Traders are gaining more efficient avenues for hedging volatility without the costs associated with futures contracts through two new AccuShares Spot VIX exchange traded funds.
On Tuesday, AccuShares Investment Management brings to market the AccuShares Spot CBOE VIX Up Shares (NasdaqGM: VXUP) and AccuShares Spot CBOE VIX Down Shares (NasdaqGM: VXDN). VXUP will try to reflect the spot price return of the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, while VXDN wil try to mirror the inverse of the VIX.
The Volatility Index measures the put and call options for the S&P 500 over a 30-day period and is widely referred to as the “fear gauge” since the VIX typically spikes along with greater volatility, or fear, in the market.
These new ETFs will offer a more reliable way to track and capture market volatility, without the trading costs and structural flaws that other VIX futures-based exchange traded products show.
Current U.S.-listed VIX ETFs and ETNs track VIX futures. Consequently, the VIX products are exposed to the negative effects of contango in the futures market when rolling contracts.
Contango occurs when later-dated contracts trade at higher prices relative to contracts that are close to maturity. For instance, CBOE S&P 500 VIX May 2015 contracts were hovering around 13.85 on Friday, whereas next month CBOE S&P 500 VIX June 2015 contracts were trading at 15.5 and CBOE S&P 500 VIX January 2016 contracts were at 19.0.
Since ETFs have to roll over contracts, or sell those close to maturity, and buy a later-dated contract, these futures-based VIX ETFs would essentially sell low and buy high, losing money on each roll during a contangoed market. [New VIX ETFs Coming]