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Last Wednesday saw a huge increase, in percentage terms, of the volatility indices. The 1M spot VIX increased by 46%, while the underlying SPX index decreased by only -1.8%. As discussed in our previous post entitled Is Volatility of Volatility Increasing?, such a big percentage change in the VIX associated with a “normal” down day…

Read More What Caused the Increase in Volatility of Volatility?

In the previous post entitled Relationship Between Credit Default Swaps and Equity Options we discussed about the link between high yield spreads and equity volatility. We also provided an academic reference that formally proved their relationship. Basically, there is a high degree of correlation between the VIX and high yield spreads. Recently, John Lonski of…

Read More Is The Volatility Index VIX Too Low Compared to High-Yield Spreads?

Last week, the volatility index hovered around its lower range. However, the low volatility phenomenon is occurring not only in the equity space, but across the board, from fixed income, to currency, to commodity markets around the world.  Still, experts are divided whether this current low volatility is pricing in the risks correctly. Steve Heston,…

Read More “It might be that VIX is fairly priced for the first time, and that risk is fairly low”

The asset under management (AUM) of the Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) industry has grown substantially in the recent years. From 2007 to the end of 2016, AUM increased from $851 billion to $3.546 trillion. Investors have been enjoying many benefits, especially the low cost, offered by ETFs as a result of this explosive growth. However,…

Read More Risks Involved When Investing in Exchange Traded Funds

Last week, professor and Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller came out with a statement regarding the market high valuation. He referred to the CAPE ratio which is at 29 at the moment and is considered high.  However, he also said that the high CAPE ratio does not necessarily mean investors should sell stocks right now. Still,…

Read More Where are the Cheap Hedges for Equity Portfolios?

Last week, after the French election, the VIX plummeted and started its journey into the low-volatility regime again. Consequently,  volatility selling strategy began gaining traction.  However, FT.com published a warning Jim Keohane, the chief executive of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, compares selling volatility to picking up dimes in front of a steamroller. “You…

Read More Why is Volatility so Low?

More and more investors are using the power of computing technologies and quantitative techniques to manage their portfolios these days. They believe that quantitative trading can help reduce the PnL volatility resulted from emotional decision making and thus increase the consistency of returns. However, sometimes the machine beats the man, and sometimes it does not.…

Read More Quantitative Trading: VIX Factor Model and Trend Following

Two weeks ago, in a post entitled To Hedge or Not to Hedge, we argued that it’s always important for corporations to hedge the commodity prices and not to speculate. This post continues with more examples that highlight the importance of economic hedging. As oil price fluctuates, airlines can see their revenue vary widely. They…

Read More More Examples as Why Hedging is Important

In a previous post, we examined the relationship between the Credit Default Swap (CDS) and equity volatility, and argued that there is a strong correlation between them.  But like any relationship in financial markets, this one can break down and divergence can happen. For instance, last month we noticed that CDS in Asia and Australia…

Read More Divergence Between Credit Default Swap and Equity Volatility