Today, I was happy to find a quick source for implied volatility and historical volatility data.* Usually, looking up implied volatility numbers to use in the IOI BSM cone diagrams is a process of logging into a brokerage terminal and looking at the quotes. This can be tedious and if looking up prices on a weekend or holiday, you’re not guaranteed to get very good data since the quotes are not live.

Today, while finding an implied volatility number for Oracle (ORCL), I stumbled upon a page on the OIC website (Options Industry Council) that had an overview of both historical volatility and historical and current implied volatility. The values they post are averaged and stored, rather than being a raw calculation based on the raw option price feed, so even if the market is closed, the data is reliable.

Of course, when looking at the implied volatility number for a smaller, less liquid stock option, the best route to take is to open up a pricing screen on a broker terminal that shows implied volatility on both the bid and the ask price (I use Interactive Brokers, for instance). Finding the correct implied volatility to use in your analysis of option investments and discovering the common misconceptions many investors (even skilled, professional investors) have about volatility is always a popular topic in IOI training sessions.

NOTE:

Implied volatility is the market’s aggregate expectations for the future fluctuations in a stock’s price implied by the option’s price. Historical volatility (a.k.a. “statistical volatility”) is the measure of how much a stock’s price has actually varied over a given historical period.