Pearler Review | Investing for Financial Independence

Introducing Pearler

Pearler is an Australian low-cost investing platform which focuses on simplicity and long-term investing. The founders of Pearler designed the platform after being fed up with poor investing options within Australia.

In 2018, the Sydney duo set out to bridge the gap between complicated and confusing trading platforms, and expensive micro-investing apps. The solution. Pearler.

Pearler aims to make investing easy and accessible for everyone. Simply create a portfolio, automate your investments (optional) and work towards your personal financial goals.

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Pearler Review

How Can Pearler Help You Achieve Financial independence?

Pearler is designed to help Australians achieve financial independence through investing incremental amount into well diversified portfolios, consistently over the long-term.

Long-term investing to achieve long-term financial goals is proudly the focus of Pearler. This is a key difference between Pearler and other brokerage platforms – the platform is built ‘for investors, not traders’.

There are a number of key features of Pearler that are designed to benefit long-term investors such as cheap brokerage, auto-invest, portfolio allocation and goal setting just to name a few.

It is the crisp and clutter free interface of Pearler, paired with its abundance of long-term investing based features, which make it a perfect choice for anyone looking to invest to build wealth over the long term.

Key Features

Auto-Invest

Pearler preaches long-term investing. One of the best ways to invest for the long-term is to put your investing on autopilot. Pearler allows you to do this via its auto-invest feature. With a set and forget mentality, you can fill in a few questions, set some parameters and watch your investments grow.

Pearler Review

Pearler do a great job of keeping thing simple with their auto-invest feature. Firstly, they require you to select how you would like to invest. Your options are too: make regular deposits and invest them immediately, make regular deposits and invest once those funds reach a certain value, or to make manual deposits and invest these funds once they reach a certain value.

Once you select how you would like to invest, simply input a few more details as seen below.

Pearler Review

Next up, all you need to do is decide what stocks you would like this money to be invested in. You can create a target portfolio with percentage allocations. These are the shares that Pearler will invest your deposits into.

Pearler Review

Finally, you select how you want Pearler to invest your deposits into those chosen shares. You can choose from the following options: invest in the current lowest weighted share in your target portfolio, rebalance your portfolio (will rebalance your portfolio only through buy orders) or to invest your deposit equally amongst shares within your target portfolio.

With these three ridiculously easy to follow steps you can put all of your investments on auto-pilot. It may seem boring, but this is exactly how Pearler believe long-term investing for financial independence should be!

CHESS Sponsored

Pearler allows their users to own their shares directly through CHESS sponsorship. When reviewing any broker it is extremely important to double check that shares purchased are CHESS sponsored.

This protects you from anything going wrong if things were to go south at Pearler. The CHESS sponsored system means that the ASX keeps a record for you based on your personal details of the shares that you own.

When opening an account with Pearler you will be given a HIN (Holder Identification Number). With this number and some proof of ID you will be able to do all you need with your shares.

Most importantly, if anything was to happen to Pearler, your shares will be completely safe and would be able to simply be transferred over to another broker.

Competitive Brokerage Fees

For all trades on Australian shares, Pearler charge a flat fee of $9.50 per trade. This means that if you buy $100 worth of shares, you will pay $9.50 brokerage. Yet, if you buy $100,000 you still only pay $9.50 in brokerage fees.

Pearler Review

For all trades on US shares, Pearler charge a flat fee of $6.50 per trade. The brokerage charged by Pearler in comparison to other share trading platforms within Australia is extremely competitive.

The below chart shows the fees that Pearler charges in comparison to other popular Australian share trading platforms.

Pearler Review

As you can see, for a $5000 trade, Pearler charges the smallest amount in brokerage. Brokerage costs can significantly erode investing gains over the long term. It is for this reason that Pearlers relatively cheap brokerage costs is a massive tick for investors looking to build wealth over the long term.

Brokerage Free Exchange Traded Funds

Despite already charging significantly less in brokerage costs than most other Australian share trading platforms, Pearler has taken this one step further through the introduction of brokerage free exchange traded funds.

Pearler have partnered with multiple different ETF providers to allow its users to invest in a select range of ETF completely brokerage free. This means you pay absolutely zero brokerage fees when you buy these ETFs.

The only catch with this is that if you sell within 12 months, you will be charged 2x brokerage fees. However, if you hold the ETF for longer than 12 months, you are not charged any brokerage when selling.

This is completely in line with Pearler’s mentality. They promote investing in well diversified portfolios, consistently to achieve financial independence over the long term. As such, they reward investors who invest in index fund ETFs through removing brokerage costs altogether.

At the time of writing, Pearler has partnered with Van Eck, ETF Securities and eInvest. All ETFs by these three providers can be bought on Pearler, completely brokerage free.

If you don’t fully understand what exchange traded funds are and how they can be used in your portfolio you should check out this post!

Currently Pearler offers 44 brokerage free ETFs. Here is a list for you to browse.

ACDC – ETFs Battery Tech & Lithium ETF

QUAL – VanEck Vectors MSCI World Ex Australia Quality ETF

ESGI – VanEck Vectors MSCI International Sustainable Equity ETF

ROBO -ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF

IMPQ – eInvest Future Impact Small Caps Fund (Managed Fund)

CLNE – VanEck Vectors Global Clean Energy ETF

ESPO – VanEck Vectors Video Gaming Esports ETF

FANG – ETFS Fang+ ETF

MVW – VanEck Australian Equal Weight ETF

GRNV – VanEck Vectors MSCI Australian Sustainable Equity ETF

MOAT – VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF

GOLD – ETFS Metal Securities Australia Limited

TECH – ETFS Morningstar Global Technology ETF

CURE – ETFS S&P Biotech ETF

ZYAU – ETFS S&P/ASX 300 High Yield Plus ETF

EMKT -VanEck Vctrs MSCI Multif Emer Eqty ETF

QHAL – VanEck Vectors MSCI World Ex Australia Quality (Hedged) ETF

ZYUS – ETFS S&P 500 High Yield Low Volatility ETF

GOAT – VanEck Vectors Mstar World Ex Aust Wide

CNEW – VanEck Vectors China New Economy ETF

EIGA – eInvest Income Generator Fund (Managed)

MVB – VanEck Australian Banks ETF

CETF – VanEck Vectors FTSE China A50 ETF

NDIA – ETFS Reliance India Nifty 50 ETF

REIT – VanEck Vectors FTSE International Property (Hedged) ETF

LNAS – ETFS Ultra Long Nasdaq 100 Hedge Fund

QSML -VanEck Vectors MSCI Inter Small Companies QUAL ETF

HLTH – VanEck Vectors Global Health Leaders ETF

MVA – VanEck Australian Property ETF

VLUE – VanEck Vectors MSCI International Value ETF

DVDY – VanEck Vectors Morningstar Aust Moat ETF

GDX – VanEck Gold Miners ETF

ESTX – ETFS Euro Stoxx 50

IFRA – VanEck Vectors FTSE GBL INFR (HDGD) ETF

MVR – VanEck Australian Resources ETF

ETPMPD – ETFS Metal Securities Australia Limited

ETPMPM – ETFS Metal Securities Australia Limited

MVE – VanEck S&P/ASX Midcap ETF

MVS – VanEck Small Companies Masters ETF

ETPMAG – ETFS Metal Securities Australia Limited

EBND – VanEck Emerging Inc Opportunities Active ETF (Managed Fund)

ETPMPT – ETFS Metal Securities Australia Limited

SNAS – ETFS Ultra Short Nasdaq 100 Hedge Fund

SUBD – VanEck Vectors Aus Subordinated Debt ETF

Pearler Finfluencer Profiles

Pearler offers a special feature whereby you can view and copy the portfolio of key individuals in the personal finance world (finfluencers). Do you have a few personal finance blogs that you read every now and then?

I personally enjoy reading Aussie Firebug and CaptainFI’s personal finance content. Because they both invest with Pearler, the profiles feature allows me to see exactly what they are investing in and what percentage allocations they have.

Pearler Review

Apart from being extremely interesting to see how others are investing their money, the profiles feature can be used as an educational and inspirational tool to help you craft your own portfolio.

Financial Independence Goal Setting

Pearler allows its users to create financial goals. Setting goals are key to achieving financial independence. By simply inputing some figures about your income, expenses and targets, Pearler uses its calculator to provide you with a ‘Financial Independence’ date and age.

Pearler Review

Here is an example for you. Bill has an income of $65,000 after tax. He has a goal of achieving $15,000 a year of passive income. Bill averages $15,000 a year in expenses. He currently already has $10,000 worth of shares. Bill pledges to invest $500 a week and targets 8% returns (he invests in index funds).

Pearler Review

Pearler’s financial independence calculator shows Bill that in order to achieve $15,000 passive income per year, he will need $187,500 worth of investments. It also shows Bill at his current rate of investments, how long it will take him to reach his financial independence goal.

This feature is fantastic for all investors as it allows them to plan their investments for the future. Through tweaking the contributions, income, expenses and target returns, investors can gain a really good insight into how subtle changes such as slightly reducing expenses or investing slightly larger amounts can have a big impact on helping you achieve financial independence sooner!

Pearler Strengths & Weaknesses

After thoroughly reviewing Pearler as a share trading platform, here is a brief summary of the good and the bad.

Strengths

  • Simplicity and Ease of Use
  • Financial Goal Setting
  • Finfluencer Profiles
  • Low Brokerage Costs
  • Free ETFs
  • CHESS Sponsored
  • Access to US Markets
  • Long-Term Investing Focus
  • IOS Pearler Application

Weaknesses

  • Oversimplified Interface (For some simplicity is a huge tick, for others being overly simplified can be viewed as a negative)
  • Lack of Technical Analysis Features on Shares

If you are looking for a platform to start investing with, Pearler’s strengths far outweigh their weaknesses. Pearler do a great job of making it extremely easy to start investing in stocks and ETFs. Simply make a deposit from your bank account and start investing straight away!

Pearler FAQs

Being a relatively new investing platform, Pearler understands that its potential users will be full of questions. Here are a list of frequently asked questions accompanied by answers straight from the Pearler team.

What is the interest rate of cash held in your Pearler account?

This is currently 0%, however this is something that Pearler are trying to improve and change in the future.

Does Pearler use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Yes, Pearler does use 2FA. This adds an extra layer of security to your Pearler account.

How much does auto-invest cost?

Auto-Invest costs the same as any normal buy or sell order with Pearler ($9.50). Some auto-invest settings may result in multiple buy orders being placed.

Can you buy fractional shares with Pearler?

As Pearler operate as a CHESS Sponsored system, only whole shares can be purchased.

What happens to my dividends?

You can choose through the share registry to have dividends paid straight into your personal bank account or to nominate a dividend re-investment plan. Dividends will not be paid into your Pearler cash account.

Can I invest in US shares using Pearler?

At the time of writing, no. However Pearler has stated it is planning on making this capability available at some time within 2021.

Why is regularly investing important?

Regularly Investing means that you no longer need to time the market. This is due to dollar cost averaging. By setting an amount that will be invested regularly, when the market is high you will be buying less and when the market is low you will be buying more.

Does Pearler have a mobile app?

Yes. Pearler has an IOS and Android App.

Can I transfer stocks from another broker to Pearler?

If you own CHESS Sponsored shares with another broker you can transfer them to Pearler using your unique HIN.

Am I eligible to sign up to Pearler?

Anyone over the age of 18 with Australia ID is eligible to sign up for Pearler.

Pearler Review Summary

Despite being the ‘new kid on the block’, Pearler appears to have some key competitive advantages over its rivals. Its auto-invest, low brokerage fees, free ETFs and Finfluencer portfolios are all major ticks in our eyes. With an abundance of strengths and few weaknesses, Pearler is Aussie FI’s brokerage platform of choice.

Pearler is perfectly suited to investors who want to invest incremental amounts consistently to build wealth over the long term.

Pearler Review

Luckily for everyone creating a Pearler account couldn’t be easier. All you need is a little bit of time and a few ID documents. You can sign up quickly here. If you sign up using the link above, you will receive one completely free trade.

Good luck on your investing journey!

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