Pepperstone Forex Broker Review
- Pepperstone is an Australia-based forex trading platform that has so far been around for a decade and one that aims to be an avenue for traders to cross over into the realm of trading success.
Pepperstone is one of the trading platforms out there that offers a variety of trading tools and it focuses on providing the best trading experience that wants to trade through MetaTrader and cTrade while enjoying low fees.
Traders enjoy low forex fees.
There is a good variety of financial instruments.
The platform is user-friendly and designed around providing a good customer experience.
CDFs attract a high financing rate.
No withdrawals to credit cards.
In-depth Pepperstone Forex Broker Review
Pepperstone is a forex broker that has been around since 2010, and it claims that it is determined to help traders achieve success. The trading platform is based in Australia and has a physical address at 727 Collins Street in Melbourne. It also has regional offices in Canada and the US As far as regulatory measures are concerned, Pepperstone’s regulatory oversight is handled by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in Australia. You might want to take into account the fact that Pepperstone is one of the few exchanges that offer MetaTrader 5 through which traders can access forex, CFDs, metals, and cryptocurrencies. It also has a strong reputation for its outstanding customer service.
Account types and opening
Pepperstone offers two account types, namely the standard account and the Razor account.
Standard account- The characteristics of this type of account include access to institutional grade spreads, the average EUR/USD spread is 1.0 - 1.3 pips, no commission fees, and it is best for new traders.
The Razor account- spreads on this type of account start from 0.0 - 0.3 pips for the EUR/USD, and they are institutional level with no markup. There is an AUD$7 commission per round turn 100k traded. This account type is ideal for algorithmic traders or scalpers.
Note that the commissions on the platform will depend on the base currency, platform, and the account type. Below are some of the other features that are common to the two types of accounts.
- Both accept scalping.
- Maximum leverage of 500:1.
- Maximum lot size at 100.
- Minimum lot size at 0.01.
- Hedging is allowed.
- Access to expert advisors.
- Neither offers to deal desk execution.
- The minimum amount required to open an account is AUD$200.
- Traders get access to base currencies such as the USD, JPY, CAD, CHF, NZD, SGD, HKD, EUR, and GBP.
The process of opening an account is simple. You just need to click on the “Open live account” tab on the top right section of the website. You will then be met by the account registration page, which will require you to enter your details, including your name, email address, and country of residence, among others. The platform will also need you to verify your ID, after which, once validated, you will then be able to fund your account and commence trading. On a scale of 1 to 10, Pepperstone’s account opening process and types of accounts score a solid 8.
Deposits and withdrawals
Clients have multiple avenues through which they can deposit funds into their Pepperstone accounts. The options include UnionPay, BPAY, Poli, Skrill,Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, Credit cards, debit cards, and Bank transfers. Note that the trading platform does not charge any deposit fees.
Pepperstone offered credit card and debit card withdrawals when it first started, but this option was no longer available at the time of this review. The other options, including Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, and e-wallets, are still available. It costs about $1 to withdraw from money to Skrill and Neteller. Withdrawals through bank transfer are free to customers who live in Australia and the US, but those who live outside the two markets are charged $20. Withdrawing funds from Pepperstone is easy. It is as simple as clicking the ‘withdraw funds’ tab on the menu part of your account.
The withdrawal of the credit card and debit card withdrawal option on Pepperstone was a huge setback for many traders that use the platform. That option was preferred by many because of low withdrawal fees. For this reason, the deposit and withdrawals segment scores a 6 on the 1 to 10 scale.
Commissions and fees
The Pepperstone trading platform charges commission based on the traded standard lots. For example, a 0.1 lot size will attract a 10% commission while a 0.01 attracts a 1% commission. As noted earlier, the standard account does not draw any commission, while the Razor account features a $7 commission for every round turn 100k that is traded. Traders can also incur an admin fee, which is usually fixed, and it only applies when a trade reaches the 10th continuous day after it was executed.
Forex trades are also subjected to swap rates. These are fees that are charged when a trade goes overnight and rolls over into the next day. The swap rate is usually determined by interbank spreads on a cross-currency basis. The commissions and fees segment gets a 9 out of 10 score especially because Pepperstone is open about the fees and commissions charged and it tries to keep things fair.
Trading instruments and markets
Pepperstone promises over 150 trading instruments that are spread across a few categories that include equities, indices, forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, energy, and more.
- Forex is the most liquid of them all, and it is available with low commission, as well as competitive spreads.
- Traders can trade various commodities such as sugar, orange juice, cotton cocoa, and coffee. It also features other products such as palladium, platinum, silver, and gold, among others, which are available at zero commission. Those looking for more diversity as far as commodities are concerned can also try out the oil market and precious metals.
- Cryptocurrencies are perhaps the latest addition to the tradable instruments market. Pepperstone offers CFDs on five significant cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, and Bitcoin Cash. They are pegged against the dollar at a 5:1 leverage.
- Currency index CFDs are also available, allowing investors to make money from the price changes that currency makes against a group of other currencies. A good example is the USDX, which measures the performance of six major currencies pegged against the US dollar. Investors can trade the USDX at a maximum leverage of 100:1.
- Share CFDs allow traders to take short or long positions on major stocks, thus making it possible for them to hedge their stock portfolio. Traders can also trade share CFDs during the aftermarket trading session, although at a premium of more than USD$0.02 per share.
- Index CFDs allow investors to make money off the price movements of more than 14 of the largest stock markets in the world without going through commission fees and the dealing desk.
The diversity of trading instruments gets a solid 9 out of 10 for offering the hottest trading instruments in the market.
Pepperstone offers significant flexibility as far as market tools are concerned. These tools are designed to help traders improve their strategies and manage the risks involved. Below are the trading platform’s tools that you can get acquainted with.
- Smart Trader Tools for Metatrader- The platform has 28 MetaTrader tools that can help elevate your level of trading to new heights by optimizing how you trade. They include integrated functions, updated market data, broadcast facilities, and alarms that can be integrated with MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5.
- cTrader Automate- just as the name suggests, this is all about automated trading. It is a system that allows you to create automated trading bots and also to optimize and backtest your strategy. All this is possible through the C# programming language and the cTrader API. A significant advantage with cTrader Automate is that it can be seamlessly integrated with some of the trading platform's other functionalities. The cTrader Automate API has a particular focus on margin trading, but its feature is flexible enough to support other areas, including CFDs and forex trading. It takes into account things such as market data, order types, trading history, and many others.
- Autochartist- This is a market scanner that is designed to help traders narrow down on statistically significant market situations or market events. It is also suitable for pin-pointing ideal price levels for trade execution, making it an essential tool for traders. It can also be considered as a useful risk management tool because it helps traders to avoid market situations that do not align with their strategy.
- API trading- the Pepperstone forex platform offers automated trading through its API. This approach is ideal for those that want to automate their trading strategies. The trading platform goes as far as to provide a FIX demo through which customers can test out their automated trading approach.
Trading platforms and tools
Pepperstone traders have access multiple trading platforms through which they can access charts and tools. They are MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 4 and cTrader. These are some of the most popular charting or trading platforms that are currently in the market. That is because they offer a multitude of features and easy to use interfaces that help traders optimize their chances of success. This diversity scores a 10.
Mobile trading is a significant point of focus for Pepperstone. Many trading platforms only focus on Mac and PC, but there has been an increasing need to provide platforms tailored for the mobile experience. It makes sense, especially for traders like Pepperstone that want to reach more potential users from across the globe, and the best way to do that is through trading platforms that are optimized for the Android and iOS experience.
It is no secret that MetaTrader is one of the best, if not the best trading platforms. Pepperstore already offers integration for the Android and iOS versions of MetaTrader 5. It means that traders can access the markets and take advantage of trading opportunities on their smartphones wherever they are as long as there is an internet connection.
Pepperstone’s mobile experience also extends to cTrader, which is an intuitive trading terminal that is designed to appeal mainly to those that are new to trading. Despite its simple and intuitive nature, it manages to deliver tools that increase the trader’s chances of success. Traders can also download the app version of cTrader and trade on their mobile devices. This focus on mobile trading gives a 10 on the score.
Pepperstone also offers social trading where traders can use third-party services to copy the trading strategies used by popular traders. Numerous services make this possible, and they include Duplitrade, MetaTrader Signals, Mirror Trader, ZuluTrade, and Myfxbook. Keep in mind that they are third-party services, and they do not guarantee 100 percent accuracy.
Pepperstone’s website also has segments that are designed to help traders do market research that can help them trade more efficiently and successfully. For example, the platform has a segment for calendar events and a news segment where traders can access news that can affect their trading decisions. Traders can also access webinars through which they can learn new skills. Traders can also use the technical indicators provided by the trading platforms for their research purposes.
Pepperstone has an education segment through which it hopes to help its users to understand the market at a higher level. It includes webinars and published content regarding different facets of successful trading. For example, the website features content on how to trade forex, CFDs, stocks, trading guides, and even a course on how to use MetaTrader 4. This information is especially vital for newbies or those that are interested in gaining new skills. This focus on educating clients scores an 8 out of 10.
Pepperstone invested a lot of resources into providing excellent customer care and so the customer can reach out to the customer service reps whenever they have something they want to ask. Unlike some platforms which have 24/7 customer service, Pepperstone's excellent customer service does not extend to the weekends. The customer support team can be accessed through the support phone line or a live chat. This gives it a solid 9 out of 10.
Safety and security
There is no mention of the security measures that Pepperstone uses to ensure that the platform is highly secure. However, traders can rest assured that the platform has attained important regulation from the FCA and ASIC. It means that the rights and interests of traders are protected under the guidelines provided by the regulatory authorities. The lack of regulation in some key market means it scores a 5 out of 10 in this segment.
Pepperstore offers a decent platform and flexibility that is appealing to traders. It also seems to be customer-centric, and that is a good thing. However, it still needs some improvements in some areas, and the fact that it does not offer its services in some key markets outside the EU, such as the US, is a huge letdown.