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Why are binary options better than Forex?
Online trading has been growing tremendously over the past few years, mainly because of notable technological strides which have made online trading space more appealing to investors. Unlike in traditional trading which demanded physical presence and lengthy documentation in over-the-counter exchanges, online trading has proved to be convenient since traders can trade financial securities from the comfort of their homes and even while on the go; using versatile mobile apps provided by online brokers. Binary options’ popularity has been soaring over the past few years owing to sky-high returns and simplicity of trading.
However, it may be confusing for a new financial trader whether to venture into binary options or Forex. Well, they both have their similarities but they are very different in most aspects. We have prepared an article on why binary options are superior compared to forex trading. Read on for a clear comparison between binary options and forex and reasons why you should go with the former.
In definition, binary options are fixed contracts which are characterized by fixed payouts and fixed trading durations. Trading binary options are fairly simple compared to other markets since a trader is only required to predict the direction of market price movement. On the other hand, Forex is a financial market where traders seek to leverage on distinct price changes between a currency pair. Forex and binary options have been in existence for a long time with the former outliving the latter
Upsides of trading binary options compared to Forex
No margin trading
Margin trading is common in forex trading and it is used to increase trading capital and consequently increase potential profits. Maximum margin offered varies from one forex broker to another. However, even though margin trading may translate to higher returns on investment, it is worth noting that a sharp decline in the prevailing market price of a currency pair can be disastrous to your bottom line. In binary options trading, margin trading is non-existent and hence you never get a margin call. Binary options traders can still earn up to 90% returns on a single trade. Even better, some high-yield options can have payouts of up to $1000.
Fixed Payouts and Losses
Maximum profits in forex trading are always uncertain. A trader can only use the stop order tool to set the maximum percentage return after execution of an order. Well, knowing the price level to set a limit order can be risky especially if the trader is driven by greed. Also, it is imperative to note that you can only use the stop loss trading tool to define the maximum loss you can make once an order is executed. In the event that the market price of the underlying currency pair, you can only make a loss up to the stop loss value. However, with no stop loss set, the risks are spread to the entire trading account. If the market moves negatively, your trading account can be wiped clean in a matter of hours or even minutes if the market is very volatile. It’s not a big deal in forex trading to go out for shopping to later come back to a negative trading account (if you used margin).on the bright side, a positive sharp price hike can translate to more returns. But is it really worth it?
On the flipside, a binary options trader always knows what he will get or lose from the word go. Binary options brokers offer fixed payouts which are usually a percentage of the underlying investment. High-yield options can attract payouts ranging between 400-1000 percent and normal trades’ payouts range between 65-90%. Additionally, trading risks are strictly restricted to the invested funds. Meaning, funds in a trading account are shielded from the trading risks irrespective of the magnitude of change of the underlying asset.
It’s a proven fact that monotony in financial trading can lead to recklessness when making crucial trading decisions. In forex trading, a trading portfolio is restricted to currencies and unless you are a forex enthusiast, it can be pretty boring. Forex does not offer many options to play around with. Forex traders can only use the Buy/Sell orders. Other orders available include limit, OCO, Trailing Stop, hedge and stop orders.
On the other hand, binary options are more of a hybrid financial market since traders can access a vast selection of assets derived from the four asset classes; currencies, stocks, commodities, and indices. Binary options trading offers traders an exciting trading environment since most brokers offer a variety of trading options. Options offered by most brokers include Call/Put, High/Low, Up/Down, Touch/No Touch, Ladder, Option Builder, Turbo options, Boundary Options, and Tunnel Options. The option Builder trading option allows a trader to customize his own option to fit his trading style.
Less or no hidden trading costs
Forex trading is characterized by commissions and broker fees, not to mention swap and spreads. With some brokers, commissions and fees are astronomically high which in turn “eats” into your profit margins.
Binary options trading is however very different from forex as far as costs are concerned. There are no commissions and hidden fees in binary options. Literally, what you see is what you get. If let’s say a trade attracts a 90% payout, that’s exactly what you will get at the end of a trade.
Conclusion about binary options
For the analogy above, you can clearly see why binary options are better than forex. Binary options trading attracts “lesser” risks, no hidden fees, more flexible and simpler to trade. However, binary options and forex are also similar in some aspects. For instance, both have trading risks, require a starting capital and are traded online. If you want to try binary options trading, don’t hesitate to use our broker reviews section for details on trusted binary options brokers.
Binary Options VS. Forex
The Forex (Foreign Exchange) market is currently one of the largest and most profitable markets in the world in terms of daily turnover. The foreign exchange market assists international traders and their investments, by enabling currency conversion. A significant part of the large turnover is contributed by online Forex trading, which has been steadily increasing over the past few years. This trend is expected to continue well into the future.
Binary Options trading is the new kid on the block. It is a new version of Forex market trading that is simple in comparison, which makes it the preferred trading method for new traders. Binary Options contracts have long been available and sold directly by the issuer to the buyer. They were generally considered “exotic” and there was no liquid market for trading these instruments between their issuance and expiration.
Since mid-2008, Binary Options websites have been offering a simplified version of exchange-traded Binary Options and people immediately embraced this new way of trading. Since then the number of traders and brokers kept going up, and now, I can safely say this industry has come a long, long way. Binary Options are now all over the internet and most online traders are using them one way or another.
In the early days, traders didn’t know what regulation was and because of that, brokers didn’t seek regulation. Now the most reputable brokers are fully regulated and traders have become more careful with their money so a regulated broker is their first choice. In the early days, the types of binaries were limited to Up/Down and maybe a few others but the choices were very few. Now brokers go out of their way to offer new and innovative types of binary options such as Ladder Options, Pair Options (Pairs existed before but now a lot of brokers are offering them), Touch, Boundary, Above/Below, etc. (some of these were available in 2020 but only a handful of brokers had them and now almost all brokers offer them). Overall the binary options industry has changed a lot and most of it is for the better. I believe we are not done yet and that we will see even better advances, more safety and a lot more professionalism from brokers in the near future.
What are the Key Differences Between Binary Options and Forex?
Making a comparison between Forex trading and binary trading is not easy as they both have their own advantages over the other but here are some of the main differences:
Binary options – Set And Forget
A Forex trade has a lot more variables than a binary options trade and this means that the trader is faced with a lot of decisions. Lots of decisions also mean that you can screw one up and one is all you need. You have Stop Loss, Take Profit, position size, etc. and as a Forex trader myself, I can tell you it can be terrible to see price one pip away from your Take Profit just to turn around and go straight to your Stop Loss. If you widen your Stop Loss, you can lose more, if you tighten your Take Profit, you can win less… but a smaller win is better than a loss, right? Or wrong…? See, lots of decisions, while on the other hand, a binary option trade is set and forget, there’s not much you can do after you open it. And on top of that, a single pip (or point) is all you need to win a trade, which brings me to the next difference:
One Pip Is All You Need
In Forex, the more price travels in your favor, the more money you make (or lose if it goes the other way). With binary options, things are different: it doesn’t matter how far away price travels because you can get the entire payout even if the price is only one pip higher or lower than it was when you opened the trade. One pip brings you 85% profit, 10 pips bring you 85% profit and 1 million pips bring you… yup: 85% profit. Of course, the payouts differ from broker to broker and this 85% was only used as an example.
Ease Of Use
Forex trading requires professionals with experience in foreign currency trading while Binary Options is quite simple and easily understandable even to novices in financial trading. This simplicity makes Binary Options more appealing but do not think you don’t need to learn anything. Education is a big part of success in trading and this applies to binaries as well. If you’re in need of education, visit our Binary Options School.
Know Your Risk And Reward In Advance
With binary options, you know right from the start how much you are going to make if your trade is successful: the payouts range between 60% and 85%. In Forex trading, the returns are uncertain and can only be determined after the closing of a position.
Binary Option trading is safer compared to Forex trading. With Binary Options, some brokers offer up to a 15% refund in case of losses, which acts as a cushion for the Binary Option trader. Forex trading has no safety precautions in place (if you don’t use a Stop Loss order or other forms of protection) and in cases of wrong investment decisions, the Forex trader may lose all money invested.
Time Is Money
Forex can be traded continually throughout the weekdays while Binary Options can only be traded if the underlying market is open. Say if you want to trade binaries on stocks, you have to wait for the stock market to open. However, it must be noted that you can trade binaries on currency pairs and that means that you can trade around the clock during weekdays.
Range Of Markets
Binary Options offer a lot more assets. Forex stands for Foreign Exchange so obviously, only currencies can be traded, but when it comes to Binary Options, the choices are wider and include stocks, indices and commodities on top of currencies. More choices, more opportunities.
Regulation: We Need It
The Forex industry has a lot more regulation compared to Binary Options. However, in the last couple of years the top Binary Options brokers started to pursue regulation and this is a major step forward for clients’ safety. Before opening a binary options account, make sure you know as much as possible about Binary Options Regulation.
Leverage: Increase Risks And Rewards
Forex is leveraged and this can be both good or bad, depending on how you look at it: you have the potential to ma more but also you risk more. Binary Options are much simpler in this regard, because they are not a leveraged product.
Binary Options VS Forex – Bottom Line
Although they are differentiated by the aforementioned features, Forex market and options trading have some similarities. Both are easily accessible to the public since they can be operated online. What is required of potential traders is simply a network connection and start-up capital that can be as little as one hundred dollars.
Overall, nearly anyone can join this revolutionary way of trading. However, some binary options brokers are not regulated, which can potentially lead to some traders being taken in by scam artists. Beware, do your research and pick the right trusted binary options broker for you.
Is Binary Options a Scam or Legitimate Trading Tool?
Before we analyze whether binary options is a scam or not I would like to take a look at day trading, an area which I have much experience, and see if day trading would qualify as a scam.
As a day trader many people looked В upon what I did withВ skepticism. Many thought that day trading was just a another form of gambling. Many trading companies would try to lure people with the potential to earn a living with electronic day trading with very little investment. The truth is, for the overwhelming majority of people, day trading was a losing effort. Few traders were successful; most lost money. The firms made a lot of money collecting commissions and profit share from the good traders. After my first year of day trading I was convinced that it was impossible, or nearly impossible to make money. I began back in 2002, after the bubble burst and volatility was at a virtual standstill. Few traders were making money with any of the traditional trading formulas that worked a few years earlier. I was fortunate enough to come upon someone who had a “system”. The trading system provided an “edge” in the market. When traders diligently followed the system they consistently made money. When I began trading with the system I made money on a consistent basis. I opened trading floors to teach others to trade within this system, but most did not made money. Trading within this system required extreme discipline both to enter a position and to leave a position when the rules required. Those who followed the rules diligently made money. Like mostВ professions, one needs education or skills to make a living. The same is true with day trading. Along with these skills a person must have the proper discipline in order to succeed. Its a business that is clearly not for everyone.
The same can be said for Binary Options. В The companies that set up binary option platforms and binary option brokers are in this business to make money. В The firm collects 80- 100% of a losing trade and pays outВ 60-80% on winning trades. Someone who wins on 50% of their binary option trades will lose money. Unless someone has a system that has a winning track record and the person adheres to that system consistently he will over the long term win on 50% on his trades and lose money.
Of course it is possible that some of the binary option brokers in the market are making promises that they cannot or will not fulfill. If a broker makes falseВ assertionsВ or won’t refund deposits or payout profits to a customer then that broker may be considered a scam. The binary options trading industry itself is not a scam. It may be difficult to actually profit trading binary options, but the risk and rewards are clearly displayed for the investor. Whether one makes money or not is up to the actual trader. We have completed В a series of comprehensive reviews of binary brokers. In our reviews we determine, to the best of our ability, if the brokers are providing the services that they claim to offer. В Once you have the confidence that a binary option broker is providing a legitimate service you will then be able to implement a trading style that mostВ effectivelyВ yields profitableВ tradingВ results. All of the brokers we have tested so far have proved to be providing a legitimate service. Some of our reviews include older more established brokers such asВ 24option as well as newer brokers such as Bee OptionsВ and Redwood Options.
Trading Forex with Binary Options
Binary options are an alternative way to play the foreign currency (forex) market for traders. Although they are a relatively expensive way to trade forex compared with the leveraged spot forex trading offered by a growing number of brokers, the fact that the maximum potential loss is capped and known in advance is a major advantage of binary options.
Defining Binary Options
Binary options have two outcomes: They settle either at a pre-determined value (generally $100) or at $0. This settlement value depends on whether the price of the asset underlying the binary option is trading above or below the strike price by expiration.
Binary options can be used to speculate on the outcomes of various situations: Will the S&P 500 rise above a certain level by tomorrow or next week? Will this week’s jobless claims be higher than the market expects? Or will the euro or yen decline against the U.S. dollar today?
For example, say gold is trading at $1,195 per troy ounce currently and you are confident that it will be trading above $1,200 later that day. Assume you can buy a binary option on gold trading at or above $1,200 by that day’s close, and this option is trading at $57 (bid)/$60 (offer). You buy the option at $60. If gold closes at or above $1,200, as you had expected, your payout will be $100, which means that your gross gain (before commissions) is $40 or 66.7%. On the other hand, if gold closes below $1,200, you would lose your $60 investment, for a 100% loss.
Binary Option Buyers and Sellers
For the buyer of a binary option, the cost is the price at which the option is trading. For the seller of a binary option, the cost is the difference between 100 and the option price and 100.
From the buyer’s perspective, the price of a binary option can be regarded as the probability that the trade will be successful. Therefore, the higher the binary option price, the greater the perceived probability of the asset price rising above the strike. From the seller’s perspective, the probability is 100 minus the option price.
All binary option contracts are fully collateralized, which means that both sides of a specific contract – the buyer and seller – have to put up capital for their side of the trade. So if a contract is trading at 35, the buyer pays $35, and the seller pays $65 ($100 – $35). This is the maximum risk of the buyer and seller and equals $100 in all cases.
Thus the risk-reward profile for the buyer and seller in this instance can be stated as follows:
- Maximum risk = $35
- Maximum reward = $65 ($100 – $35)
- Maximum risk = $65
- Maximum reward = $35 ($100 – $65)
Binary options in forex are available from exchanges such as Nadex, which offers them on the most popular pairs such as USD-CAD, EUR-USD, and USD-JPY, as well as on a number of other widely-traded currency pairs. These options are offered with expirations ranging from intraday to daily and weekly. The tick size on spot forex binaries from Nadex is 1, and the tick value is $1.
The intraday forex binary options offered by Nadex expire hourly, while the daily ones expire at certain set times throughout the day. The weekly binary options expire at 3 P.M. on Friday.
For forex contracts, Nadex calculates the expiration value by taking the midpoint prices of the last 25 trades in the forex market, eliminates the highest five and lowest five prices, and then takes the arithmetic average of the remaining 15 prices.
Examples of Binary Options in Forex
Let’s use the EUR-USD currency pair to demonstrate how binary options can be used to trade forex. We use a weekly option that will expire at 3 P.M. on Friday, or four days from now (or Monday). Assume the current exchange rate is EUR 1 = USD 1.2440.
Consider the following scenarios:
1. You believe the euro is unlikely to weaken by Friday and should stay above 1.2425. The binary option EUR/USD>1.2425 is quoted at 49.00/55.00. You buy 10 contracts for a total of $550 (excluding commissions). At 3 P.M. on Friday, the euro is trading at USD 1.2450. Your binary option settles at 100, giving you a payout of $1,000. Your gross gain (before taking commissions into account) is $450, or approximately 82%. However, if the euro had closed below 1.2425, you would lose your entire $550 investment, for a 100% loss.
2. You are bearish on the euro and believe it could decline by Friday, say to USD 1.2375. The binary option EUR/USD>1.2375 is quoted at 60.00/66.00. Since you are bearish on the euro, you would sell this option. Your initial cost to sell each binary option contract is, therefore, $40 ($100 – $60). Assume you sell 10 contracts, and receive a total of $400. At 3 P.M. on Friday, let’s say the euro is trading at 1.2400.
Since the euro closed above the strike price of $1.2375 by expiration, you would lose the full $400 or 100% of your investment. What if the euro had closed below 1.2375, as you had expected? In that case, the contract would settle at $100, and you would receive a total of $1,000 for your 10 contracts, for a gain of $600 or 150%.
Additional Basic Strategies
You do not have to wait until contract expiration to realize a gain on your binary option contract. For instance, let’s say by Thursday the euro is trading in the spot market at 1.2455, but you are concerned about the possibility of a decline in the currency if U.S. economic data to be released on Friday are very positive. In this case, your binary option contract (EUR/USD>1.2425), which was quoted at 49.00/55.00 at the time of your purchase, is now at 75/80. Therefore, you could sell the 10 option contracts you had purchased at $55 each, for $75, and book a total profit of $200 (or 36%).
You can also put on a combination trade for lower risk/lower reward. Let’s consider the USD/JPY binary option to illustrate. Assume your view is that volatility in the yen – trading at 118.50 to the dollar – could increase significantly, and it could trade above 119.75 or decline below 117.25 by Friday. You, therefore, buy 10 binary option contracts (USD/JPY>119.75, trading at 29.50/35.50) and also sell 10 binary option contracts (USD/JPY>117.25, trading at 66.50/72.00). Therefore, you pay $35.50 to buy the USD/JPY>119.75 contracts, and $33.50 (i.e., $100 – $66.50) to sell the USD/JPY>117.25 contracts. Your total cost would be $690 ($355 + $335).
Three possible scenarios arise by option expiration at 3 P.M. on Friday:
- The yen is trading above 119.75. In this case, the USD/JPY>119.75 contract has a payout of $100, while the USD/JPY>117.25 contract expires worthless. Your total payout is $1,000, for a gain of $310 (or about 45%).
- The yen is trading below 117.25.In this case, the USD/JPY>117.25 contract has a payout of $100, while the USD/JPY>119.75 contract expires worthless. Your total payout is $1,000, for a gain of $310 (or about 45%).
- The yen is trading between 117.25 and 119.75: In this case, both contracts expire worthlessly and you lose the full $690 investment.
The Bottom Line
Binary options are a useful tool as part of a comprehensive forex trading strategy but have a couple of drawbacks in that the upside is limited even if the asset price spikes up, and a binary option is a derivative product with a finite lifespan (time to expiration).
However, binary options have a number of advantages that make them especially useful in the volatile world of forex. For starters, the risk is limited (even if the asset prices spikes up), the collateral required is quite low, and they can be used even in flat markets that are not volatile. These advantages make forex binary options worthy of consideration for the experienced currency trader.
What is the difference between forex trading and binary options trading?
New traders typically face a choice of whether they will trade forex or binary options. They may also consider stocks or futures, but since these endeavours are more capital intensive, forex and binary options are the most accessible to the average person. Although you can use the same charts for forex and binary trading, there are several differences between the two and these differences will likely appeal to different traders. Before trading either market with real money it is important to have a plan for trading, a reliable trading method and sound position management.
Before looking at how forex trading and binary options trading differ, let’s first address some general ways in which they similar.
- Both are tradable online and typically anytime the underlying asset market is open. For the forex market and binary forex options (usually) this means trading takes place around the clock during the week.
- You can begin trading either market with a small amount of capital, usually around $100, sometimes less. Since you don’t want to risk a lot on each individual trade (see: Determining Binary Options Position Size) likely you will want to start out with more trading capital than $100 though.
- Both allow you make or lose money based on which way the asset moves–currency or otherwise.
- Both are tradable on short-term time frames, although with forex trading you can also take long-term positions.
There are also major differences between forex trading and binary options trading.
- One major difference is that with binary options the risk and profit potential are both fixed at the outset of the trade. For example if a binary option pays out 80% to winning traders, then you know that if you place $10 on a trade, you will either lose your $10 or make $8 (and of course you keep your initial $10 as well).
- Forex trading is more variable. This can be good or bad depending on how the trader trades. A stop loss can be used to control risk, but market conditions may prevent the order from being executed at the expected price resulting in a larger than expected loss. If a stop loss is not used, then the risk of the trade is unknown. A profit target can also be used to take profits at a certain price or percentage level, but there is no guarantee that price will be hit.
- Binary options trading is simpler than forex trading because there is no variability, you know your risk and profit potential and when the option expires you either lose or gain the pre- determined amount. With forex trading you don’t know your ultimate risk and profit until you close the trade. But this can also be an advantage depending on your trading level as the fixed risk and profit of binary options offers little flexibility in customizing risk relative to reward.
- The risk and reward profiles for forex trading and binary options are also drastically different. With the forex market you can customize your potential reward relatively to risk. For example, you can place a trade and place a stop loss order which exposes you to a $100 loss, and at the same time place a profit target at a price which will give you a $300 profit. The trade stays open until one of the orders is hit, resulting in a $100 loss or $300 profit (or close to it).
- With binary options trading on the other hand your risk is almost always more than your reward. Binary options typically pay out 60% to 80%, but if you lose usually 100% of the money you placed on the trade is gone.
- With binary options you will need a greater than 50% winning percentage on trades to breakeven (about 55% or higher depending on the payouts) and/or make a profit. With forex trading you can actually lose more trades than you win, but since you can customize your reward relative to risk you could end up still making a profit.
- Certain traders will like the flexibility of forex trading, while others will appreciate the simple transparency of binary option’s fixed risk and payouts.
- Magnitude of price moves is another difference. When the underlying asset is barely moving a binary option will still pay out 60 to 80%, but forex traders are likely to be sidelined because there isn’t enough volatility to make a decent profit.
- When trading forex the magnitude of price moves matter. You not only need to pick which direction you think the market will move but also need to assess how far it may go–both for and against you.
- With binary options the magnitude of the price move doesn’t matter. If you buy a EUR/USD call option thinking the price will rise in the next 15 minutes, it doesn’t matter if the price goes up 1 pip or 100, you still get the full payout and are exposed to a known risk (the amount you placed on the trade) if it drops 1 or 150 pips instead.
- Another difference is the time frames available for trading. With forex trading you can take trades that last from 1 second to many months, and every conceivable time frame in between because you open and close the trade when you feel like it. With binary options you must trade on the time frame of the options provided to you.
- Knowing definitively when your trade begins and ends will appeal to many traders, in which case they will likely be drawn to binaries. Others will prefer the flexibility of forex trading on any time frame they want, opening and closing positions at a time and price they determine.
This is not a definitive list of the similarities and differences between forex and binary options trading, but will likely help you on your way to making a choice.
Both the forex market and binary options provide profit potential. Binary options are simpler and you always know your risk, profit potential and how long the trade will last. Forex trading is much more variable and there are more things to consider, such as when you will get in, when you will get out and how you will manage the trade in the mean time. This variability of forex and the simplicity of binaries both have advantages and disadvantages. Based on the differences assess which you prefer, or try a demo account with a forex broker and binary options broker to see which you like better and ultimately in which market you perform the best.
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