Finally, I took a look at how trading has been for the iPath S&P 500 VXI Short Term Futures ETN which is commonly known as the VXX. VXX allows traders and investors the ability to gain volatility exposure through a portfolio that holds the front two month VIX Futures contracts. VXX was introduced in 2009 and has taken off in popularity over the past couple of years. Average VXX volume in 2012 was 146 million shares a day. So far in 2013 average volume is running at over 443 million shares. That is an increase of just over 200%!
So far in 2013 VIX has been in a pretty narrow range, but you would not know this from the trading volumes in some of the most popular methods of gaining exposure to volatility. The year is just about one quarter over and even in this low volatility environment more traders and investors are using VIX Options, Futures, and ETPs to diversify their portfolios through gaining exposure to volatility. Volatility has become established as an asset class and the market continues to grow despite the low volatility environment.