Let’s get all the boring stuff out of the way first. Not exactly the new kid on the block, Pepperstone was founded in Australia back in 2010. As the company grew, it expanded its base operations and in 2015 opened a huge London branch. It is being regulated by ASIC in Australia and FCA in the UK.
As we have seen countless times before, the fact that the company had a successful run once upon a time, means very little for someone looking to invest with them in 2020. In my Pepperstone review there will be a breakdown of all my positive and negative experiences during several months I spent trading with them. SPOILER ALERT – it was not as good as I was hoping to. I’m afraid to say, that Pepperstone’s best days are long behind them. Here’s why:
Platform and Execution SCORE: 60%
Platform offer is your standard, run of the mill, MetaTrader (MT4 and MT5), which can be accessed via browser, desktop or mobile version. It has the same base functionality as most of its competitors. These platforms will now offer anything that’s exciting or new, but on the plus side, a vast majority of traders Is familiarized with it, it has been tested and proven time and time again.
However, one thing it does worse than its competition is stability. I have encountered many browser bugs that forced me to close all the windows or even worse restart the whole computer. In my experience, only Chrome will offer a somewhat decent experience. Optimization leaves much to be desired, as none of us should be forced to use a specific browser just for a hope of a better trading experience.
Withdrawal Speed SCORE: 25%
If you are wondering if Pepperstone a scam, I’m afraid this is the time when the cold truth will be shoved straight into your face. As it so often goes, in the beginning everything seemed fine. I was trading conservatively and making small but effective trades. As my account started to grow, I wanted to withdraw those funds and then the real problems started. Pepperstone cancelled my withdrawal. It took more than two weeks to get any kind of response from them, and even then, it was to inform me that my account was to be deleted due to it being under investigation. Two months have passed since then and I am still waiting to get my money back, or at least get a dignifying response from them explaining what really happened. We have seen this kind of behaviour before, as it is sadly no isolated case in this industry.
Support and Assistance SCORE: 55%
This part of Pepperstone review has left me with a highly divisive opinion. Even though Pepperstone has a lot of contact options in theory, your experience will vary drastically based on which method you chose. While emails proved to be a dead end in most situations, live chat was surprisingly very effective. The only downside is that it works only 24/5, so if you get stuck with a problem on the weekend like me, there’s pretty much nothing you can do until Monday rolls around. In my case I resolved my issue via live chat in 10 minutes, it’s just leaves a bad taste in your mouth that you cannot always rely on them, especially if you do most of your trading during the weekend. This seems like a fairly easy thing to improve, however, Pepperstone remains to be reluctant to invest in improving its customer service.
Education and Tools SCORE: 80%
For once I was actually impressed. Even though I feared Pepperstone is a scam, my doubts were quickly washed away by the sheer amount of content on offer here. Novice traders are basically hand held throughout this learning experience, while the webinar section is reserved for those advanced concepts. The addition of day to day trading tools just sweetens the deal. I haven’t seen such a complete offer from a brokerage since SecureDVC. I have always complimented businesses that acknowledge the need of educating its clientele as it has proven time and time again that is if beneficial for both parties in a long run.
In the end, I’m left thinking that Pepperstone is quite the mixed bag. Despite offering a comprehensive set of education tools, there are many areas that it desperately needs to improve. Withdrawal speed will remain the primary reason people will continue to believe Pepperstone is a scam. Until that part of their business is reworked from the ground up, I cannot full heartedly recommend them to neither novice nor experienced traders.