Public App Review (Matador): Free Dollar-Based Stock Trades, Free Stock Slice

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Updated. Public, formerly known as Matador, is a new brokerage app that combines several different features that you might have seen separately elsewhere:

  • Free dollar-based stock trades with no minimum balance. Not only can you trade any stock for free, you can also choose to trade fractional shares in real-time for free as well. For example, Google stock may trade at over $1,000 a share, but you can buy just $50 worth if you want with no commission.
  • Free stock slice via referral. Details below.
  • Social investing. You can “follow” other investors and see their portfolio holdings and recent trade activity.

Referral bonus details. Here is my Public referral link for a free slice of stock. Thanks if you use it! The updated terms of this detail are a bit vague – my app just says a “free slice of stock”. Here is their link with full terms. Sounds like the value varies, up to $50. Note that you are not allowed to withdraw the value of the free stock received for up to 90 days after the free promotional stock is received.

Interest on cash sweep. You may have seen that Public used to offer 2.5% interest on idle cash up to $10,000. This was a pretty high interest rate at the time, but as after the Fed rate drops in early 2020, it was apparently unsustainable. As of March 30th, 2020, Public stopped paying interest on idle cash.

Other inner details. Public (formerly Matador) is part of T3 Securities, which is a broker-dealer member of FINRA and SIPC. The clearing firm is Apex Clearing, as with many other similar apps. Public uses Plaid to link your external bank accounts for ACH transfers, which is a widely-used third-party service. The default setting is free paperless trade confirmations and statements, otherwise a physical trade confirmation is $2 a pop and a paper statement is $5 a pop.

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Comments

  1. No Android version. No deal.

    While Robinhood was the first on the scene, I prefer FirstTrade. More features and options than RH.

    I would agree that M1 Finance would be better for collar cost averaging partial shares with automatic rebalancing.

    • SoFi has partial share purchasing for about 100 stocks right now. And now Public/Matador is adding them as well (Slices).

  2. Thank you, Jonathan for reviewing this platform. What is interesting is that such “small” companies (don’t know about M1/ Robinhood) do charge for transferring out of them when closing their accounts, especially is you held an IRA.

    Do you know if Public, M1 or Robinhood charge such “secret” fees?

    Thank you

  3. iOS only?

    It’s ridiculous that a service like this can’t be accessed by a web browser or Android device. I hope they remedy that soon.

  4. Jared Ross says:

    Can’t seem to get the referral link to work, even from my ipad.

  5. The 2.5% interest seems too good to be true, especially after several Fed rate cuts caused everyone else to cut rates. And it may be. No interest received for November (they pay on the 16th) and they aren’t publishing a notice about it.

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