Online Trading Concepts


Ulcer Index

The Ulcer Index attempts to measure the "stress" of holding a trade or investment by measuring price retracements. The Ulcer Index is based on the notion that downward volatility is bad, but upward volatility is good.

Unlike standard deviation, the financial industry's benchmark way of measuring the risk of a stock, which equally weights both violent increases to the upside (upside volatility) and violent decreases to the downside (downside volatility), the Ulcer Index takes an arguably more enlightened approach that states that investors only care about the downside risk of a stock, not the upside risk (upside risk is good, it is equivalent to profits. . . if a trader is long stock, that is).

The chart of Intel stock below shows various elements of the Ulcer Index:

Ulcer Index is a unique way of looking at volatility

Measuring Drawdowns

On the very left of the chart, Intel stock had a strong, sustained movement higher, marked by the long string of green, bullish candlesticks. Notice that the Ulcer Index remained flat, well below the safe level.

A third of the chart from the left, there was a 14-day drawdown period; this drawdown period was seen with the sharp increase in the Ulcer Index. Once the price of Intel was making new highs past the drawdown period, the Ulcer Index fell.

The high price of Intel on the chart was marked by a large gap downward; the Ulcer reacted sharply to this drawdown, rising above the safe level.

Another use for the Ulcer Index is shown on the next page: Comparing Investments using the Ulcer Index.

Next Page - Comparing Investments Using the Ulcer Index

The information above is for informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any stock, option, future, commodity, or forex product. Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance. Trading is inherently risky. shall not be liable for any special or consequential damages that result from the use of or the inability to use, the materials and information provided by this site. See full disclaimer.