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In finance, an “envelope” refers to a technical analysis indicator used in charting and trading. The envelope is a type of moving average that assists traders by setting upper and lower bands around a security’s price range. The goal is to identify potential oversold or overbought conditions, helping traders to make buy-sell decisions.


The phonetic transcription of the word “Envelope” is /ˈɛnvəˌloʊp/.

Key Takeaways

  • Envelopes are a type of moving average. A moving average is a technical analysis indicator that smooths out price data by averaging the closing prices over a period of time. Envelopes are a type of moving average that sets upper and lower bands around a security’s price range.
  • Envelopes can help traders identify potential oversold or overbought conditions. When a security’s price moves outside of the envelope, it can be a sign that the security is overbought or oversold. This can help traders make buy-sell decisions.
  • Envelopes are not always accurate. Like any technical analysis indicator, envelopes are not always accurate. They should be used in conjunction with other indicators and trading strategies.


The term “Envelope” in business/finance is significant because it refers to a technical analysis tool in trading and investing scenarios. This tool, used by traders and investors, outlines the upper and lower trading ranges (or bands) of a security or market index over a certain period. These bands are set at specified percentages above and below a moving average line. The “envelope” helps traders identify potential buy and sell signals by interpreting whether the price of a security is trending or is overbought or oversold. By determining the volatility and extremes in price trends, the envelope can play a crucial role in shaping trading strategies.


In the finance/business context, the term “envelope” usually refers to a budgeting method known as the envelope system or envelope budgeting method. Essentially, it is a system that aids in managing personal finances. The purpose of using an “envelope” is to facilitate better control over one’s spending and to encourage proactive savings. It helps in maintaining discipline in regard to expenditures and ensures that an individual stays within the defined budgeting limits per category.

Here’s how this system works: an individual creates separate ‘envelopes’ for each of their spending categories, such as groceries, rent, utilities, entertainment, and so on. Each envelope is filled with the budgeted amount of money for that category at the beginning of the month or pay period. As expenses come due, money is drawn from the appropriate envelopes. When an envelope gets empty, spending in that category must stop. The underlying purpose is to prevent overspending or mindless spending, making the user conscientious about how they allocate and exhaust their resources.


1. Budget Envelope System: This refers to a method of budgeting where a person takes their income and uses multiple envelopes labeled for different expenditure categories (like groceries, utilities, rent, entertainment, etc.). The envelopes are filled with cash which is the allocated allotment for that category for a certain period, typically a month. This is a popular method for people looking to control their spending and avoid overspending in any one category.

2. Envelope Analysis in Business: In the world of operations and efficiency analysis, envelope analysis refers to the process of determining inefficiencies. It’s like creating an ‘envelope’ that encompasses all the top-performing entities to identify the frontier. Anything that falls outside the envelope are considered as underperforming or inefficient. Industries frequently use this approach to benchmark performance and improve efficiency.

3. Real Estate and the Envelope Concept: In property and real estate, an ‘envelope’ refers to the maximum allowable size for a building within a plot defined by local zoning laws. This envelope dictates the structure’s height, width, setbacks and even sometimes, its design elements. Developers and architects need to work within this ‘envelope’ to make sure their designs comply with regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an envelope in finance and business terms?

In the financial world, an envelope refers to a technical indicator which shows trading patterns and price trends for the stocks. It involves an upper and lower line plotted around a security’s price to form a band.

How does an envelope work?

The envelope is formulated based on Moving Averages. The upper band is set a specific percentage above this average and the lower band is set a similar percentage below. The envelope determines the trading range of a security.

What purpose does an envelope serve in finance?

An envelope helps traders identify price levels that are overbought or oversold, acting as a signal for buying or selling opportunities. It is particularly useful in identifying and profiting from extreme price swings.

How are the upper and lower envelope lines determined?

The upper and lower lines in the envelope are typically determined by a preset percentage above and below a moving average, respectively.

Are there limitations of envelopes in finance?

Yes, the limitations include that it is largely dependent on an appropriate selection of the envelope percentage, which can be subjective. If the percentage is set too small or too large, it can result in missed trading opportunities or false signals.

Can envelopes be used for all types of securities?

In general, envelopes can be used for any security that exhibits a trend. However, effectiveness can vary and users must adjust settings and interpretations based on the security.

How can traders use envelope in their strategy?

Traders commonly use envelopes to identify opportunities where the market may be overextended. If prices reach the upper part of the envelope, the security can be considered overbought and it may be a good time to sell. If prices reach the lower part of the envelope, the security may be oversold, potentially indicating a buying opportunity.

Related Finance Terms

  • Envelope Method
  • Budget Envelope
  • Bollinger Bands
  • Envelope Analysis
  • Envelope Strategy

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