Please click on each question for a detailed answer
Beyond just higher returns and lower fees, our specific focus on risk management and diversification is what sets us apart from the crowd.
It's easy to profit when markets are cooperating, so we focus primarily on what positions to take during uncertainty and ambiguity in the markets. We've successfully avoided over 90% of the worst trading days as you can see in this blog post.
Our Tactical Volatility strategy only takes the highest conviction trades and spends over 50% of the time in cash which greatly reduces risk, and the strategy also includes an inverse ETF that can actually profit when markets are crashing which adds even more safety in the long run.
Our Tactical Balanced Strategy moves into Bonds and Gold during times of elevated uncertainty which dramatically reduces long-term drawdowns, yet still capitalizes on bull markets by capturing uptrends in the stock market.
The VTS Iron Condor strategy is designed to capture profits during times when the markets are chopping around sideways not trending strongly in either direction. Iron Condors themselves have a unique risk profile in that they can actually perform quite well during times of high volatility which increases the safety in the long run.
The VTS Tactical Volatility Strategy has 3 possible positions: XIV, VXX, and Cash
The VTS Tactical Balanced Strategy also has 3 possible positions: MDY, IEF, and GLD
The VTS Iron Condor Strategy trades option spreads, mainly on the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) but some trades are on the S&P 500 (SPX) or the Nasdaq (NDX)
Markets do evolve and naturally we will adapt with them so small changes to our current strategies will likely be made going forward. However since they have been tested and proven though different market environments thus far we only anticipate small tightening or loosening of the various indicators we track rather than actual structural change
The most likely changes going forward would be the possibility of adding new strategies to the Total Portfolio Solution as they become necessary and available. We're always striving for more diversification.
At Volatility Trading Strategies we pride ourselves on risk management and reducing drawdowns to the lowest possible level. Trading with leverage would violate our principles of safety so to be clear we never employ leverage of any kind in our trading.
Regardless of how little experience you have, I’m quite sure everybody will be an expert in executing the trades in no time.
Please see THIS SHORT VIDEO where I execute a live trade and demonstrate how easy it is.
You can also contact me anytime, or contact the customer service desk at your brokerage house for help. It may seem daunting at first but trust me, actually executing the trades is a breeze.
You will be using “market on close” orders which can be set up anytime during market hours so you won’t need to be on your computer for more than a few minutes. However if you know you’re going to be away from your computer for a few days, it would be best to just move to cash and pick up on the signals when you have more time. Missing a few of the trades won’t effect your long term results very much at all.
For our Tactical Volatility and Tactical Balanced strategies, all you need is a brokerage account that allows ETF trading which covers virtually all of them. However I would recommend you choose one of the larger ones for better services, lower trade commissions, more detailed accounting statements, etc.
To trade the VTS Iron Condor strategy you will need options authorization, which usually requires a little bit of options trading experience listed in your profile to be approved. But since the trade signals are coming from an experienced option trader newsletter, you can discuss this with your broker and likely get approval even if you've never traded options before.
No this is not day trading and our strategies average just 3-4 trades per month so you don’t ever have to be glued to your computer.
Checking your email once per day after 12:00 PM Eastern Time will be enough to get all the latest signals.
Yes, most brokerage firms in the world will allow ETF and option trading on the US exchanges which is all that is required.
We can't legally give out any personalized investment advice, but speaking in general the larger your account size the less of a percentage the subscription fee would make up. An account size of say 5,000 or less may not be high enough to justify the cost of subscription, where as say 10,000 or more might be.
We have designed a very easy system for giving the daily signals. You can find all the information you need in the VTS Indicator tab.
Yes, all new subscriptions will receive a free 2 week trial so you can try the service risk free and get a first hand feel for receiving daily email signals.
Yes of course, if you are unhappy with our service for any reason you can cancel your subscription with no questions asked and we will be happy to prorate and refund any unused monthly fees.
This also applies to those who are just trying the service for the Free 2 week trial. By all means try it out and if you feel it's not the right fit for you for any reason, just cancel it and you won't be charged anything.
The signals that subscribers receive are executed either the same day or the following day and are not valid past then. So the purpose of posting past Volatility trades on the website is for transparency. It would not be effective for non-subscribers to follow any of those trades by the time they are posted.
The truth is some of the things you'd need to know to trade these products aren't secrets. There are information sources out there that explain the basics already so knowing what to do during times of strong contango or backwardation is public knowledge at this point.
It’s navigating the ambiguous middle ground that separates us from the crowd. If you can reverse engineer that part of our system from the trade history then be our guest.
To be clear, we do. Our money is in the very same trade signals yours will be as a subscriber.
But these ETF's trade millions of shares on a daily basis which means there is no issues of scale or liquidity to worry about. What other people do has no effect on what we do, so for a small subscription fee we have no problem sharing the same system we use to navigate these complex markets.
You’ve probably seen other sites that take theirs back to 2004 right? Well the XIV didn’t actually launch until late 2010. Now of course it’s easy enough to re-create the prices going back to 2004 using past VIX futures data, but those prices would have been different if the ETF’s actually existed in live trading. The existence of the ETF’s themselves would have changed peoples hedging behaviour, would have effected the prices of the S&P 500 options market and as a result, would have changed the values of the VIX Index and VIX futures term structure itself.
Basically, a simulation of prices before late 2010 is useless because those prices would not have been what they were if the ETF’s existed to be traded. The sites you’ve seen that show results going back further than 2010 are just showing flashy curve fitted backtests that in the real world of live trading mean very little.
Some of these websites have even gone as far as calling these false numbers "performance" and using them in their actual performance reporting in order to boost their statistics.
This is one of the main reasons their results have significantly underperformed in the past few years of actual live trading. Learn more about this very important topic by clicking here.
Due to potential differences in intraday prices depending on the times of day that subscribers are available to exercise their trades we have chosen to report all results based on daily market close prices. This is not necessarily the same price we or any of our subscribers filled. So while reported results should closely follow live trading, discrepancies may exist both in the past and going forward. And we do not provide any audited track record of live trades so it should be assumed that all results on the website are simulated data.
When viewed through such risk adjusted measures as the Sharpe Ratio or Ulcer Performance Index, our strategies show high numbers there and a good risk / reward profile.
However, if by risky you mean the potential for large month to month deviations then yes our VTS Tactical Volatility Strategy should be considered high risk and all subscribers should allocate accordingly.
All traders of these volatility products need to be aware that there is both credit risk from the issuing institution, as well as trading risk due to the potential for very large single day movements in the VIX futures that they track. A total loss of 100% in a single trading day is possible.
The Total Portfolio Solution is more suited for subscribers who are sensitive to drawdowns and are looking for more consistency.
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