30 Second Summary
Pros / Cons
- Regulated and open to U.S. clients
- Detailed educational materials and helpful tutorials
- Operates as an exchange, not a broker — so no misaligned incentives
- Limited range of products - Derivatives only
- Minimum deposit required
- Complex Platform
Before looking at the potential for day trading returns, it can help to understand how Nadex has evolved into the leading exchange of its kind. The exchange was launched in 2004 and was originally known as ‘HedgeStreet’. The objective at that point was to create an electronic marketplace that facilitated trading in financial derivatives to retail investors. However, by 2007 HedgeStreet closed its doors.
Who is the owner of Nadex?
Nadex is owned by the UK-based IG Group. IG Group Holdings Plc. purchased the company in 2009. Soon after that, HedgeStreet was re-branded to North American Derivatives Exchange or Nadex, with sophisticated new technology and instruments. It’s worth highlighting that while the parent company is based in London and listed on the FTSE 250, Nadex headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois.
Is Nadex a broker?
Nadex is not considered a binary options broker in the “traditional” sense. Nadex is an exchange and an exchange is where traders can meet to conduct business. Nadex provides the platform, which ensures that everything is compliant with CFTC regulations, and is the clearinghouse for Nadex trades that process all monies and other duties required.
Each time you trade, you are paying a $1 exchange fee per contract per side. Remember the exchange makes its money by facilitating the trade, not when you lose.
This is important as it takes away any conflict of interests that can arise when trading with an EU-style broker. NADEX does not care if you win or lose, they charge a small fee per contract (full details on their site) and this is where their profit comes from.
Offshore-style brokers make money when you lose, it is not in their interest for you to win which is why “account managers”, signals and auto traders offered by some brokers are often scams.
What makes Nadex even better, and where the real fun comes in, is who they facilitate your trading with. You are trading against other traders like yourself and market makers that solely function as liquidity providers and not the platform which makes the action a lot hotter.
Safety and Regulation
As a result of hacks and promises from brokers to make traders millionaires, choosing a place to trade binary options that are regulated is increasingly important.
Is Nadex safe a scam?
Users can relax in the knowledge that Nadex is legitimate and regulated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). You can see their official website for verification. This regulation should also put traders outside the USA at ease too. Whether you are in the US or one of the over 40 other eligible countries – whether it be Mexico, Japan, or the United Kingdom, Nadex aims to treat all consumers fairly.
Safety and Security
With account hacks no longer being uncommon, some traders understandably have security concerns. Fortunately, Nadex has made keeping your capital safe relatively easy. Segregated accounts at top-tier banks keep all client deposits secure. Furthermore, the Nadex group expressly states they utilize intelligent encryption technologies to keep all trading activity and personal information safe.
Nadex accepts clients from the United States only.
Assets and Products Offered
Part of the improved product range saw a greater choice of binary options. In fact, their binaries and call spread contracts cover an array of underlying markets, including commodity futures, equity index futures, and spot forex rates. Furthermore, Nadex members can take positions on all of the following assets:
- Stock Index Futures – US 500 (S&P 500), Wall Street 30 (DOW), US Tech 100 (Nasdaq), US SmallCap 2000 (Russell 2000), FTSE 100, Germany 30 (DAX), Japan 225 (Nikkei), China 50
- Forex pairs – EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, USD/CHF, AUD/USD, EUR/GBP, USD/CAD, AUD/JPY, GBP/JPY, EUR/JPY
- Commodities – Crude Oil, Gold, Silver, Copper, Natural Gas, Soybeans, Corn
Traders are also able to benefit from a choice of expiration times, including intraday, daily, and weekly expirations. But while using Nadex does mean you can start trading on just 5-minute forex or 20-minute stock index binary options, their product range does not include 60-second binaries or similar products, as some competitors do.
Nadex does add new products regularly, and Touch Bracket™ contracts are one such addition. The Touch Bracket™ is a contract that allows the trader to speculate on the price movement of a market within a pre-defined range. The range is limited by the floor and ceiling prices. Within these levels, the value of the contract will move in linearity with the movement of the underlying market.
The micro lot sizes of the new Touch Bracket™ contracts provide options to trade with low capital requirements. With the built-in floor and ceiling structure, whether long or short, the contracts provide pinpoint risk control guaranteed. No slippage and no nasty shocks. This provides the power of leverage but with managed risk – The maximum risk on any trade is the only capital required to secure that trade. Once the trade is open, the capital requirements never change, even when held overnight, making these contracts as easy to swing trade as to day trade.
How do Buying And Selling works
Nadex has lots of different strike prices, some are In-The-Money, some are Out-of-the-Money and one or two will be Near- or At-the-Money. For this discussion we will focus solely on the At-The-Money strike for simplicity and because both the long (buy, call, bullish) and short (sell, put, bearish) positions will cost something close to $50. The thing to remember is that in both cases, buying or selling, you are doing so to open a position. So, buying a NADEX lot is the same thing as buying an EU-style call, selling a NADEX lot is the same thing, almost, as buying an EU-style put. The difference is that with Nadex you Sold to Open, not Buy To Open, the bearish position so you get credit for doing so.
How do Open And Close works at Nadex
The easiest and best way to profit from Nadex options is to hold them until expiry at which time you will get the max return. However, sometimes you may want to close early in order to lock in profits or cut losses and this is another area where some confusion can come in.
What you have to remember is that you’ve already OPENED a position, now you need to close it. If you’ve bought a long position, a call (buy to open), then to close it you SELL TO CLOSE and receive the bid price. If that price is above the price you paid for the option then you will make a profit. If you’ve sold a short position, sold to open, then in order to close it you will need to BUY TO CLOSE.
The key is remembering two things. First, there is only one kind of position that you can either buy or sell to open. The second thing to remember is that in order to close your position you must do the OPPOSITE of what you did to open it. If you buy to open you sell to close, if you sell to open you sell to close.
Nadex Call Spreads
Nadex also offers a unique product which they also call “Call spreads”. These are offered on a number of markets, including stock index futures, commodities, and forex. But fear not, understanding these spreads is also straightforward. You can trade the price of a market like EURUSD within a range. As the price of EURUSD fluctuates, so does the spread, although it remains within a predetermined upper and lower limit.
It’s worth highlighting that if the value of EURUSD exceeds one of the limits, the EURUSD spread value will come to a standstill at whichever limit it is breaching. At the upper limit, the spread stops at a maximum value. At the lower limit, the spread reaches a minimum and will not lose any more value, no matter how far the underlying market drops. As a result, you get enhanced control over your risk-reward ratio. This is because you decide your risk parameters via the call spread limits.
You have intraday and daily call spreads. Each will require a careful spread strategy. This is hopefully where the Nadex trading platform comes into play. Details of which can be found further below. You hopefully now know what a Nadex spread is. However, for a more detailed breakdown of forex and binary spreads, head over to the official website. You will also find contract specs.
Fees and Commission
Most brokers do not offer genuine exchange trading. Because Nadex is an exchange and not a broker, traders can submit their orders directly to the exchange and not through a broker. Therefore, Nadex members are not required to pay any commission.
Instead, Nadex charges a fixed fee of $1 per contract. If a binary options trade expires worthless, Nadex will waive the settlement fee. These trading and settlement fees are Nadex’s sole source of income. This means they do not trade against their traders. Some suggest this may mean attractive earnings potential as your trading costs are lower. In terms of payouts, maximum losses and profits are calculated via entry/exit times, as well as the contract type.
Payouts can exceed 100% while losses are limited to the amount of capital initially invested. Because you cannot take trades if you do not already have the needed amount in your account, losses cannot exceed deposits.
Because Nadex does not participate in trading, the bid/ask spreads in individual markets, as well as the pricing, are determined solely by the participant buyers and sellers. That said, as a CFTC-regulated exchange, Nadex partners with multiple market makers to ensure viable liquidity and bid/ask spreads.
Reviews of Nadex have been quick to highlight their pricing structure is fairly transparent. As a result, traders do not have to worry about a range of hidden fees that will cut into the end of the day capital. Having said that, there is a $25 returned deposit fee. If you do need to pay any other fees, you will encounter clear notices.
So, is Nadex a good exchange in terms of fees? If used carefully, trading with Nadex could well mean generous leverage and low trading fees, and all while keeping risk levels low. However, as is the very nature of day trading, your capital is always at risk.
Unfortunately, user reviews are quick to point out that Nadex often falls short in terms of account promotions and special offers versus other binary providers. However, occasionally they will run free trading days and other similar offers. You will need to check on their official website for any current details of these.
The advantage of Nadex spreads in terms of leverage also needs to be explained. Normally, spot forex traders in the US, for example, can’t get better than 50:1. Nadex spreads are fully collateralized and don’t involve margin. They are not a leveraged trading product, but more like a short-term option. However, in many cases, the cost of a Nadex spread can be lower than trading the underlying market outright.
This low cost can effectively give you a high reward vs risk. You also have a certain degree of risk control, since your maximum risk is capped. Plus you can exit early to further limit your losses. Alternatively, you can seize your profits before the spread expires.
One of the most important components of the trader’s experience is the platform. This is where you will spend the majority of your time, conducting market research, and executing trades.
Experience and results from using Nadex’s proprietary platform are mixed. While you have everything you need, from technical indicators to free real-time market data feeds, the platform has somewhat of a foreign feel. Hence new traders may want to get a feel for the platform using the demo account first. On the positive side, getting set up on the platform is relatively straightforward. Simply head to the ‘Finder’ window on the left of the platform to select an asset. This will bring up a clean selection of expiration time frames to choose from.
Once both the asset and expiry have been chosen, your ‘Markets’ window will update. You will then be met with price levels available for trading. Normally you can expect around 10 levels to choose between. Nadex binary options range from 0 to 100. The former is when the settled option did not finish in the money, while the latter reflects an outcome that did take place.
Your trading ticket will then confirm:
- Expiry time
- Price level
- Bid size
- The current bid and offer prices
You will then need to select buy or sell and specific a trade size. You also have the option to alter the indicative price above or below current levels to see if your position will be ‘matched’. As a regulated exchange, Nadex will never take the other side of your trade. Your order will only be matched by another trader. Of course, you can close your trades at any time. This will allow you to realize profits or reduce losses. Finally, the figures your ticket displays highlight the outcomes if you allow the option to expire.
Then you just need to hit Place Order. If matched, you should be able to view your trade in the Open positions window. However, if it is only partially matched, it will be automatically moved to the Working Orders screen. You will then get an email confirmation with the details of your trade and another when an order is settled.
As forex and binary options customer reviews have explained, the platform is fairly user-friendly allowing even beginners to understand how to trade with ease. Access to historical data is given, as are all the necessary symbols and tools to interpret price action.
NadexGo Mobile app
Nadex offers one of the best, and most complete, mobile trading apps on the market. The application is free and has been written and optimized for a variety of mobile platforms. The app is called NadexGo
The application operation is slick, quick, and importantly, contains every feature available on the full website. Account maintenance to charting, everything is there for traders in the trading app. The layout is clear while still showing all the data a trader needs, making trading very simple. The dealing ticket trading area appears the same as on the full website platform, as it has already been optimized for ease of use.
The NadexGo mobile app includes every feature of the full site and leads the way in the binary options sector. We are quick to point out that Nadex’s new Progressive Web App offering called NadexGo is one of the most comprehensive on the market.
As soon as you have completed your download of NadexGo, you will start to appreciate the sleek user interface and concise design. In fact, the dealing ticket trading area looks extremely similar to the desktop platform. Conducting research is straightforward while setting up alerts is quick and hassle-free. You also get access to the same free signals while viewing your order history is simple.
On top of that, you can utilize binary options app tutorials to help you make the most of your Apple or Android app.
Overall then, the mobile apps provide a smooth transition from the desktop-based platform. Furthermore, NadexGo is actually supported by a browser-based interface that you can open up from within your mobile device. This should all help alleviate concerns among traders who worry they won’t be able to implement a 20 minute or hourly options strategy effectively.
Platform Additional Features
Reviews of Nadex praise the extensive resources available. All of which may help you understand how it all works on Nadex. Some tools might also help you earn an income and work towards personal success, including:
- Advanced charting – Sophisticated charts and technical tools can be used for developing a range of techniques, including an out-the-money (OTM) strategy. For example, you could also use candlestick charts, Fibonacci retracements, and the MACD indicator to help you build a binary options strategy, with a favorable risk to reward ratio.
- APIs – There is plenty of information online on how to utilize rest and fix APIs, including the unofficial Nadex python API and documentation.
- Market data – Nadex offers real-time indicative price data that closely matches the price of the underlying market. There is no delay. Nadex does not charge an additional fee for data feeds.
- News trading – Some utilize complex patterns and trading journals to craft and enhance a binary strangle, for example. However, some traders focus on market news, and fortunately, Nadex provides daily, actionable commentary and video on important market events. This content is created exclusively for Nadex by a group of experienced and trusted analysts from a variety of trading backgrounds.
Once you have signed up, you will need to go about funding your account. Fortunately, Nadex offers a number of ways you can go about deposits and withdrawals, including:
- Debit card
- Wire transfer
- ACH transfer (US residents only)
- Paper check (US residents only)
*Note: bank verification will be required for some transactions and credit cards are not accepted. Users may need to pay withdrawal fees if they use wire transfers, which will cost $25 but will normally be processed the same business day. Whereas ACH transfers are free but usually take between three to five days.
You can head to your account section to choose a specific payment amount. Also, see their FAQ page for details on minimum withdrawal limits, proof, and any other issues, as these will depend on the payment method and can change over time. While these payment methods are fairly industry standard, some user reviews did complain about the lack of an option to fund an account or take profits via PayPal.
What is the minimum deposit requirement to open a trading account with Nadex?
Nadex welcomes traders by requiring just a $250 minimum initial deposit. This is actually just half the industry average. In fact, Nadex has made strides to ensure once you have funded your account, you can start trading a variety of markets in binaries and spreads immediately. This low initial deposit is particularly attractive for beginners who may not want to risk too much capital at the offset.
An even more powerful aspect of risk protection is the capped risk. The most you can lose on binary options is the amount you paid to enter the trade since the binary’s value cannot go below zero. Since you can never risk more than you have in your account, your losses cannot exceed deposits.
How long does it take to withdraw money from Nadex?
Nadex aims to execute every withdrawal request within 3-5 business days.
Account Types Offered
Opening a Nadex account is relatively straightforward. There are just two account types to choose from, a US individual account and an international individual account available for residents of over 40 other countries. For a full list of countries, visit the Account types pages at the Nadex website.
All you need to do is head online and follow the on-screen instructions. You will need to provide:
- Date of birth
- Permanent residential address
- Social Security Number or National Identification Number
*Note you may have to upload supporting documents before you can start trading. You will also need to fund your account. When you sign up you will also be given information on how to close your account.
Nadex offers a free practice account. Once you have your demo login details you can use the same platform and real-time data as those with live trading accounts. Signing up for a demo account is the ideal way to practice generating profits without having to risk real capital. You can practice scalping strategies, intraday strategies, or any others. It’s also worth noting there are certain differences between demo vs live trading. For example, a practice account cannot replicate the psychological pressures that come with putting real capital on the line.
If your demo account is not working, you can contact customer support. You can also see the Learning Center for guidance on how to get the most out of the trading platform.
Nadex exchange reviews are quick to praise the customer service component of their offering. If you have any problems, you can make contact via email or phone. Customer service representatives are reliable and knowledgeable. They can help you if the website is down and point you towards any legal rules and necessary extensions. They may also be able to explain why an order was canceled. In addition, reviews show agents had a strong technical grasp of the platform and tools.
Simply head to the home page and then ‘Contact Us’ for the contact telephone number in your location. Note customer support assistants are available via email or phone between 15:00 ET on Sunday through to 16:30 ET on Friday. Also, as a result of exchange accounting and other requirements, agents are available 24 hours a day from Sunday at 3 until Friday at 4:30 ET.
On the downside, Nadex does not currently offer live chat support, although it is planning to at some point in the future. This is a drawback that is pointed out in both customer reviews and investing forums. This means novice traders who want instant access to customer support may want to look elsewhere. This is a shame because competitors are continuing to increase their customer service offering, with some even facilitating live video chat.
Nadex is a sensible choice for traders looking to trade binary options across numerous time frames with powerful trade tools. Their offering also comes complete with a demo account, competitive prices, and an extensive Learning Center. However, Nadex does come with certain downsides. Firstly, some competitors offer a more extensive product list. Secondly, Nadex could provide more in terms of welcome bonuses and promotions.
Overall then, is Nadex a good choice for binary options traders, and does it compare favorably to binary options brokers? Yes, the US-based, regulated exchange (not brokerage) is capable of meeting and exceeding the needs of both novice and veteran traders. But rule 101, you must develop effective options strategies. Failure to do so could result in you effectively gambling and puts you at risk of losing your account balance. However, because of Nadex’s capped risk guarantee, you cannot lose more than your deposit.
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