Volatility Arbitrage

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Volatility Arbitrage'

Trading strategies that attempt to exploit differences between the forecasted future volatility of an asset and the implied volatility of options based on that asset. Because options pricing is determined by the volatility of the underlying asset, if the forecasted and implied volatilities differ, there will be a discrepancy between the expected price of the option and its actual market price.

BREAKING DOWN 'Volatility Arbitrage'

A volatility arbitrage strategy is generally implemented through a delta neutral portfolio consisting of an option and its underlying asset. A long position in an option combined with a short position in the underlying asset is equivalent to a long volatility position. This strategy will be profitable if the realized volatility on the underlying asset eventually proves to be higher than the implied volatility on the option when the trade was initiated. Conversely, a short position in an option combined with a long position in the underlying asset is equivalent to a short volatility position, which will be profitable if the realized volatility on the underlying asset is ultimately lower than the option's implied volatility.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Underlying Option Security

    An underlying option security is the financial instrument on ...
  2. Delta Neutral

    A portfolio consisting of positions with offsetting positive ...
  3. Volatility

    1. A statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given ...
  4. Implied Volatility - IV

    The estimated volatility of a security's price. In general, implied ...
  5. Historical Volatility - HV

    The realized volatility of a financial instrument over a given ...
  6. Security

    A financial instrument that represents an ownership position ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    Options Hazards That Can Bruise Your Portfolio

    Learn the top three risks and how they can affect you on either side of an options trade.
  2. Options & Futures

    The ABCs Of Option Volatility

    The mystery of options pricing can often be explained by a look at implied volatility (IV).
  3. Options & Futures

    Option Volatility

    Knowing how the market works in relation to volatility can open a whole new world of opportunity.
  4. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Arbitrage Pricing Theory: It's Not Just Fancy Math

    What are the main ideas behind arbitrage pricing theory? We provide a simple explanation of the model and how to use it.
  5. Home & Auto

    When Getting a Rent-to-Own Car Makes Sense

    If your credit is bad, rent-to-own may be a better way to purchase a car than taking out a subprime loan – or it may not be. Get out your calculator.
  6. Options & Futures

    An Introduction To Value at Risk (VAR)

    Volatility is not the only way to measure risk. Learn about the "new science of risk management".
  7. Investing

    Looking To Begin Trading In The Stock Market?

    If you are a new trader, we explain the differences between penny stocks and options so you can make the best decision for your personal trade plan.
  8. Options & Futures

    How to Trade Options on Government Bonds

    A look at trading options on debt instruments, like U.S. Treasury bonds and other government securities.
  9. Investing Basics

    How Does a Collar Work?

    Collar refers to a protective options strategy that investors use after a stock has experienced substantial gains.
  10. Options & Futures

    Long on Oil? Hedge Falling Oil Prices with Options

    With no end to the oil slump in sight, here are some risk management strategies using options to protect your oil positions.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Is there a difference between financial spread betting and arbitrage?

    Financial spread betting is a type of speculation that involves a highly leveraged derivative product, whereas arbitrage ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the goals of covered interest arbitrage?

    The goals of covered interest arbitrage include enabling investors to trade volatile currency pairs without risk as well ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are the main risks associated with trading derivatives?

    The primary risks associated with trading derivatives are market, counterparty, liquidity and interconnection risks. Derivatives ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How can an investor profit from a fall in the utilities sector?

    The utilities sector exhibits a high degree of stability compared to the broader market. This makes it best-suited for buy-and-hold ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between derivatives and options?

    Options are one category of derivatives. Other types of derivatives include futures contracts, swaps and forward contracts. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  2. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  3. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  4. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
  5. Widow's Exemption

    In general terms, a widow's exemption refers to the amount that can be deducted from taxable income by a widow, thereby reducing ...
  6. Wedding Warrant

    A warrant that can only be exercised if the host asset, typically a bond or preferred stock, is surrendered. Until the call ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!