DEFINITION of 'VIX Option'
A type of non-equity option that uses the CBOE Volatility Index as the underlying asset. This is the first exchange-traded option that gives individual investors the ability to trade market volatility. Trading VIX options can be a useful tool for investors wanting to hedge their portfolios against sudden market declines, as well as to speculate on future moves in volatility.
BREAKING DOWN 'VIX Option'
A trader who believes that market volatility will increase now has the ability to profit on this outlook by purchasing VIX call options. Sharp increases in volatility generally coincide with a falling market, so this type of option can be used as a natural hedge rather than using index options. For advanced option traders, it is possible to incorporate many different advanced strategies - such as bull call spreads, butterfly spreads, etc. - by using VIX options.