Its name a clear hint in this regard, HighLow.net is a fully regulated Australian binary option brokerage, which has in recent years emerged as one of the best trading destinations for Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan as well as China. US traders are not accepted.
The corporate entity behind the online brokerage is Highlow Markets Pty. Ltd. Incorporated in May, 2010, the company is registered under the ACH number 143 553 628, and its Business Number (ABN) is 85143553628. Located at Level 14, Macquarie House, 167 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia, Highlow Markets Pty Ltd is authorized to provide foreign exchange and derivatives brokerage services, including on the internet, as well as market news and data streaming services, by the Australian Financial Services Commission, under license number 364264. The body regulating the online activity of the brokerage is ASIC, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
ASIC’s requirements are some of the most difficult to comply with in the business, as they cover everything from staff education to accounting standards and company risk management. ASIC also requires the brokerage to keep clients’ monies in segregated accounts, and to observe strict insurance policies to protect its traders against a sudden collapse of the brokerage. Trader monies are kept in a Client Money Trust Account, with the National Australia Bank – a truly reputable AA- rated financial institution. While most binary option brokers are based in countries with vary lax financial regulation, that is obviously not the case with HighLow.
Over its relatively brief history, HighLow.net has accrued some 50,000 binary option trading accounts from all over the world.
HighLow Trading Platform
Powered by MarketsPulse, platform-wise, HighLow is quite obviously focused on simplicity and user-friendliness. There’s nothing intimidating about the way trading is conducted at the site. In fact, it might just be the most user-friendly operation we have thus far reviewed. From the perspective of graphics, the trading interface is sleek, stylish and very business-like. The beginner’s first interaction with it comes through an extremely well put-together Platform Walkthrough, which explains every feature of the platform and trading interface, as well as the actual mechanics of trading. Navigating the walkthrough is easy and traders always retain complete control over what they view, and for how long they read the displayed information.
Having learned the basics, one can then opt to give the platform an actual try, through the Quick Demo feature, which doesn’t require registration on the part of the trader. Indeed, all comers are free to just click on a button or two and start trading with virtual currency, in a simulation of how real money trading actually works at the site. Leverate is the company with whom HighLow have teamed up to give the trader access to a reliable stream of financial data, meant to make it easier for him/her to decide which side of a trade to enter. To this end, there’s a Traders’ Choice feature available as well, which is activated after 4 trades and which gives the trader an overview of the general market sentiment, regarding the concerned trade.
HighLow does not feature busybody account managers, whose top priority is to swindle the trader out of as much money as possible. The Australian regulatory agencies do not allow such practices. There are no auto-trading options available either – another major plus for the platform, given how technical analysis-based auto trading cannot ever deliver any kind of consistent results.
The minimum trade size is $/AUD/EUR/GBP 10, while the maximum in this regard is $/AUD 2,000, EUR 1,500 and GBP 1,000. The HighLow trading platform is available on Android-based mobile devices too, with all the perks and features offered by the “full” web-based platform.
HighLow Option Types
HighLow has four option types on offer right now, of which the simplest and most straightforward is the HighLow binary option. This conventional option type shows the at-the-money price, and it offers payouts of 80-90%. Given its nature, the HighLow is well-suited to fulfill the trading needs of those looking to cash in on small asset-price movements and on range-bound markets.
The HighLow Spread features a Bid/Ask spread, instead of the at-the-money price. This is in fact the traditional way of price-making in forex, and it offers the best payouts of the brokerage at 100%. By closing such an option in the money, the trader will essentially double up his/her initial investment. This option type is best suited for the trading of larger market movements.
Both the HighLow and the HighLow Spread options feature expiries of 15 minutes, 1 hour and 1 day.
The Turbo options are classic High/Low options as well, but they offer much shorter expiry times, which range from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. 1 minute and 3 minute expiries are also among the options.
Such options are obviously aimed at short-term price-action patterns, allowing traders to profitably trade them. They’re also a great fit for those looking for instant gratification.
The Turbo Spread options combine the above described flexibility expiry-wise, with the maximum payout of 100% offered by the brokerage. Using the bid/ask spread – like the HighLow Spread options – the Turbo Spread options are great for the trading of larger price-movements.
HighLow Asset Selection
HighLow features a wide range of tradable currency pairs, mostly focused on the AUD. There are 7 indices available as well. As far as commodities go, Gold is currently the only tradable asset. Not all assets from the above described selection can be traded with Turbo options.
HighLow Bonuses, Cashback and Loyalty Rewards
While some reviewers have pointed out that the bonus and loyalty reward offerings of HighLow aren’t particularly impressive, that does not seem to be the case at all. Indeed, unlike some crooked operators out there, HighLow do not charm their traders into picking up massive bonuses which then cannot possibly be redeemed, locking up the actual deposit of the trader too, through a set of abusive terms and conditions. No, HighLow doesn’t work that way. Upon registration, every new trader is handed a $50 cashback, which sits in a separate account, awaiting redemption on the part of the trader. Over the first few trades, traders will earn cashback regardless of whether they win or lose. If they make a $100 deposit for instance, and the first trade is a winner, traders will pocket the profits as well as a $10 cashback, to match their investment. The same thing happens if they lose their first trade, only in this case they will pocket the cashback alone, without the profits, obviously. All redeemed cashback can be cashed out immediately. Traders are not expected to fulfill some sort of ludicrous trading volume requirements to be able to get their hands on their own monies. As they trade, their cashback balances will be gradually earned out.
As said above, every new trader gets a $50 cashback upon registration. In addition to that, HighLow sometimes run various promotions which reward their winners with extra cashback. The brokerage also runs a points-based loyalty scheme, which rewards trading volume with additional cash back.
The HighLow Points loyalty scheme is a 4-tiered deal, which is designed to reward traders for their real-money trading volumes. Those who trade between $0 and $9,999 a month are in the first tier, and as such, they receive no HighLow Points. The loyalty scheme kicks in for those who trade from $10,000 to $19,999 a month. Such traders are rewarded with 3 HighLow Points, for every $10 they trade. This is the second loyalty tier.
The third tier encompasses those who trade between $20,000 and $49,999 a month. Such traders are considered “Pros” and they get 5 HighLow points for every $10 traded.
Those who trade more than $50,000 a month, make it to the 4th tier, called “Elite.” These traders are rewarded with 10 points for every $10 they traded, up to a maximum of 50,000 points.
Obviously, trading volumes are counted regardless of whether one wins or loses. Once the HighLow Points are earned, they have to be converted into cashbacks. The value of the cashbacks is determined by dividing the number of HighLow points by 100. This way, 4.2k HighLow Points are worth $42. The cashbacks can be picked up at the beginning of each month, on the first trading day.
Making a real money deposit with HighLow is simple and quick. The deposit section can be accessed by logging into the HighLow platform and clicking the “+” sign next to one’s balance. A wide range of deposit options are available, among which Credit Cards seem to be preferred, as this option is the one most prominently featured at the site. VISA and MasterCard are both supported. There are no fees associated with this deposit method and the minimum amount has been set to $50.
Neteller is another preferred deposit method and it can be used for withdrawals as well. Neteller deposits are free too and the minimum is $50 in this case too. The same goes for Neteller withdrawals. There is however a small processing fee charged on such withdrawals. The maximum Neteller withdrawal amount is $10,000.
Bank Transfers can also be used for deposits as well as withdrawals, and they too feature a minimum requirement of $50. Bank Wire deposits take a little longer to settle in trader accounts. In the case of withdrawals, there is no minimum or maximum limit on them when using Bank Wire. There’s a small processing fee charged on them though and they take between 1-3 business days to settle in the trader’s bank account.
Over 35 other deposit/withdrawal methods are supported by HighLow too, among them GiroPay, Sofort, Poli, PaySafeCard and Sporopay.
All trader monies are kept in segregated bank accounts at the National Australia Bank, and all financial activities at the site are protected by state-of-the-art encryption.
Although some reviewers have decried the lack of a proper education section at HighLow.net, the brokerage does feature a video training section, which is – granted – mostly focused on getting traders familiar with the ins and outs of the trading interface. The Current Activity Panel, the Trade Area, the Balance Bar, the Asset Carousel, the Transaction and the Chart panels are all covered. Every one of the option types is covered too, and the videos – like the demo account – are available to all comers. While currently there are only 9 videos included in this section, there’s no reason to believe that more won’t be added in the future, covering more point-specific trading advice and strategies.
The options glossary is also a useful tool, but the “In the Money” section is where there’s a budding collection of strategy and analysis articles hosted. While this selection currently only covers some market advice and education, it will likely be expanded in the future.
Traders seeking assistance are first directed to HighLow.net’s FAQ and Resources pages. Those who cannot solve their problems there, can then log a support ticket (which is essentially an email) or they can take advantage of the Australian phone support, which can be reached at 1300-870-442. It is important to note that phone support is only available on weekdays, from 09:00 to 04:00, AEDT/AEST.
The HighLow support staff is knowledgeable and their response times are great on emails. They won’t hesitate to go above and beyond the call of duty to help their traders.
HighLow.net is probably the best binary option trading destination for most people not residing in the US. This is especially true for Australia, New Zealand, Europe, China and Japan. The community feedback regarding the services offered by HighLow is rather stellar as well. People seem to appreciate the utter lack of sales calls, spam emails and shady account managers. Deposits and withdrawals work seamlessly as well and the Demo account is a superb added perk. The fact that the operation is fully licensed and regulated is obviously also a major mark in the “+” column.
Choosing this broker over others makes perfect sense in our book.