Since the creation of the stock market over 200 years ago, stocks move. They move everyday. Some more than others. And this movement is commonly referred to as volatility.
And of course investors want the opportunity to trade volatility if they have an opinion about market “activeness”. Or in other cases they may want to protect their portfolios from the movement and hedge volatility.
Enter the VIX Index. Created in 1993 as an index to track stock market volatility, the index trades on the CBOE (Chicago) and is considered a key measure of market expectations of near-term volatility conveyed by S&P 500 stock index option prices and the world's premier barometer of investor sentiment and market volatility.
And since the inception of the VIX, relate products have launched using the index as an underlying asset or benchmark. Options, futures, and most recently ETFs.
I talk about the benefits of ETFs all the time and for investors who want to take advantage and use ETFs over an index (or to hedge an index), then a volatility ETF just may be the preferred investment over the VIX.
To help with that decision, I’ve compiled a list of volatility funds for your research. Market volatility (and the VIX) tends to increase as the market declines and vice versa, so watch how these funds react to the market swings and decide which are the best fit for your portfolio…
There is actually more ETNs than ETFs, but there is a mix of both and over the course of time we may see this ratio change, so I will keep this list up to date for you.