New Study Presents First-Ever List of 119 Funds That Use Options – By Matt Moran

A groundbreaking new study — “Highlights of Performance Analysis of Options-Based Equity Mutual Funds, CEFs, and ETFs” — analyzed SEC-regulated investment companies that focus on use of exchange-listed options for portfolio management (options-based funds). Key highlights of the study are summarized below, and for more analysis please visit

CO-AUTHORS of the CBOE-commissioned study (on behalf of INGARM) are Keith Black, Ph.D., CAIA, CFA, Managing Director of CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association) and Edward Szado, Ph.D., CFA, Assistant Professor of Finance, Providence College.

GROWTH IN NUMBER OF FUNDS. The study found that the number of options-based funds grew from ten in 2000 to 119 in 2014, and it presents a first-ever publicly available list of names and ticker symbols for those options-based funds.

001-Number of Funds
OPTIONS-BASED FUNDS OVER 15 YEARS. The study analyzed the equal-weighted performance of a subset of the options-based funds — those that focus on use of U.S. stock index options and/or equity options, and during the 15-year period from 2000 through 2014, found that these funds had –
(1) had similar returns as the S&P 500 and higher returns than the MSCI EAFE Index;
(2) had lower volatility and a lower maximum drawdown than the S&P 500 and S&P GSCI indexes

002-Cumulative Growth OpBFds

The average annual distribution yield for Options-Based Funds was more than 5% in each of the last nine years. While this distribution yield does not guarantee a positive performance by the funds, the distribution yield feature may appeal to investors who are discouraged by low interest rates for traditional fixed income products.

BENCHMARK INDEXES SINCE MID-1988. The study also found that the CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT) and the CBOE S&P 500 2% OTM BuyWrite Index (BXY) both produced higher returns and lower volatility than the S&P 500 and S&P GSCI indexes during the period from mid-1988 through the end of 2014. A key source of strong risk-adjusted returns for index-option-writing strategies has been the fact that index options usually have been richly priced. A chart in the study shows the average gross monthly premiums for the BXM Index.


GROWTH IN NOTIONAL VALUE. Institutional investors often inquire about the notional capacity of markets in financial instruments. The estimates for notional value of average daily volume in SPX options rose from $13 billion in 2000 to more than $170 billion in 2014. Some investors do use a delta-weighting adjustment to develop a more conservative estimate of notional value of options trading, and the bid-offer spreads for many instruments can widen in time of high anxiety.


CONFERENCE. The study will be included in one of many presentations at the 31st annual CBOE Risk Management Conference (RMC) on March 4 – 6, 2015, at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, CA.

MORE INFORMATION. For more information on the new study, and testimonials and videos by fund managers, please visit



Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Prior to buying or selling an option, a person must receive a copy of Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. Copies are available from your broker, by calling 1-888-OPTIONS, or from The Options Clearing Corporation at The information in this paper is provided for general education and information purposes only. No statement within this paper should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell a security or to provide investment advice. The BXM, BXY, CLL and PUT indices (the “Indexes”) are designed to represent proposed hypothetical options strategies. The actual performance of investment vehicles such as mutual funds or managed accounts can have significant differences from the performance of the Indexes. Investors attempting to replicate the Indexes should discuss with their advisors possible timing and liquidity issues. Like many passive benchmarks, the Indexes do not take into account significant factors such as transaction costs and taxes. Transaction costs and taxes for strategies such as the Indexes could be significantly higher than transaction costs for a passive strategy of buying-and-holding stocks. Investors should consult their tax advisor as to how taxes affect the outcome of contemplated options transactions. Past performance does not guarantee future results. This document contains index performance data based on back-testing, i.e., calculations of how the index might have performed prior to launch. Backtested performance information is purely hypothetical and is provided in this paper solely for informational purposes. Back-tested performance does not represent actual performance and should not be interpreted as an indication of actual performance. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. CBOE calculates and disseminates the Indexes. Supporting documentation for any claims, comparisons, statistics or other technical data in this paper is available from CBOE upon request. The methodologies of the Indexes are the property of Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (CBOE). CBOE®, Chicago Board Options Exchange®, CBOE Volatility Index® and VIX® are registered trademarks and BXM, BXY, BuyWrite, CLL, PUT, PutWrite and SPX are service marks of CBOE. S&P® and S&P 500®are registered trademarks of Standard and Poor’s Financial Services, LLC and are licensed for use by CBOE. Financial products based on S&P indices are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Standard & Poor’s, and Standard & Poor’s makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in such products. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners. The Indexes and all other information provided by CBOE and its affiliates and their respective directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives and third party providers of information (the “Parties”) in connection with the Indexes (collectively “Data”) are presented “as is” and without representations or warranties of any kind. The Parties shall not be liable for loss or damage, direct, indirect or consequential, arising from any use of the Data or action taken in reliance upon the Data. Redistribution, reproduction and/or photocopying in whole or in part are prohibited without the written permission of CBOE. Copyright © 2015 CBOE.  All Rights Reserved.


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