Most newcomers to binary trading believe that the only decisions of real importance are those regarding the actual trading instruments and assets themselves. Just as long as their predictions are accurate and decisions are educated, the rest is by the by. Which can to a certain extent be true, but there is nonetheless one fundamentally critical decision of even greater importance than this.
Which is, ensuring that you sign up and work with a reliable and reputable broker in the first place.
Why does it matter which broker a trader does business with? Don’t they all predominantly offer exactly the same service? As far as the second of these questions goes, the answer is simply…no, they most certainly do not. And as for why it matters which broker you choose, the decision you make when it comes to signing up could make the difference between an outstanding experience with solid returns and being scammed out of your money in its entirety.
Seriously – it really is the most important decision you will make as a trader.
Outright scam tactics are comparatively rare these days, but this doesn’t mean you are not still taking unnecessary risks by working with a substandard broker. From insufficient security to poor customer service to unreliable performance and so on – why settle for inferior performance when there are superior brokers at your fingertips?
So for those who may be looking to get started with binary options in the near future and would prefer not to fall foul of anything subpar, what follows is a brief overview of the most important guidelines and considerations when selecting a broker:
Compare Multiple Options
First and foremost, it cannot have escaped your attention that right now the number of brokers in business is nothing short of mind blowing. Literally thousands of brokers from all over the world are competing for your business – all of which may or may not bring something unique and valuable to the table. Given that you have such incredible freedom of choice, it would be nonsensical not to make full use of it. There is nothing whatsoever to gain by rushing the decision and diving into the first broker that presents itself with a few pretty pictures and promises. Regardless of how great you believe any broker you come across appears to be, there’s every chance you could be better off – both financially and in terms of overall satisfaction – elsewhere.
Long story short, take your time and compare plenty of options.
Reputation and Ratings
There are two entirely different schools of feedback that you need to take into account when making your decision. One of these is the feedback that comes from independent experts, the other coming courtesy of real life traders. Now, you have to be particularly careful in this instance as there are plenty of paid affiliates and partners out there masquerading as expert reviewers. Quite simply, they are paid by the company to publish glowing reports with zero negatives, in order to drive more business their way. Which in turn means it can be a good idea to review the reviewers themselves, before reading into their reviews. When it comes to the reviews of real life traders, rather than reading too much into isolated complaints, look for any evidence of patterns or trends that emerge on the whole.
Combine the opinions of experts and customers alike to find out what to expect if you choose to join up.
Read the Fine Print
This is where things get particularly boring and is undoubtedly the step most commonly ignored. Nevertheless, it is also one of the most important steps in the entire process. When you sign up with any binary options broker of any kind, you fundamentally agree to abide by all terms and conditions set out by the broker. This includes any terms and conditions that happen to be categorically unfair, confusing or misleading. As you signed up, you agreed to them – it really is as simple as that. Now, while it is comparatively rare for brokers to deliberately mislead traders or snare them with dodgy terms and conditions, this doesn’t mean you aren’t still at risk of signing up for something you won’t be happy with. From bonus terms to commissions to withdrawal restrictions and so on, make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for, before signing up.
And if you don’t bother to read the terms and conditions, don’t bother signing up!
Following along similar lines, it’s advisable to be extremely wary when it comes to all promotions and bonuses aimed at newcomers. The prospect of having a 100% bonus of unlimited value added to your account upon your first deposit is appealing to say the least. However, it’s of absolutely no use to you whatsoever if the terms and conditions then state that before being able to withdraw a penny of your money or your earnings, you need to satisfy a trading volume of 50X the bonus plus the deposit. Suddenly, a bonus of $100 means the requirement to trade $10,000 of your own money, before any withdrawals will be permitted. Some bonus offers are genuine, but you need to do your homework extremely carefully before even thinking about accepting any.
Roughly summarised, don’t buy into anything that appears too good to be true.
For obvious reasons, anyone looking to get started with binary options for the first time could benefit enormously from a demo account. These represent fully-featured accounts using the entirety of the broker’s platform – the only difference being that virtual currency is used to get to grips with what’s on offer. Zero risk, nothing on the line. Nevertheless, there are two very distinct types of demo accounts to be aware of. On one hand, there are those you can sign up for and practice with to your heart’s content, before even placing so much as a penny into your account. On the other, which is where the vast majority of demo accounts lie, you will not be able to trade with practice money without first placing around $200 or $250 into your account.
If you can find a broker that offers 100% free demo accounts without deposits being required, this is usually a sure-fire sign of a confident, transparent and trustworthy broker.
A quick point but an important point nonetheless, it’s a good idea to carry out a brief customer service evaluation before getting started. This should include taking into account the hours during which the customer support team operates, languages supported, methods of getting in touch and whether existing traders have positive or negative things to say about them.
Sooner or later you are going to need the support of the customer care team – you may as well ensure ahead of time that they are capable of doing their job.
Regardless of your current experience and expertise in trading, there’s always room for progression. Which is precisely why the vast majority of leading binary options brokers provide their customers with access to extensive libraries of learning tools and educational resources. But not only are there significant differences in terms of both quality and quantity of such resources, some brokers will only allow you to access their ‘academies’ in full if you sign up for a premium account.
So before getting started, check out the scope and quality of the learning resources available, along with whether or not you will actually be granted access to them.
Payouts and Promises
Honesty counts for a lot in this game and you can find out a great deal about a prospective broker, simply by noting published payouts and other promises. For example, take your business to a responsible, transparent broker and they will probably advertise maximum payouts of around 81%. By contrast, head elsewhere and you may be wooed by published maximums of more than 95%. The difference in this instance being that only one of these two is honest, accurate and attainable. The same also goes for any broker spouting claims like ‘Make $1,000 in Just 60-Seconds!” or “Make Big Money Now with No Experience Required!”. Claims like these are entirely irresponsible as the broker cannot and will not follow through on them.
Take into account honesty and transparency, working only with those that are capable of telling the truth.
Last but not least, if you intend to take your trading on the go…as most do these days…don’t simply assume that your chosen service provider will offer a solid mobile experience. It’s not unheard of for brokers to put together superb browser-based trading platforms, only to well and truly short-change mobile traders. Just as is the case with the primary platform, check out as many reviews and recommendations as possible before going ahead, while at the same time putting the mobile platform through its paces using any available demo account.
Remember: just because it says Android or iOS compatible does not necessarily mean it will work with your device!