As an options market-maker that has traded in pits in London, Sydney and Chicago I deplore the way that options trading has now ended up taking place on Bloomberg Chat. NADEX is a beacon of light offering the exchange model on which to trade binary options. Many believe exchanges are the fairest means of providing the client with the best prices and NADEX are a good example of that assertion.
What is NADEX?
NADEX was originally Hedge Street, a Chicago-based retail-facing binary options exchange, until it ran into financial difficulties and subsequently bought by the IG Group in early 2008. After a slow start NADEX is now gaining traction as binary options themselves slowly become more mainstream.
NADEX is regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) which ensures the client is protected from the shenanigans that some European binary options brokers go in for.
As a builder of trading software in the past I have a personal interest in how trading interfaces work; are they functional, user-friendly, quick, intuitive…… Well, while ducking and diving on NADEX this afternoon in order to be able to write this review I suddenly realized it was evening. NADEX is absorbing; I’m seriously looking at making trading on it my full-time job!
The layout is straightforward enough with a product tree on the left, Markets to the right with Working Orders and Open Orders below the Markets. Clicking on Order History brings up trades executed and settled.
NADEX have followed an ‘if it ain’t bust don’t fix it’ precept with the layout. No risks have been taken so the layout is a proven configuration that is easy to use and causes no major obstacle to novices. Nevertheless, there’s enough rich functionality available to recommend the client has a go on the demo prior to trading real money.
Bid and offers are available for pretty much all the strikes although the bid/ask spread might be considered extremely wide when the prices are for options deep-in or far-out of the money, i.e. when the premium is less than 10 or over 90. Yet when some of the options were at-the-money the bid/ask spread being generated by the market-makers were so tight as to be suicidal, so great news for the client!
Assets & Events
There is a distinct US flavor to the range of assets on offer, apart from the different pairs of Forex.
China 50, FTSE 100, Germany 30, Japan 225, US Tech 100, US 500, US Small Cap 2000, Wall St 30.
AUD/JPY, AUD/USD, EUR/GBP, EUR/JPY, EUR/USD, GBP/JPY, GBP/USD, USD/CAD, USD/CHF, USD/JPY & Bitcoin.
Copper, Corn, Crude Oil, Gold, Natural Gas, Soybeans & Silver.
Jobless Claims, Non-Farm Payrols.
Binary Call Options
Nadex offer binary call options with a price range from 1.00-100.00 and with each contract worth $100, i.e. if you buy 1 contract at 10.00 and sell it for 11.00 you make $1. Prices are to two decimal places therefore theoretically the lowest investment is 10¢ although only an idiot would sell at that price.
Spreads are available on indices, forex and commodities.
Spreads are in fact conventional call spreads but the prices are quoted as the lower strike plus the call spread value.
Trading fees are based on the number of contracts traded and are $0.90¢ per contract up to a maximum of ten contracts ($9.00) so a 20 lot order will cost $9 in fees.
Settlement fees are the same as for trading , i.e. $0.90 per contract but losing trades do not pay a settlement fee.
Charts & Indicators
NADEX provides a plethora of tools in the form of charts and indicators to enhance the trading experience. From Bollinger Bands to MACD, from Candlesticks to Ichimoku the NADEX charting tools provide a really helpful visual portrayal of the price action of the underlying asset, as the below screenshot illustrates.
NADEX provides up-to-date News and Market Commentary to keep the trader in-the-know. Furthermore trading-related articles such as below provide titbits to keep the trader’s finger on the market pulse.
Depositing and Withdrawing Funds
As one might expect for a US-only audience, only USD are accepted as client deposits.
The methods for depositing funds are:
- Debit Card (limited to $50,000)
- Bank Transfer
- Wire transfer
- Paper check
Once logged in click on the orange Deposit Funds button at the top left of the screen and follow the instructions.
NADEX is a fun and challenging game of skill. The exchange is a breath of fresh air in terms of transparency and honesty, and with the CFTC overseeing the business the client can be assured of a fair deal.
For those new to trading binary options it is recommended that you take advantage of the NADEX demo platform. It is a great tool for getting you up to speed and giving you your best chance of making money.
The fact that you can write options as well as just buying them opens up a completely new world of trading as right now the OTC model only allows options to be purchased, not sold, and writing conventional options via a mainstream broker has become increasingly difficult owing to tightened regulations.
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