Pearler review

Competitive fees and automated investing to help you build wealth.

Pearler is an investment platform designed to encourage long-term investing rather than short-term market speculation. It allows users to invest in ASX shares and ETFs, with access to US markets to be added in the future.

Pearler offers competitive brokerage on share trades and some free ETF trades, plus an auto-invest option to help you build a bigger investment portfolio. The platform is well worth checking out if you want to automate your investments, but it may not be suitable for experienced traders.

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$9.50

Standard brokerage fee

ASX

Available markets

Phone, Email, Live chat

Support

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Details

Type of broker Online
ASX products Shares
Exchange traded funds
Available markets ASX
Standard brokerage $9.50
Support Phone
Email
Live chat

Quick verdict

Good for
  • Competitive brokerage
  • Autoinvest feature
  • Investing for the long-term
Not so great for
  • Doesn't yet offer US stocks and ETFs
  • No app available yet
  • Not for active traders

Who is Pearler for?

  • 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 and straightforward 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 signup process is simple and straightforward, and 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 three investment strategies based on your financial goals.

Pricing and fees

If you want to buy shares or ETFs on Pearler, the brokerage you pay depends on the size of your trade.

  • Trades of $17,500 or less: $9.50
  • Trades over $17,500: 0.055%

However, Pearler has also partnered with three ETF managers — eInvest, ETF Securities and VanEck — to provide access to brokerage-free ETFs. If you invest in one of the 40-plus funds from these managers, and you hold the investment for at least one year, the standard brokerage fee will be waived.

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, then 'set and forget'.
  • CHESS sponsored. Shares you purchase through Pearler are CHESS sponsored, which means you directly own those shares.
  • Free ETFs. Thanks to partnerships with eInvest, ETF Securities and VanEck, Pearler provides access to 43 brokerage-free ETFs. However, please note that you'll need to invest in the ETF for at least a year to take advantage of free brokerage.
  • 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, 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.

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 DigitalID 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.

Bottom line

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. At the time of writing, features such as US market access and minor custodial accounts were 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.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: 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.

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