How Does VXX’s Daily Roll Work?

All volatility Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) use indexes that track a mix of two or more months of the CBOE’s VIX Futures.  Calculating this mix is not trivial and has resulted in a lot of bleary eyes—including my own.  My intent with this post is to help you understand, and if you desire to accurately compute the key indexes used in VXX and other short …

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Hedging the S&P 500 with Volatility

It’s expensive to buy securities that track volatility.  Their holding costs are so high that your timing has to be exquisite in order to end up with a profit.  However, if you’re hedging a short volatility position, or poised to jump into the general market at a possible transition point a long volatility position might make sense. Consider this chart: Will the S&P 500 bounce …

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Backtest of VXX Volatility ETN From 2004 Including Yearly Fees

Volatility based Exchange Traded Funds and Notes (ETF / ETN) have only been on the market for a few years (see volatility tickers for the full list of USA based funds).  The oldest one, Barclays’ VXX only started trading in late January 2009.   Because of their relative youth, we don’t have actual trade data on how they would have performed through critical periods—for example, …

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Backtests for Popular Long & Short Volatility Exchange Traded Products

I have generated the end of day trading day values for the most  popular long and short volatility Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) for March 26th, 2004 through the end of the most recent quarter.  See this table for specifics. +1.5X UVXY  ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (includes old 2X simulation) VXX     Barclays S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN VXZ     Barclays S&P …

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Most Recent VXX Reverse Split—April 23rd, 2021

Barclays reverse split VXX for the sixth time with a split ratio of 4:1 effective 23-April-2021. For a security doomed to decrease in value over time Barclays’ VXX does amazingly well.  Its volume averages over 25 million shares per day and its assets under management have stayed around $800 million to $1.5 billion.  Not bad for a product that has averaged a 52% annual loss …

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