Benn Eifert, Founder and CIO, QVR Advisors

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Manage episode 283829730 series 2516749
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As founder and CIO of QVR Advisors, Benn Eifert spends his time looking for opportunities in volatility markets and helping his investors protect capital through periods of uncertainty. With the surge in volatility that has recently materialized in GameStop and a number of other stocks with high short interest, it was timely to have Benn back on the Alpha Exchange to share his always excellent insights on option market dynamics. Our discussion considers the emergence of a factor that may have been hiding in plain sight – crowd sourced convexity that left option hedgers short gamma. In the process of laying out this recent single stock risk event, Benn clarifies some of the misconceptions that may be common around the retail options trading community. From Benn’s vantage point, some of these investors are hardly unsophisticated and understand leverage, positioning and the feedback loops that can occur when dealers are hedging options from the short side. As we step back and consider the ecosystem of supply and demand for optionality in the equity market, Benn describes the losses that were imparted on short volatility strategies in March 2020 and how that figures in to a VIX that has been persistently high relative to the metrics it is typically related to. Lastly, given that 2021 has demonstrated that stocks can actually crash up as well as crash down, we consider the implications of GameStop on the volatility surface. Here Benn sees good reason to expect a persistent, extra premium to the upside call as a result of recent events. I hope you enjoy this episode of the Alpha Exchange, my conversation with Benn Eifert.

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