I caught the SPX on a longer term panel today and a few things immediately stood out to me. First up we are most definitely in a corrective phase, which is obvious simply by looking at the chart. No indicators or quant magic needed.

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Ladies and leeches, this is your pilot speaking. Please fasten your seatbelts and return your tray table to its full upright and locked position. We are heading into a potentially explosive week during what has already been a rather explosive year. Be advised that in the unlikely event of a water landing, it’s every man and woman for themselves!

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The equities market has been flailing around like a nudist bee keeper chasing hapless hedgers from one side of the EM range to the next. Of course we had anticipated an increase in (realized) volatility as the historical stats advised us that we had entered the most volatile trading period of the year.
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October starts with a bang and a legion of misinformed retail traders assume that we’re heading straight into the next bear market. Not impossible of course given what’s going on but even IF we’re heading that way on a medium to long term basis (still doubtful) we are still going to see a bounce preceding it. Here’s why and how to take advantage:

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With summer and the dreaded vacation season finally behind us I am already looking forward to the wild swings the fall and winter seasons may have in store for us. For volatility opens the door to juicy trading opportunities and that’s what we’re all about here at Red Pill Quants.

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Equities closed September solidly in the red, as was suggested by our monthly statistics that I posted here early in the month. Of course nothing is ever chiseled in stone in the world of trading. But the odds are the odds, and until my crystal ball is back from the shop that’s what we’ll have to content with.

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Recently I’ve talked a lot about implied volatility, mean reversion, linear regression, and other exotic topics. But there comes the time when you simply need to take a step back, clear your mind, and just look at the situation from a very straight-forward and practical perspective. So let’s channel our inner Steve Jobs (yup fan boy here – bite me) and look at some basic price charts:

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Barely two weeks ago when Bitcoin was trading at $53K I got a few messages from people telling me they should have bought the dip and of course now they had a bad case of FOMO-21.

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Last week I posted a veritable PhD dissertation on the VXX (j/k) which, despite my efforts to spiff it up with my notorious teutonic humor, remained relatively unnoticed. With retail gobbling up put positions with both hands as usual, it appears the most important volatility event of the quarter once again has been largely ignored. Fortunately a handful of intrepid IV aficionados (a.k.a. option traders) managed to take full advantage of the situation.

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The VXX ranks amongst the top most hated ETFs of all time and it has retained its bottom of the barrel reputation since its introduction in 2009. It is despised for many reasons but mainly because it’s a terrible investment on a long term basis due to its factory installed value leakage. This is courtesy of the fact that it’s tied to the value of the SPVXSTR index, which in turn tracks a pair of VIX futures contracts.

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