Volatility: A weekly class for beginners

Professionals from Fidelity and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) will conduct a 4-week virtual classroom focused on the CBOE Volatility Index and options trading.

Virtual classroom details

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This class will help you understand the importance of volatility, the VIX index, and how it relates to managing your options strategies. The course will begin with an overview of volatility, followed up with the practical uses of the VIX index, VIX futures, and VIX options.

There will be homework assigned after each session to help you apply your growing knowledge. Each class will build on the prior week's class, so please plan on registering for and attending all 4 weeks. These sessions are fully interactive, you will be able to ask questions.

February 2020

Session Date and time

Week 1: What is volatility?
This introductory session will start by answering the fundamental question of what volatility is, as well as reviewing the various types of volatility. We will also cover the importance of volatility in analyzing options and its impact on options pricing.

Print and complete the homework assignment from Week 1 (PDF)

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET

Week 2: CBOE Volatility Index (VIX)
This week will start with the origins of the VIX index from which we’ll cover how the index is calculated and then introduce its practical uses.

Print and complete the homework assignment from Week 2 (PDF)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET

Week 3: VIX futures and term structure
This week's session will focus on the VIX futures markets, the importance of its term structure, and its impact on planning your trading strategies.

Print and complete the homework assignment from Week 3 (PDF)

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET

Week 4: VIX options
The final session will cover the key components of VIX options — including how they differ from equity options. We will also review common options strategies that can be applied to trading VIX options.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET


Colin Songer Colin Songer joined Fidelity in November 2005. Since then he has been providing support and helping to educate Fidelity's clients on several topics including fundamental analysis, technical analysis, and option strategies. Colin has been part of Fidelity's Trading Strategy Desk® since February 2014. He is currently a Registered Securities Representative (Series 7/63) and a Registered Options Principal (Series 4).

Jermal ChandlerJermal Chandler is an instructor with the Cboe Options Institute, the educational arm of Cboe Global Markets, Inc. He joined Cboe in 2017. Before coming to the Institute in 2018, Jermal began his 10-year trading career at Peak6 Capital Management in 2006, first as a trading associate and later as an equity options portfolio manager. Additionally, Jermal served two years as a Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE) regulator and one year as a FINRA regulatory analyst. Jermal has appeared on the TD Ameritrade Network and Yahoo Finance discussing options and volatility. Along with working at the Institute, he serves as an instructor with the Options Industry Council (OIC). Prior to the start of his trading career, Jermal had an extensive background as a chemist and engineer. Mr. Chandler is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University, with a B.S. in Chemistry, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering.