Tag Archives: volatility

April: A Testing Month for VIX Traders

Shorting VIX® was among the top strategies in the past year.  XIV and SVXY both went up over 50% in Q1 2017 (~15% in March alone), almost doubled in the past six months, and returned ~180% over the past 12 months (see Exhibit 1).  However, the declining VIX spot level can only explain part of Read more […]

The Worst of Both Worlds

For active managers, investment results are partly a function of skill and partly a function of the environment in which that skill is exercised.  Even perfect foresight has only conditional value.  Imagine, for example, a manager who can always identify the top quintile of performers in a given market.  If the top quintile outperforms the index as Read more […]

When Smart Beta Fails

How should an investor in a factor (or “smart beta”) index judge its performance?  In this respect at least, smart beta is like any other strategy: you should evaluate it against the claims that its vendors made before you bought it. This requires some subtlety.  Smart beta methodologies pick stocks based on fundamental or technical Read more […]

Japanese Market Participants Accessing U.S. Treasuries (Part 2)

Japanese market participants looking to access U.S. Treasury bonds or any other international bond market may need to be aware of fixed income risk and currency volatility.  Depending on their investment view, Japanese market participants may choose to hedge currency risk or remain unhedged. Either way, market participants may be exposed to additional returns or Read more […]

Japanese Market Participants Accessing U.S. Treasuries (Part 1)

Since the negative interest rate policy was announced by the Bank of Japan, the yield of the S&P Japan Sovereign Bond Index has tightened 33 bps to -0.07%, as of Aug. 23, 2016.  As the quantitative and qualitative easing program continues, some Japanese market participants seek investments that diversify their portfolios.  U.S. treasury bonds have Read more […]

Calm After the Storm

The dispersion-correlation map helps us to understand the dynamics of market volatility better. Last month we observed high levels of correlation in markets across the globe following the unexpected results of the Brexit referendum. High correlation levels can be a reflection of market fragility. However, as current dispersion and correlation levels indicate, the heightened readings Read more […]

Bouncing Off Brexit

After yesterday’s record close for the S&P 500, memories of last month’s Brexit panic seem far away.  (In fact the U.K. referendum to leave the European Union took place only 19 days ago as of this writing.)  In the immediate aftermath of the referendum, global markets fell sharply, while low volatility indices mitigated the impact of the Read more […]

Indexing Alternatives To Survive Brexit

Following the vote by UK citizens to officially leave the European Union, the S&P 500 lost 5.3% in 2 days (Jun. 24-27, 2016) before gaining back 4.5% for a total loss 1.1% through July 5.  In those two down days, gold posted its best consecutive 2-day gain since Aug. 8-9, 2011.  Gold is known as a Read more […]

The Current Dispersion-Correlation Map …and Brexit

As an exercise in understanding market volatility, we recently introduced the dispersion-correlation map to see how volatility manifests in dispersion and correlation. We saw very high levels of correlation at the beginning of January for both the S&P 500 and S&P Europe 350; the S&P Pan Asia BMI also sat at above average correlation then. Read more […]

Navigating Brexit

Despite some warnings from volatility gauges, the market had “priced in” a vote for remain from the UK’s population.  This has made for some dramatic headlines, and large movements since the vote to leave the EU was announced.  As the market scrambled to make sense of the political chaos, three key themes have emerged from the Read more […]