Ever wondered if you can design a profitable trading strategy by trading volatility ETFs ? Well, yes you can. Those ETFs are highly ineffective vehicles on a long term investment horizon. However short term strategies have shown to be a rewarding way to trade these ETFs. Before we move onto strategy design we have to choose two volatility ETFs for backtesting. We will backtest our strategies with VXX and XIV ETFs since they are the most widely traded ones and have enough trading volume to keep our slippage low and guarantee fast order execution.
The first step in building such a system is to define what mean reversion is. Mean reversion systems are looking for markets that are unusually high or low and will eventually return back to the mean. We want a system that looks at a particular market with a significant deviation from their average. Our previous research we did on opening range breakout systems already showed us that opening range breakouts define the trend for the rest of the day in about 30% of the time. Which means that out of 20 trading days we have 14 days of price patterns that are reverting back to the mean.
In today’s uncertain markets, traders who want to spot major market moves and protect themselves against large losses should consider using spread trading. Spreads are one of the most powerful market indicators. The two major ways looking at them are the price premium structure and the strengthening/weakening of the spread.