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Are binary options safe? – Benzinga

Investors are looking for strategies to increase their returns and get the most out of their money. Options trading is a popular strategy, but not all options traders are familiar with binary options. Binary options are yes/no propositions that reward traders who correctly predict the price movement of an asset. Binary options are more complex than traditional options, but this complexity can help you hedge your portfolio. This guide will explore how binary options work and what to keep in mind before getting started.

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What are binary options?

What are binary options?

Binary options depend on the outcome of a yes/no proposition. A simple binary option can offer a payout if ABC stock price is above $33.74 at 4:30 p.m. in 2 days. The option will lose the investor money if ABC stock is below $33.74 at that time.

Consider the binary option above offering a payout of $150 if the ABC stock price is above $33.74 at expiration. If the option is below $33.74, the option buyer owes $200. The asymmetry it returns creates a disadvantage for the option buyer over time, with an advantage for the option seller. Writers may also sell options with asymmetric payout structures (50% of your investment to you if you win, but 100% of your investment to the seller if you lose) to skew the odds in their favor.

Several options can be used to manipulate probability theory in favor of an option buyer or seller.

Buyers should also be aware of market conditions that may favor the seller. Binary options must be held until expiration, unlike traditional options which can be sold before expiration.

Changing market conditions are more common for shorter-dated options because sudden (sometimes unnatural) market manipulations do not have time to correct themselves.

Unscrupulous brokers can also commit fraud. Unregulated and unsupervised brokers may refuse to pay traders whose offers are accepted. Other platforms may commit identity theft to recover payments from merchants using stolen financial and personal information.

Binary options also have unique features that traders consider advantages over traditional options. One of the major advantages of binary options is that the risk is always defined. With traditional options, you can make trades that have endless downsides.

These options also have a wide range of expiration times: you can invest in options with a turnover time of a few seconds. Sophisticated traders can use rapid turnover to increase returns and hedge positions with longer expiration dates. Binary options also offer high returns compared to traditional options, especially when short time frames are considered.

Depending on the broker you choose, you can trade binary options on just about anything. There are binary options on stock prices, weather conditions, sports games and everything else. This is an advantage because you can focus on trading options where you have an information advantage.
Binary options traders cannot use margin for these derivatives. If you wish to make a trade, you must have 100% capital in your account for the trade and applicable fees.

Domestic and foreign binary options

There are two main binary options exchanges in the United States. These are the North American Derivatives Exchange, often abbreviated to Nadex, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) is the regulatory body that licenses Nadex and the CBOE for binary options.

Outside of the United States, most binary options exchanges trade over-the-counter, without any regulation from any country. Offshore exchanges cannot legally offer services in the United States. Many of them still offer binary options trading via cryptocurrency, using the unregulated nature of crypto to facilitate anonymous transactions between buyers and sellers.

This is not to say that all offshore or crypto-based binary options trades are scams. Brokers like IQ Option, BDSwiss and 24option.com are regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). The best binary options are usually selected from a regulated exchange, mainly because you will get paid if you come in first.

Best Online Options Brokers

When it comes to binary options, choosing the right broker is essential. The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Office of Consumer Outreach have issued guidelines for investors to avoid binary options fraud. The FBI and the US Department of Justice have also issued reports warning investors of the dangers of binary options fraud, particularly from unregulated offshore entities in Israel and Brazil.

Getting started with binary options trading

Ostensibly, a binary choice means that the option buyer has a 50/50 chance of winning. However, these investments are more complex than 50-50 odds. Some outcomes are more likely than others and premiums are adjusted accordingly.

Every investment involves risk, and derivatives are often riskier than the underlying assets. Investors should evaluate their financial goals and risk tolerance before trading binary options. You can start with a small amount of money so that losses will not have a big impact on your portfolio.

Frequently asked questions


Every investment involves some degree of risk. Binary options tend to be riskier than most assets, but can produce high returns. Investors should consider their risk tolerance and financial goals before investing.


Yes. Binary options are legal, but you must trade them through a regulated US provider.


Although it is possible to get rich through binary options, they are risky investments. Most people will not get rich from binary options. Doing your due diligence and learning more about the stock market can increase your chances of success.


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