This article isn’t going to teach you how to become an expert trader, but it will inform you about the basics of binary options trading and how to get started as a binary options trader. We will look at the important aspects that you need to know as well as a few very basic trading strategies, the navigation of a trading platform and we will also give an example of a straightforward trade. Let’s get started.
What is a Binary Option?
The prefix ‘bi’ means two as in bicentenary and the word ‘binary’ is a computer term for a numeric system that only uses two numbers, 0 and 1. By adding the word ‘options’, we come up with ‘binary options’ which in effect means two choices, of which only one will prevail. Binary options trading involves forecasting the direction in which the price of selected market tradable assets will move, either higher or lower, in a specified period of time. The binary options contract between you and your broker is a very simple contract in which the potential profit as well as the potential risk are fixed at the time the contract is entered into or in binary options language, when the trade is struck or opened. Here again there are two possibilities, if your forecast is correct, you receive the predetermined payout and if it is incorrect, you forfeit your investment amount only.
The three elements that comprise a trade in binary options are the expiry time, the strike price and the return offered by the broker. A very basic example of the structure of a binary options trade would be if the oil price is at $55.04, the strike price, per barrel and you forecast that the price will be higher in exactly 5 minutes, the expiry time. Your binary options broker, such as Banc De Binary, has offered a return of 80% on a correct forecast and you invest £10. Five minutes later, at the expiry time of the trade, if the price of oil does increase to $55.05 per barrel, you will have made a winning trade. You then receive a payout of your original investment (£10) plus 80%, a total of £18. Had the oil price have dropped below $55.04, you would have lost your investment. Simple!
Binary Options Variations
While binary options trading always comes down to only two choices, there are a number of variations that have been introduced to provide traders with alternatives. Before looking at the different variations, you need to know the meaning of certain terms and at this point the important one is underlying asset. Every binary options trade involves the price movement of a market tradable asset, known as the underlying asset. This could be a stock, an index, a currency pair or a commodity and many brokers, such as Band De Binary, offer a wide choice of global assets to trade.
Binary Options – Trade Options
The most common and widely used trade option is the Call or Put binary option where a Call option is the name given to a forecast that the price of the underlying asset will go up, while a Put option indicates a forecast that the price will decline by the expiry time.
The Touch or No Touch variation has become increasingly popular among traders and requires more knowledge of the underlying asset than a standard Call or Put binary options trade. With this variation, you have to forecast if the asset price you are trading will touch a price target either higher or lower than the strike price during the life of the trade. The price only has to touch the forecast price before the expiry time in order for the trade to end ‘in the money’. Should the price exceed or drop below the strike price before the exit time having touched the forecast price, this has no effect as the trade is closed as soon as the target price is touched. The opposite is the situation with a No Touch trade where your forecast would be that the price won’t reach a certain price level. In this case, the instant the price touches the selected level, your trade closes as a losing trade or ‘out of the money’.
There are other more complicated and sophisticated trade variations that you will understand once you start gaining experience as a binary options trader. Most brokers offer a wide range of trading options so take the time to review these options before you sign up.
How to Trade
All binary options trades are done using the binary options broker trading platform. There are different brands of trading platforms, but navigating them and placing your trades is very similar on all platforms. We will go through a straightforward Call or Put trade on the trading platform such as that used by binary options broker Banc De Binary, an example of which is directly below.
Above the price chart graphic, as you can see, the underlying asset is gold and for a return of 72% on your investment, you have to forecast whether the gold price, which is at $1165.56 is going to go up, or down by 10:10, the expiry time. You enter the amount you wish to invest and then click on your selection, up (Call) or down (Put). You will also notice that the rate of return is clearly marked on the trade and for this trade it is 72%.
In the above, you can see that there is a graphic representation of the price movement of the asset. This can be adjusted to reflect different time frames and it can help the trader to determine the direction the price might take in the future. By using the historical trading patterns of underlying assets traders are able to extend the pattern into the future and thus predict the direction the price might move in going forward. The use of graphs and algorithms in calculating your forecasts is known as technical analysis which you will learn much more about as you progress as a binary options trader.
You now have the basic essentials to start trading binary options. The next move is to open an account with a reputable broker, such as Banc De Binary, who is regulated by a governmental regulating authority such as CySEC, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, which is recognized across all the European Union member countries. Once your account has been opened, you will have access to the education portal which offers a wealth of trading tools, information such as an eBook, training videos, trading signals and much more. This will enable you to start advancing into the more intricate niceties of binary options trading such as the different trading strategies and methods of analysis used to improve your forecasting skills.