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Binary Options Strategy
Welcome to our binary options strategy section. Here you will find a beginners guide to strategies, leading on to more advanced information about things like money management, and articles on specific strategies.
Basic Strategy For Successful Trading
Strategy is one of the most important factors in successful binary options trading. It is the framework from which you base your trade decisions, including your money management rules, and how you go about making money from the market. There is no one Holy Grail unfortunately, if there were then we’d all be using it!
The two most very basic categories of strategy are:
Fundamental strategies focus on the underlying health of companies, indices, markets and economies and while important to understand, is not as important to binary options as the technical aspect of trading.
Technical trading, or technical analysis, is the measurement of charts and price action, looking for patterns and making educated guesses, speculations, from those measurements and patterns.
Strategy simplifies your trading, takes guesswork out of choosing entry and reduces overall risk.
The text book definition reads like this; a plan of action designed to achieve a goal or overall aim, the art of planning and directing operations in order to achieve victory. When it comes to trading the goal is to 1) make money and 2) not lose money.
The number one method of achieving this goal is to use a rules based approach to choosing entries that relies on ages old, tried and true technical analysis indicators. There are dozens, possibly hundreds if not thousands, of ways to trade the market, all strategies. They can be categorized in terms of the tools used, the time frames intended, the amount of risk associated with and many other ways, these being the primary.
- Price Action/Scalping Strategies – Price action strategies rely on the movement of the market to time entry. These can be trend following or not, long or short term and utilize bullish or bearish positions.
- Trend Following/Directional Strategies – Trend following strategies target assets that are trending strongly to pinpoint a series of profitable entries with a high rate of success.
- Range Bound/Short Term Strategies – 99% of the time the market, or an individual asset, is not trending but trading in a range within a high and low mark. These strategies focus on support and resistance levels, reversals within the range and short term trends as asset prices move up or down from support to resistance and vice versa.
- Long Term/Momentum Strategies – These are the less risky of the strategies as they target stronger signals and longer term time frames. These signals have a higher chance of success but take longer to develop and longer to unfold than other types of signals.
A technical analysis indicator is, most often, a mathematical formula which converts price action into an easy to read visual format. Common types of indicators include but are not limited to moving averages, trend lines, support and resistance, oscillators and Japanese Candlesticks.
Strategy is 1 of the 2 pillars of risk management, the other is money management. You control risk by targeting only good signals, weeding out obviously bad signals, and never putting so much money on one trade that it will wipe out your account.
Money management is the control of your overall trading fund. It should clarify trade size, and long term financial management – leaving you to focus only on trading. A well thought out money management structure should simplify:
- Trade size
- Risk management
- Future growth
A trader with a clear financial plan should not need to be concerned with whether they can trade tomorrow, or if their trade size is correct or how they might grow investments in line with their progress. All those decisions are controlled by managing their overall capital with a clear plan.
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This is the most common method of viewing price charts. The candlesticks give an easy to read view of prices, open high low and close, that jumps off the charts in way that no other charting style can do. They are the basis of most price action strategies and can be used to give signals as well as to confirm other indicators.
Support And Resistance
These are areas of price action on the asset chart that are likely to stop prices when they are reached. Support is found when prices stop falling, this happens when buyers step into the market and are said to be “supporting prices”. Resistance is found when prices stop rising, this happens when sellers enter the market (or buyers disappear) and are said to be “resisting higher prices”. These areas, often represented by horizontal lines, are good targets for entries and possible areas where price action may reverse.
These lines connect highs and lows formed by asset price as it moves up down and sideways. A series of higher lows and higher highs is considered to be an uptrend and a sign that prices are likely to move higher, a series of lower highs and lower lows is considered to be a downtrend and a sign that prices are likely to move lower. The trend line can be used as a target for support and resistance, as well as a an entry point for trend following strategies.
Moving averages take an average of an assets prices over X number of days and then plots those values as a line on the price chart. Moving averages come in many forms and are often used to determine trend, provide targets for support and resistance and to indicate entries. There are dozens of methods of deriving moving averages, the most common include Simple Moving Averages, Exponential Moving Averages, volume weighted moving averages and many more. They can be used in any time frame, and set to any time frame, for multiple time frame analysis and to give crossover signals.
Oscillators may be the single largest division of indicators used for technical analysis. They include tools like MACD, stochastic, RSI and many, many others. These tools, in general, use price action and moving averages in a combination of ways to determine market health. They are displayed as a stand alone tool, usually as a line that ranges between two extremes or above and below a mid point, that can help determine trend, direction, support/resistance, market strength, momentum and entry signals.
With any form of trading, psychology can play a big part. A lack of confidence can mean missed trades, or investing too little capital in winnings trades. At the other end of the spectrum, over-confidence can lead to over trading, or increased risk – either of which could wipe an account very quickly.
So the trading psychology of the trader is very important. It can also be actively controlled or managed (at the very least, acknowledged). It is another often overlooked area of trading skill, but one well worth spending time to consider.
Read more on trading psychology and learning from experience.
A Basic Binary Options Strategy
Here is an example of some basic rules for a binary options strategy.
- The trend is your friend, only take trend following entries.
- In an uptrend only enter when prices are near support, in a downtrend only enter when prices are near resistance.
- When prices are near support/resistance wait for a confirming candlestick signal.
- When the candlestick signal appears wait for stochastic and/or MACD to confirm, a bullish crossover in an uptrend or a bearish crossover in a downtrend.
- When rules 1 through 4 are met, enter the trade, only use 3% of account on each trade.
- When choosing expiry use 2XCandle length. IE, if you are using 1 minute candles then 2 minute expiry, if 1 hour candles then 2 hour expiry.
- If the trade fails examine why it did not work, make adjustment if necessary and move on to the next trade. If the trade works move on to the next trade.
No strategy is going to be profitable if you trade with an unreliable broker. These are our top recommended trading platforms for trying out your strategy.
Most Popular Strategy Articles
Strategies for Different Markets
Choosing a Trading Strategy
Developing a trading strategy for the binary options market requires a key understanding of how the market operates in terms of the trade contracts available, the various expiry times, and the understanding of the behaviour of the individual assets.
Unlike the forex market where the asset has to move in one direction or the other by an appreciable number of pips to the trader’s favour before profits are made, the binary options market is peculiar. Apart from the Up/Down trade which is based on direction and mimics the requirements of the trades in other markets (except the pip movements), other trade types in the binary option market operate in totally different ways. There are different trade contracts for different platforms. Some binary options contracts do not even require the trader to get the direction of the asset correct. For instance, trading the OUT contract will need the asset to hit one price boundary or the other for profit to be made. So it takes the trader being able to identify a suitable trade contract to be able to fashion a suitable strategy. What is used to trade the Up/Down contract is not the same as will be used for the In/Out contract. The contract type will determine the strategy.
For instance, trading the Up/Down contract will require a strategy that can determine if the asset will make a bullish or bearish movement. Trading the In/Out contract will require either a range trading strategy or a breakout trading strategy to identify a time when the asset stays in a range or breaks out of that range. If you are looking to develop a trading strategy for the In/Out trade, this is how your mind should be working.
In developing a strategy based on the binary options trade types to be traded, there are tools that can assist the trader. This is where chart patterns, signals services, candlesticks and technical indicators will come in. A simple tool like the pivot point calculator can be used as part of a TOUCH trade strategy with very effective results. Using tools like these will take us to the next part of choosing a strategy, which is how to understand and set expiry times.
Understanding Expiry Times
Expiry times are very important to binary options, because all trades in this market have time limits. However, not all binary options trades require time limits to be successful. Trades such as the Up/Down trades must reach expiry before the trade outcome is known. In contrast, trades such as the OUT component of the boundary trade or the TOUCH component of the High Yield Touch or Touch/No Touch trade contract must not necessarily reach maturity before the outcome of the trade is known. If a trader bets on a TOUCH outcome and the asset touches the strike price well before expiry, the trade outcome is already known and the trade is terminated as a profitable one.
So if the trader is not very good at setting expiry times/dates (and really, no trader in the market can boast of getting his expiry settings right all the time here), the binary options trading strategy will have to be tailored towards trade contracts which are not totally expiry-dependent.
Now when you identify and separate trades that are not so dependent on expiries from those that are, you can better understand what kind of strategy you would be looking at.
Understanding Asset Behaviour
The binary options market combines assets from different asset classes into one market. These assets do not behave alike. Some assets are very volatile with large intraday movements. A very clear example is gold. Some binary options assets are not traded round the clock but only at specific times e.g. the stock indices. The factors that may trigger a massive move in a stock index would obviously not be the same for a commodity or a currency. Even within the same asset class, no two instruments are exactly the same or behave alike.
An understanding of asset behaviour is therefore key to being able to develop a trading strategy for the market. It is up to the trader to study the behaviour of assets, understand the technical and fundamental indicators that will influence the behaviour and price movement of that asset, and then create a trading strategy that will work for that asset.
In this section, we will demonstrate the application of all the parameters we have mentioned above using a simple but effective trade strategy.
– The strategy we will use determines price bullishness/bearishness, so we will trade a Call/Put contract.
– We will trade the strategy on a one hour chart, so it will be have an expiry of one hour. We do this using our understanding that the effect we want to trade on the hourly chart, will happen in an hour.
– We want to use this on an asset that is liquid and responds to the strategy. So we will use the EURUSD.
The strategy has been used to create a colour-coded indicator, which shows a green arrow on bullish signals and a red arrow for bearish signals. It aims to trade the EURUSD because this currency responds very well to price stimuli during the London/New York overlap in the forex time zone, and the response can be delivered in an hour.
As soon as the red arrow appeared (as shown above), the signal was to trade a PUT option on the Call/Put digital option. Using this signal, the trade was executed on the binary options platform. The price of the asset (EURUSD) fell in one hour from the time the signal was generated to the expiry, producing a trade result in our favour.
This strategy (a custom strategy) fulfilled all our conditions:
a) It was suited to a trade contract on the binary options market.
b) It was a strategy that was suited to help the trader use a suitable expiry.
c) It was suited to the behaviour of the asset and above all, THE STRATEGY WAS A PROFITABLE ONE.
RSI Binary Options Strategy – How It Works
What is RSI Binary Options Strategy?
How to use RSI Options Strategy?
RSI is represented as a traditional oscillator with a separate window under the price chart. Its ranges from 0 to 100 and the level of 50 usually divides the indicator’s value into two parts. Additional lines come at the level of 70 (overbought) and 30 (oversold), showing strong price movements. The screenshot below shows how the RSi indicator binary options looks like.
RSI settings for Day Trading
Thanks to a simple and reliable mathematical formula, which calculates relation of recent price gain to the latest loss in a given period, binary options traders can adjust the key parameter for the RSI oscillator – the period of calculation. The default period is 14 bars or candlesticks. For example, if the analysis is made on a daily timeframe, then RSI calculates the value in last 14 days. For the hourly chart, RSI with the same period will take into account 14 hours.
Some technical analysts use Fibonacci numbers for the period from 13 bars for fast aggressive trading approach on short-term charts and 21 bars for conservative trading method on longer timeframes like binary options daily strategy. Choosing the most efficient period depends on individual trading strategy, the timeframe and expirations time of binary options.
Another important parameter to modify is the value of oversold/overbought levels. The default and the most widely-used relation is 30/70, while some of the binary options traders prefer a combination of 20/80 to smooth the unnecessary market noise and avoid too many false signals.
The flexible nature of the indicator and multi-purpose application allowed binary options traders to notice several patterns on the RSI indicator window, and develop different trading signals pointing to a high likelihood of current trend’s reversal. There are four main patterns for different applications and scenarios.
When an asset is trading in a sideways consolidation range without clear direction, binary options traders take advantage of RSI indicators ability to show overbought and oversold levels. Once the oscillator touched the level of 30 or 70, a trading signal occurs and the trend changes the direction. Therefore, traders should consider buying CALL options on a test of the oversold level and PUT options when RSI indicator reached the overbought zone.
Here is an example of RSI indicator range:
Overbought and Oversold Levels
During a strong trend, overbought and oversold levels can be shifted. This technique is used to measure the depth of possible retracements and corrections. For instance, when RSI bounces off the oversold zone and inches up to the level of 50, that threshold is considered as the overbought level, and new put options can be bought from there. For an uptrend, the condition is the same but mirrored. This pattern is also called a bounce by trend. An example below shows how the threshold of 50 acted as the overbought level.
Bearish or Bullish divergence
This signal occurs when the price action does not come in accordance with the RSI performance. For instance, the chart shows higher highs of the rate, while RSI oscillator draws lower highs. That contradiction is called a bearish divergence as it signals a potential reversal of the trend. Bullish divergence happens when the price of an asset charts lower lows but RSI prints higher lows. Bearish and bullish divergences are usually strong and reliable reversal signals.
Swing rejection pattern Example
This is also a reversal signal, and it has four stages of the action.
Best RSI settings for Swing Trading:
- RSI drops to oversold zone as the sequence of strong downtrend;
- RSI edges back above 30;
- RSI falls again without entering the oversold zone;
- RSI breaches the recent peak value.
Best Indicators Combination in RSI Binary Options
This is a combination of two oscillators in one window. Besides the RSI, here is used also usual Stochastic oscillator. The Stochastic RSI indicator has similar patterns as described above with the addition of another line. A crossover of two lines is considered as a confirmation trading signal as well. Both indicators parameters default on the chart below, however, traders can try to modify settings in order to get one of the oscillators slower than the other. That would reduce the frequency of trading signals but increase efficiency.
If you like this strategy, you might also be interested in this Triple Top and Triple Bottom
MACD vs RSI
One of the most popular combinations in technical analysis MACD and RSI. The main advantage of such an advanced RSI strategy is that it combines a slow trend indicator MACD with lagging performance and fast RSI leading oscillator. In this case, bearish or bullish divergence on the MACD indicator has to be confirmed or denied by fast RSI. Once a confirmation signal occurred, it’s time to enter the market, buying call or put options depending on the trend direction.
An example is shown in the chart below:
If you like this strategy, you might also be interested in this Reversal Trading
Стратегия Binary Option System или TOP PERCENTAGE
Интересная стратегия, основанная на нескольких уникальных индикаторах. Стратегия позволяет находить точки входа в трендовое движение.
Binary Options Strategies
Why To Use Strategies While Trading Binary Options
There’s no doubt that financial instruments can appear intimidating. When news about the financial markets appears on TV, you’ll often see financial traders sweating over complicated-looking graphs on multiple computer monitors or barking at each other across crowded trading floors. The commentary will describe exotic investment vehicles that can seemingly only be understood by people with PhDs in rocket science. To be clear, there are financial instruments that are very hard for the layperson to understand, but that’s not true of all of them.
Binary options are more popular than some investment vehicles because they are less complicated. There’s a clue in the name, ‘binary,’ because as an investor you’re only having to choose between two options: will the value of an asset go up over time or down? Traders will place a bet on whether the price will increase, which is called a call, or decrease which is called a put. So, in terms of probability, you could look at binary options trading as a bit like gambling on a coin toss.
Now, having said that, binary options trading carries a high level of risk and can cause you to lose all of your funds, and it’s because of this risk that binary options strategies are so important. You can trade safely if you do your research and put effective binary options strategies in place. We’re going to help you spot the market signals that will help you to do just that.
For a start, here are your golden rules:
- don’t invest all your capital at once
- be aware of how your asset is moving before you invest
- never invest more than 10% of your total equity in a placement
Reasons to Use Binary Options Strategies
Although we think binary options strategies are worthwhile, you could just as easily go with gut instinct, flip a coin or consult a horoscope to help you decide what to do. You might even be successful here and there, but long-term this is a surefire way to lose all of your capital. Probability won’t let you win with random behaviour, any more than it will let you win 50 consecutive coin tosses. To win consecutively as a trader you will need binary options strategies, and we are using the plural because you will need more than one.
Binary Options Strategies – Description and benefits
The main reason to use any trading strategy is that it will stop you from making emotional decisions. As a trader, all of your decisions need to be grounded in logic and rationality. There is very little room for hunches or luck. The other benefit of using binary options strategies is that they allow you to do active ‘field research’, meaning that if you take a defined approach to each investment and document it, and may be it fails, then you can tweak and refine it, and if it succeeds you can use it again and maybe try to improve. The markets are your laboratory where you go about testing your trading strategies, over a set number of trades and a set period of time. When you hit your time limit then you can look back and ask yourself whether your strategy is working, is it making you enough money, could it be improved etc.
Any other approach is going to leave you guessing. If you base your trades on guesswork, then you won’t know why they succeeded or why they failed. Using binary trading strategies will give you something more concrete to base your future adjustments on.
It’s important to know not just why you succeeded or failed, but why you succeeded or failed. Conducting a series of stand-alone trades with nothing to link them is as reckless as hoping for those 50 consecutive heads to come up in a coin toss marathon. When you trade, you shouldn’t just be crossing your fingers each time and being surprised by every outcome. And long term, the law of averages says that the best thing you can hope for is to break even, which is no way to make a living. It may not even be a feasible ambition because to break even you have to win more than you lose, and that seems highly unlikely without binary options strategies.
Money Management Strategies – What They Are and Why You Need One
A lot of people fall into the trap of developing a trading strategy but not a money management strategy. It’s all very well choosing what kind of asset you want to trade and how much risk you want to be exposed to, but you also need to give some thought to money management, because it will help you to build the kind of account balance that will see you through bad periods and help you sustain winning streaks.
Let’s consider the effects of having no money management strategy on someone who gambles a tenth of their balance on a single trade. If the trade doesn’t win, they now have to increase their account balance by 20% just to break even. If three trades in a row go south, then they will need a 30% jump in their account balance to get back to the breakeven point. This is a common scenario that can dig you in deep quite quickly.
Lots of losing streaks are longer than three trades, so you can see how money management strategies play an important role within binary options strategies. Without a good money management strategy, you will undermine your efforts even if you have a good trading strategy in place. Losing streaks will inevitably happen, so you must have a plan to deal with them.
Analysis and Improvement Strategies
There is no Rosetta Stone of binary trading strategies. The only constant with the markets is change, so the best traders need to adapt all the time. You could say they constantly evolve, even when they’ve become highly successful. It’s not like there’s a magic point that they get to where they know everything, and every trade they make is a winner. That day never comes. But they do get to the point where they analyse every trade deeply and thoroughly. If there’s any magic then it lies there.
By analyzing and improving your trading and money management strategies you’ll remove the parts that aren’t working, refine the parts that are and become more profitable over the long term. Even if you’re already making money, but you aren’t trying to constantly improve, who’s to say that you aren’t actually leaving profits on the table?
Types of Binary Options Strategies
There are three common elements to binary options strategies.
- Using signals to guide you
- Deciding how much of your funds to trade
- Constant refinement
To create a successful strategy, you need to understand as much as you can about every aspect of it. Here’s how to do that.
Step 1 – Using signals to guide you
A signal is something that tells you that the price of an asset is about to move one way or another. Asset prices move all the time of course, but what if there was something that could let you know which way it was going to move before it happened? There is, and we call this thing a signal.
Signals can be created using news events and/or technical analysis. Getting signals from news events is probably the more common one among new or inexperienced traders. Things like company announcements, industry announcements, governments releasing inflation figures, these sorts of things can all be viewed as signals that can affect prices.
If you want to develop a working strategy, then you need to think about what news events to expect and when. Most binary options trading platforms will feature economic calendars, so you’ll be informed that in a couple of days’ time a firm’s earnings reports are due. This kind of pre-warning will help to inform your analysis.
The best binary option trading platforms will also let you know what’s expected in that earnings report. This will help you to make decisions about which way the market is going to move before the report comes out.
A news-based approach to trading has the benefit of being fairly easy to learn and understand. It’s not like you need to gain secret knowledge. You’re just taking common knowledge and thinking about its implications for the asset that you’re interested in.
The disadvantage of news-based signals is that they don’t stop markets being unpredictable. For instance, if an earnings report shows that a company has boosted its profits, you might think that that’s a positive result. But that same report might suggest that profits were expected to be higher, or that the company expects to face stiff competition. There are all sorts of unknown quantities that can spook the markets and pull the rug out from under that good news.
Technical analysis gives traders a narrower view than that offered by the news. It focuses on how an asset price moved in the past, with the aim of finding patterns that may offer clues about how the price will move in future. This is an area that can become a rabbit hole of complexity—make no mistake—but the underlying principle is fairly straightforward. You try to work out future behaviour of an asset price based on its past behaviour.
So, the question is, which one of these binary trading strategies should you be using; a news approach or a technical analysis approach? Well, everyone is different, with different strengths and weaknesses, so the best advice we can give to you is to try them both and see which one works best for you. Either of them can bring you success if they gel with you.
Now, you may be wondering how much that little experiment is going to cost you. What if you’re terrible at using the analytical approach and it ends up costing you a fortune? Well, there’s no need for concern. Most decent brokers will be able to offer you a demo account to practice on. You’ll have full access to the trading platform, you won’t be using real money. You’ll get the chance to trade in binary options with zero risks. Sure, you won’t make any money with your demo account, but you won’t lose any either. Instead, you will have an ideal testbed on which to see how your strategies play out.
The last thing to say about signals and strategies is to concentrate on the short-term. Some investment strategies try to predict asset price shifts over long periods of time, even up to a decade. In binary options trading, you’re not really interested in this kind of information. You’re more concerned with what the price will do in the next two minutes, or hour or day.
Step 2 – Deciding how much of your funds to trade with
Money management strategies vary in their complexity. A simple one will have you investing the same amount for every trade, but it’s risky and doesn’t take your overall level of profitability into account or how much capital you have at your disposal. So, we only mention this because you might hear it mentioned and we want you to avoid it.
Another one that you may hear about is the Martingale money management strategy. The idea behind this approach is to recover from your losses as quickly as possible by increasing the size of your trades after each loss. For instance, you could set an amount of money that you will trade with, and if you experience a loss then you double it. If it’s successful then you aren’t just back to where you started, you’re ahead.
It shouldn’t be too hard to see that there is a problem with this strategy. Namely, if you experience a losing streak that won’t quit then the Martingale strategy would have you increasing your investment on every following trade. So, if you had a run of 11 straight losses, number 12 would be a gamble that was 2,048 times bigger than that first trade. Unless you’re a billionaire, it’s going to be hard to keep that kind of optimistic speculation going.
It all comes down to how good you are at making predictions and how good you are at ending losing streaks. You need to keep in mind that there are no certainties in binary options trading. Even surefire trades that you would stake your life on can end up losing, and losses can easily turn into streaks, even if you’re the best trader in the world because at the end of the day nobody has a crystal ball. That’s why the Martingale money management system is not for everyone. It does have its place, but it needs to be employed with caution, so it may not suit beginners.
A percentage-based system doesn’t come with as much risk, so it’s the one that the majority of traders usually prefer, especially binary options trading newbies. It’s a fairly simple concept. The amount of money you put into a trade is based on the amount of money you have in your trading account. It’s kind of the opposite of the doubling down approach that the Martingale strategy uses because after each losing trade your subsequent trades will be for lower amounts. But if you win, your following wagers will be for greater amounts, because your account balance will have gone up.
This conservative approach is designed to preserve as much of your capital as possible so that you can trade for as long as possible, and it gives you the best possible chance of clawing your way back from successive defeats and capitalizing on your successes.
The only variable for you to consider is what percentage of your balance to use. Typically, a trader who is not risk-averse will probably go for around 5%, while everyone else will probably prefer something nearer to 2%.
As an example, let’s assume you feel comfortable with 5% of your balance being invested in a trade. A $500 account balance gives you a $25 trade. If your balance dropped to $300, your trades would now be only $15. If your balance rose to $800, each trade would be $40.
With this strategy, you will only be gambling with what you can sustain. It’s a measured approach that adapts to your current situation and prevents you from throwing good money after bad when you eventually stumble into a rut of successive losing trades, and it won’t let you become overconfident if you win a few either. For these reasons, it’s one of the binary options strategies that’s hard to fault.
Step 3 – Constant refinement
Diaries aren’t just for moody teenagers. They are also essential for developing you into a better trader. It doesn’t matter whether you have a little black book or an Excel spreadsheet. Whatever works for you. The important thing is to record every trade that you make so you can build up a body of ‘evidence’. In time you’ll have a detailed history of what works and what doesn’t, and that will help to ensure that the trades you make in future are successful more often.
A diary is like a silent partner for beginning traders. It allows you to look back at trades and give yourself good advice. Try placing trades based on both technical analysis and news events signals but record them separately in your diary so you can see which one works the best for you. When you’re involved in the day-to-day business of trading, you may not realize exactly how you’re approaching it, but your diary will always tell you the truth. So, for instance, you might think that technical analysis suits you best because you’re getting twice the profits that you’re making with signals. But your diary will tell you that you’re actually spending twice as much time studying technical analysis, so it’s an unfair comparison. Maybe you’re getting greater returns per hour of invested time looking for news events signals. Only your diary can tell you.
A trading diary also delivers the kind of granular detail that is essential to fine-tuning any of your binary options strategies. This is important when you get to a decent level of competence and are only looking to improve by small amounts—icing the cake so to speak. But you can only do this if you understand the details of what you’re doing well enough to tweak them.
Don’t forget to use your trading diary to check every aspect of your trading strategy, including money management, your choice of assets, and the size of each trade.
When you get in to the detail, consider noting which days of the week are best and which times of day are best for the best results. Do you perform better with some brokers and some trading platforms? Make a note of it; it’s all-important.
Having said all that, try not to succumb to information overload. Although you’re recording everything you don’t have to change everything at the same time when you’re trying to refine your approach. If you do that it’s hard to know which aspect of the change worked. If you change broker and then asset class and then trade amount all at the same time and you have a run of successful trades, how will you know which one of those three things that you changed contributed to those successes? It is far better to change one thing at a time, then you will know that it was responsible for the change.
Binary Options Trading Strategy Examples
Let’s take a more detailed look at some binary options strategies. The ones listed below are some of the most frequently used, but there are plenty of others available as well. As you learn more, you’ll no doubt come across traders who split, combine and adapt their binary options trading strategies to suit their own goals. You’ll probably be tempted to try this kind of thing yourself, but it’s important when you start out to learn the basics and save the customized approach for later. Whichever one you choose, don’t forget to combine them with a money management strategy too.
Example 1 – Trading the Trends
Asset prices usually move in line with a trend. You’ll often see a zigzag of ups and downs that are actually all part of a larger upward or downward trend. When you understand the shape of the trend you begin to see that the zigzag movements can be predictable in certain situations, and when you can predict those movements you have an opportunity to execute profitable binary options trades.
To put it simply you have a couple of main options: you can gamble on the overall trend or on each of those zigzags. Trading the overall trend means looking at the big picture. You’re not interested in trying to capitalise on the minor ups and downs of an asset price. Instead, you are looking at a shift in price over the longer term.
Trading on swings in price requires that you place more trades, which is inherently riskier but potentially more rewarding.
Upward trend – New highs and new lows will usually be higher than past highs and lows in an upward trend.
Downward trend – New highs and new lows will usually be lower than past highs and lows in a downward trend.
Of course, you shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that you are free to use both approaches to trading. It’s a free country!
One of the most frequently used ways of trading trends is with High / Low options. Every binary options trading platform will offer this kind of trade. With a high option, you’re betting that the price will go up and with a low option you’re betting that the price will go down. The only variable is the period of time during which you think this will happen.
A riskier, but potentially more profitable variation of this is called a one-touch option. Instead of just betting on whether the price will go higher or lower, you’re predicting whether it will hit a specified number called the target price.
Example 2 – Trading on News Events
This is a fairly popular type of trading strategy. You will use the news as your source of intelligence. When a company reports greater profits or a new and exciting product then the theory states that generally, this will cause more people to want to own shares in that company and this demand will push up their price. The opposite is true if the company announces bad news of some sort. In both cases, binary options traders are in a position to make money if they can anticipate the direction of the next shift in the share price.
The downside of this type of approach is that it is not clear cut. When you trade on the basis of news events you place your fortune in the hands of fate.
So, it’s a good thing that there are other strategies that you can take to increase your chances of successfully trading binary options. Here are three of them.
Boundary options – when you’re certain that an asset price will change but you can’t be quite sure which way it’s going to go then a boundary option can be really useful. With it, you set two target prices, one of which is below the current price and one of which is above. The difference between them is called the price channel. If the asset price passes either of them then you win. If it only moves inside the channel then you lose.
Trading the breakout – The breakout represents a window of opportunity. It’s the time, anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes after a piece of news about an asset goes public. It’s the perfect opportunity to use a high/low option because it’s here that traders will try to limit their losses or alter their positions for profit, and so it’s here that you’re likely to see significant fluctuations. You’ll sometimes hear breakout trading being called the 60-second option because the timeframe is literally that short.
Intelligent High / Low trades – it seems counterintuitive, but sometimes good news may result in falling prices in the markets. That’s because even though the news may appear to be good on the surface, such as a rise in manufacturing productivity, if the markets were expecting a greater rise then the news comes as a disappointment which they will then adjust for. If you can predict when such things will happen then high/low trades can help you to profit from them.
Example 3 – Using Candlestick Formations
As a new trader, you might find this strategy the most difficult to understand, but the good news is that once you do it is going to be the simplest one to put into practice and profit from.
When you look at a typical graph of an asset price then you’ll be looking at an oversimplification that features a before and after. If you want to know more (and you do) then look to candlesticks to fill in the details.
Candlesticks appear on an asset’s chart over time. The bottom of the Candlestick indicates the lowest price it reached during a particular time period and the top indicates the highest price it hit. In the middle you will also see the opening and closing price, so a candlestick gives you an easy to digest view of the price range fluctuations for that asset in that particular time period.
Now the way to use candlesticks in trading is to recognize different formations of them. Once you can do this you can better understand which way the price will go next.
For instance, if you see a candlestick with a gap then that means the asset price jumped significantly higher or lower. Gaps are unusual because prices usually move in a much more gradual fashion, hitting the majority of price points on the way. When one appears during a period of low trading volume then it’s telling you that there is likely to be a quick correction.
This can happen just before a market closes for the day when there aren’t many traders left placing trades. The gap can be produced in this situation by large trades, but that doesn’t mean that the asset is strong. Maybe the gap wouldn’t have appeared if more trading had been going on, so knowing this you can estimate the gap in the price of this asset and use that information to plan your trades.
If gaps appear when trading activity is high, but the price is not moving much then this can indicate that there may be a new breakout, or surge in that direction. Again, use this information to your advantage when you trade.
If a gap appears when trading volume is normal and there’s a trend in one direction, it might suggest that the trend is accelerating. Good intelligence to have for your next trade.
Developing a Binary Options Strategy Without Risking Money
If you’ve taken all of the advice in this article on board then you’ll no doubt be wanting to test your new binary options strategies, but you still might be reluctant to get your feet wet when you are aware of how easy it is to lose money. You don’t want to blow all the money in your trading account on testing out your theories, do you?
That’s where a binary options demo account comes in useful. Every half-decent broker will let you use their trading platform demo fashion, gambling nothing more than numbers on a screen instead of money from your account. It’s probably the best way there is to start testing (and recording in your diary, naturally) your binary options strategies, without losing your shirt.
One of the beauties of binary options trading is that there is virtually no limit to the kinds of assets that can trade in. Trade on those assets that are most familiar to you such as euro-dollar exchange rates. Consistently trading a single asset will help you to gain that all-important familiarity with it to help you predict changes more easily. There are two types of strategies explained below that can be of great benefit in binary options trading.
1. Trend Strategy
This is a popular strategy, and it is also called the bull-bear strategy. To implement it you’ll need to keep an eye on the rising, declining and the flat trend line of the traded asset. If you see a flat trend line and think that the asset price is about to climb, use the No Touch Option.
If the trend line shows that the asset is going to go up, choose CALL.
If the trend line shows a decline in the asset price, choose PUT.
This method works just like the CALL/PUT option but in this instance, you decide on a price that the asset mustn’t hit during the time period you specify. So, save Facebook’s share price is $490 and the trading platform says the No Touch price is $495. If it doesn’t hit $495 during the time of the trade, then you win.
2. Pinocchio strategy
Use this strategy when you expect the asset price to fall or rise dramatically. Choose ‘call’ if you think it’s going to go up or ‘put’ if you think it’s going to go down. This one is best tested on a demo account before you go live.
3. Straddle Strategy
This approach is best used when the market is volatile and when you’re expecting significant news about a particular asset to break. This is a strategy that’s much respected throughout the world of trading. It lets you avoid choosing between CALL and PUT; you put them both on the selected asset instead.
The overall plan is to use PUT when the asset’s value has gone up, but there is a suspicion that it will go down again soon. As soon as the decline starts, put the CALL option on it, because you expect it to rebound soon. You can also use this strategy in the other direction, by placing CALL on a low-priced asset and PUT on a rising asset value. This boosts your chances of success by covering you in both directions. The straddle strategy is a favourite of traders when the market or asset is tending to fluctuate.
4. Risk Reversal Strategy
This is one of the most popular binary options strategies because it’s designed to reduce the amount of risk involved with trading and boost the likelihood of securing a profitable trade. With this approach, you place CALL and PUT options on an asset at the same time. This can really help when assets are volatile.
5. Hedging Strategy
This is another one of those binary options strategies where you place both call and put positions, with strike prices that overlap. The thinking is that at least one of them will pay out. You can make more than if you just select one option, and if you lose then it will still be a lot less than the straight loss you would suffer from just one option. It’s a useful tool to add to your trading bag of tricks.
6. Fundamental Analysis
Binary options strategies almost always require that you have knowledge of the underlying assets that you are effectively gambling on. The theory with fundamental analysis is that you really go to town on understanding the business whose share movements you are interested in understanding. To do this you need to get to grips with things like their earnings reports and financial statements.
As a trader, this review helps you to understand how the company has been performing and how its stock reacts to particular market news. If you know well enough what kind of shape the company is in and what kind of events have caused its share price to fluctuate, then you’ll be much better placed to predict and therefore profit from future changes.
We hope that this guide has been useful in preparing you to take your first steps with creating your own binary options strategies.
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