OREANDA-NEWS. February 15, 2016. The Chicago Board Options Exchange® (CBOE®) today announced the release of a new study that examines six benchmark indexes that invest in Russell 2000® Index (RUT) options and compares their performances with those of traditional benchmark stock and bond indexes. This is the first comprehensive study that examines the performance of multiple options-strategy benchmark indexes that incorporate Russell 2000 Index options.

Written by Mark Shore, an adjunct professor at DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, and sponsored by CBOE, the study, “Analyzing Russell 2000 Index Options-Based Benchmark Indexes Designed to Provide Enhanced Yields and Risk-Adjusted Returns,” looks at the performance of six options-based benchmark indexes through the end of 2015.

The benchmarks studied include the CBOE Russell 2000 BuyWrite Index (BXR); CBOE Russell 2000 Zero-Cost Put Spread Collar Index (CLLR); CBOE Russell 2000 Conditional BuyWrite Index (BXRC); CBOE Russell 2000 30-Delta BuyWrite Index (BXRD); CBOE Russell 2000 PutWrite Index (PUTR); and CBOE Russell 2000 One-Week PutWrite Index (WPTR).

Among his findings, Shore found that the options-based benchmark indexes had strong performance in several areas: 

  • Higher risk-adjusted returns. Since 2001, the PUTR Index had higher returns, lower volatility and a higher Sharpe Ratio than both the Russell 2000 Index and the Citigroup 30-Year Treasury Bond Index.
  • Lower volatility and betas. Since 2001, the PUTR, BXR, CLLR and BXRD indexes each had lower annualized standard deviations (ranging from 14% to 20% lower) than the Russell 2000 Index. The options-based indexes also had lower betas (ranging from 0.59 to 0.82) to the Russell 2000 Index.
  • Richly priced index options. Since 2004, the implied volatility for the Russell 2000 has averaged about 2.88 volatility points higher than its realized volatility, and the rich pricing for index options may have facilitated higher returns for option-selling indexes such as PUTR and BXRD indexes (when compared with the CLLR Index).
  • Annual premium income was higher when writing WeeklysSM options. In 2015, the aggregate gross monthly premium (as a percentage of the underlying) was 41.4% for the WPTR Index, 22.2% for the PUTR Index, 19.5% for the BXR Index, and 9.2% for the BXRD Index. While a one-time premium collected by the WPUT Index (which writes RUT Weeklys options) usually was smaller than a one-time premium collected by the monthly PUTR and BXR indexes, the WPUT Index had higher aggregate annual premiums because premiums were collected 52 times, rather than 12 times, per year.

About CBOE Benchmarks
For more than a decade, CBOE has been a worldwide leader in creating benchmark indexes designed to help investors track the performance of investment strategies that use options or volatility products to help manage risk and enhance yield. CBOE currently publishes data on more than two dozen strategy performance benchmark indexes, including the CBOE S&P 500 BuyWrite Index (BXM), the CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT) and the CBOE VIX Tail Hedge Index (VXTH). Links to the new paper, as well as additional information on all of CBOE’s strategy performance benchmark indexes, can be found at www.cboe.com/benchmarks. Manager testimonials and a 2015 study on funds’ use of options can be found at www.cboe.com/funds.

About CBOE
CBOE, the largest U.S. options exchange and creator of listed options, continues to set the bar for options and volatility trading through product innovation, trading technology and investor education. CBOE Holdings offers equity, index and ETP options, including proprietary products, such as options and futures on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX Index) and S&P 500 options (SPX), the most active U.S. index option. Other products engineered by CBOE include equity options, security index options, Weeklys options, FLEX options and benchmark products such as the CBOE S&P 500 BuyWrite Index (BXM). CBOE Holdings is home to the world-renowned Options Institute, Livevol options analytics and data tools, and www.cboe.com, the go-to place for options and volatility trading resources.