Low-volatility investing Wikipedia

This means you can expect the sectoral distribution and companies to change dramatically every quarter unlike the case with a broad market index. Traders can also trade the VIX using a variety of options and exchange-traded products, or they can use VIX values to price certain derivative products. The value of using maximum drawdown comes from the fact that not all volatility is bad for investors. Large gains are highly desirable, but they also increase the standard deviation of an investment.

But it can be dangerous to equate “less” volatility with “low” volatility. The former is a more apt description and one that would better calibrate investors’ expectations. The latter better describes assets that would better diversify equity risk, like python exponential high-quality bonds. One measure of the relative volatility of a particular stock to the market is its beta (β). A beta approximates the overall volatility of a security’s returns against the returns of a relevant benchmark (usually the S&P 500 is used).

A fund with a beta very close to one means the fund’s performance closely matches the index or benchmark. A beta greater than one indicates greater volatility than the overall market, and a beta less than one indicates less volatility than the benchmark. Low-volatility exchange-traded funds aim to give investors a smoother ride in stock markets.

  1. We promote the highest ethical standards and offer a range of educational opportunities online and around the world.
  2. The greater the volatility, the higher the market price of options contracts across the board.
  3. The most promising feature of these funds is that they could–in theory–help investors stay in the market during trying times, dulling the pain they experience each time they check the value of their portfolio.
  4. If you hold low-vol stocks and chaos arrives, chances are they’ll buoy your performance – but if there’s no tumult and stocks broadly ascend, those low-vol holdings could lag.

In periods of sudden downturns, the LV30 index strategy performs quite well on expected lines. However, in a complete reversal of fortunes, the performance data also shows that the LV30 does not perform well in rising markets as seen in 2007, 2017, and 2019. Globally, passive investing strategies are gaining much attention with a proliferation of products and growing assets under management. More investors are now warming up to the idea of investing in passively managed funds such as index funds and ETFs. You can also use hedging strategies to navigate volatility, such as buying protective puts to limit downside losses without having to sell any shares.

Using Implied Volatility to Determine Strategy

For those looking to speculate on volatility changes, or to trade volatility instruments to hedge existing positions, you can look to VIX futures and ETFs. In addition, options contracts are priced based on the implied volatility of stocks (or indices), and they can be used to make bets on or hedge volatility changes. A highly volatile stock is inherently riskier, but that risk cuts both ways. When investing in a volatile security, the chance for success is increased as much as the risk of failure. For this reason, many traders with a high-risk tolerance look to multiple measures of volatility to help inform their trade strategies.

This is based on the fact that long-dated options have more time value priced into them, while short-dated options have less. In this analogy, a minimum volatility strategy would look more like the second trail — less risky and designed to be more stable. A min vol portfolio https://traderoom.info/ can help investors navigate the risks of big fluctuations in the market. Just as hikers can still reach the summit of the mountain on a less challenging trail, investors can still pursue their investment goals while seeking to avoid stomach churning volatility.

How to choose low volatility stocks?

More volatile underlying assets will translate to higher options premiums because with volatility there is a greater probability that the options will end up in-the-money at expiration. Options traders try to predict an asset’s future volatility, so the price of an option in the market reflects its implied volatility. The volatility of a stock (or of the broader stock market) can be seen as an indicator of fear or uncertainty. Prices tend to swing more wildly (both up and down) when investors are unable to make good sense of the economic news or corporate data coming out. An increase in overall volatility can thus be a predictor of a market downturn.

Assurant’s services also span multifamily and manufactured residential insurance, vehicle protection plans, flood insurance and more. Merck is one of the coolest cucumbers on the market – over the past five years, it has been 65% less volatile than the S&P 500, based on beta. Enter Procter & Gamble (PG, $148.14), which is one of the world’s top consumer staples brands. It’s responsible for Always feminine hygiene products, Charmin toilet paper, Crest toothpaste, Dawn soaps and Head & Shoulders shampoos, among dozens of other ubiquitous brands. While each of those certainly has some chance of occurring, “we think the ‘Street’ is overly optimistic in betting that such a rosy outcome is likely,” Wren adds. Now, the market is consolidating gains to start the new year following a big run higher in 2023, though the pullback has been modest.


Over the trailing five years through February 2020, investors poured a combined $30.2 billion of their hard-earned savings into U.S. large-cap ETFs that focus on dialing down volatility. But the early-2020 market meltdown and subsequent rebound have put them to the test, and many investors have gotten spooked. These funds saw $18.1 billion in net outflows from March 2020 through May 2021. When you discover options that are trading with low implied volatility levels, consider buying strategies.

SPLV has no such restrictions in place, which can lead to large and persistent sector bets. One of the questions that many investors ponder upon is whether the low volatility index is a good replacement for debt or balanced funds. Another important factor to look at is the type of securities that constitute the LV30 index. A large proportion, at least one-third of the total sectoral weightage are taken up by financial services companies in the case of the NIFTY 50, NIFTY 100, and NIFTY 200. After the calculation of volatility, the top 30 stocks are selected on the basis of their inverse volatility.

If majority of the portfolio is held in equity or stocks and the investor is not patient enough to buy and hold then volatility will have an impact on the strategy. A beta of more than one indicates that a stock has historically moved more than the S&P 500. For example, a stock with a beta of 1.2 could be expected to rise by 1.2% on average if the S&P rises by 1%.

If the historical volatility is dropping, on the other hand, it means any uncertainty has been eliminated, so things return to the way they were. This is a measure of risk and shows how values are spread out around the average price. It gives traders an idea of how far the price may deviate from the average. When looking at the broad stock market, there are various ways to measure the average volatility. When looking at beta, since the S&P 500 index has a reference beta of 1, then 1 is also the average volatility of the market. A beta of 0 indicates that the underlying security has no market-related volatility.

The number itself isn’t terribly important, and the actual calculation of the VIX is quite complex. “Companies are very resilient; they do an amazing job of working through whatever situation may be arising,” Lineberger says. “While it’s tempting to give in to that fear, I would encourage people to stay calm. Low-volatility strategies are at their best when markets are at their worst. Exhibit 1 is a relative wealth chart that plots the growth of the MSCI USA Minimum Volatility Index divided by the growth of the Morningstar US Market Index. When the line slopes upward, the minimum-volatility index is outperforming the broad market index, and vice versa.

Colgate-Palmolive (CL, $77.06) is a consumer products conglomerate with business lines in oral care, personal care, home care and pet nutrition. The company holds a global 40% share of the toothpaste market and a 30% share of the toothbrush market. It does so via iconic brands such as Colgate in dental care, Palmolive, Speed Stick and Irish Spring in personal care, Ajax and Axion in home care and Hill’s Science Diet in pet food. It’s up for debate as to whether these ETFs consistently perform any better than the market as a whole. Still, they could be a valuable part of a broad investment portfolio, especially during times when the stock market is fluctuating wildly. Investors expecting the market to be bullish may choose funds exhibiting high betas, which increases the investors’ chances of beating the market.

A few years later index providers such as MSCI and S&P started to create low-volatility indices. Investing, Japan stands out, in part because it has been a very long road back to the all-time high price this market reached way back in the late 1980s. I am old enough to remember when Japan was the biggest stock market in the world. Fed rate cuts dominate market psychology, some market-watchers see Japanese shares riding the resurgence of global investment.