VIX indicator-- or not.


Moderator Emeritus
Dec 11, 2002
HaHa said:
An interesting side fact is that S&P volatility has reached 50 year lows, in spite of many obvious economic factors, geopolitical factors, natural disasters, etc. Not proof of anything, but interesting nevertheless. Ha
Following up on Mikey's comment, here's an interesting Hulbert article on how the VIX's reliability as an indicator seems to be changing.

Gary Smith's observation on indicators behaving like this is that "indicators work-- until they don't."
I read Gary's book.
He is very well educated and knowlegeable.
I've a couple of e-mails with him.

If you are into technical analysis check out
VIX measures a very fundamental metric of markets- expectations about how much they bounce around. Whether it is useful as an indicator depends on what you are hoping to have indicated.

Always before, VIX has been mean reverting, over varying periods. If this holds, a low VIX reading should forecast a less low one.

As a general statement, I have found that a successful but not wildly so technique is to buy whatever group investors hate, even if I can't see why things should change. If investors are unwilling to pay much for puts or calls, on balance and over time this would be the time to buy them, if one were ever going to do so.

I think this is not so much because investors are dumb, as that it is hard to get hurt jumping out of a basement window. And, occasionally you will be spectacularly successful.

I admit that as applied to options this has been a losing proposition for me of late. OTOH the same technique made me quite a bit of money in the energy sector. I had some thought that oil might get more difficult to find, but I am no geologist. My main reason for going in was that crude, and the associated equities seemed very cheap.


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