Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Taking Advantage of Recent Lows in the Volatility Index

By

How do options traders use the VIX?

PrintPRINT
The result of this observation is the practical consideration that time spreads in the VIX must never be traded. No calendar spreads must ever be considered when trading the VIX. Failure to follow this admonition will subject your account to risk far beyond what you consider to be remotely possible. Simply put: Don't do it.

So what trades in the VIX carry reasonable and definable risk? A wide variety of trades, including those with both defined and undefined risk, is feasible. Such trades include verticals, butterflies, condors, and simple long and short options.

I strongly prefer to structure positions to include at least a component of positive theta within my trades. Positive theta simply means that the spread has a component that will benefit from the passage of time. Let us consider a modified butterfly position; this position is commonly termed a broken wing butterfly.

First, let us review the current chart pattern of the VIX:


Click to enlarge

As can clearly be seen in the chart above, the VIX is at multi-month lows, and perusal of even longer term charts confirm this value is at multi-year lows. Given this situation, the probability of a move upwards toward its recent mean is overwhelmingly high.

In order to give sufficient duration to our trade, I would like to look at a butterfly structure approximately three months into the future in order to allow for mean reversion of the VIX.

The P&L chart for our broken wing April put butterfly is displayed below:


Click to enlarge

As can be clearly seen, the trade structure has no upper bound of profitability and the risk to the lower side is the total amount paid to establish the butterfly. As such, this is a defined risk trade that will profit from a reversion of the VIX to its mean.

Editor's Note: JW Jones offers more content at OptionsTradingSignals.com.

For more on options trading, take a 14 day FREE trial to OptionSmith. Get access to veteran options trader Steve Smith's portfolio along with emailed alerts and strategy with every trade he makes. Learn more.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PrintPRINT

Busy? Subscribe to our free newsletter!

Submit
 

WHAT'S POPULAR IN THE VILLE