A variance swap is an over-the-counter financial derivative that allows one to speculate on or hedge risks associated with the magnitude of movement, i.e. volatility, of some underlying product, like an exchange rate, interest rate, or stock index.
One leg of the swap will pay an amount based upon the realised variance of the price changes of the underlying product. Conventionally, these price changes will be daily log returns, based upon the most commonly used closing price. The other leg of the swap will pay a fixed amount, which is the strike, quoted at the deal's inception. Thus the net payoff to the counterparties will be the difference between these two and will be settled in cash at the expiration of the deal, though some cash payments will likely be made along the way by one or the other counterparty to maintain agreed upon margin.
Famous quotes containing the words variance and/or swap:
“There is an untroubled harmony in everything, a full consonance in nature; only in our illusory freedom do we feel at variance with it.”
—Fyodor Tyutchev (18031873)
“If we should swap a good library for a second-rate stump speech and not ask for boot, it would be thoroughly in tune with our hearts. For deep within each of us lies politics. It is our football, baseball, and tennis rolled into one. We enjoy it; we will hitch up and drive for miles in order to hear and applaud the vitriolic phrases of a candidate we have already reckoned well vote against.”
—Federal Writers Project Of The Wor, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)