Traders often jump into trading options with little understanding of options strategies. There are many strategies available that limit risk and maximize return. With a little effort, traders can learn how to take advantage of the flexibility and power options offer. With this in mind, we’ve put together this primer, which should shorten the learning curve and point you in the right direction.
4 Options Strategies To Know
1. Covered Call
With calls, one strategy is simply to buy a naked call option. You can also structure a basic covered call or buy-write. This is a very popular strategy because it generates income and reduces some risk of being long stock alone. The trade-off is that you must be willing to sell your shares at a set price: the short strike price. To execute the strategy, you purchase the underlying stock as you normally would, and simultaneously write (or sell) a call option on those same shares.
In this example we are using a call option on a stock, which represents 100 shares of stock per call option. For every 100 shares of stock you buy, you simultaneously sell 1 call option against it. It is referred to as a covered call because in the event that a stock rockets higher in price, your short call is covered by the long stock position. Investors might use this strategy when they have a short-term position in the stock and a neutral opinion on its direction. They might be looking to generate income (through the sale of the call premium), or protect against a potential decline in the underlying stock’s value.
In the P&L graph above, notice how as the stock price increases, the negative P&L from the call is offset by the long shares position. Because you receive premium from selling the call, as the stock moves through the strike price to the upside, the premium you received allows you to effectively sell your stock at a higher level than the strike price (strike + premium received). The covered call’s P&L graph looks a lot like a short naked put’s P&L graph.
2. Married Put
In a married put strategy, an investor purchases an asset (in this example, shares of stock), and simultaneously purchases put options for an equivalent number of shares. The holder of a put option has the right to sell stock at the strike price. Each contract is worth 100 shares. The reason an investor would use this strategy is simply to protect their downside risk when holding a stock. This strategy functions just like an insurance policy, and establishes a price floor should the stock’s price fall sharply.
An example of a married put would be if an investor buys 100 shares of stock and buys one put option simultaneously. This strategy is appealing because an investor is protected to the downside should a negative event occur. At the same time, the investor would participate in all of the upside if the stock gains in value. The only downside to this strategy occurs if the stock does not fall, in which case the investor loses the premium paid for the put option.
In the P&L graph above, the dashed line is the long stock position. With the long put and long stock positions combined, you can see that as the stock price falls the losses are limited. Yet, the stock participates in upside above the premium spent on the put. The married put’s P&L graph looks similar to a long call’s P&L graph.
What’s a Married Put?
3. Bull Call Spread
In a bull call spread strategy, an investor will simultaneously buy calls at a specific strike price and sell the same number of calls at a higher strike price. Both call options will have the same expiration and underlying asset. This type of vertical spread strategy is often used when an investor is bullish on the underlying and expects a moderate rise in the price of the asset. The investor limits his/her upside on the trade, but reduces the net premium spent compared to buying a naked call option outright.
In the P&L graph above, you can see that this is a bullish strategy, so the trader needs the stock to increase in price in order to make a profit on the trade. The trade-off when putting on a bull call spread is that your upside is limited, while your premium spent is reduced. If outright calls are expensive, one way to offset the higher premium is by selling higher strike calls against them. This is how a bull call spread is constructed.
How To Manage A Bull Call Spread
4. Bear Put Spread
The bear put spread strategy is another form of vertical spread. In this strategy, the investor will simultaneously purchase put options at a specific strike price and sell the same number of puts at a lower strike price. Both options would be for the same underlying asset and have the same expiration date. This strategy is used when the trader is bearish and expects the underlying asset’s price to decline. It offers both limited losses and limited gains.
In the P&L graph above, you can see that this is a bearish strategy, so you need the stock to fall in order to profit. The trade-off when employing a bear put spread is that your upside is limited, but your premium spent is reduced. If outright puts are expensive, one way to offset the high premium is by selling lower strike puts against them. This is how a bear put spread is constructed.
5. Protective Collar
A protective collar strategy is performed by purchasing an out-of-the-money put option and simultaneously writing an out-of-the-money call option for the same underlying asset and expiration. This strategy is often used by investors after a long position in a stock has experienced substantial gains. This options combination allows investors to have downside protection (long puts to lock in profits), while having the trade-off of potentially being obligated to sell shares at a higher price (selling higher = more profit than at current stock levels).
Best Binary Options Brokers: 2020 Ranking
Best Choice! The leader in our ranking!
Perfect for beginners!
Free Demo Acc + Free Trading Education!
A simple example would be if an investor is long 100 shares of IBM at $50 and IBM has risen to $100 as of January 1 st . The investor could construct a protective collar by selling one IBM March 15 th 105 call and simultaneously buying one IBM March 95 put. The trader is protected below $95 until March 15 th , with the trade-off of potentially having the obligation to sell his/her shares at $105.
In the P&L graph above, you can see that the protective collar is a mix of a covered call and a long put. This is a neutral trade set-up, meaning that you are protected in the event of falling stock, but with the trade-off of having the potential obligation to sell your long stock at the short call strike. Again, though, the investor should be happy to do so, as they have already experienced gains in the underlying shares.
What is a Protective Collar?
6. Long Straddle
A long straddle options strategy is when an investor simultaneously purchases a call and put option on the same underlying asset, with the same strike price and expiration date. An investor will often use this strategy when he or she believes the price of the underlying asset will move significantly out of a range, but is unsure of which direction the move will take. This strategy allows the investor to have the opportunity for theoretically unlimited gains, while the maximum loss is limited only to the cost of both options contracts combined.
In the P&L graph above, notice how there are two breakeven points. This strategy becomes profitable when the stock makes a large move in one direction or the other. The investor doesn’t care which direction the stock moves, only that it is a greater move than the total premium the investor paid for the structure.
What’s a Long Straddle?
7. Long Strangle
In a long strangle options strategy, the investor purchases an out-of-the-money call option and an out-of-the-money put option simultaneously on the same underlying asset and expiration date. An investor who uses this strategy believes the underlying asset’s price will experience a very large movement, but is unsure of which direction the move will take.
This could, for example, be a wager on an earnings release for a company or an FDA event for a health care stock. Losses are limited to the costs (or premium spent) for both options. Strangles will almost always be less expensive than straddles because the options purchased are out of the money.
In the P&L graph above, notice how there are two breakeven points. This strategy becomes profitable when the stock makes a very large move in one direction or the other. Again, the investor doesn’t care which direction the stock moves, only that it is a greater move than the total premium the investor paid for the structure.
8. Long Call Butterfly Spread
All of the strategies up to this point have required a combination of two different positions or contracts. In a long butterfly spread using call options, an investor will combine both a bull spread strategy and a bear spread strategy, and use three different strike prices. All options are for the same underlying asset and expiration date.
For example, a long butterfly spread can be constructed by purchasing one in-the-money call option at a lower strike price, while selling two at-the-money call options, and buying one out-of-the-money call option. A balanced butterfly spread will have the same wing widths. This example is called a “call fly” and results in a net debit. An investor would enter into a long butterfly call spread when they think the stock will not move much by expiration.
In the P&L graph above, notice how the maximum gain is made when the stock remains unchanged up until expiration (right at the ATM strike). The further away the stock moves from the ATM strikes, the greater the negative change in P&L. Maximum loss occurs when the stock settles at the lower strike or below, or if the stock settles at or above the higher strike call. This strategy has both limited upside and limited downside.
9. Iron Condor
An even more interesting strategy is the iron condor. In this strategy, the investor simultaneously holds a bull put spread and a bear call spread. The iron condor is constructed by selling one out-of-the-money put and buying one out-of-the-money put of a lower strike (bull put spread), and selling one out-of-the-money call and buying one out-of-the-money call of a higher strike (bear call spread). All options have the same expiration date and are on the same underlying asset. Typically, the put and call sides have the same spread width. This trading strategy earns a net premium on the structure and is designed to take advantage of a stock experiencing low volatility. Many traders like this trade for its perceived high probability of earning a small amount of premium.
In the P&L graph above, notice how the maximum gain is made when the stock remains in a relatively wide trading range, which would result in the investor earning the total net credit received when constructing the trade. The further away the stock moves through the short strikes (lower for the put, higher for the call), the greater the loss up to the maximum loss. Maximum loss is usually significantly higher than the maximum gain, which intuitively makes sense given that there is a higher probability of the structure finishing with a small gain.
10. Iron Butterfly
The final options strategy we will demonstrate is the iron butterfly. In this strategy, an investor will sell an at-the-money put and buy an out-of-the-money put, while also selling an at-the-money call and buying an out-of-the-money call. All options have the same expiration date and are on the same underlying asset. Although similar to a butterfly spread, this strategy differs because it uses both calls and puts, as opposed to one or the other.
This strategy essentially combines selling an at-the-money straddle and buying protective “wings.” You can also think of the construction as two spreads. It is common to have the same width for both spreads. The long out-of-the-money call protects against unlimited downside. The long out-of-the-money put protects against downside from the short put strike to zero. Profit and loss are both limited within a specific range, depending on the strike prices of the options used. Investors like this strategy for the income it generates and the higher probability of a small gain with a non-volatile stock.
In the P&L graph above, notice how the maximum gain is made when the stock remains at the at-the-money strikes of the call and put sold. The maximum gain is the total net premium received. Maximum loss occurs when the stock moves above the long call strike or below the long put strike. (For related reading, see “Best Online Stock Brokers for Options Trading 2020”)
Options Trading Strategies: A Guide for Beginners
Options are conditional derivative contracts that allow buyers of the contracts (option holders) to buy or sell a security at a chosen price. Option buyers are charged an amount called a “premium” by the sellers for such a right. Should market prices be unfavorable for option holders, they will let the option expire worthless, thus ensuring the losses are not higher than the premium. In contrast, option sellers (option writers) assume greater risk than the option buyers, which is why they demand this premium.
Options are divided into “call” and “put” options. With a call option, the buyer of the contract purchases the right to buy the underlying asset in the future at a predetermined price, called exercise price or strike price. With a put option, the buyer acquires the right to sell the underlying asset in the future at the predetermined price.
Why Trade Options Rather Than a Direct Asset?
There are some advantages to trading options. The Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) is the largest such exchange in the world, offering options on a wide variety of single stocks, ETFs and indexes. Traders can construct option strategies ranging from buying or selling a single option to very complex ones that involve multiple simultaneous option positions.
The following are basic option strategies for beginners.
Buying Calls (Long Call)
This is the preferred strategy for traders who:
Are “bullish” or confident on a particular stock, ETF or index and want to limit risk
Want to utilize leverage to take advantage of rising prices
Options are leveraged instruments, i.e., they allow traders to amplify the benefit by risking smaller amounts than would otherwise be required if trading the underlying asset itself. A standard option contract on a stock controls 100 shares of the underlying security.
Suppose a trader wants to invest $5,000 in Apple (AAPL), trading around $165 per share. With this amount, he or she can purchase 30 shares for $4,950. Suppose then that the price of the stock increases by 10% to $181.50 over the next month. Ignoring any brokerage, commission or transaction fees, the trader’s portfolio will rise to $5,445, leaving the trader with a net dollar return of $495, or 10% on the capital invested.
Now, let’s say a call option on the stock with a strike price of $165 that expires about a month from now costs $5.50 per share or $550 per contract. Given the trader’s available investment budget, he or she can buy nine options for a cost of $4,950. Because the option contract controls 100 shares, the trader is effectively making a deal on 900 shares. If the stock price increases 10% to $181.50 at expiration, the option will expire in the money and be worth $16.50 per share ($181.50-$165 strike), or $14,850 on 900 shares. That’s a net dollar return of $9,990, or 200% on the capital invested, a much larger return compared to trading the underlying asset directly. (For related reading, see “Should an Investor Hold or Exercise an Option?”)
Risk/Reward: The trader’s potential loss from a long call is limited to the premium paid. Potential profit is unlimited, as the option payoff will increase along with the underlying asset price until expiration, and there is theoretically no limit to how high it can go.
7 Binary Options
Binary Options Trading Requires Very Little Experience
The common misconception is that binary options trading and forex trading can only be done by one that has a certain amount of experience in the area. There is no requirement to have any previous experience in financial trading and with a little time, any skill level can grasp the concept of binary options trading.
The basic requirement is to predict the direction in which the price of an asset will take. The price will either increase (call) or fall (put). Successful binary options traders often gain great success utilizing simple methods and strategies as well as using reliable brokers such as IQ Option or 24Option.
From this page you will find all the relevant strategies for binary options trading.
Get started with 3 easy steps:
Choose a broker from the list below
General Risk Warning:
Binary options trading carries a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds
Binary and digital options are prohibited in EEA
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. The financial products offered by the company carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never invest money that you cannot afford to lose.
(*Amount will be credited to account in case of successful investment)
Register a broker account
I personally use six different brokers for trading and would recommend all serious traders to open a few accounts with different brokers in order to build up a good variety of assets.
Start trading with four easy steps:
How to minimize the risks
Our goal is to provide you with effective strategies that will help you to capitalize on your returns. These are simple techniques that will help to identify certain signals in the market that guide you make the proper moves in binary options trading. Risk minimizing is important for every trader and there are a few important principles that aim to help in this area. Binary options trading can present several risks but to decrease them, take the following into consideration.
• Never invest the entirety of your capital at once • Review the dynamics of your trading asset prior to investing • Exercise the strategy by investing only 5 to 10 percent of your equity per placement
Reasons for Having a Binary Options Strategy
You don’t need a strategy to trade binary options. You could simply go with your gut, making decisions in the moment and on instinct. However, you won’t make any money with this approach. In fact, you will probably lose a lot. So, while it is not essential to have a strategy in order to trade binary options, to be successful and profitable you must have a binary options strategy.
To be more precise, you need three different types of strategy. Below is an introduction to each.
Trading Strategies – What They Are and Why You Need One
There are two main reasons for having a trading strategy and sticking to it. The first is that it removes the possibility of you making emotional or irrational decisions. Instead, decisions are based on pre-defined parameters that are developed with clear thinking. The second reason for having a trading strategy is that it makes it possible to benefit from repetition. Without this type of strategy, you probably won’t know what worked or why. Even if you did, it would be hard to repeat it.
In other words, a trading strategy ensures your trades are based on clear and logical thinking while also ensuring there is a pattern that can be repeated, analyzed, tweaked, and adjusted.
For example, you can analyze your strategy after a set number of trades or a set time period. Is it making you money? Is it making you enough money? Maybe it is making you money but not as much as you hoped. In this situation you may decide to let it continue knowing it will be profitable in the long term. Or you might decide to make carefully considered and structured changes to improve profitability. This is all possible, but only if you have a trading strategy in the first place.
The alternative is haphazard and impossible to optimize. Imagine you looked at your performance after a set number of trades or a set period of time but did not have a trading strategy to judge it against. What would you do if you lost money? All you could really do is hope you make better decisions in the future. However, you would have nothing concrete to base your adjustments on. The same applies if you were making money but not as much as you had hoped. In fact, the same also applies if you did make money – you would have no way of knowing for sure that you could replicate the performance again, as each transaction is a standalone trade and is not part of an overall strategy.
It is a completely impractical way of trading. Look at a scenario where you don’t use a trading strategy. In the scenario, you make a 50 percent profit one month and then a 50 percent loss the next month. How would you ever know why one month was successful and the other wasn’t? How would you know what to change, if anything?
You simply wouldn’t. The best you can probably hope for is break even, and that is no use to anyone. In reality, you will probably lose money because you have to win more than you lose. Without a trading strategy, that is almost impossible.
Money Management Strategies – What They Are and Why You Need One
Many people make the mistake of only developing a trading strategy – i.e., a strategy that determines the type of asset they want to trade and the level of risk they want to be exposed to. Little thought is given to the money management strategy. That is a mistake because a money management strategy will help you manage your balance so you can get through bad patches and maximize winning streaks.
To illustrate this further, let’s look at an example of someone who doesn’t have a money management strategy. Because of this they invest 10 percent of their balance on a single trade. If that trade loses, they will need a 20 percent gain on their account balance just to break even. If they lose three trades in a row, they will need a 30 percent gain on their account balance just to break even. You can see how this can easily creep up – a common losing streak of three in a row could see the account balance of that trader drop by 30 percent. When you consider the fact that many losing streaks are much longer than three-in-a-row, you will appreciate how important a money management strategy is.
Without one, your account balance is at risk of hitting zero, even if you have a good trading strategy in place. Losing streaks and unprofitable trades are a part of life, so you must have a strategy in place that deals with these inevitabilities. This means managing your money to maximize profits, limit losses, and, crucially, get back to a profitable position after a bad patch.
Analysis and Improvement Strategies – What They Are and Why You Need One
There is no such thing as the holy grail of binary options trading strategies. Markets change, and every successful trader constantly works to improve, update, enhance, and make better. Even traders with many years of experience and large profits in their bank accounts still work hard to analyze and improve how they trade. It applies even more to new traders and those with minimal experience.
An analysis and improvement strategy gives you a structured way of maximizing the good parts of your trading and money management strategies while simultaneously fixing or removing the parts of your strategies that are not working. This helps you become more profitable in the long term, and it helps you adjust to changing market conditions.
Without an analysis and improvement strategy, you will plod along. If you have good strategies in place you might make money, but nothing is guaranteed. In addition, you might not be making as much money as you could. Why leave these profits behind when there is a way of getting them? That way is through analysis and improvement.
Types of Binary Options Strategy
Binary options strategies are all different, but they have three common elements:
Creation of a binary option signal and getting an indication of how to trade this signal
How much you should trade
Improving your strategy
The precise strategy can vary on each step, so there are a huge number of possibilities. The most important part of developing a successful strategy is understanding as much as possible about each element. This will be covered in the next section, starting with the creation of signals.
Step 1 – Creation of Signals
A signal is basically an indication that the price of an asset is about to move in a particular direction. Of course, prices of assets move all the time. What you need is something that predicts that move before it happens. That is what a signal does.
There are two ways that signals are created. The first is to use news events, and the second is to use technical analysis.
Generating signals from news events is probably the most common approach, particularly for new or inexperienced binary options traders. It involves looking at what is happening in the news, such as an announcement by a company, an industry announcement, and the release of government inflation figures. In many simple cases, positive news means prices are likely to rise while negative news is likely to lead to a fall in prices.
The starting point for making this strategy work is knowing what news events to expect and when. This is why you will find economic calendars on most good binary options trading platforms. If you know that a company’s earnings report is due in two days’ time you can plan your analysis and trading activities around this.
The best platforms will also tell you what to expect from the news event. For example, it is helpful to know that a company’s earnings report is due in two days’ time, but it is even more helpful if you also know what the market expects to see in that report. You can then make decisions in advance of the report in an attempt to predict its contents and the subsequent market movements. You can also make decisions after it is published based on market expectations and reactions.
There are positives to a news events approach to trading. In particular, it is easy to understand and learn. There are disadvantages to the approach too. The biggest problem is unpredictable markets. For example, a company might release an earnings statement that shows an increase in profits. This is a positive news event that you would expect on first reading to cause the market to react positively. However, within the report there might be additional information that spooks the market, such as profits not being as high as expected. This could mean the market moves less than you anticipated and, in some cases, can even move in the wrong direction – prices falling even though the news event is categorized as positive.
It is also difficult to predict how long a movement will last and how far it will go. If you go back to the example of the company earnings report, it is a positive report so prices in the company’s shares are likely to rise; but how long will the rising price situation last and when will the price max out? These questions are unknowns.
Trading based on technical analysis offers an alternative. It is a strategy that seeks to predict the movement of asset prices regardless of what is happening in the wider market.
Essentially, the process involves looking at how the price of a particular asset moved in the past. From this, it is possible to establish patterns that can be used to predict price movements in the future.
It sounds complicated, but our brains are used to doing this on a daily basis. A good example is when you meet a new person. If that person greets you warmly, you are likely to predict positive things for the relationship. On the other hand, if the person is standoffish or unfriendly, you might anticipate difficulties in the relationship. You come to these conclusions based on your experiences in the past of meeting people and forming relationships.
Technical analysis does something similar. It looks at the current conditions of an asset and decides, based on past experience, if the price will remain largely unchanged or if it will rise or fall.
Once you get into the technical concepts and terms, it does, of course, get a bit more complicated. However, the overall concept is the same as the day-to-day task of making a prediction on future outcomes based on past events.
Now for the big question – should you use a news event approach to trading or a technical analysis approach? This comes down to a number of factors, and the answer will be different for everyone. The best advice is to try both to see which you are most comfortable with and which generates the most profits. Of course, you are probably not in a position to test strategies with your hard-earned money. Luckily there is another option – using a demo account. Most of the reputable binary options trading platforms on the market offer a demo account facility. This allows you to trade binary options with virtual money rather than real money. You can’t make any profits with a demo account, but you will not lose any real money either. What you can do is test strategies and trading styles without any risk.
One final point to remember when looking at signals and strategies is to focus on the short-term. There are investment strategies that aim to predict the price movement of an asset over a long period of time, such as 10 years. This type of information is of no use in binary options trading. Instead, you need to know if a price is going to move over the next couple of minutes, the next hour, the next day. A prediction of the price in 10 years’ time is not relevant.
To achieve that you need short-term signals and short-term strategies.
Step 2 – How Much You Should Trade
This is essentially a money management strategy. They vary in complexity and level of success, starting with a strategy that involves investing the same amount on each trade. Two other common strategies are the Martingale strategy and the percentage-based strategy. For long term success, the latter is the best option.
Investing the same amount of money on each trade is just like having no strategy at all. It is the riskiest strategy, as it does not take into account either your overall level of profitability or the amount of money you have in your account. Both of these are essential factors, and ignoring them can result in quickly depleted balances.
Let’s look at the other two common strategies now, starting with the Martingale money management strategy.
The core concept of the Martingale strategy is to recover losses as soon as possible. This means investing larger amounts of money in trades following a losing trade. For example, you could have a set value of money that you trade, which you then double when you have a loss. If that trade wins, then you are back in profit again rather than being somewhere around break even.
Problems with this strategy occur when you go on a losing streak with multiple losing trades in a row. Each losing trade in a Martingale strategy involves an increase in the investment on the following trade. This quickly adds up. For example, imagine you went on a 10-trade losing streak. That is a lot, but it is not an unrealistic or unreasonable situation. On a 10-trade losing streak, your 11th trade would have to be 1,024 times the value of your original trade in order to stay with the Martingale system. There are not many budgets that could withstand that sort of increase, even if the value of the original trade was low.
The question comes down to how accurate your predictions are and whether you can prevent or minimize losing streaks. It is always important to remember that nothing in binary options trading is a sure thing. Even trades that you are certain will be successful can end up as losses. Losing streaks are inevitable, regardless of how good a trader you are. It is simply impossible to be right enough times to prevent them. Therefore, for most people, a Martingale money management system is a risky option.
A percentage-based system is less risky, so it is usually the preferred choice for most traders, particularly those who are new to binary options trading. The concept is fairly simple – the amount invested on a trade is based on your account balance. If you lose a trade, your account balance will fall, so the amount of money invested on the next trade decreases. If, on the other hand, you win a trade, the amount of money invested on the next trade increases because your account balance has increased.
This strategy helps to keep your balance intact so you can realize steady profits over time.
The question then comes down to what percentage of your balance do you want to invest. As a guide, a trader who is comfortable with risk might choose a number somewhere around five percent, whereas a trader who doesn’t like risk would select a value somewhere around two percent.
Let’s look at an example, assuming you invest five percent of your balance. If your account balance was $500, your trades would be $25. If your balance decreased to $300, your trades would decrease too – each investment would be $15. If, on the other hand, your balance increased to $800, your trades would each be $40.
This is a strategy that helps you only invest an amount that you can afford. It is a strategy that lets you increase your profits while also protecting your account balance during difficult periods and losing streaks.
Step 3 – Improving Your Strategy
One of the best ways to improve your trading strategy is to analyze your performance using a diary. This is a simple but highly effective concept. It involves keeping a diary where you note down every trade that you make. You can then look for patterns and trends to see what is working and what isn’t.
This is a particularly effective approach if you are a new trader and are still trying to establish a profitable strategy. A common approach in this scenario is to place trades using both technical analysis signals and news events signals. A diary will help you keep those trades separate so you can judge which performed better. For example, you might find you are getting double the profits from trades you make based on technical analysis. However, you know from experience that you spend more time on news event signals than you do on technical analysis. The information in your diary would indicate that you should consider a change of approach.
Basically, it is all about knowing what trades are working and which ones are not. The only way to do that is by keeping a record, so a trading diary is a highly effective tool.
A trading diary also lets you focus on the details to fine tune your overall trading strategy. After all, you will get to a point where you are seeking a one or two percentage point increase in your profitability. This is simply not possible to do in a sustained way if you don’t keep good records. On the other hand, doing it successfully could result in hundreds or even thousands in additional profits.
Remember to use your trading diary to check all parts of your trading approach, not just the trading strategy. This includes how you manage money and how you decide on the value of each trade. It also includes looking at the best assets for your trading approach and style.
You can then go into even deeper detail. For example, you can look at the best days of the week or the best times of the day. This information might lead you to adjust your approach. You can also look at things like which brokers work best for you and much more.
There are many things that a trading diary will tell you. One of the problems is trying to work on too many of them at the same time. If you do that you won’t know which changes are having a positive effect and which are not. The easy way to fix this is by focussing on single changes, analyzing their impact, and then moving on. Again, your trading diary is crucial to this process.
If you don’t keep a trading diary at the moment, start as soon as possible. It will become an indispensable tool.
Trading Strategy Examples
Let’s now look in more detail at some specific trading strategies. The strategies below are among the most common, but there are others you can use as well. Also, many traders adapt, alter, or combine strategies to suit their objectives, attitude to risk, and trading goals. There has to be a starting point somewhere, and the strategies below are a good place to start your learning about binary options trading strategies.
Before going on, it is important to remember that none of them will be effective if you don’t also combine them with a money management and improvement strategy, as explained above.
Trading Strategy Example 1 – Trading the Trends
The price of an asset generally moves according to a trend, i.e. it moves up in price for a period of time or it moves down in price. These price movements are never linear. Instead, they zig-zag, sometimes moving up in price and sometimes moving down, but overall moving in one general direction. As these zig-zag movements are predictable in particular situations, they present an opportunity for binary options trades.
In simple terms, you have two main options: you can trade the overall trend or you can trade each swing. Trading the overall trend means ignoring the minute-by-minute up and down movements in price to instead focus on the overall trend direction for a period of time. This gives you multiple opportunities to profit from the trend, particularly given the fact that most trends persist for medium to long periods of time, i.e. they are well within the boundaries of the short term trading style required to be successful in binary options trading.
Trading each swing involves placing more trades. It involves more risk as a result, but there is also the potential for greater rewards. This approach is based on thinking about the highs and lows in either an upward or a downward trend:
Upward trend – New highs and new lows will generally be higher than previous highs and lows in an upward trend.
Downward trend – New highs and new lows will generally be lower than previous highs and lows in a downward trend.
Remember the point made at the start of this section though – there is no reason why you can’t combine both so you use both approaches at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive.
The most common way to trade trends is by using High / Low options. All binary options trading platforms offer this type of trade. Basically, you trade on whether an asset’s price is going to be higher than it is now after a set period of time (a high option) or lower than it is now (a low option).
A riskier but potentially more lucrative option is to go for a one-touch option. This is another popular binary options trading selection. Instead of simply predicting whether a price will finish higher or lower, you predict whether or not the price will reach a certain point. This is called the target price.
Again, you can use a combination of both to diversify your risk while increasing your chance of making higher profits.
Trading Strategy Example 2 – Trading Based on News Events
Trading on assets based on events in the news is one of the more popular styles of trading. The theory is fairly simple. Good news, such as a company reporting profit information that was above analyst expectations, would see the price of that asset go up. Similarly, profit information that was disappointing would see that company’s share price go down. You can make profitable binary options trades in these conditions.
It is not an exact science, however. Other styles of trading, such as technical analysis, produce parameters that are precise. Trading based on news events leaves a lot to chance, as there is no sure way of knowing how much an asset’s price will increase or decrease or how long the price movement will last.
You can adopt specific strategies and approaches to help increase your chances for success. Here are three you can work into your overall binary options strategy:
Boundary options – This is the strategy to use when you know an asset’s price is going to move, but you are not sure which direction it will go. A good example of a situation where this is suitable is before a major news event, as you won’t know if it is going to be positive news or negative news. With a boundary option, two target prices are defined – one above the current price and one below. The difference between these two numbers is known as the price channel. If the price of the asset hits either of these two price targets, you win. If it stays within the channel, you lose. As you can see, it is a strategy that works best when you expect significant movement in the price of an asset.
Trading the breakout – The breakout is the period of time immediately following the release of news that impacts the market. In binary options trading, this is a very short period of time – anything from 30 seconds to a few minutes. The theory behind the strategy is that the most significant movements in the price of the asset will occur during this breakout period as traders seek to adjust their positions to take make a profit or limit their exposure to risk. The type of binary options trade you would use in this scenario is a simple High / Low option, but you select a very short expiration time. This is sometimes known as a 60-second option.
Intelligent High / Low trades – In simple terms, positive news means prices will rise, and negative news means prices will fall. As already explained, the market does not always react according to this rule. Sometimes news that is positive on the surface – falling unemployment figures, profit reports by a company, or inflation numbers that are within government targets for example – cause markets to react in a negative way. This comes down to expectation, i.e. the market expected the unemployment numbers, profit announcement, or inflation figures to be better and had already made adjustments before the news was released in anticipation. When the news isn’t as good as the market expects, it adjusts in the other direction, prompting prices to fall even though the news is generally positive. If you can predict when these events will happen, you can make good profits using High / Low trades.
Trading Strategy Example 3 – Using Candlestick Formations
For new traders, this might be the most difficult of the strategies to explain, but it is the easiest to implement and make money from once you understand it.
When you look at an asset’s price chart over time, it is typically a line chart showing the price at each point in time. For example, looking at the price over a month is likely to show you the price the asset closed at on each day. However, this is only one piece of price data. Candlesticks give you much more.
Candlesticks are represented on an asset’s chart over time, just like a line graph, but they are designed to give you much more information. The bottom of the candlestick represents the low price it reached during the specific time period, and the upper part of the candlestick represents the high price it achieved. In between, you will also see both the opening and closing price. In other words, a candlestick lets you see, at a glance, the price range that a particular asset fluctuated between during that specific period of time.
Using candlesticks as a trading strategy involves recognizing various candlestick formations that you can use to predict an asset’s price movement.
A Candlestick with a gap is one example. This occurs when the price of an asset moves from one price to another that is significantly higher or lower. The difference between these prices is the gap. It is an unusual occurrence because price movements are typically much more gradual, with the asset hitting all or most of the price points as it moves through the range.
So, what can you learn about an asset when you spot a gap in a candlestick, and how can you use this information to make a prediction?
A gap that occurs during times when there isn’t much trading volume can be an indicator that a quick correction is likely to occur. One of the situations where this might happen is shortly before a market closes for the day when there are not many traders left placing trades. Large trades in these situations can produce the gap, but that is not necessarily reflective of the strength of the asset, i.e. if the trade had taken place when the market was more active, the gap would not have occurred. You can therefore predict the gap in the price of this asset and base your trades accordingly.
Gaps that appear during periods of high trading activity but where the price is not generally moving very much can be an indication of a new breakout, i.e. that the asset’s price will start moving in that direction. You can use this information to predict the price and make a trade.
If there is already a trend in a particular direction and the volume of trading is normal, the gap might indicate an acceleration of the trend. In other words, the movement of the price in a particular direction is likely to accelerate. You can use this information to base your next trade.
A candlestick formation with a gap is just one of many. However, knowing and having confidence in several will greatly improve your binary options strategy.
Developing a Binary Options Strategy Without Risking Money
As explained in detail throughout this article, a binary options strategy is essential if you want to trade profitably. It gives structure to your trading, removes emotion-led decision making, and lets you analyze and improve.
How do you test a strategy without risking your money? After all, how can you find out that a strategy doesn’t work without trying it? If you try a strategy that doesn’t work using your own money, you will lose it. That could result in you going through your available funds before the testing phase ends, leaving you with nothing to trade with.
There is a solution – a binary options demo account. All reputable and good quality brokers and trading platforms offer demo accounts. They let you test the platform, but, crucially, they also let you test your trading strategies using real market conditions. The testing is done using virtual money instead of your own, so there is no real money at risk. Of course, you can’t make any money either, but that is not the point. The point of a demo account is to solidify a binary options strategy that is profitable.
There are several assets to select from in binary options trading. However, the oldest and most effective approach to minimize risks is to focus on a single asset. Trade on those assets that are most familiar to you such as euro-dollar exchange rates. Consistently trading on it will help you to gain familiarity with it and the prediction of the direction of value will become easier. There are two types of strategies explained below that can be of great benefit in binary options trading.
1. Trend Strategy
A basic strategy most adopted by beginners as well as experienced traders. This strategy is often referred to as the bull bear strategy and focuses on monitoring, rising, declining and the flat trend line of the traded asset. If there is a flat trend line and a prediction that the asset price will go up, the No Touch Option is recommended.
If the trend line shows that the asset is going to rise, choose CALL.
If the trend line shows a decline in the price of the asset, choose PUT.
This method works the same as the CALL/PUT option except in this case, you select the price at which the asset must not reach before the selected period. For example, Google’s share price is $540 and the trading platform is on the No Touch price of $570 with percentage returns of 77%. If the price doesn’t reach $570 after the specified time, then there is a gain.
2. Pinocchio strategy
This strategy is utilized when the asset price is expected to rise or fall drastically in the opposite direction. If the value is expected to go up, select CALL and if it’s expected to drop, select PUT. This is best practiced on a free demo account from one of the brokers.
3. Straddle Strategy
This strategy is best applied during market volatility and just before the break of important news related to specific stock or when predictions of analysts seem to be afloat. This is a highly regarded strategy utilized throughout the global community of trading. This is a strategy best known for presenting an ability to the trader to avoid the CALL and PUT option selection, but instead putting both on a selected asset.
The overall idea is to utilize PUT when the value of the asset is increased, but there is an indication or belief that it will being to drop soon. Once the decline sets in, place the CALL option on it, expecting it to actually bounce back soon. This can also be done in the reverse direction, by placing CALL on a those assets priced low and PUT on the rising asset value. This greatly increases chances of success in at least one of the trade options by producing an “in the money” result. The straddle strategy is greatly admired by traders when the market is up and down or when a particular asset has a volatile value.
4. Risk Reversal Strategy
This is indeed one of the most highly regarded strategies among experienced binary options traders across the globe. It aims to lower the risk factor associated with trading and increase the chances of a successful outcome that results in positive profit gains. This strategy is executed by placing CALL and PUT options simultaneously on an individual underlying asset. This is especially beneficial when trading on assets with fluctuating values. Naturally, binary options can experience two possible outcomes and trading on a two for two opposite’s predictions over an individual asset at once, guarantees that at least one will generate a positive outcome.
5. Hedging Strategy
This strategy is commonly known as Pairing and most often used along with corporations in binary options traders, investors and traditional stock-exchanges, as a means of protection and to minimize the associated risks. This strategy is executed by placing both Call and Puts on the same asset at the same time. This assures that regardless of the direction of the asset value, the trade will generate a successful outcome. This provides the investor with profits of an “in the money” outcome. This is a great means of protecting yourself as an investor in whichever scenario is produced. It’s sort of an insurance method that prepares you for any scenario.
6. Fundamental Analysis
This strategy is mostly utilized during stock trading and primarily by traders to helm gain a better understanding of their selected asset. This increases their chances of accuracy in the prediction of future price changes. This approach involves conducting an in-depth review of all of the financial regards of the company. This info should include earnings reports, market share and financial statements.
This review helps the trader to better understand the previous activity of the asset and its reaction to certain financial or economic changes. This review helps the trader to make a strong prediction under familiar circumstances in future trading strategies. Keep in mind, that using a good binary trading robot can help you to skip these steps completely.
The best way to practice is to open a free demo account from one of the brokers.
Best Binary Options Brokers: 2020 Ranking
Best Choice! The leader in our ranking!
Perfect for beginners!
Free Demo Acc + Free Trading Education!