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Tuesday, June 27th 2023

Overlay the Volatility Surface on Future Expirations in the Trade Builder

Learn about the three ways you can analyze volatility in the Trade Builder.


ORATS' Trade Builder tool offers three ways to analyze volatility: implied volatility ranges, Value Vol shading, and the IV vs. HV graph. The Value Vol shading considers four categories of volatility indicators: short-term volatility, long-term volatility, short-term slope, and long-term slope. Traders can overlay their potential trades against the Value Vol shading and IV ranges to make informed decisions.

In the world of options trading, the efficient utilization of volatility insights can make all the difference between reaping rewards or facing losses. Understanding this, ORATS has developed a comprehensive approach for viewing volatility through the Trade Builder tool. Here, we unpack the wealth of insights available to traders through this innovative platform.

The Three Pillars of Volatility Analysis

The Trade Builder platform allows users to analyze volatility in three distinct ways: through the 68% and 95% IV ranges, Value Vol overlays, and by comparing implied versus historical volatility.

Implied Volatility Ranges

The IV ranges illustrate the expected price movements of the underlying assets. By toggling the overlay buttons, you can choose to display either the 68% or 95% IV range. The 68% IV range reflects the potential stock price movement within one standard deviation, based on the at-the-money implied volatility value for future expirations. Similarly, the 95% IV range encompasses two standard deviations of the expected price movement.

Value Vol Shading

Next up is the Value Vol shading, an innovative approach by ORATS that highlights areas where future volatility is either undervalued or overvalued. With green areas indicating forecasts of volatility greater than implied and red areas indicating where forecasts are below the implied, this visual representation empowers traders to make informed decisions.

Implied vs. Historical Volatility

The third pillar in Trade Builder is the comparison graph of implied versus historical volatility. It is located below the price graph and it displays the IV 30d indicator against the HV 30d indicator, along with the at-the-money implied volatility plotted on the expiration dates in the future. This visual is useful for quickly understanding how volatility is expected to shift, particularly around earnings announcements.

Delving into the Value Vol Shading

The calculations that feed into the Value Vol shading consider four key categories: short-term implied volatility, long-term implied volatility, short-term slope, and long-term slope. These categories are derived using a mix of 14 powerful volatility indicators:

  • exErnIv30d
  • orIvFcst20d
  • orHvXern20d
  • clsHvXern20d
  • exErnIv1yr
  • orFcstInf
  • orHvXern252d
  • clsHvXern252d
  • slope
  • slopeFcst
  • slopeavg1m
  • slopeInf
  • slopeFcstInf
  • slopeavg1y

For the sake of clarity, we will discuss one of these indicators in depth: orIvFcst20d.

The orIvFcst20d calculation forms part of the short-term implied volatility category. It represents the ORATS forecast of implied volatility in 20 trading days, taking into account ex-earnings historical and implied volatility. The calculation further considers the relationship to the company's closest SPDR sector ETF, in terms of the sector and industry. This nuanced approach to estimation delivers a more accurate assessment of the true volatility value.

Applying Volatility Analysis to Potential Trades

When evaluating potential trades, the option scanner in Trade Builder is a powerful tool. By clicking the Analysis icon, the legs of your potential trade are overlaid onto the Trade Builder graph. From this vantage point, you can assess the legs against the Value Vol shading, providing valuable insights into the volatility valuation of your trade. The Trade Builder further allows you to toggle the IV range buttons, offering an understanding of whether your trade lies within one or two standard deviations of movement.

In conclusion, the Trade Builder offers a comprehensive suite of tools for analyzing volatility. With the IV ranges, Value Vol shading, and the IV vs. HV graph, you can unveil meaningful volatility insights from across the options chain that will guide your trading decisions.

Whether you're new to the Trade Builder or an experienced user, we hope this post inspires you to explore the tool's volatility insights in more depth. Happy trading!

Should you have any questions or require further clarification on any aspect of the Trade Builder, please feel free to contact our support team at

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