What is 'Volatility'
Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.
2. A variable in option pricing formulas showing the extent to which the return of the underlying asset will fluctuate between now and the option's expiration. Volatility, as expressed as a percentage coefficient within optionpricing formulas, arises from daily trading activities. How volatility is measured will affect the value of the coefficient used.
BREAKING DOWN 'Volatility'
In other words, volatility refers to the amount of uncertainty or risk about the size of changes in a security's value. A higher volatility means that a security's value can potentially be spread out over a larger range of values. This means that the price of the security can change dramatically over a short time period in either direction. A lower volatility means that a security's value does not fluctuate dramatically, but changes in value at a steady pace over a period of time.
One measure of the relative volatility of a particular stock to the market is its beta. A beta approximates the overall volatility of a security's returns against the returns of a relevant benchmark (usually the S&P 500 is used). For example, a stock with a beta value of 1.1 has historically moved 110% for every 100% move in the benchmark, based on price level. Conversely, a stock with a beta of .9 has historically moved 90% for every 100% move in the underlying index.
Ready for more brain power on volatility? Read A Simplified Approach to Calculating Volatility and The ABCs of Option Volatility.

Dispersion
A statistical term describing the size of the range of values ... 
Historical Volatility  HV
The realized volatility of a financial instrument over a given ... 
Beta
Beta is a measure of the volatility, or systematic risk, of a ... 
Volatility Arbitrage
Trading strategies that attempt to exploit differences between ... 
Implied Volatility  IV
The estimated volatility of a security's price. 
High Beta Index
An index composed of companies with high betas trading on the ...

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What is the best measure of a given stock's volatility?
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How is correlation used to measure volatility?
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How does beta measure a stock's market risk?
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How does implied volatility impact the pricing of options?
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What is an option's implied volatility and how is it calculated?
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