Tech Sector Index is Top Performer in 2017, as Options on Ten Select Sector Indexes Are Planned

One of the most frequent types of questions I receive from investors involves the topic of year-to-date performance.  Many investors are very interested in tracking how indexes have performed in the current year.

As shown in the two charts below, of the ten S&P Select Sector indexes, the top and bottom performers in terms of price index returns in 2017 (through November 7) were the S&P Technology Select Sector Index (IXT), which was up 32%, and the S&P Energy Select Sector Index (IXE), which was down 6%.

1 3 indexes 2017 Tech Sector Index is Top Performer in 2017, as Options on Ten Select Sector Indexes Are Planned at vixtrade.com

2 11 indexes in 2017 Tech Sector Index is Top Performer in 2017, as Options on Ten Select Sector Indexes Are Planned at vixtrade.com

HISTORIC VOLATILITY IN 2017

So far in 2017, the averages of the daily 20-trading day historic volatilities (through September 7) were:

  • 13.4 for the S&P Technology Select Sector Index (IXT);
  • 9.8 for the S&P Energy Select Sector Index (IXE);
  • 6.8 for the S&P 500 Index (SPX); and
  • 3.2 for the Cboe S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT), an index that sells cash-secured SPX put options.

2 5 Hist vola in 2017 Tech Sector Index is Top Performer in 2017, as Options on Ten Select Sector Indexes Are Planned at vixtrade.com PLANS FOR OPTIONS ON SELECT SECTOR INDICES

 Cboe Global Markets has announced plans to expand its suite of product offerings tied to S&P Dow Jones Indices with the planned launch of options on the ten S&P Select Sector Indices that comprise the S&P 500 Index, a key benchmark of the U.S. equities market.

  • Options will be available on 10 sectors that comprise the S&P 500, pending regulatory approval.
  • The new options are expected to hold particular market appeal for European investors interested in targeted exposure within key U.S. equity benchmarks.
  • Further expands Cboe’s successful suite of products tied to S&P Dow Jones Indices, with trading and settlement features similar to Cboe’s S&P 500 options (SPX).

 WEIGHTINGS FOR S&P SELECT SECTOR INDICES

The S&P Technology Select Sector Index (IXT) has the largest weighting of all the ten S&P Select Sector indexes.

3 sector weights Tech Sector Index is Top Performer in 2017, as Options on Ten Select Sector Indexes Are Planned at vixtrade.com

EUROPEAN INVESTORs, UCITS, AND CASH-SETTLED INDEX OPTIONS

Cboe Select Sector Index options are designed to potentially be problem-solvers for European asset managers who want exposure to these U.S. index sectors, but cannot hold physical delivery exchange-traded product (ETP) options in their funds because of EU regulations around UCITS (Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities). The options on the Select Sector Indexes are designed to provide simple, straightforward market access to these key U.S. equity sectors for European investors.

MORE INFORMATION

 For more information on the planned options on S&P Select Sector Indices, including links to more than 100 price charts, and a Fact Sheet with key options specifications, please visit www.cboe.com/Sectors.

 Tech Sector Index is Top Performer in 2017, as Options on Ten Select Sector Indexes Are Planned at vixtrade.com >

New Single-day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4%

An August 10 press release by CBOE Holdings stated that —

“ … trading volume in options and futures on the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) each reached new all-time highs on Thursday, August 10. In VIX options at CBOE, a reported 2,562,477 contracts traded on Thursday, surpassing the previous single-day record of 2,382,752 contracts on February 3, 2014. Year-to-date through the end of July, average daily volume in VIX options was 687,181 contracts, 11 percent ahead of the same period a year ago. In VIX futures at CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE), a reported 939,297 contracts traded on Thursday, surpassing the previous single-day record of 791,788 contracts on October 15, 2014. Of the 10 busiest trading days of all-time for VIX futures, four have occurred in 2017. Year-to-date through the end of July, average daily volume in VIX futures was 283,342 contracts, 20 percent ahead of the same period a year ago.”

A story posted at nytimes.com noted that —

“… After a record-breaking run of buoyant market behavior, investors appeared unnerved on Thursday by a series of provocative remarks by President Trump and increasing tensions with North Korea. …”

BIGGEST ONE-DAY MOVES FOR VIX INDEX

On August 10 the VIX Index jumped 44.4% to close at 16.04. The move was the ninth-biggest one-day move (in percentage terms) for the VIX Index. Note that in the table below with ten dates that the S&P 500 Index fell farther than the CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT) on all ten dates, and that option-writing strategies often are designed to provide a cushion in the event of a downward move in the stock index.

 2 Biggest Moves VIX Table Aug 10 New Single day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4% at vixtrade.com

 

OTHER VOLATILITY INDEXES ALSO ROSE ON AUGUST 10

As shown in the next table, several other volatility indexes also rose on August 10, including the CBOE Equity VIX on Apple (VXAPL) (up 22.4%) and the CBOE VIX of VIX Index (VVIX) (up 26.7%).

2Views Table indexes Aug 10 New Single day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4% at vixtrade.com

RECORD OPEN INTEREST FOR VIX FUTURES

In addition to this month’s single-day volume records, the VIX futures set another new record with more than 675,000 open interest. VIX futures open interest has more than doubled since January 2016. I find it interesting to examine the table below with its comparison of VIX futures open interest and VIX Index values. While some observers assume that high volatility levels are  associated with high volume and open interest figures, in the chart it appears that at times VIX futures open interest increased when the VIX Index was well below its long-term average levels.

 4 VIX Fut Open interest and VIX index New Single day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4% at vixtrade.com

VIX FUTURES PRICES

While there is much press coverage of movements of the spot VIX Index, the index is not investable. Investors who are interested in VIX-related investable instruments can explore the pricing of VIX futures. The table below shows that the last prices for VIX futures with 14 different expiration dates ranged from 14.75 to 17.45 at around 7:05 p.m. Chicago time on August 10.

VIX fut table New Single day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4% at vixtrade.com

MORE INFORMATION

To learn more about how VIX futures and VIX options can help in the management of portfolios, please visit www.cboe.com/VIX.

 

 

 New Single day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4% at vixtrade.com >

Award-Winning PUT Index Now Has 31-Year Price History with Strong Risk-Adjusted Returns

Over the past couple of years more investors have expressed interest in the cash-secured put writing strategy. The leading performance benchmark for this strategy is the CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT), an index that measures the performance of a hypothetical portfolio that sells one-month S&P 500® Index (SPX) put options against collateralized cash reserves held in a money market account.

HIGHER RETURNS AND LOWER VOLATILITY

Note in the bar charts that the PUT Index had higher returns and lower volatility than the other six benchmark indexes, and put option writing (as represented by the PUT Index) had much higher returns than put option buying (as represented by the PPUT Index). A driving factor behind strong risk-adjusted returns for the PUT Index has been the volatility risk premium; options sellers often have been rewarded because implied volatility usually has been higher than realized volatility for S&P 500 options.

1 31 years PUT bar Ret SD Award Winning PUT Index Now Has 31 Year Price History with Strong Risk Adjusted Returns at vixtrade.com

2 PUT Line 31 Years Award Winning PUT Index Now Has 31 Year Price History with Strong Risk Adjusted Returns at vixtrade.com

HISTOGRAM AND LESS LEFT-TAIL RISK

In the 31-year histogram, the left tail risk was mitigated in that the S&P 500 Index had 26 monthly declines with losses of worse than 6%, while the PUT Index had only 12 such declines.

3 PUT Histogram thru June 2017 Award Winning PUT Index Now Has 31 Year Price History with Strong Risk Adjusted Returns at vixtrade.com

NEWS COVERAGE OF PENSION FUNDS AND PUT-WRITE STRATEGY

Below are excerpts from three news stories on pension fund allocations to the put-write strategy.

  

  • Wall Street Journal   (Aug. 21, 2016)
    • Pensions Try a Fear Trade.  Options strategy used by pension funds aims to work like a volatility dampener Some pension funds are seeking to profit from others’ fear.   Pension funds in Hawaii and South Carolina are plying an arcane options strategy called cash-secured put writing. …  Hawaii wanted to diversify market exposure after the financial crisis hit many assets at once… Pension Consulting Alliance first suggested Hawaii use the strategy and currently advises on it, .. The CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index, a benchmark for the strategy, … didn’t fall as sharply as the market during the selloff of early 2016, but has lagged behind the rallies. In 2008, during the financial crisis, the put-write strategy returned minus-27% compared with the S&P 500’s return of minus-37%.  CBOE’s calculations of how the index would have performed before its 2007 creation estimate that annualized returns over the 30 years through this June were 10%, narrowly topping the S&P 500. …  ”

 

  • Pensions & Investments   (Oct. 3, 2016)
    • Funds go exotic with put-write options to stem volatility … Hawaii Employees in the spring hired Neuberger Berman, Analytic Investors, UBS Asset Management and Gateway Investment Advisers to run $400 million each in put-write strategies. This was the first move into the strategy for the pension fund. Earlier this year, the $28.2 billion South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission, Columbia, hired Russell Implementation Services and AQR Capital Management to each manage $800 million in put-write strategies.  And the $16.6 billion Illinois State Universities Retirement System, Champaign, hired Gladius Capital Management to manage $400 million in notional value in a put-write overlay, a move that Executive Director W. Brian Lewis said would result in ‘an income enhancement tool’ … In its paper, Wilshire noted that the CBOE S&P 500 put-write index, with an annualized 10.1% return, outperformed the CBOE S&P 500 buy-write index’s 8.9% and the S&P 500 stock index’s 9.9% over 30 years ended Dec. 31. And for 2015 alone, the put-write index returned 6.4% vs. the buy-write index’s 5.2% and the S&P 500’s 1.4%. …” 

 RESEARCH PAPERS THAT HIGHLIGHT THE PUT INDEX

Visit www.cboe.com/benchmarks for links to the papers below that analyze the performance of the PUT and other benchmark indexes —

GROWTH IN VOLUME FOR S&P 500 OPTIONS

Average daily volume for S&P 500 options at CBOE: (1) has risen in each of the last 5 years, and (2) has risen more than 1000% since 2001.

4 SPX adv thru June Award Winning PUT Index Now Has 31 Year Price History with Strong Risk Adjusted Returns at vixtrade.com

AWARD FOR PUT INDEX AND PUTW ETF

On June 26 the CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT) and the WisdomTree CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Strategy Fund ETF (PUTW) won the 2017 Index/ETF Product of the Year award at an annual ceremony that was presented by IMN and the Journal of Index Investing. The awards ceremony was held during the 22nd Annual Global Indexing and ETFs conference, a 3-day event with about 750 financial professionals (including representatives of CBOE, Bats, S&P Dow Jones Indices, and ETF.com) in attendance.

Award PUT PUTW Award Winning PUT Index Now Has 31 Year Price History with Strong Risk Adjusted Returns at vixtrade.com

Representatives of both CBOE and S&P Dow Jones Indices celebrated the award for the 2017 Index/ETF Product of the Year.

Pic 2017 06 26 CBOE SP reps at IMN PUT award Award Winning PUT Index Now Has 31 Year Price History with Strong Risk Adjusted Returns at vixtrade.com

MORE INFORMATION

The microsite for the PUT Index is at www.cboe.com/PUT.

For more information on dozens of CBOE benchmark indexes, please visit www.cboe.com/benchmarks for research papers and price charts,

If you would like to hear expert speakers discuss options and volatility, please visit www.cboermc.com to learn more about these upcoming CBOE Risk Management Conferences —

  • RMC EUROPE 2017, Sept. 11 – 13, 2017, The Grove Hotel, Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire, UK

 

  • RMC ASIA 2017, Dec 5 – 6, 2017, Conrad Hong Kong, Hong Kong

 

  • RMC US 2017, March 7 – 9, 2018, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, FL

 Award Winning PUT Index Now Has 31 Year Price History with Strong Risk Adjusted Returns at vixtrade.com >

PUT Index and PUTW ETF Win Sharpe Indexing Award

On June 26 the CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT) and the WisdomTree CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Strategy Fund ETF (PUTW) won the 2017 Index/ETF Product of the Year award at an annual ceremony that was presented by IMN and the Journal of Index Investing. The awards ceremony was held during the 22nd Annual Global Indexing and ETFs conference, a 3-day event with about 750 financial professionals (including reps of CBOE, S&P Global, Bats, and ETF.com) in attendance.

0 PUT PUTW award plaque PUT Index and PUTW ETF Win Sharpe Indexing Award at vixtrade.com

PERFORMANCE OF PUT INDEX OVER THREE DECADES

The PUT Index measures the performance of a hypothetical portfolio that sells one-month S&P 500 Index (SPX) put options against collateralized cash reserves held in a money market account.

As shown in the three charts below, over more than three decades the PUT Index had higher returns and lower volatility than key benchmark indexes for stocks, Treasury bonds and commodities. In addition, papers by Bondarenko (2016)Black and Szado (2016) and Wilshire (2016) have statistics showing superior risk-adjusted returns and lower drawdowns for the PUT Index.

1 PUT Line 1986 to May 2017 PUT Index and PUTW ETF Win Sharpe Indexing Award at vixtrade.com

Note in the bar charts that put option writing (a represented by the PUT Index) had higher returns than put option buying (as represented by the PPUT Index). A driving factor behind strong risk-adjusted returns for the PUT Index has been the volatility risk premium.

2 S Dev Ann Ret thru May 31 PUT Index and PUTW ETF Win Sharpe Indexing Award at vixtrade.com

VOLATILITY RISK PREMIUM – RICHLY PRICED INDEX OPTIONS

An inquiring investor might ask – how could the PUT Index have higher returns and lower volatility than traditional indexes over a period of three decades?

A key source of returns for sellers of SPX index options has been the fact that, according to Exhibit 5 in a 2016 paper by Professor Oleg Bondarenko, these options were richly priced in all the years from 1990 through 2015 (except in 2008).

MORE INFORMATION

The microsite for the PUT Index is at www.cboe.com/PUT.

For more information on dozens of CBOE benchmark indexes, please visit www.cboe.com/benchmarks for research papers and price charts,

If you would like to hear expert speakers discuss options and volatility, please visit www.cboermc.com to learn more about these upcoming CBOE Risk Management Conferences

  • RMC EUROPE 2017, Sept. 11 – 13, 2017, The Grove Hotel, Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire, UK
  • RMC ASIA 2017, Dec 5 – 6, 2017, Conrad Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • RMC US 2017, March 7 – 9, 2018, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, FL

 

 PUT Index and PUTW ETF Win Sharpe Indexing Award at vixtrade.com >

Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms

With U.S. stock market indexes recently hitting all-time highs, there is quite a bit investor uncertainty about the markets and there is high demand for protection from large market declines. One metric providing evidence of this high demand is the CBOE SKEW Index (SKEW). In the 27 years from 1990 through 2016, the average daily level for the SKEW Index was 118.4, and the average level of SKEW never topped 130 in any of those 27 years. In the year 2017 (through February 7) the average daily level of the SKEW Index was a relatively high 131.7, which could indicate increased relative demand for use of out-of-the-money SPX put options for portfolio protection.

Histograms and Profit-and-Loss Diagrams

Tools that can be helpful to investors who are attempting to assess the utility of various options-based strategies include (1) histograms with analyses of monthly returns for several CBOE benchmark indexes, and (2) profit-and-loss diagrams.  CBOE provides more than 30 strategy benchmark indexes that can help investors compare and contrast the hypothetical performance of different options strategies in different market scenarios. www.cboe.com/benchmarks.

Below are 11 histograms that compare past performance of CBOE option-related benchmark indexes and related stock indexes. These histograms can provide valuable information to investors who have high aversion to losses or a desire for more upside potential.

As shown in the 11 histograms below, the “best” big-loss-avoidance past performance by an index — in terms of avoiding monthly losses of 6% or more – was by the CBOE S&P 500 Iron Butterfly Index (BFLY). In the 30+ year period from July 1986 through January 2017, the number of months that indexes had loss of worse than 6% were –

The CBOE VIX Tail Hedge Index (VXTH) buys and holds S&P 500 stocks, and also often buys 30-delta call options on the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®).

1070 VXTH Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

 

1012 BFLY Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

The CBOE S&P 500 Iron Butterfly Index (BFLY) tracks the performance of a hypothetical option trading strategy that 1) sells a rolling monthly at-the-money (ATM) S&P 500 Index (SPX) put and call option; 2) buys a rolling monthly 5% out-of-the-money (OTM) SPX put and call option to reduce risk; and 3) holds a money market account invested in one-month Treasury bills, which is rebalanced on the option roll day and is designed to limit the downside return of the index. Compare the CBOE BFLY Index histogram above with the iron butterfly profit-and-loss diagram below. It appears that certain iron butterfly strategies could have the potential to lessen the probability of huge upside and downside moves.

1015 ironbutterfly PL Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

 

1020 CLL Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

The CBOE S&P 500 95-110 Collar Index (CLL) purchases stocks in the S&P 500 index, and each month sells SPX call options at 110% of the index value, and each quarter purchases SPX put options at 95% of the index value.

1025 Collar PL Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

 

1030 RXM Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

The CBOE S&P 500 Risk Reversal Index (RXM) is a benchmark index designed to track the performance of a hypothetical risk reversal strategy that: (1) buys a rolling out-of-the-money (delta ? 0.25) monthly SPX Call option; (2) sells a rolling out-of-the-money (delta ? – 0.25) monthly SPX Put option; and (3) holds a rolling money market account invested in one-month Treasury bills to cover the liability from the short SPX Put option position.

1040 CLLZ Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

The CBOE S&P 500 Zero-Cost Put Spread Collar Index (CLLZ) tracks the performance of a hypothetical option trading strategy that 1) holds a long position indexed to the S&P 500 Index; 2) on a monthly basis buys a 2.5% – 5% S&P 500 Index (SPX) put option spread; and 3) sells a monthly out-of-the-money (OTM) SPX call option to cover the cost of the put spread.

1060 CNDR Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

The CBOE S&P 500 Iron Condor Index (CNDR) tracks the performance of a hypothetical option trading strategy that 1) sells a rolling monthly out-of-the-money (OTM) S&P 500 Index (SPX) put option (delta ? – 0.2) and a rolling monthly out-of-the-money (OTM) SPX call option (delta ? 0.2); 2) buys a rolling monthly OTM SPX put option (delta ? – 0.05) and a rolling monthly OTM SPX call option (delta ? 0.05) to reduce risk; and 3) holds a money market account invested in one-month Treasury bills, which is rebalanced on option roll days and is designed to limit the downside return of the index.

1065 ironcondor PL Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

 

1100 PPUT Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

1080 PUT Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

 

1095 cs PutWrite PL Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

1110 CMBO Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

1115 cov Combo PL Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

 

1120 BXM Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

1135 ATM Buywrite PL Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

With the at-the-money (A-T-M) buy-write strategy, an investor often takes in more options premium, but has no participation in stocks’ upside moves, when compared with the out-of-the-money (O-T-M) buywrite strategy. Compare right and left tails for the BXM Index above versus the BXMD Index below.

1140 BXMD Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

1155 OTM BuyWrite Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com

MORE INFORMATION

A representatives of Wilshire will discuss CBOE Benchmark indexes and downside risk at the 33rd Annual CBOE Risk Management Conference (RMC) next month www.cboermc.com.

For additional information about the CBOE benchmark indexes and related white papers on portfolio management, please visit www.cboe.com/benchmarks.

More information on tail risk and histograms is at www.cboe.com/histograms.

 Portfolio Protection, Tail Risk and 11 Histograms at vixtrade.com >

Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six-Month High – By Matt Moran

JAN. 18, 2017 – Today the CBOE SKEW Index (SKEW) closed at 143.43, its highest value since June 2016. CBOE SKEW Index values, which are calculated from weighted strips of out-of-the-money S&P 500 options, rise to higher levels as investors become more fearful of a “black swan” event — an unexpected event of large magnitude and consequence.

The value of SKEW increases with the tail risk of S&P 500 returns. If there were no tail risk expectations, SKEW would be equal to 100.

SKEW Jan 18 Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six Month High – By Matt Moran at vixtrade.com

The FAQ on the SKEW Index notes that –

“The price of S&P 500 skewness is inconvenient to use directly as an index because it is typically a small negative number, for example -.8, -2.3, or -4.3. SKEW converts this price as follows: SKEW = 100 – 10 * price of skewness.  With this definition, a price of -2.1 translates to a SKEW value of 121. S&P 500 options with 30 days to expiration are generally unavailable. SKEW is therefore interpolated from two “SKEW” values at the maturities of nearby and second nearby options with at least 8 days left to expiration.”

HIGHER SKEW VALUES IN RECENT YEARS

The average value of SKEW (since the beginning of its data history in 1990) has been 118.4. Prior to 2014, the highest average daily closing value in a year for the SKEW Index was 122.5, but in each of the years 2014, 2015, 2016, and year-to-date 2017, the average daily closing level for the SKEW Index was 127.5 or higher.

 SKEW since 1990 through Jan 18 Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six Month High – By Matt Moran at vixtrade.com

30 ½ YEARS — BENCHMARK INDEXES AND SPX PUT OPTIONS

For investors who wish to learn more about hypothetical long-term performance of strategies that use index options, CBOE provides more than 30 strategy benchmark indexes. Note in the two charts below that the left tail risk was higher for the S&P 500 Index than it was for two indexes that use SPX put options – the CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT) sells cash-secured SPX options, while the CBOE S&P 500 5% Put Protection Index (PPUT) buys out-of-the-money protective put options on the SPX Index.

3 PUT Histogram Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six Month High – By Matt Moran at vixtrade.com

4 PPUT Histogram Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six Month High – By Matt Moran at vixtrade.com

MORE INFORMATION

For more information on skew and use of options for protection and income, please visit www.cboe.com/SKEW and www.cboe.com/benchmarks.

 Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six Month High – By Matt Moran at vixtrade.com >

New Wilshire Study: BXMD and PUT Indexes Offered Higher Returns, Lower Volatility Over Three Decades

By Matt Moran

SEPT. 21, 2016 – Wilshire Associates recently was ranked as one of the world’s ten largest investment consultants, due to the fact that it had more than $1 trillion in worldwide institutional assets under advisement, according to the survey published in the Nov. 30, 2015 issue of Pensions & Investments.

A new study – “Three Decades of Options-Based Benchmark Indices with Premium Selling or Buying: A Performance Analysis – was released today. The study was commissioned by CBOE and authored by Wilshire Analytics’ Applied Research Group. It is the first major study that surveys 30 years of data related to benchmarks engaged in the buying and/or selling of index options.

Wilshire Analytics analyzed the performance of several indexes over a period of 30 years, from June 30, 1986 through June 30, 2016, including five indexes that sell and/or buy options on the S&P 500® (SPX) Index:

  • CBOE S&P 500 BuyWrite Index (BXM)
  • CBOE S&P 500 30-Delta BuyWrite Index (BXMD)
  • CBOE S&P 500 Zero-Cost Put Spread Collar Index (CLLZ)
  • CBOE S&P 500 5% Put Protection Index (PPUT)
  • CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT)

The performance of these indexes was compared with certain other key stock, bond and commodity indexes that represent asset classes typically found in the investment portfolios of institutions and individual investors.

KEY FINDINGS

Key findings of the 30-year study include:

  • Higher Absolute and Risk-Adjusted Returns: Two indexes that sold SPX options every month to collect option premium income – PUT and BXMD – both had higher absolute returns and higher risk-adjusted returns than the other indexes studied.
  • Lower Volatility: Each of the five option-based indexes had lower volatility than all the other indexes included in the study, other than the fixed-income index.
  • Less Downside Risk: The maximum drawdown for the options-based indexes was 24 percent lower, on average, than for the S&P 500 Index.
  • Market Capacity and Liquidity: The notional value of SPX options’ average daily volume grew significantly over the last 10 years; it was more than $200 billion for the 12 months ended June 2016, the most recent year studied.
  • Pension Plan Allocations: Analysis of actual pension plan allocations suggests plan sponsors would have benefited from the addition of index-based buy-write option strategies.

RETURNS AND VOLATILITY OVER 30 YEARS

As shown in the first charts below, over the three-decade period, the option-selling indexes (BXMD, PUT and BXM) all had higher returns than the option-buying index (PPUT) and the MSCI EAFE and S&P GSCI indexes. Index option-selling indexes can benefit from the fact that the implied volatility usually has exceeded realized volatility, as is shown in Exhibit 8 of the study.

1 returns Wilshire New Wilshire Study: BXMD and PUT Indexes Offered Higher Returns, Lower Volatility Over Three Decades at vixtrade.com

2 Volatility by Wilshire New Wilshire Study: BXMD and PUT Indexes Offered Higher Returns, Lower Volatility Over Three Decades at vixtrade.com

EFFICIENT FRONTIER

The five options-based indexes are shown in the triangle symbols on the Efficient Frontier chart.

3 Efficient Frontier Wilshire  New Wilshire Study: BXMD and PUT Indexes Offered Higher Returns, Lower Volatility Over Three Decades at vixtrade.com

NEW HEAT MAP

A new “heat map” uses color coding to rank returns across asset class by year (within each column).

4 Heat Map 1st New Wilshire Study: BXMD and PUT Indexes Offered Higher Returns, Lower Volatility Over Three Decades at vixtrade.com

5 Heat map 2nd New Wilshire Study: BXMD and PUT Indexes Offered Higher Returns, Lower Volatility Over Three Decades at vixtrade.com

 

Over the past 15 years, option-writing strategies, particularly the BXMD and PUT strategies, typically had above-average returns and were rarely among the lower-performing asset classes.  Other asset classes were occasionally top performers but also were ranked at or near the bottom more than once. Past performance is not predictive of future returns.  Sources:  Bloomberg, CBOE, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank and Wilshire Associates.

$200 BILLION IN AVERAGE DAILY NOTIONAL VOLUME FOR SPX OPTIONS

After hearing about the strong performance of certain CBOE benchmark indexes, institutional investors often ask me about market capacity for SPX options. The study presents a chart that shows that the estimated notional value of average daily volume in SPX options grew to more than $200 billion in the last 12 months studied.

 6 Capacity Volume VIX Wilshire  New Wilshire Study: BXMD and PUT Indexes Offered Higher Returns, Lower Volatility Over Three Decades at vixtrade.com

 

CONCLUSION

For links to the entire new paper by Wilshire Analytics and to more information about CBOE benchmark indexes, please visit www.cboe.com/benchmarks.

 

 

 New Wilshire Study: BXMD and PUT Indexes Offered Higher Returns, Lower Volatility Over Three Decades at vixtrade.com >