Why should you choose Pepperstone as your Forex/CFD broker? With spreads starting from 0.0 pips and with no fewer than 11 trading platforms on offer (based on the industry-best MT4 and cTrade) Pepperstone’s offer is indeed one worthy of attention. Add a superb regulatory profile to that mix, and you have your answer to that above question…
Who exactly is behind the Pepperstone brand though and under what kind of license does the brokerage operate in your jurisdiction? The parent company behind Pepperstone is Pepperstone Group Ltd. It was founded way back in 2010, and it is based in Australia. As such, the company is registered with ASIC. Its ASIC license number is AFSL 414530. The company is a registered Australian company. Its company number is ACN 147 055 703. Under the provisions of its ASIC license, the Australia branch of Pepperstone keeps the monies of its users in segregated accounts, with the National Australia Bank. The third-party auditing requirements set forth in the same license are handled by Ernst and Young.
In regards to this Australian license, it has to be known that its protections only extend to residents of Australia, who make use of the trading services offered by Pepperstone.
Traders located in Europe will trade with a different operator, Pepperstone Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the above mentioned Pepperstone Group Ltd. Launched in 2016, Pepperstone Ltd. is a registered UK company. Its company number is 08965105, and its FCA registration number is FRN 684 312. User monies are kept in segregated accounts with this branch of the operation too. The bank used to this end is the UK’s Barclays.
Traders covered by the provisions of this license are protected by the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This protection extends to a maximum of GBP 50,000.
Pepperstone’s Trading Instrument Offer
The operator takes great pride in the number and diversity of the trading instruments it features. Indeed, riding the recent trend of offering cryptocurrency-based CFDs, Pepperstone features Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash. These trading instruments are CFDs though: traders won’t ever get to purchase and hold any of the above mentioned cryptos through Pepperstone. They will only be trading the price-swings of these assets, and given the notoriously volatile nature of these instruments, the trading conditions attached to them are indeed some of the least attractive at the site. The spreads are relatively high, as are the margin requirements, and the maximum available leverage is only 5:1.
Forex is arguably the main focus of the site trading instruments-wise. More than 70 currency pairs are supported, among them majors such as the EUR/USD, AUD/USD and GBP/USD, on which the spreads are indeed almost non-existent – provided one uses the Edge Razor account – but more on that soon. Minors and even exotics are supported as well. The maximum available leverage on these instruments is an impressive 500:1.
In addition to Forex, Pepperstone supports some 13 index-based CFDs as well. The trading conditions attached to this asset-class are by-and-large the same as those made available on Forex. One of Pepperstone’s goals is to make institutional-level trading available to retail traders, and through this asset-class, they have certainly taken a major step in this direction.
Besides Forex, cryptos and indexes, Pepperstone features an impressive number of commodity-based CFDs too. In this regard, they have a Precious Metals category, which covers Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium. The Energy section deals with oil and gas. The trading conditions on all these asset categories are indeed quite superb (depending on the account type you sign up for, of course).
The soft commodities section is one of the more interesting underlying asset classes. It features instruments such as cocoa, sugar, cotton and even orange juice. Obviously, the spreads on these assets are somewhat larger than on the above discussed ones (with the exception of cryptocurrecies, of course).
Pepperstone Account Types
As said above, the account type to which one signs up, largely determines the trading conditions he/she will get on various underlying assets/currency pairs. The brokerage has made a Demo account available to those interested in taking the trading platforms for a spin before they commit any real money. Registering a Demo account is delightfully simple and quick. The MT4-based web trader is a superb match for this account-type, as it can be fired up within a few seconds, without the need to download and install bulky software. It is also surprisingly complex and powerful.
Registering a real money account is not a particularly great deal at Pepperstone either. The minimum required deposit for a basic account (called the Edge Standard) is just AUD 200. While this Standard account is indeed commission-free, its spreads start from 0.6 pips, which is rather steep compared with the Edge Razor account.
The Edge Razor is what most brokers would describe as their “most popular” account option. Requiring a minimum deposit of just AUD 200, the Edge Razor features commissions, but its spreads are indeed some of the smallest in the industry. On majors like the EUR/USD, the minimum spreads are in the 0.0-0.6 pips range. The commission has been set to AUD 3.5 per 100k traded.
The Swap Free account of the operator doubles as its Islamic trading account, since it is entirely Swap-Free. This account is obviously commission-free. What that means is that its spreads are larger than those of the Edge Razor account. With the Swap-free account, you’re looking at spreads in the 0.6 – 0.9 pips range. Other than that though, this account (like the Razor one) allows for scalping, hedging as well as the use of EAs.
The Active Traders account is aimed and institutional and high-volume retail traders. This account brings a lot of perks to the table, such as advanced reporting, a dedicated account manager, as well as the option to trade at the brokerage through 3rd party solutions. A proper VPS deal is also part of this package.
In addition to the above, Pepperstone also offers MAM/PAMM solutions for money managers.
Pepperstone Trading Platforms
As already mentioned, Pepperstone feature no fewer than 11 trading platforms. The majority of these is based off the proven and popular MT4 though. Even the Pepperstone Web Trader is an MT4 platform. The full, Desktop version of the platform can be downloaded for free from the Pepperstone website. MT4 is well known among traders for the multitude of technical indicators and trading tools it delivers. In addition to the Windows version of the platform, Pepperstone has made the Mac version available too. MT4-based trading platforms are available for iOS and Android-based mobile devices too. What’s more, Pepperstone have made MT5 available to their traders as well, thus making it easier for them to create their own custom indicators and Expert Advisors.
The cTrade platform suite features a desktop-based trader as well, in addition to a web trader and mobile platforms.
The Bottom Line
Pepperstone is a solid and trustworthy trading destination, the reputation of which is not as spotless as it perhaps could be. There is indeed some negative feedback out there regarding slippage. Other than that though, the platforms look great, the regulatory profile of the operator is perfect and its trading instrument selection is decent.