In this Expert Option Review, we will take a look at a broker that offers clients the chance to invest in instruments such as digital options.
The broker offers traders the chance to trade over 100 different assets including a range of different cryptocurrencies. They have been around since 2014 and have a wide range of opinions online.
The key question most clients may have is whether Expert Option is safe and can it be trusted?
In this comprehensive review of Expert Option we will go over everything that you need to know about the broker. We will dig into their history, regulations, customer service and fees.
With that being said, let’s jump right in.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Is Expert Option Safe?
- 3 Expert Option Assets
- 4 Tradable Instruments
- 5 Jurisdictions & Languages
- 6 Expert Option Demo Account
- 7 Live Accounts
- 8 Funding / Withdrawal
- 9 Customer Support & KYC
- 10 Expert Option Platform
- 11 Expert Option Education
- 12 Reputation
- 13 What We Didn’t Like
- 14 EO Coin Crowd Sale
- 15 Conclusion
- 16 Expert Option Ratings
Expert Option was started in 2014 and is owned and operated by Expert Option Ltd.
The company is based in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. There office location is 1510, Kingston, Suite 305, Griffith corporate centre. If you wanted to find more information Expert Option then you can look up their company number with registration number 22863.
Expert option also has a company that will process the payments for the brand and that is Vestede Limited (company no 116061). They are based in Gibraltar.
The company offers Digital Options instruments on numerous different assets. Digital Options are essentially options that will have a binary outcome on expiry.
What really stands out for expert option is that they have developed their own trading engine and platform. This is contrary to the usual practice where brokers would outsource their platforms to an external technology provider.
Is Expert Option Safe?
This is perhaps one of the most relevant questions when it comes to choosing a broker and completing a review. There have been too many examples of brokers in this industry that have operated in a less than stellar manner.
There were some concerns online about Expert Option given that the company was registered in St Vincent. We asked Expert Option about the reasons for this and they stated that it was for tax efficiency reasons. Whether this is the only reason for it, we cannot tell. However, there are many exchanges and brokers that have made similar choices.
For example, some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges operate in offshore locations. The Binance crypto exchange is registered in Malta whereas exchanges like BitFinex, which is one of the biggest, is registered in Luxembourg.
One of the most important factors that you need to consider when you are about to trade with a broker is their regulations. What jurisdictions are they registered in and what client protections are there?
In the case of Expert Option, they are certified by the Financial Market Relations Regulation Center. This is a non-governmental voluntary oversight body that is located in Russia. You can view their licence certificate over here.
They are also regulated by the Vanuatu Financial Service Commission. This is a relatively new regulator that has started offering financial service licences to offshore companies. You can read more about their client protections on this website.
We could not find the Vanuatu licence number on their website or independently verify their registration there.
Another really important factor when you are considering a broker is whether the information that you send them is secure. Encrypted communication is now the standard among brokers and financial websites.
Why is this important?
Well, given the prevalence of sophisticated hackers these days sending information such as credit card details and personal documents is really risky. That is why you have to make sure that the broker uses the latest standards in SSL encryption.
SSL Padlock Expert Option
Expert Option is SSL encrypted and you can see this by observing the green padlock in the browser window. This means that all of the information that you send to Expert Option’s servers is encrypted using AES 256 encryption.
It is very important that when you are visiting Expert Option’s website that you see this green padlock on the site to make sure that you are not falling victim to a phishing attack.
Expert Option Assets
As mentioned, Expert Option has a range of different assets that you can trade options on. These range from the more traditional asset classes such as Forex, Equities and Commodities, to the new and exciting cryptocurrency field.
With Fiat currency trading pairs, you have all of the major crosses including AUD, USD, GBP, NZD, CAD, EUR and CHF. With equity instruments you have some of the most interesting companies such as Amazon, Baidu, Coca-Cola and Tesla. There are three commodities that you can trade and they are Gold, Silver and Oil.
On the digital currency side it seems as if Expert Option has gone all in. In fact, they have more cryptocurrency pairs than they have of all other assets. Below are all the crypto pairs that they provide on their platform.
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Tether (USDT)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Monero (XMR)
- ZCash (ZEC)
- Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- IOTA (MIOTA)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Dash (DASH)
As mentioned, Expert Option is a Digital Option platform. This means that the tradable instruments are derivatives that get their value from the underlying asset price.
Digital Options work in a similar way to traditional options in that they have an asymmetric pay-out. This means that unlike CFDs and Futures, your gain / loss is capped by a predetermined amount.
Options, unlike futures, give the holder the right but not the obligation to buy or sell an asset at some predetermined price in the future. If you enter a CALL option you are going long the underlying asset and if you enter a PUT option you are shorting the underlying price.
With a Digital option, your pay-out is either set to some percentage of your invested capital or it is set to 0. In terms of the pay-out rates at Expert Option, they vary. They range from 70% to 90%.
There are also two expiry times at expert option. They are 1 minute and 2 minute expiries. We would have liked to have seen a slightly longer option expiries such as 1 hour or daily options.
However, if you are a day trader who likes to embark on scalping tactics then shorter expiry times could be to your liking.
Jurisdictions & Languages
Expert Option Website Languages
Expert Option is restricted in certain jurisdictions and are not open to investors from the following countries: USA, Canada, European Economic Area, Switzerland, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, North Korea, Puerto Rico, Sudan.
This is probably related to the individual regulations in those states that do not allow offshore brokers such as Expert Option Ltd to solicit clients.
For those regions that Expert Option operates, they have translated their website and platform into a number of different languages. These are given in the image on the right.
In terms of telephone support, this is only available in English, Thai and Hindi.
Expert Option Demo Account
At expert option, you can trade on a demo account with $10,000 of demo money. An Expert Option demo account is a great way for the trader to get a better sense of how the platform works and whether they could indeed see themselves using it. It is also something that not many cryptocurrency exchanges will offer their traders.
What we really liked about the Expert Option demo account is that there are no obligations on the side of the trader. You do not even have to sign up and you can practice trading in demo anonymously on Expert Option to your heart’s content.
This is a stark departure from older Digital option brands that have used the demo account as a way to drag the clients in by manipulating them to hand over more funds. The Expert Option demo account also has all of the same pricing that you will find on the live account below.
Something that we have not seen that often in the CFD broker and Cryptocurrency exchange space is the range of different account types that are offered by Expert Option.
Sure, at some cryptocurrency exchanges you will have tiered account levels but these are merely determined by how much you are willing to verify yourself on the exchange. At expert option, the tiered accounts are determined by how much you invest.
Different Account Options Expert Option
Here are the benefits that are supposed to come with the account options that they provide.
|Personal Manager||Introduction||Introduction||Account Manager||Senior Account Manager|
|Market Reviews & Research||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Access to Strategies||Yes|
|Max No Deals Open||10||15||30||No Limit||No Limit|
|Max Deal Amount||$25||$250||$1,000||$2,000||$5,000|
|Increased Profit||0||0||up to 2%||up to 4%||up to 6%|
What does this mean for you?
Well clearly as is shown those accounts that have more money in them will have more benefits. However, we would suggest starting small. This is because you need to make sure that you need to make sure you are completely comfortable with the broker before you will commit such a large tranche of funds.
Moreover, you may want to consider against the bonus options that may be presented to you. This is because bonus terms are known to be incredibly onerous and have turnover requirements that are almost impossible to reach.
Hence, even though the prospect of “free money” sounds great, you have to realise that it is far from free and comes with terms and conditions that can restrict withdrawal.
Funding / Withdrawal
Expert Option Payment Options
There are a few ways in which you can fund your expert option account. No doubt the easiest way that clients will opt for is to use a credit or debit card. In terms of the card types that they accept, it is Visa, MasterCard and UnionPay.
The minimum deposit at Expert Option is the $50 that they have on their first level account. They also have a maximum deposit size of $3,000. This is probably to do with the payment processor limits imposed on them.
There are also various electronic money funding options should you prefer that. They accept payments via Neteller, Skrill, WebMoney, Qiwi Wallet, Yandex Money and Payweb.
If you want to withdraw money from your account, then the minimum withdrawal amount is $10. This is probably because of the fees involved in the withdrawal.
If you are withdrawing funds then Expert Option can only withdraw it into the same account that you funded with. This is in order to avoid concerns of money laundering.
Customer Support & KYC
This is obviously a really important consideration for brokers and exchanges. There is nothing that is more frustrating than having to wait for days to get customer support.
Expert option claims that they have 24/7 customer support. You can reach these support agents directly from the trading platform. When we tried to reach out to the support team it took about 10 minutes to receive a response which is not too bad. You can also reach them on their dedicated support email at email@example.com
There are also numbers that you can call for their local offices. This is helpful for those traders that would like to speak to someone. Here are the local numbers
- UK (English): Number: +44 20 3868 3160, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, available 24/7
- India (Hindi): Number: 000 800 443 0002, email: email@example.com, available 10:30 – 19:30 (India time)
- Thailand (Thai): Number: +66 6000 35 407, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, available 10:30 – 19:30 (Thailand time)
In terms of KYC, Expert Option is required to complete a number of steps to make sure that you are who you say you are. This is the standard protocol in today’s markets to avoid the risks of Money Laundering and fraud.
When you fund your account at Expert Option they will usually ask for a proof of identity as well as a proof of address. They should take a day or two to verify these documents.
Expert Option Platform
One of the most interesting parts of the Expert Option package has to be their trading platform. As mentioned, this platform was built in house and hence is unique amongst the other option and CFD platforms.
There are a number of different ways in which you can trade on their platform including using the web based platform, a PC program or through mobile apps.
Let’s take a deep dive on the web based trading platform.
Web Based Platform
The web based platform seems to be well designed with numerous tools at the trader’s disposal. Everything that is related to your account administration is on the left of your screen. Here you can fund your account, monitor your past trades or make use of their extensive educational material.
In the middle you will have all your charts and markets. You can choose a layout that works best for you and you can split the chart among more than one asset. This is beneficial for those traders who like to trade more than one market at a time.
Web Based Platform of Expert Option
In terms of the charting tools themselves, there were all of the standard studies and indicators that most traders could find useful. These include all your standard moving averages, your Bollinger Banks, RSIs and Parabolic SAR among others.
Something else that is pretty interesting about the chart is that they link it up with their social trading function. So, essentially, you can see on the chart where the other traders have entered their positions. We found them slightly distracting but they may be helpful to some traders.
Social Trading Expert Option
Speaking of social trading, you can view all of the previous trades and general market sentiment as well as returns on the “social” tab on the right. Here, the platform combines all of the latest deals of the various traders and is able to give you an effective overview of what other traders are up to and how it is working out for them.
Above the social trading you can also observe the trends in the market for the various assets over the 1 min, 2 min and 5min horizons.
If you wanted to place an order at Expert Option then you would adjust the order form that is on the chart. Unfortunately the order functionality is rather basic. There are only three order parameters that you can change. These are the strike, notional and whether to buy or sell (CALL or PUT).
Expert Option PC Client
While the web based platform is great for convenience sake, the most optimal trading experience comes from the PC clients. This is because you will be using your PC to trade instead of your web broswer. This is naturally more efficient.
PC Client Expert Option
Moreover, because your order is sent directly from the desktop client to the Expert Option servers. This means that it will be executed much more efficiently.
The desktop client is available for download on Microsoft windows as well as Mac OS. Once you have downloaded the programs and load them, you will be asked for your expert option login credentials.
For those traders who are always on the go, Expert Option also has a mobile app that is available for download on both iOS and Google Play.
The app is really well laid out and it is clear the Expert Option spent a great deal of money developing it. Obviously there is a great deal of functionality that you will lose out compared to the web or PC based clients.
Expert Option iOS App
We also find that mobile trading is not ideal if you are a technical analysis trader. Hence, if you are using this form of analysis to inform your trading then we would rather suggest that you use the PC or web based interface.
Expert Option Education
This is another place where we think Expert Option tends to stand out. They have quite extensive educational material for traders.
This is accessible either through the platform in the “education” tab or on the homepage in the footer. If you are to navigate to the education tab you will see the numerous topics tha they cover. These include the following:
- Fundamental Analysis
- Technical Analysis
- Graphical Analysis
- Psychology of Trading
- Trading Strategies
- Glossary of Terms
There are also a range of videos that they have for the traders. These are helpful for those new traders that need guidance on how to make the most of the platform. These are all in the “How to get started” tab.
Compared to all the other Option brands, it seems that Expert Option has a relatively clean online reputation. However, we did notice that there were a few issues raised with the location of the company. Some traders were uncomfortable with the St Vincent registration.
There were of course quite a few clients who took issue with the bonuses that they had accepted. As we had stated above, Bonuses come with onerous terms and conditions and these clients probably did not read them or were not aware of them.
There were also one or two complaints about the pay-out ratio being adjusted for those clients that had a strong trading record. Of course, this could be hard to verify as the reviewer did not leave evidence of the claim.
Lastly, there were a few complaints that traders had about withdrawal requirements. They were claiming that Expert Option was not authorising their requests. However, upon examination it seems that they had not properly authenticated their accounts.
What We Didn’t Like
While the Expert Option platform is highly efficient and there is a plethora of resources that are available to the trader, there were a few things that we thought warranted improvement.
Firstly, we have to take issue with their regulatory licence. While it is not meant as a slight against the Vanuatu regulators, a licence in Europe is much more secure. If Expert Option wants to gain the full trust of their European clients then they should aim to get regulated in the EU or an equivalent.
Moreover, if Expert Option was able to get a European licence then they could take clients from the continent. This would serve them well as it could increase their user base.
On the platform side, we would have preferred it if they had more options in terms of expiry times. Some clients prefer not to trade with such short expiry times and this is especially true for those clients who do not use technical analysis for their trading.
Lastly, we would have liked to have seen some cryptocurrency funding options. They do, after all, offer a range of different cryptocurrency assets to trade so it is only logical that they would offer funding options as well.
There are also numerous other brokers which offer this option as it allows them to administer the accounts anonymously, it reduces the fees and it is quick and effective. Perhaps Expert Option will include this at a later date.
EO Coin Crowd Sale
Something else that we came across in this Expert Option review was the large crowd sale or ICO that the broker was embarking on. This is still ongoing and allows participants to buy the EO coin which will be the utility token in the Expert Option ecosystem.
The main idea behind the crowd sale is to bridge the gap between the realm of traditional trading and cryptocurrency blockchains be incorporating the four platforms.
One of the platforms in the Expert Option ecosystem will be the current Expert Option platform. They aim to introduce “token based accounts” on the ExpertOption platform. This will allow those traders to fund their accounts with EO Tokens instantly through blockchain transactions.
The main benefits of token based accounts over the traditional Expert Option accounts is that there will be much higher profit percentages along with instant deposits and withdrawals. Moreover, given that these are blockchain based trades, the execution will be much quicker than they are on the platform currently.
The three other parts to the EO ecosystem that will make use of EO Coins are the following:
This will be the cryptocurrency exchange of the Expert Option ecosystem. This will be built to withstand the current cryptocurrency markets as well as demand for future coins. One of the main features of this exchange will be the development of one of the most sophisticates and efficient trading engines.
EO.trade is also looking to make the crypto exchange KYC process as quick and efficient as possible. They also want to try and make the exchange withdrawal process as quick and efficient as possible. The user interface of the EO.trade crypto exchange will be as advanced as any one sees today.
Many exchanges these days are struggling to meet the excessive demand that traders have placed on them. Given that Expert Option has been operating a broker for a number of years with similar levels of volume, the EO.trade crypto exchange will leverage this experience to provide for the super efficient processing.
Another piece of the Expert Option ecosystem will be the EO.News service. This will be a news portal that will be designed to help traders with market news, Technical analysis and financial updates. This will be made available to both traders in the EO platform as well as non-users.
EO.finance will be the wallet in the EO ecosystem that will allow traders to store all amounts of coins and fiat currencies. They will easily be able to exchange one for the other and make transactions with cryptocurrencies.
This will be developed as a mobile wallet so that it can be used on the go. The EO Coin can then also be used on this wallet as a utility token for the purchases. When using the EO coin the fees for transactions will be lower than for other coins.
EO Coin Milestones
Currently, the EO ecosystem has managed to raise about $12m which will be sufficient to cover development costs of the EO.finance wallet at least. Once they have managed to raise $35m, they will have enough funds to start development on the EO.trade exchange. In total, they are looking to raise about $70m from the sale. You can read more in their Whitepaper.
So, should you participate in the crowd sale? We think not.
This is because they are entering a very competitive market and there are already exchanges with a much greater competitive advantage than them. Even though they want to on board clients much more quickly, exchanges such as Binance have already become quite efficient at this.
Hold off on purchasing any EO coins until you see some of the products that they are building actually rolled out.
As we have shown in this Expert Option review, the broker is no doubt a great option for traders who want advanced trading software as well as extensive education.
They will also appreciate the range of different accounts that they can open with varying levels of support and trading functionality. It also helps the trader who is new to make use of the completely free and anonymous demo account.
We also liked the fact that there was responsive customer service that dealt with all of our queries promptly. Those in other countries will find it useful that they have translated the website into a number of different languages and have customer support available in three.
As mentioned, there were a few places that we thought Expert Option could improve. These mostly related to their regulations, platform and funding options. We hope that Expert Option could take this into consideration.
Moreover, our review has found that although Expert Option operates in an industry that has faced a great deal of issues in the past, they appear to be completely above board and have a relatively clean reputation.
So, is Expert Option the broker for you?
We would encourage you to do your own research. But if you are interested in a strong platform with numerous cryptocurrency assets and you are in a country that Expert Option operates in, then may indeed be a solution.
Featured Image via Expert Option
Expert Option Ratings
- Advanced Platform
- Multilingual Customer Support
- Asset Coverage
- Mobile and Desktop Clients
- Vanuatu Regulation
- Short Expiry times
- No Bitcoin Funding