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Overall

Pepperstone is an agency-execution broker offering competitive fees on its commission-based Razor Account, giving traders access to nearly 100 instruments, including forex and popular CFD markets through multiple third-party trading platforms.

By Steven Hatzakis / April 4th, 2017 / Updated: December 5th, 2017

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Trust Score
Dislikes
  • Limited range of CFD markets
  • Few research resources beyond social trading
  • No proprietary trading platform

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Data:

Founded in 2010 in Melbourne, Pepperstone has grown to be a major player in the online forex brokerage industry, transacting over $100 billion in monthly FX volume. In 2016, Pepperstone attracted a strategic investment from CHAMP Private Equity, one of the leading investment firms in Australia. The partnership is expected to help fuel Pepperstone’s international growth.

Pepperstone predominantly offers the suite of platforms from MetaQuotes Software Corporation, including MetaTrader 4 along with a Smart Trader Tools add-on and soon to be introduced MetaTrader 5, as well as the range of platforms from Spotware Systems: cTrader, cAlgo and cMirror. In addition, Pepperstone offers third-party social trading platforms such as ZuluTrade and Myfxbook to complement the signals market available by default on MetaTrader4 and cMirror.

Pepperstone is regulated in Australia and in the UK and has offices in the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), China and Thailand, and offers several dozen CFDs on major indices that include commodities such as energy and precious metals, in addition to nearly 60 forex pairs.

Commissions & Fees

Pepperstone offers two pricing models depending on the account type you open, ranging from the commission-based Razor Account to the Standard Account, which incorporates commissions into the prevailing spreads. Fees can also vary slightly, depending on the platform you choose to trade.

Pepperstone offers a good range of options on its pricing plan, with the Razor Account the clear choice for cost-sensitive traders.

The Razor Account can be used with either the MetaTrader or cTrader platforms and follows a commission-based pricing structure in addition to prevailing spreads. Average spreads of 0.2 pips on the EUR/USD in the Razor Account are comparable to industry peers when factoring in the commission of 0.753 pips to calculate the all-in cost of 0.95 pips.

Meanwhile, the Standard Account is based on commission-free pricing and is not as competitive, as spreads are inherently wider, similar to Saxo Bank’s commission-free offering.

View All FeesPepperstoneAdmiral MarketsOANDAFxProDukascopy
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.7501.2001.0001.2000.420
All-in Cost GBP/USD - Active1.1201.5001.5001.6001.080
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.2001.2001.2001.2000.920
Average Spread GBP/USD - Standard1.5701.7001.7001.8001.580
Commissions & Fees 4 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars
Overall 3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars

Pepperstone offers a good range of options on its pricing plan, with the Razor Account the clear choice for cost-sensitive traders. In addition, Pepperstone’s active trader program offers further discounts on the applicable commission rates – depending on the amount you deposit and your expected trading volumes, helping to boost its ranking in this category among forex brokers.

Customer Service

The bottom line is that when it comes to customer service in 2017, Pepperstone sets the bar as the broker finished first overall.

Starting with live chat, Pepperstone provides clients access to live chat 24 hours a day, as support is automatically taken over by each global office when another office closes to keep customer services available continuously throughout the trading week. Overall, Pepperstone staff on live chat were supportive, patient and professional in answering the list of questions we posed on several occasions.

The same applies for phone and email support at Pepperstone: both are available 24 hours during the trading week, and handled by the relevant office, depending on your location and the time of day. During several phone calls and email exchanges with Pepperstone agents, we were able to have our questions answered and staff were very courteous and professional, which made for a positive customer service experience. 

In addition to general customer services, active traders have access to a dedicated account manager, which helps Pepperstone rank highly in the customer support category.

The bottom line is that when it comes to customer service in 2017, Pepperstone sets the bar as the broker finished first overall.

Research

Pepperstone offers fundamental and technical analysis content from third-party analysts and an economic calendar that shows consensus forecasts powered by Myfxbook – a social-trading website that supports signals trading by syncing your Pepperstone MetaTrader Account.  

Additional research-related tools include the social trading platform ZuluTrade, which lets users search and compare trading systems developed by other traders, and automatically copy trades directly into their Pepperstone account (a process known as copy trading).

To further complement its MetaTrader offering, Pepperstone provides Smart Trader Tools, an add-on with ten trading apps – such as a sentiment tool for the MT4 platform, available to clients with at least $500 AUD or the equivalent in their live account balance, which is comparable to the add-ons Admiral Markets and ADS Securities offer account holders.

Pepperstone Smart Trader Tools Sentiment Trader MT4

Around the time of our review, Pepperstone announced the launch of yet another social copy-trading platform: MirrorTrader, developed by Tradency, an early pioneer in copy trading. Aside from social trading and the platform-related add-ons, which help give MT4 a premium touch, Pepperstone’s research offering is light. That is, the company has room to enhance its offering in the research area, especially on its website.

Platforms & Tools

Pepperstone offers Metaquotes Software Corporation’s suite of MetaTrader platforms, including MetaTrader4 (MT4) for desktop, mobile and web, as well as the MT4 Multi-terminal. At the time of our review, it had announced the launch of MetaTrader 5 (MT5), although it had not yet been released then.

After registering for a Razor Account at Pepperstone, accessing the desktop and web version of MetaTrader 4 (MT4) comes pretty standard, with minimal configuration changes made from each broker, even though pricing, execution and reporting tools can vary significantly.

Pepperstone MetaTrader4 Desktop Platform

Pepperstone uses its EDGE infrastructure to help bridge the MetaTrader platform with liquidity providers to whom it routes your order for execution, while incorporating its Pepperstone Price Improvement (PPI) technology to help improve execution rates.  This is a highly proactive approach for an agency broker.

Besides the desktop version, MT4 web is a lighter version of the platform made for web browsers, and comes with nearly the same number of indicators and drawing tools as the native desktop version, making it a viable option for the desktop version when you need access to MT4 charts. Meanwhile, MT4 web doesn’t support automated trading strategies, which can be done only on the desktop version.

Pepperstone MetaTrader4 WebTrader platform

Besides MetaTrader platforms, Pepperstone offers the suite of platforms from Spotware Systems, including the cTrader and cAlgo platforms, which support automated trading. The Razor and Standard accounts can be used with both platforms at Pepperstone, helping to unify account offerings across its products.

Moving to the cTrader platform, traders at Pepperstone can login to the web version or download the desktop version for Windows. For algorithmic trading, cAlgo can be used as a standalone platform that can be linked with a cTrader account and comes standard from the developer.  It would be ideal if both modules were combined into a single platform, as those who need the automated trading capabilities must install both cTrader and cAlgo.

Pepperstone cAlgo desktop charting

Spotware systems also launched a web-based app called cMirror, which lets Pepperstone’s clients copy trading strategies from other users and mirror those signals in their own account (i.e. social copy trading).

This offering appears to compete with MetaQuotes’ signals market, which is available through the MT4/MT5 desktop platforms. Nevertheless, cMirror is very rudimentary in its current form, with only a few basic features beyond sorting strategies by account type, returns and time frame, giving MT4 the edge on social trading from its signals’ market.

Pepperstone cMirror web

Compared to the MT4 platform, both platforms support algorithmic trading and fare well when compared alongside each other; however, cTrader has an advantage with its web-based platform, which offers a wider range of trading tools compared to MT4 web. Meanwhile, the desktop version of MT4 contains the algorithmic trading module – compared to cTrader, which requires the standalone cAlgo platform to run in parallel, a small but noteworthy difference.

Pepperstone’s platforms compare well with other brokers that offer platforms from MetaQuotes Software Corp and Spotware Systems’ platforms, such as FxPro, aside from differences in execution method and pricing.

Mobile Trading

Mobile trading at Pepperstone is done either via the MetaTrader 4 mobile app or the cTrader app, both of which are available directly from the developer on Google Play and iTunes, and usually come standard from broker to broker.

Pepperstone MetaTrader4 Mobile Charting

For traders who already have the MT4 mobile app installed, logging in is just a matter of searching for Pepperstone from the app login screen – compared to the cTrader mobile app where the developer makes a branded version for each broker, which can be found on iTunes and Google Play directly from Spotware Systems.

Both apps rank highly in design, functionality and range of tools. Meanwhile, Pepperstone’s lack of proprietary platforms – including desktop, web and mobile – makes the comparison more about pricing and execution, which both rank highly and are similar to FxPro and FXOpen, yet Pepperstone edges higher with the addition of its active trader program.

Other Notes

Around the time of our research, Pepperstone had temporarily halted its new UK operations in order to meet its compliance obligations with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), leaving its UK account offering unavailable until it reinstates its service in the UK.

Pepperstone provides execution across all its account types and platforms solely on an agency basis, compared to other forex brokers that may execute using an agency or dealing desk execution model, such as OANDA, Dukascopy Bank, FXCM and FxPro, which offer both.

This structure of using agency-only execution leaves less room for conflicts of interest that can arise with a dealing desk, yet it also leaves less control for execution quality as third-party dealers are relied upon in the agency model. Therefore, traders seeking pure agency execution may prefer Pepperstone.

Final Thoughts

With nearly 100 instruments available to trade, Pepperstone’s niche offering is mainly for those who focus exclusively on forex and the most popular CFD markets. Also, its products are offered under a regulatory umbrella that encompasses the UK’s FCA and Australia’s ASIC licensing, which helps win customers’ trust.

Pepperstone caters well to advanced traders with competitive pricing on its Razor Account and active trader offering. It also supports algorithmic trading on platforms from MetaQuotes Software Corp. and Spotware Systems, in addition to social copy-trading platforms.

Considering the low minimum deposit, range of platforms and account types, Pepperstone caters well to all forex-focused traders, regardless of experience level.

Methodology

For our 2017 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 20 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 255 variables. Learn more.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to foreign exchange trading, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or currency pair. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more.

View all Pepperstone Fees & Features
Steven Hatzakis

Reviewed by Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Over the past 18 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

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Trading CFDs and FX involves a high degree of risk. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 4/05/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The ForexBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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