Category Archives: Market Risk

US Stock Market Risk Report Update…

The following report provides an update on some of the metrics I use to classify market risk. The word classify is more appropriate as I think that in essence you cannot forecast risk but rather attempt to adjust to it into a timely fashion. Clearly risk would not be a risk if you could forecast it accurately. However as there is generally some degree of persistence in risk regimes, using a dynamic classification may be a useful approach for portfolio rebalancing and hedging. In this report I use the VIX as a measure of global financial market risk. The same methodology can be successfully applied to other inputs. Feel free to contact me at Pierre@argonautae.com for more information on the subject.

In my approach I recognise that the nominal level of implied volatility is a crude metric of risk therefore I also use two other measures. The VIX Volga, a measure of uncertainty of risk and the ShockIndex a measure of market dislocation. VIX Volga is simply the volatility of the VIX over a given period. This measure highlights how uncertain and unstable the level of risk has become. Though positively correlated to the level of the VIX the VIX Volga is not necessarily dependent on it. You can have a high level of volga whilst the VIX is trading at rather innocuous levels. This is not a trivial observation as the leverage undertaken by market participants tends to be an inverse function of market volatility which implies a greater vulnerability when volatility becomes uncertain at low levels and therefore cannot be accurately budgeted fo r. The ShockIndex is the ratio between the Volga and VIX at the beginning the historical window chosen to evaluate the Volga. It quantifies sharp changes and acceleration in risk levels. Historically it has proven to be a good classifying measure for market event risks.

The below charts shows those three measures both relative to a time axis and their historical distribution. The red lines are the 95% confidence intervals, the purple line the median. The blue line highlight the current level. The VIX Volga and ShockIndex in this report are evaluated over a period of 14 days. The medians and 95% confidence intervals are calculated over the full history going back to 1990 though the charts shows only the recent years.

plot of chunk riskchart

At close of business the 2017-05-12 the VIX was trading at 10.4 at the 0.7 percentile. The 14-day VIX Volga was estimated at 13.6 its 47.3 percentile and the shockindex at 0.9 or its 64.9 percentile.

The above charts are useful, however their visualisation is quite limiting. On the one hand we need quite a few charts to present the data on the other hand it is difficult to show the full VIX history going back to 1990 as this would make the charts unreadable. Therefore clustering and aggregating the whole data into a single chart should be useful to the end user. To answer this I use a mapping technique developed by Kohonen in the 1980′. It uses an unsupervised neural network to re-arrange data around meaningful clusters. Though computationally complex is a practical way to summarise multidimensional data into a low (usually 2) dimensional system.

The below chart shows how the VIX price history was split into 4 distinct clusters. Those clusters where computed not only as a function of the VIX level but also as a function of the other variables, namely VIX volga and Shockindex.

Since 1990 the VIX traded 50 % of the time in Cluster 1, 37 % in Cluster 2, 11 % in Cluster 3 and 2 % in Cluster 4. Overall the layering provided seems quite intuitive as the increase in risk and time spent in each cluster points toward what would generally be expected from market risk regimes ranging from low to high risk.

plot of chunk cluster_chart

In the chart below we zoom on the various regimes within which the VIX has been trading for the current year. so far it traded 53 % of the time in Cluster 1, 27 % in Cluster 2, 19 % in Cluster 3 and 0 % in Cluster 4.

plot of chunk ytdriskchart

Finally the below chart shows a Self Organising Map of the above mentioned risk metrics. The data has been grouped and colored as a function of four clusters of increasing market risk regimes. Obviously as shown on the map, the minimum level of volatility pertains to cluster 1 and the highest to cluster4. The current regime and its progression from 21 days ago is also highlighted on the map.

plot of chunk SOM_chart

Always happy to discuss any of the above, feel free to reach me at: Pierre@argonautae.co.uk

US Stock Market Risk Report Update…

The following report provides an update on some of the metrics I use to classify market risk. The word classify is more appropriate as I think that in essence you cannot forecast risk but rather attempt to adjust to it into a timely fashion. Clearly risk would not be a risk if you could forecast it accurately. However as there is generally some degree of persistence in risk regimes, using a dynamic classification may be a useful approach for portfolio rebalancing and hedging. In this report I use the VIX as a measure of global financial market risk. The same methodology can be successfully applied to other inputs. Feel free to contact me at Pierre@argonautae.com for more information on the subject.

In my approach I recognise that the nominal level of implied volatility is a crude metric of risk therefore I also use two other measures. The VIX Volga, a measure of uncertainty of risk and the ShockIndex a measure of market dislocation. VIX Volga is simply the volatility of the VIX over a given period. This measure highlights how uncertain and unstable the level of risk has become. Though positively correlated to the level of the VIX the VIX Volga is not necessarily dependent on it. You can have a high level of volga whilst the VIX is trading at rather innocuous levels. This is not a trivial observation as the leverage undertaken by market participants tends to be an inverse function of market volatility which implies a greater vulnerability when volatility becomes uncertain at low levels and therefore cannot be accurately budgeted fo r. The ShockIndex is the ratio between the Volga and VIX at the beginning the historical window chosen to evaluate the Volga. It quantifies sharp changes and acceleration in risk levels. Historically it has proven to be a good classifying measure for market event risks.

The below charts shows those three measures both relative to a time axis and their historical distribution. The red lines are the 95% confidence intervals, the purple line the median. The blue line highlight the current level. The VIX Volga and ShockIndex in this report are evaluated over a period of 14 days. The medians and 95% confidence intervals are calculated over the full history going back to 1990 though the charts shows only the recent years.

plot of chunk riskchart

At close of business the 2017-05-12 the VIX was trading at 10.4 at the 0.7 percentile. The 14-day VIX Volga was estimated at 13.6 its 47.3 percentile and the shockindex at 0.9 or its 64.9 percentile.

The above charts are useful, however their visualisation is quite limiting. On the one hand we need quite a few charts to present the data on the other hand it is difficult to show the full VIX history going back to 1990 as this would make the charts unreadable. Therefore clustering and aggregating the whole data into a single chart should be useful to the end user. To answer this I use a mapping technique developed by Kohonen in the 1980′. It uses an unsupervised neural network to re-arrange data around meaningful clusters. Though computationally complex is a practical way to summarise multidimensional data into a low (usually 2) dimensional system.

The below chart shows how the VIX price history was split into 4 distinct clusters. Those clusters where computed not only as a function of the VIX level but also as a function of the other variables, namely VIX volga and Shockindex.

Since 1990 the VIX traded 56 % of the time in Cluster 1, 31 % in Cluster 2, 11 % in Cluster 3 and 2 % in Cluster 4. Overall the layering provided seems quite intuitive as the increase in risk and time spent in each cluster points toward what would generally be expected from market risk regimes ranging from low to high risk.

plot of chunk cluster_chart

In the chart below we zoom on the various regimes within which the VIX has been trading for the current year. so far it traded 66 % of the time in Cluster 1, 13 % in Cluster 2, 20 % in Cluster 3 and 0 % in Cluster 4.

plot of chunk ytdriskchart

Finally the below chart shows a Self Organising Map of the above mentioned risk metrics. The data has been grouped and colored as a function of four clusters of increasing market risk regimes. Obviously as shown on the map, the minimum level of volatility pertains to cluster 1 and the highest to cluster4. The current regime and its progression from 21 days ago is also highlighted on the map.

plot of chunk SOM_chart

Always happy to discuss any of the above, feel free to reach me at: Pierre@argonautae.co.uk

US Stock Market Risk Report Update…

The following report provides an update on some of the metrics I use to classify market risk. The word classify is more appropriate as I think that in essence you cannot forecast risk but rather attempt to adjust to it into a timely fashion. Clearly risk would not be a risk if you could forecast it accurately. However as there is generally some degree of persistence in risk regimes, using a dynamic classification may be a useful approach for portfolio rebalancing and hedging. In this report I use the VIX as a measure of global financial market risk. The same methodology can be successfully applied to other inputs. Feel free to contact me at Pierre@argonautae.com for more information on the subject.

In my approach I recognise that the nominal level of implied volatility is a crude metric of risk therefore I also use two other measures. The VIX Volga, a measure of uncertainty of risk and the ShockIndex a measure of market dislocation. VIX Volga is simply the volatility of the VIX over a given period. This measure highlights how uncertain and unstable the level of risk has become. Though positively correlated to the level of the VIX the VIX Volga is not necessarily dependent on it. You can have a high level of volga whilst the VIX is trading at rather innocuous levels. This is not a trivial observation as the leverage undertaken by market participants tends to be an inverse function of market volatility which implies a greater vulnerability when volatility becomes uncertain at low levels and therefore cannot be accurately budgeted fo r. The ShockIndex is the ratio between the Volga and VIX at the beginning the historical window chosen to evaluate the Volga. It quantifies sharp changes and acceleration in risk levels. Historically it has proven to be a good classifying measure for market event risks.

The below charts shows those three measures both relative to a time axis and their historical distribution. The red lines are the 95% confidence intervals, the purple line the median. The blue line highlight the current level. The VIX Volga and ShockIndex in this report are evaluated over a period of 14 days. The medians and 95% confidence intervals are calculated over the full history going back to 1990 though the charts shows only the recent years.

plot of chunk riskchart

At close of business the 2017-05-12 the VIX was trading at 10.4 at the 0.7 percentile. The 14-day VIX Volga was estimated at 13.6 its 47.3 percentile and the shockindex at 0.9 or its 64.9 percentile.

The above charts are useful, however their visualisation is quite limiting. On the one hand we need quite a few charts to present the data on the other hand it is difficult to show the full VIX history going back to 1990 as this would make the charts unreadable. Therefore clustering and aggregating the whole data into a single chart should be useful to the end user. To answer this I use a mapping technique developed by Kohonen in the 1980′. It uses an unsupervised neural network to re-arrange data around meaningful clusters. Though computationally complex is a practical way to summarise multidimensional data into a low (usually 2) dimensional system.

The below chart shows how the VIX price history was split into 4 distinct clusters. Those clusters where computed not only as a function of the VIX level but also as a function of the other variables, namely VIX volga and Shockindex.

Since 1990 the VIX traded 51 % of the time in Cluster 1, 37 % in Cluster 2, 10 % in Cluster 3 and 2 % in Cluster 4. Overall the layering provided seems quite intuitive as the increase in risk and time spent in each cluster points toward what would generally be expected from market risk regimes ranging from low to high risk.

plot of chunk cluster_chart

In the chart below we zoom on the various regimes within which the VIX has been trading for the current year. so far it traded 55 % of the time in Cluster 1, 26 % in Cluster 2, 19 % in Cluster 3 and 0 % in Cluster 4.

plot of chunk ytdriskchart

Finally the below chart shows a Self Organising Map of the above mentioned risk metrics. The data has been grouped and colored as a function of four clusters of increasing market risk regimes. Obviously as shown on the map, the minimum level of volatility pertains to cluster 1 and the highest to cluster4. The current regime and its progression from 21 days ago is also highlighted on the map.

plot of chunk SOM_chart

Always happy to discuss any of the above, feel free to reach me at: Pierre@argonautae.co.uk

US Stock Market Risk Report Update…

The following report provides an update on some of the metrics I use to classify market risk. The word classify is more appropriate as I think that in essence you cannot forecast risk but rather attempt to adjust to it into a timely fashion. Clearly risk would not be a risk if you could forecast it accurately. However as there is generally some degree of persistence in risk regimes, using a dynamic classification may be a useful approach for portfolio rebalancing and hedging. In this report I use the VIX as a measure of global financial market risk. The same methodology can be successfully applied to other inputs. Feel free to contact me at Pierre@argonautae.com for more information on the subject.

In my approach I recognise that the nominal level of implied volatility is a crude metric of risk therefore I also use two other measures. The VIX Volga, a measure of uncertainty of risk and the ShockIndex a measure of market dislocation. VIX Volga is simply the volatility of the VIX over a given period. This measure highlights how uncertain and unstable the level of risk has become. Though positively correlated to the level of the VIX the VIX Volga is not necessarily dependent on it. You can have a high level of volga whilst the VIX is trading at rather innocuous levels. This is not a trivial observation as the leverage undertaken by market participants tends to be an inverse function of market volatility which implies a greater vulnerability when volatility becomes uncertain at low levels and therefore cannot be accurately budgeted fo r. The ShockIndex is the ratio between the Volga and VIX at the beginning the historical window chosen to evaluate the Volga. It quantifies sharp changes and acceleration in risk levels. Historically it has proven to be a good classifying measure for market event risks.

The below charts shows those three measures both relative to a time axis and their historical distribution. The red lines are the 95% confidence intervals, the purple line the median. The blue line highlight the current level. The VIX Volga and ShockIndex in this report are evaluated over a period of 14 days. The medians and 95% confidence intervals are calculated over the full history going back to 1990 though the charts shows only the recent years.

plot of chunk riskchart

At close of business the 2017-05-02 the VIX was trading at 10.6 at the 0.8 percentile. The 14-day VIX Volga was estimated at 15.4 its 56.5 percentile and the shockindex at 1.2 or its 87.3 percentile.

The above charts are useful, however their visualisation is quite limiting. On the one hand we need quite a few charts to present the data on the other hand it is difficult to show the full VIX history going back to 1990 as this would make the charts unreadable. Therefore clustering and aggregating the whole data into a single chart should be useful to the end user. To answer this I use a mapping technique developed by Kohonen in the 1980′. It uses an unsupervised neural network to re-arrange data around meaningful clusters. Though computationally complex is a practical way to summarise multidimensional data into a low (usually 2) dimensional system.

The below chart shows how the VIX price history was split into 4 distinct clusters. Those clusters where computed not only as a function of the VIX level but also as a function of the other variables, namely VIX volga and Shockindex.

Since 1990 the VIX traded 57 % of the time in Cluster 1, 31 % in Cluster 2, 10 % in Cluster 3 and 2 % in Cluster 4. Overall the layering provided seems quite intuitive as the increase in risk and time spent in each cluster points toward what would generally be expected from market risk regimes ranging from low to high risk.

plot of chunk cluster_chart

In the chart below we zoom on the various regimes within which the VIX has been trading for the current year. so far it traded 63 % of the time in Cluster 1, 21 % in Cluster 2, 17 % in Cluster 3 and 0 % in Cluster 4.

plot of chunk ytdriskchart

Finally the below chart shows a Self Organising Map of the above mentioned risk metrics. The data has been grouped and colored as a function of four clusters of increasing market risk regimes. Obviously as shown on the map, the minimum level of volatility pertains to cluster 1 and the highest to cluster4. The current regime and its progression from 21 days ago is also highlighted on the map.

plot of chunk SOM_chart

Always happy to discuss any of the above, feel free to reach me at: Pierre@argonautae.co.uk

US Stock Market Risk Report Update…

The following report provides an update on some of the metrics I use to classify market risk. The word classify is more appropriate as I think that in essence you cannot forecast risk but rather attempt to adjust to it into a timely fashion. Clearly risk would not be a risk if you could forecast it accurately. However as there is generally some degree of persistence in risk regimes, using a dynamic classification may be a useful approach for portfolio rebalancing and hedging. In this report I use the VIX as a measure of global financial market risk. The same methodology can be successfully applied to other inputs. Feel free to contact me at Pierre@argonautae.com for more information on the subject.

In my approach I recognise that the nominal level of implied volatility is a crude metric of risk therefore I also use two other measures. The VIX Volga, a measure of uncertainty of risk and the ShockIndex a measure of market dislocation. VIX Volga is simply the volatility of the VIX over a given period. This measure highlights how uncertain and unstable the level of risk has become. Though positively correlated to the level of the VIX the VIX Volga is not necessarily dependent on it. You can have a high level of volga whilst the VIX is trading at rather innocuous levels. This is not a trivial observation as the leverage undertaken by market participants tends to be an inverse function of market volatility which implies a greater vulnerability when volatility becomes uncertain at low levels and therefore cannot be accurately budgeted fo r. The ShockIndex is the ratio between the Volga and VIX at the beginning the historical window chosen to evaluate the Volga. It quantifies sharp changes and acceleration in risk levels. Historically it has proven to be a good classifying measure for market event risks.

The below charts shows those three measures both relative to a time axis and their historical distribution. The red lines are the 95% confidence intervals, the purple line the median. The blue line highlight the current level. The VIX Volga and ShockIndex in this report are evaluated over a period of 14 days. The medians and 95% confidence intervals are calculated over the full history going back to 1990 though the charts shows only the recent years.

plot of chunk riskchart

At close of business the 2017-04-25 the VIX was trading at 10.8 at the 1.2 percentile. The 14-day VIX Volga was estimated at 15.6 its 57.7 percentile and the shockindex at 1.2 or its 86.2 percentile.

The above charts are useful, however their visualisation is quite limiting. On the one hand we need quite a few charts to present the data on the other hand it is difficult to show the full VIX history going back to 1990 as this would make the charts unreadable. Therefore clustering and aggregating the whole data into a single chart should be useful to the end user. To answer this I use a mapping technique developed by Kohonen in the 1980′. It uses an unsupervised neural network to re-arrange data around meaningful clusters. Though computationally complex is a practical way to summarise multidimensional data into a low (usually 2) dimensional system.

The below chart shows how the VIX price history was split into 4 distinct clusters. Those clusters where computed not only as a function of the VIX level but also as a function of the other variables, namely VIX volga and Shockindex.

Since 1990 the VIX traded 50 % of the time in Cluster 1, 38 % in Cluster 2, 11 % in Cluster 3 and 2 % in Cluster 4. Overall the layering provided seems quite intuitive as the increase in risk and time spent in each cluster points toward what would generally be expected from market risk regimes ranging from low to high risk.

plot of chunk cluster_chart

In the chart below we zoom on the various regimes within which the VIX has been trading for the current year. so far it traded 54 % of the time in Cluster 1, 28 % in Cluster 2, 18 % in Cluster 3 and 0 % in Cluster 4.

plot of chunk ytdriskchart

Finally the below chart shows a Self Organising Map of the above mentioned risk metrics. The data has been grouped and colored as a function of four clusters of increasing market risk regimes. Obviously as shown on the map, the minimum level of volatility pertains to cluster 1 and the highest to cluster4. The current regime and its progression from 21 days ago is also highlighted on the map.

plot of chunk SOM_chart

Always happy to discuss any of the above, feel free to reach me at: Pierre@argonautae.co.uk

US Stock Market Risk Report Update…

The following report provides an update on some of the metrics I use to classify market risk. The word classify is more appropriate as I think that in essence you cannot forecast risk but rather attempt to adjust to it into a timely fashion. Clearly risk would not be a risk if you could forecast it accurately. However as there is generally some degree of persistence in risk regimes, using a dynamic classification may be a useful approach for portfolio rebalancing and hedging. In this report I use the VIX as a measure of global financial market risk. The same methodology can be successfully applied to other inputs. Feel free to contact me at Pierre@argonautae.com for more information on the subject.

In my approach I recognise that the nominal level of implied volatility is a crude metric of risk therefore I also use two other measures. The VIX Volga, a measure of uncertainty of risk and the ShockIndex a measure of market dislocation. VIX Volga is simply the volatility of the VIX over a given period. This measure highlights how uncertain and unstable the level of risk has become. Though positively correlated to the level of the VIX the VIX Volga is not necessarily dependent on it. You can have a high level of volga whilst the VIX is trading at rather innocuous levels. This is not a trivial observation as the leverage undertaken by market participants tends to be an inverse function of market volatility which implies a greater vulnerability when volatility becomes uncertain at low levels and therefore cannot be accurately budgeted fo r. The ShockIndex is the ratio between the Volga and VIX at the beginning the historical window chosen to evaluate the Volga. It quantifies sharp changes and acceleration in risk levels. Historically it has proven to be a good classifying measure for market event risks.

The below charts shows those three measures both relative to a time axis and their historical distribution. The red lines are the 95% confidence intervals, the purple line the median. The blue line highlight the current level. The VIX Volga and ShockIndex in this report are evaluated over a period of 14 days. The medians and 95% confidence intervals are calculated over the full history going back to 1990 though the charts shows only the recent years.

plot of chunk riskchart

At close of business the 2017-04-04 the VIX was trading at 11.8 at the 7.3 percentile. The 14-day VIX Volga was estimated at 8 its 12.9 percentile and the shockindex at 0.7 or its 46.7 percentile.

The above charts are useful, however their visualisation is quite limiting. On the one hand we need quite a few charts to present the data on the other hand it is difficult to show the full VIX history going back to 1990 as this would make the charts unreadable. Therefore clustering and aggregating the whole data into a single chart should be useful to the end user. To answer this I use a mapping technique developed by Kohonen in the 1980′. It uses an unsupervised neural network to re-arrange data around meaningful clusters. Though computationally complex is a practical way to summarise multidimensional data into a low (usually 2) dimensional system.

The below chart shows how the VIX price history was split into 4 distinct clusters. Those clusters where computed not only as a function of the VIX level but also as a function of the other variables, namely VIX volga and Shockindex.

Since 1990 the VIX traded 39 % of the time in Cluster 1, 45 % in Cluster 2, 14 % in Cluster 3 and 2 % in Cluster 4. Overall the layering provided seems quite intuitive as the increase in risk and time spent in each cluster points toward what would generally be expected from market risk regimes ranging from low to high risk.

plot of chunk cluster_chart

In the chart below we zoom on the various regimes within which the VIX has been trading for the current year. so far it traded 47 % of the time in Cluster 1, 31 % in Cluster 2, 22 % in Cluster 3 and 0 % in Cluster 4.

plot of chunk ytdriskchart

Finally the below chart shows a Self Organising Map of the above mentioned risk metrics. The data has been grouped and colored as a function of four clusters of increasing market risk regimes. Obviously as shown on the map, the minimum level of volatility pertains to cluster 1 and the highest to cluster4. The current regime and its progression from 21 days ago is also highlighted on the map.

plot of chunk SOM_chart

Always happy to discuss any of the above, feel free to reach me at: Pierre@argonautae.co.uk

S&P 500 update….

Whatever the market being traded, there always will be a a question being asked at one moment: How far can this thing go ? Clearly not an easy question to answer as this will invariably depends on factors that are partly unknown or difficult to estimate, such as fundamentals, market positioning or market risk amongst others. The first part is obviously to assess how atypical the move experienced in the given instrument is. This report aims to contribute to this.

The below chart shows the S&P 500 over the period of January 1950 to March 2017 . On the 22 March 2017 it was trading around 2348.449951.

plot of chunk chartdata

In the below I plot the previous 125 days against other similar historical periods that would have closely matched the recent history. The data has been normalised so as to be on the same scale. The chart shows the latest 125 days in black, and overlay similar historical patterns in grey. It Also shows what has been the price path for the following 125 days as well as the observed quartiles.

plot of chunk pattern

Finally I plot the last 125 days and a trend forecast derived from an ARIMA(0,1,0) model as well as the 95% confidence intervals. The ARIMA model is fitted to the past 625 historical values whilst ignoring the last 125 days, therefore we can look at the recent price path against the trend forecast and its confidence intervals to gauge how (a)typical the recent move has been.

plot of chunk arimaplot

US Stock Market Risk Report Update…

The following report provides an update on some of the metrics I use to classify market risk. The word classify is more appropriate as I think that in essence you cannot forecast risk but rather attempt to adjust to it into a timely fashion. Clearly risk would not be a risk if you could forecast it accurately. However as there is generally some degree of persistence in risk regimes, using a dynamic classification may be a useful approach for portfolio rebalancing and hedging. In this report I use the VIX as a measure of global financial market risk. The same methodology can be successfully applied to other inputs. Feel free to contact me at Pierre@argonautae.com for more information on the subject.

In my approach I recognise that the nominal level of implied volatility is a crude metric of risk therefore I also use two other measures. The VIX Volga, a measure of uncertainty of risk and the ShockIndex a measure of market dislocation. VIX Volga is simply the volatility of the VIX over a given period. This measure highlights how uncertain and unstable the level of risk has become. Though positively correlated to the level of the VIX the VIX Volga is not necessarily dependent on it. You can have a high level of volga whilst the VIX is trading at rather innocuous levels. This is not a trivial observation as the leverage undertaken by market participants tends to be an inverse function of market volatility which implies a greater vulnerability when volatility becomes uncertain at low levels and therefore cannot be accurately budgeted fo r. The ShockIndex is the ratio between the Volga and VIX at the beginning the historical window chosen to evaluate the Volga. It quantifies sharp changes and acceleration in risk levels. Historically it has proven to be a good classifying measure for market event risks.

The below charts shows those three measures both relative to a time axis and their historical distribution. The red lines are the 95% confidence intervals, the purple line the median. The blue line highlight the current level. The VIX Volga and ShockIndex in this report are evaluated over a period of 14 days. The medians and 95% confidence intervals are calculated over the full history going back to 1990 though the charts shows only the recent years.

plot of chunk riskchart

At close of business the 2017-03-22 the VIX was trading at 12.8 at the 15.9 percentile. The 14-day VIX Volga was estimated at 8.2 its 14.2 percentile and the shockindex at 0.7 or its 45.8 percentile.

The above charts are useful, however their visualisation is quite limiting. On the one hand we need quite a few charts to present the data on the other hand it is difficult to show the full VIX history going back to 1990 as this would make the charts unreadable. Therefore clustering and aggregating the whole data into a single chart should be useful to the end user. To answer this I use a mapping technique developed by Kohonen in the 1980′. It uses an unsupervised neural network to re-arrange data around meaningful clusters. Though computationally complex is a practical way to summarise multidimensional data into a low (usually 2) dimensional system.

The below chart shows how the VIX price history was split into 4 distinct clusters. Those clusters where computed not only as a function of the VIX level but also as a function of the other variables, namely VIX volga and Shockindex.

Since 1990 the VIX traded 60 % of the time in Cluster 1, 29 % in Cluster 2, 9 % in Cluster 3 and 2 % in Cluster 4. Overall the layering provided seems quite intuitive as the increase in risk and time spent in each cluster points toward what would generally be expected from market risk regimes ranging from low to high risk.

plot of chunk cluster_chart

In the chart below we zoom on the various regimes within which the VIX has been trading for the current year. so far it traded 65 % of the time in Cluster 1, 16 % in Cluster 2, 19 % in Cluster 3 and 0 % in Cluster 4.

plot of chunk ytdriskchart

Finally the below chart shows a Self Organising Map of the above mentioned risk metrics. The data has been grouped and colored as a function of four clusters of increasing market risk regimes. Obviously as shown on the map, the minimum level of volatility pertains to cluster 1 and the highest to cluster4. The current regime and its progression from 21 days ago is also highlighted on the map.

plot of chunk SOM_chart

Always happy to discuss any of the above, feel free to reach me at: Pierre@argonautae.co.uk

US Stock Market Risk Report Update…

The following report provides an update on some of the metrics I use to classify market risk. The word classify is more appropriate as I think that in essence you cannot forecast risk but rather attempt to adjust to it into a timely fashion. Clearly risk would not be a risk if you could forecast it accurately. However as there is generally some degree of persistence in risk regimes, using a dynamic classification may be a useful approach for portfolio rebalancing and hedging. In this report I use the VIX as a measure of global financial market risk. The same methodology can be successfully applied to other inputs. Feel free to contact me at Pierre@argonautae.com for more information on the subject.

In my approach I recognise that the nominal level of implied volatility is a crude metric of risk therefore I also use two other measures. The VIX Volga, a measure of uncertainty of risk and the ShockIndex a measure of market dislocation. VIX Volga is simply the volatility of the VIX over a given period. This measure highlights how uncertain and unstable the level of risk has become. Though positively correlated to the level of the VIX the VIX Volga is not necessarily dependent on it. You can have a high level of volga whilst the VIX is trading at rather innocuous levels. This is not a trivial observation as the leverage undertaken by market participants tends to be an inverse function of market volatility which implies a greater vulnerability when volatility becomes uncertain at low levels and therefore cannot be accurately budgeted fo r. The ShockIndex is the ratio between the Volga and VIX at the beginning the historical window chosen to evaluate the Volga. It quantifies sharp changes and acceleration in risk levels. Historically it has proven to be a good classifying measure for market event risks.

The below charts shows those three measures both relative to a time axis and their historical distribution. The red lines are the 95% confidence intervals, the purple line the median. The blue line highlight the current level. The VIX Volga and ShockIndex in this report are evaluated over a period of 14 days. The medians and 95% confidence intervals are calculated over the full history going back to 1990 though the charts shows only the recent years.

plot of chunk riskchart

At close of business the 2017-03-06 the VIX was trading at 11.2 at the 3.1 percentile. The 14-day VIX Volga was estimated at 7.8 its 11.3 percentile and the shockindex at 0.7 or its 37.9 percentile.

The above charts are useful, however their visualisation is quite limiting. On the one hand we need quite a few charts to present the data on the other hand it is difficult to show the full VIX history going back to 1990 as this would make the charts unreadable. Therefore clustering and aggregating the whole data into a single chart should be useful to the end user. To answer this I use a mapping technique developed by Kohonen in the 1980′. It uses an unsupervised neural network to re-arrange data around meaningful clusters. Though computationally complex is a practical way to summarise multidimensional data into a low (usually 2) dimensional system.

The below chart shows how the VIX price history was split into 4 distinct clusters. Those clusters where computed not only as a function of the VIX level but also as a function of the other variables, namely VIX volga and Shockindex.

Since 1990 the VIX traded 38 % of the time in Cluster 1, 45 % in Cluster 2, 15 % in Cluster 3 and 2 % in Cluster 4. Overall the layering provided seems quite intuitive as the increase in risk and time spent in each cluster points toward what would generally be expected from market risk regimes ranging from low to high risk.

plot of chunk cluster_chart

In the chart below we zoom on the various regimes within which the VIX has been trading for the current year. so far it traded 46 % of the time in Cluster 1, 32 % in Cluster 2, 22 % in Cluster 3 and 0 % in Cluster 4.

plot of chunk ytdriskchart

Finally the below chart shows a Self Organising Map of the above mentioned risk metrics. The data has been grouped and colored as a function of four clusters of increasing market risk regimes. Obviously as shown on the map, the minimum level of volatility pertains to cluster 1 and the highest to cluster4. The current regime and its progression from 21 days ago is also highlighted on the map.

plot of chunk SOM_chart

Always happy to discuss any of the above, feel free to reach me at: Pierre@argonautae.co.uk

GBPUSD 1-month Implied Volatility and Steepness of Volatility Curve

I was recently reading a paper titled The yen/dollar exchange rate in 1998: views from options markets written by the Bank of England back in November 1998. This got me to think on how I could best represent in one chart the relationship between the slope of the implied volatility term structure of and the nominal level o the 1-month volatility.

To do this I regressed the 1, 3, 6 and 12-month GBP-USD implied volatilies against their time values for the period 1996 to December 2016 (i.e 5427 volatility curves). I derived the volatility curve slopes t_stats for each day and then classified the 1-month volatilities into three groups as a function of the significance level of the slope t-stats. The chart below shows the 1-month implied volatiliy over the full period. When the volatility curve slope was positvely significant at 95% critical threshold the data is shown in green, When there was a signicantly negative slope at the 95% critical threshold the data is shown in red and pale blue for the remainder. I think this is a neat way highlight that time of high volatility are associated with a volatility curve that slope downwardly and vice-versa.

plot of chunk stretch line chart