Category Archives: Advice

Test Customer Service Before You Buy

Thinking of trading binary options? When you’re looking for a broker, one thing which is arguably even more important than reading the FAQ and terms of service pages is testing out the customer service team. If you can’t get a hold of someone or the person you reach isn’t helpful, you’re probably not going to have a very good experience with a broker, even if they offer great features.

Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself when you’re dealing with a customer service team.

  • What avenues are available to reach the team?
  • Are there toll-free phone numbers or not?
  • Are there different email addresses available for different inquiries?
  • What about live chat?
  • The more ways you can reach an agent, the better. And obviously if those methods are free, that’s superlative.

The Good Binary Options Brokers

A Word About Live Chat Customer Support – Is live chat for show or is it actually useful? We’ve checked out dozens of binary options brokers, and something like 80%-90% of them have completely un-staffed live chat desks, even during regular business hours. Sometimes they are even staffed by robots instead of real people, which is inherently dishonest. If the desk is staffed by a real human agent, that is something you should be pretty thrilled about. If that person is actually helpful, knowledgeable, patient and thorough, that’s as good as it gets. Some live chat lines even have indicators to tell you whether or not they are staffed, or staffed in specific languages, at any given time.

If you call the phone number for customer service, are you greeted by a sales pitch, or does someone politely answer your questions and help you out without pressuring you to deposit money? Does the company force you to talk to someone on the phone by ignoring emails or live chat requests, only to hard sell you? Or is the phone line truly there for your convenience?

How about email? If you send an inquiry via email or using a web form, how long does it take the team to get back to you, and do they actually answer your question, or do they send you an off topic or automated email? If they say they respond in 24 hours, do they respond in 24 hours or do they take a week? Do they respond at all?

Once you’ve actually discovered how available customer service is, you need to gauge its quality. You have a right to expect not to be given a hard sell at every turn, and the people you deal with should be able to answer any and all questions you have about the broker and its features thoroughly and within a reasonable time frame, as well as answer queries about regulation and license numbers (if applicable). How many languages can you talk to customer service in? Can someone help you in your own language over the phone? On live chat? They should be polite and treat you with esteem. When you invest your money, your broker is effectively borrowing it from you, so that means that you’re doing them a favor, and whether they’re a large company or a small one, they owe you the utmost respect and clarity.

We have worked with many brokers and the best customer support award for 2012 (if we had such a thing) would go to Banc De Binary. The customer support is great. If you can swing the $500 minimum deposit then Banc De Binary is going to be on your short list if having good customer support is important.

Bad Customer Service – Avoid Them

Binary Options Trading Signals Services

Should You Buy Binary Options Signals?

Along with advertisements for binary options trading systems, you may also have seen promotions for binary options signal services.

The idea behind these services is that you don’t even need a system, because what you’re going to do is trade based off of the decisions someone else is making who does have a system.

Many of these signal services include copy like “Are You Looking To Potentially EARN More Profits Every Week Simply By Watching And Copying A Live Professional Trader?” That’s from the first result on Google for some signal service related searches.

Signal services are occasionally free, but most of them cost money. Before you spend money on a signal service, consider learning how to succeed on your own. Binary options trading carries a lot of risk as it is, and the house has a pretty good edge on you. Why lose more money learning how to trade than you have to? It’s best to start out by trying to learn a method you can apply without paying extra. There are tons of free trading methods out there, literally thousands upon thousands of them. Some are great, some aren’t. Some will work for you and not for others, and some will work for others and fail you.

What you should be doing is looking to become a professional trader yourself. That doesn’t mean all signal services are bad or useless. However, anything you see with copy like that is a scam. The word “earn” specifically means that you receive a reward for some kind of effort.

Binary options trading is never effortless and success really does have to be earned with hard work. There are good signal services out there, and they can provide you with some guidance for your trading, but success is always ultimately your responsibility. No one can win it for you. And the less you involve yourself in your trading, the less likely it’s going to be that you’re going to succeed.

Where do you get a binary options trading method? A method consists of having specific criteria for entering a trade and choosing an expiry period. Any sort of analysis that can tell you which way the market is (probably) moving can form the basis for a trading method. This includes fundamental analysis, technical analysis, and price action. One excellent place to start is actually to look up Forex trading systems or stock trading systems. There are a lot of these online, and since they are used to trade the same underlying instruments you may be trading with binary options, they can serve you as well. The type of trade you’re placing is governed by different rules, but figuring out whether or not to enter is essentially the same process at its core. Many really good trading systems can translate from one asset to another and from one type of trading to another (adjustments are usually required).

Signal Services Good Or Bad?

So should you steer clear of all binary options signals?

Not necessarily, but they probably shouldn’t form the core of your trading. You should never spend money on signal services that promise you absurd things like being able to earn profits by doing nothing.

Everything in life comes with a price including profit. And that price is generally effort, patience and dedication. The price doesn’t have to be money. The harder you work, the more money you’ll save and ultimately have the potential to make.

If you are going to try a signal service, our one recommendation is to go with a service where you can actually watch a professional trader make lives trades. One pro trader named Franco has recently opened up some spots to his signals service where you actually watch screen and listen to him talk while he makes his trades each day. You can just watch, or you can make the same trades yourself. You can check it out here.

Is it Legal To Trade Binary Options For USA Citizens?

The short answer is yes. US traders can legally trade binary options! There is is nothing illegal about trading binary options for Americans.  It is smart to always check the local laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, stipulations, fine print and your and your home owners association policy before doing anything on the internet. But but binary trading is legit for USA citizens.

Updated for 2016

Legit and Legal Binary Options Trading Sites For Americans

Only the brokers with the small US flag next to their brand currently accept US traders
*I would like to add the exceptional broker, MarketsWorld.com to the list of US friendly brokers. They are highly recommended, regulated and legit. They made the short list at BinarySites.com as well.

Legalities

In 2007 the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC filed to a rule change to binary options – While we are not lawyers or going through this entire pdf, essentially after this, the binary trading sites were allowed to offer binary options to US residents.  According to this press release on April 8th, 2008, the CBOE (Chicago Board of Exchange) filed for approval of index based binary options trading.  With the S& P 500 to be the first listed.

Good news, there are a small handful of high quality, legit binary brokers you can trade at. You can see my quick reviews on these sites here: http://binarytradingsites.com/reviews/

  • MarketsWorld www.marketsworld.com – Regulated by the Isle of Man (island off of the UK), this broker does it right by accepting all US traders and starting everyone with a 100% free demo trading account.

Licensed, Regulation and Reputation

Now keep in mind that unless you are looking for binary options trading companies with offices in the USA then you are going to be hard pressed to find anything more concrete than NADEX. The reason for this is that while brokers can freely accept US citizens they have their headquarters in more tax friendly jurisdictions in Europe. Specifically Cypress and the Isle of Man.

The license process for US regulation as well as international regulation is a lengthy and tedious one. Quite frankly the binary options industry are so relatively new that the entire framework of legality and licensing is not completely worked out to a point where we can conclusively say everyone is properly licensed.

What is the most important to you anyway? A government seal of approval or a reputation earned from past performance. The sites we list all have a positive history and are in the process and often leading the charge for out and out regulation and licensing.

And speaking of these brokers being headquartered in other countries like Cypress, you can see that they are moving forward with the CySEC regulation and possibly FSA following. Of course

Why So Few US Brokers Listed?

Because there are a ton of scams out there.

That’s the short honest answer.

There are hundreds of binary trading sites online right now. Many of them aren’t worth the disk space their website is hosted on. Many of them are out and out scams. Some of the other legit brokers also decided to stop accepting traders when the passing of the UIGEA and laws that were so confusing they decided that rather than to risk the wrath of the US government it is best to just avoid the US market all together.

Trade at the good sites. The legit brokers. The quality options banks online.

Research and Links to US Trading Laws, News & More

There is no clear consensus as to what lies ahead in the world of binary option trading and specifically in the US market. Being one of the more regulated trading markets and the fact that uncle sam is more than happy to step in, I expect more and more laws restricting some of the brokers in the future. This is another reason the above sites are featured because they are the ones leading the charge for regulation on the federal level with the US government. They are the ones that are the most likely to be allowed in first.

 

How To Choose A Binary Options Broker

Before you can trade live, or even demo test, you’re going to need to select a binary options broker, aka a binary trading site.  Eventually you’ll be investing real money with this broker, so you want to make sure that you choose one that is going to be trustworthy, professional, and reliable. And one which will provide you with all the tools and options you need to be profitable.

What are some of the main things to look for in your binary options broker?

  • Reputation.  There are a lot of shady brokers out there that scam their customers.  It’s best to go with a company that has a strong reputation.  Binary options brokers aren’t yet as well relegated as brokers in some other trading niches (Forex for example), so you’ll need to rely mostly on user reviews and on the broker’s reputation around the web. Check BinaryOptionsBlacklist.com for reference.

 

  • How many assets can you trade?  If you plan to trade multiple financial instruments, you’ll need to choose a broker that allows you to trade a variety of assets such as commodities, currencies, and stocks.

 

  • What expiration times are available?  Some traders are most profitable on long timeframes such as weekly timeframes while others do best on the one minute (not most beginners).  The hourly and daily timeframes are good for beginners.  The more options you have here, the better.

 

  • Find out the maximum payout percentage and also the minimum return percentage.  This lets you know how much you can profit in successful trades and how much you get back from your losing investments.  You want both percentages to be reasonably high; 75-90 percent is reasonable for the payout percentage and 5-10 percent is reasonable for the return percentage.

 

  • Find out if there are any extra fees associated with opening account or placing trades.  Also look up whether a broker requires an initial deposit minimum.  Find out how much control you have over the amount of money you invest.  Do you have to invest a certain minimum on each of your trades or are you allowed to be totally flexible with your trade sizes?

 

  • How can you add or remove funds?  Is it a fast, simple process?  How quickly can you withdraw your winnings from your trading account?

Along with all of these considerations, you also should check out the customer service for any broker you’re thinking of investing with.  24/7 customer support is a must during trading hours; you’re investing money with your broker, so you deserve the best possible service available!

Who Are The Good Binary Trading Sites

Our favorite binary trading site is www.24option.com. This broker is a top place to trade binary options.

Why We Like Them So Much

Reputation is stellar. Industry wide with historical evidence going back years.

24 Options has a lot of assets – Over 36 assets at the time of this post. They are especially good with currency pairs, offering the highest average returns in the industry.

Multiple Expiration Times – Down to 60 second options to the longer term daily options. Also you early close taking profit or minimizing losses from within the trade.

Competitive returns – Average returns from 70-85%. Rebates on losses of up to 10%.

No fee’s – You see your exact risk and return.

Payouts fast – With no minimum amount required to cash out. Unlike some other brokers.

That’s why we pick 24option as our favorite binary trading site of August 2012.