Binary options are simple trading instruments that are designed to offer an attractive alternative for the directional trader with a small account. As Abe Cofnas explains in the second edition of Trading Binary Options: Strategies and Tactics (Bloomberg/ Wiley, 2016), the trader makes a straightforward bet: that the settled price of an underlying market will be at, above, or below a target strike barrier by a defined future time. If he’s right, he gets $100; if he’s wrong, he gets nothing. At least that’s the way it works on Nadex (North American Derivatives Exchange).
Traders who have shied away from options because they seem overly complicated may be relieved to learn that understanding the Greeks is not essential in the world of binary options. Yes, market makers use them to price the binaries and Cofnas even introduces the reader to volatility smiles, but the trader’s major decisions are whether to buy or sell binary options, at what strike price, and for what duration. How much does he think the market will move in a given length of time and in what direction?
Of course, getting the direction, magnitude, and timing of a short-term trade (weekly, daily, and a selection of intraday expiries) right is a daunting task. Cofnas therefore devotes four chapters to tools the binary options trader can use to improve his skills: sentiment analysis, tracking fundamental forces that impact markets, technical analysis, and volatility tools.
He then describes in some detail seven major binary option trading strategies that can be used to respond to global market-related events: in-the-money, deep-in-the-money, at-the-money, out-of-the-money, deep-out-of-the-money, range trades, and breakout trades. He offers, among others, examples of gold and EUR/USD trades during the Greek debt crisis, a crude oil play at the time of revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, a GBP/USD trade just before the referendum on Scottish independence, and a USD/CHF trade the week of U.S. congressional elections. He draws these examples from trading alerts he sent out in Agora Financial’s Strategic Currency Trading newsletter. Cofnas also devotes a full chapter to using binary options to trade the non-farm payroll report.
The book concludes with chapters on risk management, metrics for improving trading performance, performance tools and training for improving trading, and a 51-question quiz.
Traders who want to get a feel for binary options can create a free paper trading account at Nadex. If they have experience trading other instruments they will most likely be struck by the incredibly wide bid/ask spreads here. For instance, whereas the front-month crude oil futures normally have a penny-wide spread and options on CL have spreads of about two to seven cents, the day I checked crude oil binary spreads on Nadex, on a weekly contract with two days left, they ranged from $5.25 to $7.00, with bids from $0.50 to $93.50 and offers from $5.75 to $98.75. And in contrast to Cantor, NYSE, and CBOE, Nadex takes the other side of the trade. The trade-off here, as Cofnas points out, is the potential lack of liquidity on the “true exchanges.”
Cofnas’s book is useful to anyone considering adding binary options to his trading portfolio. As, of course, is trying out some strategies in a paper account to see whether they are solid enough to overcome the wide spreads and, in the case of Nadex, to beat the house.
Trading Binary Options – Description
Trading Binary Options: Strategies and Tactics by Abe Cofnas
A clear and practical guide to using binary options to speculate, hedge, and trade
Trading Binary Options is a strategic primer on effectively navigating this fast-growing segment. With clear explanations and a practical perspective, this authoritative guide shows you how binaries work, the strategies that bring out their strengths, how to integrate them into your current strategies, and much more. This updated second edition includes new coverage of Cantor-Fitzgerald binaries, New York Stock Exchange binaries, and how to use binaries to hedge trading, along with expert insight on the markets in which binaries are available. Independent traders and investors will find useful guidance on speculating on price movements or hedging their stock portfolios using these simple, less complex options with potentially substantial impact.
Binary options provide either a fixed payout or nothing at all. While it sounds simple enough, using them effectively requires a more nuanced understanding of how, where, and why they work. This book provides the critical knowledge you need to utilize binary options to optimal effect.
- Learn hedging and trading strategies specific to binaries
- Choose the markets with best liquidity and lowest expenses
- Find the right broker for your particular binary options strategy
- Utilize binaries in conjunction with other strategies
Popular in the over-the-counter market, binary options are frequently used to hedge or speculate on commodities, currencies, interest rates, and stock indices. They have become available to retail traders through the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the American Stock Exchange, as well as various online platforms, allowing you the opportunity to add yet another tool to your investing arsenal. Trading Binary Options is the essential resource for traders seeking clear guidance on these appealing options.
Trading Binary Options – Review
From the Inside Flap
Since Abe Cofnas first demystified the world of binary options with the groundbreaking first edition of Trading Binary Options, the market has evolved and grown, yet his dependable strategies and world-class training approach still transform novice and experienced investors alike into more profitable traders. This updated second edition looks at how to draw profits from this expansive market using his proven approach in today’s environment.
These simple over-the-counter instruments offer traders uncomplicated access to more than twenty different underlying markets, including stocks, indexes, currencies, and commodities. With the practice-based guidance inside, you quickly get up to speed on the fundamentals of binary options and the latest ways successful traders are using fundamental and technical analysis to make more lucrative trading decisions. As illustrated through an illuminating number of real-world case studies, binary options open up opportunities to capture a substantial payout, on a weekly basis, by speculating on market direction. The trick is to develop a rock-solid system for identifying how political and economic news will impact different markets, and this step-by-step book shows you how with:
- Access to dependable strategies for hedging and trading binary contracts
- Insider advice for finding the markets with the best liquidity and lowest expenses
- A timesaving approach to working with the right broker for your individual strategy
- Powerful ways to optimize any trading strategy by integrating binary options
Side-by-side examinations show you how major events, such as government elections, economic crises, and natural disasters, move markets and how to use that knowledge to make the most money. Before you risk real money, this complete training program offers insightful practice material to test your knowledge, powerful digital resources for training and practical information, and details on Nadex contract specifications.
Look no further than Trading Binary Options to get the most out of today’s markets.
From the Back Cover
Speculate, hedge, and trade with capped risk
Trading Binary Options, Second Edition is the elite toolbox of the accomplished trader who needs to draw above-average returns from the market on a weekly basis. Leading analyst and educator Abe Cofnas walks