Black & Scholes for Puts/Calls in a Single Excel Cell

Sometimes an online option calculator isn’t enough and you’d like to implement the Black & Scholes (B&S) option pricing equations in Excel.  If you’re just playing around it doesn’t matter how you structure the calculation.  In fact, for clarity’s sake, it’s probably a good idea to spread out the calculation across multiple cells.  However, if you’re planning to do some serious work with multiple B&S …

Read moreBlack & Scholes for Puts/Calls in a Single Excel Cell

No, the VIX is Not Broken

Hardly a month goes by without some pundit trumpeting that the VIX is broken. But before you worry too much, consider some of the non-obvious characteristics of the Cboe’s Fear Gauge. First a Summary These charts list possible explanations for perceived VIX “brokenness” Complaint Market in Low Volatility State (21-day std dev close-to-close log returns < 10%) Market in High Volatility State VIX too high …

Read moreNo, the VIX is Not Broken

Deciding What to do Next

Years ago I had a meeting with my manager regarding three projects that I was responsible for. Each of the projects had considerable technical problems, tight deadlines, and were short on resources. In the course of the conversation, I asked my boss what his priorities were on the projects. He said all three projects had number one priority. Aargh… Absent useful guidance from others, how …

Read moreDeciding What to do Next

Goodbye VXXB, We Hardly Knew Ye

Effective May 2nd, VXXB and VXZB, Barclays’ short- and medium-term volatility funds will be renamed to VXX and VXZ.  This is a market maneuver by Barclays to recapture the brand value of the original, very successful, VXX and moderately successful VXZ products introduced in 2009.  The original products matured in January 2019 so Barclays had to create VXXB and VXZB as replacement products. However, there’s …

Read moreGoodbye VXXB, We Hardly Knew Ye

What Caused the Volatility Tsunami on 5-Feb-2018?

In the afternoon of February 5th, 2018, what looked like a bad day for a group of high flying volatility-based products turned into a devastating decline.  Four factors combined to ruin their day: A Flawed Architecture Relying on the Past to Predict the Future Billions Under Management A Record-Breaking VIX® spike Twenty-five minutes before the close of the New York Stock exchange on February 5th, …

Read moreWhat Caused the Volatility Tsunami on 5-Feb-2018?