Who is Pearler for?
Pearler is designed for beginner and long-term investors:
- Long-term investors. If you want to set and forget your investments rather than make regular buy and sell trades, Pearler is designed with you in mind.
- Novice investors. Pearler aims to make it simple for all Australians to invest in shares.
How easy is it to use?
Pearler is a user-friendly platform designed to make share investing easy. The sign-up process is straightforward. It's quick to create an account online.
When you're ready to start investing, you can choose specific assets yourself or use a template portfolio. You also have the option to turn on the Autoinvest feature, which offers a choice of 3 investment strategies based on your financial goals.
Pricing and fees
Pearler does not charge investors maintenance or monthly account-keeping fees.
Instead, investors are charged a flat brokerage fee of $6.50 per trade for Australian and US stocks.
Investors can also buy Pearler prepaid, which will see the fees per transaction fall.
What are the main features?
Pearler offers the following key features to Australian investors:
- Autoinvest. This handy feature allows you to automate your investment strategy. You can choose the amount you want to invest, at what frequency and in which shares. You then just "set and forget".
- CHESS sponsored. Shares you purchase through Pearler are CHESS sponsored, which means you directly own those shares.
- Finfluencers. From your account dashboard, it's easy to view the profiles of so-called "Finfluencer" accounts on the Pearler platform. This allows you to compare their portfolio and investment strategy with your own approach.
- Goal tracking. You can use your Pearler account to set your investment goal and then track your progress towards reaching your goal.
- Sharesight integration. The trades you make via Pearler can be synced with your Sharesight account to help you track the performance of your portfolio.
- Resources. Pearler also offers online resources to help you improve your financial knowledge, including a franking credits calculator and an investing frequency calculator.
Is Pearler trustworthy?
Founded in 2017, Pearler is an Australian fintech startup. Pearler Investments Pty Ltd, trading as Pearler, is an authorised representative of Sanlam Private Wealth Pty Ltd, which holds an Australian financial services licence.
Pearler also works with a handful of technology partners to help manage your account and holdings. These include broker OpenMarkets, which is responsible for your CHESS holdings, and US broker DriveWealth. Customer cash funds are held with Macquarie Bank.
On top of its share trading platform, Pearler also has a micro-invest fund.
For a small monthly fee, you can build your own portfolio from Pearler's list of ETFs.
You can choose to invest in just one ETF for $1.70 per month or multiple ETFs for $2.30 per month.
The main benefits of the micro fund include the following:
- Supplement your investing strategy
- Invest more frequently
- Invest your leftover dollars from a Pearler Share purchase
- Invest smaller amounts regularly (say $50-100 a week or less)
- Diversify by investing in the most popular ETF funds
- Buy an ETF fund, but don't have enough for a full unit
- Trial new investment strategies (like thematics)
- Round up your purchases to invest [coming soon]
How do I sign up?
You can create an account with Pearler by clicking the "Sign up" link on the Pearler website and completing an online application. You'll need to provide the following information to open an account:
- Your name, email address and phone number
- Your gender and marital status
- Your current annual income and the source of funding for your account
- Your employment status, occupation and where you work
- Details of any affiliations you have with government bodies or publicly traded companies
- Your citizenship and tax residency details, plus your tax file number
You'll also need to provide the details of an ID document to undergo online ID verification via the Australia Post Digital iD service.
How do I contact Pearler support?
If you have a question about your account, you can contact Pearler via a live chat feature. For general enquiries, phone and email support are available from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Pearler offers an online help centre where you can find answers to frequently asked questions as well as guides on how to use the platform's features.
If you're searching for a low-cost auto-investing platform, there are plenty of good reasons to take a closer look at Pearler. It offers very competitive brokerage fees, including access to a range of free ETFs, while the Autoinvest feature is a simple way to help you build a bigger investment portfolio. The platform's focus on investing for the long term is also commendable.
That said, Pearler is still being developed. Features such as minor custodial accounts are not yet available, but there are plans to introduce them in the near future. With its focus on long-term investing, Pearler also isn't designed for active traders.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether Pearler has everything you want in an investment service. Consider your financial goals and compare a wide range of investment platforms before deciding on the best option for your needs.
This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) for the product on the provider's website.