Public vs Sofi

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

Overview of Public and SoFi

Young investors often turn to SoFi Invest or for modern trading services. But which broker delivers the best overall experience? That’s what this article is going to find out.


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
Sofi Invest $0 na na $0 $0
Public $0 na na $0 $0


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

Open Account

Sofi Invest: 0% SoFi management fees. Plus, unlimited access to financial planners.

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

Investment Vehicles

SoFi Invest customers can buy and sell:

- Stocks
- Exchange-traded and closed-end funds
- Cryptocurrencies

Traders at Public have access to stocks, cryptocurrencies, and funds (not including mutual funds).

Winner: Tie

Investment Methods

Public offers self-directed accounts. SoFi Invest provides both self-directed and managed accounts, the latter available only with a robo advisor.

Winner: SoFi Invest

PC Trading

SoFi Invest's site offers several trading tools, including:

- A simple trade ticket with market and limit orders
- Basic charts with line format (but no tools)
- A watchlist
- Security profiles

Sofi vs Public

During our exploration, we found SoFi’s site easy to navigate, although the digital tools were a little lacking in sophistication.

Winner: SoFi Invest

Mobile Apps

Public’s app is simple without much trading sophistication. One difference is that Public’s app has a community forum where users can chat with each other.

Public vs Sofi

SoFi’s app doesn’t have the social networking feature. Instead, it just grabs its website and recreates it in mobile format. The tools you find on the website you’ll find on the mobile app.

Sofi Invest App

Winner: Public

Research and Education

At SoFi Invest, we don’t quite get a high level of education. Security profiles have very scant information. We found basic trade details like:

Sofi Invest or

- Volume
- P/E ratio
- Daily low

There are also links (with thumbnails) to external news articles.

Now we come to Public, and we don’t see a drastic improvement. The broker’s website hosts answers to common questions, such as:

- What is the debt-to-equity ratio?
- How do dividends work?
- What are the advantages of ETFs?
- What is a stock split?

Public also provides free webinars on a variety of investing topics. On the day we did our research, we found these examples:

Public vs Sofi Invest

- Women and Money Roundtable: Investing
- Intro to Impact Investing

There are limited seats to these virtual events.

Winner: Tie

Miscellaneous Services

Dividend reinvestment program: Available at both brokerage firms at zero cost.

IRAs: Only SoFi Invest has Individual Retirement Accounts.

Fractional-share trading: Public and SoFi Invest customers can invest whole dollars.

Winner: SoFi Invest

Our Recommendations

Retirement savers and long-term investors: Target-date mutual funds are not available at any of the two brokers in this survey. But SoFi Invest does offer portfolio management (via its robo service) and IRAs. Plus, we like its educational materials on retirement.

Beginners: This is a hard one. We do like Public’s app-based social network, while SoFi Invest has very good learning materials. We pick Public.

ETF and stock trading: Public for their trade ticket.

Small accounts: Public again.

Open Account

Sofi Invest: 0% SoFi management fees. Plus, unlimited access to financial planners.

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

Public vs Sofi Invest Results

Public has the edge overall. We especially like the social-networking dimension.

Open Public Account

Open Sofi Account

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.