How I’m guarding against long tail risks


Author: Robert Zingale

Covestor model: Volatility Mean Reversion

In August, I returned to my short only VXZ position because 5th and 6th month VIX futures were too far above 1st month VIX futures to create a solid VXX/VXZ hedged position.

This steep term structure indicates market participants expect more volatile months ahead.  Given these expectations and the persistent Euro debt problems, I plan to maintain my portfolio according to these approximate asset weights:

  • Cash (70%)
  • Short VXZ (20%)
  • Short VXX (10%)

I decided to also short a small amount of VXX since the 1st to 2nd month VIX future roll costs have been so high. However, since VIX futures have been hovering at or below their historical mean-reverting level, I do not want to enter a larger VXX position at this time.

I believe this portfolio will better withstand potential future long tail risks and provide me with the cash to enter into better VIX positions.

Get to know Rob:

Author profile

Robert Zingale
Robert Zingale
I have a passion for investing and have been actively managing my personal brokerage accounts since I was an undergraduate at Cornell University.

Through my studies at Cornell, I realized that the only way to accurately statistically model an asset is to determine what the average price of that asset should be. I use VIX futures to implement my investment strategy, based on my valuation assumptions.