Also called the Up/Down binary trade, the essence is to predict if the market price of the asset will end up higher or lower than the strike price (the selected target price) before the expiration. If the trader expects the price to go up (the “Up” or “High” trade), he purchases a call option. If he expects the price to head downwards (“Low” or “Down”), he purchases a put option. Expiry times can be as low as 5 minutes.
Since binary options trading is relatively new in New Zealand, traders often have limited choice of broker. On the other hand, if you wish to keep your funds in the country, you can always be sure of the licensed brokers. For those traders who are willing to trade with brokers from abroad, there are also excellent choices of top-performing brokers licensed in the UK or the EU.
The yes/no proposition typically relates to whether the price of a particular asset that underlies the binary option will rise above or fall below a specified amount. For example, the yes/no proposition connected to the binary option might be something as straightforward as whether the stock price of XYZ company will be above $9.36 per share at 2:30 pm on a particular day, or whether the price of silver will be above $33.40 per ounce at 11:17 am on a particular day. Once the option holder acquires a binary option, there is no further decision for the holder to make as to whether or not to exercise the binary option because binary options exercise automatically. Unlike other types of options, a binary option does not give the holder the right to purchase or sell the underlying asset. When the binary option expires, the option holder will receive either a pre-determined amount of cash or nothing at all. Given the all-or-nothing payout structure, binary options are sometimes referred to as “all-or-nothing options” or “fixed-return options.”
When you trade binary options, you’re aware right up front how much you are risking and how much your potential profit will be on its outcome. You’re only risking the amount you choose, no matter how large or small it is. Additionally, there’s no risk of leverage which means you won’t lose more than the amount you risked in the trade, unlike some other types. This way, you’re prepared for incurring potential losses as long as you choose to invest an amount that’s within your means. This prevents you from losing more than what you can afford.
The binary options trader buys a call when bullish on a stock, index, commodity or currency pair, or a put on those instruments when bearish. For a call to make money, the market must trade above the strike price at the expiration time. For a put to make money, the market must trade below the strike price at the expiration time. The strike price, expiration date, payout and risk are disclosed by the broker when the trade is first established. For most high-low binary options traded outside the U.S., the strike price is the current price or rate of the underlying financial product. Therefore, the trader is wagering whether the price on the expiration date will be higher or lower than the current price. (For more, see What is the history of binary options?)
Binary option is popular to all types of traders – from low-skilled and amateur traders to veterans – because of its simple yes-or-no and all-or-nothing premise with high payouts. However, just like any investment, having high rewards also entails high risks. Hence, it is critical for you to be knowledgeable about this financial instrument and to fully understand how it works.
In the Black–Scholes model, the price of the option can be found by the formulas below. In fact, the Black–Scholes formula for the price of a vanilla call option (or put option) can be interpreted by decomposing a call option into an asset-or-nothing call option minus a cash-or-nothing call option, and similarly for a put – the binary options are easier to analyze, and correspond to the two terms in the Black–Scholes formula.