Why A Non-Directional Trade Did Well Today Despite the Big Move

Trade #1 did absolutely great today, and it was a basic non-Directional trade that made 20% today with the market going drastically against us. The trade was a balanced Butterfly trade in SPX in the August 19 expiration, and the width of the Butterfly was 40.The trade was put on yesterday when SPX was around 2105.The trade was put on using all Calls. Here is the trade using a 1 contract example. Buy 1 2065 and sell 2 2105’s and Buy 1 2145. I bought some units at $5.40, $5.30, and $5.20. A unit could be 1-2-1 or 2-4-2 or 3-6-3, whatever size you are trading at. In this trade, we want the price of SPX to be near the short strike of 2105. Today at around 9:45 am central time, SPX was around $2059 and I got out of my entire trade that I bought around $5.30 and sold it for a $6.40 Credit, a return of about 20%. How did that happen with SPX moving about 50-60 points from the short strike, which is bad for this trade? Did theta get us the high return in 1 day? No. VIX was up about 3 points at 8:45 am central, this is a short Vega trade, shouldn’t an increase in Implied Volatility hurt an Short Vega at-the- money Butterfly trade? It should, but this was a bit of an unusual situation. Usually when SPX closes around $2110 which it did yesterday, the VIX would be between 11-15 because if SPX is 30-35 points from its all time high, VIX would be in the lower end of the range. But yesterday the VIX was around 18 because of the UK vote, sort of an Earnings situation for the market, an Event that could trigger a big Gap move. With VIX up about 3 at 8:45 am central, we still made money from the implied Volatility because the Volatility increases in the individual strikes of our Butterfly worked in our favor. Just because the VIX went up doesn’t mean we had to lose on a short Vega trade. The key is what happened with the volatility of each of the strikes of the Butterfly combined.