Disclaimer:The content of this interview are the sole personal views of the interviewee and in no way reflect the opinions, policy or practice of their respective place of employment and its employees. This is inclusive of any insights and views relating to investments, processes, and values. These also do not constitute personal advice nor formal recommendations.
In our second instalment of The Inside Word, I had the pleasure of chatting with Nick Nicolaides, Co-Founder of Pearler. Nick has had a +10 year career in corporate finance and investment management, working at big instos as well as family offices.
It was in the family office world where the idea that community was the missing link for everyday people to build wealth. Wealthy people talk about money and invest like each other, but the average person doesn’t have the network or confidence to have those conversations. It was here where Nick also met Kurt Walkom. Kurt then brought along technical Co-Founder of Pearler, Hayden Smith.
Lets begin with the most important questions first ⬇️
What’s your coffee order? Espresso with/with-out ice.
Cats or Dogs? Dogs for sure.
Early Riser or Night Owl? Both – startup-life + parent-life.
People you’d invite to dinner? (Dead or Alive) my wife, Kate. If you wanted more, Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian, Steph Gilmore, and AOC.
Pineapple on Pizza? Place and time for everything.
Coriander. Yes or No? Lots.
Can you tell me more about what Pearler does, and what inspired you to build such a game-changing company?
Pealer is a long-term investing platform built to help everyday people achieve financial independence. We’re starting with CHESS sponsored brokerage, we’ve removed the typical trading gimmicks and built goal-tracking and automation tools. Each of us founders have our own journey to this point. For me, it’s watching my non-finance friends take way too long to feel confident about where they are headed financially. So, this is my solution for them.
Pearler is planning to offer users some awesome features like auto-invest, auto-deposit, and my favourite, a platform for idea sharing through the investor profiles function. I’d love to hear more about these features and how they make Pearler stand-out from traditional online brokers?
We aim to make it easy to get started and stay on track with purpose built tools, but with the community supporting you along the way. Functionally, we aim to pick the best parts of existing platforms. Automation of micro-investing apps, with the self-directed autonomy of online brokers.
Sharing portfolios is not new, but the focus has typically been on stock pickers, leader boards and mirror trading. Our approach to community is more about showing your personal journey, so friends can feel connected and share the journey. We’ve seeded the community with long term investors, who invest almost exclusively in ETFs and LICs. It’s a concept that even within Pearler, is still coming together based on feedback from our early users.
Think about how Spotify changed the way we listen to music – you don’t think about Spotify as a social platform but the user experience is centred around trending playlists, Band back-catalogues or radio, even your friend or say Barrack Obama’s playlist, all powered by user-data.
What’s your approach to your own personal investing, do you follow a certain strategy or strategies?
My portfolio is a core of ESG ETFs on the simple premise it will avoid rerating of certain structurally challenged industries. Circa 50% Aussie exposure through IMPQ and FAIR, with overseas exposure through ESGI. VanEck has recently launched a clean energy ETF (mid-March 21) and I’ll allocate some of my OS exposure to that when it hits the boards.
How do your past experiences in your personal and/or professional life influence your business decisions at Pearler?
I’ve worked everything from corporate restructuring to women’s luxury apparel and so even the most random experiences tend to feed in either in the day to day or when thinking strategically. Overall though, you need a consistent and proactive focus on helping people from the start and top down. In a startup scenario, this means prioritising the customer over vanity metrics and having the belief that it will pay off eventually.
We can’t give any personal financial advice, but hypothetically, if you had an 18-year son or daughter who had saved some money, and wanted to get started investing, what would be the first lesson you’d teach him or her?
Spend less than you earn. Or to be more specific, set aside at least 10% of your pay before you do anything else. Once that was sorted, we’d start talking about ETFs.
What’s one myth of the finance industry that you’d like to bust for readers without any financial background?
You need a lot of money before you can invest. Really, it’s much better to start as small as possible, and invest smaller amounts more regularly. Rather than wait and invest in one go. For newer investors, this helps get you comfortable, it also happens to be a great way to avoid the stress of market swings and whether you’re buying at the ‘right’ time.
Pearler is on a mission to help Aussies become more financially literate. What are the most common mistakes you see people making with money and how are Pearler addressing these issues?
Our favourite topic is active vs passive returns. And helping everyday people understand the concept of market returns, then the idea that over the long term you can beat all but a few of the pros. Either because of movies, existing brokers, or just our human nature, the idea that investing is about picking winners, buying/selling – when this turns out to cost you time and money. So, we are trying to turn that on its head, with a literal focus on getting rich slow.
8. What’s your go to resource(s) for finance/business related content? (This could be podcasts, websites etc)
I follow Morgan Housel on twitter for his comments/blogs and of course his recently published book.
9. Do you have any must-read books you can recommend to our readers? (These don’t need to be associated with finance and/or investing)
Morgan Housel – The Psychology of Money.
Time for a Pearler plug ⬇️
If you’re keen to learn more about Pearler, check out my referral link. If you sign up using this link, we’ll both receive $9.50 towards our next investment! Alternatively, you can check out Pearlers website.
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P.S. I’d love to meet you on Twitter: here.
Disclaimer: This website (the “The Money Pal”) is published and provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. The information in the Blog constitutes the Content Creator’s own opinions and it should not be regarded as financial advice.