Volatility Madness and the Fed Put

For weeks leading up to the recent dramatic sell-off, the VIX and other measures of equity volatility like the VXN were rising as the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite were humming along higher and higher. To long vol traders like Matt Rowe, CIO of Headwaters Solutions, this was a huge tell that something was looming on the horizon. Rowe explains how he prepares his portfolio for these types of events, why mini volatility events can be much more profitable for long vol traders than the market meltdown we saw in March, and also explains why chasing an expanding vol market can be a fatal error. As well, he gives insight into market positioning going into the event, the chances that this mini event could turn into something much larger, and attempts to answer the ultimate question of, “what is the strike of the Fed put?” should this sell-off continue. Filmed on September 4, 2020.

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