Investing is intimidating enough without having to worry about which investing app to use.

That’s why I made this site, that way people will be able to have access to reliable investing information and make a better financial future for themselves.

So if you want to get started investing in the stock market to see if you can become the next Warren Buffet or Peter Lynch but don’t want to stress out about the app you’re using being too confusing, Acorns and Public are two options you should consider.

Here’s a breakdown of what we think about these two investing apps. 

Which investing app is better, Acorns or Public?


Services 80%
Simplicity 100%
Sign-ups 90%
Stock Research 75%
Store Rating 90%


Services 70%
Simplicity 90%
Sign-ups 90%
Stock Research 75%
Store Rating 90%
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Overall, both of these apps are very easy to use and score similarly in most areas. 

Acorns is pretty much the easiest app in the fintech industry, so it has a slight edge there, and while it doesn’t offer a ridiculous amount of features, the app is designed to be hands-off so we feel it makes sense that it shouldn’t get punished too heavily for not doing things it wasn’t ever meant to do.

Public is an easy app to use, but you’re going to be using a very limited platform, even if it is pretty polished.

Both apps are decent, but if you’re more interested in passive investing, then Acorns is going to definitely be the best choice.

If you want to be a day-trader, you may want to consider skipping both of these apps and using something like Webull, Etrade, Thinkorswim, Tradestation, Ninjatraders, or at least using a third party stock analysis resource.

Both Acorns and Public offer investors access to fractional shares and a Dividend Re-Investment plan, which is very useful, but those are the most useful features you’re going to find on either one.

Acorns vs Public: Services and features

Acorns Services 80%
Public Services 70%

If you’re wondering what kind of features or monthly fees Acorns or Public have, then this section will cover all of that.

We show both apps side-by-side so you can get an idea of which one offers more features.



Acorns FeaturesFree AccountPremium AccountPublic FeaturesFree AccountPremium Account
Monthly FeeN/A$1/$3/$5 per monthMonthly Fee$0N/A
Minimum BalanceN/A$0Minimum Balance$0N/A
Instant DepositsN/Ainvesting apps feature noInstant Depositsinvesting apps feature noN/A
Automatic DepositsN/Ainvestment app feature yesAutomatic Depositsinvesting apps feature noN/A
StocksN/Ainvesting apps feature noStocksinvestment app feature yesN/A
ETFsN/Ainvestment app feature yesETFsinvestment app feature yesN/A
OptionsN/Ainvesting apps feature noOptionsinvesting apps feature noN/A
CryptocurrencyN/Ainvesting apps feature noCryptocurrencyinvesting apps feature noN/A
Fractional SharesN/Ainvestment app feature yesFractional Sharesinvestment app feature yesN/A
DRIP/FRIPN/Ainvestment app feature yesDRIP/FRIPinvestment app feature yesN/A
BondsN/Ainvesting apps feature noBondsinvesting apps feature noN/A
Mutual FundsN/Ainvesting apps feature noMutual Fundsinvesting apps feature noN/A
Paper TradingN/Ainvesting apps feature noPaper Tradinginvesting apps feature noN/A
Margin AccountsN/Ainvesting apps feature noMargin Accountsinvesting apps feature noN/A
Retirement AccountsN/Ainvestment app feature yesRetirement Accountsinvesting apps feature noN/A
Banking ServicesN/Ainvestment app feature yesBanking Servicesinvesting apps feature noN/A
Human AdvisorsN/Ainvesting apps feature noHuman Advisorsinvesting apps feature noN/A
Robo AdvisorsN/Ainvestment app feature yesRobo Advisorsinvesting apps feature noN/A
Stock ScreenersN/Ainvesting apps feature noStock Screenersinvesting apps feature noN/A
Level 2 Market DataN/Ainvesting apps feature noLevel 2 Market Datainvesting apps feature noN/A
OtherN/ARound-upsOtherCommunity ChatN/A

Which investment app has the best services and features?

Neither one of these apps have a huge amount of features, BUT that doesn’t mean neither one of them are usable.

Acorns, in particular, is a wonderful investing app and makes investing super easy, especially with the Round-ups.

Public has a neat feature where people can share what they are investing in and why with the community, which is pretty interesting to see inside an investment app.

If Public ever adds in a few more features, then I think they’ll really be a force to be reckoned with, but for now Acorns just feels like it offers more to the average investor.

Easiest investing app, Acorns or Public?

Acorns Simplicity 100%
Public Simplicity 90%

Acorns simplicity

acorns investing

Acorns was designed to be a ridiculous simple app to use, and none of the other apps are really going to be able to beat it.

It pretty much does everything for you except make the initial capital, so there isn’t much room for improvement as far as simplicity is concerned.

Public simplicity

Public is a refreshingly easy to use investing app too, which I feel is important for new investors, although I feel like since Public is more focused on active portfolio management rather than passive management, it should have a few more features.

Which investment app is easiest to use?

Both of these apps offer fractional shares, which is one of the more important factors for having an easy to use investing platform, however, Acorns is by far the easiest to use investing app out there.

Public is easy to use, but it just can’t compete with Acorns.

Acorns and Public sign-up and referral bonuses

Acorns Sign-up and Referrals 90%
Public Sign-up and Referrals 90%

Pretty much every single brokerage out there has money to pay users to join their service, so we’re going to talk about the Acorns and Public referral programs and how you can profit from them.

You don’t have to be an affiliate marketer to benefit from programs like this so it’s a good idea to at least be aware of potential opportunities to get free money.

Acorns sign-up and referral bonuses

acorns referrals

At first glance, the Acorns sign-up and referral program seems pretty mediocre…

They reward you with $5 for signing up and investing $5, and they will also give you an additional $5 for every new user you refer who also invests $5.

Where Acorns really shines, other than their simplicity of course, is their monthly promotions for referrals.

Pretty much every month, Acorns will have a promotion where they reward users a chunk of cash, usually hundreds of dollars, when they refer multiple people in a month.

This month they are giving out $1,000 for referring 4 friends. 

When you get good at getting referrals, 4 or 5 people in a month is not a big deal, and a few hundred dollars each month can add up quickly.

Public sign-up and referral bonuses

Public has a really decent sign-up and referral system, where they give people a reliable amount that’s a little higher than average for the industry for each referral, but without the huge promotions of apps like Acorns and Webull, who shower their users with promotions.

Unlike some of the other investing apps, Public doesn’t require any deposits to be made for people to receive their rewards, which is a huge bonus if you’re promoting to people without a lot of disposable income.

Best sign-up and referral program?

Public is easier to get people to sign up for, mostly because it’s free and doesn’t require any kind of deposit.

Acorns will get you more money overall if you put in the time to actually promote it, but for some people that can be a big hassle.

Neither of these apps have an appealing enough sign-up bonus to really choose one over the other, so I would consider this category mostly a tie, with a possible slight edge to Acorns because of the huge promotions.

Acorns vs Public - best stock research tools

Acorns Stock Research 75%
Public Stock Research 75%

Acorns stock research tools

Acorns picks an ETF based on your risk tolerance, which is based on the answer you provide Acorns when you set up your account.

There isn’t really any use for research tools, although Acorns does have a lot of articles about investing and they have a tool that will show you projected portfolio size over time based on how much you are investing each month, etc…

Public stock research tools

For an active investing app, Public is lacking in the tools department a bit, but for a mobile investment app, they are decent enough…

I’d suggest using a third party research source though to help get a little more data though, because the tools just aren’t there yet.

Best stock research tools, Acorns or Public?

Neither one of these apps has great tools, BUT since Acorns is more of a passive investing app, it seems fair to call it the winner here.

Acorns doesn’t require the use of research tools because Acorns robo-advisor takes care of it for you. Public simply doesn’t do that.

Which investing app is your favorite?

Now that you know how we feel about the Acorns and Public investing apps, what do you think?

Do you agree with us?

Do you like Public instead of Acorns?

Let us know, and have a wonderful day.

Good luck investing!