Stocks are just one of the many types of underlying financial instruments you can trade using binary options. It’s most helpful to look at a binary option as a way of trading an asset such as a stock—you can also use it to trade currencies, commodities like gold and oil, and more. How do you trade stocks with binary options, and how does it differ from traditional stock trading and other stock option investments?
Binary Options Versus Stocks and Stock Options
Though many people know the basics of how the stock market works, most do not know of the many options available to investors. Included in this are binary options, a higher risk but straightforward alternative to trading traditional stocks and stock options. Below we compare and contrast the similarities and differences between trading stocks and binary options.
Price: A Major Difference Factor
Stocks are priced initially based on a number of different factors including how much the corporation is worth and the number of stocks made available to be publicly traded. Thereafter the market takes control and the current stock price is based on whatever investors are willing to pay for it at that point in time.
Stock options give the investor the right to lock in these shares at the selling price for a set period of time. Essentially, it is the right to purchase stocks for that price regardless of whether the stock increases in worth during that period of time. Profit is made by purchasing the option to shares that are expected to increase in price, then turning them over as soon as the expiry period ends.
Binary options are quite different. Instead of purchasing a stake in the company, you are essentially betting on the worth of that stake in the company. Since you do not own a share of the company, you cannot profit off of its gains and do not receive dividends. Instead you predict whether the company’s stock price will rise or fall to a certain point and bet accordingly. The advantages in doing this are the fact that you have the ability to bet on the stocks of a company or other asset that is out of your price range if you wanted to purchase shares.
For example, shares in Apple are currently quite expensive relative to other stock prices and, as such you may not be able to afford the amount you would prefer to purchase. Instead, by trading Apple binary options you do not have to pay the stock price, simply the cost of the option.
Level of Risk
Although there is risk anytime you are investing, many investors consider binary options to be a higher risk style of investment compared to traditional stocks and stock options. With a stock, if the price after purchase begins to fall, you can hold on to the stock for as long as necessary, in the hope that it will eventually begin to rise again, enough for you to recoup your initial investment, or a large percentage of it. With a stock option, you can choose not to purchase the shares if the price drops and simply forfeit money invested in the option.
Alternatively, binary options have a fixed time to expiry and there are typically only two outcomes: in the money or out of the money. Essentially, what this means for investors is that there are fewer possible ways to earn money and more potential for loss. The benefit, however is that the potential returns are much higher.
Technique Used in Trading
Often unrealized by investors are the similarities in technique used in investing in stocks, stock options and binary options. If you currently are actively purchasing stocks, then you most likely have a good grasp of the market and how to make wise investments. These skills are necessary for trading binary options and will make the learning process go infinitely faster. By understanding how to read financial statements and charts, you will easily translate this into signals that help you determine when the best time is to buy binary options.
Another similarity between traditional stocks and binary options is the different types of assets that are available to trade. Stocks and stock options can be purchased for a single company, commodity, index or in foreign exchange. This holds true for binary options as well only, as stated previously, you are not holding a share of any of these assets, simply a bet against it.
By first becoming familiar with the stock market and how to trade stocks, you will feel more comfortable and have a head start when it comes to trading binary options. Consider the similarities and differences and determine if trading binary options is something that would be attractive to you.
Binary Stock Trading vs Traditional Stock Trading
The most basic type of stock trade is where you simply buy and sell stock in a company. Buying stock in a company is essentially a bet that the company is going to do well, and that you’ll later be able to sell the stock at a higher price than you purchased it for, resulting in profit. While it’s possible to short sell stocks, the process is highly convoluted and somewhat risky. This is how most people profit in a bearish stock market, by ‘short selling stocks’.
Binary stock trading allows you to bet on whether the price of a particular stock will rise or fall without actually purchasing the stock itself. You can bet the price will go up, and use a ‘call option’ or you can bet the price will go down and place a ‘put option’.
With binary stock trading, the magnitude of price movement is not a factor in the amount of payout received on the trade. With binary trading you either win or lose the trade. It does not matter how big of a win you have, your payout is the same as if you squeaked in a 1 pip win. With traditional stocks the magnitude of movement greatly affects how much money you earn or lose with the trade.
Traditional Stock Options vs Binary Options
Traditional stock options give you the right to buy or sell a specified amount of stock at any price and time before the option expires (which we call a “call” or “put,” rather than a buy or sell). With stock options you don’t actually own a piece of the company—a stock option is just a temporary contract, and there is always another trader at the opposite end of your stock option trade. Someone will win and someone will lose. These trades typically appeal to people with less capital; they offer a higher leverage than traditional stock trading as well.
Binary options for stocks are contracts, like traditional stock options. They have expiration times, just like traditional stock options. You also have the option to call or put, which means you can profit in a rising or falling market. When you take out a binary stock option, however, what you’re doing is betting that the stock will or won’t reach a certain price within the expiration period. If you win the bet, you win the amount of money you invested in it. If you lose the bet, you lose your investment.
So you can look at a binary option as a specific type of stock option. Except instead of making a buy or sell decision during the expiration period, you make your decision when you call or put, and then you wait to see what happens (or get out if you think that is best).
With binary options you may be able to enter the market with less capital, as you can with standard stock options, and you may profit in a bullish or bearish market. Trading binary options does include large risks and spreads, however, so you’ll need to account for that when you figure out your bankroll and how you’re going to manage your money. And as with any other type of stock trading, you will need to approach binary options with some kind of solid method in place which has proven results in order to become profitable over the long term.
Are binary options right for you? That depends on you—different personalities and budgets may be better suited to binary options trading, standard stock options, or traditional stock trading.