Risk Management Conference Europe – Day One Wrap

Day One of Risk Management Conference (RMC) Europe is in the books – it was busy and very informative. 

Here are recaps of the three sessions today:

Session One: Options Fundamentals: Option Strategy and Pricing

Jerry de Leeuw, Managing Director, Mercurious and Jim Bittman, CBOE Options Institute

Jim said learning to use options involves several concepts, learning the mechanics (of how options work) and learning a new 2-step thinking process were important: (1) What is the plan (buy stock with limited risk, increase income, buy stock below current market price, etc) and (2) what do you do if the market cooperates or does not

Jerry de Leeuw discussed how listed options give you many choices, kind of like playing chess. Depending on your original plan and what the market does, you have many strategic alternatives to attain the original goal or to go in another direction.

Jerry also reviewed 2 passive strategies (BXM and PUT indexes) and 2 active strategies (put front spread for the neutral to bearish investor with a target buying price and the bullish collar for the short-term nervous investor who can’t afford to miss out on an unexpected rally

 

Session Two: Managing Options Positions

Jim Bittman, CBOE and Samuel Kadziela, Associate Director of Education, Chicago Trading Company

Samuel discribed how market makers trade, pointing out that MMs are not in competition with investors. In fact, they need each other. Investors need MM’s to provide liquidity, and MM’s need investors for liquidity as well, whether they are bidding at the ask and selling at the bid, or entering limit orders.

JB discussed how the implied volatility level in option prices can be used to measure the expected price range in a stock, ETF or Index. He also demonstrated simple managing strategies such as rolling cash-secured puts if the market declines more than originally expected.

 

Session Three: VIX and Volatility as an Asset Class

Marten Lindeborg, Head of Strategic Asset Allocation, AP3 (Third Swedish National Pension Fund)

Sheldon Natenberg, Co-Director of Education, Chicago Trading Company

Shelly discussed how option traders are really expressing an opinion on a stock’s (or index’s) volatility between now and option expiration.

Marten discussed a volatility buying strategy that his fund (Norway’s government pension fund worth ~US $27 Billion) uses, where they buy VIX options as a hedge against a declining market. Marten also showed some stats of his funds overall performance.

Lots of good questions from the audience during the sessions and a chance for industry professionals to mingle at the reception I am at now. The sun is setting as I look out over the gardens at Powerscourt. Wish you were here! More updates tomorrow as RMC Europe picks up speed with two keynote addresses and five sessions.

Jim Bittman

Options Institute

 

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