Pepperstone versus FXCM

Pepperstone, an ECN broker operating out of Australia, established itself as a market leader in the Forex industry with a strong focus on automated trading solutions. Social trading is another sector where this broker excels, and ASIC regulation offers a competitive advantage. FXCM is a market maker broker that is regulated in the UK. This broker remains in a rebranding phase as a Leucadia company owned by Jefferies Financial Group Inc., listed on the NYSE under ticker symbol JEF, and a member of the S&P400 index and a Fortune 500 firm. This Forex broker comparison will take a look at these two leading Forex brokers to help you determine if Pepperstone or FXCM is right for you.

This comparison will focus on the following four aspects plus an ultimate verdict:

Feature Pepperstone (visit site) FXCM (visit site)
Headquarter: Australia United Kingdom
Regulation:
ASIC, FCA FCA
Type of Broker:
ECN Market Maker
U.S. Clients Allowed:
Minimum Deposit:
None, $500 recommended £50 or a currency equivalent
Maximum Leverage:
1:500 1:30
Commissions / Spreads:
Spreads, commissions Spreads
Account 1:
Standard CFD Trading
Account 2:
Razor Spread Betting
Demo Account:
Islamic Account:
Segregated Account:
Managed Accounts:
Institutional Accounts:
Website Languages:
  • English
  • Chinese
  • English
Support Hours:
24/5 24/5
E-mail Support:
SMS Support:
Chat:
Broker Offers:

Features and Platforms

Pepperstone

Pepperstone presents traders the MT4, MT5, and cTrader trading platforms from where over 150 assets across five categories are available for trading. Automated trading solutions establish the core at this brokerage, as technology fulfills a critical function. This is further evidenced through the Smart Trader Tools upgrade that consists of 28 plugins for the MT4/MT5 trading platforms, giving retail traders access to professionals trading and risk management tools. cTrader Automate is available for cTrader and allows traders to create customized indicators and develop automated trading solutions. Social trading is equally emphasized at Pepperstone and is supported via partnerships with Myfxbook, ZuluTrade, Mirror Trader, MetaTrader Signals, and DupliTrade.

Research is provided via an in-house pair of professional traders and in collaboration with third-party firms that provide additional research and trading ideas. Pepperstone has partnerships with BK Forex, FX Evolution, and Autochartist, all of which are industry leaders in market updates. New traders have access to a solid educational course. A premium client service and an Active Trader Program, both based on trading volume rather than deposits, complement the excellent trading environment provided by Pepperstone.

Pepperstone

FXCM

FXCM provides traders the MT4 trading platform and the independent NinjaTrader, as well as its proprietary trading platform Trading Station. no plugins for the MT4 were available at the time of this broker comparison. FXCM's focus on its Trade Station ignores innumerable existing clients who prefer MT4, which without plugins lacks key functionalities. While over 2,000 free plugins are available, the ones required, have to be obtained through any of the 700 paid ones. Social trading is possible but solely through ZuluTrade. Automated trading is supported, across all platforms.

Prime service is offered under the FXCM Plus brand and consists of trading signals, a trading analyzer, and trading analytics. A broad selection of written content covering financial markets and trading-related topics are available, and new clients are introduced to trading through educational courses.

FXCM

Feature Pepperstone FXCM
Type of Platform: MT4, MT5, cTrader MT4, Trading Station, NinjaTrader, ZuluTrade
Platform Languages:
  • English
  • English
OS Compatibility:
  • Windows
  • Mobile
  • Web
  • Windows
  • Mobile
  • Web
Trading Signals:
Charting Package:
Market Analysis:
Chart Trading:
Automated Trading:
Scalping:
Hedging:
Mobile Alerts:
Trailing Stops:
Guaranteed Stop Loss:
One-click Execution:
Interest on Margin:
Web-based Trading:
Mobile Trading:

Available Markets

Pepperstone offers over 150 assets across five categories, with the prime focus in the Forex market where traders have sixty-one currency pairs to choose from. Fifteen commodity CFDs, fifteen index CFDs, and sixty-four equity CFDs allow retail traders to diversify their portfolios. Only five cryptocurrency pairs are offered at Pepperstone, and while the asset selection is sufficient for retail traders, more advanced ones will demand more non-Forex assets. The selection at FXCM is even more limited, with less than 40 currency pairs offered. A smaller number of commodity and index CFDs are available, while cryptocurrency pairs are equally limited to just five. Pepperstone grants an overall better asset selection.

Feature Pepperstone FXCM
ETFs:
CFDs:
Commodities:
Metals:
Stocks:
Oil:
Gold:
Binary Options:
Indices:
Cryptocurrencies:

Typical Spreads and Fees

Pepperstone offers spreads as low as 0.00 pips for the EUR/USD in its Razor account, but the average spread clocks on at 0.13 pips. A commission of €7 applies, which creates an extremely competitive and cost-effective for traders. FXCM offers spreads for the same currency pair as low as 0.60 pips. This can be reduced to 0.20 pips, but for a commission of $25 per $1,000,000 traded.The pricing environment at Pepperstone remains far superior over FXCM.

Swap rates are applicable at both brokers, but Pepperstone does offer swap-free Islamic accounts on request. The precise swap rates for each asset may be retrieved from inside the trading platforms, Pepperstone shows traders how to do so while FXCM ignores this step. Equity and index CFDs are subject to corporate actions, which are debited or credited from the trader’s account. Deposit and withdrawal fees are waived by Pepperstone and FXCM alike, but third-party fees are applicable. FXCM charges traders an inactivity fee of £50. Pepperstone deploys and ECN model while FXCM remains a market maker. This means that FXCM directly profits from losses of its traders.

It remains challenging to locate a more competitive trading environment than the one offered by Pepperstone.

Pepperstone

FXCM has acceptable costs, but traders will face higher trading fees at this broker over Pepperstone. This directly reduces the profitability of each trade.

FXCM

Security and Trust

Pepperstone is regulated in Australia by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC avoided mistakes of its global counterparts and allows for the maximum leverage of 1:500. Pepperstone is protected by the Act of Grace mechanism under section 65 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. Losses from damages, deemed extremely unlikely at this broker, are covered under the Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA Scheme). Pepperstone operates one entity in the UK, under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulatory body.

FXCM is primarily regulated in the UK by the FCA as well as by ASIC. FCA protected traders have the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) as an insurance policy. The FSCS reimburses retail deposits in the event of default to the maximum of £85,000. In 2017, FXCM emerged from bankruptcy and has maintained a clean record.

Pepperstone embodies how a well-operated brokerage conducts itself and sets a prime example in the areas of transparency, security, and trust. FXCM, on the other hand, has a somewhat troubled past, but has risen from the ashes to maintain its position as a leading global brokerage. In the area of regulation, both Pepperstone and FXCM offer top regulation that can be respected and relied upon.

A look at Pepperstone’s offerings:

FXCM

FXCM’s offerings:

FXCM

Pepperstone Vs FXCM – Verdict

Pepperstone provides a higher quality product, services, and trading environment over FXCM. Asset selection remains superior at Pepperstone, spreads and commissions are priced more favorably. The 28-plugin upgrade package for the MT4 trading platform available at Pepperstone also gives this broker a clear advantage. Leverage is significantly better at Pepperstone, and the history of this broker remains a shining example for others to follow. That being said, FXCM does offer reliable regulation, ample tradeable assets, and spread betting for UK traders, which can be an advantage if you live in the UK.

Read full FXCM Review