Volatility Index (VIX®) Futures

Introduced in 2004 on Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE®), VIX futures provide market participants with the ability to trade a liquid volatility product based on the VIX Index methodology. VIX futures reflect the market's estimate of the value of the VIX Index on various expiration dates in the future. VIX futures provide market participants with a variety of opportunities to implement their view using volatility trading strategies, including risk management, alpha generation and portfolio diversification.

Mini VIX™ Futures Contracts Now Trading

The VIX futures contract is the most frequently traded, exchange-listed volatility futures contract in the world. VIX futures provide market participants with opportunities to trade their view of the future direction of the expected volatility of the S&P 500® Index. This contract may also present opportunities to manage risk, generate alpha or diversify a portfolio. With a $100 multiplier, Mini VIX futures are structured like the standard VIX futures contract but at 1/10th the size.

The smaller notional value of Mini VIX futures may appeal to:

  • Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) as a convenient, sub-account allocation contract size
  • Sophisticated market participants looking to hedge their portfolios or express their view on US stock market volatility, and
  • Proprietary trading firms seeking to execute volatility strategies or provide counter-party liquidity

VIX News

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Settlement and Trading of VIX Derivatives

The VIX Index settlement process is patterned after the process used to settle A.M.-settled S&P 500 Index options. The final settlement value for Volatility Derivatives is determined on the morning of their expiration date (usually a Wednesday) through a Special Opening Quotation ("SOQ") of the VIX Index. By providing market participants with a mechanism to buy and sell SPX options at the prices that are used to calculate the final settlement value for Volatility Derivatives, the VIX Index settlement process is "tradable."

VIX Weeklys Futures

VIX Weeklys futures began trading on CFE in 2015 and provide market participants with additional opportunities to establish short-term VIX positions and to fine-tune the timing of their hedging and trading activities.

Weekly expirations for VIX futures are generally listed on Thursdays (excluding holidays) and expire on Wednesdays. CFE may list up to six consecutive weekly expirations for VIX futures. VIX Weekly futures generally have the same contract specifications as monthly expiring VIX contracts. See Contract Specifications for VIX Futures for more information.

Select VIX Institutional Research

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CFA Institute Research Foundation

The VIX Index and Volatility-Based Global Indexes and Trading Instruments - A Guide to Investment and Trading Features (2020).

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University of Massachusetts

VIX Futures and Options - A Case Study of Portfolio Diversification During the 2008 Financial Crisis (Aug. 2009).

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S&P Dow Jones Indices

A Practitioner's Guide to VIX (Dec. 2017).

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S&P Dow Jones Indices

Reading VIX: Does VIX Predict Future Volatility? (Nov. 2017).

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BlackRock

VIX Your Portfolio (June 2013).

The inclusion of research not conducted or explicitly endorsed by Cboe should not be construed as an endorsement or indication of the value of any research.