More on ETF vol drag, via tastytrade

I’ve written before on the topic of vol drag; mainly why I like to take advantage of the concept in a long-term trading strategy.  In summary, volatility drag provides a nice tail wind for going short the leveraged ETF (the risk of the underlying can be hedged away using the unleveraged ETF, as well).

It seems that this concept is one of the more popular posts on my blog.  I’m not exactly sure why, but hopefully it’s from people who either stop using levered ETF longs to achieve portfolio diversification (e.g. using a long 2x/3x S&P ETF for long-term equity exposure), or from folks looking to use shorting strategies (e.g. long puts, short call spreads, short stock) to capitalise on vol drag itself.  I like to combine these two: for example, I’ll get most of my US Treasury exposure through writing synthetic covered puts on TBT.  That way I pocket vol drag on top of Treasury yields.

Tastytrade has done a segment on vol drag recently; it’s a pretty good overview of why vol drag exists, and how to take advantage.  If you like to have someone explain the item,  I recommend.  It was somewhat refreshing to see them use a short-VXX strategy as an example – the first time I’ve seen them softly advocate being short VIX.  The fact is, being short VIX is usually a winning strategy – indeed, this is just a purer form of writing option strangles on the S&P.  Just remember to cover your backside in case Oct 2014 happens again…


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