There's been a lot of talk about how low volatility is in the market right now but I suspect this will be the norm for a while — and that's not such a bad thing.
The CBOE volatility index, a measure to implied volatility in the S&P 500 options market, and thus a proxy for overall stock market volatility (debatable), has seen extended periods of peace in the mid-1990s and, again, from 2003-2007.
The gloom and doomers warn of a volatility spike following extended periods of peace and quiet. But in the past, the results of low volatility were not always immediately catastrophic.
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The modern VIX has been in use since 1990; before that, the volatility gauge was known as the VXO.