A Survey of Wartime Volatility

This (US) holiday weekend brings headlines from North Korea – the sabers have been rattled and markets are on edge – so we decided to put together a long dated history of volatility in relation to historical events for you to ponder.

A Brief History of Volatility

WARNING: READ THE METHODOLOGY CAREFULLY. THE VOLATILITY SHOWN BELOW IS NOT ANALOGOUS TO TRADABLE SECURITIES. The VIX index, started in 1993, is shown in turquoise for comparison. “The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”
The data above is based off of Robert Shiller’s monthly analysis of S&P returns. It’s the annualized (realized) volatility of the monthly data (and therefore does not incorporate the severity of single day events). Recessions are highlighted in red and selected wars are highlighted in green. Historical dates are marked with dotted lines and labeled.

As you can see realized vol spikes much more dramatically during economic crises than wartime events (perhaps an obvious observation, but an interesting one to keep in mind in the given environment). That being said, volatility can be low after a dramatic, wealth destroying sell offs, so here are the YoY returns:
Something to ponder. Thoughts and feedback are always welcome. Enjoy the rest of the holiday.


Yes, We Have Historical Data

“Does QuikStrike have historical data?” is one of the most frequently asked questions by our user base and prospective customers. “Yes” is the short answer. And reading further in this blog post will provide you with all the information you need to know about our History Tab.

HIstory Tab

The History Tab can be found in the top left corner of the page for all QuikStrike Professional Edition users. Upon clicking the tab, our users will find historical:

  • information for current (open) expirations from inception
  • settlement price and volatility for individual strikes, as well as ATM strikes
  • risk reversal and butterfly skew
  • open interest reports and summaries
  • strike-level data that can be exported in CSV format

ATM Vol Chart

HistATMVolChart - Blog postMany of our users make trading decisions based on historical ATM volatility. In the chart above, our users have the ability to go back as far as 12 months to see the ATM volatility history with the corresponding futures price. This is a great way to gain an understanding for how the ATM volatility has changed over the course of a year for a certain expiration.

Option Settles

HIstory option settlesSeeing settlement prices for both calls and puts for a particular expiration is easy in our historicals sections. In the Option Settles page under Settlement Reports, our users have the ability to view market settlement history, by strike, for as far back as 3 months from the current date.

The above images are two examples of how our users can take advantage of our history tab. If you aren’t a QuikStrike Professional Edition subscriber, shoot us an email at, and we’ll set you up with a free trial so you can explore our history section.

As always, please share your experience with us in the History Tab. We want to know about our strengths and how we can improve.

We hope you are enjoying the holiday season!