This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Jared Woodard Analysis: What's Working Now

TheStreet Premium Services

A complimentary preview
of Options-Profits Previews

This content brought to you by TheStreet's OptionsProfits. CLICK HERE FOR A 14-DAY FREE TRIAL.

The easy approaches to the market that worked so well in 2012 and 2013 have performed poorly so far this year. We're more than a quarter through 2014, and the S&P 500 is up just 0.78% for the year, with several dips so far into negative territory. Short volatility plays, which became hugely popular in recent years, have also seen mixed results. VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX ST ETN (XIV) is down more than 9%, indicating that it hasn't paid to be a consistent seller of short-dated CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) futures.

However, there are some brighter spots: VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX MT ETN (ZIV) has gained 3.5%, continuing a run of outperformance (relative to XIV) that we noted at the start of the year. A conservatively allocated strategy that trades delta-hedged VIX option straddles is up nearly 4%. And a diversified volatility strategy that combines systematic trading in VIX futures, VIX options, and SPX iron condors has gained more than 12% this year net of transaction costs.

All of these approaches are a few steps off the beaten path - you won't find boxes for them in a Morningstar style guide. But when there are strong cross-currents in the market, it helps to employ strategies that don't depend on the same factors to which everyone else in the market is looking. This year, one of the best sources of returns has been the passage of time. A short gamma trade like an iron condor or a short straddle can profit even if expectations for future volatility don't decline. Round-trip swings down and up again in stock indexes may prove frustrating for buy-and-hold investors and momentum traders, but market gyrations that come to nothing still take time, and time is money.

OptionsProfits can be followed on Twitter at

Jared can be followed on Twitter at

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

At the time of publication, Jared Woodard held positions in VIX. SPX.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs