PowerOption ceased operating as binary option broker in December 10th, 2014.
PowerOption is a new binary options broker founded in 2013 and based in Seychelles and regulated in Cyprus. IT is operated by a company called Power Marketing Ltd., which is a subsidiary of AvaTrade, a well known Forex broker. While there are some lacking aspects to this website and the services offered by this broker, we can still give them a cautious recommendation because they carry the AvaTrade name.
AvaTrade is quite a big company, with more than 200,000 customers already trading on their Forex website. It is reasonable to assume that they will be patching up the holes in their binary options services over the coming years. AvaTrade brings a lot of experience over from FX, and as binary options trading shares a lot in common with Forex trading, they know what they are doing. Demo accounts are the norm with FX brokers of quality, even though they are the exception with binary options brokers. The fact that PowerOption is run by a FX company probably explains why they have a great demo account. Note that PowerOption does not accept USA traders. AvaTrade is registered with the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission.
Opening a Real or Demo Account on PowerOption
PowerOption allows traders starting out to deposit money right away and start trading for real, or trade with an unlimited demo account. Traders do not need to deposit to use the account, which is excellent. This is a feature that is sorely lacking in many other binary options sites, and it is great to see it offered here. Traders have a chance to test their trading methods on real-time data before risking their bankrolls.
If you would like to open a real account, you can easily register in a matter of minutes and make your deposit using debit or credit card, wire transfer, Skrill, or PayPal (this is one of the few brokers we have seen that accepts PayPal). The more money you deposit, the higher the bonus you can qualify for. The highest bonus offered is 100% on deposits of $500 or more, up to $10,000 maximum. One nice thing I noticed about PowerOption was that there were no mentions of minimum withdrawal thresholds and other withdrawal-related fees. There is an inactivity fee of $25 after six months with no trading.
Ideal for Traders with Small Accounts
While you can deposit quite a bit of money with PowerOption, you can only trade in small increments. The platform is called Market Pulse. While it is not a very common binary options platform, it is very intuitive and easy to use, with a bright display featuring bold colors. You will notice when you go to place a trade on the demo account that the lower end is $10, and the upper end is only $200. This would be rather restricting for users with large accounts, but for those just starting out with small bankrolls, it would be just fine. Average payouts are around 80%, with no mention of an out-of-money-reward. You can trade on your iPhone or Android if you wish.
What can you trade on PowerOption? There are 37 currencies, indices, stocks, and commodities available—not the biggest selection, but not too small either. There are a reasonably diverse range of different types of trades available. You can do High/Low trades or 60 Second trades, or you can try your hand at One Touch or Range trading. Not a lot of sites offer both One Touch and Range trading, so this is wonderful. It is also exciting that this broker offers very fast trades, but also longer-term position trades. You can stay in some trades for as long as a month. It is great that they cater to traders with long-term trading needs, since that is something of a gap in the binary options world. Finally, there is a feature called Option on Demand. This allows you to choose an expiry time and customize your trade.
I did not find any references to early close, double up, rollover, or similar trading tools, which is a drawback. The Option on Demand feature is a great start, but the site needs to offer traders more control. There were however daily market reviews, as well as a number of learning resources beyond the standard how-to pages and FAQ. There are a number of video tutorials available, as well as a free eBook.
Customer Service and Reputation
PowerOption supposedly offers 24/7 customer service of the highest caliber. Despite this, there was nobody staffing the live chat line during normal market hours on a weekday. This is a serious drawback, as one would expect PowerOption to excel at customer service. The parent company has a strong reputation in the Forex industry, and one would think that would carry over to this website. This may be a problem involving subsidiary management, or it may just be that AvaTrade is spread a bit thin right now trying to get this site up and running.
Two awards are mentioned on the bottom of the site, DailyForex.com Most Trusted Broker 2013, and FX Empire Best Binary Options Broker. PowerOption links out to both sites, but the landing pages are simply reviews for the broker, and there are no mentions of awards. A Google search revealed no further information—though the broker is highly rated by reviewers on FX Empire, as is AvaTrade itself.
PowerOption is far from a perfect site. There is a deficit of trading tools, and the customer service line appears to be useless. Nonetheless, there are a lot of exciting trade types, good bonuses, and reasonable terms and conditions. The demo account is also a fantastic feature, and allows traders to get their feet wet without putting real money on the line. Because of these good features as well as the positive reputation backing AvaTrade, we can cautiously recommend this broker to traders outside the USA with small bankrolls.