Relative Volatility Index: The RVI Explained

The RSI has a (less known) ‘brother’, the RVI (Relative Volatility Index). Here is all you need to know about it

A few weeks ago, we looked at the Relative Strength Index (RSI), which is one of the most popular indicators in use today.

You have certainly heard about the indicator if you watch popular finance shows or read any technical book on markets (or in a podcast).

As we wrote, the RSI is developed by first calculating the average gains and losses and smoothing the value. In this article, we will look at the Relative Volatility Index (RVI), which is an indicator very similar to the RSI.

In fact, when applied to a chart, the indicator tends to appear like the RSI.

What is the Relative Volatility Index?

As mentioned above, the Relative Volatility Index is a technical indicator that is very similar to the RSI. The only difference is that the RVI is calculated using the standard deviation and not the absolute prices.

The indicator was developed by Donald Dorsey and has become popular among a certain group of traders.

The indicator is not found as a default in many platforms like the MT4. It can however be downloaded and installed in these platforms.

RVI Formula

The Relative Volatility Index is calculated in a similar way that the RSI is calculated. As you recall, the RSI is calculated using the formula below:

RSI = 100 – 100 / 1 + Relative Strength

This formula has three parts. First, you must calculate the relative strength. You do that by first calculating the first average gain and the first average loss.

These are calculated by conducting a sum of gains over a certain period and dividing the total by the period. The first average loss is calculated in the same way.

You then calculate the average gain and the average loss.

The Relative Volatility is calculated in a similar way. However, the difference is that, as stated above, it uses the standard deviation.

The standard deviation is calculated by first calculating the average. This is done by adding all the values and dividing by the period. You then subtract the mean of each number and then square the result.

You should then calculate the mean of those squared differences and find their square root.

This might sound to be difficult for most traders. However, as we have written before, you just need to know how to apply and interpret the indicator.

How to Read and Use the Relative Volatility Index

There are two main ways of interpreting the RVI. When it is applied, the RVI value moves from zero to 100. The main lines to watch are 20 and 80.

The convectional approach is to use the 20 and 80 as the oversold and overbought levels respectively. This means that you should buy whenever the price of an asset moves to the oversold level and short when the price moves to the overbought level.

Our guide about Short Selling

There are other traders who use a different approach.

They buy when the RVI is moving upwards and continue to hold their trades even when the overbought level is reached. They sell short the trade when the RVI is moving lower and continue to hold even when it reaches the oversold level.

The reason for this is that they believe that the momentum will not just stop when these overbought and oversold levels are reached.

The Momentum Rule in Day Trading

RVI Example

RVI Example

Another way to use the RVI is to combine it with other momentum, volume, and trend indicators. Combining is important because it helps to eliminate the likelihood of a false breakout.

3 Key Ways To Trade Breakouts

External Useful Resources

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