The Two Minute Review
- 💰 Well-priced spreads and fees.
- ⚖️ Trusted, highly regulated broker.
- 💨 Fast execution speeds.
- 🛠️ Lots of tools to help you trade like Autochartist and Capitalise.ai.
- 🖥️ You’ll probably end up using MetaTrader (which some love some don’t).
- 📜 Only CFDs and Forex.
What The Experts Say
What Users Say
When you exclude reviews the company itself invited and look only at organic reviews the average score is 4.19.
Some Interesting User Comments
We spend hours reading user comments to see what feedback people are giving. Here are some positive and critical comments that stood out to us:
As a fairly new trader, the layout and options are so much easier than other platforms I have used. The only thing I could say about it is that it doesn’t allow you to follow other traders but so far so good.
Took a bit of getting to grips with after MetaTrader but a bit of persistence and can’t fault it now
Often they don’t come through at all unless I check my phone, open the app, or am watching the chart on desktop at the time – this defeats the purpose of setting price alerts. The app is also slow to connect to the server and load fresh market data.
Responses take half an hour after tapping any button. This can lead to significant losses in quick trade scenarios. It needs immediate updates/repair, and it can earn 5 stars.
The Deep Dive
Pepperstone is an online forex, spread betting and CFD (Contract for Difference) broker that provides trading services to individuals and institutional clients. Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, Pepperstone has grown to become a globally recognized broker in the financial markets. It’s Grade is 86% making it the best trading platform out there – but you have to keep in mind it only really does forex, spread betting and CFDs.
What are spread betting and CFDs?
Spread betting and Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are both financial derivatives that allow traders to speculate on the price movements of various underlying assets without owning the assets themselves.
These trading instruments are popular in the financial markets because they offer the potential for profit in both rising and falling markets. However, they also carry a high level of risk, and it’s crucial for traders to understand how they work before engaging in these activities.
💰 Pepperstone is known for competitive fee structures in the forex and CFD trading industry.
However, the specific fees you’ll encounter when trading with Pepperstone can vary depending on the type of account you choose, the trading platform you use, the financial instruments you trade, and other factors.
- Spread Costs: The primary cost for most traders at Pepperstone is the spread, which is the difference between the bid (sell) and ask (buy) prices of an asset. The spread can vary depending on the account type and the specific financial instruments you trade. Pepperstone’s Razor account is known for offering very tight spreads, making it attractive for traders who are sensitive to spread costs.
- Commission Fees: On the Razor account, Pepperstone charges a commission per standard lot traded. This commission fee is in addition to the spreads but can result in lower overall trading costs for high-frequency and high-volume traders.
- Overnight Financing (Swap) Fees: If you hold positions overnight (also known as carrying positions overnight), you may incur overnight financing fees or swap rates. This can change depending on the asset you are holding, but for CFD and spread bets it is 2.5% which we feel is a little high.
- Deposit and Withdrawal Fees: Pepperstone does not charge fees for deposits or withdrawals made in the UK, EU or Australia. Outside of these areas, you will be charged an eye-watering $20 for withdrawals.
- Inactivity Fees: Pepperstone does not charge any inactivity fees.
Range of investments
📝 It’s good for FX and CFDs but lacks options to buy actual shares.
- Forex (FX) Trading: Pepperstone is well-known for its forex trading services. They provide access to over 100 major, minor, and exotic currency pairs (which is significantly more than most).
- Commodity CFDs: Pepperstone offers CFDs on various commodities such as gold, silver, oil, palladium and agricultural commodities.
- Indices: You can trade CFDs on stock market indices from around the world. Popular indices like the S&P 500, FTSE 100, and NASDAQ are available.
- Cryptocurrency CFDs: Pepperstone offers CFDs on 21 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. However, in the UK these are only offered to professional customers.
- Stocks and Equities: Pepperstone offers CFD trading on individual stocks. This allows traders to speculate on the price movements of individual companies without owning the stocks themselves.
💸 Leverage restrictions are fairly standard.
In the UK, Australia and the EU you can leverage major currencies at 30:1, minor currency pairs at 20:1, commodities at 10:1 and individual equities at 5:1. In Australia and the EU you can leverage cryptocurrencies at 2:1, but this is not possible in the UK where the FCA bans it.
⚠️ Account opening is straightforward. However, you will have to go through an appropriateness test which you’re unlikely to pass if you’re a complete beginner.
You sign up and register with your email and password (or you can log on with Apple, Facebook or Google if you’re already signed into an account on your browser).
You then go through to the secure client area where you’ll be asked for details like your name, date of birth and phone number.
You’ll then be asked to decide if you want a demo or a live account. After that, you will have to choose your platform and account type. Note that if you choose MetaTrader you will have to enter your password for the platform so it is advisable to set this up first.
If you opt for a live account you will have to take an “appropriateness test” which essentially just asks you about your experience of trading. We decided to say we had no experience trading to see if the checks and balances were working – and indeed they were as we served with the following box:
If you pass the appropriateness test you will then need to upload a picture of your passport, diver’s licence or national identity plus a utility bill or bank statement with your address on it.
Officially, approval is said to take 1-3 working days but, in our tests, we were approved within 24 hours.
📈 Pepperstone does not have its own proprietary trading software. Instead, it provides its clients access to third-party platforms such as MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader, which are some of the industry’s most recognized trading platforms.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4):
MetaTrader 4 is a widely-used platform known for its robust charting tools, automated trading capabilities via Expert Advisors (these are trading robots that have been written in MQL4 – some examples are here), and a customizable interface. It is suitable for traders of all levels, offering a solid foundation for trading Forex and CFDs in a user-friendly environment.
MetaTrader 5 (MT5):
MetaTrader 5 is an upgraded version of MT4, providing enhanced trading features like more order types, an economic calendar, and better charting tools. It also has a nicer interface and is a bit more user-friendly for people new to trading. MT4 is still the more popular platform as lots of people have already gotten used to it, but if you’re new we’d recommend future-proofing by picking MT5.
You might want to work up to this one as it is quite advanced. cTrader provides Direct Market Access (DMA) with a clear, intuitive interface, fast order execution, and Level II pricing. It’s favoured for its transparency and efficiency, making it a suitable platform for scalpers and high-frequency traders seeking a streamlined, professional trading environment.
TradingView is a web-based platform offering a range of charting tools and social networking features. It’s on this latter community point where it really shines offering plenty of advice, tips and even live streams from other users. It’s also the most aesthetically pleasing look and feel. Currently, Pepperstone is one of only two brokers that can offer spread betting through TradingView.
This is Pepperstone’s own web-based trading interface. It is not a bad interface but we would recommend you use one of the third-party tools mentioned above.
For a beginner we’d recommend going with MT5 or TradingView.
🛠️ We really liked the array of tools that Pepperstone offers.
Capitalise.ai is an innovative platform that empowers traders to automate their trading strategies without any coding knowledge. By using natural language processing, users can translate their trading ideas into automated strategies using plain English. The platform supports real-time monitoring and backtesting, allowing users to evaluate and refine their strategies for better performance. It integrates with various trading platforms, enabling a seamless automation process across different brokerages. Additionally, features like looping and scheduling provide users with greater control over their trading activities. The ease of use and the robust automation capabilities make Capitalise.ai a valuable tool for traders seeking to leverage algorithmic trading without the technical hurdles.
Autochartist is a powerful analytical tool that automates the process of chart pattern recognition, aiding traders in identifying trading opportunities across a range of financial markets. Utilizing advanced algorithms, Autochartist scans markets in real-time to identify key price levels, trend formations, and chart patterns such as triangles, channels, and Fibonacci retracements. It provides traders with visual cues and actionable insights, making it easier to spot potential trade setups. Additionally, Autochartist offers performance statistics and volatility analysis, assisting traders in optimizing their entry and exit points. By automating technical analysis, Autochartist saves time, reduces cognitive load, and caters to both novice and experienced traders by enhancing their decision-making process in trading.
Smart Trader Tools
Retail and Pro clients get access to a suite of 28 apps that they can use with MetaTrader 4 and 5. The top 4 are:
- Trade Simulator: Trade simulator allows you to use historic data to test your strategy.
- Mini Terminal and Smart Lines: This streamlines the trading process by allowing you to set predefined calculations for the trades you wish to make. It’s a tool meant to help traders manage their trades quickly and efficiently, especially in fast-moving market conditions.
- Correlation Matrix: Correlation studies use historical data to help traders understand the relationship between currency pairs, as well as how these move in relation to each other
- Connect Feature: This brings together your past performance, market information, an economic calendar and industry news into one customisable interface.
This is a feature within the cTrader platform enabling traders to create and deploy automated trading strategies and custom indicators using the C# programming language. Traders can design trading robots (cBots) for algorithmic trading, and create custom indicators for personalized market analysis. The feature offers a robust Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for coding, debugging, and backtesting, allowing traders to assess strategy performance on historical data before live deployment. It also provides optimization tools to fine-tune strategy parameters for better potential profitability. By incorporating advanced risk management rules, traders can safeguard against adverse market conditions, making cTrader Automate a comprehensive tool for those interested in automated trading and custom analytics.
They also support automated trading via their API.
🧑🤝🧑 Pepperstone has done a pretty good job at partnering with reputable social trading platforms
Pepperstone offers various social trading tools that allow traders to engage in social trading, wherein they can follow and copy the trades of experienced and successful traders. This way, less experienced traders can potentially benefit from the knowledge and success of more seasoned traders. Here are some social trading tools and platforms that Pepperstone has integrated:
Myfxbook is a community-driven platform that allows traders to follow the strategies of experienced traders. AutoTrade is the account mirroring service that enables automatic copying of trades from successful trading systems directly into a Pepperstone trading account.
Within the MetaTrader platforms (MT4/MT5), traders have the option to subscribe to signals from signal providers. These signals can be followed manually or trades can be copied automatically to the subscriber’s trading account.
Research and trading ideas
💡 Pepperstone’s research, insights and trading ideas could be stronger, though their YouTube videos are high quality.
When trying out Pepperstone, an area that we felt was really lacking was their market knowledge and tips for trading. They do have a few things you can use:
Pepperstone’s economic calendar is a tool for traders to track upcoming economic events, announcements, and data releases. It lists a schedule of events from various countries with impact ratings indicating their potential market significance. The calendar also provides historical data, forecast data for comparison, and updates with actual data post-event. However, it’s quite hard to filter and search.
The news feed might be the best, but the analysis offered by Pepperstone is pretty decent. The daily blogs can be quite interesting and their weekly video analysis, The Trade Off, is pretty entertaining too.
🧑🎓 Pepperstone’s educational materials are top-notch.
Education is an area where Pepperstone shines. It offers:
- A demo account. This gives you risk-free trading of virtual funds while you cut your teeth.
- Education materials: Their website has a whole library of well-produced and structured education articles, often complete with videos. These are generally aimed at beginners and those with intermediate experience.
- Webinars: These are often deep dives for the more experienced trader.
- A Metatrader 4 course: Though annoyingly there is no MetaTrader 5 course.
How good is customer service?
☎️ Customer service is excellent.
We tried both the webchat and the phone number for existing customers to see how long it would take us to be connected. On the phone, we were connected to an agent within 15 seconds and our emails were answered within a couple of hours. Our only concern is their automated chat bot which we found quite annoying.
Is it good for beginners?
🔰 Generally it’s good for beginners, but always remember that CFDs and Forex are risky.
Pepperstone itself is keen to only let you onto their platform once you have a basic level of knowledge (see above how you can get rejected during the sign-up process). To do this it provides great educational materials.
The integration with MetaTrader means you can use a platform that is really well-documented for beginners, or you can use TradingView if you want to spend more time learning by watching others in real-time. We found TradingView especially easy to use in our tests.
We would advise beginners to stay away from CTrader until they find their feet.
Is Pepperstone safe?
🏦 Pepperstone as a business however is really highly regulated.
Pepperstone is regulated by several top-tier financial authorities including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. These regulators have stringent guidelines to ensure transparency and fairness in operations. As part of regulatory compliance, Pepperstone is required to keep client funds segregated from company funds. This provides a layer of protection to traders’ money. In addition, if you are in the UK, your funds will be protected up to £85,000 in the event that Pepperstone goes into administration.
Is Pepperstone a good broker?
We have to say yes if you are a fan of MetaTrader and are only looking to trade Forex and CFDs. Their spreads are tight, customer service is excellent and it generally garners the praise of customers and industry experts – and from our tests, we come to exactly the same conclusion. We do wish the interface was a bit more modern, however.