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Ulcer Index Calculator

Ulcer Index is a risk measure that shows the average magnitude of drawdowns in a portfolio.

The Ulcer Index is a powerful investment metric designed to measure the volatility and drawdowns of a portfolio or an individual asset. Developed by Peter Martin and Byron McCann in the 1980s, this indicator not only accounts for the magnitude of price drops but also factors in the duration of these declines.

By providing a more comprehensive understanding of risk, the Ulcer Index enables investors to make better-informed decisions, optimize their risk management strategies, and compare the performance of different assets. The unique aspect of the Ulcer Index is that it penalizes price drops more heavily than gains, making it a reliable tool to evaluate the real-world impact of market fluctuations on an investor's psychological well-being.

Incorporating the Ulcer Index into your investment analysis can help you identify assets with lower volatility, reduce the likelihood of sudden losses, and ultimately improve the risk-adjusted returns of your portfolio.

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Ulcer Index Settings

How to choose period

Rolling Ulcer Index Chart

Chart placeholderClick Calculate to get results

What do Ulcer Index values mean

Higher UI values indicate a greater downside risk, whereas lower values indicate lower risk. Here's what different Ulcer Index values generally mean:

  • Lower UI values: When the Ulcer Index is low, the asset has experienced relatively small drawdowns during the specified period. That could indicate a stable investment with lower downside risk. Investors with a lower risk tolerance may find such assets more suitable for their investment objectives.
  • Higher UI values: A high Ulcer Index suggests the asset has undergone significant drawdowns, meaning larger declines from its peak prices during the specified period. That indicates a higher level of downside risk, which may be more suitable for investors with a higher risk tolerance, who are willing to take on more risk for potentially higher returns.

It's important to note that the Ulcer Index is a relative measure. Its values should be compared across different securities or portfolios to make informed decisions about the risk levels of various investments.

How to interpret the rolling chart

When the Ulcer Index is visualized as a rolling chart, it can help you analyze the historical trends of downside risk for a particular asset or portfolio. The chart will show how the Ulcer Index has evolved over time, providing insights into the asset's downside volatility during different periods.

Here's how to interpret a rolling Ulcer Index chart:

  • Identify trends: Look for patterns or trends in the Ulcer Index over time. An increasing trend in the Ulcer Index might indicate a rising downside risk, while a decreasing trend could suggest a reduction in downside risk. This can help you understand how the asset's risk profile has changed historically.
  • Observe periods of the high and low risk: Examine the chart for periods with high Ulcer Index values, which indicate higher downside risk. Conversely, identify periods with lower Ulcer Index values, which suggest lower downside risk. This can help you understand the asset's behavior during various market conditions and evaluate how it may perform in the future.
  • Compare with other assets or benchmarks: When plotting the rolling Ulcer Index charts for different assets or portfolios, you can compare their downside risks relative to one another. This can help you make more informed investment decisions based on your risk tolerance and investment objectives.
  • Monitor changes in risk levels: Regularly review the rolling Ulcer Index chart to keep track of any significant changes in downside risk. This can help you adjust your investment strategy or portfolio allocation to maintain your desired risk profile.

Remember that the Ulcer Index is just one of many indicators that can help you assess an investment's risk profile. Using it in conjunction with other technical indicators and fundamental analysis is essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of an investment's potential.

Ulcer Index Formula

Ulcer Index Formula
Return on day t

Return on day t

Period length

Period length

Previous peak

Previous peak