Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSE: VXX) has received the dreaded one-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN and see what CAPS investors are saying about the ETF right now.

VXX facts



Jan. 2009 

Total Net Assets

$1.1 billion

Investment Approach

Seeks to replicate the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Total Return Index. The index offers exposure to a daily rolling long position in the first and second month VIX futures contracts and reflects the implied volatility of the S&P 500 Index at various points along the volatility forward curve.

Expense Ratio


3-Month / 1-Year / 5-Year Returns

(33.4%) / (75.3%) / (64.4%)


iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN (NYSE: VXZ)

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 60% of the 544 members who have rated it believe the ETF will underperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Just last month, one of those Fools, All-Star TerryHogan, succinctly summed up the VXX bear case for our community: "Futures ETFs are bad in the long run. Short-term ETFs are bad in the long run. Put 'em together, and you got one heck of a dog. Easy red thumb."

Want to see how well (or not so well) the stocks in this series are performing? Follow the TrackPoisedTo CAPS account.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.