Is binary options trading safe?

The general answer is yes when you consider the following points:

  1. It is a regulated financial instrument in the EU and many parts of the world.
  2. The risks are known and, to some extent, predictable since it’s a zero-sum forecast.
  3. There are demo trials before you put in an investment.
  4. Major binary options offer reliable customer support.
  5. The terms on deposits and withdrawals are spelled out clearly.

Binary options have attracted traders of all experience levels—from beginners to professionals—who are in a quest for diversifying their investments. This type of trading has grown to a respected and credible practice over the years. Despite this, one of the concerns of many, especially when it comes to where they put their money, is the question: is binary options trading safe?

In this article, we’ll be shedding light on the answer to this often-asked question about binary options trading to help you make an informed decision. We’ll also provide some guidelines for choosing the best platform for binary options trading and discuss factors that impact trading risk.

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Binary options trading: A regulated financial instrument

After its exponential growth since 2008 and its reclassification into a financial instrument in 2012, binary options trading gained mass credibility. During that time, it experienced a surge in people searching for the term “binary options” in Google Trends, which surpassed the frequency of another related famous term “forex trading” according to Futures Mag. One of the reasons behind this increase in interest is the regulations established for this financial vehicle.

Binary options trading is a regulated product by EU jurisdictions such as CySec (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) and MFSA (Malta Financial Services Authority), among others. Furthermore, regulators continue to tighten directives and mandatories. Financial Times reports on the recent actions taken by FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) to protect consumers by examining firms that may be offering binary options illegally.

Hence, if your definition of safety in the question “Is binary options trading safe?” is whether it’s regulated and legal, then yes, it is; as long as you choose the right binary options brokers (which we’ll get into later). If your concern is whether it’s risk-free, then, of course, any trading—not just binary options—entails risk. Every venture, business, and investment accompanies a calculated risk as there’s no guarantee of solid future performance.

Acknowledging risks and trading responsibly are some of the primary ways to safely approach trading. With that in mind, let’s delve deeper into answering whether binary options trading is safe in terms of its methods, platforms, and trading mechanics.

Is Binary Options Trading Safe?

Binary options are generally considered a safe investment. However, as with all money instruments, it pays to do your research to guarantee you are dealing with a legitimate provider. Here are the main reasons why this trading avenue can be one of the safest options for you.

Simple, Easy-to-understand Premise

Probably one of the most desired advantages of binary options trading that attracts many traders is its simplicity. It has a simple premise that gives you only two (thus, the term “binary”) options and outcomes. Based on your informed guess as per various factors and patterns, you’ll choose and predict the asset’s movement if it will be true at a specific point in time. It’s a straightforward “yes or no” proposition, where you’ll get a fixed percentage of your investment if you’re successful or none if you’re unsuccessful. That’s why it’s also called an asset-or-nothing option.

With binary options, traders don’t have to purchase or own an asset. Assets may be commodities (such as crude oil, silver, and gold), currencies, and stock indices, among others. With the unprecedented growth of cryptocurrencies and over 17 million Bitcoins in circulation today, some brokers also allow cryptocurrency trading. IQ Option, for instance, supports not only Bitcoin but also Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin.

Getting started is also easy. Traders only have to choose a broker, register an account, and immediately start trading. While being knowledgeable about this type of trade is still vital, you’re not required to have as much extensive knowledge as other types such as forex trading. With that, even beginners can work their way up and choose among different types of binary options.

There’s an option for everyone where they’re comfortable to make investments. They can opt for a simple call and put options or double no-touch binary options and vanilla options or exotic options, among others. In this way, a trader understands, based on level of knowledge and skills, how it works and avoids trading blindly. Meanwhile, more seasoned traders have the opportunity to choose more complex options where they get higher returns with bigger risks and reward paydays.

Known and Limited risk

When you trade binary options, you’re aware right up front how much you are risking and how much your potential profit will be on its outcome. You’re only risking the amount you choose, no matter how large or small it is. Additionally, there’s no risk of leverage, which means you won’t lose more than the amount you risked in the trade, unlike some other types. This way, you’re prepared for incurring potential losses as long as you choose to invest an amount that’s within your means. This prevents you from losing more than what you can afford.

It’s also an affordable way to trade online as you’re not required to trade large amounts. Depending on your chosen broker, you can trade from as low as $1. Some even give you a demo account that you can play around with to help you practice and get the hang of binary options trading before investing your real money. Our top binary options brokers let you trade from $5 to $10 as a minimum amount. It’s safe in a way that you’re not forced to lose any amount right from the get-go.

High and fast returns

When you invest, one of your goals is to get high returns. Due to binary options’ higher risk nature, its returns are also typically higher. It yields a return that amounts to an average of around 60-90%, depending on your broker. Its fast turnover rate also ensures a quick payout. Varying from different assets, the expiry times can range from a few minutes or less than an hour (sometimes even seconds) up to a few weeks. If you opt for daily binary options traders, you can trade multiple times a day for a potentially higher profit.

This gives you access to a variety of assets that are available to trade, which is an excellent way to diversify risks and control the amount of risk at a given time. If you’re successful, you can immediately see the amount added to your account. Depending on your chosen platform, you can also instantly withdraw your money. Meanwhile, if you’re unsuccessful, some brokers offer a small return based on how much you invested. For instance, you won’t lose 100% of your investment, but you’ll still get around 5-15% of it back.

Choosing A Binary Options Broker

Is binary options trading safe? As mentioned in the previous sections, it is safe as long as you’re a responsible trader. After all, there’s a difference between taking risks, which is necessary for any venture, and being risky, which is blindly being too ambitious in your trades. One of the most important and fundamental ways to reduce risks is choosing the right binary options brokers. Since it’s the platform where you’ll be doing your trading, you must check the following:

  1. Regulation. Your broker must, first and foremost, be licensed and regulated. This ensures it adheres to the guidelines of the regulatory authority or financial regulator. Since regulators pay close attention to their business practices and ensure fairness, you can assure the broker is trustworthy and transparent.
  2. Trading software. Ease of use, speed of execution, and a well-designed interface are essential as it plays a vital role in your trading endeavors. Mobile trading is also worth considering so you can trade anywhere, anytime.
  3. Demo/trial account. This is an important feature to test the software and get acquainted with it, especially for novice traders. Also, ensure it’s using real live market data.
  4. Customer support. A broker with reliable customer support that’s available in various languages and support channels, such as live chat, ticket messages, phone, and email, is important as it also shows their credibility. Some broker platforms may also offer features of customer support software for added convenience.
  5. Deposits and withdrawals. Checking a broker whose minimum deposit and withdrawal amounts you are comfortable with is crucial. Also, check if they offer convenient processes and quick timeframes, especially when it comes to the withdrawal process.

A good example of a binary options broker that includes the factors mentioned is IQ Option. It’s licensed and regulated by CySec, which guarantees its compliance with relevant regulations and jurisdictions. It has a top-notch online trading platform that offers both ease-of-use and functionality to veterans and novice traders. Newcomers can make use of a broad range of educational materials such as tutorials, webinars, e-books, and FAQ sections about the platform and binary options trading.

IQ Option

IQ

Try out IQ Option with their free trial

Moreover, IQ Option gives you a demo account with renewable virtual funds to try out the platform. Once you’re ready to trade live, you can start by depositing a low amount of $10. It has a mobile application with elements from the desktop’s version that allows trading on-the-go.

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Top binary option brokers like IQ Option often provide an intuitive dashboard that helps you trade with more informed decisions.

Factors that Impact Trading Risk

While binary options trading is generally safe, it’s also important to consider various risk factors. With a volatile market, there are numerous issues that influence the movement of commodities and stock prices. If the safety of your investment is one of your concerns, take note of these factors that impact trading risk:

  1. Trade setup. Its quality, system, and context are vital to maximizing the probability of winning trades.
  2. Market conditions. Study the market conditions as they are extremely volatile. At times they may be smooth and steady, while at other circumstances, they are highly unpredictable.
  3. Timeframe. Long-term trades and turbo trades (trades for 5 minutes or less) offer different types of risks. For instance, charts shown in short-term trades may be more limited.
  4. Trade sizes. Reduce your risk by controlling the sizing of your position, such as only trading a percentage of your account.
  5. Multiple trades. As it may stack correlated risk exposure, maintain rules, and consider placing multiple trades first.

How to Mitigate Risk in Binary Options Trading

As we’ve previously discussed, binary options trading is generally a safe trading avenue, but that doesn’t mean that it’s completely risk-free. Despite its all-or-nothing premise, the good news is that there are some things you can do to reduce this risk.

One way to enjoy safety in binary options trading is to use a licensed and regulated broker. This will help you avoid fraud and keep your assets safe. It’s also a good idea to study market conditions and trade timeframes so you’ll know what to expect if you participate in trading. With adequate preparation and research on your end, binary options trading can be a profitable experience.

By Daniel Epstein

Daniel Epstein is a senior financial research analyst at FinancesOnline and the architect behind our Fintech and ERP content division. His main areas of expertise are blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies, and the use of biometrics in fintech solutions. His work has been frequently quoted by such publications as Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur, and LA Times. With more than 1,800 solutions scrutinized in the last 5 years spent on our team he always prioritized offering readers an unbiased perspective on modern financial technologies.

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