Volatility ETFs: Checking in on the TVIX Premium
May 17th 2012 at 1:23pm by John Spence
VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN (NYSEArca: TVIX) was up 3% on above-average trading volume Thursday and set to close higher for the fifth straight session.
The exchange traded note, which provides leveraged exposure to VIX futures, has been rising on Eurozone debt fears and weaker economic data. The CBOE Volatility Index or VIX is known as Wall Street’ fear gauge and it tends to move in the opposite direction of stocks.
TVIX on Thursday rose above its 50-day simple moving average for the first time since late 2011.
The ETN, which holds total assets of $552.8 million according to Morningstar, took fire earlier this year when its premium to net asset value plunged. The fund quickly lost 60% in March amid reports unsuspecting investors were saddled with big losses. [What Really Happened with TVIX]
Volatility-linked funds such as TVIX were incredibly popular in early 2012. A premium developed in TVIX after issuer Credit Suisse halted the creation of new shares, so the ETN was essentially trading like a closed-end fund.
The recent move higher in TVIX has brought it to the top of the trading range following the March meltdown.
TVIX was trading at a 3.2% premium to net asset value on Thursday afternoon. The ETN’s premium surged as high as 90% in March before violently collapsing.
Volatility products are complex vehicles designed to follow VIX futures, not the spot price. [Risks of Volatility ETFs]
“The application of daily leverage on a fund held longer than one day can very quickly erode the holdings returns due to the pernicious effects of compounding arithmetic,” Morningstar says in a review of TVIX. “This fund is an exchange traded note, which is not backed by an actual portfolio of cash and futures. Investors are therefore exposed to the credit risk of the note’s backing bank.”
VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN
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