Market volatility comes in two forms, implied volatility and historical volatility, both which can affect an investor’s ability to be successful in trading Binary Options. Implied volatility is similar to a financial security as it fluctuates with market sentiment and is an estimate of how much options trader perceives a financial security or index will move over a specific period of time on an annualized basis. Historical volatility is the actual past movement of a security and can be defined as the standard deviation of a time series, reflected in percentage format.

Implied volatility affects the price of a Binary Option, but it influences standard vanilla options much more than it effects Binary Options. Implied volatility changes as market sentiment changes. Generally as fear and trepidation increase, implied volatility increases, while increases in complacency are generally highly correlated to declines in implied volatility. Continue reading "How Volatility Affects The Options and Binary Options Markets"→

Last week Ron Ianieri from OptionUniversity.com came and gave us a great lesson on the misinformed traders out there and how options are a great tool (re-read it here), and today I asked him to teach us a bit about volatility and options! If you've not yet checked out Ron's new online video do it today before it's pulled.

The key to having a trade is that you, being the buyer, and me being the seller, have different volatility assumptions. What I think volatility is going to be versus what you think volatility is going to be makes the difference. Everything else we’re in total agreement with because those outputs are “hard numbers” processed by the Options Pricing Model. Current prices, selected strike price, days to expiration, interest rate and dividends are what they are. Just looking at the pricing model output based on these factors is the same for both buyer and seller. But what makes a trade is really the factor of perceived volatility. So, when we talk about volatility we are really talking about the essence of an option trade.

In real estate, they say that the three most important things are location, location, and location. In options, the three most important things are volatility, volatility, and volatility. Often neglected by option rookies, volatility is the cornerstone of an option professional's trading strategy.
In its simplest form, expressed as the annualized percentage of the standard deviation, volatility measures how far a contract can be expected to swing from a mean price. A contract trading at 50 would have a volatility of 10% if it traded between 45 and 55 over a given period of time.

Historical volatility is just that: the volatility calculated (using closing prices) over a given period – 20 days, 20 weeks, one year, etc. Implied volatility is the volatility using current market prices. For example, using four primary option pricing inputs – futures price, settlement price, time until expiration and volatility – would result in a theoretical price.
By plugging in the current option price in place of the theoretical price and working backward, it would be possible to determine the volatility the current market is implying. (It is not mathematically possible to work backward and solve for implied volatility using an equation like the Black-Scholes model, but an approximation can be derived.)

Options on quick-moving, highly volatility contracts will demand a higher premium because of the increased possibility of such options being in-the-money. For example, an out-of-the-money option on a slow, non-volatile contract will have a lower premium than a comparable option on a volatile contact because there is a greater chance the volatile contract will shirt in price enough to put the currently out-of-the-money option in-the-money.

Astute options traders look at volatility figures to evaluate the potential of a trade, buying or selling options when volatility is exceptionally high or low. If a market is trading at historically low volatility levels, options premiums could be expected to rise as market volatility increases, presenting a buy opportunity. The revers is true for high volatility situations.

Mechanical systems do have merit, but after ten years of trading in the cash and energy markets Michael became convinced that a discretionary approach was more suited to his personality and gave him more consistent profits. In this seminar, Michael describes every aspect of the discretionary methodology he developed for profiting from a short-term volatility breakout in futures and equities markets.

Michael’s strategy employs numerous studies, but it assembles them in a logical and efficient manner that is easily grasped. Using his techniques, Michael analyzes twelve futures markets and ten equities in the two hours of this session. His methodology employs classic pattern recognition, average true range, swing, Fibonacci support and resistance, MACD, ADX/DMI, price/volume/open interest relationships, momentum, historic volatility, and the Commitment of Traders report.

Michael also discusses the full anatomy of a trade including entries, exits, setting stops, account leverage, and money management. He presents actual trades in detail so that you gain a complete understanding of his pragmatic, winning methodology. This session provides you with an enhanced understanding of the markets, thereby improving profitability regardless of experience level or trading style.

Before Michael Mazur began trading in the futures industry in 1994, he spent ten years as an international cargo trader in the energy market. He traded for Mobil Oil, Mitsubishi, Salomon, and Vitol SA, and he managed trading personnel and a trading portfolio that reached from the Arabian Gulf through India to the Pacific Rim. His group sales ranged from $500 million to $1 billion annually. Michael lives in Pacific Grove, California, where he operates M.J. Mazur, Inc., a registered commodity trading advisor. Michael manages futures accounts, publishes M Trade, a daily trading sheet, and provides consulting services to institutions and independent investors.

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