Binary Options Trading Requires Very Little Experience
The common misconception is that binary options trading and forex trading can only be done by one that has a certain amount of experience in the area. There is no requirement to have any previous experience in financial trading and with a little time, any skill level can grasp the concept of binary options trading.
The basic requirement is to predict the direction in which the price of an asset will take. The price will either increase (call) or fall (put). Successful binary options traders often gain great success utilizing simple methods and strategies as well as using reliable brokers such as IQ Option or 24Option.
From this page you will find all the relevant strategies for binary options trading.
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General Risk Warning:
Binary options trading carries a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds
Binary and digital options are prohibited in EEA
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How to minimize the risks
Our goal is to provide you with effective strategies that will help you to capitalize on your returns. These are simple techniques that will help to identify certain signals in the market that guide you make the proper moves in binary options trading. Risk minimizing is important for every trader and there are a few important principles that aim to help in this area. Binary options trading can present several risks but to decrease them, take the following into consideration.
• Never invest the entirety of your capital at once • Review the dynamics of your trading asset prior to investing • Exercise the strategy by investing only 5 to 10 percent of your equity per placement
Reasons for Having a Binary Options Strategy
You don’t need a strategy to trade binary options. You could simply go with your gut, making decisions in the moment and on instinct. However, you won’t make any money with this approach. In fact, you will probably lose a lot. So, while it is not essential to have a strategy in order to trade binary options, to be successful and profitable you must have a binary options strategy.
To be more precise, you need three different types of strategy. Below is an introduction to each.
Trading Strategies – What They Are and Why You Need One
There are two main reasons for having a trading strategy and sticking to it. The first is that it removes the possibility of you making emotional or irrational decisions. Instead, decisions are based on pre-defined parameters that are developed with clear thinking. The second reason for having a trading strategy is that it makes it possible to benefit from repetition. Without this type of strategy, you probably won’t know what worked or why. Even if you did, it would be hard to repeat it.
In other words, a trading strategy ensures your trades are based on clear and logical thinking while also ensuring there is a pattern that can be repeated, analyzed, tweaked, and adjusted.
For example, you can analyze your strategy after a set number of trades or a set time period. Is it making you money? Is it making you enough money? Maybe it is making you money but not as much as you hoped. In this situation you may decide to let it continue knowing it will be profitable in the long term. Or you might decide to make carefully considered and structured changes to improve profitability. This is all possible, but only if you have a trading strategy in the first place.
The alternative is haphazard and impossible to optimize. Imagine you looked at your performance after a set number of trades or a set period of time but did not have a trading strategy to judge it against. What would you do if you lost money? All you could really do is hope you make better decisions in the future. However, you would have nothing concrete to base your adjustments on. The same applies if you were making money but not as much as you had hoped. In fact, the same also applies if you did make money – you would have no way of knowing for sure that you could replicate the performance again, as each transaction is a standalone trade and is not part of an overall strategy.
It is a completely impractical way of trading. Look at a scenario where you don’t use a trading strategy. In the scenario, you make a 50 percent profit one month and then a 50 percent loss the next month. How would you ever know why one month was successful and the other wasn’t? How would you know what to change, if anything?
You simply wouldn’t. The best you can probably hope for is break even, and that is no use to anyone. In reality, you will probably lose money because you have to win more than you lose. Without a trading strategy, that is almost impossible.
Money Management Strategies – What They Are and Why You Need One
Many people make the mistake of only developing a trading strategy – i.e., a strategy that determines the type of asset they want to trade and the level of risk they want to be exposed to. Little thought is given to the money management strategy. That is a mistake because a money management strategy will help you manage your balance so you can get through bad patches and maximize winning streaks.
To illustrate this further, let’s look at an example of someone who doesn’t have a money management strategy. Because of this they invest 10 percent of their balance on a single trade. If that trade loses, they will need a 20 percent gain on their account balance just to break even. If they lose three trades in a row, they will need a 30 percent gain on their account balance just to break even. You can see how this can easily creep up – a common losing streak of three in a row could see the account balance of that trader drop by 30 percent. When you consider the fact that many losing streaks are much longer than three-in-a-row, you will appreciate how important a money management strategy is.
Without one, your account balance is at risk of hitting zero, even if you have a good trading strategy in place. Losing streaks and unprofitable trades are a part of life, so you must have a strategy in place that deals with these inevitabilities. This means managing your money to maximize profits, limit losses, and, crucially, get back to a profitable position after a bad patch.
Analysis and Improvement Strategies – What They Are and Why You Need One
There is no such thing as the holy grail of binary options trading strategies. Markets change, and every successful trader constantly works to improve, update, enhance, and make better. Even traders with many years of experience and large profits in their bank accounts still work hard to analyze and improve how they trade. It applies even more to new traders and those with minimal experience.
An analysis and improvement strategy gives you a structured way of maximizing the good parts of your trading and money management strategies while simultaneously fixing or removing the parts of your strategies that are not working. This helps you become more profitable in the long term, and it helps you adjust to changing market conditions.
Without an analysis and improvement strategy, you will plod along. If you have good strategies in place you might make money, but nothing is guaranteed. In addition, you might not be making as much money as you could. Why leave these profits behind when there is a way of getting them? That way is through analysis and improvement.
Types of Binary Options Strategy
Binary options strategies are all different, but they have three common elements:
Creation of a binary option signal and getting an indication of how to trade this signal
How much you should trade
Improving your strategy
The precise strategy can vary on each step, so there are a huge number of possibilities. The most important part of developing a successful strategy is understanding as much as possible about each element. This will be covered in the next section, starting with the creation of signals.
Step 1 – Creation of Signals
A signal is basically an indication that the price of an asset is about to move in a particular direction. Of course, prices of assets move all the time. What you need is something that predicts that move before it happens. That is what a signal does.
There are two ways that signals are created. The first is to use news events, and the second is to use technical analysis.
Generating signals from news events is probably the most common approach, particularly for new or inexperienced binary options traders. It involves looking at what is happening in the news, such as an announcement by a company, an industry announcement, and the release of government inflation figures. In many simple cases, positive news means prices are likely to rise while negative news is likely to lead to a fall in prices.
The starting point for making this strategy work is knowing what news events to expect and when. This is why you will find economic calendars on most good binary options trading platforms. If you know that a company’s earnings report is due in two days’ time you can plan your analysis and trading activities around this.
The best platforms will also tell you what to expect from the news event. For example, it is helpful to know that a company’s earnings report is due in two days’ time, but it is even more helpful if you also know what the market expects to see in that report. You can then make decisions in advance of the report in an attempt to predict its contents and the subsequent market movements. You can also make decisions after it is published based on market expectations and reactions.
There are positives to a news events approach to trading. In particular, it is easy to understand and learn. There are disadvantages to the approach too. The biggest problem is unpredictable markets. For example, a company might release an earnings statement that shows an increase in profits. This is a positive news event that you would expect on first reading to cause the market to react positively. However, within the report there might be additional information that spooks the market, such as profits not being as high as expected. This could mean the market moves less than you anticipated and, in some cases, can even move in the wrong direction – prices falling even though the news event is categorized as positive.
It is also difficult to predict how long a movement will last and how far it will go. If you go back to the example of the company earnings report, it is a positive report so prices in the company’s shares are likely to rise; but how long will the rising price situation last and when will the price max out? These questions are unknowns.
Trading based on technical analysis offers an alternative. It is a strategy that seeks to predict the movement of asset prices regardless of what is happening in the wider market.
Essentially, the process involves looking at how the price of a particular asset moved in the past. From this, it is possible to establish patterns that can be used to predict price movements in the future.
It sounds complicated, but our brains are used to doing this on a daily basis. A good example is when you meet a new person. If that person greets you warmly, you are likely to predict positive things for the relationship. On the other hand, if the person is standoffish or unfriendly, you might anticipate difficulties in the relationship. You come to these conclusions based on your experiences in the past of meeting people and forming relationships.
Technical analysis does something similar. It looks at the current conditions of an asset and decides, based on past experience, if the price will remain largely unchanged or if it will rise or fall.
Once you get into the technical concepts and terms, it does, of course, get a bit more complicated. However, the overall concept is the same as the day-to-day task of making a prediction on future outcomes based on past events.
Now for the big question – should you use a news event approach to trading or a technical analysis approach? This comes down to a number of factors, and the answer will be different for everyone. The best advice is to try both to see which you are most comfortable with and which generates the most profits. Of course, you are probably not in a position to test strategies with your hard-earned money. Luckily there is another option – using a demo account. Most of the reputable binary options trading platforms on the market offer a demo account facility. This allows you to trade binary options with virtual money rather than real money. You can’t make any profits with a demo account, but you will not lose any real money either. What you can do is test strategies and trading styles without any risk.
One final point to remember when looking at signals and strategies is to focus on the short-term. There are investment strategies that aim to predict the price movement of an asset over a long period of time, such as 10 years. This type of information is of no use in binary options trading. Instead, you need to know if a price is going to move over the next couple of minutes, the next hour, the next day. A prediction of the price in 10 years’ time is not relevant.
To achieve that you need short-term signals and short-term strategies.
Step 2 – How Much You Should Trade
This is essentially a money management strategy. They vary in complexity and level of success, starting with a strategy that involves investing the same amount on each trade. Two other common strategies are the Martingale strategy and the percentage-based strategy. For long term success, the latter is the best option.
Investing the same amount of money on each trade is just like having no strategy at all. It is the riskiest strategy, as it does not take into account either your overall level of profitability or the amount of money you have in your account. Both of these are essential factors, and ignoring them can result in quickly depleted balances.
Let’s look at the other two common strategies now, starting with the Martingale money management strategy.
The core concept of the Martingale strategy is to recover losses as soon as possible. This means investing larger amounts of money in trades following a losing trade. For example, you could have a set value of money that you trade, which you then double when you have a loss. If that trade wins, then you are back in profit again rather than being somewhere around break even.
Problems with this strategy occur when you go on a losing streak with multiple losing trades in a row. Each losing trade in a Martingale strategy involves an increase in the investment on the following trade. This quickly adds up. For example, imagine you went on a 10-trade losing streak. That is a lot, but it is not an unrealistic or unreasonable situation. On a 10-trade losing streak, your 11th trade would have to be 1,024 times the value of your original trade in order to stay with the Martingale system. There are not many budgets that could withstand that sort of increase, even if the value of the original trade was low.
The question comes down to how accurate your predictions are and whether you can prevent or minimize losing streaks. It is always important to remember that nothing in binary options trading is a sure thing. Even trades that you are certain will be successful can end up as losses. Losing streaks are inevitable, regardless of how good a trader you are. It is simply impossible to be right enough times to prevent them. Therefore, for most people, a Martingale money management system is a risky option.
A percentage-based system is less risky, so it is usually the preferred choice for most traders, particularly those who are new to binary options trading. The concept is fairly simple – the amount invested on a trade is based on your account balance. If you lose a trade, your account balance will fall, so the amount of money invested on the next trade decreases. If, on the other hand, you win a trade, the amount of money invested on the next trade increases because your account balance has increased.
This strategy helps to keep your balance intact so you can realize steady profits over time.
The question then comes down to what percentage of your balance do you want to invest. As a guide, a trader who is comfortable with risk might choose a number somewhere around five percent, whereas a trader who doesn’t like risk would select a value somewhere around two percent.
Let’s look at an example, assuming you invest five percent of your balance. If your account balance was $500, your trades would be $25. If your balance decreased to $300, your trades would decrease too – each investment would be $15. If, on the other hand, your balance increased to $800, your trades would each be $40.
This is a strategy that helps you only invest an amount that you can afford. It is a strategy that lets you increase your profits while also protecting your account balance during difficult periods and losing streaks.
Step 3 – Improving Your Strategy
One of the best ways to improve your trading strategy is to analyze your performance using a diary. This is a simple but highly effective concept. It involves keeping a diary where you note down every trade that you make. You can then look for patterns and trends to see what is working and what isn’t.
This is a particularly effective approach if you are a new trader and are still trying to establish a profitable strategy. A common approach in this scenario is to place trades using both technical analysis signals and news events signals. A diary will help you keep those trades separate so you can judge which performed better. For example, you might find you are getting double the profits from trades you make based on technical analysis. However, you know from experience that you spend more time on news event signals than you do on technical analysis. The information in your diary would indicate that you should consider a change of approach.
Basically, it is all about knowing what trades are working and which ones are not. The only way to do that is by keeping a record, so a trading diary is a highly effective tool.
A trading diary also lets you focus on the details to fine tune your overall trading strategy. After all, you will get to a point where you are seeking a one or two percentage point increase in your profitability. This is simply not possible to do in a sustained way if you don’t keep good records. On the other hand, doing it successfully could result in hundreds or even thousands in additional profits.
Remember to use your trading diary to check all parts of your trading approach, not just the trading strategy. This includes how you manage money and how you decide on the value of each trade. It also includes looking at the best assets for your trading approach and style.
You can then go into even deeper detail. For example, you can look at the best days of the week or the best times of the day. This information might lead you to adjust your approach. You can also look at things like which brokers work best for you and much more.
There are many things that a trading diary will tell you. One of the problems is trying to work on too many of them at the same time. If you do that you won’t know which changes are having a positive effect and which are not. The easy way to fix this is by focussing on single changes, analyzing their impact, and then moving on. Again, your trading diary is crucial to this process.
If you don’t keep a trading diary at the moment, start as soon as possible. It will become an indispensable tool.
Trading Strategy Examples
Let’s now look in more detail at some specific trading strategies. The strategies below are among the most common, but there are others you can use as well. Also, many traders adapt, alter, or combine strategies to suit their objectives, attitude to risk, and trading goals. There has to be a starting point somewhere, and the strategies below are a good place to start your learning about binary options trading strategies.
Before going on, it is important to remember that none of them will be effective if you don’t also combine them with a money management and improvement strategy, as explained above.
Trading Strategy Example 1 – Trading the Trends
The price of an asset generally moves according to a trend, i.e. it moves up in price for a period of time or it moves down in price. These price movements are never linear. Instead, they zig-zag, sometimes moving up in price and sometimes moving down, but overall moving in one general direction. As these zig-zag movements are predictable in particular situations, they present an opportunity for binary options trades.
In simple terms, you have two main options: you can trade the overall trend or you can trade each swing. Trading the overall trend means ignoring the minute-by-minute up and down movements in price to instead focus on the overall trend direction for a period of time. This gives you multiple opportunities to profit from the trend, particularly given the fact that most trends persist for medium to long periods of time, i.e. they are well within the boundaries of the short term trading style required to be successful in binary options trading.
Trading each swing involves placing more trades. It involves more risk as a result, but there is also the potential for greater rewards. This approach is based on thinking about the highs and lows in either an upward or a downward trend:
Upward trend – New highs and new lows will generally be higher than previous highs and lows in an upward trend.
Downward trend – New highs and new lows will generally be lower than previous highs and lows in a downward trend.
Remember the point made at the start of this section though – there is no reason why you can’t combine both so you use both approaches at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive.
The most common way to trade trends is by using High / Low options. All binary options trading platforms offer this type of trade. Basically, you trade on whether an asset’s price is going to be higher than it is now after a set period of time (a high option) or lower than it is now (a low option).
A riskier but potentially more lucrative option is to go for a one-touch option. This is another popular binary options trading selection. Instead of simply predicting whether a price will finish higher or lower, you predict whether or not the price will reach a certain point. This is called the target price.
Again, you can use a combination of both to diversify your risk while increasing your chance of making higher profits.
Trading Strategy Example 2 – Trading Based on News Events
Trading on assets based on events in the news is one of the more popular styles of trading. The theory is fairly simple. Good news, such as a company reporting profit information that was above analyst expectations, would see the price of that asset go up. Similarly, profit information that was disappointing would see that company’s share price go down. You can make profitable binary options trades in these conditions.
It is not an exact science, however. Other styles of trading, such as technical analysis, produce parameters that are precise. Trading based on news events leaves a lot to chance, as there is no sure way of knowing how much an asset’s price will increase or decrease or how long the price movement will last.
You can adopt specific strategies and approaches to help increase your chances for success. Here are three you can work into your overall binary options strategy:
Boundary options – This is the strategy to use when you know an asset’s price is going to move, but you are not sure which direction it will go. A good example of a situation where this is suitable is before a major news event, as you won’t know if it is going to be positive news or negative news. With a boundary option, two target prices are defined – one above the current price and one below. The difference between these two numbers is known as the price channel. If the price of the asset hits either of these two price targets, you win. If it stays within the channel, you lose. As you can see, it is a strategy that works best when you expect significant movement in the price of an asset.
Trading the breakout – The breakout is the period of time immediately following the release of news that impacts the market. In binary options trading, this is a very short period of time – anything from 30 seconds to a few minutes. The theory behind the strategy is that the most significant movements in the price of the asset will occur during this breakout period as traders seek to adjust their positions to take make a profit or limit their exposure to risk. The type of binary options trade you would use in this scenario is a simple High / Low option, but you select a very short expiration time. This is sometimes known as a 60-second option.
Intelligent High / Low trades – In simple terms, positive news means prices will rise, and negative news means prices will fall. As already explained, the market does not always react according to this rule. Sometimes news that is positive on the surface – falling unemployment figures, profit reports by a company, or inflation numbers that are within government targets for example – cause markets to react in a negative way. This comes down to expectation, i.e. the market expected the unemployment numbers, profit announcement, or inflation figures to be better and had already made adjustments before the news was released in anticipation. When the news isn’t as good as the market expects, it adjusts in the other direction, prompting prices to fall even though the news is generally positive. If you can predict when these events will happen, you can make good profits using High / Low trades.
Trading Strategy Example 3 – Using Candlestick Formations
For new traders, this might be the most difficult of the strategies to explain, but it is the easiest to implement and make money from once you understand it.
When you look at an asset’s price chart over time, it is typically a line chart showing the price at each point in time. For example, looking at the price over a month is likely to show you the price the asset closed at on each day. However, this is only one piece of price data. Candlesticks give you much more.
Candlesticks are represented on an asset’s chart over time, just like a line graph, but they are designed to give you much more information. The bottom of the candlestick represents the low price it reached during the specific time period, and the upper part of the candlestick represents the high price it achieved. In between, you will also see both the opening and closing price. In other words, a candlestick lets you see, at a glance, the price range that a particular asset fluctuated between during that specific period of time.
Using candlesticks as a trading strategy involves recognizing various candlestick formations that you can use to predict an asset’s price movement.
A Candlestick with a gap is one example. This occurs when the price of an asset moves from one price to another that is significantly higher or lower. The difference between these prices is the gap. It is an unusual occurrence because price movements are typically much more gradual, with the asset hitting all or most of the price points as it moves through the range.
So, what can you learn about an asset when you spot a gap in a candlestick, and how can you use this information to make a prediction?
A gap that occurs during times when there isn’t much trading volume can be an indicator that a quick correction is likely to occur. One of the situations where this might happen is shortly before a market closes for the day when there are not many traders left placing trades. Large trades in these situations can produce the gap, but that is not necessarily reflective of the strength of the asset, i.e. if the trade had taken place when the market was more active, the gap would not have occurred. You can therefore predict the gap in the price of this asset and base your trades accordingly.
Gaps that appear during periods of high trading activity but where the price is not generally moving very much can be an indication of a new breakout, i.e. that the asset’s price will start moving in that direction. You can use this information to predict the price and make a trade.
If there is already a trend in a particular direction and the volume of trading is normal, the gap might indicate an acceleration of the trend. In other words, the movement of the price in a particular direction is likely to accelerate. You can use this information to base your next trade.
A candlestick formation with a gap is just one of many. However, knowing and having confidence in several will greatly improve your binary options strategy.
Developing a Binary Options Strategy Without Risking Money
As explained in detail throughout this article, a binary options strategy is essential if you want to trade profitably. It gives structure to your trading, removes emotion-led decision making, and lets you analyze and improve.
How do you test a strategy without risking your money? After all, how can you find out that a strategy doesn’t work without trying it? If you try a strategy that doesn’t work using your own money, you will lose it. That could result in you going through your available funds before the testing phase ends, leaving you with nothing to trade with.
There is a solution – a binary options demo account. All reputable and good quality brokers and trading platforms offer demo accounts. They let you test the platform, but, crucially, they also let you test your trading strategies using real market conditions. The testing is done using virtual money instead of your own, so there is no real money at risk. Of course, you can’t make any money either, but that is not the point. The point of a demo account is to solidify a binary options strategy that is profitable.
There are several assets to select from in binary options trading. However, the oldest and most effective approach to minimize risks is to focus on a single asset. Trade on those assets that are most familiar to you such as euro-dollar exchange rates. Consistently trading on it will help you to gain familiarity with it and the prediction of the direction of value will become easier. There are two types of strategies explained below that can be of great benefit in binary options trading.
1. Trend Strategy
A basic strategy most adopted by beginners as well as experienced traders. This strategy is often referred to as the bull bear strategy and focuses on monitoring, rising, declining and the flat trend line of the traded asset. If there is a flat trend line and a prediction that the asset price will go up, the No Touch Option is recommended.
If the trend line shows that the asset is going to rise, choose CALL.
If the trend line shows a decline in the price of the asset, choose PUT.
This method works the same as the CALL/PUT option except in this case, you select the price at which the asset must not reach before the selected period. For example, Google’s share price is $540 and the trading platform is on the No Touch price of $570 with percentage returns of 77%. If the price doesn’t reach $570 after the specified time, then there is a gain.
2. Pinocchio strategy
This strategy is utilized when the asset price is expected to rise or fall drastically in the opposite direction. If the value is expected to go up, select CALL and if it’s expected to drop, select PUT. This is best practiced on a free demo account from one of the brokers.
3. Straddle Strategy
This strategy is best applied during market volatility and just before the break of important news related to specific stock or when predictions of analysts seem to be afloat. This is a highly regarded strategy utilized throughout the global community of trading. This is a strategy best known for presenting an ability to the trader to avoid the CALL and PUT option selection, but instead putting both on a selected asset.
The overall idea is to utilize PUT when the value of the asset is increased, but there is an indication or belief that it will being to drop soon. Once the decline sets in, place the CALL option on it, expecting it to actually bounce back soon. This can also be done in the reverse direction, by placing CALL on a those assets priced low and PUT on the rising asset value. This greatly increases chances of success in at least one of the trade options by producing an “in the money” result. The straddle strategy is greatly admired by traders when the market is up and down or when a particular asset has a volatile value.
4. Risk Reversal Strategy
This is indeed one of the most highly regarded strategies among experienced binary options traders across the globe. It aims to lower the risk factor associated with trading and increase the chances of a successful outcome that results in positive profit gains. This strategy is executed by placing CALL and PUT options simultaneously on an individual underlying asset. This is especially beneficial when trading on assets with fluctuating values. Naturally, binary options can experience two possible outcomes and trading on a two for two opposite’s predictions over an individual asset at once, guarantees that at least one will generate a positive outcome.
5. Hedging Strategy
This strategy is commonly known as Pairing and most often used along with corporations in binary options traders, investors and traditional stock-exchanges, as a means of protection and to minimize the associated risks. This strategy is executed by placing both Call and Puts on the same asset at the same time. This assures that regardless of the direction of the asset value, the trade will generate a successful outcome. This provides the investor with profits of an “in the money” outcome. This is a great means of protecting yourself as an investor in whichever scenario is produced. It’s sort of an insurance method that prepares you for any scenario.
6. Fundamental Analysis
This strategy is mostly utilized during stock trading and primarily by traders to helm gain a better understanding of their selected asset. This increases their chances of accuracy in the prediction of future price changes. This approach involves conducting an in-depth review of all of the financial regards of the company. This info should include earnings reports, market share and financial statements.
This review helps the trader to better understand the previous activity of the asset and its reaction to certain financial or economic changes. This review helps the trader to make a strong prediction under familiar circumstances in future trading strategies. Keep in mind, that using a good binary trading robot can help you to skip these steps completely.
The best way to practice is to open a free demo account from one of the brokers.
Binary Options Risks
Trading binary options is not risk-free and it is very important that you understand these risks before you start trading binary options. Binary options are often referred to as “all or nothing options”, since most of them only have two possible outcomes. If the underlying assets (e.g. the stock index or an individual stock) evolve as you predicted, you earn money.
This income can either be predetermined (eg 85%),or it can depend on how the underlying instrument evolves. The underlying asset is not evolving as you predicted. If this happens, you lose your entire bet. When this happens normally your investment in binary options is losing its value.
When you invest in binary options, you do take a risk of losing your entire bet. However, you cannot lose more than the option’s price, unlike when trading with other kinds of options its limited to your original bet. Binary options must be due to their nature only be used as a spice in your investment portfolio. They should not be your only type of investment her are two reasons:
They can bring high returns, but are also associated with high risk. By limiting their share of your portfolio, you limit the risk you take.
Binary options are a short-term investment. They do not create long-term value and they are not long-term investments. Therefore, you should also invest in longer-term assets such as stocks and bonds.
Binary Options Recommended Investment Size
We recommend that you never bet more than 5-10% of your investable capital in binary options. It is important to remember that binary options are investment properties where both luck and skill will determine whether you make money or not. Knowledge and skills will help you to predict how the stock market will probably evolve during the life of the option. However, it is impossible to predict how the stock market will develop for a limited time and need therefore to have luck on your side in order to make money.
Self-control in Perspective Of Binary Options Risks
It is important to remember this when trading with binary options, do not become annoyed and emotional when luck is not on your side. If this happens, there is a risk of starting to take stupid decisions in order to recover your loss. When you begin to “chase” what you lost there is a higher risk of losing even more. In poker and other games this is often called the “tilt”, i.e. when your emotions take over and prevent one from acting logically and successfully. This is an equally real risk when trading binary options just as when you play poker.
Limit Your Binary Options Risks
It is often helpful to limit the risks you take when dealing with binary options. This is because the binary options often have very short maturities. Down to as low as 10 seconds. These short durations makes it easy to quickly lose a lot of money. Especially if you “tilt” as described above. You should therefor put a limit on how much you let yourself trade for or lose on binary options in a single day or a week. In this way you can prevent losing too much money when your luck is not on one side and maximize how much money you earn over time.
Binary options can spice up your investment portfolio and it can be a great way to make lots of money quickly but to be a successful trader it’s required to know the market, yourself and the risks of the trade. If you do not know these factors, you won’t reach to the full potential and would very likely earn less money than you otherwise would.
What Is Options Trading? Examples and Strategies
If you hadn’t noticed by now, there are a lot of choices when it comes to investing in securities.
Whether you prefer to play the stock market or invest in an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) or two, you probably know the basics of a variety of securities. But what exactly are options, and what is options trading?
What Are Options?
An option is a contract that allows (but doesn’t require) an investor to buy or sell an underlying instrument like a security, ETF or even index at a predetermined price over a certain period of time. Buying and selling options is done on the options market, which trades contracts based on securities. Buying an option that allows you to buy shares at a later time is called a “call option,” whereas buying an option that allows you to sell shares at a later time is called a “put option.”
However, options are not the same thing as stocks because they do not represent ownership in a company. And, although futures use contracts just like options do, options are considered lower risk due to the fact that you can withdraw (or walk away from) an options contract at any point. The price of the option (its premium) is thus a percentage of the underlying asset or security.
When buying or selling options, the investor or trader has the right to exercise that option at any point up until the expiration date – so simply buying or selling an option doesn’t mean you actually have to exercise it at the buy/sell point. Because of this system, options are considered derivative securities – which means their price is derived from something else (in this case, from the value of assets like the market, securities or other underlying instruments). For this reason, options are often considered less risky than stocks (if used correctly).
But why would an investor use options? Well, buying options is basically betting on stocks to go up, down or to hedge a trading position in the market.
The price at which you agree to buy the underlying security via the option is called the “strike price,” and the fee you pay for buying that option contract is called the “premium.” When determining the strike price, you are betting that the asset (typically a stock) will go up or down in price. The price you are paying for that bet is the premium, which is a percentage of the value of that asset.
There are two different kinds of options – call and put options – which give the investor the right (but not obligation) to sell or buy securities.
A call option is a contract that gives the investor the right to buy a certain amount of shares (typically 100 per contract) of a certain security or commodity at a specified price over a certain amount of time. For example, a call option would allow a trader to buy a certain amount of shares of either stocks, bonds, or even other instruments like ETFs or indexes at a future time (by the expiration of the contract).
If you’re buying a call option, it means you want the stock (or other security) to go up in price so that you can make a profit off of your contract by exercising your right to buy those stocks (and usually immediately sell them to cash in on the profit).
The fee you are paying to buy the call option is called the premium (it’s essentially the cost of buying the contract which will allow you to eventually buy the stock or security). In this sense, the premium of the call option is sort of like a down-payment like you would place on a house or car. When purchasing a call option, you agree with the seller on a strike price and are given the option to buy the security at a predetermined price (which doesn’t change until the contract expires).
So, call options are also much like insurance – you are paying for a contract that expires at a set time but allows you to purchase a security (like a stock) at a predetermined price (which won’t go up even if the price of the stock on the market does). However, you will have to renew your option (typically on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis). For this reason, options are always experiencing what’s called time decay – meaning their value decays over time.
For call options, the lower the strike price, the more intrinsic value the call option has.
Conversely, a put option is a contract that gives the investor the right to sell a certain amount of shares (again, typically 100 per contract) of a certain security or commodity at a specified price over a certain amount of time. Just like call options, a put option allows the trader the right (but not obligation) to sell a security by the contract’s expiration date.
Just like call options, the price at which you agree to sell the stock is called the strike price, and the premium is the fee you are paying for the put option.
Put options operate in a similar fashion to calls, except you want the security to drop in price if you are buying a put option in order to make a profit (or sell the put option if you think the price will go up).
On the contrary to call options, with put options, the higher the strike price, the more intrinsic value the put option has.
Long vs. Short Options
Unlike other securities like futures contracts, options trading is typically a “long” – meaning you are buying the option with the hopes of the price going up (in which case you would buy a call option). However, even if you buy a put option (right to sell the security), you are still buying a long option.
Shorting an option is selling that option, but the profits of the sale are limited to the premium of the option – and, the risk is unlimited.
For both call and put options, the more time left on the contract, the higher the premiums are going to be.
What Is Options Trading?
Well, you’ve guessed it — options trading is simply trading options, and is typically done with securities on the stock or bond market (as well as ETFs and the like).
For starters, you can only buy or sell options through a brokerage like E*Trade (ETFC) – Get Report or Fidelity (FNF) – Get Report .
When buying a call option, the strike price of an option for a stock, for example, will be determined based on the current price of that stock. For example, if a share of a given stock (like Amazon (AMZN) – Get Report ) is $1,748, any strike price (price of the call option) that is above that share price is considered to be “out of the money.” Conversely, if the strike price is under the current share price of the stock, it’s considered “in the money.”
However, for put options (right to sell), the opposite is true – with strike prices below the current share price being considered “out of the money” and vice versa. And, what’s more important – any “out of the money” options (whether call or put options) are worthless at expiration (so you really want to have an “in the money” option when trading on the stock market).
Another way to think of it is that call options are generally bullish, while put options are generally bearish.
Options typically expire on Fridays with different time frames (for example, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, etc.). Many options contracts are six months.
Trading Call vs. Put Options
Purchasing a call option is essentially betting that the price of the share of security (like a stock or index) will go up over the course of a predetermined amount of time. For instance, if you buy a call option for Alphabet (GOOG) – Get Report at, say, $1,500 and are feeling bullish about the stock, you are predicting that the share price for Alphabet will increase.
When purchasing put options, you are expecting the price of the underlying security to go down over time (so, you’re bearish on the stock). For example, if you are purchasing a put option on the S&P 500 I:GSPC index with a current value of $2,100 per share, you are being bearish about the stock market and are assuming the S&P 500 will decline in value over a given period of time (maybe to sit at $1,700). In this case, because you purchased the put option when the index was at $2,100 per share (assuming the strike price was at or in the money), you would be able to sell the option at that same price (not the new, lower price). This would equal a nice “cha-ching” for you as an investor.
Options trading (especially in the stock market) is affected primarily by the price of the underlying security, time until the expiration of the option, and the volatility of the underlying security.
The premium of the option (its price) is determined by intrinsic value plus its time value (extrinsic value).
Historical vs. Implied Volatility
Volatility in options trading refers to how large the price swings are for a given stock.
Just as you would imagine, high volatility with securities (like stocks) means higher risk – and conversely, low volatility means lower risk.
When trading options on the stock market, stocks with high volatility (ones whose share prices fluctuate a lot) are more expensive than those with low volatility (although due to the erratic nature of the stock market, even low volatility stocks can become high volatility ones eventually).
Historical volatility is a good measure of volatility since it measures how much a stock fluctuated day-to-day over a one-year period of time. On the other hand, implied volatility is an estimation of the volatility of a stock (or security) in the future based on the market over the time of the option contract.
Value: Time Value and in/at/out of the Money
If you are buying an option that is already “in the money” (meaning the option will immediately be in profit), its premium will have an extra cost because you can sell it immediately for a profit. On the other hand, if you have an option that is “at the money,” the option is equal to the current stock price. And, as you may have guessed, an option that is “out of the money” is one that won’t have additional value because it is currently not in profit.
For call options, “in the money” contracts will be those whose underlying asset’s price (stock, ETF, etc.) is above the strike price. For put options, the contract will be “in the money” if the strike price is below the current price of the underlying asset (stock, ETF, etc.).
The time value, which is also called the extrinsic value, is the value of the option above the intrinsic value (or, above the “in the money” area).
If an option (whether a put or call option) is going to be “out of the money” by its expiration date, you can sell options in order to collect a time premium.
The longer an option has before its expiration date, the more time it has to actually make a profit, so its premium (price) is going to be higher because its time value is higher. Conversely, the less time an options contract has before it expires, the less its time value will be (the less additional time value will be added to the premium).
So, in other words, if an option has a lot of time before it expires, the more additional time value will be added to the premium (price) – and the less time it has before expiration, the less time value will be added to the premium.
Pros and Cons
Some of the major pros of options trading revolve around their supposed safety.
According to Nasdaq’s options trading tips, options are often more resilient to changes (and downturns) in market prices, can help increase income on current and future investments, can often get you better deals on a variety of equities and, perhaps most importantly, can help you capitalize on that equity rising or dropping over time without having to invest in it directly.
Of course, there are cons to trading options – including risk.
There are a variety of ways to interpret risks associated with options trading, but these risks primarily revolve around the levels of volatility or uncertainty of the market. For example, expensive options are those whose uncertainty is high – meaning the market is volatile for that particular asset, and it is more risky to trade it.
Options Trading Strategies
When trading options, the contracts will typically take this form:
Stock ticker (name of the stock), date of expiration (typically in mm/dd/yyyy, although sometimes dates are flipped with the year first, month second and day last), the strike price, call or put, and the premium price (for example, $3). So an example of a call option for Apple stock would look something like this: APPL 01/15/2020 200 Call @ 3.
Still, depending on what platform you are trading on, the option trade will look very different.
There are numerous strategies you can employ when options trading – all of which vary on risk, reward and other factors. And while there are dozens of strategies (most of them fairly complicated), here are a few main strategies that have been recommended for beginners.
Straddles and strangles
With straddles (long in this example), you as a trader are expecting the asset (like a stock) to be highly volatile, but don’t know the direction in which it will go (up or down). When using a straddle strategy, you as the trader are buying a call and put option at the same strike price, underlying price and expiry date. This strategy is often used when a trader is expecting the stock of a particular company to plummet or skyrocket, usually following an event like an earnings report. For example, when a company like Apple (AAPL) – Get Report is getting ready to release their third quarter earnings on July 31st, an options trader could use a straddle strategy to buy a call option to expire on that date at the current Apple stock price, and also buy a put option to expire on the same day for the same price.
For strangles (long in this example), an investor will buy an “out of the money” call and an “out of the money” put simultaneously for the same expiry date for the same underlying asset. Investors who use this strategy are assuming the underlying asset (like a stock) will have a dramatic price movement but don’t know in which direction. What makes a long strangle a somewhat safe trade is that the investor only needs the stock to move greater than the total premium paid, but it doesn’t matter in which direction.
The upside of a strangle strategy is that there is less risk of loss, since the premiums are less expensive due to how the options are “out of the money” – meaning they’re cheaper to buy.
If you have long asset investments (like stocks for example), a covered call is a great option for you. This strategy is typically good for investors who are only neutral or slightly bullish on a stock.
A covered call works by buying 100 shares of a regular stock and selling one call option per 100 shares of that stock. This kind of strategy can help reduce the risk of your current stock investments but also provides you an opportunity to make profit with the option.
Covered calls can make you money when the stock price increases or stays pretty constant over the time of the option contract. However, you could lose money with this kind of trade if the stock price falls too much (but can actually still make money if it only falls a little bit). But by using this strategy, you are actually protecting your investment from decreases in share price while giving yourself the opportunity to make money while the stock price is flat.
Selling Iron Condors
With this strategy, the trader’s risk can either be conservative or risky depending on their preference (which is a definite plus). For iron condors, the position of the trade is non-directional, which means the asset (like a stock) can either go up or down – so, there is profit potential for a fairly wide range. To use this kind of strategy, sell a put and buy another put at a lower strike price (essentially, a put spread), and combine it by buying a call and selling a call at a higher strike price (a call spread). These calls and puts are short.
When the stock price stays between the two puts or calls, you make a profit (so, when the price fluctuates somewhat, you’re making money). But the strategy loses money when the stock price either increases drastically above or drops drastically below the spreads. For this reason, the iron condor is considered a market neutral position.
Options Trading Examples
There are lots of examples of options trading that largely depend on which strategy you are using. However, as a basic idea of what a typical call or put option would be, let’s consider a trader buying a call and put option on Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Report .
For example, if you bought a long call option (remember, a call option is a contract that gives you the right to buy shares later on) for 100 shares of Microsoft stock at $110 per share for December 1, you would have the right to buy 100 shares of that stock at $110 per share regardless of if the stock price changed or not by December 1. For this long call option, you would be expecting the price of Microsoft to increase, thereby letting you reap the profits when you are able to buy it at a cheaper cost than its market value. However, if you decide not to exercise that right to buy the shares, you would only be losing the premium you paid for the option since you aren’t obligated to buy any shares.
If you were buying a long put option for Microsoft, you would be betting that the price of Microsoft shares would decrease up until your contract expires, so that, if you chose to exercise your right to sell those shares, you’d be selling them at a higher price than their market value.
Another example involves buying a long call option for a $2 premium (so for the 100 shares per contract, that would equal $200 for the whole contract). You buy an option for 100 shares of Oracle (ORCL) – Get Report for a strike price of $40 per share which expires in two months, expecting stock to go to $50 by that time. You’ve spent $200 on the contract (the $2 premium times 100 shares for the contract). When the stock price hits $50 as you bet it would, your call option to buy at $40 per share will be $10 “in the money” (the contract is now worth $1,000, since you have 100 shares of the stock) – since the difference between 40 and 50 is 10. At this point, you can exercise your call option and buy the stock at $40 per share instead of the $50 it is now worth – making your $200 original contract now worth $1,000 – which is an $800 profit and a 400% return.
Common Options Trading Mistakes
There are plenty of mistakes even seasoned traders can make when trading options.
One common mistake for traders to make is that they think they need to hold on to their call or put option until the expiration date. If your option’s underlying stock goes way up over night (doubling your call or put option’s value), you can exercise the contract immediately to reap the gains (even if you have, say, 29 days left for the option).
Another common mistake for options traders (especially beginners) is to fail to create a good exit plan for your option. For example, you may want to plan to exit your option when you either suffer a loss or when you’ve reached a profit that is to your liking (instead of holding out in your contract until the expiration date).
Still other traders can make the mistake of thinking that cheaper is better. For options, this isn’t necessarily true. The cheaper an option’s premium is, the more “out of the money” the option typically is, which can be a riskier investment with less profit potential if it goes wrong. Buying “out of the money” call or put options means you want the underlying security to drastically change in value, which isn’t always predictable.
And while there are plenty of other options faux pas, be sure to do your research before getting into the options trading game.
(Editor’s Pick. Originally published Nov. 9.)
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