Pincus says those ETNs are "really dangerous products" that shouldn't be owned by retail investors, or non-professionals. "Funds that track the VIX or volatility are not for the faint hearted - they are incredibly risky and have significant tracking errors when compared to the VIX," he offers. "The products are specially created to come close to matching the performance of the VIX on an intraday basis but once you hold the position overnight your returns will diminish drastically."
Pincus says volatility ETPs usually don't have large assets under management (despite the recent uptick in inflows) but most trading activity is comprised of day-traders who buy in the morning and sell in the afternoon.
"Trump's presidency may increase volatility but these products won't help a novice make money," he adds. "If retail investors buy this stuff they're just throwing their money down the drain."