Binary Options Basics

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Binary Options Basics

Binary Options Types, Pros and Cons

Binary options have become very popular investment tool, perhaps due to how simple they seem to be. The name ‘binary’ hints at the fact that traders are presented with two choices. This makes them seem easy to understand, which is part of the reason why traders with fewer skills like them.

The idea is that you are predicting on which way prices in various global markets will go in a specified period of time. If you guess correctly then you claim your profit, and if you guess incorrectly, you lose your stake. That’s it!

Binary Options Basics – What are They?

One of the binary options basics you need to be aware of is that the type you’ll see traded most often is called a high-low or fixed-return option, which lets you wager on the movements of stocks, indices, commodities and foreign exchange. These options expire at a predetermined date, time and strike price. If a trader bets correctly on the market’s direction and the final price when the deal expires, they get paid a fixed amount. It doesn’t matter if the instrument has moved a little or a lot since the trade was opened, it just counts as a win, and the trader still receives that same amount. If they get it wrong, they lose their original stake.

So, you see how simple life as a binary options trader appears to be? You’re betting that a stock, index, commodity or currency pair is going to go one way or the other. If you think your asset or index is going to go up, you take what’s called a “call.” If you think it’s going to drop, then you take what’s called a “put.” A call makes money when the instrument is trading higher than the strike price. A put makes money when the instrument is trading lower than the strike price when the deal expires. The broker lets you know what the strike price, expiration date, payout, and risk are when the trade is first set up. With the majority of high-low binary options traded beyond US borders, the strike price is usually the current market price of the asset or index.

US Binary Options vs. Overseas Binary Options

In countries outside the US, binary options usually pay out a set amount and bring a set level of risk. It’s also brokers who offer them directly instead of an exchange. The brokers make their money by taking in more on losing trades than they pay out on winning trades. Apart from certain exceptions, these financial instruments will usually be held until the date of expiry.

US Binary options listings were first made available by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in 2008, which is regulated by the SEC.

These options can be traded at any time, with the rate sitting somewhere between one and a hundred, depending on how likely each one is to make or lose money. On-screen, the trader sees a totally transparent deal and is free to cut their losses or walk away with their profits before the expiry time if they want to.

A trader may also choose to enter while the rate is fluctuating, in order to take advantage of different risk-to-reward situations, or hold until the trade expires, closing the position at the highest amount of gain or loss as compared to what it was when they entered.

Since US binary options are traded on an exchange, this means that every trade takes place between a buyer and a seller who are willing to enter into this arrangement with each other. To make its money the exchange adds a fee that matches counter-parties.

Example of a High-Low Option

In this example, you believe that the NASDAQ index will rally for the duration of the trading day, so you purchase an index call option. The index is currently trading at 1,700, so you’re betting that when your trade expires it will be sitting at a higher number. You have a huge amount of choice when it comes to selecting when you want that expiration time to be. You could choose minutes away, or you could settle for months. It all depends on what your analysis points to. If it suggests that 30 minutes from now would be the best time, then you can choose that. This ‘for example’ deal will pay out 60% on top of your original stake if the NASDAQ rises above 1,800 at that time. If it drops to less than that then you will lose your stake. Minimum and maximum stakes vary from broker to broker.

Let’s say you invest $100 in the call. Expiration is in 30 minutes. The NASDAQ price at expiration is where the clock stops and determines whether you win or lose. The price at expiration could be the last quoted price, or the (bid+ask)/2. Every broker will have their own price rules about expiration.

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With this example, we’re assuming that the last quote on the NASDAQ before expiration was 1,703, which means you get a $120 profit (because that’s 60% of $200). You also get your original $200 investment back as well. But if the price at expiration had been 1699 you would kiss your original $200 goodbye.

In the event that the price on expiration is exactly the same as the strike price, the trader usually gets their money back, although you should check with individual brokers to be sure of what their rules are. Any profits that you make will be added to your trader count automatically as soon as the position is closed.

Other Types of Binary Options

This example is for a typical high-low binary option—the most often traded binary option outside the US, but international brokers will usually offer a whole host of other types of binaries too. Here are two examples:

  • “one-touch” options. The asset you’re trading needs to hit the strike price only once before expiration to make you some money. Targets are set above and below the present price, so traders can pick which one they think the price will hit before the expiration date and time.
  • “range” options. The trader defines a price range that the asset will trade inside until expiry. You win if the price doesn’t step outside this range. You lose if it does.

With a lot of brokers competing in the binary options arena, some have taken to offering products that give payouts between 40% and 400%. Many will have different structures and requirements, but you’ll always know the elements of risk and reward before you embark upon the trade. This potentially means you can make a lot of money from your investment, but brokers don’t give money away, so with such big headline figures, chances are you won’t.

In contrast to US binary option brokers, there are some foreign brokers who will permit traders to exit positions before they expire, but most don’t. Doing this before a position expires usually means the broker won’t pay out as much, or you’ll suffer a modest loss, but not have to give up the whole investment.

The Pros and Cons of Binary Options

You’ll always know the risk and reward ahead of time, which eliminates a huge amount of doubt. And you’ll always know how much you’re going to win or lose because both amounts are fixed. No trader likes unforeseen surprises, so this is a big plus for this kind of trading. Another one is the fact that there are often no fees or commissions to be paid.

Simplicity is obviously a factor because you’re essentially tossing a coin and placing a wager on heads or tails. The asset either goes up or it goes down.

You also don’t need to worry about liquidity, because as a trader you won’t be taking ownership of any underlying asset.

Brokers can offer endless strike prices and expiration times and dates, so there are lots of choices. It’s also worth bearing in mind that at any time of the day or night market is open somewhere doing a roaring trade in many different asset classes..

Binary Options Basics

Are you new to Binary Options trading? Then you need all the help and information on Binary Options basics! We will show you where to go to help you get started with options trading, one step at a time.

Just as in real life, it takes a lot of dedication and motivation to succeed in binary options trading. The training services we recommend are designed to educate our visitors regardless of whether they are novice beginners or experienced veterans. The topics include some of the latest developments in the field of option trading and bring you up to date with information you can use to hone your trading.

The training has been designed to show you exactly how to trade.

But to start, here are some of the Binary Options basics.

What are Binary Options?

Binary Options are perhaps the simplest financial trading instruments that you can find in the market. The options are “binary” because the trade can either be in the money or out of it, all you are required to do is predict whether the price of the asset increase or stay below a predetermined value when the contract expires. If your prediction ends up coming true then you are awarded the full amount stipulated in the contract, and if it does not then you win nothing.

Unlike the stock markets where the amount you can make depends upon the value of the underlying asset, the returns in binary options trading are fixed and non-negotiable.

Binary options have become a very popular form of trading in Europe because of their simplicity and also because you are not required to invest thousands of dollars in order to get started. All you have to do is signup with a broker and start trading, most will only require you to deposit between 100 to 500 dollars and many of them give attractive signup bonuses.

They are also becoming ever more popular in the USA. They used to originally only be the realm of Large investment banks that used them as an OTC (Over The Counter) instrument.

How Do Binary Options Work?

Depending on the broker you sign-up with you have a number of different asset classes you can trade using binary options; these include commodities, stocks, indices and currencies. When you buy a trade, you place a Call Option and when you are selling a trade you place a Put Option. The contract can last from 1 minute to 30 days and once again, the length of the contract will depend upon the broker(s) you sign-up with.

Before you can get started, you will have to sign-up with a broker who is basically an intermediary who provides you with a platform through which you can place your trades. You will be required to deposit a minimum amount with the broker and it will be from this amount that your trades will be placed.

What is a Binary Options Broker?

A broker is a service provider who has access to the financial market. These intermediaries have all the tools needed to help you trade and provide you with the assets and the options. Most brokers are situated in Europe and many have their head offices in Cyprus, mostly because of better regulation and tax structures.

A broker also has the required software which helps you to place your trades, these platforms have many different features and come with advanced charting and reporting features that can help traders place more informed trades.

Types of Binary Options

While the basic Up/Down Binary Options are provided by almost every broker, there are several variations which enterprising brokers have added to their platform, here are a few of them:

  • High/Low Options: In these types of contracts, you have to predict whether the price of the asset will be higher or lower than a predetermined value. The target price that the rise or fall is measured against at the expiration of the contract is known as Strike Price. You can set the expiry deadline on the price of the asset along with the call or put options.
  • One Touch Option: In these types of options you have to predict whether the price of the asset will touch or stay within a certain value. When selecting one touch options, you have to determine the position of the barrier and the time of expiration of the contract. In these types of options, only two outcomes are possible, i.e. the option breaches the barrier or it does not.
  • Range Options: These are options where you have to determine whether the price of the asset will fall between two ranges or stay outside of them. You can determine the range of the assets as well as the expiry time. Finally, you will have to predict whether the price will remain within the range or stay outside of it.
  • 60 Second/Turbo Options: These are simple High/Low Options however with a time bar of only 1 minute. You have to determine whether the price of the asset stay below or rise above the strike price. These types of options are ideal for persons who are looking for a way to make some quick money by capitalizing on short term market trends. You should also know that these options are perhaps the riskiest there are as the movement of most assets tends to be very erratic on shorter trends.
  • Ladder Options: These are perhaps the best kind of Binary Options there are! In them, you are given a range of different price levels which are placed in an equidistant manner from each other. You have to determine whether the price of the asset will end up above or below at each price level. The advantage of ladder option is that it can allow you to “lock” your profits in place if the price of the asset goes according to your prediction on a particular price level. Such a system to an extent mitigates the “all or nothing” character of binary options trading and returns at least some profits if your predictions pan out on some of the rungs of the ladder.

These are some of the basics that should help a trader get started, when trading in binary options you have to bring yourself up to speed on many aspects including the historical trends that an asset has traced, and how the market has been behaving among other things.

The Trading Club is designed to help you trade better by understanding the underlying dynamics of both binary options in general as well as your chosen asset(s). The training provided by the Trading Club is offered via Skype as well as the phone and has some of the most experienced traders in the field sharing their views and expertise with new and upcoming traders. Some of the things covered include:

  • Binary options fundamentals.
  • Chart analysis.
  • Technical analysis.
  • Market research.

In short, the Trading Club will point you in the right places for all the training you will need to succeed in Binary Options Trading. Remember, the information that you will be introduced to will come straight from highly experienced professionals who themselves are raking in thousands upon thousands of dollars per day.

Sign up with the Trading Club today to learn the basics of Binary Options.

What You Need To Know About Binary Options Outside the U.S

Binary options let traders profit from price fluctuations in multiple global markets but it’s important to understand the risks and rewards of these controversial and often-misunderstood financial instruments. Binary options bear little resemblance to traditional options, featuring different payouts, fees, and risks, as well as a unique liquidity structure and investment process.

Binary options traded outside the U.S. are also structured differently than those available on U.S. exchanges. They offer a viable alternative when speculating or hedging but only if the trader fully understands the two potential and opposing outcomes. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) summed up regulator skepticism about these exotic instruments, advising investors “to be particularly wary of non-U.S. companies that offer binary options trading platforms. These include trading applications with names that often imply an easy path to riches.” 

What Are Binary Options?

Binary options are deceptively simple to understand, making them a popular choice for low-skilled traders. The most commonly traded instrument is a high-low or fixed-return option that provides access to stocks, indices, commodities and foreign exchange. These options have a clearly stated expiration date, time and strike price. If a trader wagers correctly on the market’s direction and price at the time of expiration, he or she is paid a fixed return regardless of how much the instrument has moved since the transaction, while an incorrect wager loses the original investment.

The binary options trader buys a call when bullish on a stock, index, commodity or currency pair, or a put on those instruments when bearish. For a call to make money, the market must trade above the strike price at the expiration time. For a put to make money, the market must trade below the strike price at the expiration time. The strike price, expiration date, payout, and risk are disclosed by the broker when the trade is first established. For most high-low binary options traded outside the U.S., the strike price is the current price or rate of the underlying financial product. Therefore, the trader is wagering whether the price on the expiration date will be higher or lower than the current price.

Binary Options Outside the US

Foreign Versus U.S. Binary Options

Non-U.S. binary options typically have a fixed payout and risk, and are offered by individual brokers rather than directly on an exchange. These brokers profit on the difference between what they pay out on winning trades and what they collect on losing trades. While there are exceptions, these instruments are supposed to be held until expiration in an “all or nothing” payout structure. Foreign brokers are not legally allowed to solicit U.S. residents unless registered with a U.S. regulatory body such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) began listing binary options for U.S. residents in 2008.   The SEC regulates the CBOE, which offers investors increased protection compared to over-the-counter markets. Chicago-based Nadex also runs a binary options exchange for U.S. residents, subject to oversight by the CFTC. These options can be traded at any time, with the rate fluctuating between one and 100, based on the current probability of the position finishing in or out of the money. There is full transparency at all times and the trader can take the profit or loss they see on their screen prior to expiration. They can also enter as the rate fluctuates, taking advantage of varying risk-to-reward scenarios, or hold until expiration and close the position with the maximum gain or loss documented at the time of entry. Each trade requires a willing buyer and seller because U.S. binary options trade through an exchange, which makes money through a fee that matches counter-parties.

High-Low Binary Option Example

Your analysis indicates the Standard & Poor’s 500 index will rally for the rest of the trading day and you to buy an index call option. It’s currently trading at 1,800 so you’re wagering the index’s price at expiration will be above that number. Since binary options are available for many time frames—from minutes to months away—you choose an expiration time or date that supports your analysis. You choose an option that expires in 30 minutes, paying out 70% plus your original stake if the S&P 500 is above 1,800 at that time or you lose the entire stake if the S&P 500 is below 1,800. Minimum and maximum investments vary from broker to broker.

Say you invest $100 in the call that expires in 30 minutes. The S&P 500 price at expiration determines whether you make or lose money. The price at expiration may be the last quoted price, or the (bid + ask)/2. Each binary options broker outlines their own expiration price rules. In this case, assume the last quote on the S&P 500 before expiration was 1,802. Therefore, you make a $70 profit (or 70% of $100) and maintain your original $100 investment. If the price finished below 1,800, you would lose your original $100 investment. If the price expires exactly on the strike price, it is common for the trader to receive her/his money back with no profit or loss, although brokers may have different rules. The profit and/or original investment is automatically added to the trader’s account when the position is closed.

Other Types of Binary Options

The example above is for a typical high-low binary option—the most common type of binary option—outside the U.S. International brokers will typically offer several other types of binaries as well. These include “one-touch” options, where the traded instrument needs to touch the strike price just once before expiration to make money. There is a target above and below the current price, so traders can pick which target they believe will be hit before the expiration date/time. Meanwhile, a “range” binary option allows traders to select a price range the asset will trade within until expiration. A payout is received if price stays within the range, while the investment is lost if it exits the range.

As competition in the binary options space heats up, brokers are offering additional products that boast 50% to 500% payouts. While product structures and requirements may change, risk and reward is always known at the trade’s outset, allowing the trader to potentially make more on a position than they lose. Of course, an option offering a 500% payout will be structured in such a way that the probability of winning the payout is very low.

Unlike their U.S. counterparts, some foreign brokers allow traders to exit positions before expiration, but most do not. Exiting a trade before expiration typically results in a lower payout (specified by broker) or small loss, but the trader won’t lose his or her entire investment.

The Upside and Downside

Risk and reward are known in advance, offering a major advantage. There are only two outcomes: Win a fixed amount or lose a fixed amount, and there are generally no commissions or fees. They’re simple to use and there’s only one decision to make: Is the underlying asset going up or down? In addition, there are also no liquidity concerns because the trader doesn’t own the underlying asset and brokers can offer innumerable strike prices and expiration times/dates, which is an attractive feature. The trader can also access multiple asset classes anytime a market is open somewhere in the world.

On the downside, the reward is always less than the risk when playing high-low binary options. As a result, the trader must be right a high percentage of the time to cover inevitable losses. While payout and risk will fluctuate from broker to broker and instrument to instrument, one thing remains constant: Losing trades will cost the trader more than she/he can make on winning trades. Other types of binary options may provide payouts where the reward is potentially greater than the risk but the percentage of winning trades will be lower.

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