The Big Picture
Nadex the North American Derivatives Exchange, is a platform and exchange for short-term traders looking for trading opportunities in the investment markets. Through a Nadex account, you can trade binary options, knock-outs, and call spreads.
Nadex is available only through an online trading platform and mobile app which allows you to trade for $1 per contract. This type of trading is legal and regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Nadex is an exchange that allows trading in binary options, knock-outs, and call spreads. Unlike most platforms you will find, this one is not a broker that gives you access to another market or exchange. Nadex matches buyers and sellers on the exchange and your transaction is matched with another market participant or market maker.
Binary options are trading vehicles that derive their value from the movement of other assets, such as stock indices, currencies, commodities, or even economic data. It is important that you fully understand this type of derivative before trading. Both short-term trades and derivatives can be very risky, so make sure you take your time to learn the platform, contracts, and markets and proceed with caution.
If you want to learn more about this type of trading, Nadex offers an excellent way to get started: a fully functioning demo platform that gives you $10,000 in practice funds to test and learn. This helps you learn how to limit your risks, test out trading strategies and theories, and understand how the Nadex system works for free.
The Nadex trading platform works through most modern web browsers and a mobile version. There is no desktop application or platform to download. Just log in and you’re off and running.
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CFTC (United States)
Currencies, Commodities, Indices
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Nadex Video Review
Regulations, Reputation, and Security
Nadex is regulated in the United States by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This company runs a transparent operation but it is important to understand how these complex products work before trading.
Nadex itself runs within Federal regulations and undergoes regular compliance reviews with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission or CFTC.
The CFTC points out that, when looking to trade binary options you should be aware of off-exchange providers, “Binary options are legal and available to trade in the U.S. but they must be traded on a regulated U.S. exchange.” Read the entire CFTC advisory on binary options to learn more.
Types of accounts and opening requirements
Nadex offers accounts for individuals, trusts, and US businesses. International users from a select list of countries can also open an individual account at Nadex with no minimum opening deposit.
For US residents, Nadex offers both individual and business accounts. Nadex also offers individual accounts for international users from over 35 different countries.
Individual accounts require your personal information including name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number. Foreign accounts require documentary evidence of the individual’s identity and address.
Business accounts are available for trusts, LLCs, partnerships, and corporations. Opening this type of account requires additional documentation including a W-9 and information from beneficial owners and account traders.
For US individual accounts, you can fund a new account with a debit card, ACH transfer, or bank wire. Debit cards may be the easiest in most cases, as the transfer is free and funds are available instantly. Accounts do not require a specific opening deposit – however, in order to become a member of the exchange and to be eligible to trade, the account will need to be funded. The cost to place a trade is always equal to the maximum risk, plus any fees, which are required to be in your account when the order is placed.
If you want to try it out for free, you can open a demo account to access $10,000 in play money funds. Opening a demo account requires a name, email address, and phone number.
Member funds are held through accounts at BMO Harris Bank and Fifth Third Bank, two reputable North American financial institutions.
Types of trades and available investments
Nadex offers three types of options trades based on popular underlying assets including stock indices, forex, and commodities. Binary options, knock-outs, and call spreads are the only types of contracts available at Nadex.
Nadex supports three types of trading:
- Binary options – Binary options are a question based on whether or not an asset or market will be above or below a specific point on a specific date and time. If you get it right, you profit. You can also trade out of binary option contracts early to limit losses or secure profits.
- Knock-outs – Knock-outs give you the ability to enter a trade in a specific floor and ceiling range that can automatically execute a trade if the floor or ceiling are hit or passed. This type of options contract works similarly to a stop or limit trade in the stock market in many ways.
- Call spreads – Call spreads are another type of bracket trade, but the expiration is time-based rather than price-based and you are not knocked out of your trade if either limit is breached.
For binary options, the most popular trading product at Nadex, the price is always between $0 and $100. You are able to exit an option before the contract expiration date by closing a position on the Nadex platform. Each trade has its own maximum profit and loss. Typically, the most you can make or lose on a single Nadex binary option is $100, excluding exchange fees.
Trades are available focused on these market indicators and underlying asset classes:
- Stock indices
- Economic indicators and events
Nadex offers a web-based trading platform that works on any computer with an internet connection. It also offers a mobile version, also web-based, but optimized for a mobile screen. A free demo account lets you test it all with no risk and no cost.
A big downside to Nadex is the lack of a desktop-based platform. That is a powerful feature that can give some professional traders an edge with slightly better performance. However, every trader that trades on Nadex uses the exact same platform, so you know you have a level playing field.
The web-platform offers search features to quickly reach any asset you want to buy or sell. It also includes a handy way to fund your account without ever leaving the platform. Similar to buying more chips when you’re down in Vegas, you can top up your account from a debit card or ACH deposit without ever leaving the page.
A powerful benefit of the platform is an instant calculation showing the maximum profit and loss, max ROI, and probability ITM from a specific trade before you enter. For example, I queued up a trade for a market order to buy 100 options for the EUR/USD currency pair. As the price moves, the max profit and loss, max ROI, and probability ITM at the bottom of the order ticket update on the fly.
Nadex charts are not customizable to the extent you get from some professional-level tools, but it has all of the important information for supported options.
The Nadex web platform gives you window-style controls. You can open and resize multiple charts, lists, and other views on your screen so you can view everything important in one place.
While there is no native Android or iOS app, they do offer a progressive web app (PWA), where you can trade on their mobile app NadexGOTM through your phone’s web browser on any operating system. This gives you maximum compatibility across all devices and screen sizes. You can even download the platform so it shows up like any other app on your phone.
Costs and fees
Nadex charges $1 per contract for entry or exit before expiration. Options that expire in-the-money require an additional $1 settlement fee. There are no additional commissions or charges for trades.
One thing Nadex does very well is fees. The fees are simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. It isn’t the cheapest options trading platform around, but remember that there are no third-parties or brokers in the middle to charge you commissions or other brokerage fees.
Trades cost $1 per contract.
When your options expire, you pay a $1 per option “in-the-money” fee to cash out. Contracts that expire out of the money do not incur a settlement charge.
The only other costs most people will see are a $25 returned deposit fee and a $25 wire withdrawal fee. Those transaction fees are easily avoidable. If you are inactive in your trading account for twelve consecutive months, meaning no trade has been executed during that period, it may be closed and your Nadex membership terminated. However, if your account still holds funds, you will be charged a rolling, monthly, inactivity fee of $10.00. Again, something easily avoidable.
Some special accounts (FCM Members and Market Makers) may have access to lower fees.
Bonus & Promotions
Nadex offers a variety of bonuses and promotional offers.
- Refer-A-Friend: You can earn $100 in account credit for each successful referral you make to Nadex. The maximum amount you can earn from this offer is $1,000, so you are able to refer up to 10 friends in total.
- Initial Deposit Bonus: This is a promotion to welcome new traders to Nadex. If you make an initial deposit of $1,000 or more, place five trades within 30 days of funding, you’ll receive $100 in account credit.
- Reactivation Deposit Bonus: If you’ve previously traded on Nadex, but haven’t traded in at least 12 consecutive months, then you may be eligible for a 10% bonus on your reactivation deposit, up to the value of $100.
For more details, including terms and conditions, on the current offers, visit Nadex bonus offers.
Nadex offers customer support by email and live chat, six days per week. All accounts are self-directed.
For general member support, you can get help via email and live chat from Sunday at 6:00 PM Eastern through Friday at 5:00 PM Eastern.
Nadex typically gets average to slightly above average ratings on customer service. It gets above average reviews for the overall platform and user experience.
Research and education
Both new and experienced traders can learn a lot from Nadex resources. Nadex offers a learning center, articles, videos, webinars, and a demo account to learn more about how this type of trading works.
If you are new to options trading, the value of a demo account can’t be understated. This is a useful resource that anyone can enjoy for free without a paid Nadex account.
Outside of the demo, Nadex offers a range of educational resources through the Learning Center section of the website. That includes the following free resources that anyone can access, even without an account.
Learning Center Topics:
- Nadex Binary Options
- Nadex Knock-Outs
- Nadex Call Spreads
- Nadex Markets
- Nadex Platform Tutorials
- Nadex Trading Strategies and Analysis
These resources can get you up-to-speed quickly on how the platform and trades work. This can be a good guide on whether or not options trading makes sense for you.
Additional resources include example trade articles and videos, weekly live webinars, videos, and trading guides. The site also contains a blog and glossary to better understand options trading terms.
If you are brand new to options trading, you should be able to learn enough from the free resources and demo platform to get started. Just don’t lose sight of the risks involved and don’t trade with more funds than you can afford to lose and you should be in good shape.
Trading may come most easily to experienced and expert traders. However, beginners can learn enough to get started through the combination of educational resources and trying things out on the demo platform.
In general, options trading is something that is typically reserved for experienced and expert traders only. However, everyone has to start somewhere. Among options trading platforms for beginners, Nadex is a good choice.
As you can try the demo platform and trade risk-free, new options traders have a good place to get started and learn the ropes. The online and mobile platforms are easy enough for beginning traders to understand but powerful enough to run the account of someone with far more experience.
Because it is web-based only, you don’t need advanced computer skills to use the platforms and tools. As long as you have an updated and modern browser, you should be able to use Nadex without any need for technical support.
- Is Nadex regulated? – Yes, Nadex is regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
- Where is Nadex based? – Nadex is based in Chicago, Illinois.
- When was Nadex founded? – 2009
- How does Nadex make money? – Nadex charges users fees for each trade placed on the platform.
- How do I deposit in Nadex account? – You can deposit most easily via debit card or ACH. Nadex also accepts bank wire transfers and paper checks.
- How do I withdraw money from Nadex? – You can withdraw via debit card, ACH, or wire transfer.
- How do I open an account with Nadex? – You can most easily open a new account online at the Nadex website. The process takes about five minutes if you have all required information handy.
- Does Nadex offer margin accounts? – No
- Are funds at Nadex secured or insured? – Cash in a Nadex account is held on deposit at two large FDIC insured banks. Funds are not comingled with Nadex operational funds. There is no additional account insurance.
Nadex is an exchange and platform for trading retail options products such as binary options. The platform offers reasonable fees and good resources for new traders to learn the world of binary trading with a wide range of underlying assets.
If you want to get started with binary options trading, Nadex is a good platform. It gives all traders an even playing field with its useful web-based trading platform. While it lacks a desktop and native mobile apps, it offers everything you need to dive in and explore binary options, knock-outs, and call spreads. If you place the right prediction, you could walk away with a great return on investment. Just be sure to understand the extensive risks before getting started and make sure you only trade with funds you can afford to lose.
CFTC (United States)
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Wire Transfer, Debit Card, ACH
Wire Transfer, Debit Card, ACH
Currencies, Commodities, Indices