I am a retail investor...use this to hedge my long position in stocks. Do not stay long on VXX. I do not short, but when I see my long position is my stocks making the gains that we have experienced since Nov 2012, I buy the VXX to hedge my portfolio. But... the vol lately has allowed me to make nice gains by buying and selling 6 percent gains. Never hold this thing more than 4 days. The shorts have made the most gains over long periods.