What Are The Differences Between Binary Options And Forex Trading

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Binary Options vs. Forex Trading: Understanding the Difference

Forex trading and binary trading are quite different and it is important to understand these differences in order to become

The article was written by Connor Harrison from Binary Brokers (BBZ). BBZ makes an effort to educate their traders so that they can understand recommendations regarding binary options, international legislation, risk management and other issues related to trading.

Binary options are option contracts with fixed risks and fixed rewards. In binary options trading, the trader must decide whether an underlying asset, such as a stock, a commodity, or a currency, will go up or down during a fixed period of time. Traders are shown up front the value of their earnings if their predictions are right.

Roulette

Binary trading works in much the same way as a roulette: if your prediction is wrong, you lose all the money you risked, but if your prediction is right, you receive your money back plus a return. A common set-up is for the trader to make 80% of what they bet on any trade that they get right. For instance, if a trader puts in $10 dollars betting on the value of the USD/EURO going up, and the guess is correct, he would receive $8 dollars plus his initial investment. If the value of the same currency drops, however, the trader loses 100% of the money that they put in.

Connor Harrison, BBZ

To make money in binary options in the long run, you must win the majority of the bets. Since forex trading allows users to set their own profit targets vs. stop loss orders, traders can still make a profit even if they do not win the majority of their trades.

There are of course some similarities between binary trading and forex trading. Both financial trading markets are tradable online, and they both allow users to start trading with small amounts of capital.

In both types of markets, users are speculating on which direction an asset moves in. In the case of guessing correctly, both trading options provide strong profit potential.

However, there are some differences between binary options and forex. In a binary market, traders only guess whether an asset, such as a foreign currency, will go up or down in value over a fixed period of time. In this sense, there is no variability in the risk or in the profit potential. The binary market is named after the binary system, in which the only two input options are 1 or 0. Similarly, in binary trading, the only two options are up and down.

Higher variability, more risk

Forex markets offer higher variability and more risk for traders. In forex markets, sometimes known as FX markets or currency markets, traders must decide not only in which direction as asset will go, but must also predict how high or low that asset goes. Thus, the ultimate risk and profit is unknown.

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In forex, there are no limits to how much money a trader can make or lose, unless they use certain tools to control trading. One tool is a stop loss, which prevents traders from losing more than a certain amount. In other words, once the trader has lost a certain amount, the trade automatically closes. Similarly, the potential reward may also be fixed beforehand. The trader can decide that he wants the trade to close once it has reached a certain profit value.

The maximum loss in forex would be all the money on your trading account. In forex, both losses and profits can be managed with limit/stop orders.

Timelines

Binary trades operate on specific timelines. The trader has no control over when a trade begins or ends once a trade has started. Before a binary options trade begins, users must select when the order expires. Each option has a start time and an end time.

At the expiry time, the trade automatically closes. Some brokers allow you to close early but you will exit your option at a percentage of the expected return. Not all brokers offer this option.

Similarly, some brokers allow traders to delay the expiry time to the next expiry time. This is called “rollover” and is only possible if traders increase their investment by a certain percentage.

In forex trading, users can take trades lasting from one second to many months, since they can open and close the trade whenever they feel like it. This flexibility has both advantages and disadvantages.

Margins

Forex also has a tool called margins. Each broker determines the maximum margin. Margins allow traders to increase their investment capital so that they can make a larger profit if the trade is a winning one. Margin is not a tool available for binary options.

There are five types of binary options you can trade. These are high/low, 60 seconds options, touch/no touch options, boundary options, and option builder. There are many different types of orders in forex. Buy/sell are the most important type. However, there are more advanced types such as limit, stop, OCTO (one cancels the other), trailing stop, and hedge orders, among others.

Forex trading and binary trading are quite different and it is important to understand these differences in order to become a successful trader.

What is the difference between forex trading and binary options trading?

New traders typically face a choice of whether they will trade forex or binary options. They may also consider stocks or futures, but since these endeavours are more capital intensive, forex and binary options are the most accessible to the average person. Although you can use the same charts for forex and binary trading, there are several differences between the two and these differences will likely appeal to different traders. Before trading either market with real money it is important to have a plan for trading, a reliable trading method and sound position management.

Before looking at how forex trading and binary options trading differ, let’s first address some general ways in which they similar.

  • Both are tradable online and typically anytime the underlying asset market is open. For the forex market and binary forex options (usually) this means trading takes place around the clock during the week.
  • You can begin trading either market with a small amount of capital, usually around $100, sometimes less. Since you don’t want to risk a lot on each individual trade (see: Determining Binary Options Position Size) likely you will want to start out with more trading capital than $100 though.
  • Both allow you make or lose money based on which way the asset moves–currency or otherwise.
  • Both are tradable on short-term time frames, although with forex trading you can also take long-term positions.

Differences

There are also major differences between forex trading and binary options trading.

  • One major difference is that with binary options the risk and profit potential are both fixed at the outset of the trade. For example if a binary option pays out 80% to winning traders, then you know that if you place $10 on a trade, you will either lose your $10 or make $8 (and of course you keep your initial $10 as well).
    • Forex trading is more variable. This can be good or bad depending on how the trader trades. A stop loss can be used to control risk, but market conditions may prevent the order from being executed at the expected price resulting in a larger than expected loss. If a stop loss is not used, then the risk of the trade is unknown. A profit target can also be used to take profits at a certain price or percentage level, but there is no guarantee that price will be hit.
    • Binary options trading is simpler than forex trading because there is no variability, you know your risk and profit potential and when the option expires you either lose or gain the pre- determined amount. With forex trading you don’t know your ultimate risk and profit until you close the trade. But this can also be an advantage depending on your trading level as the fixed risk and profit of binary options offers little flexibility in customizing risk relative to reward.
  • The risk and reward profiles for forex trading and binary options are also drastically different. With the forex market you can customize your potential reward relatively to risk. For example, you can place a trade and place a stop loss order which exposes you to a $100 loss, and at the same time place a profit target at a price which will give you a $300 profit. The trade stays open until one of the orders is hit, resulting in a $100 loss or $300 profit (or close to it).
    • With binary options trading on the other hand your risk is almost always more than your reward. Binary options typically pay out 60% to 80%, but if you lose usually 100% of the money you placed on the trade is gone.
    • With binary options you will need a greater than 50% winning percentage on trades to breakeven (about 55% or higher depending on the payouts) and/or make a profit. With forex trading you can actually lose more trades than you win, but since you can customize your reward relative to risk you could end up still making a profit.
    • Certain traders will like the flexibility of forex trading, while others will appreciate the simple transparency of binary option’s fixed risk and payouts.
  • Magnitude of price moves is another difference. When the underlying asset is barely moving a binary option will still pay out 60 to 80%, but forex traders are likely to be sidelined because there isn’t enough volatility to make a decent profit.
    • When trading forex the magnitude of price moves matter. You not only need to pick which direction you think the market will move but also need to assess how far it may go–both for and against you.
    • With binary options the magnitude of the price move doesn’t matter. If you buy a EUR/USD call option thinking the price will rise in the next 15 minutes, it doesn’t matter if the price goes up 1 pip or 100, you still get the full payout and are exposed to a known risk (the amount you placed on the trade) if it drops 1 or 150 pips instead.
  • Another difference is the time frames available for trading. With forex trading you can take trades that last from 1 second to many months, and every conceivable time frame in between because you open and close the trade when you feel like it. With binary options you must trade on the time frame of the options provided to you.
    • Knowing definitively when your trade begins and ends will appeal to many traders, in which case they will likely be drawn to binaries. Others will prefer the flexibility of forex trading on any time frame they want, opening and closing positions at a time and price they determine.

Final Word

This is not a definitive list of the similarities and differences between forex and binary options trading, but will likely help you on your way to making a choice.

Both the forex market and binary options provide profit potential. Binary options are simpler and you always know your risk, profit potential and how long the trade will last. Forex trading is much more variable and there are more things to consider, such as when you will get in, when you will get out and how you will manage the trade in the mean time. This variability of forex and the simplicity of binaries both have advantages and disadvantages. Based on the differences assess which you prefer, or try a demo account with a forex broker and binary options broker to see which you like better and ultimately in which market you perform the best.

Differences Between Forex & Options Trading

You will learn about the following concepts

  • Risk Factor
  • Easiness
  • Profitability Factor
  • Accessibility

Traders will always argue which type of trading is better – trading Forex or binary options. Every person, engaged in trading either way, knows that they both have certain advantages and disadvantages. If you have not taken a closer look at the specifics of Forex trading and binary options trading, then you are probably not aware of the major differences between these two types of trading. Let us point out several differences.

Risk Factor

Both Forex and binary options trading involve risk. However, if we take a closer look at both types of trading, we may draw the conclusion that binary options trading is a bit less risky due to the fact, that you know how much you are going to earn or lose before you place the trade. This is a huge advantage over Forex trading. This way you have better control over your money.

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Another considerable advantage of trading binary options over Forex is that you will not be that dependent on leverage. Every Forex trader knows that he/she must take advantage of the leverage offered by his/her broker, in order to be able to trade with decent amounts of the asset/s he/she has chosen. Although leveraged trades will bring you a larger profit, they will also multiply your losses in case your trade goes awry. As a result, there is a greater possibility for novice traders to lose their money quicker, while operating in the Forex market.

Trading binary options has another advantage – you have the opportunity to refund a portion of your trades, if you feel that your projections will not turn out to be accurate. However, this option is not offered by all brokers.

Easiness

Participating in the binary options market is fairly simple, as trading operations lack the complexity of operations in the Forex market. You may need to set several parameters of the trade, but in most cases you will be able to place a trade in just 3-4 simple steps. On the other hand, placing a trade in the Forex market involves setting additional parameters of the trade in order to limit your losses, manage risk levels, etc. The reason why trading binary options is quite easy is that the trader can only choose between two types of orders – Call or Put. In the meantime, Forex traders are faced with a more difficult choice.

Profitability Factor

In binary trading the amount of money you make will depend on your investment, knowledge, experience and last but not least – on the profit percentages offered by your broker.

In most cases the profit percentage your broker offers will vary between 60%-80%. The percentage entirely depends on the type of options you are trading, because the payout for certain types of options can be up to 300-400%. The fixed payout percentage gives you accurate information on how much money you will make from the trade. This way, as a binary option trader, you can control your money better and quickly calculate how much money you are going to earn, and how much you feel comfortable to lose.

Binary traders are quite active in the market – they often make over 10 deals per day. If you are one of the traders who deal with 60-second binaries, then it is very likely that you will make over 40 trades on a daily basis. In the meantime, Forex traders have to be more careful, while placing trades and, in many cases, they end up placing just 3-4 trades in a single day.

Accessibility

Binary options have quickly gained popularity among retail traders, because they do not require huge investments and are a great way of generating a decent amount of passive income. On the other hand, Forex traders need to invest larger amounts of money, especially if the leverage offered by their broker is lower. Do not forget that leverage is a great way to multiply your profits, but it is also the quickest way to lose all the money you deposited. One should not be tempted by the prospect of making large amounts of money in no time.

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Conclusion

Both ways of trading have their pros and cons, so it is up to every trader to determine which one suits best their preferences. Each one of these markets is meant for different types of traders. On one hand, Forex is a dominant market segment at the moment, while trading it is the full-time occupation of millions of people worldwide. On the other hand, binary options are a relatively new trend among Internet users and at the moment there are not so many people, who make a living by trading binaries. But, why not turn binary options trading into a full-time engagement?

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