Volatility Analysis

Volatility Analysis: Definition, How It Works, Indication, Types & Factors

Volatility analysis, which is undoubtedly one of the most important tools used to understand the general mood in the market, to predict the extent of price movements, and to identify the risks to be faced, takes many factors into account. Three different types of volatility, namely historical volatility, implied volatility, and future-realized volatility, are calculated and processed using technical indicators such as moving averages, which are widely known by traders. While there are many ways to measure volatility in the markets the easiest and most efficient way to do so today is to use indicators such as VIX, ATR, and Bollinger Bands. Volatility is crucial for any investment decision, whether short-term or long-term.

What Is Volatility Analysis?

Volatility is the rate at which assets in financial markets fluctuate on upward and downward curves. Higher volatility in many scenarios implies higher risk exposure for investors and traders. On the other hand, low volatility corresponds to low risk implying a lower range of movement.

Understanding the volatility ratio is especially important for traders who make trading decisions in short time frames. Assets with high volatility can move up and down dramatically in very short periods reaching predetermined levels for traders. In addition, volatility measures the current pulse of the market, providing deep insight into the decision-making processes.

On the other hand, high volatility is not always bad. Investors with a lower tolerance for risk may choose to remain unaffected by a wide range of price movements over a very short period by adjusting their portfolio allocations. Apart from portfolio adjustments, volatility also offers traders and investors the opportunity to participate in trades within a trend. For example, in a bull market, no participant wants to buy at the peak and can take advantage of the increase in volatility and the temporary decline in prices that do not violate the trend direction and trade the relevant assets.

How Does Volatility Analysis Work?

Volatility, one of the most important risk measures of the market, is calculated by multiplying the standard deviation and variation of past price movements of assets. In this context:

1-Standard deviation

< expresses the dramatic upward or downward changes in prices compared to their ongoing averages and reveals a range of dispersion.


On the other hand, measures the spread between a set of prices and their average, indicating the degree of dispersion.

Volatility is briefly calculated in the following way:

  • The prices of the asset to be invested in during the specified period are collected.
  • All prices are averaged.
  • Deviations are calculated by determining the difference between each price and the average price in the specified date range.
  • The deviations are squared and summed.
  • The result is divided by the number of days in the specified date range to obtain the standard deviation of the data.

As a result of the calculations, insights into whether the current volatility is high or low are determined. As a result of the analysis, investors can be more confident about whether to make any investment decision.

What Is The Indication Of Volatility Analysis?

The indication of volatility analysis allows investors and day traders to understand the general market sentiment, to identify buying/selling opportunities through the correct use of volatility, especially in markets with stable trends, to manage the taken risk and adjust the portfolios accordingly, and to apply different trading strategies to their trades. An example of a trading strategy is the use of the so-called range, known as the range, which is a healthier way to use more volatile markets.

What Are The Key Indicators Used In Volatility Analysis?

Volatility analysis can be performed in several ways. Although measuring the standard deviation of all available data is one method, many indicators that can be directly integrated into charts, such as the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), Average True Range (ATR), and Bollinger Bands, perform similar functions.

Cboe Volatility Index:

VIX is an indicator first calculated in 1993 and based on S&P 500 stock prices traded on the Chicago Stock Exchange with 22 business days to maturity. The value of the VIX index increases when volatility is high and decreases when volatility is low.

Average True Range:

First introduced in 1978, ATR is the average of price movement ranges over a given period. In environments where volatility increases, the ATR value increases as price movements move within a wide range.

Bollinger Bands:

Bollinger Bands, first developed by John Bollinger in 1980, are placed above and below the moving averages, and price movements are predicted to move in the direction of the trend without encountering any MA values within the band ranges. To make a definitive judgment on volatility using Bollinger bands, it is sufficient to look only at the bandwidths. When the range between the Bollinger bands is wide, the price is expected to move in a wider range and therefore volatility is high. When the bands are narrower, price movements are expected to be more stable.

What Are The Types Of Volatility In Stock Market Analysis?

The volatility used in stock market analysis includes historical, implied, and future-realized volatility.

1- Historical Volatility (HV):

Historical Volatility is calculated by analyzing the volatility of a particular asset based on its performance metrics in previous periods. Since its calculations include the standard deviation of daily price changes and the time interval in question, a purely historical inference can be made. Users interested in financial markets assume that the results of the calculations obtained when using past volatility continue to be valid. However, it would not be a correct approach to consider only the results of past volatility in cases where the market trend changes direction as a result of sudden market movements due to any breaking news, etc.

2- Implied Volatility (IV):

Implied volatility is a type of volatility that attempts to measure future changes in the general market based on the price of a financial asset. Supply/demand and time values are particularly important in the calculation of IV. Although volatility is known to increase due to various factors such as news, price movements rather than such fundamental values come to the fore in the measurement of IV. In particular, implied volatility tends to increase in bear markets and decrease in bull markets.

3- Future-Realized Volatility (FRV):

Future-Realized Volatility is created by subtracting current and historical volatility values and represents future volatility. Thanks to FRV, all investors seeking to manage the associated risks can project into the future. The FRV is referenced by historical volatility, current market conditions, and several quantitative values based on machine learning. Since investments are forward-looking in nature and the desire to assess whether the trades made in this context make sense, FRV is very popular among investors interested in volatility, offering certain insights into the future, albeit not definitive.

What Are The Major Factors That Influence Stock Market Volatility?

Major events with the potential to affect daily life can also affect volatility in stock markets and can include economic events, geopolitical events, and corporate events.

Economic Factors:

Factors such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), inflation rate, and unemployment rate, which reflect the economic movements of countries, can directly affect the volatility in stock markets. A high GDP indicates a healthy functioning economy and reinforces investor confidence. Volatility is expected to remain relatively low due to the generally positive effects of a higher level of investment in trusted markets compared to others. On the other hand, changes in monetary tightening policies, such as interest rates, or speeches by the authorities, can increase market volatility considerably, as they reflect the future behavior of national economies.

Geopolitical Factors:

Events such as conflicts, economic crises, wars, or trade tensions can create uncertainty in financial markets. Users with lower risk thresholds and who want to make certain judgments about their investment decisions may change their portfolio allocations in times of uncertainty, causing volatility in financial markets.

Corporate Actions:

Since the performance of the invested stocks may change based on the positive/negative aspects of the current operation of the relevant company, it is essential to follow the functioning of the invested companies. Company earnings reports, usually published every quarter of the year, cause high volatility as they shed light on the current outlook in this context. While high earnings can reassure investors that a healthy business is fulfilling its functions as well as or better than expected, low earnings indicate that the relevant functioning is not as projected.

What Does High Volatility Mean For Stock Market Investors?

It is a well-known fact that assets with high volatility are fundamentally characterized as riskier than others. High volatility can lead to significant losses when the price movements of the relevant financial asset are realized in a wide range and when the price movements are opposite to the preferred investment direction (long/short). On the other hand, while volatility is an inevitable element in financial markets, it should not be considered all bad. Investors who are particularly interested in high volatility in the stock markets also exist because high volatility can lead to high gains as well as risks.

On the other hand, to get a clearer picture of the future direction of a financial asset when volatility suddenly spikes, investors should pay attention to geopolitical, economic, or corporate-related news releases that may affect volatility momentarily. If earnings reports from a company that is doing very poorly suggest that the trend is likely to continue in the long term, investors may gain insight into the possibility that price movements may be more bearish within the volatility created by this situation.

What Does Low Volatility Mean For Stock Market Investors?

Low volatility in stock markets indicates stability. In low-volatility environments, which are particularly suitable for risk-averse investors, the range of asset price movements is quite limited. However, the lower risk compared to high volatility leads to a lower reward in the short term. Especially for long-term investors, low volatility can bring promising results in the long run for participants who seek to diversify their investments through various methods such as dollar cost averaging.



How should I incorporate Volatility Analysis into my trading?

To start it’s essential to grasp the indicators of volatility and observe how they align with market trends. By integrating these insights into your trading approach you can make decisions.

Is Volatility Analysis suitable for everyone?

Yes, whether you are day trading or making long-term investment decisions, understanding volatility will play a crucial role in making informed decisions.

How can investors protect themselves from volatility?

Investors can safeguard against volatility by utilizing tools, like options and futures to secure their investments. For example, purchasing put options acts as a safety net against a stock price drop. Additionally diversifying across asset classes is another strategy to reduce the impact of volatility.

What role does sentiment analysis play in understanding volatility?

Sentiment analysis involves assessing the feelings or viewpoints of market participants through news and social media channels. It plays a part in comprehending and forecasting volatility since shifts in sentiment can trigger market movements. Through sentiment analysis, traders can anticipate changes in volatility before they manifest in price fluctuations.

Why is low volatility important, for long-term investors?

Low volatility is commonly linked with market conditions, which can be advantageous, for investors, with long-term goals since it suggests a reduced chance of unforeseen market shifts that could harm their investments. Yet it could also indicate a phase of complacency that might result in returns. For long-term investors finding the mix of embracing volatility to foster growth without taking on too much risk is crucial.

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