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Pepperstone – Reviews & Ratings
- Regulation: ASIC (AU) FCA (UK)
- Minimum deposit: $200
- Demo account: Yes
- Asset coverage: Forex,CFDs, cryptos, commodities
- Best for: Active traders, as well as traders interested in copy trading.
- Commissions & Fees: 9/10
- Investment Selection: 7/10
- Account Options & Features: 9.5/10
- Usability: 8/10
- Educational Resources: 10/10
- Customer Service: 9/10
- Overall: 9/10
Investor Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.5% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Further, Trading derivatives is risky. Trading with Pepperstone isn’t suitable for everyone and you could lose substantially more than your initial investment. You don’t own or have rights in the underlying assets. Past performance is no indication of future performance and tax laws are subject to change.
Pepperstone is a young company at only 10 years of age but has already made a great impact on the world of forex trading.
Starting in Melbourne in 2010, a team of creative Australians created Pepperstone, intending to rid the world of slow, expensive forex trading. And well… It seems they’ve been doing a pretty good job so far.
The company put in place low fees and new technology that allowed it to serve customers quickly and for a bargain, and on top of that, it managed to earn an image of a very responsible and moral broker.
I don’t say they’re moral for no reason. The company has helped Australian authorities crack one of the biggest cases of insider trading in recent years by analyzing the trading data of a very suspicious client, which wouldn’t have been found out if it wasn’t for Pepperstones CEO at the time, Owen Kerr.
Aside from looking out for its community, Pepperstone is doing pretty well, as has shown amazing levels of growth, peaking at 66% per year in 2014, just 4 years after its founding.
Although the company’s growth has slowed down somewhat afterward, Australian traders have a good relationship with the brokerage, mainly because of its good service, as well as a moral business practice.
Maybe Pepperstone will rise to new heights in the future. Who knows… But for now, let’s see how this online forex broker’s offer looks like at the current moment, and more importantly if this is the right broker for you.
Summary & Overview
- The trading experience is safe but tread lightly. Pepperstone doesn’t provide negative balance protection.
- There are two account types, one more suited for the casual trader, and the other for active traders.
- Opening an account With Pepperstone is exceptionally quick and simple.
- The pricing is competitive, and the non-trading fees are very low.
- The trading platforms include MT4, MT5, and cTrader, as well as a sizable suite of copy trading platforms.
- Great education, however, is lacking in video content.
- The research is good but lacks fundamental data, and could use more news and info in general.
- The list of tradable CFDs pales in comparison with the competition.
What is Pepperstone?
Pepperstone is an online brokerage service founded in 2010 in Australia, that offers clients over 72 currency pairs, as well as commodities, precious metals, and cryptocurrency CFD’s.
The brokerage is based in Melbourne and is operated by Pepperstone Group Limited, along with its subsidiary, Pepperstone Limited, which serves clients from the UK and EEA countries.
The company has more than 75 thousand clients worldwide, and processes $12 billion in trades every day, placing it among the biggest online forex brokers around today.
As a No Dealing Desk (NDD) broker, Pepperstone gives users direct access to interbank exchange rates. These are the exchange rates that banks use when dealing amongst themselves, so in theory, they should provide traders with betters prices and eliminate the conflict of interest between the broker and its customers.
The company is regarded as one of the top forex brokers in Australia, and also as one of the best NDD brokers in the world, winning numerous awards during its 10 years of successful business practice.
As a global broker, Pepperstone is available in most places, however, the company’s service doesn’t cover the US, Canada, and Japan, along with about 20 other countries.
Is Pepperstone a Good Broker?
Aside from a good reputation and a steady rate of growth, Pepperstone has managed to get an impressive list of awards, most of which are from its home continent.
The company currently holds around 25 awards, the most recent being the Best Global Forex ECN Broker, the Best Forex Trading Support in Europe, and the Best Tailored Professional Trading Conditions award, all from 2019.
If you want to see the full list of accolades, feel free to check out the list of awards on the company’s website, but before that, let’s try to answer the most important question regarding any forex broker – can they be trusted?
Is Pepperstone Safe?
Like many good brokers, Pepperstone is under the watchful eye of two tier-1 regulators, namely, the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) in Australia and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
These are well-established regulators, which serves as a good argument for this broker’s trustworthiness. Whatsmore, the company’s EU and UK-based clients are protected in case of Pepperstone’s bankruptcy or any other similar event with the insurance of £85,000 that is provided by the FCA.
Other clients, however, do not have any such protection, not even Australians, and the company is not listed on any exchange market. Whatsmore, although it has a good reputation, Pepperstone is not transparent at all, as it does not disclose its financial information to the public.
One interesting fact that’s also worth mentioning is the company’s Whistleblower Policy. This policy states that users are encouraged to report any suspicious or malicious activity they experience on Pepperstone’s platforms to the proper authorities.
In this case, the company claims it will support the clients (whistleblowers), which is not something you see very often and gives the brokerage an honest and trustworthy image.
All in all, Pepperstone is widely considered to be a safe broker, but there are still a few things you should keep in mind before opening an account.
Something You Should Know Before Trading With Pepperstone
The broker does not provide clients with negative balance protection, which means that you can actually make a financial loss that’s greater than your total account balance.
In essence, by making a few bad trades, you can get into a situation where you owe the broker money. This is especially important for beginners, as you don’t want your first trading experience to end up with you amassing a debt.
If this happens, the broker can sell the assets form your portfolio, and you can’t escape the debt if you close your account, so be careful and keep a close eye on your balance. Better safe than sorry.
Also, as is the case with all companies that offer CFDs, around 73% of users who invest in this financial instrument lose money. That’s due to the inherent volatility of CFDs, which makes them very risky for new traders who don’t know exactly what they’re doing.
Pepperstone Account Types
Pepperstone offers two account types, a regular STP account and the Razor account. Whatsmore, you can also get an Islamic account, and high-volume and institutional traders can apply for an improved service that includes advanced reporting, as well as a dedicated relationship manager. Let’s look at these options in a bit more detail, shall we?
Standard STP Account
Trades on a Straight-Through Processing (STP) account are forwarded directly to liquidity providers, which means that the entire payment process is free of human intervention. This allows for faster transactions, which should save valuable time and money for traders.
The standard account is best for new traders and provides the majority of features, as well as access to all Pepperstone’s trading platforms.
Like all account types, the regular option provides up to 1:500 leverage, scalping, maximum 100 lots trading size, and minimum trading size of 0.1 lots. Base currencies include AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF, NZD, HKD, and SGD.
The advanced Razor account is the same as the regular account, but with a few added features. Institutional grade spreads have no markups, and the price on spreads is a lot lower in general.
This account, however, has higher commissions and is more suited for experienced traders, especially those who are keen on using scalping and trading algorithms. In essence, the Razor account offers a greater reward potential, accompanied by greater risks, so it’s best to start with a regular account if you’re new.
The Islamic account caters to clients who wish to trade in accordance with Shaira Law. What makes the Islamic account unique is that it’s swap-free, which means there are no swap or rollover interests on overnight positions.
In all other aspects, this account offers identical terms as the standard account, so there’s nothing to worry about.
Active Trader Program
This is not a different account type, rather it is a way to upgrade your trading experience by gaining additional features, as well as some universally-coveted discounts.
Some of the key features of this program include a dedicated account manager and private VPS hosting… and there’s more.
Members of the Active Trader Program can save a bundle on commissions, up to 43% to be exact. If you make enough large trades, you can get rebates on commissions that range from $200 to about $14,000, which is very alluring for all active traders.
The process to get a rebate couldn’t be any more simple than it already is, as you get the money automatically upon meeting the required amount of commission-generating trades.
So basically, the more you trade, the more money you save. For example, if you make a trade of 100 lots, you get a 10% refund per lot, which will get you somewhere between $70 and $140.
However, things get better still. If you trade 200-500 lots, then the refund rate per lot is 15%, which will save about $200-$500.
The Active Trader Program’s rebates are available for Razor account users, and you can get this upgrade by contacting Pepperstone via email and asking to become a member.
Once you become a member, you need to make enough trades every quarter to keep your active trader status, so this program is recommended for dedicated, frequent traders who like to deal in high volumes on a regular basis.
How To Open an Account
Opening an account with Pepperstone couldn’t be any quicker or simpler. The entire account creation process is fully digital and takes about 15 minutes. On top of that, although Pepperstone says that account verification can take up to 3 days, it is usually done within 24 hours.
To make a new account, you need to provide the broker with some info and documents. First, you need to give them a valid email, choose a password, provide some basic personal data, and pick your account’s base currency.
Then, Pepperstone will make you do a very quick trading expertise survey, after which you just need to upload pictures of personal documents for verification. You need to provide a document with your picture on it, like a passport or an ID card, as well as a utility bill (or something similar) as proof of residence.
If the broker’s website isn’t working properly for whatever reason, you can also send your data via email or live chat, and the company’s representatives will open the account for you. After all that, just wait for an email from Pepperstone, and you can start making money. In addition, there is a $200 minimum deposit.
In conclusion, the account creation process is pretty much perfect. It’s quick, completely digital, and free unless you want to open a Razor account which requires a 200 AUD minimum deposit, but even so, that’s a very low required minimum compared to what most other brokers ask for.
What Pepperstone is Great At
Pepperstone’s fees are mostly on the competitive side. Commissions, forex fees, as well as non-trading fees are lower than average, which is why active traders enjoy trading with this broker. What’s more, the commissions can be lowered if you join the active trader program, which is recommended for experienced forex traders.
|Assets||Avg. fee on the Razor account with MT4|
|EUR/USD||$3.76 commission per lot per trade. Spread cost is 0.16 pips.|
|GBP/USD||$3.76 commission per lot per trade. Spread cost is 0.49 pips.|
|S&P 500 CFD||Spread cost is 0.4 pips|
All these prices are notably lower than what you’ll find with many brokers, however, Pepperstone is a tad more expensive in some aspects. For example, CFD financing rates, like the price for holding overnight CFD positions, are higher than average.
Withdrawal & Deposit
There are 10 base currencies available here, and the company doesn’t charge fees for withdrawal and deposit for the most part, which is a truly beautiful sight to behold. There are many ways to transfer money to your account, which include:
- Bank Transfer
- Credit/Debit Cards
- Union Pay
The fastest way to get your money transferred is through credit/debit card, which is instant, and a lot quicker than bank transfer which usually takes around 3 business days.
All transfers are free for clients based in the EU and Australia, except Skrill and Neteller, which will incur a negligible $1 fee, so you’re safe from unwanted expenses either way.
However, clients who are not from the EU and Australia will be charged a hefty sum of $20 when using bank transfer.
Despite this drawback, Pepperstone really deserves all the accolades here, as these nonexistent fees are a lot lower than what you’ll find with the great majority of online forex brokers.
The fun doesn’t end here because there are no inactivity fees. What’s more, unlike many top brokers who can’t wait to terminate your account due to a lack of activity and seize all your assets, Pepperstone doesn’t close inactive accounts.
If an account remains dormant for 3 months, the company will disable and archive it. Luckily, accounts never get deleted, and you can reactivate yours by contacting the company through their email, [email protected]
Pepperstone is a lot less harsh than almost all well-known online brokers when it comes to sanctioning dormant accounts and charging inactivity fees. This is a great boon, especially for beginners who often get caught off-guard by the strict and unforgiving rules that most forex brokers have in place.
Pepperstone – How Are Their Trading Platforms?
The platforms provided by Pepperstone are good but nothing out of the ordinary. The company provides the industry-standard MT4, MT5, and cTrader, which are reliable pieces of software, widely used by many brokers, and well-known to most seasoned traders.
Keep in mind that prices may differ based on the platform you’re using, so make sure to ask the customer support for details before deciding which platform to take. Right now, though, let’s see how this offer of trading platforms fares when compared to the competition.
MT4 has been the most widely-used platform in the online broker industry for some time now and has retained its popularity due to its solid selection of features, simple design, and a high degree of customizability.
All the basic order types are available on MT4, including market, limit, and stop orders, and you can easily set alerts, but only on the desktop version of the platform.
What’s more, the UI is very intuitive, you get a selection of basic charting tools and indicators, and MT4 is one of the few forex trading platforms that support hedging, making this platform a choice you can’t go wrong with.
There’s one more great perk when using MT4. Since the platform has been in use for such a long time and across so many brokerages, there are innumerable algorithms and other add-ons made specifically for MT4 by tech-savvy traders, that can vastly improve your trading experience.
MT5 has the same look and feel as its older sibling, but has greatly improved features in some areas and runs smoother in general. The platform has an inbuilt forex calendar with traits like schedules, forecasts, new events, expected impacts, etc.
Compared to its predecessor, MT5 has more charting tools and indicators, and you can simultaneously open up to 100 charts if you feel inspired enough to do that. Moreover, the platform offers even more customizability and automated trading capabilities than MT4.
With a little bit of coding know-how, you can create an automated trading bot called an “Expert Advisor”, which will execute strategies that are based on various input calculations of your choice.
All in all, MT5 is a more feature-rich platform with greater technical capabilities than its previous version, but MT4 is still recommended for new traders due to its ease-of-use and popularity.
This is another widely-used and user-friendly platform with a high degree of customizability. The platform was designed with accessibility in mind, which is why cTrader is often considered as an even better platform for beginners than MT4.
The charting tools are even more comprehensive than MT5 and you can look at multiple charts at the same time on the platform’s adaptable user interface.
Moreover, cTrader caters to traders who like to put their accounts on autopilot, so there are many ways to create your own trading scripts, and if you don’t want to code, no problem, cTrader has a few default trading algorithms you can use.
The views are split here, but cTrader is usually considered to be a more accessible and well-rounded platform than the MetaTraders, and provides a good level of reliability and customizability that all traders can appreciate.
All of the aforementioned platforms have their mobile versions, which are made to be as similar to their web/desktop counterparts as possible. In general, you can expect the great majority of functions you have on your computer to be on your mobile device as well.
The mobile platforms are very easy to use and have great search functions that can help you find the products you’re looking for while displaying some basic info about the said products.
All of the order types are available on the mobile platforms, but MT4 has a downside, as it doesn’t come with price alert creation capabilities. The main concern that most users have with these platforms is that they only have one-step authentication, so no fingerprints scan, face recognition, or anything like that.
Considering these platforms are something where people keep very large sums of money, you’d think that the developers who made them would be a little more accommodating when it comes to safety. Oh well…
All in all, you really can’t go wrong with any of the 3 platforms, as they are all easy to use, and mirror the design and capabilities of their web/desktop versions. It’s best to pick the browser/desktop platform you like the most and not worry about the mobile version since all mobile platforms are intuitive, reliable mirror reflections of the main software.
Pepperstone Copy Trading
Pepperstone is quite big on social/copy trading, which means they support platforms that allow you to copy the trades executed by other investors.
The supported copy trading platforms include MirrorTrader, RoboX, ZuluTrade, and myFxbook for MetaTrader 4, as well as the native signals markets from cTrader and MT4. The broker even added DupliTrade and Chasing Returns to its offer recently, earning it the 3rd award in a row for the best forex broker for social trading of the year.
So, if you’re into social/copy trading, definitely check out Pepperstone, because the company provides just about every copy trading tool you can find around the net. However, keep in mind that using these platforms usually incurs higher commissions and requires a large initial deposit, so check the pricing before you start copy trading.
Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned trader, Pepperstone will have something for you. The written tutorials on the company’s website cover a very wide range of trading-related topics, from basic terminology to concepts like risk management and trend lines.
The education section on the company’s website is very well-structured and has a plethora of articles that can give you fundamental knowledge about trading, as well as videos explaining how to use Pepperstone’s platforms.
After that, you can move on to a forex trading course which consists of webinars that you can find on the website, as well as on Pepperstone’s Youtube channel. The webinars are held once every few weeks and are available for free, which is great since the content seems very valuable and insightful.
The demo account should be your next stop because it allows you to trade on a realistic simulated market using as much virtual money as you want.
This means that you can get familiar with the platform and test your skills without the risk of losing everything on your precious balance, and in case you forget something you’ve learned, you can always refresh your memory with Pepperstone’s glossary.
All in all, Pepperstone offers a pretty great suite of educational resources, but it’s a bit of a shame that they don’t provide well-produced video courses to supplement the articles.
If you like to learn through videos rather than through written content, check out City Index. This is another good forex broker with especially noteworthy educational content and engaging training videos on just about every topic.
Pepperstone’s customer support gets accolades just about everywhere, and for good reason. The company’s representatives can be reached via phone, live chat, email, or through Pepperstone’s various social media accounts.
The live chat agents are really quick, as it took less than a minute before I got a response, and they speak English, Russian, Vietnamese, and Thai. The representative didn’t strike me as a native English speaker but he answered my questions correctly and promptly, so I gave him five stars.
The phone service agents are just as quick and competent, but the email service is even better, as it usually takes around 2-3 hours before they send you a response. This is super-quick since even the most well-managed brokers lack such a hasty customer support system.
The only downside to Pepperstone’s customer service is that they don’t work during the weekend, however, they are available 24/5, which is also pretty great. Based on their speed and competence, Pepperstone’s customer service ranks among the best of the online brokerage world.
Where Pepperstone Can Improve
Pepperstone offers good in-house commentary which is bolstered by great third-party research and news providers like FX Weekly, which provides a regular “Event Risk Calendar Forecast” reports, full of useful insights.
The company’s platforms also give users access to handy research tools like AutoChartist, a well-known software provider that offers trading signals and automated pattern recognition, and features like Smart Traders Tools are also available.
You can also find some convenient addons for MT4, including sentiment indicators, which allow you to see what other traders are buying and selling, however, this feature is only available to clients with 500 AUD or more on their account balance.
The in-house commentary is valuable and engaging, and traders can watch programs like Pepperstone’s “Chart of the Day” and “Daily Fix”, which give insightful info on a regular basis.
You can also find very well-produced news on Pepperstone’s Youtube Channel, which is presented by the company’s host, Chris Weston, who speaks a bit like a rugby commentator and makes the content very engaging and even exciting to listen to.
All Pepperstone’s platforms have clear fee and portfolio reports, which means reports that give you insight into all your profits and expenses without any hidden fees to mess up your calculations. This is something that all brokers should provide since all traders appreciate knowing what they are losing money to.
All in all, Pepperstone does a good job of providing quality news, trading ideas, and powerful analytical tools, however, the scope of the content falls short compared to some of the biggest names in the forex brokerage game, like the well-established IG.
If you want to conduct detailed research, you should also check out Oanda, a rising star of the forex world, which provides a great overall offer of services, especially when it comes to mobile platforms.
Range of Offerings
Clients can trade forex, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies on Pepperstone’s platforms. The list of currency pairs is great and is something you would expect from a high-tier broker, however, the number of CFDs is average at most.
The broker offers only 14 Stock Index CFDs, 60 Stock CFDs, and 15 Commodity CFDs, which is lacking compared to the competition. Whatsmore, you can only trade 4 cryptocurrencies against the US Dollar, so there are definitely better alternatives for these trading instruments.
If you’re interested in cryptos, check out eToro, as they are currently one of the best forex brokers for trading cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, if you just want a great broker with a bucketload of CFDs, take a look at IG and their great all-around offer.
Trading with Pepperstone is a very good overall experience due to the good pricing, exceptionally low non-trading fees, as well as professional and quick customer support in case you need some help.
The trading platforms aren’t exceptional, but they are very widely-used, intuitive and highly customizable. On top of that, Pepperstone has a lot of copy trading capabilities and you will likely find much value in the company’s offer of educational resources.
On the other hand, research resources could be a lot more comprehensive, and the number of trading instruments falls short when compared to other high-level brokers. However, Pepperstone is a hugely popular platform despite these drawbacks, and is worth trying, especially if you’re a trader from Australia.