Pepperstone review: Australian forex and commodities broker
Access 70+ forex and CFD markets with tight spreads and low commission.
CFDs and FX are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Pepperstone is a popular Australian forex, CFD and commodities broker. If you choose to open an account with Pepperstone, you'll gain access to more than 70 tradable forex and CFD markets. With ECN accounts, spreads in the forex majors from 0 pips, Pepperstone has a trading solution for all levels of traders.
|Type of broker||Online|
|Available markets||61 global currency pairings, commodities, cryptocurrency, index CFDs, stock CFDs|
|Minimum Spreads for Major Currencies||0.0 - 0.1 pips|
|Commission||AU$3.50 per 100k traded|
|Minimum opening balance||200|
|Minimum Trade Size||0.01 lots|
|Leverage||1:1 - 30:1|
|Support||Phone, email, live chat|
Pepperstone offers MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and the cTrader platform, accessible via a downloadable desktop platform, through your browser and on mobile.
- Choice of markets
- Choice of platforms
- Tight spreads
Not so great for
- You can't trade shares using Pepperstone
- Forex and CFD trading carries high risk
Founded and based in Melbourne Australia, Pepperstone is an ECN forex broker. The company's rapid rise has seen it expand offices to London, Dallas, Shanghai and Bangkok. With a localised presence, Pepperstone is able to offer increased levels of customer support across a number of languages.
What are the key features of Pepperstone forex trading?
A Pepperstone forex trading account has several features that will appeal. The stand-out feature is Pepperstone's ECN, no-dealing-desk business model. It ensures that trading costs are kept low and its reputation for putting the trader first is maintained.
Electronic Communication Network (ECN)
Pepperstone is an ECN forex broker. This means that when it comes to order execution, there is no dealing-desk intervention. Instead, its prices are sourced from a list of liquidity providers and only the best prices are shown. This means spreads are tighter and ensures your goals are aligned with the broker, putting to bed the prospect of being stop hunted.
Regulated in Australia and the UK
Pepperstone is authorised and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in Australia as well as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. The oversight of both regulatory bodies ensures that Pepperstone meets the required capital requirements, is following correct compliance guidelines and offers a course of action for clients who feel aggrieved.
Low barriers to entry
The minimum deposit required is $200 and can be funded via the following payment options: credit card, bank transfer, broker to broker, BPAY, Skrill, FasaPay, Neteller, POLi, QIWI Wallet and UnionPay.
Number of ways to trade
You can access your Pepperstone trading account from your desktop computer and laptop via downloadable software or through your chosen web browser. There are also apps available that allow you to trade on Apple and Android mobile devices. This means that no matter where you are, you can remain logged in across platforms and always ensure you have access to your trading account.
What markets can I trade with Pepperstone?
While Pepperstone is primarily a forex broker, it offers access to a whole range of other markets through CFDs. Whether you're a forex, indices, commodities or even cryptocurrency trader, Pepperstone allows you to keep on top of them all from the one trading platform.
Trade forex with Pepperstone
Pepperstone provides access to more than 72 markets, including forex majors, minors, exotics and CFDs covering indices and commodities.
Trade cryptocurrency with Pepperstone
Pepperstone also offers cryptocurrency CFD trading, accessible directly alongside their regular forex and CFD markets, all within the same trading platform. Some of the more popular cryptocurrencies to trade against the US dollar include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dash and Litecoin.
Cryptocurrency CFDs allow you to take advantage of crypto market moves, without actually owning any of the coins outright. You don't have to open a wallet or worry about the security risks associated with storing your private keys – you are just simply trading short-term movements in price.
What trading platforms can I use with Pepperstone?
Pepperstone offers access to your account through a number of different trading platforms:
- MetaTrader 4. The MT4 platform is the most popular forex trading platform among retail traders. MT4 offers a user friendly, highly customisable platform to trade from.
- MetaTrader 5. The next-generation platform from MetaQuotes, MT5 builds on the look, feel and functionality of MT4. MT5 also allows you to hedge positions, advanced pending orders and a new set of custom indicators.
- Pepperstone cTrader. The Pepperstone cTrader platform gives you direct access to interbank markets and has a suite of algorithmic trading options direct from the platform.
- WebTrader. Access your MT4 account from Pepperstone's cloud-based trading platform. There is no need to install MT4 and if you're at work or on a shared computer, WebTrader ensures you still have access to your account with full functionality.
- Mobile Apps. MT4, MT5 and cTrader all have mobile apps that allow you to log into your Pepperstone account anywhere, anytime.
- Social trading. Pepperstone partners with a range of social platforming tools helping investors gain access to strategies from the world's best traders.
Key features of the cTrader platform
Pepperstone's cTrader platform isn't as well known as the popular MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms, but some of the platform's features include the following:
Wide range of asset classes
The Pepperstone cTrader platform offers traders a diverse selection of asset classes to choose from, including forex, commodities, stock market indices and cryptocurrencies. There are over 90 different markets to trade, which is more than enough for your average trader.
Market finder tool
Within cTrader, there is a handy feature called the market finder tool. Found on the left-hand side of the screen, it's essentially a search bar where you're able to simply type the name of the market that you're looking to trade (for example EUR/USD or Gold).
You're then able to easily look over all of the available related markets to trade and pick the one where you see the best opportunity. There are many types of contracts (spot, futures and options), so it's important to know which one to choose before you take a position, as this can affect the success and volatility of your trade.
The charts on the Pepperstone cTrader platform are quite basic compared to the likes of TradingView, MarketDelta and ProRealTime, but their simplicity means that anyone can use them.
Although limited, the drawing tools for trend lines, support and resistance, and Fibonacci retracement are simple and easy to use and the default colour scheme is great.
The colour scheme is also easily customisable, so if you don't like a black background on your charts, then there is a simple switch on the top right for the lighter (white) scheme.
Advanced analysis tools
The cTrader platform offers candlesticks, line, bar and dot charts. Candle charts are the most popular, but the others are just as simple and easy to use. You can also find lots of chart customisation options when you right-click on the charts.
You can add all the usual indicators, including the ever-popular relative strength index (RSI), moving average convergence divergence (MACD) and moving averages. There are also options to change the colours of the chart and the lines, and if you're a social media whiz, you can even take snapshots of your work.
If you're interested in learning how to trade using some of the indicators available on the Pepperstone cTrader platform, then it is worth checking out our guide featuring strategies for CFD and forex traders.
(Source: Pepperstone. Drawing tools on the right.)
My favourite part of the cTrader platform has to be the functionality of the layout. You can keep an eye on your trades via the bottom panel, look for more with the finders section and have charts open all on the same screen. The execution is seamless and as far as my tests are concerned, Pepperstone's execution through the platform is fast and reliable.
How does the cTrader platform compare to MT4 and MT5?
Pepperstone gives you the choice of trading on cTrader or MT4, so here's how I think cTrader stacks up.
MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5
Nearly every major forex broker in the world offers its users MT4 and MT5 trading platforms. Pepperstone is no different here and the sheer popularity of these legacy platforms within the retail trading community speaks volumes about their usability.
MetaTrader 4 may appear slightly more intimidating to a new trader compared to cTrader, but it is highly functional and the charts are simple and effective. Charting analysis on MetaTrader has more options for customisation than cTrader thanks to the ability for traders to search and download custom MT4 indicators and expert advisors.
It's worth noting that as the Pepperstone accounts are the same, there is little to no difference between spreads when you choose to trade on cTrader or MT4.
Overall, I feel the Pepperstone cTrader platform is a quality choice for both beginners and advanced traders. When you consider Pepperstone has a low initial deposit level of $200 and a minimum trading size of 0.01 lots (on EUR/USD), it seems everyone will be catered for.
What account types are available with Pepperstone?
Depending on your personal circumstances or trade volumes, Pepperstone offers traders a choice between multiple account types. The following are the 2 most popular forex trading accounts:
- Standard STP account. This is Pepperstone's classic account. There are no commissions charged on trades from this account.
- Razor account. Pepperstone's raw account type offers spreads as low as 0 pips, but it charges a $3.50 commission per lot traded.
Pepperstone also offers the following special account types, but you must request access:
- Islamic forex account. The Pepperstone Islamic account features everything that the Standard STP or Razor accounts offer, but also features a type of administration fee in the place of swaps and commissions.
- Active trader program. Active forex traders can access a host of premium account features, including a dedicated relationship manager, a segregated customer account and advanced reporting tools.
Is Pepperstone good for beginners?
Pepperstone offers more sophisticated investment options, meaning it is not necessarily ideal for beginners to be trading the products at all.
Beginners could opt to choose safer investments when they are starting out.
That being said, the company invests heavily in the educational components on its site, allowing newer investors the opportunity to learn how these markets work.
It also provides what is known as "social trading", which basically allows investors to gain ideas and knowledge through studying more experienced investors.
Is Pepperstone a safe platform?
The company is regulated by ASIC in Australia and the FCA in the UK, Pepperstone has a reputation for being a reliable and low-cost forex option for traders.
Due to it being heavily regulated, the company is safe for traders.
However, it is worth keeping in mind that the products themselves carry higher risks than shares.
What customer support options are available from Pepperstone?
If you ever have a problem with your trading account, Pepperstone offers comprehensive 24-hour customer support through a number of mediums (18 hours on weekends):
- Live support centre. This is the support section of the Pepperstone website, featuring a range of frequently asked questions.
- Live chat. The live chat feature is probably Pepperstone's most handy support option. Get no-hassle, quick answers to all of your trading and account queries.
- Email. For more detailed support queries, you may need to email email@example.com. This allows you to attach documents and easily keep track of the conversation.
- Telephone. The Pepperstone office phone number is 1300 033 375, featuring options to speak to sales and support staff.
What are Pepperstone's spreads?
As Pepperstone is an ECN forex broker, spreads shown on the MetaTrader 4 platform are variable. Quotes are sourced from a list of partner banks and liquidity providers, so they're always changing depending on market conditions.
If you're trading on a Pepperstone Razor account, then you can be assured that the prices you're seeing are sourced directly from the interbank market and absolutely zero mark-up is applied. This is why during peak times, such as the London open, you can often see spreads on EUR/USD as low as 0.
What are the pros and cons of trading forex with Pepperstone?
- Access more than 70 tradable instruments. Pepperstone provides high-speed access to 77 markets across forex, CFDs and cryptocurrencies.
- Trading platforms. Access your Pepperstone trading account on your PC, Mac or Apple or Android mobile device and via the web.
- Choice of account types. There are multiple account types available to suit every type of trader.
- Customer service and help. Pepperstone provides 24-hour customer support and a comprehensive online help centre to provide assistance whenever you need it.
- Award-winning broker. Pepperstone has won multiple awards for its online forex trading services.
- Risky. As is the case with leveraged trading, losses can exceed deposits. Make sure you understand the risks before you start trading forex.
How do I open an account with Pepperstone?
If you'd like to open a forex trading account with Pepperstone, you'll need to click one of the "Go to site" links on this page. This will take you to the Pepperstone website where you can fill out an online application.
To apply, you will need to provide the following:
- Your name
- Your contact details
- 100 points of ID
- Details of your chosen deposit method
Once your account has been approved by the Pepperstone account services team, you will then be able to fund your account.