Many investors have been buying exchange traded funds tied to futures contracts on the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX. They likely bought the volatility products as insurance against a market pullback.
Some investment advisors, though, have been warning against these funds’ suitability for the average retail investor.
VIX-related funds, like the iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN (NYSEArca: VXZ), ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (NYSEArca: VIXY) and ProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF (NYSEArca: VIXM), have attracted record inflows this year as wary investors try to hedge against market volatility after being burned over last summer, reports Ajay Makan for the Financial Times.
“I’m not surprised at the interest in these products, given many investors’ fear that volatility won’t stay this muted for long,” Steve Davenport, director of equity risk at the asset manager Wilmington Trust, said in the article.
However, these investments have been losing as volatility in the equities market dips back to their historical averages and fund providers have been purchasing costlier future-dated VIX contracts after rolling near-term contracts that are about to mature. [VIX ETFs: Beware Contago]