.

Investors of all experience levels should be able to navigate the platform with relative ease and make investments.

Webull: Key Features

Webull offers many great features in order to put the power back in the hands of the investors. These features include commission-free trades, mobile, web-based, and desktop apps, paper trading, and investing data and research.

Commission-Free Trades

Webull offers over 5,000 stocks and ETFs, all of which trade with no commissions. Coupled with this are the options that are available with $0 commissions, $0 contract fees, and $0 assignment or exercise fees. This puts a whole lot of money back into the pockets of options traders.

In addition to trading capabilities with no commissions for active traders, Webull also offers retirement accounts and is one of the only commission-free trading apps with no account minimums or account fees on their IRAs. This means you can start saving for retirement with whatever you currently have.

Webull offers traditional, Roth, and Rollover IRAs. All of which can be leveraged at different stages in the investing lifestyle to increase wealth and gain financial stability.

Margin trading is also available for investors who have over $2,000 in their account. The margin rate is variable and is determined by the size of the margin loan.

Webull Free Training

We put together a free 30 minute video training that walks you through the entire process, step by step. This training will help you get up and running in no time at all.


Free Extended Hours Trading

The US stock market is open to most investors from 9:30 am - 4:00 pm EST Monday through Friday. However, some investors can trade before the market opens or after the market closes.

All investors on Webull have this ability and will be able to trade from 4:00 am - 8:00 pm EST Monday through Friday. This gives investors on the platform additional time to react to market-moving events like earnings reports or breaking news.

It should be noted that there is typically more volatility outside of normal market hours though because there is less trading going on.

Fractional Shares

Fractional shares allow investors to invest in dollar amounts and not whole shares of companies. This feature is one of the greatest innovations in modern-day investing. Webull sets itself apart from many other brokerage firms by allowing you to invest the exact amount you can afford.

Instead of saving up to purchase an expensive stock, you can buy in slowly by investing a certain dollar amount as frequently or as infrequently as you want. This reduces the amount of idle cash you'll have sitting on the sidelines with your portfolio.

With Webull, you can invest as much as you can afford. Fractional shares are another feature that has leveled the investing playing field and one that makes Webull stand out.

Mobile and Web-Based Platforms

With Webull, you can trade on both their mobile phone app and their online web platform. This is something that not many companies offer. You can log in and manage your account on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and the web. Webull has made it possible and convenient to manage your trades from wherever is most convenient for you.

In addition, Webull offers a desktop app that you can download and utilize as a software program on your desktop as opposed to simply trading on the web version.

Using the desktop platform will provide investors with substantially more resources and tools for making effective investments. The Webull Desktop 4.0 platform is one of the most comprehensive free trading platforms we have come across in our research.

webull market data

Paper Trading

Webull paper trading is essentially a trading simulator that allows you to practice your trading strategies.

When you sign up for paper trading, Webull gives you $1,000,000 to trade with.

These funds of course, are not real, but they mimic the market exactly so you can see what would have happened based on your decisions.

These market simulations can help you test the waters and determine if you are up for the job of investing your own hard-earned cash. The fun doesn’t stop there, Webull is also known to hold competitions to see who’s who of trading.

In 2019 it offered a first-place prize of $500 to the winner of the event.

While the emotions involved with paper trading are not the same as those of real trading, it can be a great way to get your feet wet and learn the ins and outs of the platform before your hard-earned cash is on the line.

Data & Research Tools

Webull offers both fundamental and technical data. This means that no matter who you are, when you are investing in a company, you should know the basics about their income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. These are all available within the Webull platform.

More technical research is likewise available with Webull. Take advantage of the 20+ technical indicators to gauge your investment making decisions. These technical indicators are pretty advanced for most investors and many free brokerages simply don’t offer them.

However, a word to the wise, all this information can be a bit overwhelming. So do your research and make sure you are focusing on the most important data points without suffering from analysis paralysis.

Webull Crypto

On the Webull platform, investors have the ability to buy and sell a number of different cryptocurrencies. These include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and more.

There are no commissions on crypto trades and you are able to buy and sell 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It is important to note that any cryptocurrency purchased on Webull cannot be transferred off of the platform. This is significant because unlike other investments that are protected by SIPC insurance, cryptos do not receive the same protections.

For this reason, many seasoned crypto investors prefer to store their coins in a hardware wallet. In order to do this, you'll need to go through a broker that specializes in cryptos like Coinbase.

Webull Pros

  • Sleeck mobile app
  • Plentiful data and research
  • Paper trading platform to try before you buy
  • 2 free stocks when you sign up and deposit $100
  • Retirement accounts available
  • Fractional shares
  • Access to options and cryptocurrency trading

Webull Cons

  • Overwhelming amount of data for total beginners
  • Not a long track record

What Is Public?

Public has inserted itself into the crowded space by integrating a well-loved feature into investing... social media!

That’s right, Public has brought a new product to market by merging two completely different worlds; investing and social media. This platform enables investors looking to make money and friends to collaborate with like-minded individuals who share a passion for building wealth.

Public Features

Public offers standard features like zero account minimums, no commissions, and fractional shares but mixes it with innovative offerings like chat/social functions to make Public a great option for first-time investors.

Social Investing

Public allows investors to follow investing favorites and connect with friends and see their investing activity. Observe where your friends are making moves and putting their money through a Twitter-like feed of comments and actions.

Some new investors might feel a little uneasy at the thought of divulging their stock moves and preferences. However, don’t let this feature intimidate you. Instead, recognize that although you don’t know everything, neither does anyone else. This is a great chance to get feedback on your strategy from advanced and seasoned investors.

In addition, you can follow investors you look up to on the platform in order to learn from the best.

Account Minimums

Public, just like the many brokerage accounts that came before and the many that will come after, has no account minimums on their investment accounts. This means you can invest as much, or as little as you want to start out your investing journey.

Previously, almost all brokerage fees required large sums of money to begin investing and this was seen as a large barrier for those trying to improve their finances. This feature of no account minimums means that the playing field has been leveled for all retail investors.

Public Brokerage top movers and losers

No Commissions

Public has waived all commissions on stock and ETF trades. This is a great benefit for all users!

Now, each dollar that you make in returns, you get to keep (excluding capital gains taxes).

Public also offers automatic dividend reinvestment (DRIP). This is great because investing your dividends is a lot like compound interest. You get to earn money on the money you have accumulated thanks to the dividends paid out! This is one advantage that Public has over Webull.

Of course, you can still choose to take your dividends as cash, but most long-term investors will do well to reinvest their dividends to speed up their portfolio's growth.

Fractional Shares

Just like Webull, Public allows users to trade in fractional shares. This is a huge value add to users on Public and is becoming mainstream on many investing platforms.

Investing Options

Public has over 5,000 stocks to choose from. These include big-ticket companies like Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. With Public, you can organize watch lists and even search for categories of companies instead of entering specific names.

For example, if you want to invest in women- or minority-led companies, Public has a category for that. This can significantly cut down on your research time if you're not looking to go too in-depth.

Included with a description of the company is information like trends, comments, and company history. It also includes a list of subsidiary companies that the company owns. This allows you to be relatively informed before making an investment decision.

Public also touts several ETFs created by some of the biggest names in investing: BlackRock, Fidelity, and Vanguard. These firms certainly know how to build top-performing portfolios of stocks so investing with them is often the more intelligent route.

By taking advantage of these low-cost options, investors can easily diversify their portfolios without spending hours researching individual companies.

Public Brokerage Stock Investing


Although there are no commission fees, there are still some costs that may occasionally arise.

Here are some fees to be aware of with Public:

  • Broker-manned phone trades – $30
  • Domestic wire transfer – $30
  • Domestic overnight checks – $35
  • Returned checks or stop payments – $30
  • ACAT outgoing – $75
  • Paper statements – $35

Most of these fees do not apply to the majority of investors, however, if you're thinking about taking one of these actions, you'll want to be aware of any potential fees.

Public Pros

  • Fractional shares allow for increased diversification
  • No account minimums or commission fees
  • Social aspect with chat and activity feed
  • Dividend reinvestment plan to take advantage of compound interest
  • $10 free stock slice when you sign up

Public Cons

  • Limited account options (no tax-advantaged retirement accounts)
  • No mutual funds
  • No ability to day trade
  • Limited financial data

Webull vs Public: The Verdict

The decision between Webull compared to Public comes down to what you are looking for out of your brokerage.

Both are going to offer you stock and ETF trading that is 100% commission-free. However, Webull takes this a step further by offering commission-free options trading and margin accounts.

If you want to invest for retirement, Webull offers IRAs while Public does not. You are able to purchase fractional shares on both platforms.

Webull is designed for beginner to intermediate traders who want access to lots of research tools and data. Public has less information available, making it more beginner-friendly. Public is for those who are looking to make investing a social experience.

If you plan to do much active trading or day trading, Webull will be your best bet since Public does not allow day trading. However, if you're just looking for something simple to set up for the long term in a few minutes, you might be better off going with Public.

At the end of the day, both are free, so maybe try each one to see which you prefer!

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Article written by Logan Robison
Logan graduated with a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and currently works in merchandising for a large retailer. In his free time he loves to hike and camp with his wife and son. Logan is also heavily involved in real estate investing and manages a blog and email newsletter for pet owners (

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