Disclaimer: binary options are not available to European traders
Binary Options trading is a quick and much less complicated way of trading than for example traditional forex trading. Therefor it does not come as a surprise that trading in binary options has attracted a lot of traders over the past few years. However, even though a trader can make huge winnings over short time periods, a trader can loose a lot of money over short periods as well. You need to approach this market the same as you would any other. Knowledge, experience, and emotional control are still the factors for success.
The following tips are presented as part of your preparation phase to get your mindset going in the right direction. These tips will not guarantee success, but you will be well advised to take note of the common sense of each one. As a companion article, we have also disclosed the pitfalls to be avoided when trading binary options. If these points are helpful, then please let us know, and do tell us of any other beneficial tips that you might also have to share. Lastly, binary options are popular for many reasons. Hopefully, these tips will help you to enjoy your binary options experience.
1) Choose Your Broker Wisely: With each passing month, droves of newcomers, both veteran traders and beginners alike, rush to open at binary option trading account, based primarily on an Internet advert. The appeal of this new trading vehicle has also generated an army of new brokers on a monthly basis, each sporting the latest and greatest trading platform, asset portfolio, or payoff ratios. In the early days, these brokers originated in far off tax havens where gambling casinos were legal, but in the last few years, traditional brokers have begun to join the fray, finally accepting that binary options were not some fad. As a result, the competition is great, and, unfortunately, the conditions are ripe for a fair share of fraudulent brokers to exist and for many to employ very shady business practices. Take your time finding the right broker for you. Check with your local regulator, other traders, and Internet review websites for any irregularities or a rash of negative comments. Your time spent here will be the best investment you can make for the long run.
2) Curb Your Expectations: Many newcomers harbor dreams of getting rich quickly with these options and are suddenly frustrated when the opposite occurs. Early reports noted that the first converts to binary options were former online poker players. The allure of another online gambling outlet had appeal for them, but the human psychology factor was working in a different fashion. You had to go “All in” with each order. There was no way to drive other players off the table to increase your odds. Payoff ratios looked good early on, but they heavily favored the House. Competition has improved those odds, but you have to conduct your own review. Many brokers tout 81% and up, but that may only be for selected assets at varying times. If the average payout is 70%, with or without a rebate, you may still have to win 60% of the time just to break even. If the average is 80%, then your odds are similar to traditional forex trading, where a “55/45” split covers commissions and losses. Remember that your goal is to tilt the odds in your favor to win over time.
3) Know Your TA and Candlesticks: No one, not even the experts can predict with certainty what any investment instrument might do over a minute or an hour in time, or even a month or more in the future. To win at this game, you need Technical Analysis on your side in a big way. If your broker skimps on these tools, you may need your MT4 forex platform available for additional support. In this regard, pattern recognition can also play a big part, especially in the form of candlestick formations. Fundamental Analysis can also play a role, but with short timeframes, it is best to be aware of scheduled events that could highly impact your chosen asset. Knowledge is power from a guidance perspective with options, unless you only want to gamble.
4) Focus, Focus, Focus: It is easy to get distracted by the multitude of possibilities in the binary options space. Besides hundreds of asset types offered, tour broker may also present you with One-Touch, Boundary, Ladder, and a variety of other option types to choose from, apart from the traditional “Put/Call” alternative. Your best bet is to stay simple with “Put/Call” options, until you become very familiar with the nuances of trading in this medium. It is also recommended that you stick with better-known assets that you have knowledge about. Trade them when the markets are active to ensure that volumes are at their highest and liquidity concerns do not overly impact valuations. As with other trading pursuits, the trend is your friend. Be patient enough to wait for strong trends to offer high-probability setups for your trades.
5) Develop a Trading Strategy: If you fail to have a trading plan, then you are planning to fail. Emotions can mess with your mind and destroy your deposit account. The only accepted way, according to the veterans among us, is to develop a step-by-step strategy for how you will approach this market. You do not necessarily have to create your plan on your own. Search engines can bring up a wealth of strategies that others claim to work. You only need to review a few of these to find one or two that you like and then refine to put your own twist upon it. Live by your plan, keep your ego at the door, and you may be one of the few to find success in this genre.
6) Practice, Practice, Practice: The way you make your initial plan your own is with practice on a demo system with virtual cash. There is no shortcut for experience in any trading environment and especially not with binary options. Veterans suggest that one-hour options are the best place to start. See what times of day produce the most consistent swings in market action. Predictable swings are your targets. If you intend to got he turbo route, then try out a few 60-second options during practice sessions. Luck will play a part in winning and losing. The brokers are counting on it, but as Louis Pasteur once said, “Chance favors only the prepared mind.”
7) Money Management Counts: Money and risk management rules are greatly curtailed in the binary options space, but they are still important, if you wish to trade another day. You can either lose your entire investment, receive a small rebate back, or win a large percentage return. Your possible outcomes are fixed at time of order execution. Your downside risk is your option amount, less any applicable rebate in case you guess wrong. Let’s assume you wager $100. If you are conservative, this amount would only be 2% of your $5,000 account balance. More aggressive traders may tolerate 5% or 10%, meaning that you would need balances of $2,000 or $1,000, respectively. These rules are to protect you from long losing streaks, which will happen, even to veterans. If the force of a strong trend is behind your back, you may want to increase your percentage, as well, but never “Double-Up” on a losing trade or “Sell Early” on a winner with momentum. Increasing your investment amount in order to recover prior losses is just another way to become a quick casualty.
8) Find a Reputable Signal Provider: If you want to trade as a profession and not just as a hobby, you may want to invest in an alert/signal service that can point you to potential opportunities in the binary option space. Be careful, however, because there are a lot of software robot providers that claim to be legitimate, but are just ordinary scams or junk. The good ones rely on tested software algorithms that indicate when a particular asset might be experiencing a trending bias. Options do not work that great when markets are ranging. Validate winning percentages, and do a complete due-diligence review before you make a decision. Also be wary of a broker that offers to trade on your behalf. They are trying to entice you to increase your deposit and then enter a losing trade thereafter. Binary option brokers only make money if you lose it.
9) Be Careful with Correlating Assets: How may open positions should you have at any one time? The advice in traditional trading is no more than three, but since your downside risk is fixed with each order, you may find that you can raise this figure a little. Do not feel that you have to be in the market at all times. If you are trading hour options, be sure that they do not extend past a market closing. The point here is that trading is stressful enough without adding to it. If you do have multiple positions open at one time, you want to be sure that you are diversified without correlations working against your interests. For example, the Euro and Gold tend to move in directions opposite to the U.S. Dollar. If you place your positions incorrectly, you could find that one order cancelled out the other, but you would still lose overall, due to the lower payoff ratio.
10) Expect Early Losses and Start Small: You have followed the tips above, developed and practiced your trading strategy for hours on end, and now you are ready to make some real money. Whoa, Partner! Putting real money on the line can due weird things to your brain cells and nervous system, one reason that casualty rates are so high in this industry. High risk means just that. Do not commit funds that you cannot do without. Early losses could be high, the reason that most brokers must have aggressive new client solicitation campaigns together with hefty promotional deposit bonuses. Be aware of the trading commitments that are associated with these bonus programs, sometimes as much as 30 times the value before withdrawal restrictions will be removed. Brokers expect 7 out of 10 traders to fail and get both the bonus and initial deposit transferred to their coffers. There is no rush. Be patient. Do not put pressure on yourself to step up your action. Start out with small amounts, and as you begin to accumulate consistent gains, then increase your amount to something more reasonable, in line with money management rules.
Forextraders' Broker of the Month
ForexTime (FXTM) is an award-winning platform that certainly has the feeling of being set up by people who know what they are doing. The firm demonstrates an understanding of what helps traders make better returns, and its success can be measured by the fact that it's doubled the number of clients it supports in recent years. The fact that the broker has grown to have more than two million accounts suggests it is getting things right for clients.