DEFINITION of 'Bell Curve'
The most common type of distribution for a variable. The term "bell curve" comes from the fact that the graph used to depict a normal distribution consists of a bellshaped line.
The bell curve is also known as a normal distribution. The bell curve is less commonly referred to as a Gaussian distribution, after German mathematician and physicist Karl Gauss, who popularized the model in the scientific community by using it to analyze astronomical data.
BREAKING DOWN 'Bell Curve'
The highest point in the curve, or the top of the bell, represents the most probable event. All possible occurrences are equally distributed around the most probable event, which creates a downwardsloping line on each side of the peak.

Venn Diagram
An illustration that uses overlapping or nonoverlapping circles ... 
Normal Distribution
A probability distribution that plots all of its values in a ... 
Statistics
A type of mathematical analysis involving the use of quantified ... 
Mean
The simple mathematical average of a set of two or more numbers. ... 
Variability
The extent to which data points in a statistical distribution ... 
Monte Carlo Simulation
A problem solving technique used to approximate the probability ...

Options & Futures
An Introduction To Value at Risk (VAR)
Volatility is not the only way to measure risk. Learn about the "new science of risk management". 
Markets
The Uses And Limits Of Volatility
Check out how the assumptions of theoretical risk models compare to actual market performance. 
Forex Education
Trading With Gaussian Models Of Statistics
The entire study of statistics originated from Gauss and allowed us to understand markets, prices and probabilities, among other applications. 
Mutual Funds & ETFs
Stock Market Risk: Wagging The Tails
The bell curve is an excellent way to evaluate stock market risk over the long term. 
Chart Advisor
These Oil & Gas Stocks Have Reversed
It's been a long downtrend for oil stock owners, but there's hope. These four oil and gas stocks have reversed and may keep trending to the upside. 
Mutual Funds & ETFs
Top 3 Muni California Mutual Funds
Discover analyses of the top three California municipal bond mutual funds, and learn about their characteristics, historical performance and suitability. 
Chart Advisor
4 European Stocks to Consider Buying
European companies, listed on US exchanges, that are providing buying opportunities right now. 
Chart Advisor
ChartAdvisor for October 2 2015
Weekly technical summary of the major U.S. indexes. 
Investing
How Diversifying Can Help You Manage Market Mayhem
The recent market volatility, while not unexpected, has certainly been hard for any investor to digest. 
Technical Indicators
Why MACD Divergence Is an Unreliable Signal
MACD divergence is a popular method for predicting reversals, but unfortunately it isn't very accurate. Learn the weaknesses of indicator divergence.

What is the minimum number of simulations that should be run in Monte Carlo Value ...
The minimum number of simulations that should be run for a reasonably accurate value at risk (VaR) assessment is generally ... Read Full Answer >> 
What does standard deviation measure in a portfolio?
Standard deviation is a mathematical measurement of average variance and features prominently in statistics, economics, accounting ... Read Full Answer >> 
Is Colombia an emerging market economy?
Colombia meets the criteria of an emerging market economy. The South American country has a much lower gross domestic product, ... Read Full Answer >> 
What are some of the most common technical indicators that back up Doji patterns?
The doji candlestick is important enough that Steve Nison devotes an entire chapter to it in his definitive work on candlestick ... Read Full Answer >> 
Tame Panic Selling with the Exhausted Selling Model
The exhausted selling model is a pricing strategy used to identify and trade based off of the price floor of a security. ... Read Full Answer >> 
Point and Figure Charting Using Count Analysis
Count analysis is a means of interpreting point and figure charts to measure vertical price movements. Technical analysts ... Read Full Answer >>