Forex option brokers can generally be divided into two separate categories: best forex trading system who offer online forex option trading platforms and forex brokers who only broker forex option trading via telephone trades placed through a dealing/brokerage desk. A few forex option brokers offer both online forex option trading as well a dealing/brokerage desk for investors who prefer to place orders through a live forex option broker.
The trading account minimums required by different forex option brokers vary from a few thousand dollars to over fifty thousand dollars. Also, forex option brokers may require investors to trade forex options contracts having minimum notional values (contract sizes) up to $500,000. Last, but not least, certain types of forex option contracts can be entered into and exited at any time while other types of forex option contracts lock you in until expiration or settlement. Depending on the type of forex option contract you enter into, you might get stuck the wrong way with an option contract that you can not trade out of. Before trading, investors should inquire with their forex option brokers about initial trading account minimums, required contract size minimums and contract liquidity.
There are a number of different forex option trading products offered to investors by forex option brokers. We believe it is extremely important for investors to understand the distinctly different risk characteristics of each of the forex option trading products mentioned below that are offered by firms that broker forex options.
Plain Vanilla Forex Options Broker – Plain vanilla options generally refer to standard put and call option contracts traded through an exchange (however, in the case of forex option trading, plain vanilla options would refer to the standard, generic option contracts that are traded through an over-the-counter (OTC) forex dealer or clearinghouse). In simplest terms, vanilla forex options would be defined as the buying or selling of a standard forex call option contract or forex put option contract.
There are only a few forex option broker/dealers who offer plain vanilla forex options online with real-time streaming quotes 24 hours a day. Most forex option brokers and banks only broker forex options via telephone. Vanilla forex options for major currencies have good liquidity and you can easily enter the market long or short, or exit the market any time day or night.
Vanilla forex option contracts can be used in combination with each other and/or with spot forex contracts to form a basic strategy such as writing a covered call, or much more complex forex trading strategies such as butterflies, strangles, ratio spreads, synthetics, etc. Also, plain vanilla options are often the basis of forex option trading strategies known as exotic options.
Exotic Forex Options Broker – First, it is important to note that there a couple of different forex definitions for “exotic” and we don’t want anyone getting confused. The first definition of a forex “exotic” refers to any individual currency that is less broadly traded than the major currencies. The second forex definition for “exotic” is the one we refer to on this website – a forex option contract (trading strategy) that is a derivative of a standard vanilla forex option contract.
To understand what makes an exotic forex option “exotic,” you must first understand what makes a forex option “non-vanilla.” Plain vanilla forex options have a definitive expiration structure, payout structure and payout amount. Exotic forex option contracts may have a change in one or all of the above features of a vanilla forex option. It is important to note that exotic options, since they are often tailored to a specific’s investor’s needs by an exotic forex options broker, are generally not very liquid, if at all.