
The other day Chris Cole, who runs the hedge fund Artemis Capital Mangement, tweeted a graph comparing previous election cycles via volatility. Basically the TS is forecasting a much higher chaotic election year compared to previous.
My focus is more about the topic of trading or price gauging the term structure using butterfly spreads. I have never done this, although I do trade butterflies all the time. I only trade flys in single name equity, though. Always in the same expiration and same underlying. But I’ve never bought +1 August, sold 2 September, bought +1 October before. What’s your thoughts on this? Does anyone here trade or have traded term structures with flys? Has anyone used this to price skew?
For example the infamous risk reversal is a optionality financial savvy peeps use to gauge skew in the indexes, but I’m finding out you can also use butterfly’s to accomplish the same thing, or similar. Anyway this is my first post/thread (long term lurker) hello all! 



ronin


Total Posts: 591 
Joined: May 2006 


The concept of butterflies actually came from the yild curve  and there it was just about the term structure, nothing else.
That trade seems to be all priced in though. Markets tend to be volatile in election years? Duh. 
"There is a SIX am?"  Arthur 

mktmkr


Total Posts: 2 
Joined: Aug 2014 


The riskreversal trade can be interpreted as the finitedifference approximation to the first derivative of the price of OTM options with respect to the strike: (P(x+h)P(xh)) / (2h). So it is long Call, short Put. The calendar spread is first derivative of the price with respect to time. When you put on a trade, if you do not divide by h, the risk of the trade should very very roughly be proportional to 2h assuming that the slope has constant volatility (which it general won't).
The butterfly trade is the finitedifference approximation to the second derivative: (P(x+h)2P(x)+P(xh)) / h^2. The exposure to the curvature factor would be proportional to h^2. But another reason to trade the butterfly other than getting exposure to the curvature is that it is neutral to the slope and the level, it can be used to isolate eventspecific risk. But beware: VIX futures should have some "natural" curvature on their own even in the absence of eventspecific risk. 


