The discipline of mathematical statistics and the measure of volatility of investments are example concepts that have a tendency to scare the average investor. The standard deviation based on the rate of return of an investment is a measure of the volatility of the investment and is a good representation of risk found in stocks and options. It is said in Wikipedia that Karl Pearson, Fellow of the Royal Society, established the discipline of mathematical statistics. Karl Pearson first used the term “Standard Deviation” in writing in 1894 subsequent its use in his lectures. Standard Deviation is considered vital when used for financial issues.

Thus, large standard deviations indicate that the data points are considerably from the mean and a modest standard deviation indicates that the data points are clustered a lot nearer to the mean. When looking at your investments, standard deviation serves as a measure of uncertainty. It is believed that standard deviation of a group of repeated measurements should give the precision of individual measurements.

Investors deciding whether measurements agree with a theoretical prediction must determine if the standard deviation of those measurements is of extreme importance. Investors can gain common sense practical value when online investing by acquiring an understanding of the standard deviation of a set of values and in appreciating how considerably the variations are from the common (mean) of stocks & options and the market indices.

In addition, Standard Deviation gives a very good representation of the danger associated with an offered security such as a stock, option or even a portfolio of securities. To effectively manage your investment portfolio, it requires a great handle on the associated risks. Risk is such an important factor because it determines the variations on the returns of the portfolio and gives investors a mathematical foundation for investment choices regarded as mean-variance optimization. Since risk will increase, the anticipated return on your portfolio will increase and the uncertainty of the return will also boost. Standard Deviation offers a quantified approximation of the uncertainty of your long-term returns.

Great trading strategies are enhanced by standard deviation and online investing with options make it even more critical that traders understand and use tools such as standard deviation and Bollinger Bands. Stock options include risks that are not appropriate to all traders making these concepts even more dynamic.

Thus, if seeking to find a stock that can be used to write a covered call on, its best to look for a stock with a reduced standard deviation historical past. On the contrary, if seeking to obtain puts then it is a good idea to look for a stock with a high standard deviation. The greater the variance in standard deviation, the greater the risk the security will have. Technical analysts like to use an analysis tool called the “Bollinger Bands”, devised by John Bollinger to determine the highness and lowness of cost relative to earlier trades.

Bollinger Bands consist of a middle band being an N-period (usually the simple moving average), an upper band at K times an N-period standard deviation above the middle band, and a lower band at K times an N-period standard deviation below the middle band, where N and K are usually 20 and 2 respectively.The use of these Bollinger Bands are very helpful in recognizing patterns and comparing price actions of stocks and therefore are very useful for making systematic trading decisions. When used with other tools and data, Bollinger Bands are a very effective management tool that has a practical use of standard deviation and its use in making decisions for your online investing.

As a practical matter, it is a good idea that all investors understand Standard Deviation. In fact, online investing for beginners should start with getting a complete understanding of these and other investment terms.

Being on the safe side of trading, let’s suppose that all traders are at a great loss for education when it comes to both stocks and options. For that reason, one might consider an easy preventive measure by investors that desires to be successful with online investing. That measure is to start off your trading with FREE VIRTUAL STOCK TRADING to stay away from shedding any dollars at all until you are at ease with your knowledge stage.

Good Luck and May Your Online Investing be Great!

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