PUT Index and PUTW ETF Win Sharpe Indexing Award

By Matt Moran

On June 26 the CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT) and the WisdomTree CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Strategy Fund ETF (PUTW) won the 2017 Index/ETF Product of the Year award at an annual ceremony that was presented by IMN and the Journal of Index Investing. The awards ceremony was held during the 22nd Annual Global Indexing and ETFs conference, a 3-day event with about 750 financial professionals (including reps of CBOE, Bats, and ETF.com) in attendance.



The PUT Index measures the performance of a hypothetical portfolio that sells one-month S&P 500 Index (SPX) put options against collateralized cash reserves held in a money market account.

As shown in the three charts below, over more than three decades the PUT Index had higher returns and lower volatility than key benchmark indexes for stocks, Treasury bonds and commodities. In addition, papers by Bondarenko (2016)Black and Szado (2016) and Wilshire (2016) have statistics showing superior risk-adjusted returns and lower drawdowns for the PUT Index.


Note in the bar charts that put option writing (a represented by the PUT Index) had higher returns than put option buying (as represented by the PPUT Index). A driving factor behind strong risk-adjusted returns for the PUT Index has been the volatility risk premium.



An inquiring investor might ask – how could the PUT Index have higher returns and lower volatility than traditional indexes over a period of more than three decades?

A key source of returns for sellers of SPX index options has been the fact that, according to Exhibit 5 in a 2016 paper by Professor Oleg Bondarenko, these options were richly priced in all the years from 1990 through 2015 (except in 2008).


The microsite for the PUT Index is at www.cboe.com/PUT.

For more information on dozens of CBOE benchmark indexes, please visit www.cboe.com/benchmarks for research papers and price charts,

If you would like to hear expert speakers discuss options and volatility, please visit www.cboermc.com to learn more about these upcoming CBOE Risk Management Conferences --

  • RMC EUROPE 2017, Sept. 11 - 13, 2017, The Grove Hotel, Chandler's Cross, Hertfordshire, UK
  • RMC ASIA 2017, Dec 5 - 6, 2017, Conrad Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • RMC US 2017, March 7 - 9, 2018, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, FL