contango_simple: Backtest a Simple Contango-Based Volatility Trading Strategy

Description Usage Arguments Details Value References

View source: R/contango_simple.R

Description

Simple strategy: Each day, hold XIV if contango > xiv.cutpoint, hold VXX if contango < vxx.cutpoint, and hold cash otherwise. Perhaps not very useful since XIV closed on Feb. 20, 2018.

Usage

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contango_simple(contango, xiv.gains = NULL, vxx.gains = NULL,
  xiv.cutpoint = 0, vxx.cutpoint = -Inf, initial = 10000)

Arguments

contango

Numeric vector of contango values at the end of each trading day.

xiv.gains

Numeric vector of gains for XIV. Should be same length as contango and date-shifted one value to the right. For example, the first value of xiv.gains should be the XIV gain for the day AFTER the first contango value.

vxx.gains

Numeric vector of gains for VXX. Should be same length as contango and date-shifted one value to the right. For example, the first value of vxx.gains should be the VXX gain for the day AFTER the first contango value.

xiv.cutpoint

Numeric value giving the contango cutpoint for XIV, in percent.

vxx.cutpoint

Numeric value giving the contango cutpoint for VXX, in percent.

initial

Numeric value giving the initial value of the portfolio.

Details

You can find historical contango values from The Intelligent Investor Blog. You can click the first link at http://investing.kuchita.com/2012/06/28/xiv-data-and-pricing-model-since-vix-futures-available-2004/ to download a zip file containing an Excel spreadsheet. Then, you will need to calculate whatever version of "contango" you prefer. I typically define contango as what percent higher the second-month VIX futures are acompared to the first-month futures, i.e. dividing the "2nd mth" column by the "1st mth" column, subtracting 1, and then multiplying by 100.

I think the most common approach for contango-based volatility strategies is holding XIV (inverse volatility) when contango is above some value (e.g. 0%, 5%, or 10%), and holding cash otherwise. You can do that with this function by leaving vxx.cutpoint as -Inf. However, you may also want to hold VXX (volatility) when contango is below some value (e.g. 0%, -5%, -10%), also known as "backwardation". You can implement an XIV-only, VXX-only, or XIV and VXX strategy with this function.

To load daily gains for XIV and/or VXX, you can use load_gains, which uses the quantmod package [1] to load data from Yahoo! Finance. You will have to specify the from and to inputs to match the date range for your contango values.

Value

List containing:

  1. Character vector named holdings indicating what fund was held each day (XIV, VXX, or cash).

  2. Numeric vector named port.gains giving the portfolio gain for each day, which will be 0 for days that cash was held and the XIV or VXX gain for days that XIV or VXX was held.

  3. Numeric vector named port.balances giving the portfolio balance each day.

  4. Numeric value named trades giving the total number of trades executed.

References

Ryan, J.A. and Ulrich, J.M. (2017) quantmod: Quantitative Financial Modelling Framework. R package version 0.4-12, https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=quantmod.


vandomed/stocks documentation built on Sept. 2, 2018, 10:10 a.m.