Navigating Volatile Markets Via Dividend Investing - Part 1

Noah Kiedrowski - Contributor - Biotech


Dividend investing doesn't offer the most exciting means in which to invest these days when compared to stocks such as Netflix, Facebook or Amazon or sectors such as the biotechnology sector. Despite this lack of excitement, when considering the attributes this dividend space offers, such as decreased volatility, healthy yields, moderate risk exposure and a hedge against downside risk, it may be an ideal synergy for any long portfolio. This is especially true as the markets have been highly volatile due to weakness in China, an imminent fed rate hike and persistently low oil prices. Historically, companies that have an established track record of not only paying dividends but growing their dividends over the long-term have generally outperformed the their respective index with decreased volatility. I'll be utilizing The Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (ticker symbol: VYM) as a proxy for a high-quality cohort of large-cap centric dividend paying stocks. This type of dividend portfolio may prove to be a meaningful piece of an overall growth retirement strategy while providing a reasonable level of income and mitigating risk. The allocation within VYM offers a broad dividend paying portfolio and access to all sectors throughout the large-cap space without sacrificing diversification and in turn can generate sustained long-term growth and income while navigating volatile markets.

High-Level Overview

• The dividend space offers many long attributes: decreased volatility, healthy yields, moderate risk and a hedge against downside market swings.

• Dividend investing often gives rise to share buybacks, rendering an effective way to drive shareholder value via returning capital by repurchasing stock.

• VYM has outperformed the S&P 500 in past two down markets in 2008 and 2011 by 4.9% and 8.4%, respectively.

• VYM has more than doubled its dividend payouts over the past 5 years.

Mitigating risk and volatility with a high-quality cohort of dividend paying stocks

VYM is composed of high yielding dividend-paying large-cap companies and weighted by market capitalization. This domestically focused dividend paying ETF provides access to some of the biggest names across many different sectors that provide a healthy dividend yield, equity appreciation, diversification and decreased volatility. Continue reading "Navigating Volatile Markets Via Dividend Investing - Part 1"

How Volatility Affects The Options and Binary Options Markets

Market volatility comes in two forms, implied volatility and historical volatility, both which can affect an investor’s ability to be successful in trading Binary Options. Implied volatility is similar to a financial security as it fluctuates with market sentiment and is an estimate of how much options trader perceives a financial security or index will move over a specific period of time on an annualized basis. Historical volatility is the actual past movement of a security and can be defined as the standard deviation of a time series, reflected in percentage format.

Implied volatility affects the price of a Binary Option, but it influences standard vanilla options much more than it effects Binary Options. Implied volatility changes as market sentiment changes. Generally as fear and trepidation increase, implied volatility increases, while increases in complacency are generally highly correlated to declines in implied volatility.  Continue reading "How Volatility Affects The Options and Binary Options Markets"

Last trading day of the year ... what do you think?

2011 turned out to be a volatile year for the markets and it looks like they are going to close pretty flat for the year.

We would like to know where you think the S&P500 is going to close at the end of January 2012.

Every Success,

The MarketClub Team

"Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash."

Continuing with our options theme this week we have brought in, J.W. Jones, the primary analyst and moderator of Today J.W is going to share with you his take on the recent silver market, and how volatility and options have presented him great opportunities in markets where traditional investors are running for the hills. Be sure to comment with your thoughts and visit J.W at Options Trading


Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.
– George S. Patton -

Last week silver was the focus of incredible price swings which left many licking their wounds and shaking their heads at the trading losses they had incurred. This sell off was likely triggered by the increase in margin requirements for futures contracts, but the stunning price decline extended to all vehicles like exchange traded funds use to trade the glimmering metal.

I recognized the potential opportunity early in the week, and began to look at various position structures using options on Tuesday morning. In order to understand the thinking behind this trade, it is necessary to understand the concept of implied volatility of an option contract. Implied volatility, together with time to expiration and price of the underlying security, form the three primal forces that rule the world of option pricing. This measure of volatility is best described as the collective opinion of traders as to the future volatility of the price of the underlying. Implied volatility is the variable which determines if options are priced cheap or overvalued. Continue reading ""Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.""

Traders Toolbox: Learning Options Part 4 of 4

In real estate, they say that the three most important things are location, location, and location. In options, the three most important things are volatility, volatility, and volatility. Often neglected by option rookies, volatility is the cornerstone of an option professional's trading strategy.

In its simplest form, expressed as the annualized percentage of the standard deviation, volatility measures how far a contract can be expected to swing from a mean price. A contract trading at 50 would have a volatility of 10% if it traded between 45 and 55 over a given period of time.

Historical volatility is just that: the volatility calculated (using closing prices) over a given period – 20 days, 20 weeks, one year, etc. Implied volatility is the volatility using current market prices. For example, using four primary option pricing inputs – futures price, settlement price, time until expiration and volatility – would result in a theoretical price.

By plugging in the current option price in place of the theoretical price and working backward, it would be possible to determine the volatility the current market is implying. (It is not mathematically possible to work backward and solve for implied volatility using an equation like the Black-Scholes model, but an approximation can be derived.)

Options on quick-moving, highly volatility contracts will demand a higher premium because of the increased possibility of such options being in-the-money. For example, an out-of-the-money option on a slow, non-volatile contract will have a lower premium than a comparable option on a volatile contact because there is a greater chance the volatile contract will shirt in price enough to put the currently out-of-the-money option in-the-money.

Astute options traders look at volatility figures to evaluate the potential of a trade, buying or selling options when volatility is exceptionally high or low. If a market is trading at historically low volatility levels, options premiums could be expected to rise as market volatility increases, presenting a buy opportunity. The revers is true for high volatility situations.

We hope that this short lesson series was helpful, and that you learned a little more about trading options!

The MarketClub Team