Tag Archive | "hedging"

VIX Portfolio Hedging (VXH) Signal Only Modestly Higher

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


There’s an interesting disconnect right now between the qualitative narrative about Greece, the euro, and China, and one quantitative estimate of how aggressively you should be hedged. The narrative is about as gloomy as it gets: everyone is talking about the new German empire (Soros), the “inevitable” Grexit, etc., and mediocre U.S. economic data. But the VXH strategy, while no longer at its lowest setting, is still not signalling the need for large hedges. I developed the VIX Portfolio

The Problem with Volatility Skew, and Why You Should Care

Friday, February 24, 2012


The jargon of options trading sometimes turns people off, and maybe “volatility skew” is one of the biggest hurdles. So I’m going to explain the concept in a straightforward way, and then explain why volatility skew is something you should care very much about. Volatility skew usually refers to the difference between the implied volatilities of options at different strike prices in the same expiration cycle. For the majority of stocks and indexes, options with high strike prices have low…

Buy Puts?

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Some miscellaneous thoughts as equities notch another decline of 2.5%. 1. If your portfolio is too bullish or unhedged, by all means there’s no reason to stay “naked long,” but at the same time this is the worst sort of environment in which to be buying puts outright, because the high IV and steeper skew means put buyers will have seriously overpaid if we get even a modest bounce over the next week or two. 2. If you want…

VIX Portfolio Hedging (VXH) Strategy – Performance and Official Launch

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


The VIX Portfolio Hedging (VXH) Strategy is being offered to the public for the first time, starting today. The strategy is available via professionally managed accounts, or available by subscription here. First-time visitors may want to start with the previous posts on this strategy: Introducing the VIX Portfolio Hedging (VXH) Strategy Why Conventional Hedging Methods Fail VIX Portfolio Hedging in a Crisis-Free World The Discreet Charm of the VXX ETN If your portfolio isn’t already protected against…

Bonus Trade: SPY November Butterfly

Monday, November 8, 2010


Our paid newsletter strategies are predicated on the expectation of mean-reversion (with risk-management rules for containing losses in trending markets)—in implied volatility as well as in price of the underlying. But when we find ourselves in a strong bullish trend, it's often desirable to both increase delta and decrease vega. One great way to do this is with butterflies...

The Discreet Charm of the VXX ETN

Thursday, October 28, 2010


This is the fourth post in the series I’m writing to introduce the VIX Portfolio Hedging (VXH) Strategy. To review: the purpose of the VXH Strategy is to provide cost-effective protection against tail risks and market crashes. The strategy takes positions in short-term VIX-based products, and varies its allocation to those positions in response to changes in the market environment. In this post, I discuss the use of the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN

Why Conventional Hedging Methods Fail

Monday, September 27, 2010


This is the second post in the series I’m writing to introduce the VIX Portfolio Hedging (VXH) Strategy. I am discussing the problems with conventional portfolio hedging methods first – before getting into the details of the VXH strategy – because if widely-known conventional methods are suitable, then there’s little reason why anyone should consider a novel method. The two conventional hedging methods I’ll review are diversification (Modern Portfolio Theory), and portfolio insurance using long put options and option…

Introducing the VIX Portfolio Hedging (VXH) Strategy

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Since the 2008 financial crisis, I’ve been contacted regularly by clients and readers who are looking for effective and cost-efficient methods for hedging their portfolios. The more time I’ve spent researching the topic, the more I’ve become convinced that most widely-known methods are ineffective as hedges, inefficient from a cost standpoint, or both. After nearly a year of research, I have developed an alternative method that can provide meaningful protection against sudden and/or large market declines while not imposing excessive…

The Vicissitudes of Hedging Tail Risks

Friday, July 23, 2010

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People are excited about tail risk. On the institutional side, banks and asset managers are packaging up complex, multi-asset hedging products and selling them to pension funds, endowments, and other natural longs. On the retail side, Barclays and others are getting great traction with products like VXX, VXZ, VXX options and now XXV (see Bill’s helpful overview of this space). I’m hoping to join the fray, too, with a managed account program and subscription product set to launch…

Hedging Tail Risk with the VIX

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Felix Salmon is doubtful about whether it is possible to hedge tail risk, and I wholeheartedly agree with the data he cites showing that, of eight major asset classes, only volatility and managed futures offer genuine non-correlation to market returns. In fact, I’ll go a step further: I’m not that enthusiastic about the benefits of managed futures, at least in their current form. As a registered commodity trading advisor, I’ve seen the sorts of strategies that most of…


Jared Woodard specializes in trading volatility as an asset class. With over a decade of experience trading options and other volatility products ... Read More


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