Inverse Volatility

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Invest in VIX volatility using ZIV

Update January 2017: The recent performance of investing in volatility can be seen here. You are probably wondering how we could achieve yearly performances of more than 50% with some of our rotation strategies. The reason is that the Maximum Yield Rotation Strategy and the Global Market Rotation Enhanced Strategy are investing in inverse volatility. Invest in inverse Volatility So, here are now some facts to show you why I like inverse volatility so much. In this chart you see the performance of the ZIV mid-term inverse volatility ETF compared to some other global market ETF from our rotation strategy. The ZIV performance of 76% for the last 12 month was just incredible. In the next chart you see a comparison of the VIX volatility index compared to the ZIV performance. ZIV has a inverse relation to the VIX index. This means that ZIV goes down when volatility or VIX goes up. For the 1 year period VIX is more or less the same (+0.19%). The VIX index is now at 15.6%. So, why did ZIV go up so much, when the VIX index is unchanged? This is because of the strong contango of the VIX mid-term futures of which the ZIV ETF is composed. If I calculate, then I get an average monthly performance of 4.8% (=12. root of 1.76), during the last 12 month, due to the strong contango of the VIX futures which track volatility. At the moment the monthly "roll yield" of ZIV is a little bit lower, but it is still about 3% per month. Now, if you look at the ZIV performance you see that ZIV only made 0.69% since April 12. Why this??? If you look at the VIX Index, you see that during the same period, it went up by almost 30%. [...]

2017-10-02T20:00:00+00:00 By |0 Comments

Harvesting Contango: How To Build An ETF Rotation Strategy With More Than 50% Annualized Returns

In this paper I want to explain the readers how the Maximum Yield Rotation Strategy of www.logical-invest.com is built. This strategy harvests the so called Contango. Harvesting Contango by investing in inverse volatility This Strategy harvests contango and achieves very high returns investing in inverse volatility. From 2011 to today the annual performance was more than 70% per year. Year to date the performance is 40.9%. The Sharpe Ratio (Return/Risk) of 2.12 is a "DREAM VALUE" and I doubt that someone can show me a strategy with a higher ratio. The strategy invests in 4 different ETFs and harvests the contango: US Market (MDY - S&P MidCap 400 SPDRs) U.S. Treasury Bonds - (EDV Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury 25+yr) Volatility - (ZIV VelocityShares Inverse VIX Medium-Term) cash - (SHY Barclays Low Duration Treasury) only if Treasury correlation to SPY > -0.25 The Maximum Yield Strategy switches semi-monthly between these 4 ETFs. For the switching I use a ranking system like the one I explained in my SeekingAlpha article of the Global Market Rotation Strategy. The ranking system is also using 3 month historical performance and 20 day volatility. Using also volatility is quite important for harvesting contango, because it reduces the ranking of high volatile ETFs like ZIV. However, if you want to play such a rotation strategy by yourself, then you can also just look at the 3 month historical performance to benefit from contango. In this strategy the ZIV ETF is the most important performance driver. ZIV can only be backtested since 2011, so that I cannot present a longer backtest for the whole strategy, but the way the strategy is built, you can backtest parts of it for more than 10 years. Benefit from Contango The Maximum Yield Rotation Strategy is composed by several smaller sub-rotation strategies. Here is an overview of [...]

2017-10-02T20:00:00+00:00 By |2 Comments

Risk Management using Timed Hedging – Avoid DrawDowns

As you perhaps know I have invested all my money in my own strategies, and I and my family (the best wife of all and 4 nice children) are living from the return of these investments. So, I just cannot afford to lose much money in market corrections. Therefore I always try to improve the strategies to lower the risk of major losses through hedging. Timed Hedging The new "Timed hedging" is a major improvement of the rotation strategies. It increases the Return to Risk ratio of all strategies a lot. Timed hedging allows you to reduce the downside risk or the volatility of your investment by about 1/3rd without affecting the performance of the strategies. An excellent way to reduce the volatility or risk of your investment is hedging with Treasuries. Treasuries are most of the time negatively correlated to the stock market and still have a long term positive return. In my strategy emails, I will from now on always give an indication on how you can hedge the current strategy investment. There is a good possibility that 2014 will be a more choppy market than 2013. The 32% performance of the US stock market is just crying for some corrections, even if the economy outlook is still very positive. In a normal year like 2012 without tapering, the stock market (MDY – orange) and Treasuries (EDV – blue) have nearly perfectly mirrored charts. 2013 was a special year with extremely fast rising treasury yields during the summer period. This had the effect, that long duration ETFs like EDV lost up to 20% for the whole year. Since the beginning of 2014 treasuries show again a normal negative correlation of about -0.5 to the stock market (SPY). Since hedging with Treasuries is an extremely simple and effective [...]

2017-10-02T20:00:00+00:00 By |14 Comments

Strategies For Trading Inverse Volatility

Update: You can see the most recent performance our our inverse volatility strategy here. Consult vixcentral for the daily VIC term curve. In this paper, I present five different strategies you can use to trade inverse volatility. Why trade inverse volatility you ask? Because since 2011, trading inverse volatility was probably the most rewarding investment an investor could make in the markets. Annual returns of between 40% - 100% have been possible which crushes any other strategy I know. Smartly Trading inverse volatility In modern markets, the best way to protect capital would be to rotate out of falling assets, like we do in our rotation strategies. This is relatively easy, if you are invested only in a few ETFs, but it is much more difficult, if you are invested in a lot of different shares. In such a situation an easy way to protect capital is to hedge it, going long VIX Futures, VIX call options or VIX ETFs VXX. If you trade inverse volatility, which means going short VIX, you play the role of an insurer who sells worried investors an insurance policy to protect them from falling stock markets. To hedge a portfolio by 100% an investor needs to buy VXX ETFs for about 20% of the portfolio value. The VXX ETF loses up to 10% of it's value per month, because of the VIX Futures contango, so this means that scared investors are willing to pay 1.5-2% of the portfolio value per month or around 25% per year for this insurance. Investing in inverse volatility means nothing more, than taking over the risk and collecting this insurance premium from worried investors and you can capitalize on this with a few simple strategies, which I will show you below. Something seems afoot. Why do investors pay 25% per year [...]

2017-10-02T20:00:00+00:00 By |45 Comments

New Maximum Yield Rotation Strategy backtest charts

Here are two backtests charts of the new MYRS strategy with adaptive allocation, now also suitable for your retirement account. The annual return of the old and the new strategy is more or less the same. During low volatility markets, the return of the new strategy is probably slightly lower, however during difficult volatile years like 2014, the return of the new strategy is significantly higher and the drawdowns and the risk is reduced nearly by a factor of 2x. The slightly lower return is due to the fact that some time a part of your capital is invested in the Treasury hedge to reduce risk. An option for your retirement account? The overall risk/return (Sharpe) ratio is about 2x higher than the one of the old strategy, so there is no question, that the new strategy is significantly better and maight be a suitable option for your retirement account. See the updated performance charts also here.   If you are new to our site, here a summary of our strategy: "The Maximum Yield Rotation Strategy is our top performing investment strategie. The Strategy invests on a semi-monthly basis in two US asset classes or cash. These US asset classes are: U.S. Treasury Bonds – (EDV Vanguard Extended Duration Tsy 25+yr) Volatility – (ZIV VelocityShares Inverse VIX Medium-Term) cash – (SHY Barclays Low Duration Treasury) Treasury bonds and inverse Volatility ETFs have significant negative correlation to each other. This means, that whatever the market sentiment is, there is always one assets performing well. The strategy is a good way to profit from VIX contango without risking heavy losses during a volatility spike. The incredibily high return of this strategy does not mean that this strategy is very risky.  The strategy minimizes the risk of losses during financial crisis by switching early into Treasurys or even switching [...]

2017-10-02T20:00:00+00:00 By |10 Comments

Logical Invest meets AAII Silicon Valley Chapter

We‘re happy to have been invited to host a presentation at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) on April 11, 2015. We obviously extend this invitation to whomever is around, join us for this first opportunity to meet in person. The presentation to AAII will especially focus on how to construct your self-managed portfolio using ETF and Mutual Fund Rotation Strategies, how to build in a well-balanced crash protection mechanism into your IRA and 401k account, and how to use inverse volatility to harvest the 'fear premium'. At AAII we will also provide a first glimpse at the new 'Portfolio Builder' for constructing fixed weight portfolios using our strategies, and how to break the Markowitz Efficient Frontier using our revolutionary dynamic weight meta-strategies. Drop me a line at alex@logical-invest.com or as comment to set up some additional time. I’ll be around Friday till Monday and would love to collaborate and share more insights with AAII or people around Best Regards, Alexander Horn Invitation and online registration for AAII event: PDF file Saturday, April 11, 2015  INTELLIGENT, RULE-BASED ETF INVESTMENT STRATEGIES  With hundreds of ETFs available, how can the individual investor successfully manage a portfolio? Logical Invest has developed algorithms that create alpha and reduce market exposure with simple, well-researched monthly ETF rotation strategies. These strategies protect your account with crash protection via U.S. Treasuries and harvest a “fear premium” from inverse volatility. These rotation strategies can be brought together with adaptive allocation in a custom-made portfolio right for each investor. You Will Learn: The key elements - and most common traps - of constructing your self-managed portfolio How to build in a well-balanced crash protection mechanism into your strategies How you can benefit from harvesting the “fear premium” by investing in inverse volatility Discussed by: Alexander Horn  [...]

2017-10-02T20:00:00+00:00 By |5 Comments

‘Hell on Fire’: The 3x leveraged Universal Investment Strategy

Summary: -Aggressive leveraged version of our previously published Universal Investment Strategy -Variable SPY-TLT allocations dynamically adapted to the market conditions. -45% annual return with a Sharpe Ratio of 1.3 since 2002.Due to its simplicity and low correlation to the S&P 500, there is a continued interest in the UIS version that uses 3x leveraged ETFs: ETF SPXL (Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bull 3X Shares ETF) and TMF (Direxion Daily 30-Year Treasury Bull 3x Shares ETF). Following the suggested nomenclature by Al from AAII SV - and to honor their interest, we call this version “Hell on fire”, which alludes to the high risk/return profile of the strategy. We will show ways to blend this strategy in a well-balanced and risk-optimized portfolio as to overcome the generally negative perception of private investors towards leveraged ETF.

2017-10-02T20:00:00+00:00 By |27 Comments

Logical Invest at the Silicon Valley chapter of the investors AAII

What an audience and what an experience! Thanks to the investors AAII Silicon Valley! As announced some weeks ago, on April 11 we hosted our first conference at the Silicon Valley chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors AAII in San Jose, CA. Sharing and discussing some of the topics which are close to our heart with an incredible audience in live mode was such a great opportunity we completely overran the anticipated schedule by more than an hour. Deep-diving into special interests during follow up face-to-face meetings with individual investors and getting challenged by the computerized investment group helped to clarify expectations and ideas for further developments. Recorded investors AAII conference 1.) AAII Board Introduction Opening remarks by Lynn Gillette, President of the AAII SV, and Al Zmyslowski, head of the computerized investment group. 2) Who we are & What we stand for Introduction of the Logical Invest team, what drives us, and some of our core beliefs in investing 3) Constructing your ‘all weather’ self-managed portfolio The Logical Invest way of constructing portfolios using smart building blocks of assets, diversifiers, and different tactical approaches at the strategy and portfolio level 4) Building a well-balanced crash protection Why Buy & Hold is dead and how to set up your portfolio for success even in the next correction 5) Harvesting the ‘Fear Premium’ and 'Rebalancing losses' Highly geeky ways to further improve your portfolio returns by investing in inverse volatility and shorting 3 times leveraged bear treasury ETF. 6) Markowitz Meets Logical Invest How our own approach to portfolio construction evolved over time, and how to build dynamic weighted Meta-Strategies (aka Strategy of Strategies) Or see the full investors AAII Youtube playlist list online. [...]

2017-10-02T20:00:00+00:00 By |8 Comments

Logical-Invest review @ Daily Fintech

With a lot of hype about FinTech these days, we´re happy to have received a positive review from one of the most important FinTech blogs. What is FinTech? Here the definition of FinTech by Investopedia: Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector in the 21st century. Originally, the term applied to technology applied to the back-end of established consumer and trade financial institutions.             A review of Logical Invest by Efi Pylarinou @ Daily Fintech "Logical-Invest offers actionable portfolio solutions: Simple and Intelligent" "They provide you with 100% actionable advise." "You can pick a monthly subscription or an annual subscription to one of their core strategies and pay less than 3 shares of Apple (for the year)." "Financial advisors are natural users of such tools and they typically, subscribe to all the Logical-Invest products. Retail investors are also using the single strategies because they are relatively simple and fit in every portfolio." Read the whole article in Daily FinTech here:   Logical-Invest offers actionable portfolio solutions; Simple and intelligent. By Efi Pylarinou Looking for a quant edge in your investing strategies? Logical-Invest already has 8 off-the-shelf strategies that you can “grab” and use. Logical-Invest is not an investment advisor and will not manage your money. They provide you with 100% actionable advise. You can pick a monthly subscription or an annual subscription to one of their core strategies and pay less than 3 shares of Apple (for the year). Logical-Invest was founded by four partners that bring a lot of experience in financial markets, quantitative fields (engineering), and business. They started by introducing a sharing platform of their own strategies for investing. Logical-Invest sprung out of this, less than six months ago. The team is putting their money where their mouth [...]

2017-10-02T20:00:00+00:00 By |0 Comments

The Logical-Invest monthly newsletter for June 2015

This is the monthly monthly Logical-Invest newsletter for June 2015. From now on this newsletter will replace the individual comments for the single strategies. The newsletter includes a strategy performance overview which can help you to switch between strategies. The same table is available if you login to your logical invest account at "My Account" and select the strategy performance menu. The table on the website is a dynamic table and will be updated every day. This way you can easily compare the performance of the different strategies. There are times when a subset of strategies may lag, like this is the case at the moment for all strategies which invest in bonds. Using the dynamic table you can click on the column headers and sort the table by any of the columns. If you sort for example by 3 month Sharpe, then you see which strategy performs best in the current rising rates sideways market environment. If you sort by 12 or 36 month Sharpe, then you see which strategy performs best over a period which includes also some market corrections. The table also includes the most important benchmarks SPY, TLT and AGG. Here is now a static copy of the table sorted by year to date performance.  Strategy performance overview: symbol close year to date % ▴ 3 month % 1 month % 1 day % 60 day volatility 60 day correlation 3 month Sharpe 12 month Sharpe 36 month Sharpe LastModified: 5/29/2015 UIS-SPXL-TMF 6151.80 11.42 -2.39 1.15 -1.50 26.65 0.79 -0.48 3.40 3.22 MYRS 626.86 7.04 2.37 3.55 -0.03 16.39 0.62 0.91 2.21 3.04 WORLD-TOP4 283.91 6.53 -1.07 -1.40 -0.83 13.76 0.67 -0.44 3.13 3.21 GMRS 4408.85 5.63 -0.26 1.13 -0.58 10.24 0.75 -0.15 0.47 1.59 GSRLV 499.13 4.56 -1.38 0.10 -0.54 9.78 0.64 -0.77 2.35 2.33 UIS 476.65 3.90 -0.30 [...]

2017-10-02T20:00:00+00:00 By |0 Comments