A Trusted Forex Broker for Traders – Pepperstone Review 2020

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Introduction 

Today, dozens of financial instruments can be traded for high profits. However, every trade does not guarantee a profitable return. Millions of people enter the trading landscape for high-value financial instruments such as commodities, indices, forex currency pairs, and CFDs. Only a small percentage of them can stay profitable consistently and become successful traders. In the majority of cases, these success stories are driven by the partnership of online trading brokers. These brokers not only manage the portfolio of their traders but also provide them with investor protection and competitive benefits. 

In the global market for forex trading, Pepperstone is a broker that does this exceptionally well. Pepperstone is one of the best services available to traders. There are many aspects of the broker that make it a sought-after choice among beginners and seasoned traders. Here is an all-embracive Pepperstone review that not only explores its plus-points but also identifies its shortcomings. 

What is Pepperstone?

Founded in 2010, the Pepperstone Group has now emerged as one of the world’s top-tier online brokers. It has developed its brokerage ecosystem with highly competitive offerings and full-featured trading platforms. Popularly known as “pepper broker,” it is currently one of the most trusted brokers for trading forex pairs, individual shares, commodities, indices, and cryptocurrencies. Like all brokers, this company offers its service with a minimum deposit in the base currencies supported by its platforms. It primarily helps new traders adopt the rules and tricks of the trading game. It also helps advanced traders by offering high leverage levels. 

As of 2020, the Pepperstone Group is regulated in the UK under the Financial Conduct Authority. The company operates under the Pepperstone Australia entity. Hence, it is closely regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC #147055703). And, like most forex brokers, Pepperstone does not accept US-based traders and traders. Over the years, the company has become one of the largest forex brokers globally by creating tech-enabled trading systems. It has a growing community of ambitious traders who embrace Pepperstone to deal with complex trading challenges and capture lucrative market opportunities.

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Pepperstone’s services are designed to assist you with an end-to-end trading solution. Every trade is executed with lightning-fast speeds and raw spreads. The low commissions also deliver on the commitment of the company in helping traders achieve their goals. Pepperstone is also an award-winning broker, recognized by brands such as Deloitte, Investment Trends, and Investopedia. It has also been awarded by the Governor of Victoria, Australia, for providing excellent customer service and performing well under diverse trading conditions. 

This review finds Pepperstone as a company that provides exceptional value for the money. People seem to trade with Pepperstone for getting access to raw spreads. This lets them understand exactly what they’d get from their investments. The broker also serves as a liquidity provider. Its competitive pricing is further complimented with super-fast execution and automated trading. Pepperstone holds impressive trade execution speeds, where it has claimed to execute a single trade in under ~30ms. Such performance indicators make Pepperstone a great tool for seasoned traders and expert traders. To know how it happens, let’s explore more into the experience of trading with Pepperstone. 

The Pepperstone Trading Experience

Pepperstone caters to its traders by offering a wide range of platforms and tools that support their trading activities. The technology suite provided by Pepperstone helps them instrument their trades accurately. These platforms are third-party but offered in their white-label by Pepperstone. The company does not have its proprietary software suite; traders can choose between trading platforms such as MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader. These platforms perform high-end trading under direct liquidity-provider pricing. They are packed with advanced technical features, which improve the trading experience of the client. Detachable charts, algorithmic market analysis, and trade backtesting of these platforms help investors implement their customized strategies effectively. 

Pepperstone Trading Platforms

The MetaTrader trading platform suite is the core component driving the success of Pepperstone. The company offers a licensed use of MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. These smart trader tools have extensive technical functionalities, and they also sync well with other platforms and third-party plugins. The MetaTrader suite of apps is best used to assist trade execution, conduct market research, and develop an in-depth market analysis.

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The cTrader platform is also an important offering by Pepperstone. This trading platform is streamlined with all the trading tools required to execute trades on the web. It is available for OS installations but mostly used as a web application. The web-based interface of cTrader is quite stable and easy to access. It is compatible with all devices and operating systems. It can easily run Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or Edge/Internet Explorer browsers. The trading platform can be used on the web browser mobile apps as well. It increases the mobility of traders in monitoring and executing their trades remotely. cTrader comes with an updated UI that offers features such as one-click trading, payment gateway integration, and real-time data processing. The trading platform also enhances the trading experience for new traders with its easy-to-navigate working application.

These platforms are very simple to use. Their overall user experience is ranked high by traders. From setting up watchlists to analyzing charts, these platforms leave no stones unturned in the trading domain. They not only help place trader orders but also monitor them to notify traders of their market positions. With these platforms, traders get access to gauging the depth of a financial instrument in the market. Their real-time data assimilation also keeps users up-to-date with market happenings and trading events. The platforms offer an economic market calendar that blends in with the trading portfolio of Pepperstone’s traders. A full-screen technical analysis chart developed by the platforms provides information from more than 70 indicators. These indicators can be customized to apply them in a specific way on the trading activities. The technical analysis of multiple financial instruments can be carried out simultaneously and under different time frames. 

The traders also get access to the Autochartist Plugin, which is an add-on to the MetaTrader platforms. Autochartist is an AI-driven tool that generates trade ideas by analyzing the technical patterns of hot trades, market trends, and historical data. With Autochartist, traders get additional leverage to perform copy trading or conduct social trading. It can also automate the trading strategies of users for minimizing efforts. This plugin, however, can be properly accessed only from the desktop versions of the trading platforms.

Pepperstone allows its clients to use these platforms to place their basic orders, including market order, stop order, limit order, and stop-limit order. Additionally, the broker enables traders to execute stop-loss orders on trades trailing with loss. The company, however, lacks in offering a guaranteed stop-loss order. Despite that, the stop-loss order can be executed at the bidding rate. The mobile applications of these platforms are also quite impressive. While cTrader is best used as a web application, it is also available as a mobile application for iOS and Android platforms. The MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms have their respective trading mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. The MetaTrader 4 WebTrader is also available for Pepperstone clients. It is a web app of the platform and is designed to work on iPad and tablet devices. The MetaTrader 5 platform is not available as a web application. The mobile versions of these trading platforms are quite useful, but their technical limitations in using high-end trading features can be disappointing for expert traders. To provide low-latency access for interbank transactions, Pepperstone has partnered with the Equinix platform. It caters to high-end clients trading millions of dollars through high-speed executions, near-zero pricing lags, and VPS hosting.

Pepperstone – Financial Instruments & Trading Accounts

To trade complex financial instruments and high-risk CFDs, traders can choose from two types of accounts. Pepperstone offers its services through the Standard account and the Razor account. Both accounts give access to the above-listed trading platforms, tools, and features. However, clients subscribing to Pepperstone’s premium trading community can access additional benefits associated with each of these accounts. Feature-wise, both accounts have some differences.  

For the Razor account, users get an institutional-grade spread but without markups. Standard account holders get the same spread with markups. The Average EUR/USD currency pair spread for Razor account holders ranges between 0.0 and 0.3 pips. The same for Standard account holders come in the range of 1.0 to 1.3 pips; however, it does not charge commission. Based on the commissions, the Razor account charges a minimum of $7 (Australian dollar) for a round-trip trade of 100k lot. The rollover swaps of both accounts are based on the trading platform and the market rates. Pepperstone’s Razor account fits well for algorithmic traders and scalpers. The Standard account is designed for new traders. 

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After selecting these accounts, clients get access to bet on a range of financial instruments. These include more than 60 pairs of forex currencies, sixteen index CFDs, and more than 50 share CFDs. The company also supports over a dozen commodity CFDs, five cryptocurrency CFDs, and three currency index CFDs. All these instruments are equally accessible to both account holders. The MetaTrader 5 forex trading platform makes an exception where it allows US-based trade to share CFDs. It has listed over 60 US stocks for trading as CFDs. Pepperstone offers low commissions, which starts from $0.02 per share, allowing traders to be long or short on these CFDs without any major risks. The cryptocurrency fees of Pepperstone, however, are poorly documented. This instrument’s high volatility, coupled with its relatively wide spreads, makes Pepperstone a bit risky for crypto investors.

Pepperstone Review – Pros & Cons

The credibility of Pepperstone in providing highly-accurate support to its traders can be checked by weighing the broker’s benefits against its shortcomings. Pepperstone has to run a complicated process of finding success in every trade made by its clients. In this process, it gives priorities to certain performance parameters, but it also falls limited to some other aspects of trading. It is important to know that Pepperstone is not a flawless broker, but it still offers more benefits than disadvantages to its clients. Here’s an overview of the pros and cons of trading with Pepperstone:

Pros Cons
 It offers relatively low spreads on forex trades.  It does not offer guaranteed stop-loss orders on every trade.
 It is regulated by a regional investments commission (ASIC) and a global market authority (FCA).  It does not offer negative balance protection.
 It offers investor protection to UK-based clients.  It does not accept US-based clients.
 It offers multiple platforms and social trading tools.  It provides limited protection to non-EU clients.
 It has two different account types, one for beginner traders (Standard) and one for professional traders (Razor).
 The Financial Conduct Authority regulation makes it legal under all EU governments.
 Investor funds are stored securely in Tier-1 banks only.
 It provides maximum leverage of 500:1

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Pepperstone’s Research Capabilities

One of the biggest differentiators that makes Pepperstone a better option than other brokers is its research system. As a premium broker, Pepperstone does extensive market analysis to support its clients with valuable insights. The market forecasts are developed according to industry standards. These insights help traders connect with their respective markets and upskill their practices with resourceful knowledge.

The market calendar developed by Pepperstone’s trading platform offers distinct sections that run the market analysis. These sections represent data in charts and statistics to help the users understand the changing markets easily. A market news section in the MetaTrader 4 platform provides high-value information on the latest and upcoming market events. Every trading account gets access to this actionable analysis, which not only adds value to the trading but also makes the users better in their game. A daily pre-market forex report generated by Pepperstone gets emailed to the clients at the beginning of every trading session. This personalized research service helps clients in capturing a wide array of trade opportunities. The Daily Fix by Pepperstone keeps a close tab on all the market-moving events every day.  This section pacifies the high risk of trading CFDs. As a top tier broker, Pepperstone’s Twitter account is also actively broadcasting trading insights. The analytical tools provided with MetaTrader platforms and cTrader can handle large volumes of data and conduct additional research for its active and high-volume traders.

Training with Pepperstone

Pepperstone also shares information that helps its clients in leveling up their skills. One of the financial services that the company provides is high-quality education to its clients. There are dozens of comprehensive educational courses developed by Pepperstone to train its users for the next phase of their trading proficiency. The company collects data from several authentic resources and creates knowledge bases to serve as training portals to the traders. Each trading platform provided by Pepperstone runs a dedicated section for training its users on how to trade forex. This section contains basic user-guides and tutorials for beginners. This section further gives access to a vast archive of advanced educational content. 

There are a series of live webinars conducted by Pepperston to touch these topics and help their clients become familiar with the foundations and the new trends of trading forex and CFDs. These training guides and educational content make the process of understanding financial instruments easy. For example, commodity trading is very situational, and CFDs are complex. To understand both, Pepperstone details the factors that govern these two instruments. The company also organizes discussions within its exclusive community of trades. These discussions cover issues intrinsic to hedging, slippage, and margins, which are the three most-complicated aspects of trading. 

Pepperstone also provides training & education through its customer service. From platform comparisons to platform guides, traders can reach out to the support staff and expand their understanding. Over the years, the procedures of deposits and withdrawals have been simplified by the company. In 2020, Pepperstone also offers its technical analysis tutorials and market glossary through its educational content. 

Developing Portfolio with Pepperstone

There is a dedicated section called the Active Market Panel, where Pepperstone offers its users with market data. This panel is available on the cTrader platform interface. It gets updated in real-time and provides information necessary to gain profits on every trade. This information is filtered by the margins, pip values, and trade values. As a result, the trader can get the exact information required to make an informed decision.

Pepperstone clients get access to the cTrader FIX API, which runs a portfolio analysis. This offering serves as a reliable tool for analyzing trading activities and diversifying the portfolio. Using these tools and adjusting their filters can protect every investment made by the trader. The monthly trade reports can reflect significant profits when the trader applies this analysis when trading. Pepperstone does not limit the analysis of its clients’ performance to basic metrics. It touches the deeper levels and identifies the data useful to help out a new entrant of online forex trading. However, there are tax accounting tools provided by Pepperstone on these platforms.

Pepperstone Review – Regulatory Safety

Pepperstone is regulated by multiple reputed bodies in the global forex trading marketplace. The company holds professional indemnity insurance under the Lloyd’s of London. Pepperstone is regulated under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for being an Australia-based financial service. The regulation is registered at AFSL 414530 and ACN 147055703. The Pepperstone forex broker services are also regulated by the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority. The company, bearing number 08965105, is registered under FRN 684312. Both these regulators monitor the services provided by Pepperstone, forex broker services in particular. For creating a safe and regulated environment, the company has never failed to meet the strict capital requirements set by these regulators. It also implements internal procedures recommended by the commissions. Pepperstone provides compliance with the risk management measures, staff training rules, accounting directives, and auditing activities prescribed by the regulators. 

One more factor that makes Pepperstone safe is that it provides investor protection for UK traders up to £85,000. This protection is governed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme Protection, where the clients’ funds are held securely at the National Australia Bank. The funds are held in segregated accounts and protected from misuse. The Pepperstone Group is also audited independently by Ernst & Young.

In terms of the trading platforms’ safety, cTrader, and MetaTrader platforms have automatic stop-out mechanisms that eliminate the high risk of touching negative balances. If the losses exceed the deposit amount under volatile market conditions, Pepperstone does protect the EU traders from balance deficits. This is mandated under ESMA rules in 2018 for Pepperstone’s EU clients. However, non-EU clients do not get negative balance protection. In addition to that, the company does not guarantee every stop-loss order. One loophole in Pepperstone’s safety is the lack of two-factor authentication in its endpoint security. The device management protocols of Pepperstone also lack biometric authentication for its mobile trading services.

Pepperstone Review – Customer Service 

Email support is the prime mode of customer service for Pepperstone. The broker also offers a live chat option to its traders. However, customer service is not available on Saturdays and Sundays. Pepperstone users can reach out to the 24/5 live chat and phone support for obtaining information on social trading trends. The company also offers quicker responses on mobile trading through social media channels and online forms. 

Pepperstone traders are assigned an account manager for assistance with account-related matters. The company, however, does not have a dealing desk. It does not allow clients to contact them in case of a trading emergency. Instead, local clients can walk into the Pepperstone office in Melbourne, Australia. The online customer service, however, produces rapid results. This Pepperstone review has added an FAQ section at the end to address some common inquiries made by the traders.

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Pepperstone Review – Costs

After completing the Pepperstone login process, users can choose between two accounts. The costs of these accounts are quite competitive compared to the trading account fees charged by other online brokers in the industry. New clients may choose the Standard account for one-pips minimum forex spreads and no commissions. Expert traders can go for Razor account zero-pips minimum forex spreads but commissions. Besides forex, the other instruments supported by Pepperstone get a combination of spreads and commissions.

If the trader seeks to leverage an average spread of Razor account at 0.13 for EUR/USD pair, a commission will be charged. But, if the Standard account holder leverages the same pair at an average spread at 1.13 pips, no money will be charged under commissions. For Pepperstone users, the average spread cost for a MetaTrader 5-enabled Razor account is completed at €100,000 trade, with the base currency being Euro. Based on the 0.13 pips spread, a €5.23 commission will be charged, translating the total spread cost to 0.653 pips.

The Pepperstone website holds its rights reserved for sharing information on its competitive spreads. However, some users have noticed differences between the spreads offered between MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms not reflected accurately on the website. Forex spreads offered by Pepperstone are also available at the split costs of the lowest spreads available at the specified time in the online retail forex marketplace.

Pepperstone Fees

The minimum deposit to open an account at Pepperstone is 200 units of the supported base currency. There are a few funding options available, but they involve Visa, POLi, and MasterCard. To deposit funds, the users can use bank transfer/wire transfer, BPay, Neteller, Skrill, Union Pay, and PayPal. The company also provides funding options without any fees for its traders. However, traders from a few countries may get charged for fees on deposits. Similarly, Pepperstone can charge fees for withdrawals via international bank transfers and wire transfers. The good news is that there are no fees charged for dormant accounts or inactivity periods. Unlike most brokers, Pepperstone does not charge an inactivity fee, making it an exceptional service in this industry. 

Every trading account opened with Pepperstone gets charged with swap fees on positions held by account holders overnight. The company advertises that these overnight rates are based on the benchmark regional interest rates. Hence, the underlying product gets charged with an additional swap fee at a fixed rate of 2.5% or above. This fee is applied directly to the trader’s account. For the other brokers, the required trade profit margin is more or less constant. For Pepperstone, it varies based on the type of financial instrument being traded. To get access to the margin requirements, the platforms run a margin calculator service in its secure client area section for tools. The client area section also holds other trading tools that can process the trading costs with this broker. In 2020, Pepperstone started offering a no-swap Islamic account, which incurs administration fees charged after a holding period of two days. 

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Final Thoughts on Pepperstone

This review finds Pepperstone a viable option for traders. It delivers a complete trading experience, which is much more competitive than other brokers in the online forex trading community. The company stands superior with its lightning-fast execution systems. The review also highlights how more than 150 instruments can be traded with the broker. While other brokers limit the access to opportunities, Pepperstone classifies them under a wide range of asset classes. These instruments include forex pairs, CFDs, and even cryptocurrencies.

Pepperstone offers a variety of services under multiple account types. It holds to its competitive pricing for the financial success of its traders. Pepperstone also shares a fully-licensed use of its trading platforms, mainly the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms. It also provides the cTrader platform to help its users stand out in the global arena of forex brokers.

In the review, it was observed that Pepperstone is well regulated by Australian securities and European regulators. It runs its financial services under reputed regulators in the global landscape. Due to its regulatory compliance, Pepperstone has been reportedly awarded the best forex broker awards by several global institutions. The experience delivered through Pepperstone’s financial services stays quite helpful for forex traders. The forex spreads of Pepperstone are much better than other brokers. The Pepperstone group, however, does not offer guaranteed stop-loss orders, which is a turndown for many. In addition to that, Pepperstone offers negative balance protection limited to its EU clients.

CFDs are complex instruments, and there is always a high risk of losing money when trading. To protect traders from this, the company secures its customer accounts under segregated bank accounts. The company funds are separated from the investor funds. This way, Pepperstone offers another layer of security and caters to the safety of its customers. The broker runs its services via desktop, web, and mobile versions of its platforms and tools. It offers a product catalog developed on the industry standards. High-quality educational resources and trusted research capabilities make the experience much more appealing for professional forex and CFD traders. Customer service provided by the Pepperstone group is satisfactory. Its educational content is adequate to transform a new trader into a professional.

Overall, Pepperstone is a unique broker to forex traders from around the world. The low spreads and the interface functionalities make it a perfect fit for the cost-conscious and the technologically advanced traders.

Pepperstone Review – FAQs

1. Is Pepperstone an ECN broker?

Pepperstone is an ECN broker because it operates as a forex financial expert by using electronic communications networks. Pepperston account holders get direct access to other traders in forex currency markets.

2. How does Pepperstone make money?

As a forex broker, Pepperstone earns money from its traders’ operations. Depending on the account type, it charges a fee on the trading volumes or the spread differences of forex currency pairs.

3. How long does it take to withdraw from Pepperstone?

It takes 48 hours to withdraw funds from Pepperstone. 

4. What is Pepperstone’s minimum deposit for trading?

Traders must deposit a minimum of 200 units of the base currency supported by the broker.

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