Do Your Research
You can find a great deal of information in the stock tables of your local newspaper, or your favorite financial industry publication. Those stock tables contain a wealth of information you can use to gauge the volatility of a stock market investment. Turn to the stock table in your favorite financial publication. Locate the 52-week high and low for each stock you plan to invest in.
Compare the 52-week high for the stock to the 52-week low. The difference between the 52-week high and the low is a good indicator of how volatile the stock has been over the last year, and how volatile it is likely to be in the future.
Contact the Company
Contact the investor relations department at each company and request a copy of the annual report. Some companies publish these reports online, so you might be able to find past annual reports on the company’s website. If not, check the website and find the contact information for the investor relations department.
Review the price history of the stock as shown in the annual report. A wide spread between the annual highs and lows for the stock is an indication of a highly volatile stock. A company whose share price has been more consistent has shown far less volatility.
Practice on Paper
Create a paper portfolio and track your stocks over a period of several months. List each stock on a separate line and list the daily or weekly price in each column. Tracking the stock price over time will give you a good indication of how volatile the stock is.
While nothing can totally eliminate the inherent volatility of investing in the stock market, there are a number of strategies you can use to reduce the risks of the stock market and increase your odds of finding a winning investment.