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.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS '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. Strike Width

    The difference between the strike price of an option and the ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What risks should I consider taking a short put position?

    The risks to consider before taking a short put position are the odds of sustained weakness in the asset price and a spike ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What happens if a software glitch fails to execute the strike price I set?

    If you've ever suffered the frustrating experience of having an order not filled or had a strike price fail to execute because ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. In what market situations might a short put be a profitable trade?

    Short puts would be a profitable trade in low-volatility bull markets or range-bound markets. Selling puts is a strategy ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the relationship between implied volatility and the volatility skew?

    The volatility skew refers to the shape of implied volatilities for options graphed across the range of strike prices for ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How is a short call used in a collar option strategy?

    An investor uses a short call sold above the current market price to collect a premium in a collar option strategy. The core ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why should investors consider the fully diluted share amount?

    Investors should consider a company's fully diluted share amount before purchasing the company's stock, because it could ... Read Full Answer >>
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. Investing Basics

    What is a Greenshoe Option?

    A greenshoe option is a provision in an underwriting agreement that allows the underwriter to buy up to 15% of the shares in an IPO at the offer price.
  5. Investing Basics

    What Does a Clearing House Do?

    A clearing house is a third-party agency or separate entity that acts as a go-between for buyers and sellers in financial markets.
  6. Options & Futures

    How The New NYSE Binary Options Work

    The New York Stock Exchange has launched its own version of binary options called Binary Return Derivatives Options or ByRDs.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    4 Ways You Can Invest In Gold Without Holding It

    Owning gold can be a store of value and a hedge against unexpected inflation. Holding physical gold, however, can be cumbersome and costly. Fortunately, there are several ways to own gold without ...
  8. Active Trading Fundamentals

    How To Short Amazon Stock

    With the stock reaching all-time highs and the company gambling on several new business lines, many investors may feel it's a good time to short sell Amazon.
  9. Investing Basics

    What is Meant by Implied Volatility?

    The estimated volatility of a security's price.
  10. Professionals

    Structured Notes: What You Need to Know

    Structured notes are complex, high risk and might not be suitable for individual investors. Here's why.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bund

    A bond issued by Germany's federal government, or the German word for "bond." Bunds are the German equivalent of U.S. Treasury ...
  2. European Central Bank - ECB

    The central bank responsible for the monetary system of the European Union (EU) and the euro currency. The bank was formed ...
  3. Quantitative Easing

    An unconventional monetary policy in which a central bank purchases private sector financial assets in order to lower interest ...
  4. Current Account Deficit

    A measurement of a country’s trade in which the value of goods and services it imports exceeds the value of goods and services ...
  5. International Monetary Fund - IMF

    An international organization created for the purpose of: 1. Promoting global monetary and exchange stability. 2. Facilitating ...
  6. Risk-Return Tradeoff

    The principle that potential return rises with an increase in risk. Low levels of uncertainty (low-risk) are associated with ...
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!