Chip Anderson

Seeing the "Volatility Terrain" with Overlaid Bollinger Bands


Here's a neat charting trick that I demonstrated to the audience at last night's presentation.  Check out this chart:

(Click here for live version of this chart.) 

This chart clearly shows the dynamic nature of Bollinger Bands and gives you a better sense of how far away from "normal" prices get.  To me it sort of resembles a topographic map so I'm calling it the "Volatility Terrain" chart.

How did I create it?  Basically I am using multiple Bollinger Bands with different "Standard Deviation" parameters combined with the "Area" style setting and low "Opacity" settings.  Here's what the Overlays area of the SharpCharts Workbench looks like for this chart:


Note: You need to be a subscriber in order to use the Style, Color and Opacity settings.

Feel free to experiment with this technique.  Try using different Bollinger Band parameters or even different overlays.  By overlaying the same technical indicator on top of itself with slightly different parameters and low opacities you can learn a lot about how that indicator works and what parameters best fit your style of trading.

- Chip

Chip Anderson
About the author: is the founder and president of He founded the company after working as a Windows developer and corporate consultant at Microsoft from 1987 to 1997. In this blog, Chip shares his tips and tricks on how to maximize the tools and resources available at, and provides updates about new features or additions to the site. Learn More
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Neat Chart of BB w/ variable std deviations. The buy sell points are more obvious for traders. I'll have to try this and add MACD and ATR chart. Also may be useful for Indeces like $SPX, $BPNYA, $NASI. Thanks for the insight and challenge. So, if we couple RSI = or > 97 to find stocks/ ETF, and then use this BB view along with MACD, we have a trading tool for High RSI stocks... Ummm, could be powerful. Thanks
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