Stash vs Public

Stash or—which app is better in 2022? Compare investing accounts, online trading fees, stock broker extended hours, and differences.

Outline of Stash and

If you’re new to the world of brokers and investing, you may be considering an account with Stash. But Public is another zero-commission firm that attempts to simplify investing as much as possible. Is Public a better option than Stash? Here’s the answer:


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
Public $0 na na $0 $0
Stash $0 na na $1-$3-$9 per month $1-$3-$9 per month


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating

Open Account

Public: Get a FREE stock and $0 commission stocks/ETFs/partial shares.

Stash: Get $20 bonus stock with this referral link.

Category #1: Available Investments

Public customers can trade these products:

  • ETFs
  • Closed-end funds
  • Stocks
  • Cryptocurrencies

At Stash, we found these assets:

  • Stocks
  • Exchange-traded funds

And don’t let these lists mislead you. Stash actually limits the number of stocks and ETFs that are available; so Public customers will be able to trade some stocks and ETFs that aren’t tradable on the Stash platform.

Winner: Public

Public vs Stash

Category #2: Methods of Investing

Stash offers retirement, custodial, and regular brokerage accounts. The company does charge a monthly account fee (either $1, $3, or $9). The pricier plans include more features, such as a metal debit card (discussed here shortly) and a monthly newsletter. If you want to open an IRA or custodial account, you’ll have to opt for one of the more expensive plans.

The debit card is part of Stash’s round-up program. Purchases made with the card are automatically rounded up, and the change is sent to a Stash investment account. The broker also offers a Stock-Back™ program that provides free (fractional) shares of stocks from certain merchants when you shop there with the Stash debit card.

Public offers only individual brokerage accounts with no cash management tools. But there’s no monthly fee, either.

Winner: Stash

Stash invest pricing plans

Category #3: Learning Materials

As just mentioned, Stash sends out a monthly market insights report, but it’s only available for Stash Plus customers (at $9 per month). The brokerage firm hosts a list of FAQs on its site. They cover all of the services the company offers. Stash also has articles on investing and personal finance.

At Public, we found another list of articles (mostly on investing). Profiles of assets don’t have much information on them, which is the same situation we found at Stash.

Winner: Tie

Category #4: Desktop Software

Stash’s website is easy to use, but it doesn’t have a lot of advanced trading tools on it. There is no charting, for example. The brokerage firm does offer an ETF portfolio builder tool, which beginners may find useful.

Stash Portfolio

Although we found Stash’s tools somewhat underwhelming, Public performs even worse here, offering no website login at all.

Winner: Stash

Category #5: Mobile Platforms

Stash customers also get to use a mobile app. It’s basically a clone of the website, with many of the same tools and very similar layout. There are tabs for learning, spending, investing, and the broker’s Auto-Stash feature. It’s possible to scroll through investments using pre-installed categories or by keyword.

Public also has a fairly simple mobile app. Like Stash, Touch ID is a standard feature, but mobile check deposit is missing. There are some very simple charts with no tools. The app does come with limit, market, and stop orders. That’s two more orders than Stash offers (just market orders). Social Trading

Another feature on the Public app we found useful is the social-networking forum. After you place a trade, you can post it, and other traders can comment on it. It’s also possible to follow other traders.

Winner: Public

Category #6: Other Services

Dividend Reinvestment Program: Public will take cash dividends from stocks and ETFs and convert them into more shares of the assets that paid them. This is called a DRIP service, and it’s completely free. Stash has a DRIP, too.

IRAs: Stash customers can open Roth and Traditional IRAs. Public doesn’t have any retirement options.

Fractional-Share Trading: Both broker-dealers in this survey offer whole-dollar investments into securities. This translates into fractional shares.

Winner: Stash

Our Recommendations

Stock and ETF Trading: Public has a larger selection of stocks and ETFs; so it’s our pick.

Beginners: Stash is designed for newbies.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: Stash is the only option right now.

Small Accounts: Stash’s monthly fee means it’s not a good value for small accounts. We recommend Public instead.

Open Account

Public: Get a FREE stock and $0 commission stocks/ETFs/partial shares.

Stash: Get $20 bonus stock with this referral link.

Public vs Stash Summary

Overall, these two brokerage houses are very even. While Stash does offer some interesting services, its monthly fee puts small investors out in the cold.

Broker Reviews

Go to Public Review
or to Stash Review

About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.