The Most Volatile Stocks Worth Buying: An Intermediate Investor's Guide to Volatility

Written By Mike Munno

Posted May 19, 2023

If you're an investor, you know that the thrill of the stock market can be a wild ride – especially when it comes to the most volatile stocks. These high-octane stocks can skyrocket in a matter of days. The lucrative returns can make your heart race with excitement. 

However, they also come with substantial risks. The same stocks that soar can just as quickly plummet. The resulting significant losses can leave you feeling breathless.

Most Volatile Stocks

In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the world of the most volatile stocks. Exploring the risks and rewards associated with them is absolutely crucial. We will dive into the factors that drive their volatility, analyzing historical data and recent examples. We will also discuss strategies for managing them, and provide insights and recommendations for investors who are ready to take on the challenge.

The most volatile stocks can be found throughout the stock market. Historically, sectors like technology, biotech, energy, and micro-caps have the most volatile stocks. The financial sector – mainly banks – can also experience high volatility. 

So fasten your seatbelt, hold on tight, and get ready to ride the rollercoaster of the stock market's most volatile stocks.

Investing in volatile stocks can offer both enticing rewards and significant risks. Let's explore them in more detail. 

The Rewards of Buying the Most Volatile Stocks

When it comes to volatile stocks, the potential rewards can be substantial. These stocks are known for their ability to generate rapid and significant gains within a short period of time. If you're able to accurately identify and invest in a volatile stock that experiences a surge in price, you could potentially make substantial profits. Some investors do this well enough to double or triple their investment in a matter of days.

Investing in the most volatile stocks also provides diversification. Most of the volatile stocks investors buy are not like the other stocks in their portfolio. A popular strategy will the most volatile stocks is to use options. By buying calls or put option contracts on stocks, investors can make a quick buck from the swings. This is not a strategy reserved for beginners though. Even experienced market veterans have difficulty succeeding at trading options in the most volatile stocks. 

For risk-tolerant investors who are willing to take calculated risks, volatile stocks can present attractive opportunities to capitalize on short-term price movements and generate high returns.

The Risks of Buying the Most Volatile Stocks

On the flip side, the most volatile stocks can also come with substantial risks. The same factors that contribute to their rapid price movements can also result in significant losses. 

The price of volatile stocks can plummet just as quickly as they rise. Inexperienced or ill-informed investors can find themselves taking substantial losses overnight. The most volatile stocks are inherently risky to invest in. 

Volatile stocks are often associated with higher levels of uncertainty, as their price movements may not always align with traditional fundamental or technical analysis. Additionally, the unpredictability of these stocks can make them difficult to manage and require constant monitoring and quick decision-making. 

Investing in the most volatile stocks is not for the faint of heart. It is a constant rollercoaster of emotions. Even with a firm strategy and a level head, volatile stocks can make even the most experienced investors nervous. 

Volatility and the VIX Index

The VIX index, or the CBOE Volatility Index, is a measure of market volatility based on the prices of S&P 500 index options. It is often referred to as the "fear index" because it tends to rise when investors are feeling more fearful about the market. It is calculated and published by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). The VIX is based on the prices of S&P 500 index options that expire within 30 days. The index is calculated using a formula that takes into account the implied volatility of these options.

Investors use the VIX index because it can help them to gauge the level of risk in the market. It is a very useful tool in that regard. A higher VIX index indicates that investors are more fearful about the market. A more fearful market generally leads to increased volatility. A lower VIX index indicates that investors are less fearful about the market, indicating decreased volatility.

It must be noted that the VIX index is not a stock. It is a measure of market volatility. Investors can trade VIX futures and options, but they cannot trade the VIX index itself.

The VIX index is a valuable tool for investors who want to understand the level of risk in the market. It can help them to make better investment decisions and to protect their portfolios from losses. For some investors, trading the VIX index is a very successful strategy. Other investors, however, prefer to get their dose of volatility from the companies themselves. 

The Most Volatile Stocks to Consider Trading

Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA): The electric vehicle (EV) pioneer has been known for its extreme volatility, with frequent and significant price fluctuations driven by factors such as production and delivery numbers, market sentiment, and CEO Elon Musk's tweets.

GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME): The video game retailer gained widespread attention in early 2021 due to a short squeeze by retail investors, resulting in extreme price volatility as a result of Reddit-fueled trading activity and market speculation. Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN): Despite being one of the largest and most successful companies in the world, Amazon's stock has exhibited notable volatility over the past 10 years, influenced by factors such as quarterly earnings reports, competition, and broader market trends.

Zoom Video Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ZM): The COVID-19 pandemic thrust Zoom into the spotlight as a leading provider of video conferencing services, resulting in rapid stock price fluctuations based on factors such as earnings reports, user growth, and competitive landscape.

Beyond Meat Inc. (Nasdaq: BYND): As a pioneer in the plant-based meat industry, Beyond Meat has experienced significant stock price volatility since its IPO in 2019, influenced by factors such as sales growth, competition, and regulatory developments.

Block Inc. (NYSE: SQ): The fintech company, known for its mobile payment solutions, has experienced notable stock price volatility over the past decade, influenced by factors such as financial performance, market sentiment, and broader industry trends.

Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq: PLUG): As a leading provider of hydrogen fuel cell solutions, Plug Power has experienced significant price volatility driven by factors such as financial performance, industry news, and regulatory developments.

Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX): The streaming giant has been known for its stock price volatility over the past decade, influenced by factors such as subscriber growth, content releases, and the competitive landscape in the streaming industry.

Moderna Inc. (MRNA): The biotechnology company gained significant attention during the COVID-19 pandemic for its development of an mRNA-based vaccine, resulting in notable stock price volatility based on clinical trial results, regulatory approvals, and market sentiment.

Bitcoin (BTC): While it's technically not a stock, the most popular cryptocurrency has experienced significant volatility over the past decade. The volatility is due to rapid price swings driven by factors such as regulatory developments, market sentiment, and macroeconomic events.

Final Take on the Most Volatile Stocks

Remember, while volatile stocks can offer high rewards, they also carry more risk. Only invest in the most volatile stocks if you have a concrete plan. You should also not invest more than you’re willing to lose. When investing in the most volatile stocks, it also helps to remember a price-averaging strategy. Just because a stock dropped doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, a lower stock price allows you to lower your average buy price–resulting in a higher gain in the long run. 

Hopefully, this list of the most volatile stocks can point you in the right direction if you’re not sure where to start. If you're looking for more ways to increase your wealth that don't include the most volatile stocks, check out our other investment opportunities

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