Last Thursday witnessed, again, another dramatic increase in volatility. The volatility index VIX spiked 44 percent to 16.04%, its highest daily close for the year. As shown below, the VIX futures term structure inverted in the short end. Two days before the event, Helen Bartholomew of Reuters warned that the net short position in the…Read More VIX Futures Leads Cash Market: Tail Wags Dog
It happened again, and again. Last Thursday volatility increased sharply at around 1.30 p.m, then it came back to normal at the end of day. For now, we ignore the cause. But this event reinforced our observation: sharp volatility spikes occur more and more frequently these days. In a low volatility environment like this one,…Read More Potential Black Swans and How to Hedge Against Them
Will this low volatility persist and can a large market decline happen in this environment? Aaron Brown recently published an article in which he pointed out that a large jump in realized volatility happens only when the VIX is above 20. …the important thing is that there aren’t big surprises at low levels of the…Read More How Long Will Low Volatility Last?
In the continuation of the “Low Volatility is Not a New Normal” theme, Adam Samson of Financial Times published another post based on the recent report by JPMorgam which suggested using VIX options for managing the risks. Risk assets, like stocks, have been rallying “for years”, sending market volatility near “record lows… While fundamentally volatility…Read More VIX Options: Should We Buy Them When Volatility is Low?
After a sharp move in the VIX a week ago, today the volatility index finished below 10 (9.99 to be exact). It looks like we are going into a low-volatility period again. Last week, just before the volatility spike, Mohamed A. El-Erian warned of the danger of investing in a low-volatility environment. He said that…Read More Low Volatility and The Danger of Increased Leverage
In the previous posts entitled Where are the Cheap Hedges for Equity Portfolios? Now Is The Time to Hedge, But The Cost of Insurance Can Be Expensive, we outlined some solutions for finding inexpensive hedges in this low volatility environment. In this post we will continue to explore some more opportunities, and elaborate on additional…Read More How to Find Cheap Hedges
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?