I live near a river.
Beside the river is a walking track so on a sunny day it’s a popular destination for walkers, runners and people who like to ride a bike.
It’s one of my favourite locations to go for a ride when I only have an hour or less to spare.
On one particularly sunny day, I decide to go for a ride.
To get to the walking track I need to cut through some bushland and a small dirt carpark.
Now on this particular day there was about 8-10 cars parked in this car park, so as I’m riding through the carpark I’m trying to decide which 2 cars I’ll ride between to get to the track on the other side.
As I’m making my way through the carpark I notice a gathering of people, about 10 or 12, all looking at the cars in the far corner.
They’re not talking, just looking.
As I get closer they start looking at me but no-one says anything.
They look at me.
I look at them.
I think “this is a little odd”, but I continue anyway.
I get close to the end of the car park and there are about 2 or 3 sets of cars left so I choose a gap between 2 cars that looks a bit larger than the others and turn down it, but…
As I get between the 2 cars the group of people start yelling at me.
‘Snake’ they scream.
Now they have my attention.
I look at the ground in front of me and there it is – a huge snake…
Less than 2 metres away…
Right in the middle of the path I was about to take…
I jump on the brakes, wheels skidding to an abrupt halt, and as I put one foot on the ground the snake raises its head and looks right at me.
Our eyes lock.
With the large group of people on the other side of the snake it looks like I’m now standing between the snake and it’s intended escape route back to the bushland.
Not a place I really want to be.
Now I’m no expert on snakes but I can identify the ones to avoid, and this was one of the deadliest.
The brown snake, which has the 2nd most toxic venom of any land snake in the world, can make victims collapse within minutes.
It’s also fast moving.
How fast? I wasn’t sure.
It was only 6 feet away, was I in striking distance?
I didn’t want to find out.
Since I’m stuck between 2 cars and the snake is in front of me, the only way I can go is backwards, so keeping my eyes fixed firmly on this snake I slowly get off my bike.
As I place my 2nd foot on the ground the snake starts slithering towards me, showing even more interest, and I back away hurriedly.
My eyes are still fixated on this snake and I’m ready to shield myself with my bike if it suddenly lurches towards me.
I keep backing away until I’m clear of the cars.
The snake has stopped moving so I turn sideways and get out of there quick smart.
It was a very close call, if I had stopped 1 second later I would have been on top of that snake and who knows what could have happened.
In hindsight, I should have been more careful.
The signs that a crowd had gathered should have made me more alert but I didn’t really consider the reasons or the implications.
I was complacent and not thinking about potential risks for the environment that I was in.
Over the past month or so, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of news articles and blog posts discussing the low level of the VIX.
Now the VIX has ticked up a little in the last week or 2, but there have been some suggestions that these low levels could be a warning sign that an increase in volatility is overdue and perhaps even a market top.
Is the VIX giving us a warning sign, much like the crowd of people standing around cautiously watching that deadly brown snake?
Only time will tell.
If you want to hear more about the VIX and how to use it in trading, take a listen to episode 35 with Andrew Gibbs, where Andrew shares a number of insights into volatility and using the VIX in trading models.
To listen to that episode, go to bettersystemtrader.com/35
I hope you enjoy the rest of your week and ‘fangs’ for listening to Better System Trader. 🙂
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