Yesterday’s thread was on SLVC (posted below) today will be on FGI.
Again, today’s thread will show historical performance, 2018 performance, where it did well and poorly, and why.
What is FGI?
The Fear vs Greed Index (FGI) is a measure that calculates a monthly relative sentiment in the market place using information from the option markets and the amount of open interest in call and put options.
GREED reflects too much risk taken on by investors and may indicate a future volatility shock or price reversion.
FEAR may show too much risk aversion in the market place and volatility should mean revert and/or a price recovery will take place.
NEUTRAL periods are non-predictive.
UNCERTAINTY (now called PANIC) periods should be met with extreme caution (or optimism) as the returns are highly variable, but are typically positive for and negative for
Investing (wisely) in periods of FEAR/PANIC vs GREED can lead to annualized return differentials of over 10%.
The FGI index is more relevant for #volatility decisions, as the market can sustain periods of GREED for many, many months. GREED can be a good scenario for the (see 2017) and it is better to be in the market long-term. That is why you don’t see a GO TO CASH for
Green (red) highlights years of significant out (under) performance. Pink(light green) are positive (negative) years that under(over) perform. The chart posted (top of thread) shows cumulative value of a portfolio invested in the and the using the decision framework
How to interpret the results:
The simplicity of FGI is its ability to capture the basic properties in volatility mean reversion, and how it is applicable to both volatility products such as and the broad-based market - however...
....it can get caught out (see 2008- it moved a little too early and 2011/2018 for VXX)
Also, because the isn’t directly investable, the returns shown are more representative of the quality in the decision matrix versus a bankable return.
So how did we do in 2018 for . I have put the metrics in a simpler format (red dots) where GREED=-2, NEUTRAL=-1, FEAR=0, and LONG VOL=1 so you can see when each decision is made. Using FGI for resulted in a .5% year and out performance of over 7%.
The performance using as a base was excellent, but for , a similar under performance as seen using SLVC for decisions. It why options vs futures/ETFs have to be viewed differently
Fear is a funny thing, and I would add in 2018, there was actually very little of it, I don’t think February was about fear (it was structural), and it only, kind of, reared its head at the end of the year. It is why the option plays in played out much better than