Category Archives: Futures and Options

Reaping Roll Yield from a Quasi Volatility Neutral Strategy

On February 8th, I discussed the use of the inverse VIX ETP (XIV) to collect the roll yield from the VIX futures. When stocks fall and volatility rises, however, such a naked short position drops drastically. From 4/2 to 4/10, XIV dropped from 12.29 to 9.94, and lost 19% of its value (it’s now back […]

Managing Brazilian Volatility with Futures and Options on the VXEWZ Index

Over the next five years, some projections indicate that the annual GDP of Brazil could surpass that of both France and the United Kingdom, and that Brazil could rise to become the fifth largest economy in the world. More investors now are concerned with the issue of managing Brazilian volatility. Today CBOE Holdings announced today […]

The Other Side of VIX

The last three months saw the VIX spot dropped quickly from 30-ish to 10-ish. No wonder XIV, the inverse ETN to the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index, was among the top performing ETPs in January. Its return was 30.88% in January 2012 and 14.02% in December 2011. S&P Indices General Disclaimer XIV collects daily […]

VEQTOR & Other Volatility Reduction Indices

Today I’m going to discuss three prepacked investment solutions that seek positive exposure to the equity market with different volatility reduction approaches: S&P 500 Low Volatility Index: uses stock selection and alternative weighting to minimize portfolio volatility without the use of derivatives or active hedge. PowerShares has issued an ETF (ticker SPLV) that tracks this […]

Exchange Traded Volatility Products in Europe

In Europe, ETFs and ETNs linked to the S&P 500 VIX Futures Indices and the VSTOXX Futures Indices collectively have nearly $380 million in assets ), as listed in Exhibit 1 (note: volume is the average daily volume in December 2011). Exhibit 1: Exchange Traded Volatility Products in Europe (Dec. 2011) Compared with the S&P […]

Why Are There Different Prices for VIX® Spot and VIX Futures?

Investors often inquire as to why the prices and the price movements for the VIX (spot) Index and the VIX tradable instruments (futures, options, and ETPs) often are different. For example, yesterday (Tuesday, January 17th) the VIX spot closed at 22.20 and the VIX March futures closed at 25.55 (delayed price quotes are available at […]

Diversification Properties of VIX Futures Indices

As in the VIX index spot, the S&P 500 VIX Futures Index Series and the S&P 500 tend to move in opposite directions or.  As shown in Exhibit 1, while the correlation between the spot VIX and the futures index series is not perfect, it is a healthy 89% for the short-term index and 80% […]

Contango and Roll Cost

  Although VIX spot is generally mean reverting, the S&P 500 VIX Futures indices are return generating time series that trend down for the majority of their history. This downward trend is particularly obvious in the Short Term index. This is because the price received from the sale of the shorter term contract is generally less than […]

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