Strengths + Weaknesses
‘Top 3’ Pepperstone Strengths
‘Top 3’ Pepperstone Weaknesses
View the complete Pepperstone review where each element above is discussed in detail below.
Pepperstone Has Market Leading Spreads And Fees
There are two types of accounts offered by Pepperstone:
- Standard account – High spreads and no commissions (designed for beginner traders)
- Razor account – Low Spread + AU$3.50 commission (designed for advanced traders)
The Razor account spreads can be even lower for high volume trader who opt for the active trader program. This is a reward based program (similar to frequent flyers). When forex trading exceeds 200 lots each month they will receive a deduction on trade commissions which are:
- Trade >200 lots each month to receive $0.50 commission reduction
- Trade >500 lots each month and receive $0.75 commission reduction
- Trade >1500 lots each month and receive $1 commission reduction
- Trade >5,000 lots each month and receive $1.50 commission reduction
The highest level will mean that the commission rate is just AU $2.00 (or $4.00 per lot) which is the lowest of any retail foreign exchange broker worldwide.
Spreads Are Even Lower Due To Price Improvement Technology
Another way that Pepperstone reduces brokerage fees is through their Price Improvement Technology. This works in volatile markets when large price movements occur with price improvement technology working in three steps:
- The trader makes a forex or CFD trade through the MT4 or cTrader platform.
- The trade is executed and a more favourable price movement with is detected.
- The price improvement technology aims to fill the price at the improved level.
No Fees On Deposits And Withdraws
Pepperstone don’t charge fees for deposits but international institutions may charge their own fees and need to be paid by the client. All payments must be first-party with bank accounts in different names to the trading accounts not been accepted.
- Visa – Instant funding through Verified By Visa is available with zero fees.
- MasterCard – MasterCard SecureCode allows fast funds which like Visa don’t have fees applied.
- Paypal – No charges are applied from Paypal funding of an account
- POLi & BPay – Bank transfers can be made at any time from eligible bank accounts through POLi & BPay.
- China Union Pay – There are no fees or charges from Union Pay which offers funding at any time.
- Wire Transfer (Domestic & International) – Wire transfers are available but they can take time and fees may be charged.
- Skrill (Moneybookers), Qiwi & Neteller – Fast deposit method that is available 24 hours, 7 days a week with no charges.
- Fastapay – Instant deposit method with no fees.
A withdrawal received prior to 7:00am AEST is processed the same day. After this time the deposit will be processed the next day. The bank account linked to the Pepperstone account will receive the funds (this can’t be a third-party as is the case for deposits). If a credit card was used to fund an account it can also be used for withdrawals if the amount matches or is less then the deposited amount. Otherwise an alternative withdrawal method is needed for the account.
Bank wire transfers take between three to five working days while International Telegraphic Transfers have a fee of approximately $20 Australian dollars.
Pepperstone Spreads + Fee Conclusion
Our Pepperstone review found the Australian forex broker has the lowest trading costs due to:
- Institutional market leading spreads
- Low commissions of AUD $3.50
- No fees on deposits and withdrawals
- Price improvement technology
Pepperstone Offers The Best Forex Trading Platforms
The two most popular forex trading platforms globally are offered by Pepperstone:
- MT4 is the worlds most popular forex platform
- Easy to use interface and order management tools
- Real-time charts, live quotes and in-depth news
- Direct access to inter-bank market depth to implement algorithmic based fx trading systems.
- An interface that can be personalised with pre-set & detachable charts.
- Extensive back testing facilities (seen in our cTrader review)
Generally, its hard to separate the two forex trading platforms for this Pepperstone review. Those looking to use forex automation (EAs) may prefer MetaTrader 4 based on the resources, online community and availability. cTrader on the other hand provide enhanced modification options within the interface combined with advanced order placing options.
|Platform||Accessibility||Adjustable Session Times||Depth Of Market Functionality||Historical Data Access||Enhanced EA Trading||Detachable Charts|
Edge Environment enhances MT4 + cTrader
As a true ecn broker the Pepperstone Razor account avoids forex trading dealer intervention. Combining fast global trading servers with the leading optic fibre network latency can be low as 0.05 of a second (50ms). Pepperstone trading platform speed is the fastest in reviews.
1) Fast Global Trading Servers
Pepperstone has partnered with Equinix, one of NASDAQ’s leading listed firms. There servers are setup in Wall Street and London to access nearby strategic liquidity pools with:
- 60+ Exchanges
- 400+ buy/sell firms
- 150+ Financial Service Providers
2) Optical Fibre From Australia To Wall Street
Pepperstone utilises an optical fibre network from Sydney to their New York equinox servers.
This ensures that Australian forex brokers don’t need to worry about the thousands of kilometres that information needs to travel in order for for a trade to be executed. Up to 10x latency reductions result from this factor!
Platforms Are Enhanced With High Leverage Offering
Pepperstone offer a leverage level of 500:1. This is one of the highest levels on forex markets with only a handful of other AFSL forex broker firms offering 500:1 levels (see our high leverage table on the navigation bar at the top of this website).
What Does 500:1 Leverage Actually Mean?
500:1 means that for every dollar deposited into an online Pepperstone account the Australian forex broker will match you with up to $500. So for example if you deposited the minimum ($200) you could trade up to $100,000 on the currency markets ($200 *500).
In the example above, if the currency pairing moved 0.25% in your favour the total profit would be $100,000*0.0025 = $250. This essentially will have meant you have more than doubled your investment of $200 in that trade. On the flip side, if the currency pairing went in the opposite direction you would lose your whole deposit. Overall, high leverage means your increasing your overall risk profile so its critical that you understand the forex markets and gain some experience prior to utilising the maximum leverage available. This Pepperstone review factor should factor in your knowledge and risk factor and if you feel is too high, talk to your account manager to have the level lowered.
Pepperstone Trading Platform Conclusion
Our Pepperstone review found the forex broker had the best trading platform offering with:
- The two most popular forex trading platforms
- Equinix trading servers
- Optic fibre network
- The maximum leverage of 500:1
Pepperstone Has Award-Winning Customer Service
Pepperstone has gained a 3% increase in market share within the retail forex trading market. This has been in-part credited to their customer support. In fact, Pepperstone support levels were so high they won the Investment Trends overall client satisfaction award.
Key elements that have led to Pepperstone’s customer support winning these awards includes there:
1) Personalised Customer Service
Pepperstone offers a customer service team that hold years of experience within the forex trading sector. As real traders, they can help educate and answer any forex trading enquiries beginner, intermediate or expert traders may have. In many cases, a dedicated account manager may also be assigned to a trader to gain a stronger understanding of the trader’s needs.
2) 24-Hour Support
Pepperstone support is always available when the forex markets are open thanks to their five offices which are located in Melbourne, Shanghai, Dallas, Bangkok and London. This also provides local options for those forex traders located outside of Australia.
3) Customer Support Channels
A key strength found in the Pepperstone review was the ability to use live chat to get high level support. Live chat is available 24 hours a day as is their phone customer support (with different national numbers for each office location). E-mail support is also available.
Pepperstone Broker Reviews Match Their Awards
Forex brokers review sites generally have provided positive Pepperstone reviews since their launch in 2010. The score was 8.0 from 350 reviews as of the 10/07/2018.
The key issues traders had within their forex broker reviews were in relation to ‘exotic pairings’ (pairing outside of the major currencies), customer service and the difficulty in withdrawing money from accounts. Positive Pepperstone broker reviews related to how fast their VPS is (<5ms), fast deposits, easy to get accounts setup and a stable platform.
Investment trends which also does an annual survey late each year also found the Australian forex broker was the best across several areas. These include customer service, value for money, platform reliability and execution speeds.
Pepperstone Customer Service Conclusion
Our Pepperstone review found their account service to be exceptional with:
- An award winning customer service team
- Several channels for support including live chat
- Positive Customer Reviews
Overall, Pepperstone reviews of customer service were positive, only superseded by OANDA who excel in this one area.
Pepperstone Doesn’t Offer Share Trading
Over recent years there has been a rise of all-in-one trading companies including IG and CMC Markets. These companies focus on providing the most popular trading products including:
- Share Trading
- Bonds Trading
Pepperstone only focuses on core award-winning products that are:
1) FX Trading
There are 59 currency pairings available including the most popular currency including the United States Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, Great Britain Pound and the Australian Dollar. Over $1.5 trillion a day worldwide* is traded.
As explained earlier in this Pepperstone review, fx trading it the core service offered by Pepperstone with 500:1 leverage, low spreads and and a forex trading platform setup conducive for effective foreign exchange trading.
2) CFD Trading
CFD trading (Contract For Difference) also know as derivative trading allows trader to speculate on the movements of financial markets. Pepperstone offer 14 indices CFD trading including:
- Australian 200 Index
- EU Stocks 50 Index
- Japan 225 Index
- UK 100 Index
- US Tech 100 Index
- US Wall Street 30 Index
3) Commodity, Energy & Precious Metal Trading
Pepperstone offer 500:1 leverage on Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium. The same leverage levels is offered across both oil and gas markets.
Soft commodity markets have a 50:1 leverage and include coffee, sugar, cocoa cotton and even orange juice.
4) Cryptocurrency Trading
There are four cryptocurrency options available for trading with leverage through Pepperstone.
Pepperstone offers Bitcoin trading which remains the most popular cryptocurrency in 2018.
In 2018 over a USD $100 billion market capitalisation exists so it can’t be a surprise that bitcoin trading remains the preferred option from traders.
Learn more about Bitcoin on this Australia site.
Another popular cryptocurrency option is Ethereum which is considered one of the most exciting bitcoin technology.
Smart contracts allow Ethereum to have multiple applications which allows it to service a plethora of industries.
View the official Ethereum Project site.
Dash also know as ‘Digital Cash’ focuses on a faster cryptocurrency option allowing for anonymity.
Digital cash is used as an efficiency payment system across the globe and has experienced high volatility and liquidity compared to Bitcoin.
Learn more about Digital Cash at the Dash website.
Litecoin is a relatively late arrival and focused on using a simple algorithm to accelerate transaction times.
The simpler algorithm since 2011 is what has led to Litecoin’s popularity and make it a real alternative to the mainstream cryptocurrency options.
View more about this on the P2P site.
|Bitcoin||AUS200 (Australian)||XAUEUR (Gold)|
|Ethereum||CN50 (China)||XAGUSD (Silver)|
|Litecoin||EUSTX50 (European)||XAGEUR (Silver)|
|Dash||FRA40 (French)||XPTUSD (Platinum)|
|GER30 (German)||XPDUSD (Palladium)|
|IT40 (Italian)||XTIUSD (US Oil)|
|JPN225 (Japanese)||XBRUSD (Brent Oil)|
|SPA35 (Spanish)||XNGUSD (Natural Gas)|
|UK100 (United Kingdom)||Sugar|
|US30 (USA)||Orange Juice|
|HK50 (Hong Kong)||Cotton|
|US2000 (USA)||XAUUSD (Gold)|
Pepperstone Only Offers Limited Joining Bonuses
Pepperstone doesn’t offer a monetary joining bonus unlike many other Australian forex brokers who match initial deposits. Rather, their joining bonus is up to 50,000 Qantas Points.
Eligible accounts earn 10 Qantas frequent flyer points per initial deposit dollar. A maximum of $5,000 will result in the maximum amount of 50,000 frequent flyer points. The process to get this joining bonus are:
- Open a live trading account (not a Pepperstone demo account)
- Link a frequent flyer membership in the members area
- Make your initial deposit (up to $5000)
Additional frequent flyer points can be rewarded when trading lots with 1 lot resulting in 10 points. This is only for currency trading on the major currency pairings including AUD/USD, EUR/USA, GPB/USD and USD/JPY.
Pepperstone Has Limited Risk Management Features
There are risks involved when trading any financial product but leverage enhances this risk. While it’s critical to fully understand the risks, there are also feature that can help manage these risks. Pepperstone only has some of these features.
Currency Trading Orders Types
Pepperstone offers three types of currency trading orders. This includes a limit order including a limit order which sits above the current market price for a sell limit and below the market for a buy limit. A stop loss order exits a trader after a price is reached. This can be set by price or the maximum a trader is looking to gain/lose in a trade. The final currency trading order is a trailing stop which moves with the market as price fluctuates. The trailing stop activates only when a designated level is reached.
The only type that Pepperstone doesn’t offer is guaranteed stop loss orders. This is similar are the same as a ‘stop-loss’ order but the maximum loss is guaranteed at the designate level. A stop-loss order on the other hand can lead to losses exceeding the designated level is high volatile markets leading to slippage. While guaranteed stop loss orders have increased fees, they can be an effective risk management tool for those with a low risk appetite or new to currency trading.
2) Negative Balance Guarantee
Pepperstone has the negative balance protection automated Risk Management System. This is advanced software that exits a currency trader just prior to them reaching a zero account balance. In extreme scenarios thought (eg the Swiss sudden floating of their currency) this may not be effective and losses may exceed the account balance. Only a forex broker with guaranteed negative balance protection can ensure that a losses wont exceed an account balance. These forex brokers may have higher fees so it’s important to weight up if this feature is needed for your trading requirements.
Final Thoughts On Pepperstone
This Pepperstone review recommends their Razor account only for:
- Intermediate traders looking for low fees and spreads, mainstream forex trading platforms (cTrader and MT4) and award-winning customer service.
- Expert traders looking for advanced forex trading features (including automated trading), fast execution speeds, the higher leverage of 500:1 and advanced support.
It’s these two segments which have let them to be the fastest growing retail foreign exchange broker in Australia and other key markets who are looking for fast, low fee and enhanced feature forex trading.
More Details About Pepperstone
Unlike most other foreign exchange brokers, Pepperstone forex broker is Australia based (in Collins Street, Melbourne) by a management-team with currency trading experience. In 2016 at the Pepperstone Melbourne office Champ was announced as a strategic investor of the business. The Pepperstone firm was founded in 2010 within Melbourne with the firm always having Australian regulation holding the Australian Financial Services Licence 414530.
As an ASIC regulated forex broker, Pepperstone needs to meet capital requirements, staff training, comply with risk management processes, audits and accounting. If you hear of any Pepperstone scam this may be a broker pretending to be fx broker. Having an AFSL also means that Pepperstone financial accounts (client accounts) must be kept with Australian financial institutions which in this case is the National Australia Bank.
Traders can review currency training on forex on the Pepperstone YouTube channel, as well as the online Pepperstone resource centre. From time-to-time the Melbourne Pepperstone office also has on-site training fore selected traders. Minimum deposit size is $200 for either the Razor ecn broker account or the standard Pepperstone account with payment options from bPay, credit card to even PayPal.
National Australia Bank
As an ASIC regulated Australia forex broker, Pepperstone is required to hold client funds in segregated bank accounts. Our Pepperstone review found this was the National Australia Bank (NAB) which is one of the ‘big 4’. NAB is covered by the Australian government bank guarantee making it a strong candidate for the optimal segregated bank account for traders.
Foreign Exchange Demo Account
Pepperstone offers a foreign exchange (forex) demo account on the cTrader and MetaTrader platform. Our demo article explains more about the advantages of demo accounts, especially those that are new to foreign exchange trading.
Technical Analysis Offered By Pepperstone
As technical analysis focuses of price trends over time their is a central focus on charting. Pepperstone offers three types of charts including a line chart that connects one closing price to another. This therefore helps identify the direction of the market over a given time. The second type is bar charts which provides more details of market trends through line formats. This includes the highs and lows of specific periods. The final is candlestick charts which also shows the highs and lows over a period. This candlestick format helps identify reversals and pivot points on currency markets.
Fundamental Analysis Offered By Pepperstone
Focusing on financial, political and economic factors, fundamental analysis focuses on the events and forces that influence foreign exchange markets. These forces and events help impact currency markets which is why news (provided through Reuters) and daily market updates by Pepperstone are so critical. This information focuses on political policies, surplus and deficit information, inflation and trade trends.
The The MetaTrader 4 App for Android® and iPhone® provide the core functionality of the forex trading platform combined with the functionality of a mobile app. cTrader doesn’t have a mobile app but rather a mobile friendly website for those looking to trade on-the-go.
Countries Excluded From Trading With Pepperstone
Pepperstone is a worldwide forex broker but due to regulatory and other local laws, there are some country where residents can’t open an account, including:
- New Zealand
Both the standard and Razor account offer 1o base currencies including the Australian dollar, US dollar, Japanese Yen, The Euro, Hong Kong Dollar and the Pound
The Pepperstone Account Opening Process
Opening an account is straightforward after you click on the ‘visit website’ button below. You should set aside 6 minutes to complete the application assuming you
have the right documentation in-front of you.
Complete the online form that includes stating what the application type is (Individual, Company, Trust etc), name, country, phone number and provide your e-mail address.
The following section requires more detailed personal information and the forex broker can set the limit of the leverage they want (up to 500:1). As part of this process a short survey is given to gauge the expertise of the trader.
At this stage the forex trader needs to verify their identity your ID (most individuals use their password) and proof of address (often a utility bill). Notarised passport helps avoid the requirements of the proof of address requirements.
Download the forex trading platform and start trading after the paperwork is processed (between a day to a week).
The live-chat, e-mail and call centre support can be of great assistance if you encounter problems especially with verification of the process.
About Compare Forex Brokers
The authors of compare forex brokers have made good broker comparison tables to make finding the right Australian forex broker simple. There are several forex broker comparison tables each feature on separate areas including leverage and fx platforms offered. Feel free to view our forex broker comparison options each with separate brokers reviews created by real Australians.
This online Pepperstone review was based on information gained from the Razor fx trading accounts and the Australian forex brokers website. As such a standard Pepperstone reviews should factor in the spreads of this alternative account. If you find any element of this online Pepperstone review that needs to be updated of an inaccurate Pepperstone broker review element please use the ‘contact us’ form and once verified we will make the change promptly.