Public.com’s UK App Review 2023

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If you’re reading this post, you most likely want to know the ins and outs of how to invest in US stocks from the UK. You probably already know that the US stock market makes up a large proportion of stocks worldwide, and you’d like a piece of the pie. 

The only problem is, you’re based in the UK. Only, that’s not a problem at all. In fact, it’s easy to invest in US stocks without paying over the odds while you are living in the UK thanks to some of the new investment platforms that have come to the UK recently. Today, we’ll be reviewing the Android and iOS app of Public, the latest platform to land in the UK where you can keep tabs on US markets.

Why do so many people follow US stocks?

In 2023 US stocks account for almost 60% of the world’s stocks, and is home to some of the world’s most well-known companies like Apple, Google, Nike and Amazon amongst others. So many of these large US-based companies have a meaningful influence on the global economy and so they tend to garner interest from investors from all over the world.

How to learn about US stocks from the UK 

You can learn more about US stocks from the UK with Public, the popular investment platform which enables UK customers to invest in thousands of US-listed stocks with zero-commission during US market hours alongside low FX fees and an impressive suite of tools and data. The app is free, easy to navigate, and suited for UK investors who want a more specialised experience on all things related to the US stock market.



How do I get started with Public?

To get started, UK residents can open an account via its Android or iOS app. It only takes a few minutes and requires new customers to go through a series of simple onboarding questions and upload a photo of a valid ID. Once your account is up and running, you can deposit money at the snap of a finger if you’d like to have funds in place to start investing.

Making more informed decisions on stocks

To help you with your stock investing, the platform has a wide array of features, tools and analysis to help you make more informed investment decisions. Many of the features are included in the free plan which is super helpful! 

Free tools and analytics on Public include: market data, earnings information, stock performance data, business metrics, analyst ratings and the latest company news. Given all the different tools and data, Public is suitable for beginners who need a bit more support to inform their investment decisions but also a good fit for sophisticated investors who rely more on data, tools and analysis to make investments. 

It’s also important to take into account your own values, preferences and aspirations for your investment portfolio when you are choosing stocks. Explore industries that interest you, and keep abreast of market news and trends. 

How much does it cost to invest in US stocks? 

If you use Public to buy or sell US stocks in the UK, you’ll be pleased to know that Public doesn’t charge commission or execution fees during US market hours, though other fees may apply. It’s important to mention that these trading hours are in the US market so make sure you brush up on your US time zones. When you sign up to Public, the minimum first deposit is £20, but after that, you can deposit as little as £1 (investments must be at least $5).

What about exchange rates? 

Unlike other brokerages, Public doesn’t charge foreign exchange fees on every trade. When you use Public, you only pay foreign exchange fees of 0.30% on deposits and withdrawals. The 0.30% conversion fee is considered amongst the lowest in the industry. 

What type of account can I open?

Once you’ve completed the onboarding, you’re automatically set up into a General Investment Account (GIA). It’s worth highlighting that a General Investment Account (GIA) doesn’t come with any tax benefits (as opposed to a Stocks & Shares ISA). That means that if you start to make gains on your investments, they may be subject to taxation. In the 2023/24 tax year, you have a capital gains tax (CGT) allowance of £6,000 in the UK.

When you sign up and start trading US stocks, you’ll need to fill out a W-8BEN within the app. This form declares that you’re not a US tax resident, and therefore don’t need to file a tax return in the US. That said, dividends from any US stock are subject to a 15% withholding tax. However, Public automatically will handle this for you. 

Where can I learn more?

Public’s arrival in the UK is positive news for anyone in the UK looking to learn more about US markets with a platform that’s intuitive, low cost and packed with helpful features. Check out Public to learn more or go ahead and download the app on Android and iOS.

*Capital at risk

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