Are you a binary options trader looking for the best software platform for your trading strategy? Interested in hands-on research about binary options, binary trading software and the brokers who offer binary options trading?
Remember, not all binary options brokerages are created equal, so be sure to carefully consider your needs and the security the broker provides before you start trading or investing in binary options.
Table of contents [Hide]
Overview: Binary Options
Binary, or digital, options come in several varieties and are often the simplest financial derivatives to trade. Binary options can yield a fixed amount of cash or the price of an asset as a payout if the buyer’s market view turns out to be correct.
Binaries offer buyers limited downside risk or premium cost in return for a limited reward or payout. On the other hand, binary sellers have limited downside risk equal to the payout and limited upside risk equal to the premium received.
Binary options allow traders to speculate on a wide range of underlying assets, some of which include:
Similar to regular options, binaries which take a bullish or bearish view on the underlying market can be referred to as call or put binaries, respectively. These simple digital options are sometimes also referred to as up/down, high/low and above/below binaries.
Furthermore, one-touch, barrier or trigger binary options pay out when their barrier level trades in the market prior to expiration, while a no-touch binary gets canceled if its barrier level trades.
Other popular types of binary options are inside/outside range binaries. The inside range binary pays off if the market stays inside the specified range, while the outside range binary pays off if the market ends up outside the specified range. Range binaries can also be structured with trigger points.
As their name implies, binaries generally have two possible outcomes through expiration or cancellation. The outcome obtained depends on the underlying asset’s price at expiration or sometimes prior to expiration in the case of one-touch or no-touch binaries that can pay out when a pre-specified barrier level trades in the market.
In the simplest case, if an at-expiration binary option is in the money at expiration, then they provide a fixed payout to the holder. Alternatively, if they are out of the money at expiration, they typically return nothing.
What to Look for in a Great Binary Options Platform
The right trading software can make a substantial difference in your profitability as you deal with options, and binaries are no exception. In general, a great binary options trading platform will have the following features:
- Supports fast and efficient execution in the types of binary options you want to trade.
- You can compute the fair value of all the options you are interested in based on implied volatility.
- You can compute the Greek risk management parameters of individual options and of your portfolio of options based on a particular underlying asset.
- Displays individual option profit and loss profiles in a graphical format.
- Shows price charts of the assets you want to trade and computes a variety of technical indicators, including historical volatility.
- Lists the price, open interest and implied volatility for each option series or chain.
Most binary options brokers have a web-based platform so you can view a series of assets on and select tenors, strikes, triggers and types of binary options to trade in a specified amount. These platforms usually lack any significant analytical or risk management capability.
Furthermore, some brokers that do offer binary options, such as Binary.com, will let you use the exceptionally popular third-party MetaTrader 4 or 5 (MT4/5) software from MetaQuotes. This gives you the notable benefit of having all of the technical analysis, news feed, backtesting and programming capabilities and allows you to enter binary options trades with a supportive broker.
Red Flags to Consider Before You Open an Account
Although binary options are a bona fide and limited risk derivative financial product and are suitable for individual traders, the retail binary options market has, unfortunately, had its share of issues due to unregulated and disreputable brokers. This has led to restrictions on the availability of binary options in some jurisdictions, so traders should beware of scams which involve poorly regulated brokers.
As you select a binary options broker, watch out for some of these red flags that can signal a possible problem with a broker:
- Claims or promises of high rewards
- Many client complaints or bad reviews
- Warnings about trade manipulation or irregularities
- Clients have issues getting their funds back from the broker
- Weak or unavailable customer support
- Reports of dissatisfied customers
Our Top Picks
Benzinga has looked over the field of binary options brokers and selected a few reputable broker choices for traders who either plan on specializing in binary options or who want to execute binary options as well as other assets through an online broker.
Best for Binary Trading
Nadex acts as a fully NFA- and CFTC-regulated trading exchange that lets traders buy and sell binary options in a transparent pricing environment.
You can open a Nadex demo account to try out their services, market data, and charting tools for free.
The minimum deposit you need to make to start trading is only $250.
Once you start trading, you’ll notice that Nadex is also known for its low fee structure.
Nadex’s binary trading platform has state-of-the-art options trading tools and advanced features, and the exchange also offers a mobile trading app with a great user experience.
Binary.com is one of the top online binary options brokers that makes trading simple for beginners but also offers advanced platforms for more sophisticated traders. You can trade binaries on major forex pairs, indices, commodities and even volatility indices and you can select an option tenor from 10 seconds to 365 days, as well as your own strike price and a payout amount of up to $50,000.
Among its binary option software offerings, Binary.com has five proprietary binary option trading platforms and an automatic trading tool as follows:
- SmartTrader: A simple and easy-to-use application for desktops.
- The Binary Tick Trade App: Fast, on-the-go binary options trading for Android mobile devices
- Ladders: For forex binary options trading on a multi-barrier platform.
- MetaTrader 5: Popular platform that lets you trade forex, CFD and binary options trading and do market analysis.
- Binary WebTrader: An advanced binary trading platform that allows you to monitor your favorite asset markets.
- Binary Bot: A programming tool you can use to develop binary option trading robots using a drag-and-drop bot creation interface.
The broker also facilitates technical analysis by providing clients with access to high-quality charting and technical analysis tools like TradingView and SmartCharts. These programs offer an extensive range of technical indicators and price overlays. Binary.com does not currently open accounts for U.S. traders.
Cyprus-based IQ Option has been around since 2013 and is regulated by CySEC. The binary broker has its own platform, and you can start trading binaries with only a $10 deposit. In addition to binaries, the broker allows you to trade forex, CFDs, ETFs, commodities and cryptocurrencies. This broker does not accept U.S.-based traders.
Best to Complement a Brokerage Account
These online brokers all offer a variety of asset classes and include the ability to execute binary options trades. Some of them offer what they call Digital 100s, which are a particular rebranded type of binary option. Note that not all brokers will accept clients in all jurisdictions, so you need to check with the broker to be sure you can trade binaries through them.
IG Markets is one of the world’s top CFD brokers and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
While it does not offer binary options by name, the broker does provide a similar derivative product called Digital 100s on a wide range of underlying assets. Digital 100s are a form of binary option that are worth either zero or 100 at expiration and are priced based on the expected probability of giving a payout.
CMC Markets is another reputable ASIC-regulated broker that also offers Digital 100s on a wide range of products, in addition to offering a normal trade execution service in numerous financial markets.
These markets include forex pairs, indices, equities, ETFs, commodities, treasuries and even cryptocurrencies. The broker does not presently accept U.S.-based traders.
This top spread betting and CFD broker has been around since 2002 and offers a strong proprietary general trading platform called TraderPro, available for desktops and mobile devices.
The broker also has a specialized binary trading platform called ETX Binary Options that supports fast execution and one-click trading, as well as high-quality charting tools.
ETXCapital provides dealing access to more than 5,000 global markets and has a strong multilingual customer support service based in London. Tradable underlying assets for binaries include dozens of forex pairs, indices, stocks and commodities.
While the simple idea behind binary options may seem attractive, you’ll experience significant risk of loss if you misjudge the market’s direction and timing.
Also, make sure you are using a reputable broker since the security of your margin deposit should be your top priority as you decide which firm to use.
Turn to Webull
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums. Everyone gets smart tools for smart investing. Webull supports full extended hours trading, which includes full pre-market (4:00 AM - 9:30 AM ET) and after hours (4:00 PM - 8:00 PM ET) sessions. Webull Financial LLC is registered with and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is also a member of the SIPC, which protects (up to $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash) against the loss of cash and securities held by a customer at a financially-troubled SIPC-member brokerage firm.