Exchange traded products that follow CBOE Volatility Index futures have provided investors with opportunities to profit from stock pullbacks and hedge portfolios during the market’s recent dramatic swings.
The largest such offering is iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEArca: VXX) with a market capitalization of $1.2 billion. The exchange traded note was launched in early 2009 shortly before the stock market bottomed after the credit crash. Since then, it has lost nearly all its value during the historic bull rally and has also been hurt by negative “roll yield” due to contango in VIX futures — when longer-dated contracts are more expensive than the spot price.
The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN charges a yearly fee of 0.89%, according to issuer Barclays.
There are several exchange traded products for VIX futures, including leveraged and inverse funds. [Capitalizing on Market Volatility With VIX ETPs]
VelocityShares, which manages six products, has been making inroads in the volatility-linked category. The VIX is Wall Street’s so-called fear gauge and rises when investors are seeking protection in the options market.