Research Specials LIVE

VIX: Cluster, Pop, Revert!

Research Specials LIVE

Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before deciding to invest in options.

Unlike stocks, volatility products move in a distinct way based on their underlying math equation. Based on this formula, VIX tends to cluster at low levels, pop aggressively to the upside, then revert back to its average. Given this reversion to the mean, can we enhance profits by selling into these pops?

Study:
  • SPY, 45 Days to Expiration
  • 20 Delta Strangles
  • Held to Expiration
  • Sold Strangles after Varying % Increases in VIX. We Measure % Increases as the Daily Change in VIX Closing Prices

It pays to sell strangles after volatility pops. Even though there are fewer trade occurrences waiting for VIX to spike, strangles see larger average P&L and similar standard deviations of P&L to selling in all VIX environments. This does not imply to sit on your hands when VIX does not pop, but rather stay small so you can deploy capital when VIX does pop.

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