Choosing the right binary option broker
Choosing the right broker is vital to your success as a trader. However, in binary options this task can become very difficult, since you are essentially trading against the broker. With so many brokers out there, how can you be sure that the broker you would like to choose can be trusted.
The brokers listed below are known for their good customer support, fast and reliable trading platforms.
|Company||Location||Min Deposit||Min Trade||Max Gain||Since||USA Clients||Regu-lated||Bonus||Mobile Trading||Demo||Website|
|Cyprus||$100||$25||94%||2008||Read full review|
|UK||$250||$5||90%||2010||Read full review|
|Cyprus||$250||$24||88%||2010||Read full review|
How to choose a binary options broker – A quick guide
There is nothing a trader can do with respect to trading unless a broker is engaged. Brokers play a number of roles, which include providing the trading platforms used for gaining access to trades in the market, keeping traders’ funds until when they are to be withdrawn, as well as providing clearing and settlement of all trading activity in the market. Brokers can also function as market makers, providing liquidity which enables traders with very small amounts of money to still have the chance at participating in the market.
The role of brokers in the binary options market is too important to be taken lightly. This is why traders have to be very careful when choosing a binary options brokers to do business with.
Is the broker regulated?
A few years ago, the collapse of brokerage firm MF Global shook the financial markets. Ironically, it was another miscalculated bet on the Euro that sunk the ship. The firm went bankrupt, taking depositors funds down with them. That experience led regulators to mandate all brokerage firms to segregate the funds belonging to clients in separate accounts from those housing the operational funds of the brokerages. This was to ensure that depositors would no longer lose money in the event of insolvency of these firms. The experience of what is now being known as Black Thursday has reminded all once again, about the importance of using regulated brokerage firms. Despite the insolvency of Alpari UK and Excel Markets, it is likely that clients would get all their money back, since these two firms have claimed compliance with the segregation requirement of their regulators.
Regulation in the binary options market is still an issue in many countries. At the moment, only the US, UK, Japan, Australia, Cyprus and Malta can claim to have solid regulatory frameworks for the binary options brokers. In many countries, binary options is still seen as a gaming activity, put under regulatory oversight of gaming commissions which have no rules on segregation of client funds. If you want to trade binary options, you may start to look at the issue of regulation of brokers a lot more seriously than before. You can no longer afford to keep your money in brokerages which are not regulated or which have no obligations as required by laws to segregate your money. Putting your funds in such brokerages is now very risky business.
So when choosing a broker on the basis of regulation, you must get answers to these questions:
- Does the broker have a license number issued from the country’s regulators. You must confirm this information from the regulators.
- Does the broker actually segregate the funds of its traders, and do the regulators that oversee their operations enforce this function?
- Can you be sure that the broker is actually based in the country where it claims to be domiciled?
Some brokers have been blacklisted recently for infractions bordering on these points. Do your due diligence and ensure you have accurate information in this regard.
Trading conditions matter when trading binary options. This has to do with the structure of the market and how brokers in this market actually make money. Apart from the US where binary options are exchange-traded, in many other countries this is not the case. Brokers thus do not make their money solely from commissions, but from losses that traders on the wrong side of the coin have incurred.
Most binary options brokers are market makers who act as trade counterparties. Some of them skew market conditions to make you lose money so that they can profit from it. However, it is a lot harder for them to do this on medium and long term contract expiry times than on the short term trades.
Furthermore, there is talk about brokers having risk management teams that bookmark accounts of traders who make too much money at the broker’s expense. Some are more honest about this than others. (Further reading How do binary options brokers make money) So you are better off scouring online forums to look for more information which will help you detect which brokers are notorious for skewing trading conditions against the trader. The brokers presented above are known to be reliable and honest.
Customer service departments came into existence to enable clients ask questions or get solutions to some issues bothering them about the service of the company.
In binary options, there will be lots of issues to talk to the customer service about. You will therefore need a responsive customer service from your binary broker, which can be reached at all times (at least on trading days) and also via Live Chat. Certain issues need to be dealt with by direct communication. So choose a broker with a responsive live chat that should be available at least 24/5.
In addition to a quick response time the customer service should also be able to answer most of your questions about the broker’s conditions as well as the trading platform. 24option for example offers outstanding customer support and it’s actually one of their biggest pull factors. In most situations people prefer to deal with other people. Sure, the broker may have an excellent website with an elaborate FAQ section but nothing beats direct, first-hand help.
Prompt withdrawal settlement
It is only good that when a trader makes money from the market, he is allowed to enjoy the proceeds of such an investment via prompt fulfillment of withdrawals from the broker. Many brokers for reasons best known to them have come up with all manner of obstacles to prevent this from happening. This is usually a fine line and many scam brokers do this because profits for traders mean losses for them. How do scam brokers operate in this regard?
- By putting unreasonable withdrawal caps,
- by applying hefty charges on withdrawals,
- by tying withdrawal ability to high trade volumes meant to cover a bonus.
You need to be very careful of brokers that change their withdrawal policies randomly, as this is one of the early signals that a broker is starting to have cash flow problems.
Policy on bonuses
Because online binary options brokers are often in direct competition, they will often offer promotions, perks, and bonuses to get more people interested in their service. Generally speaking, the perks they offer increase with the amount that you deposit, and you can find a number of promotions specifically for first-time traders. These special offers can greatly benefit you, particularly when you’re just starting out.
However, beware of brokers who place very heavy trade volumes as a prerequisite for making withdrawals on accounts which have been awarded bonuses. Bonuses are a good thing, but they have been widely abused. It is simply not right for a broker to expect to make from a trader more than 100 times what has been awarded as a bonus.
Bonuses are supposed to work in a symbiosis, but where one party starts to profit at the expense of the other, the arrangement loses its core values. This is partly why Japanese regulators have issued laws regarding how bonuses are to be managed, and also why Australian regulator ASIC is planning to introduce regulation to have them stopped altogether. Choose a broker with a responsible bonus policy.
Choice of contract types and assets
Use brokers who give a generous offer of the kinds of trade contracts which can be traded on a binary options platform. Some traders will find they are better at trading boundary or tunnel options as opposed to the conventional Call/Put options. For such traders, choosing a broker with flexibility in how to trade assets would be a major plus.
If you are familiar with certain assets and want to trade within those particular assets, then it is important to do some research to make sure that the binary options broker you are looking into offers that asset. All binary options brokers will offer different assets within the categories of stocks, commodities, currency pairs, and indices.
Expiry times offered
Because there are different trading strategies and risks associated with the various expiry times, it is important that you find a broker that has the right expiry times that will work for you. Even though who offer high speed training have different ideas of what high speed is.
Some have high speed expiry times of 60 seconds while others offer just 15 second expiry times for these trades. Some binary options brokers offer much longer expiry times of a month or more while others consider the end of the day to be a longer expiry time.
If you are new to binary options and don’t yet know which you prefer, it may be best to go with a broker that has a wider variety of expiry time options to choose from so you can find one that fits you best.
Ease of transactions
Many payment options have evolved over the years which give traders plenty of flexibility in how they can deposit and withdraw funds. So unless your country is under a financial blacklist just as the US recently blacklisted Crimea, you should choose a binary options broker which offers you a variety of transaction methods such as credit/debit cards and various e-wallet options such as Skrill, CashU, Ukash, Sofort, etc.
You can clearly see that choosing a binary options broker is not a matter to be rushed. Although it is important to take your time before choosing an online binary options broker, it is also important to realize that binary brokers are not the only determining factor when it comes to succeeding as a binary options trading. The reality is that the trader and the potential in the market are other key factors when it comes to successful trading. It is important to take the necessary time to find an online binary options broker that will meet your needs, but it is more important to take the time to study winning strategies, compare signal providers and learn how binary options work.
Most popular brokers
Many our readers ask us which brokers are the best. The answer to that is that it is sometimes difficult to point to one specific broker because it’s often a matter of preference. Having said that, 24option has a very nice and responsive trading platform plus other interesting features and education center. It is the first publicly traded binary options broker and it’s also fully regulated. In addition, they’ve won numerous awards for best binary broker and customer service. They now also offer Forex trading in addition to binary options. Unfortunately they don’t accept clients from the USA at present.
If you live in the USA and you are a US passport holder then the only available regulated broker is Nadex, however you will find many established binary options platforms that will accept US residents. CToptions is an interesting broker with a very responsive trading platform, full accessibility across all devices, and excellent customer care, free signals and and social trading.
Do you already have a broker that you like but need a trading strategy or a good signal that will transform your trading experience?