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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

Last week, Bloomberg presented a fascinating story about Mexico’s secretive oil hedging program. We noted that while it was designed as a hedge,  the Mexican government has made money consistently with it. If anything, recent results have made the Mexican government look especially good. The country earned $6.4 billion in 2015 and $2.7 billion in…

Read More To Hedge or Not to Hedge

In a previous post we discussed how IFRS 9 will affect commodity firms through hedge accounting programs. Generally speaking, as pointed out by Thack Brown in this post, IFRS 9 will affect financial and non-financial corporates through: 1-New classification and measurement principles for financial assets, 2- New impairment models that will accelerate recognition of credit…

Read More How Will IFRS 9 Affect Financial Institutions?

Equity markets were relatively calm after the US election.  The recent weeks, however, have seen some increase in volatility. Is this just a blip or the start of a volatile period? Nobody knows the exact answer. But Gregory Meyer et al of FT.com reported that there are firms, notably DRW, based in Chicago,  that already…

Read More Hedging in the Mortgage Backed Securities Market Can Increase Volatilities

A common belief among commodity producers, importers and exporters is that hedging should be based on analysts’ expectations.  Hence, they often attend meetings where they expect to hear forecasts from analysts and experts. For example, Ed White recently wrote Meeting halls at farm conferences are packed when the market analysis session is scheduled with farmers…

Read More Hedging Should be Based on Risks and Not on Forecasts