Why has XIV underperformed in 2018?

Discussion in 'ETFs' started by ajensen, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. ajensen

    ajensen

    XIV did great in 2017, but so far this year it has greatly underperformed what a 3-4 beta to the S&P 500 would predict. I though the prospect of a government shutdown was causing underperformance, but even with that averted, it has done poorly relatively considering the environment of low realized volatility with an upward drift. Is it concerns about a trade war? The Trump administration has recently imposed some tariffs. Of course, the market does not answer questions about what it does, but I am wondering what is going on.
     
  2. truetype

    truetype

    Covered-writers forced to roll up to higher strikes are keeping vol bid.
     
  3. ajensen

    ajensen

    Interesting explanation, thanks. But the correlation of VIX and SPX changes is about -80%, so usually SPX increases are accompanied by VIX drops. Why is the effect you suggest stronger now than it usually is?
     
  4. truetype

    truetype

    Because S&P goes up every day. Call writers have a gun to their heads.
     
  5. VIX is rather part art, part science. and it's kind of a stale backwards-looking measure...of potential things to come. Nothing really in the market is an exact measure or correlation of something...it's rubberbands and bubblegum. not rope or string, that doesn't stretch.

    2018 is relatively much more complacent and tame and normal and expected environment...compared to the new, weird, wild 2017 was during Trump's first year in office. It's like spilling marbles all over the place, the initial drop is crazy and wild.

    I hope that explanation and wisdom made everything crystal clear for you. -- and you now become rich. :confused:
     


  6. :D:D
     
  7. rvince99

    rvince99

    Because XIV / SVXY became the only game in town, everyone playing the positive drift to it.
     
  8. kiev

    kiev

    The spx option players are not as optimistic as players in stock market.
     
  9. ajensen

    ajensen

    Today the WSJ has an article on this topic:

    https://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2018/01/26/is-volatility-back/
    Is Volatility Back?
    In an unusual occurrence, the VIX has moved the same direction as the S&P 500 on over half of trading days this month
    By Gunjan Banerji

    Jan 26, 2018 8:39 am ET

    ...

    In an unusual occurrence, the VIX has moved the same direction as the S&P 500 on over half of trading days in January. The VIX has risen 4.9% this year and closed Thursday at 11.58, while the S&P has jumped 6.2%, in its best start for any year since 1987, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Market Data Group.

    ...

    Some attribute the moves to investors springing for bullish call options on the S&P 500 in an effort to keep up with the stock-market rally.
     
  10. ajensen

    ajensen

    Today (Jan 26) the SPY was up 1.15% but XIV fell 0.64%, again departing from the usual positive correlation. Here is an article from Reuters on this topic.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-stocks-vix-dance-tandem-break-history-210658736--sector.html
    U.S. stocks, VIX dance in tandem in break with history
    By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
    January 26, 2018

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A rising U.S. stock market normally reduces fear
    among investors, but the blistering pace of the current rally has
    instead also driven up the anxiety factor in the market.

    The S&P 500 Index and the Cboe Volatility Index, which is the main
    gauge for measuring investor fears that benchmark stocks will drop in
    the near term, have moved in rare tandem form.

    On nine separate occasions this month, the VIX has matched the
    direction taken by the S&P 500 on a given day. That marks the most
    times these two measures have moved concurrently in the same direction
    in all but two months over the last five years.

    The VIX is derived from the price of S&P 500 options. When stocks
    fall, investors rush to buy protection and drive up the level of the
    VIX. Not so this year.

    Even though the S&P 500 has risen 4.7 percent over the last three
    weeks, the VIX has gained more that 2 points.

    "Even though the SPX has gone up, because it has gone up in such a
    parabolic fashion the VIX has gone up as well," said Stephen Aniston,
    president of investment adviser Black Peak Capital, in Connecticut.

    In recent months, U.S. stocks have steadily climbed, taking benchmark
    indexes to new highs, with nary a sign of volatility. This led some
    investors to sell S&P 500 call options, on the belief that the rally
    would lose steam.

    By selling an index call the seller takes on the obligation to sell
    the value of the underlying index at a fixed price in the future.

    Stocks' rapid 'melt-up' this year has left these call sellers in a
    weak spot and they have been forced to buy calls to cover their short
    position, analysts said. This buying of S&P 500 calls tends to boost
    the VIX even as the market rallies, analysts said.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
    #10     Jan 26, 2018