OptionStars is owned by Novox Capital Ltd., a company regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), under licence number 224/14, registration number 292182 and address 4 Michael Georgalla Street, 2409 Engomi, Cyprus.
However, on the bottom of OptionStars.com (and on their Terms and Conditions document), another company is listed: Markets Development Ltd, incorporated in Sofia, Bulgaria, Vitosha Blvd. 66. I can only assume that different versions of the website are displayed, according to the visitor’s location but I am not 100% sure.
Update April 2017: At the bottom of the page, a new name now appears: New Markets S.A. This replaces Markets Development Ltd in their Terms and Conditions as well. This new company is called a subsidiary and it processes credit card payments and billing services. The listed address is Novasage Chambers, Level 2, CCCS Building, Beach Road, Apia, Samoa.
Is OptionStars A Scam?
This brokerage is pretty new on the scene but they already have a “Guilty” verdict and are under “Scam” suspicion on ForexPeaceArmy.com (FPA). The FPA is a well known and respected forum that helps fight scam in Forex and more recently Binary Options industry (given the increasing popularity of the latter). Users there call Option Stars a scam and say they should be avoided “as plague” and on top of that, a “guilty” verdict given by the FPA Traders’ Court is a big deal.
We did not analyse in detail all the documents submitted by the allegedly scammed client of Option Stars but we definitely recommend caution when dealing with this brokerage.
Update April 2017: The name Novox Capital Ltd doesn’t appear anywhere on the website and even in their Terms and Conditions, they talk about New Markets S.A., so apparently you will enter into an agreement with the latter, not with the CySEC regulated Novox Capital. However, on CySEC’s official page, optionstars.com appears as an approved domain of Novox Capital Ltd.
Why Option Stars Sucks In 50 Words
I am going to keep this simple: they suck because they have a “Guilty” verdict on FPA. Important to note is that 100% of participants voted Guilty, so there’s not much doubt. Also, I don’t really understand who owns Option Stars; is it Novox Capital or Markets Development? The first company is regulated so traders could benefit from CySEC’s help in case anything goes wrong, but the second isn’t. And now, on our most recent visit we see that we have a new “player”, or subsidiary as they call it: New Markets S.A. from Samoa, so please, someone clear up the cobwebs and tell me who am I dealing with.
Why Option Stars Doesn’t Suck In 50 Words
They offer the possibility to trade 5 ticks expiry. This is one of the fastest expiries available (in fact I didn’t even know such a fast one existed) and I am sure that thrill seekers will be happy to use it. However, I don’t know if such a fast expiry can be considered trading.
Should I Open An Account With Option Stars?
The platform used by Option Stars is Tradologic, which has a very simplistic interface and limited features. This is not entirely bad because new users won’t have any difficulties getting accommodated but I am sure that advanced traders will find it too lacking in certain areas.
The website is pretty clean and well organized but it has a style that doesn’t appeal to me: male model in a tuxedo, sitting in front of a limousine (it looks to be just a drawing, not even a real picture of a limousine) and pictures of something that looks like Awards: The Perfect Choice and The Limited Edition. Of course, we don’t know who awarded these because there’s no information about that (I guess it doesn’t matter that much!?). Update April 2017: The website is a mess! It has objects overlapping on the homepage, broken/missing links and I cannot read the Risk Disclosure at the bottom of the page because the Live Chat button, which is HUGE, covers the text. Really, how can they not see this? Are they even visiting their own website?
Education material is also very limited. Their Market Summary shows just a list of assets and an arrow that points to the potential direction of the asset. They also have a video chart, with commentary but most of the videos are locked until you fund your account. Speaking of accounts, the lowest starts at $1,000 (Bronze), the next requires $5,000 (Silver) and for the Gold account you will need to deposit between $10,000 and $50,000. These are huge amounts (especially for the lowest account), considering that most binary options brokers allow you to start with 250 bucks. In a different part of their website, they say that the minimum deposit amount is indeed $250 but why is the lowest account 1,000? Maybe if I deposit 250 I won’t have an account?!? Maybe the initial deposit must be 1,000 and then I can top up my account with any sum above 250? I don’t understand, just how I don’t understand what company owns the website.
Overall, Option Stars is a brokerage that doesn’t offer enough reasons to open an account and trade with them. I don’t see the point, given that many other brokerages have far better trading conditions and are not under Scam suspicions.
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They have quite a handful of complaints and many people online consider them scam. Some recommend you avoid this brokerage like “plague” because you won’t be able to get your money back. I say: take everything you read online with a pinch of salt. The best way to decide is to take a close look before depositing any money.
OptionStars Regulatory Warnings and Announcements
10.03.2017: The Cyprus Securities And Exchange Commission (CySEC) announced that on 30/01/2017 it imposed an administrative fine of 5,000 EUR on Novox Capital Ltd because the company did not notify CySEC about the change regarding its trading name “ZoomtraderGlobal”. This doesn’t involve OptionStars directly but it’s worth mentioning since it’s a fine applied to the owning company. Source: CySEC Board Decision
15.02.2017: The CySEC announced that on 05/12/2016 it imposed an administrative fine of 175,000 EUR on Novox Capital Ltd for non compliance with several sections of the Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Law of 2007 (the “Law”). The biggest portion of the fine (70,000 EUR) was imposed for providing investment advice and portfolio management. Source: CySEC Board Decision
06.12.2016: The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) warned investors that OptionStars and OptionStarsGlobal (together OptionStars) claim to be based in Bulgaria and Samoa and that the parties are not registered to trade in, or advise on securities or exchange contracts in British Columbia. Source: BCSC Investment Caution List.
The structure of the bonus will be discussed with their representatives when you open an account and deposit. Their Bonus Policy states that you will have to execute a minimum trading volume of 40 times for every $1 bonus before you can withdraw any funds. Keep in mind that this includes your initial deposit so you won’t be able to get your money until you reach a 40 times bonus turnover.
Update April 2017: Despite CySEC’s circular C168, which imposes a ban on trading bonuses, OptionStars continues to offer a bonus, under the same conditions as before.
On their website they offer information about how to deposit, but nothing about how to withdraw. For that, I headed to their Terms and Conditions document, which states that completion may take up to 14 business days or longer. The available methods are credit/debit cards and wire transfers.
Update April 2017: It looks like they’ve decided to give traders some info about withdrawals on their FAQ section: the processing time is generally 2 to 5 business days and the minimum amount for credit cards is 30 account units, while for wire transfers is 100 account units. However, their Terms and Conditions document still states that withdrawals will be completed in 14 days or longer and that minimum amount for wire transfers is 300 EUR… choose what info you like best! I know I would choose the T&Cs!
The super-fast 5 ticks expiry can be considered and extra but I am sure a lot of traders will stay away from such expiries.
User Friendly 15/20
The website is available in 8 languages and it’s pretty easy to navigate. The Tradologic trading platform is simplistic and this makes it user friendly but I am sure that soon traders will feel the need for more advanced tools.
Number of assets and expiry times 14/20
The asset index contains 41 currency pairs (however, I could only find 24 on the trading platform), 14 commodities (only 7 on platform), 22 indices and more than 100 stocks. The expiry times are versatile, ranging from extremely fast (5 ticks) to a few hours. Long term expiries were not available at the time of reviewing.
Update April 2017: Changes were made to their Asset Index: it now contains 30 currency pairs, 88 stocks, ONE index (why only one, I don’t know) and 8 commodities. For you guys out there who like trading Indices, guess it’s time to look for another broker.
Commissions, Support and Effective return 16/20
As usual, there are no commissions for opening an account but credit/debit card withdrawals will incur a 30 units fee and bank withdrawals will incur 30 units + 1% of the sum requested. There is an inactivity fee that will be charged if you haven’t logged into tour account for 3 months. This fee is 50 account units per month.
Support was reasonably fast to answer and after just a little back and forth, I managed to get the information I needed.
The effective return can be adjusted to get a refund. For example, you can choose to get 76% return and no refund in case of an Out Of The Money trade or you can get just 56% return but a 20% refund. These percentages vary and can be chosen right on the platform, before every trade.
Deposit, Payment and Bonus 15/20
Deposits can be made via credit/debit cards, bank transfers and e-wallets (Neteller, Skrill, Paysafe Card. Withdrawals can be made via credit/debit cards and bank transfers, after sending the required identification documents. The bonus turnover is 40 times for each $1 received and this volume must be reached before making a withdrawal.
Website Extras 10/20
The super-fast 5 tick expiry can be considered an extra and also their risk management too which allows you to pick your return – refund percentages.
OptionStars Overall Rating (70) + Regulated (+3) = 73/100