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Volatility Ratio

A technical measure of the changes in prices of a given security

What is Volatility Ratio?

Volatility ratio refers to a technical measure of the changes in the prices of a given security. It enables investors and traders to identify price patterns. It is used in technical analysis to understand the current direction of the price movement of a security relative to the previous day, or any other set period.

 

Volatility Ratio

 

Summary

  • Volatility ratio refers to a technical measure of the changes in the prices of a given security.
  • Volatility is a statistical tool that is used for measuring the dispersion of the returns realized by an investor for a particular security index.
  • The volatility ratio is usually plotted as a single line on a technical chart.

 

What is Volatility?

Volatility is a statistical tool that is used for measuring the dispersion of returns realized by an investor for a particular security index. Volatility is also a signal of risk. Usually, the higher the volatility of an asset, the higher the risk associated with that particular asset. The standard deviation or the variance between the returns of a security at different times gives the mathematical measure of volatility.

There are two types of volatility – realized and implied.

 

1. Realized Volatility

Realized volatility is the actual range of price changes for an asset. It signifies what the market expects prices to fluctuate to. Financial institutions, such as options brokerages, or financial news websites, such as Bloomberg, usually calculate and express implied volatility in percentages.

 

2. Implied Volatility

Implied volatility is based on investor confidence. It is calculated by dividing the implied volatility of an option by the historical volatility of that security.

A ratio of 1.0 means that the price is fair. A ratio of 1.3 implies that the option is most likely overpriced, and is selling at a price that is 30% higher than its real value. A ratio of 0.5 implies that the option is undervalued and is currently selling at 50% lesser than its real value. Thus, an option with a ratio that is less than 1 will be a bargain for a buyer.

 

What does Volatility Ratio Signify?

Volatility ratio is usually plotted as a single line on a technical chart. The line may either be in its own display window or appear as an overlay. Highly practiced investors and traders use their own methods for discerning patterns and signals from the technical chart. They follow several trading patterns in conjunction with the volatility ratio to facilitate investment-related decision-making.

A higher volatility ratio means that there will be a substantial level of price volatility on the trading day being considered.

Volatility implies potential developments or disturbances in the price patterns of a security. Higher volatility can also indicate a potential reversal in the trend of the price pattern of the security. The reversal can be both positive and negative.

 

How is Volatility Ratio Calculated?

One of the most commonly used methods for calculating volatility is the standard deviation. However, calculations of volatility and volatility ratiox may vary across the industry. In his book, “Technical Analysis,” Jack Schwager introduced the concept of volatility ratio. Another common method of identifying rice ranges and patterns that can lead to trading signals is plotting historical volatility.

1. The formula by Jack Schwager is as follows:

VR = TTR/ATR

Here, VR stands for Volatility Ratio.

TTR stands for Today’s True Range, which is calculated by subtracting the maximum price from the minimum price. The maximum price is the highest price of the current trading day minus the closing price of the previous trading day. The minimum price is the lowest price of the current trading day minus the closing price of the previous trading day.

 

2. Another common formula is:

VR = TTR/EMA

Here, VR stands for Volatility Ratio.

EMA stands for the exponential moving average price.

 

Additional Resources

CFI is the official provider of the global Certified Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional resources below will be useful:

  • Vertical Line Charting
  • The Winning Mindset of a Trader
  • Exponential Moving Average
  • Volatility Arbitrage

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