Spike in VIX Interest as Volatility Declines

Includes: SPY, VXX, VXZ
by: Bill Luby

I was not at all surprised that when the VIX spiked over 80 last October, this blog was the beneficiary of a similar spike in readership. In fact, spikes in visitors to the blog have been highly correlated with the VIX and with various volatility events since the blog was launched in January 2007. This phenomenon is not limited to VIX and More. As a general principle, readership of all sources of financial information tends to increase whenever investor anxiety is heightened and the need for quality information and insight is greatest.

What has surprised me, however, is the magnitude of the persistent interest in the VIX in recent weeks, not to mention the debate caused by the drop in the VIX below the 30 level. Clearly, the VIX is not a one-spike pony and investors have become highly attuned to a more complex dialogue about volatility levels and their implications. This point was brought home dramatically last month when the blog’s readership hit a new high, eclipsing the VIX moon shot mania of October. In the chart below (), I have noted the events which have triggered readership to spike above the long-term trend line. As best as I can tell, last month was the first time readership spiked due to concerns about how low the VIX is.

Apparently, the VIX is here to stay. And while I enjoy probing the “…and More” portion of my blogging calling card, I will see what I can do to at least match the volume of VIX posts by the irrepressible Adam Warner at Daily Options Report.

[graphic: VIXandMore]