SP500 & VIX

Decoding the VIX: Insights into Market Sentiment and Risk

The importance of volatility in financial markets is so high that large funds and financial institutions follow it to make decisions to position their investments. In these words I would like to shed light on how it works and also analyze volatility, in relation to the SP500, one of the major stock market indices, an international reference.


The VIX, or Volatility Index, is a critical tool in the world of finance and investment. Also known as the “fear gauge” or “fear index,” it provides insights into market sentiment and risk. Here are 10 important points to help you understand what the VIX is and how it functions in investments:

Definition: The VIX is a real-time market index created by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). It measures the market’s expectation of future volatility, specifically for the S&P 500 Index. It’s often referred to as the “fear index” because it tends to rise when investors are anxious about market conditions.

Volatility: The VIX quantifies the expected level of volatility in the stock market. Higher VIX values imply greater expected volatility, while lower values suggest relative market stability.

Calculation: The VIX is calculated using options prices on the S&P 500. It represents the market’s consensus on expected volatility over the next 30 days. Complex mathematical models are used to derive this index.

Inverse Relationship: The VIX typically moves inversely to the S&P 500. When stock prices fall sharply, the VIX tends to rise, indicating increased market fear. Conversely, in times of market stability and rising stock prices, the VIX tends to be lower.

Trading Strategy Indicator: Traders and investors often use the VIX as an indicator for market sentiment. High VIX levels may signal potential buying opportunities, while low VIX levels might suggest a time for caution or profit-taking.

Portfolio Hedging: Investors can use VIX-related products, such as VIX futures or options, to hedge against market downturns. When the VIX rises, these hedging instruments tend to increase in value.

Fear vs. Actual Volatility: It’s important to note that the VIX measures expected future volatility, not actual historical volatility. It gauges market participants’ sentiment about potential future turbulence.

Contrarian Indicator: Extreme VIX levels can sometimes be contrarian indicators. When the VIX reaches very high levels, it may suggest that the market is excessively fearful, which could present a buying opportunity. Conversely, extremely low VIX levels may indicate complacency and potential overvaluation.

Global Impact: While the VIX is primarily associated with the S&P 500, it has a broader global impact. Financial markets worldwide can be influenced by changes in the VIX, especially during times of heightened uncertainty.

Market Events: Major market events, such as economic crises, geopolitical tensions, or unexpected news, can cause rapid and substantial changes in the VIX. It’s crucial for investors to stay informed and understand the context behind VIX movements.

SP500 & VIX

After the explanations of how the VIX works, let’s now look at it, compared to the SP500.

Already understanding how it works, in the following graph of VIX on the SP500, we see how it is in areas below 15 points, which means that we are at a moment in which it can begin its upward movement (The VIX) and that It means that it is likely that the SP500 will have a bearish movement sooner rather than later.

As I always explain, it is not a buy or sell recommendation, and you should speak with your trusted financial advisor to make investment decisions.

But my job is to warn you that, as the VIX moves upward, there will be a fall in the SP500 and it will have its decline.

Happy Monday and happy week, and we keep in touch.

Jesús Sánchez-Bermejo