Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where Will Gustav Land?

There are several excellent sources which will provide the latest updates on hurricanes and the various potential paths that a number of computer models are projecting. These sites include the National Hurricane Center, Weather Underground, AccuWeather, and others. The most common graphical depiction of these projections come in the form of a probability cone that projects the most likely path of the eye, with an increasingly large cone farther into the future to reflect the increased uncertainty about the forecast.

You can study these probability cones, computer projections and other data and adjust your portfolio accordingly. There is another tool that I don’t believe many know is out there. Intrade, the prediction market site, has recently added a number of contracts covering possible landfall locations for Gustav. The graphic below highlights the current landfall contracts associated with Gustav. These range across the Gulf of Mexico and also include Georgia, South Carolina, and “any other state”. Note that all these contracts stipulate that landfall has to be as a category 2 hurricane (winds 96-110 mph) or higher. Finally, there is also a contract that Gustav does not make first landfall in the U.S. as a category 2 or higher hurricane.

These may not be the ideal trading vehicles for hurricanes, but they can be interesting data sources as volume picks up in these contracts, enhancing the value of their informational content.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bill,

did you notice that since July 1, 2008, CBOE offers "binary options" on the *cash* VIX itself (in additon to the regular options on the VIX which are in reality options of VIX futures (symbol: "BVZ").

The way it works is almost identical to the way Intrade works.

The specification of VIX binary options can be found here:
http://www.cboe.com/products/indexopts/bvz_spec.aspx

For a potential retail VIX trader it may be a much more understandable product and more convenient vehicle (limited risk -the price one paid for the option- and reward -$1.00 per option- even if selling short a binary VIX option when regularly the risk is unlimited in the event of a VIX spike) betting on where the *cash* VIX will close on a specific date in the future.

Quotes are available on CBOE's quotes page:
http://www.cboe.com/DelayedQuote/QuoteTable.aspx
(symbol "BVZ")

Binary options on the *cash* VIX may be worth some further investigations.

Best regards
Frank

Bill Luby said...

Thanks for the heads up, Frank.

Ironically, I just discovered these a few minutes ago; I'm not sure how they had managed to slip past me.

In any event, I share your enthusiasm about the product and will have a LOT to say about these going forward.

Cheers and thanks again,

-Bill

transformation said...

luck+ skill= results:

bill, dont ask me how, but i am now on my fourth trip in 9 trading days, but now up about 200% in my cash account, and bought QQQQ 48 sept puts AGAIN near the close, and now DELL is killing the futures in after hours.

i look at the pricing of my options at 4:15 EST, and wondered if there had been some kind of mistake, but so it is... BOT at 3:25 EST.

luck never hurts, but my VIX momentum model did NOT show a strong sell, but had to get short again on my gut, proximity 200 day MA, low oil with risk now to the upside, higher dollars, XLE etc.

the other negative was lack of NH NL on the NYSE, and prefer far worse numbers for shorts.

Roth ira about 25% in two weeks.

take care, dk

Bill Luby said...

dk,

As you know, few things are as gratifying as a hot streak in a bear market.

Be good to your gut!

-Bill

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