This study investigates the forecasting power of implied volatility indices on forward looking returns. Prior studies document that negative innovations to returns are associated with increasing implied volatility of the underlying indices; thus, suggesting a possible relationship between extremely high levels of implied volatility and positive short term returns. We investigate this issue by examining the predictive power of three implied volatility indices, VIX, VXN and VDAX, on the underlying index returns. We extend previous research by also focusing on characterised selected stocks and examine the relationship between implied volatility indices and future returns across different sectors and classified portfolios. Our findings suggest that implied volatility indices are good predictors of 20-days and 60-days forward looking returns and illustrate insignificant predictive power for very short term (1-day and 5-days) returns.

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Quantitative Finance
Erasmus School of Economics

Rubbaniy, G, Asmerom, R, Rizvi, S.K.A, & Naqvi, B. (2014). Do fear indices help predict stock returns?. Quantitative Finance, 14(5), 831–847. doi:10.1080/14697688.2014.884722