Volatility

Volatility is a statistic that measures the differences between returns of an investment over a given time period – a greater difference means greater volatility. Generally, the higher the volatility, the more risky an investment is considered to be. Note that volatility refers both to positive and negative moves, but the nature of markets is such that negative moves typically occur more dramatically than positive moves (and, therefore, high volatility is often associated with negative performance).

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