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The VIX is telling you to Netflix and Chill

JP Gravitt
The VIX is telling you to Netflix and Chill

Different people interpret the VIX different ways.  For some, a low VIX and dropping volatility signal a good time to invest, basically seeing the overall volatility and worry come down in the market.  For others, it is a sign of complacency.  Both are right.  When you look at last year’s low VIX persistent throughout the year, coupled with high returns of close to 20% for the S&P 500 (SPY) and close to 30% for the Nasdaq Comp (QQQ), one would conclude that lower VIX = better.  But in January when the VIX bottomed below 9 before ballooning to over 50 in February, low VIX = worse.  So which one?