How To Trade Synthetic Indices: A Comprehensive Guide For 2020

How To Trade Volatility Indices

Synthetic Indices are rising in popularity amongst traders the world over. However, there are still some misconceptions around them and in this post, we will explain what these synthetic indices are and why you may be interested in trading them.

This a comprehensive guide. You can use the links below to jump to your preferred section

What are Synthetic Indices?

Synthetic indices are simulated trading instruments that mimic or reflect the behaviour of real financial markets.

Since they are simulated markets, you may be wondering:

What moves synthetic indices? 

Synthetic indices move through the use of randomly generated numbers.

The random numbers are generated by a cryptographically secure computer programme & for transparency issues, the broker is unable to influence or predict which numbers will be generated. To ensure this, the random number generator is audited for fairness by an independent third party. 

This is just like in the real-world markets where the broker has no influence on the price movements. 


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Which Broker Offers Synthetic/ Volatility Indices?

At the moment, there is only one synthetic indices broker that provides these trading instruments on different trading platforms.

That broker is (formerly known as Deriv is a pioneer and market leader in trading with over 20 years of experience and multiple awards. The broker also has more than one million satisfied customers.

You can open your account on Deriv by clicking the button below.

Open A Free Account Here

You can trade these synthetic indices on various platforms on These platforms include DMT5 (Deriv MT5 platform), binary options, Smart Trader, DTrader and the D-bot (which is the Deriv bot that you can tweak according to your trading strategy).

What Are The Different Types of Synthetic Indices offered by

There are four types of Synthetic Indices available on Metatrader 5 (MT5) trading platform.

These are:

  • Volatility Indices
  • Crash & Boom Indices
  • The Step Index and
  • Range Break Indices. 

 Synthetic indices can also be further divided into two broad types i.e, daily reset indices and continuous indices.

Continuous Indicies on

Continuous Indices on move non-stop. They are ongoing 24/7/365. 

Daily Reset Indices on

Daily Reset Indices are slightly different, they replicate markets with a bullish and bearish trend respectively with constant volatility. There are only two daily reset indices; The Bull Market and Bear Market indices which reset (or restart) at 0:00 GMT daily.

What Are Volatility Indices On

Volatility Indices on are a type of synthetic indices which are simulated markets that mimic the real world market volatility. offers various volatility indices namely;

  • Volatility 10 Index (V10 Index) 
  • Volatility 25 Index (V25 Index)
  • Volatility 50 Index (V50 Index)
  • Volatility 75 Index (V75 Index) This is the most popular volatility index
  • Volatility 100 Index (V100 Index)
Continuos Indices on
Volatility Indices on the DTrader on

What do the numbers on Deriv’s Volatility Indices mean? 

These numbers indicate volatility of the index relative to the real-world market volatility. Market volatility is measured on a scale from 1 to 100 with 100 being maximum volatility. 

Thus, the Volatility 100 Index represents 100% market volatility and the Volatility 10 Index has only 10% of the real-world market volatility. In other words, the Volatility 10 Index has just 10% of the volatility of the V100 Index.

Volatility 50 has 50% of the volatility of the V100 Index and so on.

These indices update at the rate of one tick every two seconds. A tick is the minimum price movement of an index.

1 Second Volatility Indices (1s)

There is another group of indices that update faster with a tick every second and they are called the 1(s) indices. These indices are just like the above-mentioned indices and you can see them listed below;

  • Volatility 10 Index (1s)  
  • Volatility 25 Index (1s)
  • Volatility 50 Index (1s)
  • Volatility 75 Index (1s) 
  • Volatility 100 Index (1s)

In addition, there are High Frequency (HF) Volatility Indices namely;

  • (HF) Volatility Index 10
  • (HF) Volatility Index 50
  • (HF) Volatility Index 100. from

These indices are only available on the DMT5 platform and they move four times faster than the corresponding normal volatility index. 

For example, HF 10 moves 4 ticks faster than Volatility 10 index and the hf volatility 100 index moves 4 ticks faster than Volatility 100 Index.

They update at the rate of two ticks every second and are thus 2 times faster than the (1s) indices.

(Update: Deriv has retired these HF Volatility  (including hf volatility 100 index) indices from July 2020 and they can no longer be traded)

These volatility indices can be used in binary options trading as well but we will focus on how to trade them in the same manner we trade forex.

How To Open a Synthetic Indices Trading Account On Step By Step

  1. Open A Account

First, you need to open an account by clicking the button below.

Open A Free Account Here


This is the same account used for trading binaries so do not worry if you see written material on binary trading. You will see a box like this:

Enter your email and click where it says  ‘Create Demo Account’

Confirm your email by opening it and clicking the link sent by Deriv. If you don’t find the email check your Junk/Spam folder. The email looks like the one below.

Confirmation email from when opening a trading account

Complete the signing up by entering your preferred password and country of residence. 

 READ: See This 2R Trade That Hit Take Profit

2. Open A Real Trading Account On

By default, you will first create a demo account with virtual funds of $10 000 when you sign up. This demo account is meant to help you get used to the platform and try out strategies etc.

To trade real money you will need to open a ‘real’ account.

To open the real account you will need to login to the demo account you created in the step above. After logging in you will see the screen below:

Begin by clicking on the dropdown menu beside the $10 000 virtual money balance.

Opening a real account on

The first option under the Real tab will be the option to add a real Deriv account. Click on the add button. The following screen will appear:

Select Currency when opening a real account on

You will need to choose your preferred account currency. This is the currency that you will use to trade, deposit and withdraw. Make sure you choose the best currency as you will not be able to change this after you have made a deposit.

You can also create another account with another currency by clicking on the button that says ‘Add or manage account’.

On the next few pages add your correct details including name, address and phone number. You will need to use details that you can later verify. This is because as part of its Know Your Customer (KYC) policy, Deriv will ask you to upload your proof of residence and ID or passport.

These documents ought to have the same details you will supply during the registration. 

3. Open A DMT5 Synthetic Indices Trading Account 

The real account you have just created can be used to trade binary options on but it cannot be used to trade on DMT5. To trade synthetic indices on MT5 you will need to open a dedicated mt5 synthetic indices account.

Now when you click on the Real account tab you be able to create up to three DMT5 accounts. These are different accounts which give you the ability to trade different instruments.

For now, we are interested in the mt5 synthetic indices account so click the ‘Add’ button next to that account type.

Opening A DMT5 account on Deriv


The first step will ask you to choose a password for the DMT5 synthetic indices account. This is the password that you will use to login to your Metatrader 5 account.


After creating the account you will now see the account listed with your login ID. You will also get an email with your login ID that you will use to login to the mt5 synthetic indices account. 

Login id for DMT5 Synthetic accounts
See the DMT5 account listed with the account ID 1249232

After creating your account you will be prompted to transfer funds from your main account to your DMT5.



4. Download the MT 5 platform

You will then need to download the MT 5 platform. To do this you must click on the synthetic account as shown in the pic below.

Link to download DMT5 platform

You will then be taken to a page with links to Metatrader 5 application for various systems like Android, Windows, iOS etc at the bottom of the page. Download the one you want to use.

 5. Login to your MT 5 account

After downloading and installing your DMT5 you will then need to login to your trading account. Click on Settings> Log in to new account.

You will need to enter the following:

Broker: Deriv Limited

Server: Deriv-Server

Make sure you type these correctly because if you make mistakes you will not be able to connect to your trading account.

After you login, you will notice many similarities with MT 4. MT5 volatility indices’s MT 5 platform showing the volatility indices offered.

What Are The Advantages Of Trading Synthetic Indices On

You may be wondering why you need to bother yourself by trading these synthetic indices like Forex when you can simply trade the real thing i.e currency pairs. The following reasons, in our view, make trading synthetics attractive.

  1. Synthetic Indices are not affected by fundamentals.

Volatility indices mimic (or copy) the behaviour of the financial markets but since they are not like currencies, they are not affected by fundamentals like interest rate hike announcements.

If you have been trading forex long enough you will know that fundamentals can drive the market crazy.

As we write this, there was an interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada (BOC) Just yesterday and the CAD pairs had some crazy volatility. 

USDCAD Interest rate hike 

Such movements are quite rare when trading synthetic indices (except when trading Boom and Crash & Range break indices) & this is a major advantage.

2. Synthetic Indices have uniform volatility

This is partly linked to the point above. Synthetic Indices are different from forex pairs which tend to have varying levels of volatility depending on factors such as time of day, time of the week, impactful news (like the NFP announcement), natural disasters etc.

To illustrate, during the initial days of the Coronavirus induced worldwide lockdown the forex market was quite sluggish with minimal volatility.

This made it difficult to find good trading opportunities. On the other hand, synthetic indices were not affected in any way.

3. You can Trade Synthetic Indices 24/7/365

Synthetic Indices are not only open during working hours like Forex. They available all year round including weekends and holidays. This makes them very convenient.


3. Synthetic Indices have very low spreads

Spreads are a major cost in forex trading. It gets even trickier when you consider the fact that different brokers have different spreads.

This means that if you choose a broker with high spreads then your trading costs will shoot up.

Synthetic indices have very low spreads getting as low as 1 pip in some instances. 

4. Volatility Indices can be traded with Price action 

This is the best of all these advantages for us. We believe price action simplifies the trading process. Let us show you examples of price action at play in volatility indices markets.

Volatility 50 index respecting a trendline
Volatility 50 index respecting a trendline
Volatility 10 respecting support and resistance
Volatility 10 respecting support and resistance
Price action signals on Volatility indices
Price action signals on Volatility indices

These few examples show that you can successfully trade volatility indices using price action.

 5. You can trade Cryptocurrencies on’s MT5

This is a bit unrelated to synthetic indices. However, cryptocurrency trading is fast gaining popularity and its something that we are interested in. In fact, we will be sharing crypto signals in the very near future. 

So one MT 5 account will allow you to trade synthetics, forex and cryptocurrencies. This makes it very convenient.

The table below shows the cryptos you can trade.

Cryptocurrency trading on
Cryptocurrency trading on


6. There is no Minimum Deposit Needed To Trade Synthetic Indices On MT5

To deposit to you DMT5 you need to first make a deposit to your main account using the various deposit methods. You will then need to move your funds from your main account to your DMT5 account via the cashier option.

The good thing is that you can transfer as much or as little as you want to your MT5 account.

This makes it convenient for you as a trader as you can decide to trade with as much or as little as you want.

7. You can Demo Trade Synthetic Indices

This is an advantage because you can get to know about the volatility indices and how to trade them without risking your money. You can test out various strategies risk-free.

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Disadvantages of Trading Synthetic Indices

There are a few disadvantages of trading synthetic indices from that you must be aware of before trading.

1. Not all volatility Indices can be traded using 0.01 lot size

In forex, all pairs can be traded using the lowest lot size of 0.01. This helps in risk management and stop-loss placement.

That is not the case with volatilities. The table below shows the various indices and their smallest lot sizes.

Volatility Index

Smallest lot size

Volatility 10 Index 0.10
Volatility 25 Index 0.50
Volatility 50 Index 0.50
Volatility 75 Index 0.001
Volatility 100 Index 0.01
High-Frequency Volatility 10 Index 0.10
 High-Frequency Volatility 50 Index  0.50
High-Frequency Volatility 100 Index 0.50

You have to be extra cautious when you trade to ensure that you use the correct lot sizes. For example, if you use 0.50 on Volatility 75 then you will open a very big position. If you use that lot size for, say HF 50, the position will not be so big. 

Be very wary of this, you can easily get into trouble and wipe out your account before you know it.

2. There are very few Volatility Indices to choose from

Having fewer volatility indices to look at as compared to forex pairs can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. 

It can be an advantage in that it makes it easy to track them. On the other hand, it may mean that at times there will be no tradeable setups on any of the indices. 

3. Volatility Indices are very Volatile

This may seem obvious but it needs to be stressed. What this means is that the market moves very fast in a short period of time.

Your account can easily be wiped out if you use the wrong lot size and you don’t notice it.

4. Sometimes’ the past market data of Volatility Indices disappears after Server Maintenance

The MT 5 servers that run these volatility indices are regularly maintained. At times when they get back up the historical data may not be available. This makes it hard to identify useful information like areas of support and resistance. 

However, this can be combated by looking at tradingview which has all the historical data. You can see the charts at tradingview 

Xm up to $5000 Bonus

5. There is a Risk of Overtrading

There is a strong risk of overtrading since synthetic indices are available 24/7. Without proper discipline, you may be tempted to trade every time you open your DMT5

What is the Difference Synthetic Indices & Forex?

A popular question that many ask is the difference between these two; forex and synthetic/volatility indices.

As explained earlier, synthetic indices are simulated markets that move through numbers generated by a computer program. On the other hand, forex pairs are real markets that reflect the relative value of various currencies of the world.

The forex currencies fluctuate in value fundamental factors like geopolitical issues, international trade, natural disasters etc.

Conclusive Remarks on Trading Synthetic Indices

Synthetic indices offer a different trading experience that can be profitable. Their increasing popularity the world over is a testament of this.

We would suggest you take your time and practice these markets on a demo account before risking your money.

Volatility Indices from have a maximum leverage of 1:1000 and this can be a double-edged sword. It can prop up and amplify your profits as well as your losses.

Click the button below to get started.

Open Account Here

So give us your feedback.

Are you interested in trading synthetic indices from Do you need further help? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below and we will definitely get back to you.

If you found this post helpful you can share it with your friends so that they can benefit too.


The products offered on the website include binary options, contracts for difference (“CFDs”) and other complex derivatives. Trading binary options may not be suitable for everyone. Trading CFDs carries a high level of risk since leverage can work both to your advantage and disadvantage. As a result, the products offered on the website may not be suitable for all investors because of the risk of losing all of your invested capital. You should never invest money that you cannot afford to lose and never trade with borrowed money. Before trading in the complex products offered, please be sure to understand the risks involved.

10 thoughts on “How To Trade Synthetic Indices: A Comprehensive Guide For 2020

  1. Rodney says:

    Thanks Craig, looking forward to trading these volatilities. I like the way you explain things, very simple and straightforward. I am happy to say your site has improved my trading a lot!

  2. Walter says:

    Hola yo me cree una cuenta en binary. Con un link de afiliado y tengo la pagina en portugués. Y no tengo la opción de poner en español. Puedo Borrar mi cuenta y crearme otra nueva ??

    • Craig says:

      Hello there, there is an option to choose your preferred language. Try support. I will be happy to assist you further.

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