Cedar Finance (Closed) Review
Cedar Finance is now out of business.
Cedar Finance is a well-known binary options broker who has been operating since 2008. The website is owned by T.B.S.F. Best Strategy Finance Ltd. Their headquarters are in Nicosia, Cyprus. In their Terms and Conditions, you’ll find a registration number, HE 279560, which, according to their customer service team, is a CySEC number. This is not a CySEC number however, just a general business registration number. They are apparently also working on becoming regulated with the CFTC in the United States so that they can begin accepting USA traders.
At this time, if you are a US trader, you cannot trade with Cedar Finance. And regardless of your location, right now we wouldn’t recommend that you do. They set off a lot of red flags for us, even before we started checking them out. Anyone who has ever queried “binary options” in any search engine has doubtless seen videos posted by their affiliates. While the broker isn’t theoretically responsible for the affiliates’ videos, we still find it very dubious they would permit the kinds of scammy videos we’ve seen to be associated with their companies. Most Cedar Finance trading videos prey on desperation and appeal to irresponsibility. Regulated or not, this company is not trustworthy.
Registering on Cedar Finance
Were you so inclined, you could register on Cedar Finance in a matter of minutes and deposit in Euros, US Dollars, or British Pounds using wire transfer, credit card, or CashU. There are fees for wire transfer deposits under $500 and also for wire transfer withdrawals. The minimum deposit to trade is $200. Incidentally this is also the minimum withdrawal amount. Not only is this a very high minimum, but the fact that it is equivalent to the minimum deposit amount is not good. If you deposited the minimum and lost your first trade, you wouldn’t be able to pull out any money until you managed to get back above $200.
There are three account tiers, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Match bonuses start at 30% and run up to 75%. The most basic account comes with daily and weekly market reviews, breaking financial news, and a monthly call or chat from an account manager. More benefits are included at the higher levels.
Trading on Cedar Finance
We can’t complain about the trade features themselves. There are 83 assets to trade, though the list is completely disorganized, with currencies, stocks, commodities, and indices being strewn about in every section. Types of binary options include Up/Down, Options Builder, One Touch, and 60 Seconds. 60 Seconds trades start at $5, and the minimum for all other trade types is a manageable $25. The maximum trade size is $3,000. SpotOption powers the trading software, making it familiar and accessible, though you cannot currently use your mobile device to trade.
There are some trading tools available, including double up, rollover, and cancellation. Cancellation is not to be confused with “early close.” If you try to use the cancellation feature to assist with trading, the company will actually consider you to be “abusing” the system, and will shut down your account.
Resources are another area where the site seems to do all right. You’ll find weekly and daily market reviews, financial news, expired rates, a glossary, FAQ, and how-to pages. If you open a Silver or Gold account, you’ll also receive trading strategies and online courses, as well as one risk-free trade. Note that there is no demo account for Cedar Finance. That one risk-free trade is all you get to test out their features.
Customer Service and Reputation
Customer service can be reached via live chat, telephone, web form, or email. Interestingly enough, we actually got a hold of someone on live chat immediately when we had some questions to ask. Normally we would consider this outstanding, being as there literally only seem to be a handful of binary options websites where you can reach any live person on chat at all, even during the week.
But the actual chat experience was dismaying. When we asked about the registration number we found listed in the Terms and Conditions, we got a runaround in broken English about which authority supposedly regulates the company. Indeed, at first, the agent tried to convince us that the company was regulated in the U.S. by the CFTC, directly after telling us it was a Cyprus registration! Naturally we looked in the NFA Search, which includes CFTC regulatory information for companies, and were unable to find Cedar Finance or T.B.S.F. Best Strategy Finance Ltd. After the agent told us three times that we just needed to “check the list,” he gave up and told us that the company is “working” on CFTC regulation so they can offer U.S. trading. When we asked again what agency provided their license number, we were just told “We are in Cyprus.” Finally, we asked if it was CySEC, and the agent agreed.
Unfortunately we accidentally closed out of our chat window without saving our log, but you can read a very similar log here. The tone of the conversation and the runaround that the would-be customer encountered were very similar to the one that we endured during our live chat experience.
If you were going off of features alone, there would be no reason not to consider Cedar Finance, but there are so many red flags concerning customer service, regulation information, withdrawal minimums, and other aspects of site operation that running the other way is a much better idea.
The first impression we had of Cedar Finance came from the many scammy affiliate videos which are posted online, urging potential investors to quit their day jobs and invest all their money in binary options for instant success. There is nothing wrong with gambling if you do it responsibly, but the whole reputation surrounding this company is very shady, not responsible. That initial impression survived our closer look at Cedar Finance’s website and our discussion with their customer service agent. There are much better and more legitimate binary options brokers out there, so check out some of the rest of our reviews to find one.