How Does VelocityShares’ ZIV Work?

Just about anyone who’s looked at a multi-year chart for a long volatility fund like Barclays’ VXX has thought about taking the short side side of that trade. VelocityShares’ ZIV is an Exchange Traded Product (ETP) that allows you to hold a short volatility position while avoiding some of the issues associated with a direct short position in VXX.  Because ZIV is tied to VIX …

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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 November 1st, 2018 TVIX    VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN +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 500 VIX Mid-Term …

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Sometimes Inverse / Leveraged Volatility Funds Outperform Their Leverage Factors

From August 2nd  to October 3rd, 2011 Barclays’ S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) had a great 137% runup.  In that same period VelocityShares’ TVIX  ETN, 2X leveraged on the same index went up an astonishing 348%,  73 percent more than its 2X leverage factor would project.   How is that possible?  Don’t inverse and leveraged funds always underperform the index they’re tracking? Normal …

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Taming Inverse Volatility with a Simple Ratio

Update This article was first posted in September 2012.  The strategy outlined below worked well until August 2013 and then basically went sideways for over 3 years before perking up again in 2017—when virtually any short volatility strategy worked.  I’ve updated the chart and the verbiage to reflect those changes.  In September 2017 the Cboe renamed its VXV index as VIX3M.  The Cboe does not …

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Backtesting VelocityShares’ ZIV inverse volatility ETN back to 2004

All of the volatility based ETN/ETF products are relatively new.  Barclays’ VXX and VXZ oldsters started in January 2009—just a few months before the end of the 2008/2009 crash.  This lack of historical data over full market cycles makes it hard to assess the risks associated with new products—such as VelocityShares’ ZIV (medium-term inverse volatility)  which started in November 2010. test I have backtested ZIV starting from …

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