DWSH: 2nd Quarter 2021 Portfolio Manager Review

Performance data quoted represents past performance and is no guarantee of future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than original cost. Returns less than one year are not annualized. For the fund’s most recent standardized and month-end performance, please click www.advisorshares.com/etfs/dwsh.


The AdvisorShares Dorsey Wright Short ETF (Ticker: DWSH) is built on the relative strength testing that Dorsey Wright has been doing for over almost two decades. Rather than investing in those companies that are exhibiting the strongest relative strength however, we identify the bottom tier or laggards and short them.  Shorting using relative strength is by no means a new idea, when reading academic literature on momentum from the past 40 years, the idea of buying the past winners and shorting the losers is often found to be a sensible allocation.

Our vision for utilizing the strategy is twofold. First is can be used as a hedge against downside US equity volatility, helping to reduce the volatility of the portfolio by pairing DWSH with a traditional long portfolio. The second is using the strategy as an alpha bet during period of market distress. During period of high dispersion among securities, there are typically well-defined winners and losers. Rather than buying a broad short of the whole market, we systematically invest in companies that are identified to be weak and have a greater chance in our opinion of dropping more than the other companies drop in the universe.


The start to 2021 has been reminiscent of the second half of 2020, a bull market that seems unstoppable even in the face of troublesome headlines.  Unlike the second half of last year, this market seems to be shifting its leader and laggards as new trend begin to emerge in the reopening economy. Looking farther to 2021 we continue to see a need for tactical application of short strategies as the markets digest increased interest rates, possible inflation, and a ballooning US deficit. Overall, the portfolio was able to stay in line with the index for the quarter as markets pushed towards new all-time highs.


Top 10 Holdings

Ticker Security Description Portfolio Weight %

As of 06.30.2021

Allocation Changes

The portfolio has continued to adapt to changes in the market, as the leaders and laggards continue to respond to an ever-extending bull market that has broken multiple highs over the course of the quarter. Several changes happened over the quarter with almost all sectors seeing securities removed from the portfolio. Financials and Industrials saw the largest reduction this quarter, while Consumer Cyclicals and Technology both saw a notable uptick in the number holdings and their weight.

As of 06.30.2021.


John G. Lewis
Nasdaq Dorsey Wright
AdvisorShares Dorsey Wright Short ETF (DWSH) Portfolio Manager


Past Manager Commentary


  • Alpha: One of the most commonly quoted indicators of investment performance, alpha, is defined as the excess return on an investment relative to the return on a benchmark index.
  • Long: Having a “long” position in a security means that you own the security. Investors maintain “long” security positions in the expectation that the stock will rise in value in the future. 
  • Short: A “short,” or a short position, is created when a trader sells a security first with the intention of repurchasing it or covering it later at a lower price. A trader may decide to short a security when they believe that the price of that security is likely to decrease in the near future. 


Before investing you should carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other information is in the prospectus, a copy of which may be obtained by visiting www.advisorshares.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest. Foreside Fund Services, LLC, distributor.

The Fund is subject to a number of risks that may affect the value of its shares, including the possible loss of principal. Short sales are transactions in which the Fund sells a security it does not own. To complete the transaction, the Fund must borrow the security to make delivery to the buyer. The Fund is then obligated to replace the security borrowed by purchasing the security at the market price at the time of replacement. If the underlying security goes down in price between the time the Fund sells the security and buys it back, the Fund will realize a gain on the transaction. Conversely, if the underlying security goes up in price during the period, the Fund will realize a loss on the transaction. Any such loss is increased by the amount of premium or interest the Fund must pay to the lender of the security. Likewise, any gain will be decreased by the amount of premium or interest the Fund must pay to the lender of the security. Because a short position loses value as the security’s price increases, the loss on a short sale is theoretically unlimited. Short sales involve leverage because the Fund borrows securities and then sells them, effectively leveraging its assets. The use of leverage may magnify gains or losses for the Fund. As with any fund, there is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its investment objective.

Shares are bought and sold at market price (closing price) not NAV and are not individually redeemed from the Fund. Market price returns are based on the midpoint of the bid/ask spread at 4:00 pm Eastern Time (when NAV is normally determined), and do not represent the return you would receive if you traded at other times.

Holdings and allocations are subject to risks and to change.

The views in this commentary are those of the portfolio manager and may not reflect his views on the date this material is distributed or anytime thereafter. These views are intended to assist shareholders in understanding their investments and do not constitute investment advice.