Binary option trading is a relatively new development in the retail trading world. Five years ago, no one had even heard of it.
Since 2012 however, the popularity of binary options surged as a result of aggressive marketing by binary option brokers, and the promotion of binary trading software by the trading "gurus".
Right now, interest on the topic continues to grow at record levels. Given its current popularity, binary options are likely to be the first "asset" that beginners start trading with.
However, just because something is new and popular... doesn't mean it's worth doing. (Who remembers the fuss over bitcoin trading?)
Opportunities come and go all the time in the retail trading space... and it's important for us to tell the difference between sustainable business models and short-lived fads.
So let's take a moment to examine binary options, and see if it's something we should be paying attention to.
But before we do that, let's first take a quick look at traditional (i.e. vanilla) option contracts.
VANILLA FOREX OPTIONS
Traditional option contracts were initially introduced for people to hedge against future uncertainty.
For example, a German company selling cars in the United States would worry about high EUUSD exchange rates in the future.
Because then they would be getting revenue in a weaker currency (USD) while having to pay expenses in a stronger currency (Euro) in their home country. This results in a significantly lower net profit, or even worse, a net loss.
Forex option contracts were thus introduced to solve this problem, as any losses stemming from currency fluctuations could be offset by profits made from buying options contracts.
To continue with the example, the German car company may choose to buy EUUSD call options, which would profit from an increasing EUUSD rate. Thus, any operational losses in the future (due to a high EUUSD rate) can be offset by the profits gained from those option contracts.
This is, and continues to be, the main purpose of Forex option contracts.
Now of course, in order for the German company to buy call options, someone has to be willing to sell it to them.
Perhaps, a financial institution in France does not believe that the EUUSD will continue to strengthen over the next 12 months, and so is willing sell call options to the German company.
(This, by the way, is how financial markets work. Participants have varying views of the future, and so trade against each other in line with their own expectations.)
In this transaction, the German company pays a fee (in buying call options) to protect against future currency risk, while the financial institution gets paid to take on that risk.
- The German car company looks to limit future currency risk by buying call options - The financial institution (or speculator) collects a fee from selling call options and assumes the currency risk
- Option buyers pay a fixed fee for the potential of a very large profit - Option sellers collect a fixed fee for the potential of a very large loss
FOREX BINARY OPTIONS
In a vanilla option trade, the buyer does not know in advance the amount of money he stands to win. Similarly, the seller does not know in advance the amount of money he stands to lose. The amount is ultimately determined by how far the market price moves.
In a binary option trade however, the trader will know in advance the exact
amount he stands to win or lose, before taking the trade. Binary options are named as such because there are exactly only two possible outcomes: you either win a fixed amount, or lose a fixed amount.
Binary options ask a simple question: will the price be above [price level] at [time]?
For example: will the EUUSD be above 1.3000 at 4.30pm? If you think so, you buy the binary option. If you don't, you sell.
That's pretty much all there is to binary options.
UPSIDE OF BINARY OPTIONS
As you can see, binary option trading can be simply explained and is easily understood. This is a big benefit to new traders, as they can quickly learn the basic mechanics and start trading right away.
A related benefit of this, is having to make fewer trading decisions.
In spot forex trading, for example, one has to decide:
- Where and when to enter the market - The appropriate trading lot size to use - How to manage the trade - Where and when to close the trade
In binary option trading however, there are only 2 decisions to make:
- Whether the market price will be above a certain price level at a certain time - How much to risk on the trade
As such, binary options offer a much simpler trading process. You don’t have to think about (or calculate) leverage and margin at all.
And, since the potential loss on each trade is fixed, you will never get a margin call.
Lastly, options offer traders the unique ability to make money by predicting where prices will NOT go. (This goes for all types of options, not just binary options.) This can’t be done in the spot Forex market.
So… does binary option trading sound good?
Sure it does!
Well... at first glance, anyway.
Now let’s take a look at the downsides of binary option trading. These are the things your binary option broker won’t tell you.
DOWNSIDE OF BINARY OPTIONS TRADING
The most obvious downside of binary option trading is the lack of flexibility.
For example, if the market price moves even one pip against you upon option expiry, you’ll lose your entire stake. You can’t choose to defer your trade exit under any circumstances.
Also, with some binary option brokers, you can’t change your mind and close or modify a trade before expiry. In this sense, a binary option trade is typically an all-or-nothing proposition.
These points on inflexibility can be summarized by the following comment (found in the Forex Factory forums):
"I once traded a forex news item where I closed a wrong call with a 20 pips loss, and ended up making 350 pips on the reverse trade, giving me a net profit of 330 pips. This scenario cannot be replicated in binary options.”
Lastly, the value of a binary option is fixed between 0 and 100, with the broker charging a bid-ask spread and often, a commission as well. The implication of these factors is that the average loss per trade will always be larger than the average profit. This is a structural (i.e. inherent) characteristic of the binary option game.
Thus, in order to break even, a binary option trader would have to win at least 55% of the time. Compare this to spot Forex trading, where a trader can be profitable by winning just 40% (or less) of the time.
MY PERSONAL OPINION
On paper, binary options are an opportunity seeker’s wet dream.
The promise of regular fixed payouts and a focus on short-term profits are exactly the characteristics that appeal to people looking for a quick buck.
Unfortunately for them, what feels good in trading is typically a losing approach.
You see... the only way to keep making money with binary options is to accurately predict market prices at least 55% of the time, AND get the timing right. This is an exceptionally difficult feat to accomplish.
In other words, you can correctly predict future market prices AND STILL LOSE because you got the timing wrong by a few minutes.
All this said, there may be a genuine opportunity here… and that is to be a seller of binary options.
Why? Because it’s a lot easier to estimate where prices will 'not go', rather than trying to predict where it will. Whenever the market settles at a particular price level, it is not settling at a dozen other price levels.
Does this make sense?
This root concept may then be expanded to form a complete binary option trading strategy that you can use.
Note however, that this is a benefit available to all types of options, not just binary options.
SO, ARE BINARY OPTIONS JUST A FAD?
One reservation I have about binary options is that they do not serve a major commercial purpose. Unlike the spot and derivatives markets that serve to benefit society, binary options exist solely for speculation purposes.
In other words, it can be reasonably argued that binary option trading is not much different than a casino game.
Without a commercial purpose, binary options could be banned tomorrow and not impact anyone else other than the brokers and speculators.
Compare this to spot Forex trading, or Forex futures trading, upon which global commerce relies. These markets are unlikely to be closed or banned, because they serve a useful purpose beyond speculation.
As a retail trader for the past 10 years, I’ve seen all sorts of gimmicks and fads come and go. Some years ago, expert advisors were the hot topic. Slowly but surely, people are now gradually realizing that "automated trading" isn't as amazing as it's cracked up to be.
Will binary options follow suit?
My opinion is yes, I think they will.
Binary options do not provide any major benefit to serious traders, and I think that once the opportunity seekers get bored or lose enough money, they’ll lose interest and turn their attention to the next shiny object.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
So... do you particularly agree or disagree with any of the points I’ve mentioned? Did I miss mentioning any important points?
Let me know what you think! The original article is published here
Hey guys! I found a super cool list of everything a new forex trader would need to get started! Originally made by to nate1357
. Link to original thread http://redd.it/328cjr Free Resources Education: www.babypips.com/school www.informedtrades.com/f7 www.forex4noobs.com/forex-education www.en.tradimo.com/learn/forex-trading www.youtube.com/useTheTradeitsimple www.traderscalm.com www.orderflowtrading.com/LearnOrderFlow.aspx www.profitube.com Calendars: www.forexfactory.com/calendar.php www.dailyfx.com/calendar www.fxstreet.com/economic-calendar www.forexlive.com/EconomicCalendar www.myfxbook.com/forex-economic-calendar www.investing.com/economic-calendar Free News Websites: www.forexlive.com
- Daily live news, analysis and resources www.financemagnates.com
- FX industry news and updates www.fxstreet.com
- Daily news, analysis and resources www.forextell.com www.forexcup.com/news www.bloomberg.com/markets Forums: www.reddit.com/forex www.forums.babypips.com/ www.forexfactory.com/forum.php www.elitetrader.com/et/index.php www.forex-tsd.com/ www.fxgears.com/forum/index.php www.trade2win.com/boards Margin / pip / position size calculators www.myfxbook.com/forex-calculators
There are many factors to consider when choosing a brokerage. Regulations typically force US traders to only trade at US brokerages, while international traders have more choice. After considering location you need to consider how much capital you will start trading with as many have minimum deposit levels. Once you’ve narrowed that down you can compared spreads and execution. ECN brokers execute your orders straight through to their liquidity providers, while market maker brokers may pair up your trades with other clients. Market maker brokers typically will partially hedge your positions on the interbank market. Many consider this to be a conflict of interest and prefer to trade at an ECN broker who would have an active motive to see you succeed. Lastly, brokers run inherently risky business models so it is important to consider the risk of bankruptcy. www.forexpeacearmy.com
- Aggregates broker reviews. Be warned though that people only seem to make bad reviews. www.myfxbook.com/forex-broker-spreads
- Live comparison of executable spreads
United States & International-
- ECN. Used most by professional traders. Difficult platform for beginners
- Tight spreads
- Minimum deposit $10000 (or $3,000 if under 25yo) * Well diversified -Oanda
- Market maker. Second largest retail FX brokerage in the US. Easy platform for beginners.
- Fair spreads
- No minimum deposit
- Not well diversified, but well capitalized -Gain Capital (whitelabel forex.com) *Market Maker *Fair spreads *Minimum deposit $250 *Well diversified -FXCM Inc
- ECN. Largest retail FX brokerage in the US
- Tight spreads
- Minimum deposit $2000
- Not well diversified. CAUTION: FXCM nearly went bankrupt in Jan-2015 due to a lack of diversification and low capitalisation. As a result FXCM LLC was bailed out with a large loan which may prove difficult to pay back. Be warned that their business may not be sustainable in the long term. -MBTrading
- ECN. Mid-sized retail FX brokerage
- Fair spreads
- Minimum deposit $400
- Well diversified.
-LMAX (whitelabel DarwinEx)
*DMA broker based in the UK. Note that as a DMA broker LMAX eliminates the ability for LPs to last-look transactions. This may result in reduced liquidity during volatile times as liquidity providers would be likely not to risk posting liquidity to LMAX's pool. *Tight spreads *Minimum deposit $10,000 *Fairly well diversified
*ECN based in Switzerland, but available elsewhere depending on local regulations.
*Tight spreads *Minimum deposit $100 *Fairly well diversified
-IC Markets *ECN based in Australia *Fair spreads on standard account, tight spreads on professional accounts. *Minimum deposit $200 *Fairly well diversified
*ECN broker based in Australia. *Fair spreads on standard account, tight spreads on professional accounts. *Minimum deposit $200 *Not well diversified
Software / Apps:
- Apps are typically broker dependent. Some brokers have their own proprietary software, while others lease common software like Metatrader or NinjaTrader. Some software has a large development community for indicators and EAs.
- https://www.tradingview.com/ - Great for HTML5 browser based charting and alerts
- Common terms and acronyms
FAQ: I need to exchange money, how do I do it?
This isn’t what this sub is for. Your best bet is using your bank or an online exchange service. Be prepared to pay a hefty fee. I have money in one currency and need to exchange it into another sometime in the future, should I wait?
Don’t ask us this. We speculate intraday in FX and shouldn’t be relied on to tell you what’s best for you. Exchange the money when you need it. I have an FX account, should I start trading demo or live?
This is highly debatable. You should definitely demo trade until you have mastered how to use the trading platform on desktop and mobile. After that it’s up to you. Many think that the psychology of trading live vs demo trading is massively different. So it may pay to learn to trade live. Just be warned that most FX traders lose almost their entire first account so start with a low affordable balance. What’s money management?
Money management is a form of risk management and is arguably the most important aspect of your trading when it comes to long term survival. You should always enter trades with a stop loss - the distance of the stop allows you to calculate how large of a percent of your account balance will be lost if your trade stops out. You can run a monte carlo simulation to figure out the risk of having a number of trades go against you in a row to drain your account. The general rule is that you should only risk losing 1-4% of your account per trade entered.
More on this here: www.investopedia.com/articles/forex/06/fxmoneymgmt.asp www.swing-trade-stocks.com/money-management.html What about automated trading?
Retail FX traders have been known to program “Expert Advisors” (EAs) to automate trading. It’s generally advisable to stay away from that until you’re very experienced. Never buy an EA from a developer because the vast majority of them are scams. What indicators are best?
That’s up to you to test and find out. Many in this forum dislike oscillating indicators since they fail to capture the essence of what moves price. With experience you will discover what works best for you. In my experience indicators that are most popular with professional traders are those that provide trading “levels” such as pivot points, fibonacci, moving averages, trendlines, etc. What timeframe should I trade?
Price action can vary in different timeframes. In longer term timeframes the price action and fundamentals are much more clear. Unfortunately it would take a very long time to figure out whether or not what you’re doing is successful on longer timeframes. In shorter timeframes you can often tell very quickly if what you’re doing is profitable. Unfortunately there’s a lot more “noise” on these levels which can prove deceptive for those trying to learn. Therefore the best bet is to use a multi-timeframe analysis, working from top-down to come up with trades. Should I trade using fundamental analysis (FA) of technical analysis (TA)?
This is a long standing argument in these forums and elsewhere. I’ll settle it here - you should have an understanding of both. Yes there are traders who blindly ignore one of the other but a truly well rounded trader should understand and implement both into the analysis. The market is driven in the longer term through FA. But TA is necessary to give traders a place to enter and exit trades from a psychological risk/reward standpoint. I’ve heard trading Binary Options is an easy way to make money?
The general advice is to stay away from binaries. The structure of binary options is so that when you lose the broker wins. This incentive has created a very scammy industry where there are few legitimate binary options brokers. In addition in order to be profitable in binaries you have to win 55-65% of the time. That’s a much higher premium over spot FX. Am I actually exchanging currencies?
Yes and no. Your broker handles spot FX is currency pairs. Although they make an exchange at the settlement date they treat your position in your account as a virtual currency pair. Think of it like a contract where you can only buy or sell it as a pair. In this sense you are always long one currency while short another. You are merely speculating that one currency will appreciate or depreciate vs another. Why didn't my order fill?
Even if price appears to cross over a line on your chart it does not guarantee a fill. Different charting platforms chart different prices - some chart the bid price, some the ask price and some the midpoint price. To fill a limit order price needs to cross your limit's price plus the spread at the time that it is crossing. If it does not equal or exceed the spread then it will not fill. Be wary that in general spreads are not fixed. So what may fill at one time may not at another.
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