SENT: 1st Quarter 2023 Portfolio 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

Portfolio Review

Broad market indices continued to climb in Q1 2023 building on their success in Q4 2022. But the gains have not been without some volatility as a banking crisis and Federal Reserve policy have stunted the small cap indices move upwards.  Meanwhile, those same issues have caused a flight to quality that has benefited the mega-caps and propelled the large cap indices higher.

You can see the mega-caps leading the way in the performance of the S&P 500 Index  vs the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index in Q1 2023:  +7.50% vs +2.93%.

The Russell 2000 Index has experienced more of the volatility in the quarter thanks to the banking issues as most regional banks fall into this index and most small cap companies rely on credit from these regional banks. Both of those issues have put pressure on the index. The Russell 2000 finished the quarter at +2.74% return but recall that it delivered +9.75% in January alone so February and March have put pressure on the small cap index.

Our AdvisorShares Alpha DNA Equity Sentiment ETF (ticker: SENT) finished the quarter at +2.59% which we are content with given our material exposure to the mid/small cap space and our over-weight exposure to financials and regional banks. Recall that our portfolio of stocks is targeted to be roughly 40/60 ratio of large caps to mid-small caps. The increased exposure to mid-small cap hurt our overall returns but we out-performed in each of these equity categories compared to the indices.

Our large cap equity portfolio delivered +9.9% returns for the quarter which compares very favorably to the S&P 500. Our mid-small cap equity portfolio delivered +3.2% returns which compares closely to the Russell 2000 returns. Our hedges then produced a modest drag on returns as the indices were positive so the hedges were negative.

We are encouraged by the fact that our overall portfolio performed well despite our increased exposure to financials and material exposure to regional banks. The KBW Nasdaq Bank Index* lost nearly -25% for the month of March when the bank issues crept up on the markets. In that same month, our average regional bank stock return was just -15% which is materially better than the bank index.

In other words, we out-performed in the banks we owned which we would expect because these banks have strong digital signals which is a sign of strength in their underlying consumer business. Banks that are experiencing good customer growth are not typically the banks that will suffer a bank run.

For the quarter, the ten biggest contributors in the equity portfolio to returns were: Zscaler Inc (ZS), Lantheus Holdings Inc (LNTH), Lattice Semiconductor Corp (LSCC), Samsara Inc (IOT), Scorpio Tankers Inc (STNG), United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL), Arista Networks Inc (ANET), Super Micro Computer Inc (SMCI), Qualtrics International Inc (XM), and NerdWallet (NRDS)

In the same quarter, the ten largest negative contributors in the equity portfolio to returns were mostly financials (6 out of 10): Fate Therapeutics Inc (FATE), 2Seventy Bio Inc (TSVT), Enphase Energy Inc (ENPH), Heartland Finl Usa Inc (HTLF), First Commonwealth Financial Corp (FCF), Associated Banc Corp (ASB), Calix Inc (CALX), FNB Corporation (FNB), Ladder Capital Corp (LADR), and Hercules Capital Inc (HTGC).


* KBW Nasdaq Bank Index is a modified-market capitalization-weighted index composed of large national US money centers, regional banks and thrift institutions primarily engaged in US banking activities and publicly traded in the US.

Top Holdings

Ticker Security Description Portfolio Weight %

As of 03.31.2023. Cash is not included.



Wayne Ferbert
Alpha DNA
AdvisorShares Alpha DNA Equity Sentiment ETF (SENT) Portfolio Manager


Past Commentary

Alpha, one of the most commonly quoted indicators of investment performance, is defined as the excess return on an investment relative to the return on a benchmark index.
Delta is a risk metric that estimates the change in price of a derivative, such as an options contract, given a $1 change in its underlying security. 


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 Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest. Foreside Fund Services, LLC, distributor. Investing involves risk including possible loss of principal.

The Sub-Advisor continuously evaluates the Fund’s holdings, purchases and sales with a goal of achieving its investment objective, which is not guaranteed, and judgments about the markets, the economy, or companies may not anticipate actual market movements, economic conditions or company performance. Security prices of small and mid-cap companies may be more volatile than those of larger companies and therefore the Fund’s share price may be more volatile than those of funds that invest a larger percentage of their assets in securities issued by larger-cap companies.  

Options Risk. Selling (writing) and buying options are speculative activities and entail greater than ordinary investment risks. The Fund’s use of put options can lead to losses because of adverse movements in the price or value of the underlying asset, which may be magnified by certain features of the options. When selling a put option, the Fund will receive a premium; however, this premium may not be enough to offset a loss incurred by the Fund if the price of the underlying asset is below the strike price by an amount equal to or greater than the premium. Purchasing of put options involves the payment of premiums, which may adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Purchasing a put option gives the purchaser of the option the right to sell a specified quantity of an underlying asset at a fixed exercise price over a defined period of time. Purchased put options may expire unexercised, resulting in the Fund’s loss of the premium it paid for the option.   

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.