A Note of Trading the Term Structure of VIX Futures
11 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 18, 2020
The term structure of VIX futures contains a very strong signal of dealer risk appetite. Unlike balance sheet quantities, this feature is available at very high frequencies. Here we exhibit two systematic strategies to mine the attendant risk premium from the term structure of expected volatility. We optimize our two hyper-parameters by OOS cross-validation. We compare our strategies to holding the S&P 500, selling short-term vol un-hedged, and a portfolio that sells short-term vol and hedges by going long on medium-term vol. We find that our strategies allow us to harvest a considerable portion of the risk premium associated with the balance sheet management of market-based intermediaries. Both in-sample and OOS, the risk-adjusted returns on our strategies are at least twice as high as the three benchmarks.
Keywords: Risk Appetite, VIX Futures, Intermediary Risk Premium, Intermediary Asset Pricing, Broker-Dealers
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