Here's why this drop is not like the others: Trader

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Is the VIX flashing a buy sign?

Over the past few years, dips in the market and spikes in the S&P volatility index have been serious buying opportunities. But as the S&P 500 touches a five-month low and the VIX hits the highest level since 2012, one option expert is warning that this VIX spike might not be like all of the others.

"To me, maybe it's different this time," said Dan Nathan of RiskReversal.com.

On the chart of the CBOE Volatility Index, at least, the spike looks a good deal like four other recent ones, which have also taken the VIX above its long-run average of 20 (market in green).