In this IQ Option review, we are going to take a look at one of of Europe’s largest CFD brokers.
This review will give you everything you need to know about the IQ Option platform and whether it is the broker you should consider. We also set up a live trading account which will give us first-hand experience of the broker from the perspective of a client.
Let’s dive right in and put the broker through their paces…
- 1 Is IQ Option Safe?
- 2 Asset Coverage
- 3 Trading Instruments
- 4 Funding / Withdrawal
- 5 Customer Support
- 6 Jurisdictions & Languages
- 7 Demo Account
- 8 Live Accounts
- 9 IQ Option Trading Platform
- 10 Platform Functionality
- 11 IQ Option Mobile Trading
- 12 IQ Option Trading Competitions
- 13 Earning OTN Tokens
- 14 IQ Option Affiliate Program
- 15 Customer Complaints of IQ Option
- 16 Is IQ Option the Broker for Me?
- 17 IQ Option Ratings
Is IQ Option Safe?
This is probably one of the most important questions for any trader that starts on a platform. Safety of funds and data are essential to a secure trading environment.
In the case of IQ Option, they are a regulated broker that has a licence to provide investment products in the European Union. The licence that IQ Option has if from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec).
In order to obtain this licence, the broker has to meet numerous minimum requirements as it pertains to client funds, trading products and marketing restrictions. You can read more about CySec regulations on their website.
Client Funds Safety
In the case of client funds, all of the money has to be kept in a secure segregated account that is off limits for broker business. You can think of this as a safe deposit box for all client funds that has to be monitored on a regular basis.
This will ensure that IQ Option will always have a certain minimum of funds should the clients all decide to withdraw. This is very important as it ensures that there is liquidity at the exchange in times of market stress.
Moreover, the CySec regulators also have something akin to deposit insurance at the regulator level. This means that should anything ever happen to IQ Option, your deposit is insured up to a certain level by the regulators in Cyprus.
As is standard with most trading platforms these days, IQ Option is fully SSL encrypted. This means that all trader communication that is sent to IQ option servers is encrypted using AES 256 Bit encryption standards.
Why is this important? Well, hackers.
There has been a great deal in the news about the tactics of hackers when it comes to man in the middle attacks and phishing. Put simply, an SSL certificates are meant to limit the effectiveness of these attacks and protect the trader.
While we are on this point, it is worth mentioning that you should always make sure that you see the green padlock in your browser address bar (image right) to make sure that you are not visiting a phishing site. This goes for any broker or exchange.
IQ Option started out as an option platform that offered traditional assets to trade. These included assets such as stocks, commodities, ETFs and plain vanilla forex. However, they have greatly been increasing their offering of cryptocurrency assets.
In the chart to the right, you can see a list of all the cryptocurrency pairs that are on offer at IQ Option. There are over 12 pairs that you can currently trade and they are always adding more. These include the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, Litecoin, Monero, Zcash etc.
List of cryptocurrency pairs at IQ Option
Although these may be just perfect for the normal cryptocurrency trader, there are numerous other assets that remain on the legacy platform of spot that you can dabble in. They are listed below:
- Forex: For those traditional traders who like trading Fiat Forex, you have a great many options for traditional currency trading on IQ option. There are over 188 currency pairs from you to choose from as well as a range of different crosses between the pairs.For those crypto traders who are slightly more advanced, you can use the forex pairs in order to set up a crypto trade in your own local currency. You can open a CFD position on the USD cross as well as that of the cryptocurrency USD cross in question.
- Stocks: There are also hundreds of traditional stocks that you can trade on the IQ Option CFD platform. You have a selection of over 7,500 stocks to trade that are on a number of different global exchanges. These include the NASDAQ and the FTSE etc.
- ETFs: ETFs, or Exchange Traded Funds, are collective investment funds that allow you as the investor to trade on an index of stocks. IQ option has some of the most extensive lists of ETF instruments to trade with over 4,288 to choose from.
For their crypto, FX and stocks they currently offer these products as Contracts for Difference (CFDs). CFDs are derivative instruments that will pay out the trader based on the difference in price at the beginning and the end of the trading day.
CFDs are also levered instruments which means that you can take a much larger position on a trade than you have available. This could amplify your returns provided that you manage your risk in an appropriate manner.
In terms of the leverage the IQ Option provides with these CFDs, it differs according to the asset class. For example, you have leverage of 10x on Stocks, 20x on Cryptocurrencies and a really punchy 200x on Forex. It goes without saying that you should trade such instruments very carefully.
Of course, IQ Option is known for their option instruments. These include their Binary Option and digital option offerings. These instruments are asymmetric instruments which means that they have a defined loss and profit.
With these instruments, you will lay out a premium for the option trade that will usually be a small premium of the asset in question. You will also have an expiry time and an expiry price. If the option expires in the money then you can make a large return on your investment. If it expires out of the money then you will lose the premium.
Funding / Withdrawal
IQ Option has a number of payment options that traders can make use of. They accept cards from Visa and Mastercard. They also accept funding through numerous online wallets including Web Money, Skrill, Cash U and Neteller.
For those who would prefer to fund their account through a simple wire option, they also have that option. This will usually take a bit longer than a deposit via card but the fees will be lower for larger amounts.
Payment Options at IQ Option
For those traders who are merely starting out trading, the minimum account funding size is a mere $10. This will give you access to the real account (explained below). Payments that are made via wire can take a bit more 2 days and this depends on where you bank is located.
They also claim that you can withdraw instantly with no questions asked. They state that these can be withdrawn in under 24 hours and that you can process any withdrawal amount that you would like.
We wanted to test this so we opened an account at IQ option and deposited $100. Our deposit was a wire payment and took about 1 day to arrive (our bank is in the EU). We then requested a withdrawal of $10 after placing a few trades.
The team at IQ option told us that we still had to verify our account. After verification went through, our funds were indeed sent and took a little over a day to hit our account (less wiring fees). One thing that the trader has to consider is that they can only withdraw in the same manner through which they funded.
Customer service is something that is often in short supply among brokers and exchanges. This of course makes sense given the immense amount of people who want to invest and the limited number of exchanges where they can do this.
Hence, we wanted to test the customer support response times and effectiveness at IQ Option. We did this initially in the verification phase when we were waiting on our documents. For KYC purposes, IQ option required our proof of identity and address.
We sent our docs off and they took about 2 days to verify. During the period we send out a number of support tickets on the platform as well as corresponded with them on email. Response times were about 2 hours on average.
Total Customer support representatives over years
While these response times are not the best we have encountered, they are definitely below average. We also have to take into account that IQ Option has millions of accounts at the moment which is considerably more than all of the other brokers and exchanges on the market now.
There also seems to be a dedicated phone number for the team at IQ Option. This is not something that one often sees at exchanges or other CFD / Stock brokers in general. It gives a slight personal feel to the trading experience.
Jurisdictions & Languages
As mentioned, IQ Option is owned and operated by a company in the European Union. They are also a registered financial services provider in Cyprus with the registration number of 247/14. This means that they are legally allowed to take European clients. These clients will also have full protections afforded by CySec.
IQ Option has also spent a great deal of time translating their website and platform. For example, they currently have support for up to 13 different languages.
So that these traders could feel comfortable trading in a balance of their local currency, IQ Option allows funding in GBP, USD, EUR and the following other currency groups: RUB, IDR, MYR, Yuan.
In terms of the local laws, there are some countries that they are not operating in. Traders from the following countries unfortunately cannot make use of their services: The USA, Canada, Israel, Palestine, Australia, Russia, Syria, Iran, Japan, Belgium.
One of the great advantages that we found out about IQ Option was their free demo accounts. Unlike other exchanges and brokers, IQ option gives the trader $10,000 of demo funds that they can use to test out the platform.
They can trade on the demo platform as long as they like and there are no time restrictions. If you have depleted the practice funds then you can always have it replenished. This is a great way for new traders to test out their skills before they invest any live money.
You can also do this with practice funds without having to give over any personal information to start. Hence, you can quickly and easily test the platform without worrying about having to hand over any phone numbers or identity documents.
Once you are satisfied with the trading platform and are comfortable with your trading skills, you can move onto a live account and invest your real funds. There are two types of accounts at IQ Option for you to utilise. They are the Real account and the VIP account.
- Real Account: This is the entry level account at IQ Option and only requires a minimum funding amount of $10. With this account, you have access to over 70 asset to trade across a range of asset classes. This will have exactly the same platform functionality as the demo account.
- VIP Account: If you fund more than $3,000 then you will be placed into the VIP category. This has added benefit of a VIP account manager who is on hand to answer any questions that you may have with regards to the platform.The VIP account also allows traders to gather monthly reports on their trading record. This is put together by the analysts at IQ Option. These reports can help the larger traders to properly analyse their returns and make sure that their trading strategy was appropriate.
When we did our tests, we did it on the live trading account and not on the VIP account. Hence, although we have no reason to doubt the benefits, we cannot verify the exact customer support that you are likely to get from an account manager.
IQ Option Trading Platform
One way in which IQ Option really stands out is their state of the art trading technology. Apparently, there are over 100 developers who are constantly working on the platform in order to improve its efficiency. They have also consulted traders who have collaborated with these developers.
We went over the platform and were quite impressed with how functional it really was. Surprisingly, unlike numerous other platforms, it did not sacrifice the layout or simplicity in order to integrate the range of sophisticated trading tools available.
These tools include numerous charting packages such as technical indicators and studies such as Bollinger bands and moving averages. This could no doubt be a great advantage for all of the technical analysts out there.
There are also numerous layout options that are available on the web interface. This is achieved through the use of widgets which can be positioned to the trader’s preference. This is helpful for those traders who would like to be able to trade on numerous different assets simultaneously.
What is also great to note is that IQ Option offers its platform not only as web based platform but also as computer based programs. You can download the proprietary IQ Option Mac or Windows trading software. This will connect to the IQ Option infrastructure.
We tried these out and they were much faster than the web based platform. This makes sense as our trading instructions were going straight to the servers at IQ option and not through a website interface first. Moreover, there was no browser software to slow down our experience.
While the IQ Option platform no doubt looks impressive, the most important consideration is it’s functionality. No matter how impressive a platform’s UI is, the tools at your disposal are what make or break the trade.
Let’s run through some of the most important functions and tools that you can use on the platform.
Like most trading platforms these days, you will have a range of different order types that you can submit when trading. On the IQ Option platform, these will differ according to the asset in question.
For example, when trading on IQ Option, there are a number of short/medium/long term strategies with a variable return utilizing the following order types:
- Multiplier: The multiplier is a coefficient that allows you to increase both the return on an investment and the level of risk.
- Stop Loss: This allows you to set a maximum loss that you are willing to accept. When a stop loss is triggered, it closes the trade.
- Take Profit: A Take Profit works very much like a stop loss expect on the opposite side of the trade. It will close out the trade once a desired profit has been realised.
- Trailing Stop: Trailing Stop makes ‘auto-close at loss’ operate dynamically and move with price in the desired direction.
- Purchase at (Pre-Order): This allows you to set a target price to enter the market.
Stop Loss Tools
Apart from just having the stop loss order types, IQ Option has some of the most diverse selection when it comes to setting your stops / take profits.
This is a major departure from most of the other platforms where you merely choose an asset price for your stops. Traders can utilize the following functionality:
- Take Profit
- Take Profit at X% Profit.
- Take Profit at Numerical Profit X.
- Take Profit at Asset Price X.
- Stop Loss
- Stop Loss at X% Loss.
- Stop Loss at Numerical Loss X.
- Stop Loss at Asset Price X.
- Trailing Stop (Dynamic Stop Loss)
- Use Balance to keep positions open.(if exceeded stop loss)
IQ Option Charting
IQ Option has a wide variety of charting options tailored to suit the needs of any trader. There are the following five different options to choose from:
- Area: Shows price as a line with a shaded area underneath.
- Line: Shows price as a line without a shaded area underneath.
- Candles: Shows a period of time, the price at the start and end of the period, and the volatility over the period as solid colours.
- Hollow Candles: Shows a period of time, the price at the start and end of the period, and the volatility over the period as hollow positive candles and solid negative candles.
- Bars: Shows a period of time, the price at the start and end of the period, and the volatility over the period as a vertical line with open and close prices as horizontal lines.
IQ Option Indicators
IQ Option offers 13 different technical indicators to choose from.
Indicators are the backbone of technical analysis and are used by day traders almost religiously. They are exremely useful when it comes to spotting trends, mapping mometum and identfying potential retracements.
IQ option has 13 different indicators that you can activate on the charting interface. These indicators are listed below with a brief explanation as to their use.
- Moving Average: Moving Averages are a group of technical indicators that are commonly used to determine the current trend. The most popular averages are the Simple Moving Average(SMA), the Weighted Moving Average(WMA), the Exponential Moving Average (EMA) and the Smooth Simple Moving Average(SSMA). Moving Averages are used in other technical analysis indicators such as Bollinger Bands, Alligator, MACD and Awesome Oscillator.
- Volume: The Volume indicator shows what amount of the selected asset was sold and purchased within a certain period of time. This is one of the few indicators that is not based on asset price. A high volume indicates a high interest in the asset at its current price and vice versa.
- Bollinger Bands: Bollinger Bands belongs to the category of ‘trend indicators’, They reflect the dynamic range of the price movement. With their help, many traders determine the relative position of the price movement.
- Alligator: The Alligator is an indicator for assessing the market movement direction and filtering no-trend-periods (Side Band). Its main purpose is to display the signal of an emerging trend. It is worth noting that this indicator is applicable to almost all time intervals and therefore can be considered cross functional.
- RSI: The RSI (Relative Strength Index) is used to determine the strength of a current trend and its possible reversal points. RSI compares the absolute asset price growth within a certain time period with the total price reduction within the same period. The result is visualized as curve on the chart with a range of 0 to 100%.
- MACD: The MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence) shows the convergence and divergence of moving averages. This indicator is a visualized ratio of two exponential moving averages. Its goal is to determine the strength and direction of the trend. The signal line in the indicator window is a simple moving average of the indicator values.
- Parabolic SAR: The Parabolic SAR is based on the price chart and displayed as a series of small dots. In terms of purpose, it is very similar to moving averages; the only difference is that Parabolic SAR moves with higher acceleration and changes its position depending on the price. When the trend is ‘Bullish’ (Upward), the indicator is below the prices; when the trend is Bearish (Downward) the indicator is above the prices.
- Stochastic Oscillator: Stochastic Oscillator (Stoch) indicates the current position of of the price in relation to the extrema within the selected period and is expressed as a percentage from 0 to 100. It gives signals of overbought or oversold conditions and helps identify at what points the market is ready for a reversal.
- Awesome Oscillator: The awesome oscillator is visualized ratio of two Simple Moving Averages (SMA’s)[1x Fast 1x Slow] in the form of a bar chart, Crossing the baseline here has the same effect as crossing SMA indicators on the price chart. This indicator shows the completion and development of new trends. Many traders consider Awesome Oscillator to be a simplified version of MACD.
- ATR (Average True Range): Unlike most indicators, ATR cannot predict the movement direction. It displays exclusively the current volatility of the trading asset within the selected period. Moreover, ATR determines the quote change rate. Active movement of ATR indicates an increase in the range of candlesticks.
- ADX (Average Directional Movement Index): The Average Directional Movement Index (ADX) is always ahead of the curve and shows the strength of a trend (upward/downward trend or weakening) prior to the start of the price movement. ADX indicator can also be used to identify potential change in market volatility.
- Fractal: Fractals are a series of at least five Japanese Candlesticks. The central candlestick is always higher or lower than the surrounding ones. The main purpose of Fractals is to display local minima and maxima of the price curve and indicate market reversal points.
- CCI (Commodity Channel Index): This indicator belongs to the class of oscillators that measure the speed of a price movement. CCI is designed for determining the upcoming market reversal. CCI can be used to assess the strength of the current trend or detect extrema. In general, CCI is very similar to ADX and can also be used as a tool to determine the market trend, as the CCI change rate depends on the strength of the current market trend.
IQ Option Mobile Trading
IQ Option Mobile Trading
One thing that we have noticed on a number of exchanges and platforms is the lack of any mobile trading functionality. This can be disadvantageous for those traders who would like to monitor their positions when they are away from their PCs. Moreover, markets can move really quickly and time is often of the essence.
IQ option has developed their trading technology on mobile trading devices. They have apps on the iOS apple store as well as on Google play as an android version. They are free to download and you will connect your account to the app when you have it on your device.
Although the functionality has been scaled down in order to not compromise the visual effects of the app, there is still quite a bit of functionality with some charts, indicators and pair choice. It would indeed be easy to manage a number of different trades simultaneously on the device.
The only issues that we encountered were that trades were placed with a slight delay from the app. This could probably have been down to the network connection in the area that we were testing. Hence, if you would like to avoid any delays in execution then you should make sure that you are connected to a Wi-Fi on your phone.
IQ Option Trading Competitions
IQ Option Trading Competitions
Something else that we came across that really intrigued us was the IQ Option trading competitions. These are essentially head to head trading competitions between a number of the users on the platform with prizes on offer.
As traders are naturally competitive to their core, this is a great opportunity for them to test their skills with their fellow traders. These competitions require a small fee to join and usually last for about 30 minutes. Hence, these are more for day crypto traders than those who trade using fundamental analysis.
Prizes are often cash prizes that can be multiples of your initial buy in amount. When you enter the competition you will be given the demo funds to trade with and the trader who was able to make the most returns in the period will win the loot.
It is important to note, however, that these competitions will require a certain minimum of traders to enter before the competition gets underway. If they are not able to garner the right amount of traders then the daily competition will be called off.
While this will no doubt bring an angle of fun to the trading, we found it slightly gimmicky. However, for those who want have a shot of making 100x their buy in amount while testing their skills, it could be a great option.
Earning OTN Tokens
Specifically for the cryptocurrency traders on IQ option is the option to earn OTN tokens when you are trading. These are essentially tokens of the Open Trading Network that are being given to traders through their weekly “emissions”.
The Open Trading Network aims to be the first platform that will offer cross-chain technology that will unite all of the blockchains and allow for a large decentralised crypto exchange. They are making it easier for people to exchange their various tokens. You can read more about it in the OTN whitepaper.
We are currently in the distribution phase of the OTN tokens. This is where the Open Trading Network will partner with a number of brokers such as IQ option to distribute OTN among the community. The expected launch of the OTN wallet will be in March 2018 with support for 7 tokens in total.
They are given to traders based on how often they trade so those traders who have traded more in the week are entitle to more OTN tokens. Hence, not only could you get the benefit of trading cryptocurrency and making returns from that but you could get additional tokens.
IQ Option Affiliate Program
If you are one of those traders that has many people that you would like to recommend to IQ option then you can make use of the IQ Option Affiliate program. This is essentially a commission based structure that will pay you based on the trading fees that your referral will generate.
They also operate with a certain tiered structure where more signups brings you more rewards. This means that if you are able to bring in a certain amount of business, your benefits as an affiliate on the IQ option platform will increase.
When you start out promoting CFDs at IQ option as an affiliate, you will get a 50% “revenue share” deal with the broker. What this means is that for the lifetime of the client, IQ Option will pay you 50% of what they earn.
This makes it look much better than many of the other alternatives that still have relatively low partnership agreements with their affiliates (10-20%). Moreover, given that these are lifetime agreements, you will receive it as long as your referral is trading at IQ Option.
How Does it Work?
You will have to sign up for an affiliate account at IQ option. Once this has been done you will be assigned an affiliate manager. They will then give you everything that you need to know about the platform as well as ask you to complete affiliate KYC and compliance.
Once you have been approved, you can start promoting IQ Option with the affiliate link that they provide. You will start off on the first level of affiliate which will give you the 50% revenue share of the broker’s profits.
How to become an affiliate at IQ Option
You will then accrue earnings from IQ option and based on the performance and the returns of your promotions you could advance to the next level which has other benefits such as instant withdrawals as well as slightly higher commissions.
The IQ option affiliate dashboard is really advanced and allows you to track the traffic from your referrals as well as who has signed up and the amount that your affiliates are trading. This will give you a nice picture of how your affiliate performance is going.
One thing that we have noticed among cryptocurrency exchanges and brokers that offer affiliate programs is the lack of accompanying promotional material. They often expect the person to create their own banners and videos to promote their brand.
The affiliate program at IQ Option provides a range of banners, videos, scripts and iframes that allow you to most effectively market the product. They can all be accessed in the IQ Option affiliate dashboard and you can search for them based on instrument, asset or language.
Affiliate Program Reputation
There are many brokers and exchanges that will happily take your referrals and then keep your fees when it comes to time to pay you your funds. Given the reputation of IQ Option and their regulated status, they have to make sure that everything is completely 100% above board.
You are only allowed to promote their product in the most ethical way and they regularly monitor your marketing materials and traffic to make sure that you are abiding by their terms and conditions.
IQ Option Affiliate Program Benefits
Given their reputation, IQ option is probably one of your best bets when it comes to receiving your commissions. They will pay out twice monthly and if you are on a level that allows you to withdraw instantly, they will honour that too.
In terms of payment options, they are able to pay you in much the same way as the traders in that you can either use wires, Neteller, Skrill or the like.
Customer Complaints of IQ Option
We would not be able to complete a full review of the IQ Option if we did not take a look at the reputation that the company has online. There are a number of people in forums who have made claims about IQ Option and their customer service.
Most appear to be clients who did not want to comply with the KYC procedures when they wanted to withdraw. IQ option allows clients to fund their accounts before they have requested all of the documents for the client. This means that there could indeed be some frustration on the part of the clients.
However, these are similar procedures at a number of the largest Bitcoin exchanges where funds cannot be withdrawn until you have sent them the correct KYC docs. These are even for a number of the exchanges that even do not have Fiat withdrawal functionality.
We also found a number of positive IQ option reviews so it seems as though there was not really an established trend when it comes to the reputation of IQ option.
Is IQ Option the Broker for Me?
Our comprehensive review has found that IQ Option is no doubt a great option for those traders who want to trade derivative instruments on a range of different cryptocurrency pairs, Forex assets, stocks and ETFs. We were really impressed with the trading platform as well as the extension of device applications.
The customer support was also above par and our queries were settled in a reasonable amount of time. The only time that we really needed them was on verification which is exactly when most traders will need them. Having the telephone number there also adds some confidence for the trader. We must not forget that IQ Option has been adding millions of accounts while other exchanges have been turning them away.
Accounts Created at IQ option over the years
Apart from the general trading experience, we found the option to earn OTN tokens a great benefit for those day traders who did volume. These can essentially be considered as free “Air-drops” where you are rewarded for trading.
One of the most important factors for us, and no doubt many other traders, is the fact that they are fully regulated and client deposits are safe. If there are any liquidity issues at IQ option then European regulators will back the client up with the guaranteed deposit policies.
Of course, there are some things that IQ option can do to improve their service. For example, they can include a number of other cryptocurrency Altcoins that are currently in the top 100. They could also consider adding other Fiat / Crypto crosses such as the GBP or EUR for example.
It would also be great to see if IQ Option will eventually allow API access to the platform so that those traders who like to code trading algorithms can link up to it. We hope to see developments on this sometime soon.
Yet, for those traders that are in a jurisdiction that they cover, we can definitely recommend IQ Option as a reputable CFD broker.
Risk Warning: Trading CFDs and Options could put your capital at risk. Always manage your risk appropriately
All Images Via iqoption.com
IQ Option Ratings
- State of the art platform
- Extensive asset coverage
- Credit card purchases
- European regulation
- Margin Trading
- Users don't own cryptocurrency
- Limited to certain jurisdictions
- Limited support