Monday, August 4, 2008

The Evolution of the Volatility Index Family Tree

In the beginning, there was the VIX. Eventually, the reach of the VIX was deemed too narrow and the volatility index universe was expanded to include the VXN, VXO, and a host of other volatility indices based on various U.S. equity indices. First an American phenomenon, volatility indices soon began sprouting up overseas, notably in the form of the German VDAX, but more recently reaching Asian shores with the April launch of the India VIX.

Having expanded geographically, volatility indices also recently began to expand the time horizon in which they evaluated volatility with the launch of the VXV, the 93 day version of the VIX.

In the last three weeks, the CBOE has started moving past equity-based volatility indices into commodity and currency volatility indices. The OVX (“Oil VIX”) was the first such effort. Last Friday the CBOE launched two new volatility indices:

  • GVZ – CBOE Gold Volatility Index (“Gold VIX”), based on the GLD ETF

  • EVZ – CBOE EuroCurrency Volatility Index (“Euro VIX”), based on the FXE ETF

The graphic below summarizes some of the highlights across the volatility index evolutionary timeline.

It remains to be seen whether the VIX branding and labeling will stick to oil, gold and the euro. Five years ago, the VIX label was transported from the S&P 100 (OEX) to the S&P 500 (SPX), but until the past few months there has been only one VIX. With the recent arrival of the India VIX, Oil VIX, Gold VIX, and Euro VIX, there is ample room for confusion about what exactly “VIX” means. On the other hand, “VIX” is really just shorthand for a generic “volatility index.” If this potential confusion can be overcome, the CBOE may have found a way to enhance and extend the most successful product and brand they have ever launched – and in the process dramatically change the volatility landscape.


Bill Luby said...

If anyone has some thoughts on what the next frontier might look like for volatility indices, don't hold back...

utente said...

hi Bill,

i ve found this Williams Vix Fix article here I was wondering if you have ever compared this WVF with the new Volatility Indexes. I ask you this because i think FXE, USO & GLD options are not very liquid, so i ve found that EVZ, GVZ & OVZ are not so good indicators as VIX is.
Hoping my poor english is understable
Looking forward for your answer
Thank you

DISCLAIMER: "VIX®" is a trademark of Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated. Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated is not affiliated with this website or this website's owner's or operators. CBOE assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness or any other aspect of any content posted on this website by its operator or any third party. All content on this site is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended as advice to buy or sell any securities. Stocks are difficult to trade; options are even harder. When it comes to VIX derivatives, don't fall into the trap of thinking that just because you can ride a horse, you can ride an alligator. Please do your own homework and accept full responsibility for any investment decisions you make. No content on this site can be used for commercial purposes without the prior written permission of the author. Copyright © 2007-2023 Bill Luby. All rights reserved.
Web Analytics