Tuesday, March 29, 2022

UVIX and SVIX Join the VIX-Based ETP Landscape

Tomorrow will see first launch in the VIX ETP space since…well I’m not sure exactly, but I’m guessing the May 2016 launch of the now defunct VMIN and VMAX products.  Back in 2016, I tracked 27 different VIX ETPs and while there were several obvious leaders, the field was still in flux at that time.  In the intervening six years, it has been a war of attrition and that attrition has seen some spectacular departures and renovations, including the “Volmageddon” demise of XIV and the subsequent downward recalibration of leverage in issues such as UVXY and SVXY

This time around we have two promising ETFs that will be positioned in two critical spaces in the VIX ETP landscape, as the graphic below shows.  Not only are these products ETFs that avoid some of the potential problems associated with ETNs, including credit/counterparty risk, issuance/creation units risk, and acceleration/closure risk, but they make a valiant effort to address some of the daily rebalancing issues highlighted by the Volmageddon fiasco on February 5, 2018.

Specifically, the feature of these products that I find particularly compelling is the new methodology for daily rebalancing, which essentially uses time-weighted average prices in 5-second intervals covering the last 15 minutes of the standard trading session.  In this manner, the risks associated with liquidity of after-hours rebalancing or dramatic pre-close spikes are all but eliminated.  For more on the details of the end-of-day rebalancing methodology, I recommend Vance Harwood’s Why We Need the LONGVOL & SHORTVOL Indexes.

The two new products are:

UVIX (Volatility Shares 2x Long VIX Futures ETF) – a +2x product that is similar to the TVIX/TVIXF ETN as well as the UVXY ETF prior to its decrease in leverage from +2x to +1.5x on February 28, 2018 (profile, prospectus, more information via Vance Harwood)

SVIX (Volatility Shares -1x Short VIX Futures ETF) – a -1x product that is similar to the old XIV ETN as well as the SVXY ETF prior to its decrease in leverage from -1x to -0.5x on February 28, 2018 (profile, prospectus, more information via Vance Harwood)

With VXX currently in turmoil due to the ongoing suspension of its creation units, both UVIX and SVIX are launching at an opportune time to take market share.  I believe UVIX and SVIX benefit from a superior product design, an improved end-of-day rebalancing methodology, the preferred ETF product wrapper, and attractive leverage/inverse multipliers.  All they need is some liquidity and an active options market before they have the potential to supplant UVXY and VXX as the top products in the VIX ETP space.

In keeping with tradition (the graphic below has been published many times in various incarnations since 2010), I have plotted all of the VIX ETPs with respect to their target maturity (X-axis) and leverage (Y-axis).  [Note that TVIXF and ZIVF, currently traded in very low volumes on the pink sheets, have been omitted from this matrix.]

Now all we need is a product to fill the space left by the departure of ZIV (-1x, with a 5-month average maturity) and I would consider all the important VIX ETP white spaces to be restored.

[source(s):  VIX and More]

Further Reading:
Barclays Suspends Creation Units for VXX
Updating the Current VIX ETP Landscape
VIX ETPs Flash Some Green in 2016
Every Single VIX ETP (Long and Short) Lost Money in 2015
Performance of VIX ETPs During the Recent Debt Ceiling Crisis
Expanded Performance of Volatility-Hedged and Related ETPs
Performance of Volatility-Hedged ETPs
Performance of VIX ETP Hedges in Current Selloff
Slicing and Dicing all 31 Flavors of the VIX ETPs
Charting the Assets of the Volatility-Based ETPs
Four Key Drivers of the Price of TVIX
Will TVIX Go to Zero?
Who Is Trading TVIX?
All About UVXY

For those who may be interested, you can always follow me on Twitter at @VIXandMore

Disclosure(s): net short VXX and UVXY at time of writing


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