NYSE Arca Ticker: HDGE

 

 

Sub-advised by:

Ranger Alternative Management L.P.

 

ADVISORSHARES TRUST

4800 Montgomery Lane ● Suite 150

Bethesda, Maryland 20814 

www.advisorshares.com

877.843.3831

 

Prospectus dated November 1, 2022

 

This Prospectus provides important information about the AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF, a series of AdvisorShares Trust. Before you invest, please read this Prospectus and the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information carefully and keep them for future reference.

 

The shares of the Fund have not been approved or disapproved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission nor has the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

FUND SUMMARY   1
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE   1
FUND FEES AND EXPENSES   1
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER   2
PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES   2
PRINCIPAL RISKS OF INVESTING IN THE FUND   2
FUND PERFORMANCE   4
MANAGEMENT   6
PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES   6
TAX INFORMATION   6
PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES   6
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRUST AND THE FUND   7
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUND’S INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE   7
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUND’S PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES   7
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PRINCIPAL RISKS OF INVESTING IN THE FUND   9
OTHER INVESTMENT PRACTICES AND STRATEGIES   12
PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS   12
MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND   12
SHAREHOLDER INFORMATION   14
DISTRIBUTION PLAN   16
ADDITIONAL TAX INFORMATION   16
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS   19
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION   21

 

 

 

 

 

ADVISORSHARES RANGER EQUITY BEAR ETF

NYSE Arca Ticker: HDGE

 

FUND SUMMARY

 

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE

 

 

The AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF (the “Fund”) seeks capital appreciation through short sales of domestically traded equity securities.

 

FUND FEES AND EXPENSES

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold, and sell shares of the Fund. You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table below.

 

SHAREHOLDER FEES (fees paid directly from your investment) None

ANNUAL FUND OPERATING EXPENSES (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)

 

 

MANAGEMENT FEES   1.50%
DISTRIBUTION (12b-1) FEES   0.00%
OTHER EXPENSES   2.65%
Short Interest Expenses 2.47%
Remaining Expenses 0.18%
ACQUIRED FUND FEES AND EXPENSES*   0.14%
TOTAL ANNUAL OPERATING EXPENSES   4.29%

 

* Total Annual Operating Expenses in this fee table may not correlate to the expense ratio in the Fund’s financial highlights because the financial highlights include only the Fund’s direct operating expenses and do not include Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, which represent the Fund’s pro rata share of the fees and expenses of exchange-traded funds and/or money market funds in which it invests.

 

EXAMPLE

 

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. This Example does not take into account brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries that you may pay when purchasing or selling shares of the Fund. If these fees were included, your costs would be higher.

 

The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

  1 YEAR 3 YEARS 5 YEARS 10 YEARS
AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF $431 $1,301 $2,183 $4,445

 

1

 

 

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

 

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Total Annual Operating Expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance. This rate excludes the value of portfolio securities received or delivered as a result of in-kind creations or redemptions of the Fund’s shares. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 1,462% of the average value of its portfolio.

 

PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

 

The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”). Ranger Alternative Management, L.P. (the “Sub-Advisor”) seeks to achieve the Fund’s investment objective by short selling a portfolio of liquid mid- and large-cap U.S. exchange-traded equity securities, ETFs, exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”), and other exchange-traded products (collectively with ETFs and ETNs, “ETPs”). Under normal circumstances, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in short positions in equity securities.

 

The Sub-Advisor implements a bottom-up, fundamental, research driven security selection process that seeks to identify securities with low earnings quality or aggressive accounting that may tend to mask operational deterioration and bolster the reported earnings per share over a short time period. In addition to these issues, the Sub-Advisor seeks to identify earnings driven events that may act as a catalyst to the price decline of a security, such as downwards earnings revisions or reduced forward earnings outlook. In addition to extensive quantitative analysis, careful consideration is given to qualitative analysis. The assessment of the management team, accounting practices, corporate governance and the company’s competitive advantage are all key items. Once these quantitative and qualitative characteristics are thoroughly analyzed, the Sub-Advisor then determines if there is sufficient return to the stock price to warrant an investment. Once a position is included in the Fund’s portfolio, it is subject to regular fundamental and technical risk management review. This continual review process seeks to identify problem positions early and enhances performance by removing them before they become significant issues for the portfolio. The Fund’s strategy may frequently involve buying and selling securities, which may lead to relatively high portfolio turnover.

 

On a day-to-day basis, for investment purposes and to cover its short positions, the Fund may hold U.S. government securities, short-term high quality fixed income securities, money market instruments, overnight and fixed-term repurchase agreements, cash and cash equivalents with maturities of one year or less, and ETFs that invest in these types of instruments.

 

PRINCIPAL RISKS OF INVESTING IN THE FUND

 

The Fund is subject to a number of risks, described below, that may affect the value of its shares, including the possible loss of money. As with any fund, there is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its investment objective.

 

Equity Risk. The prices of equity securities rise and fall daily. These price movements may result from factors affecting individual issuers, industries or the securities market as a whole. In addition, equity markets tend to move in cycles which may cause stock prices to fall over short or extended periods of time.

 

ETF Market Risk. In stressed market conditions, the market for certain ETF shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the ETF’s underlying portfolio holdings. This adverse effect on liquidity for the ETF’s shares in turn can lead to differences between the market price of the ETF’s shares and the underlying value of those shares. In addition, there are a limited number of institutions that act as authorized participants. If these institutions exit the business or are, for any reason, unable to process creation and/or redemption orders with respect to the Fund, or purchase and sell securities in connection with creation and/or redemption orders, as applicable, and no other authorized participant steps forward to create or redeem, or purchase or sell securities, as applicable, Fund shares may trade at a premium or discount to their net asset value (“NAV”) and possibly face operational issues such as trading halts and/or delisting. The absence of an active market in the Fund’s shares could lead to a heightened risk of differences between the market price of the Fund’s shares and the underlying value of those shares.

 

2

 

 

Exchange-Traded Note Risk. ETNs are senior, unsecured unsubordinated debt securities issued by an underwriting bank that are designed to provide returns that are linked to a particular reference asset or benchmark less investor fees. ETNs have a maturity date and generally are backed only by the creditworthiness of the issuer. As a result, the value of an ETN may be influenced by time to maturity, level of supply and demand for the ETN, volatility and lack of liquidity in the underlying market (e.g., the commodities market), changes in the applicable interest rates, and changes in the issuer’s credit rating and economic, legal, political or geographic events that affect the underlying referenced market. ETNs also may be subject to commodities market risk and credit risk.

 

Exchange-Traded Product Risk. The Fund may invest in (or short) certain ETPs. Through its positions in ETPs, the Fund is subject to the risks associated the ETPs’ investments, or reference assets/benchmark components in the case of ETNs, including the possibility that the value of the securities or instruments held by or linked to an ETP could decrease (or increase in the case of short positions). An ETP’s lack of liquidity can result in its value being more volatile than the underlying portfolio investment or reference assets/benchmark components. In addition, certain ETPs may hold common portfolio positions, thereby reducing any diversification benefits.

 

Fixed Income Securities Risk. The Fund may be exposed to fixed income risk through its short positions in ETPs that primarily invest in, or have exposure to, fixed income securities. The value of an ETP’s portfolio of fixed income securities, or an ETN’s reference assets/benchmark components, will change in response to interest rate changes and other factors, such as the perception of the issuers’ creditworthiness. During periods of falling interest rates, the value of outstanding fixed income securities generally rise. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of fixed income securities generally decline.

 

Illiquid Investments Risk. This risk exists when particular Fund investments are difficult to purchase or sell, which can reduce the Fund’s returns because the Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices.

 

Large-Capitalization Risk. Large-cap stocks tend to go in and out of favor based on market and economic conditions. During a period when the demand for large-cap stocks is less than for other types of investments -- small-cap stocks, for instance -- the Fund’s performance could be reduced.

 

Management Risk. The Sub-Advisor continuously evaluates the Fund’s holdings, purchases and sales with a view to achieving the Fund’s investment objective. However, achievement of the stated investment objective cannot be guaranteed. The Sub-Advisor’s judgment about the markets, the economy, or companies may not anticipate actual market movements, economic conditions or company performance, and these factors may affect the return on your investment.

 

Market Risk. Due to market conditions, the value of the Fund’s investments may fluctuate significantly from day to day. Price fluctuations may be temporary or may last for extended periods. This volatility may cause the value of your investment in the Fund to decrease. Local, regional, or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, the spread of infectious illness or other public health issues, recessions, uncertainties regarding interest rates, rising inflation, or other events could have a significant impact on the market generally and on specific securities. The market value of a security may also decline because of factors that affect a particular industry or industries, such as labor shortages or increased production costs and competitive conditions within an industry. Because of its link to the markets, an investment in the Fund may be more suitable for long-term investors who can bear the risk of short-term principal fluctuations, which at times may be significant.

 

Mid-Capitalization Risk. Mid-cap companies may be more volatile and more likely than large-cap companies to have limited product lines, markets, or financial resources, and to depend on a few key employees. Returns on investments in stocks of mid-cap companies could trail the returns on investments in stocks of large-cap companies or the equity market as a whole.

 

Portfolio Turnover Risk. The Fund may experience relatively high portfolio turnover, which may result in increased transaction costs and Fund performance that is lower than expected.

 

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Short Sales Risk. 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. The price at such time may be higher or lower than the price at which the security was sold by the Fund. 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.

 

Trading Risk. Shares of the Fund may trade above or below their net asset value NAV. The trading price of the Fund’s shares may deviate significantly from their NAV during periods of market volatility and, in such instances, you may pay significantly more or receive significantly less than the underlying value of the Fund’s shares. There can be no assurance that an active trading market for the Fund’s shares will develop or be maintained. In addition, trading in shares of the Fund may be halted because of market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”), make trading in shares inadvisable.

 

FUND PERFORMANCE 

 

The bar chart and table that follow show how the Fund has performed on a calendar year basis and provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. The table also shows how the Fund’s performance compares to the S&P 500 Index, which is a broad-based, unmanaged measurement of changes in stock market conditions based on the average of 500 widely held common stocks. Both the bar chart and the table assume the reinvestment of all dividends and distributions. Past performance (before and after taxes) does not necessarily indicate how the Fund will perform in the future.

 

Updated performance information is available on the Fund’s website at www.advisorshares.com.

 

4

 

 

Calendar Year Total Returns

 

 

Years

The Fund’s year-to-date total return as of September 30, 2022 was 22.77%.

 

Best and Worst Quarter Returns (for the period reflected in the bar chart above)

 

  Return Quarter/Year
Highest Return 28.35% 1Q/2020
Lowest Return -32.41% 4Q/2020

 

AVERAGE ANNUAL TOTAL RETURNS FOR THE PERIODS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2021

 

ADVISORSHARES RANGER EQUITY BEAR ETF 1 Year

5 Years

10 Years
Return Before Taxes Based on NAV -18.68% -23.21% -20.65%
Return After Taxes on Distributions -18.68% -23.22% -20.66%
Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares -11.06% -15.08% -10.95%
S&P 500 Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses, or taxes) 28.71%

18.47%

16.55%

 

After-tax returns are calculated using the highest historical individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on your tax situation and may differ from those shown and are not relevant if you hold your shares through tax-advantaged arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts. In some cases, the return after taxes on distributions and sale of fund shares may exceed other average annual total returns due to an assumed tax benefit from any losses on a sale of shares at the end of the measurement period.

 

5

 

 

MANAGEMENT

 

Name Title
AdvisorShares Investments, LLC Advisor
Ranger Alternative Management, L.P.

Sub-Advisor

 

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

 

Name and Title Length of Service with Sub-Advisor

John Del Vecchio, CFA, Portfolio Manager

since August 2007

Brad H. Lamensdorf, Portfolio Manager, Trading and Market Strategist since February 2009

 

PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES

 

The Fund issues and redeems shares on a continuous basis at NAV only in a large specified number of shares called a “Creation Unit.” Only institutional investors that are acting as the Fund’s authorized participants (typically broker-dealers) may purchase or redeem Creation Units. A Creation Unit transaction generally is conducted in exchange for a deposit of cash totaling the NAV of the Creation Units.

 

Individual Fund shares may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. The shares of the Fund are listed on the Exchange and, because shares trade at market price rather than at NAV, shares may trade at a value greater than (premium) or less than (discount) NAV. When buying or selling shares in the secondary market, you may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase shares of the Fund (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for shares of the Fund (ask) (the “bid-ask spread”). Recent information regarding the Fund’s NAV, market price, premiums and discounts, and bid-ask spreads will be available on the Fund’s website at www.advisorshares.com.

 

TAX INFORMATION

 

The Fund intends to make distributions that may be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains (or a combination thereof), unless you are investing through a tax-advantaged arrangement such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account (“IRA”), which may be taxed upon withdrawal.

 

PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

 

Investors purchasing shares in the secondary market through a brokerage account or with the assistance of a broker may be subject to brokerage commissions and charges. If you purchase Fund shares through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the Advisor or Sub-Advisor may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing broker-dealers or other intermediaries and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

6

 

 

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRUST AND THE FUND

 

AdvisorShares Trust (the “Trust”) is a Delaware statutory trust offering a number of professionally managed investment portfolios or funds.

 

Section 12(d)(1) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”) restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, including shares of the Fund or another ETF. However, under certain circumstances and subject to certain terms and conditions, a registered investment company may invest in other investment companies (“underlying investment companies”) beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1). In particular, if an underlying investment company is relying on Rule 12d1-4, the Fund may enter into an agreement with the underlying investment company pursuant to which the Fund may invest in the underlying investment company beyond the Section 12(d)(1) limits subject to the terms and conditions of Rule 12d1-4. The Fund also may enter into such agreements with certain other ETFs to permit the Fund to invest in the ETFs to an unlimited extent.

 

Creation Units of the Fund are issued and redeemed principally in exchange for the deposit of cash totaling the NAV of the Creation Units.

 

EXCEPT WHEN AGGREGATED IN CREATION UNITS, SHARES OF THE FUND ARE NOT REDEEMABLE SECURITIES.

 

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUND’S INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE

 

The Fund seeks capital appreciation through short sales of domestically traded equity securities. The Fund’s investment objective is non-fundamental and may be changed by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”) without a shareholder vote.

 

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUND’S PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

 

The Fund is an actively managed ETF and, thus, does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified passive index of securities. Instead, it uses an active investment strategy in seeking to meet its investment objective. The Sub-Advisor, subject to the oversight of the Advisor and the Board, has discretion on a daily basis to manage the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and investment policies. The Fund will not change the 80% investment policy included in its principal investment strategy without providing 60 days notice to shareholders.

 

Investment Philosophy

With respect to the Fund, the Sub-Advisor seeks to identify securities with low earnings quality or aggressive accounting. These factors are often intended to mask operational deterioration and bolster reported earnings in the short term. Active managers possessing the ability to identify and quantify aggressive accounting can achieve superior returns by uncovering companies with deteriorating fundamentals.

 

Investment Process

The Sub-Advisor utilizes a disciplined, consistent investment approach to both security selection and risk management. The Sub-Advisor implements a bottom-up, fundamental, research driven security selection process. In selecting short positions, the Sub-Advisor seeks to identify securities with low earnings quality or aggressive accounting which may be intended on the part of company management to mask operational deterioration and bolster the reported earnings per share in the short-term.

 

In addition to extensive quantitative analysis, careful consideration is given to qualitative analysis. The assessment of the management team, accounting practices, corporate governance and the company’s competitive advantage are all key items. Once these quantitative and qualitative characteristics are thoroughly analyzed, the Sub-Advisor then determines if there is sufficient return to the stock price to warrant an investment.

 

Once a position is included in the Fund’s portfolio, it is subject to regular fundamental and technical risk management review. This continual review process seeks to identify problem positions early and enhances performance by removing them before they become significant issues for the portfolio.

 

7

 

 

Security Selection

In selecting short positions, the Sub-Advisor seeks to identify securities with market capitalizations typically of $1 billion and above, and with low earnings quality or aggressive accounting. Other key factors the Sub-Advisor considers include, but are not limited to:

 

quality and sustainability of revenue, as indicated by extended payment terms, changes in revenue policies or other factors;

 

deterioration of cash flows or declining quality of earnings; reserve reversals or an increase in “soft” assets which could indicate the capitalization of expenses; and

 

an analysis of irregular items affecting operating or gross margins including inventory, payables and taxes.

 

The Sub-Advisor will also seek out the following qualitative factors:

 

poor corporate governance or significant related party transactions;

 

heavy insider selling; and

 

unique competitive challenges that might make for a more compelling short position.

 

Once a company that fits the portfolio’s preferred criteria is identified, a detailed research analysis is conducted on the stock to further evaluate its potential. The majority of research is generated internally. In evaluating short candidates, the Sub-Advisor seeks to quantify the impact of red flags on reported earnings in order to determine the magnitude of the differences between the reported earnings per share and an estimate of the sustainability of earnings adjusted for potentially aggressive accounting.

 

Portfolio Construction

Once it is determined that a company possesses the proper characteristics, it must then be determined whether to include that position in the Fund’s portfolio. During this analysis, the Sub-Advisor considers the following factors when constructing the optimal portfolio:

 

Opportunity Set – Stocks are assessed on individual merits and relative to both existing holdings and other stocks competing for inclusion.

 

Valuation/Catalyst – Valuation metrics are used to a lesser extent in assessing short positions. But, qualifying the impact of red flags on the reported earnings to determine the magnitude of the differences between the reported earnings per share and an estimate of the sustainability of earnings is very important.

 

Technical Factors – Technical factors are considered in conjunction with fundamental factors to determine the appropriate initial weighting at the entry point into the portfolio. Technical analysis is important to a short portfolio, as the Sub-Advisor generally avoids initiating short positions in stocks making all-time price highs, 52-week highs in price, or in strong upward trends which may capture the attention of short-term and momentum traders. In general, the Sub-Advisor seeks to identify stocks with prices beginning to under-perform the market, show distribution or stall its price ascent prior to inclusion into the Fund’s portfolio.

 

The Fund generally targets composition of 20 to 75 equity short positions; with an average individual position size which generally ranges between two percent (2%) and seven percent (7%) of the aggregate portfolio exposure. Typically, short positions will be initiated at the lower end of the position size range in order to gain exposure to a particular stock. As the concerns for a given company are deemed especially timely or the conviction level increases, the position size may be increased to capitalize on an expected earnings shortfall or change in investor expectations. This tactical approach, combined with exposure to lower short interest stocks, generally allows the Sub-Advisor to better mitigate risk while attempting to capture profits based on the conviction level of individual stocks in the portfolio.

 

ETPs will also be utilized to manage exposure to broad indexes or certain sectors. ETP positions will typically range between ten percent (10%) and fifteen percent (15%) of the Fund’s portfolio. ETPs may be used to gain exposure in instances when the Sub-Advisor has a more bearish posture with respect to the broad market. Certain of the ETPs in which the Fund may invest are not registered pursuant to the 1940 Act. Thus, the Fund as an investor in such ETPs will not have all of the protections offered to investors in registered investment companies.

 

8

 

 

Risk Management

The Sub-Advisor utilizes a thorough technical and fundamental risk management process, and has established a list of investment guidelines which are typically used to protect the Fund and aid in building the optimal portfolio. A sample of these general parameters is included below.

 

Portfolio Level*

 

● Portfolio holdings: 20-75

● Portfolio Short Exposure: 80-100%

● Positions diversified across several major sectors

 

* The Portfolio Level parameters presented above serve as general guidelines only.

Actual Portfolio Level parameters may vary.

 

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PRINCIPAL RISKS OF INVESTING IN THE FUND

 

The Fund is subject to a number of risks that may affect the value of its shares. This section provides additional information about the Fund’s principal risks. The degree to which a risk applies to the Fund varies according to its investment allocation. Each investor should review the complete description of the principal risks before investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund may not be appropriate for certain investors. As with investing in other securities whose prices increase and decrease in market value, you may lose money by investing in the Fund.

 

Equity Risk. The prices of equity securities in which the Fund invests rise and fall daily. These price movements may result from factors affecting individual companies, industries or the securities market as a whole. Individual companies may report poor results or be negatively affected by industry and/or economic trends and developments. The prices of securities issued by such companies may decline in response. In addition, the equity market tends to move in cycles which may cause stock prices to fall over short or extended periods of time.

 

ETF Market Risk. In stressed market conditions, the market for certain ETF shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the ETF’s underlying portfolio holdings. This adverse effect on liquidity for the ETF’s shares in turn can lead to a difference between the market price of the ETF’s shares and the underlying value of those shares. This difference can be reflected as a spread between the bid and ask prices quoted during the day or a premium or discount in the closing price from the Fund’s NAV.

 

Because the Fund’s shares trade in the secondary market, a broker may charge a commission to execute a transaction in shares and an investor may incur the cost of the spread between the price at which a dealer will buy shares (bid) and the somewhat higher price at which a dealer will sell shares (ask). In addition, not only are there a limited number of institutions that act as authorized participants, direct trading by authorized participants is critical to ensuring that the Fund’s shares trade at or close to NAV. However, market makers are not obligated to make a market in the Fund’s shares nor are authorized participants obligated to execute purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units and, in times of market stress, circumstances could develop that could cause them to refrain from these activities or reduce their role. The absence of an active market could lead to a heightened risk of differences between the market price of the Fund’s shares and the underlying value of those shares.

 

Exchange-Traded Note Risk. The value of an ETN may be influenced by time to maturity, level of supply and demand for the ETN, volatility and lack of liquidity in the underlying market, changes in the applicable interest rates, and changes in the issuer’s credit rating and economic, legal, political or geographic events that affect the underlying market. It is expected that the issuer’s credit rating will be investment-grade at the time of investment, however, the credit rating may be revised or withdrawn at any time and there is no assurance that a credit rating will remain in effect for any given time period. If a rating agency lowers the issuer’s credit rating, or there is a decline in the perceived creditworthiness of the issuer, the value of the ETN will decline as a lower credit rating reflects a greater risk that the issuer will default on its obligation to ETN investors. The Fund must pay an investor fee when investing in an ETN, which will reduce the amount of return on investment at maturity or upon redemption. There may be restrictions on the Fund’s right to redeem its investment in an ETN, which is meant to be held until maturity. There are no periodic interest payments for ETNs and principal typically is not protected. As is the case with other ETPs, an investor could lose some of or the entire amount invested in ETNs. The Fund’s decision to sell its ETN holdings may be limited by the availability of a secondary market.

 

9

 

 

Exchange-Traded Product Risk. The Fund may invest in (or short) ETPs. Through its positions in ETPs, the Fund generally is subject to the risks associated with the ETPs’ investments, or reference assets/benchmark components in the case of ETNs, including the possibility that the value of the securities or instruments held by or linked to an ETP could decrease (or increase in the case of short positions). Certain of the ETPs may hold common portfolio positions, thereby reducing any diversification benefits. Certain ETPs in which the Fund invests are pooled investment vehicles that are not registered pursuant to the 1940 Act and, therefore, are not subject to the regulatory scheme of the 1940 Act including the investor protections afforded by the 1940 Act. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will purchase shares of or interest in ETPs in the secondary market. ETFs also may trade below their NAV or at a discount, which may adversely affect the Fund’s performance. When the Fund invests in an ETP (except an ETN), in addition to directly bearing the expenses associated with its own operations, it also will bear a pro rata portion of the ETP’s expenses (including operating costs and management fees). Because ETNs are debt securities and not pools of securities, the Fund pays a specific investor fee for its investments in ETNs. Consequently, an investment in the Fund entails more direct and indirect expenses than a direct investment in an ETP.

 

Fixed Income Securities Risk. The Fund may be exposed to fixed income risk through its short positions in ETPs that primarily invest in, or have exposure to, fixed income securities. Fixed income securities are debt obligations issued by corporations, municipalities and other borrowers. Coupons may be fixed or adjustable, based on a pre-set formula. The market value of fixed income investments may change in response to interest rate changes and other factors. Fixed income securities are subject to the risk that the securities may be paid off earlier or later than expected. Either situation could cause the Fund to have exposure to fixed income securities paying lower-than-market rates of interest, which could adversely affect the value of the Fund’s short positions. In addition, rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of certain fixed income securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, the ETPs in which the Fund invests may exhibit additional volatility. This is known as extension risk. When interest rates decline, borrowers may pay off their fixed income securities sooner than expected. This can reduce the returns of the ETPs because they will have to reinvest that money at lower prevailing interest rates. This is known as prepayment risk. Changes by recognized agencies in the rating of any fixed income security and in the ability of an issuer to make payments of interest and principal will also affect the value of these investments.

 

Illiquid Investments Risk. In certain circumstances, it may be difficult for the Fund to purchase and sell particular portfolio investments due to infrequent trading in such investments. The prices of such securities may experience significant volatility, make it more difficult for the Fund to transact significant amounts of such securities without an unfavorable impact on prevailing market prices, or make it difficult for the Sub-Advisor to dispose of such securities at a fair price at the time the Sub-Advisor believes it is desirable to do so. In addition, the Fund’s investments in ETNs and certain other ETPs may be subject to restrictions on the amount and timing of any redemptions. The Fund’s investments in such securities may restrict the Fund’s ability to take advantage of other market opportunities and adversely affect the value of the Fund’s portfolio holdings. The Fund’s investments in certain ETPs also may be subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules.

 

Large-Capitalization Risk. The large-cap segment of the market may underperform other segments of the equity market or the equity market as a whole. The underperformance of large-cap securities may cause the Fund’s performance to be less than expected.

 

Management Risk. The Sub-Advisor continuously evaluates the Fund’s holdings, purchases and sales with a view to achieving the Fund’s investment objective. However, achievement of the stated investment objective cannot be guaranteed. The Sub-Advisor’s judgment about the markets, the economy, or companies may not anticipate actual market movements, economic conditions or company performance, and these factors may affect the return on your investment. In fact, no matter how good a job the Sub-Advisor does, you could lose money on your investment in the Fund, just as you could with other investments. If the Sub-Advisor is incorrect in its assessment of the income, growth or price realization potential of the Fund’s holdings or incorrect in its assessment of general market or economic conditions, then the value of the Fund’s shares may decline.

 

Market Risk. Investments in securities, in general, are subject to market risks that may cause their prices to fluctuate over time. The Fund’s investments may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions or changes in interest or currency rates, or particular countries, segments, economic sectors, industries or companies within those markets. Local, regional, or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, the spread of infectious illness, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, or other public health issues, recessions, uncertainties regarding interest rates, rising inflation, or other events could have a significant impact on the market generally and on specific securities. U.S. and international markets have experienced significant periods of volatility in recent years due to a number of these factors. Changes in market conditions and interest rates generally do not have the same impact on all types of securities and instruments. Fluctuations in the value of securities and financial instruments in which the Fund invests will cause the NAV of the Fund to fluctuate. Historically, the markets have moved in cycles, and the value of the Fund’s securities may fluctuate drastically from day to day. Because of its link to the markets, an investment in the Fund may be more suitable for long-term investors who can bear the risk of short-term principal fluctuations, which at times may be significant.

 

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Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the resulting responses by the United States and other countries, and the potential for wider conflict could increase volatility and uncertainty in the financial markets and adversely affect regional and global economies. The United States and other countries have imposed broad-ranging economic sanctions on Russia, certain Russian individuals, banking entities and corporations, and Belarus as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and may impose sanctions on other countries that provide military or economic support to Russia. The extent and duration of Russia’s military actions and the repercussions of such actions (including any retaliatory actions or countermeasures that may be taken by those subject to sanctions, including cyber attacks) are impossible to predict, but could result in significant market disruptions, including in certain industries or sectors, such as the oil and natural gas markets, and may negatively affect global supply chains, inflation and global growth. These and any related events could significantly impact the Fund’s performance and the value of an investment in the Fund, even if the Fund does not have direct exposure to Russian issuers or issuers in other countries affected by the invasion.

 

Mid-Capitalization Risk. Security prices of mid-cap companies may be based in substantial part on future expectations rather than current achievements and may move sharply, especially during market upturns and downturns. Mid-cap companies themselves may be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic events than larger, more established companies. During a period when the performance of mid-cap securities falls behind that of other types of investments, such as large-cap stocks or the equity market as whole, the Fund’s performance could be reduced.

 

Portfolio Turnover Risk. The Fund’s strategy may frequently involve buying and selling securities, which may lead to relatively high portfolio turnover. Higher portfolio turnover may result in the Fund paying increased transaction costs and generating greater tax liabilities for shareholders. Portfolio turnover also may cause the Fund’s performance to be lower than expected.

 

Short Sales Risk. 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. The price at such time may be higher or lower than the price at which the security was sold by the Fund. 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. The Fund is also required to segregate other assets on its books to cover its obligation to return the security to the lender which means that those other assets may not be available to meet the Fund’s needs for immediate cash or other liquidity. The Fund’s investment performance may also suffer if the Fund is required to close out a short position earlier than it had intended. This would occur if the securities lender required the Fund to deliver the securities the Fund borrowed at the commencement of the short sale and the Fund was unable to borrow the securities from another securities lender or otherwise obtain the security by other means. In addition, the Fund may be subject to expenses related to short sales that are not typically associated with investing in securities directly, such as costs of borrowing and margin account maintenance costs associated with the Fund’s open short positions. These expenses negatively impact the performance of the Fund. For example, when the Fund short sells an interest-bearing security, such as a bond, it is obligated to pay the interest on the security it has sold. This cost is partially offset by the interest earned by the Fund on the investment of the cash generated by the short sale. When the Fund sells short an equity security that pays a dividend, the Fund must pay out the dividend rate of the equity security to the lender and records this as an expense of the Fund and reflects the expense in the financial statements. However, a dividend paid on a security sold short generally has the effect of reducing the market value of the shorted security and thus, increases the Fund’s unrealized gain or reduces the Fund’s unrealized loss on its short sale transaction. To the extent that the interest rate and/or dividend that the Fund is obligated to pay is greater than the interest earned by the Fund on investments, the performance of the Fund will be negatively impacted. These types of short sales expenses are sometimes referred to as the “negative cost of carry,” and will tend to cause the Fund to lose money on a short sale even in instances where the price of the underlying security sold short does not change over the duration of the short sale. Regulatory bans on certain short selling activities may prevent the Fund from fully implementing its strategy.

 

Trading Risk. Shares of the Fund may trade above or below their NAV. The NAV of shares will fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings. The trading prices of shares will fluctuate in accordance with changes in NAV, as well as market supply and demand. When the market price of the Fund’s shares deviates significantly from NAV, you may pay significantly more or receive significantly less than the underlying value of the Fund’s shares. However, given that shares can be created and redeemed only in Creation Units at NAV, the Advisor and Sub-Advisor do not believe that large discounts or premiums to NAV will exist for extended periods of time. Although the Fund’s shares are currently listed on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for shares will develop or be maintained. In addition, trading in shares of the Fund may be halted because of market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in shares inadvisable.

 

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OTHER INVESTMENT PRACTICES AND STRATEGIES

 

Temporary Defensive Positions. To respond to certain market, economic, political or other conditions, the Fund may refrain from short selling and increase its investment in U.S. government securities, short-term, high quality fixed income securities, money market instruments, overnight and fixed-term repurchase agreements, cash and cash equivalents with maturities of one year or less. The Fund may hold little or no short positions for extended periods, depending on the Sub-Advisor’s assessment of market conditions. While the Fund is in a defensive position, the Fund may not achieve its investment objective.

 

Lending of Portfolio Securities. The Fund may lend portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other financial organizations that meet capital and other credit requirements or other criteria established by the Board. These loans, if and when made, may not exceed 331/3% of the total asset value of the Fund (including the loan collateral). Such loans may be terminated at any time. Any such loans must be continuously secured by collateral maintained on a current basis in an amount at least equal to the market value of the securities loaned by the Fund. In a loan transaction, as compensation for lending its securities, the Fund will receive a portion of the dividends or interest accrued on the securities held as collateral or, in the case of cash collateral, a portion of the income from the investment of such cash. In addition, the Fund will receive the amount of all dividends, interest and other distributions on the loaned securities. However, the borrower has the right to vote the loaned securities. The Fund will call loans to vote proxies if a material issue affecting the investment is to be voted upon. Loans are made only to borrowers that are deemed by the securities lending agent to be of good financial standing. Should the borrower of the securities fail financially, the Fund may experience delays in recovering the securities or exercising its rights in the collateral. In a loan transaction, the Fund will also bear the risk of any decline in value of securities acquired with cash collateral. The Fund will attempt to minimize this risk by limiting the investment of cash collateral to high quality instruments of short maturity.

 

Please see the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) for a more complete list of portfolio investment strategies, permitted investments and related risks.

 

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

 

A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of Fund portfolio securities is available (i) in the SAI and (ii) on the Trust’s website at www.advisorshares.com. The Fund’s daily portfolio holdings information also is available on the Trust’s website.

 

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

 

INVESTMENT ADVISOR

AdvisorShares Investments, LLC, located at 4800 Montgomery Lane, Suite 150, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, serves as investment adviser of the Fund. As of September 30, 2022, the Advisor had approximately $1.3 billion in assets under management.

 

The Advisor continuously reviews, supervises, and administers the Fund’s investment program. In particular, the Advisor provides investment and operational oversight of the Sub-Advisor. The Board supervises the Advisor and establishes policies that the Advisor must follow in its day-to-day management activities. Pursuant to an investment advisory agreement between the Trust and the Advisor, the Advisor is entitled to receive an annual advisory fee of 1.50% based on the average daily net assets of the Fund. The Advisor pays the Sub-Advisor out of the advisory fee it receives from the Fund. For the most recent fiscal year, the Fund paid the Advisor a fee of 1.50% based on its average daily net assets.

 

The Advisor bears all of its own costs associated with providing these advisory services and the expenses of the members of the Board who are affiliated with the Advisor. The Advisor may make payments from its own resources to broker-dealers and other financial institutions in connection with the sale of Fund shares.

 

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The Advisor has contractually agreed to waive its fees and/or reimburse expenses in order to keep net expenses (excluding amounts payable pursuant to any plan adopted in accordance with Rule 12b-1, interest expense, taxes, brokerage commissions, acquired fund fees and expenses, other expenditures which are capitalized in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and extraordinary expenses) from exceeding 1.85% of the Fund’s average daily net assets for at least one year from the date of this Prospectus. The expense limitation agreement may be terminated without payment of any penalty (i) by the Trust for any reason and at any time and (ii) by the Advisor, for any reason, upon ninety (90) days’ prior written notice to the Trust, such termination to be effective as of the close of business on the last day of the then-current one-year period. If at any point it becomes unnecessary for the Advisor to waive fees or reimburse expenses, the Board may permit the Advisor to retain the difference between the Fund’s total annual operating expenses and the expense limitation currently in effect, or, if lower, the expense limitation that was in effect at the time of the waiver and/or reimbursement, to recapture all or a portion of its prior fee waivers or expense reimbursements within three years of the date they were waived or reimbursed.

 

Pursuant to an exemptive order from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), the Advisor, subject to certain conditions, has the right, without shareholder approval, to hire a new unaffiliated sub-adviser or materially amend the terms of a sub-advisory agreement with an unaffiliated sub-adviser when the Board and the Advisor believe that a change would benefit the Fund. The Prospectus will be supplemented when there is a significant change in the Fund’s sub-advisory arrangement.

 

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s most recent approval of the Fund’s investment advisory agreement is available in the Trust’s Annual Report to Shareholders dated June 30, 2022.

 

INVESTMENT SUB-ADVISOR

Ranger Alternative Management, L.P. located at 1845 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Suite 1050, Dallas, Texas, 75201, serves as investment sub-adviser to the Fund. As of September 30, 2022, the Sub-Advisor had approximately $158 million in assets under management.

 

The Sub-Advisor is responsible for selecting the Fund’s investments in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective, policies and restrictions.

 

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s most recent approval of the Fund’s investment sub-advisory agreement is available in the Trust’s Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders dated December 31, 2021.

 

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

The following portfolio managers are primarily responsible for the day-to-day portfolio management of the Fund.

 

John Del Vecchio, CFA, Portfolio Manager

Mr. Del Vecchio serves both as a Portfolio Manager and profits participant of the Sub-Advisor through his interest in Sand Dollar Beach, LLC, an entity which he jointly controls. Prior to developing and managing the Fund, Mr. Del Vecchio served as a short only portfolio manager for the Sub-Advisor from August 2007 until May 2010. Mr. Del Vecchio founded in 2010, and continues to serve as principal of, Parabolix Research, LLC, a short-only institutional research firm. Mr. Del Vecchio founded in 2013, and continues to serve as Managing Member of, Index Deletion Strategies, LLC, which created and maintains the Del Vecchio Earnings Quality Index. Prior to joining the Sub-Advisor, Mr. Del Vecchio served as an Analyst with David W. Tice & Associates/Behind the Numbers, LLC from 2003 through 2007, selecting short sale opportunities utilizing forensic accounting research for institutional clients and the Prudent Bear Fund. In 2002, Mr. Del Vecchio served as portfolio manager of RedHawk Advisors, LLC, with responsibility for managing the short sale allocation of a fund. In 2001, Mr. Del Vecchio served as an Analyst for the Center for Financial Research and Analysis performing forensic accounting analysis for short sale opportunities on Technology, Business Services and Industrial companies. From 2000 through 2001, Mr. Del Vecchio served as an Analyst for The Motley Fool. From 1998 through 1999, Mr. Del Vecchio served as a Jr. Quantitative Analyst for the international division of Federated Investors, developing models for international equity investing. Mr. Del Vecchio earned a B.S. in Finance, Summa Cum Laude, from Bryant College and was also awarded Beta Gamma Sigma honors in business. Mr. Del Vecchio earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in September, 2001.

 

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Brad H. Lamensdorf, Portfolio Manager, Trading and Market Strategist

Mr. Lamensdorf serves both as a Portfolio Manager and profits participant of the Sub-Advisor through his interest in Sand Dollar Beach, LLC, an entity which he jointly controls. Mr. Lamensdorf has served as a Trading and Market Strategist for the Sub-Advisor since 2009 and began providing portfolio management services for the Fund upon its launch in 2011. In January 2013, Mr. Lamensdorf commenced operations and serves as principal of The Lamensdorf Market Timing Report, a newsletter which provides subscribers with technical analysis. From November 2007 through December 2012, Mr. Lamensdorf served as a principal for Precisian GP, LLC and Portfolio Manager of Precisian Partners L.P. Prior to Precisian, Mr. Lamensdorf founded and continues to serve as Portfolio Manager of BHL Partners LP, a commodity oriented hedge fund primarily focused on gold and gold equities. From 1998 to 2005, Mr. Lamensdorf served as a principal of Tarpon Capital Management, L.P. and the Portfolio Manager for Tarpon Partners, L.P. In 1997, he was a founder, partner and co-manager of KBH, LLP, an investment firm created to manage investment portfolios on behalf of the King-Hughes family. From 1992 through 1996, Mr. Lamensdorf worked on the equity trading desk for the Bass family in Fort Worth, Texas, where he co-managed an equity portfolio with emphasis on short selling and derivatives strategies. Mr. Lamensdorf received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers, and the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities in the Fund is available in the SAI.

 

OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS

Foreside Fund Services, LLC (the “Distributor”) is the principal underwriter and distributor of the Fund’s shares. The Distributor’s principal address is Three Canal Plaza, Suite 100, Portland, Maine 04101. The Distributor will not distribute shares in less than whole Creation Units, and it does not maintain a secondary market in the shares. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. The Distributor is not affiliated with the Advisor, Sub-Advisor, The Bank of New York Mellon or any of their respective affiliates.

 

The Bank of New York Mellon, located at 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286, serves as the administrator, custodian, transfer agent and fund accounting agent for the Fund.

 

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, located at 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004, serves as legal counsel to the Trust.

 

Tait, Weller & Baker LLP, located at Two Liberty Place, 50 South 16th Street, Suite 2900, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102, serves as the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm. The independent registered public accounting firm is responsible for auditing the annual financial statements of the Fund.

 

SHAREHOLDER INFORMATION

 

CALCULATING NET ASSET VALUE

The Fund calculates NAV by (i) taking the current market value of its total assets, (ii) subtracting any liabilities, and (iii) dividing that amount by the total number of shares owned by shareholders.

 

The Fund calculates NAV once each business day as of the regularly scheduled close of normal trading on the New York Stock Exchange, LLC (the “NYSE”) (normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time). The NYSE is typically closed on weekends and most national holidays.

 

In calculating NAV, the Fund generally values its portfolio investments at their current market value as reflected by readily available market quotations. When market quotations are not readily available, the Advisor will determine their fair value as described below and such fair valuations will be used in calculating the Fund’s NAV.

 

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FAIR VALUE PRICING

The Board has adopted valuation policies and procedures pursuant to which it has designated the Advisor to determine the fair value of the Fund’s investments, subject to the Board’s oversight, when market prices for those investments are not readily available, including when they are determined by the Advisor to be unreliable. Such circumstances may arise when: (i) a security has been de-listed or its trading is halted or suspended; (ii) a security’s primary pricing source is unable or unwilling to provide a price; (iii) a security’s primary trading market is closed during regular market hours; or (iv) a security’s value has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the security’s primary trading market and before the Fund calculates its NAV. Generally, when determining the fair value of the Fund investment, the Advisor will take into account all reasonably available information that may be relevant to a particular valuation including, but not limited to, fundamental analytical data regarding the issuer, information relating to the issuer’s business, recent trades or offers of the security, general and/or specific market conditions and the specific facts giving rise to the need to fair value the security. Fair value determinations are made in good faith and in accordance with the fair value methodologies established by the Advisor. Due to the subjective and variable nature of determining the fair value of a security or other investment, there can be no assurance that the Advisor’s determined fair value will match or closely correlate to any market quotation that subsequently becomes available or the price quoted or published by other sources. In addition, the Fund may not be able to obtain the fair value assigned to an investment if the Fund were to sell such investment at or near the time its fair value is determined.

 

PREMIUM/DISCOUNT AND BID-ASK SPREAD INFORMATION

The price of the Fund’s shares is based on market price, which may differ from the Fund’s daily NAV per share and can be affected by market forces of supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors. Information showing the number of days that the market price of the Fund’s shares was greater than the Fund’s NAV per share (i.e., at a premium) and the number of days it was less than the Fund’s NAV per share (i.e., at a discount) for various time periods is available by visiting the Fund’s website at www.advisorshares.com. Also available on the Fund’s website is information about bid-ask spreads.

 

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

The Fund pays out dividends and distributes its net capital gains, if any, to shareholders at least annually.

 

ACTIVE INVESTORS AND MARKET TIMING

Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on the Exchange, which allows retail investors to purchase and sell individual shares at market prices throughout the trading day similar to other publicly traded securities. Because these secondary market trades do not involve the Fund directly, it is unlikely that secondary market trading would cause any harmful effects of market timing, such as dilution, disruption of portfolio management, increases in the Fund’s trading costs or realization of capital gains. The Board has determined not to adopt policies and procedures designed to prevent or monitor for frequent purchases and redemptions of the Fund’s shares because the Fund sells and redeems its shares at NAV only in Creation Units pursuant to the terms of a participant agreement between the Distributor and an authorized participant, principally in exchange for a specified amount of cash totaling the NAV of the Creation Unit(s). The Fund also imposes transaction fees on such Creation Unit transactions that are designed to offset the Fund’s transfer and other transaction costs associated with the issuance and redemption of the Creation Unit shares.

 

BOOK-ENTRY

Shares of the Fund are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), or its nominee, is the record owner of all outstanding shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all shares.

 

Investors owning shares of the Fund are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for all shares. Participants in DTC include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants (e.g., broker-dealers, banks, trust companies, or clearing companies). These procedures are the same as those that apply to any stocks that you hold in book entry or “street name” through your brokerage account.

 

INVESTING IN THE FUND

For more information on how to buy and sell shares of the Fund, call the Trust at 877.843.3831 or visit the Fund’s website at www.advisorshares.com.

 

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DISTRIBUTION PLAN

 

The Fund has adopted a Distribution Plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act that allows the Fund to pay distribution fees to the Distributor and other firms that provide distribution services. The Fund will pay distribution fees to the Distributor at an annual rate not to exceed 0.25% of its average daily net assets. If a service provider provides distribution services, the Distributor will pay the service provider out of its distribution fees.

 

No distribution fees are currently charged to the Fund; there are no plans to impose distribution fees, and no distribution fees will be charged for at least one year from the date of this Prospectus. However, to the extent distribution fees are charged in the future, because the Fund would pay these fees out of assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees may cost you more than other types of sales charges and would increase the cost of your investment. At such time as distribution fees are charged, the Fund will notify investors by adding disclosure to the Fund’s website and in the Fund’s Prospectus. Any distribution fees will be approved by the Board.

 

ADDITIONAL TAX INFORMATION

 

The following is a summary of some important tax issues that affect the Fund and its shareholders. The summary is based on current tax law, which may be changed by legislative, judicial or administrative action. The summary is very general, and does not address investors subject to special rules, such as investors who hold shares through an IRA, 401(k) or other tax-advantaged accounts. More information about taxes is located in the SAI.

 

You are urged to consult your tax advisor regarding specific questions as to U.S. federal, state and local income taxes.

 

Tax Status of the Fund

The Fund has elected and intends to qualify each year for the special tax treatment afforded to a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Internal Revenue Code”). As long as the Fund qualifies for treatment as a RIC, it pays no federal income tax on the earnings it timely distributes to shareholders. However, the Fund’s failure to qualify as a RIC or to meet minimum distribution requirements would result (if certain relief provisions were not available) in fund-level taxation and, consequently, a reduction in income available for distribution to shareholders.

 

Unless you are a tax-exempt entity or your investment in Fund shares is made through a tax-deferred retirement account, such as an IRA, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when:

 

the Fund makes distributions;

 

you sell Fund shares; and

 

you purchase or redeem Creation Units (authorized participants only).

 

Tax Status of Distributions

The Fund intends to distribute, at least annually, substantially all of its net investment income and net capital gains income.

 

The Fund’s distributions from income and net short-term capital gains will generally be taxed to you as ordinary income. For non-corporate shareholders, dividends reported by the Fund as qualified dividend income are generally eligible for reduced tax rates applicable to long-term capital gains, provided holding period and other requirements are met. Qualified dividend income generally is income derived from dividends paid by U.S. corporations or certain foreign corporations that are either incorporated in a U.S. possession or eligible for tax benefits under certain U.S. income tax treaties. In addition, dividends that the Fund receives in respect of stock of certain foreign corporations may be qualified dividend income if that stock is readily tradable on an established U.S. securities market. For such dividends to be taxed as qualified dividend income to a non-corporate shareholder, the Fund must satisfy certain holding period requirements with respect to the underlying stock and the non-corporate shareholder must satisfy holding period requirements with respect to his or her ownership of the Fund’s shares. Holding periods may be suspended for these purposes for stock that is hedged. In general, dividends received by the Fund from a RIC may be distributed and reported as qualified dividend income by the Fund to the extent the dividend distributions are distributed and reported as qualified dividend income by the RIC. The Fund’s investment strategies will significantly limit its ability to distribute dividends eligible for treatment as qualified dividend income.

 

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Corporate shareholders may be entitled to a dividends received deduction for the portion of dividends they receive that are attributable to dividends received by the Fund from U.S. corporations, subject to certain limitations. The Fund’s investment strategies will significantly limit its ability to distribute dividends eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders.

 

Taxes on distributions of capital gains (if any) are determined by how long the Fund owned the investments that generated them, rather than how long a shareholder has owned their shares. Sales of assets held by the Fund for more than one year generally result in long-term capital gains and losses, and sales of assets held by the Fund for one year or less generally result in short-term capital gains and losses. Distributions from the Fund’s short-term capital gains are generally taxable as ordinary income. Any distributions of net capital gain (the excess of the Fund’s net long-term capital gains over its net short-term capital losses) that you receive from the Fund generally are taxable as long-term capital gains regardless of how long you have owned your shares. Long-term capital gains are taxed to non-corporate shareholders at reduced tax rates.

 

Dividends and distributions are generally taxable to you whether you receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional shares.

 

In general, your distributions are subject to federal income tax for the year in which they are paid. However, distributions paid in January but declared by the Fund in October, November or December of the previous year may be taxable to you in the previous year.

 

Shortly after the close of each calendar year, the Fund (or your broker) will inform you of the amount of your ordinary income dividends, qualified dividend income, foreign tax credits and net capital gain distributions received from the Fund.

 

You may wish to avoid investing in the Fund shortly before a dividend or other distribution, because such a distribution will generally be taxable even though it may economically represent a return of a portion of your investment.

 

Taxes on Exchange-Listed Share Sales

Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of shares held by a shareholder as a capital asset is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year and as short-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for one year or less, except that any capital loss on the sale of shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of amounts treated as distributions of long-term capital gains to the shareholder with respect to such shares. Any loss realized on a sale will be disallowed to the extent shares of the Fund are acquired, including through reinvestment of dividends, within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the disposition of Fund shares. The ability to deduct capital losses may be limited.

 

Derivatives and Complex Securities

The Fund and the ETPs in which the Fund invests may invest in complex securities such as equity options, index options, repurchase agreements, foreign currency contracts, hedges and swaps, transactions treated as straddles for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and futures contracts. These investments may be subject to numerous special and complex tax rules. These rules could affect the Fund’s or the ETPs in which the Fund invests that are taxed as RICs ability to qualify as a RIC, affect whether gains and losses recognized by the Fund or the ETPs are treated as ordinary income or loss or capital gain or loss, accelerate the recognition of income to the Fund or the ETPs, cause income or gain to be recognized even though corresponding cash is not received by the Fund or the ETPs and/or defer the Fund’s or the ETPs’ ability to recognize losses. In turn, those rules may affect the amount, timing or character of the income distributed by the Fund. Additional information regarding the Fund’s and the ETPs’ investments in complex securities can be found in the Fund’s SAI.

 

Net Investment Income Tax

U.S. individuals with income exceeding certain thresholds are subject to a 3.8% tax on all or a portion of their “net investment income,” including interest, dividends, and certain capital gains (generally including capital gain distributions and capital gains realized on the sale or exchange of shares). This 3.8% tax also applies to all or a portion of the undistributed net investment income of certain shareholders that are estates and trusts.

 

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Non-U.S. Investors

If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, the Fund’s ordinary income dividends will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies or unless such income is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. The 30% withholding tax generally will not apply to distributions of net capital gain. The Fund may, under certain circumstances, report all or a portion of a dividend as an “interest-related dividend” or a “short-term capital gain dividend,” which would generally be exempt from this 30% U.S. withholding tax, provided certain other requirements are met. Short-term capital gain dividends received by a nonresident alien individual who is present in the U.S. for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the taxable year are not exempt from this 30% withholding tax. Different tax consequences may result if you are a foreign shareholder engaged in a trade or business within the United States or if you are a foreign shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of a tax treaty.

 

Foreign Taxes

Dividends, interest, and other income received by the Fund with respect to foreign securities may give rise to withholding and other taxes imposed by foreign countries. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate such taxes. The Fund may need to file special claims for refunds to secure the benefits of a reduced rate.

 

Backup Withholding

The Fund (or financial intermediaries, such as brokers, through which shareholders own Fund shares) will be required in certain cases to withhold (as “backup withholding”) on amounts payable to any shareholder who (1) has provided the Fund either an incorrect tax identification number or no number at all, (2) is subject to backup withholding by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for failure to properly report payments of interest or dividends, (3) has failed to certify to the Fund that such shareholder is not subject to backup withholding, or (4) has not certified that such shareholder is a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien). The backup withholding rate is 24%. Backup withholding will not, however, be applied to payments that have been subject to the 30% withholding tax applicable to shareholders who are neither citizens nor residents of the United States.

 

Taxes on Creation and Redemption of Creation Units

An authorized participant who purchases a Creation Unit by exchanging securities in-kind generally will recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between (a) the sum of the market value of the Creation Units at the time and any net cash received, and (b) the sum of the purchaser’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and any net cash paid for the Creation Units. An authorized participant who redeems Creation Units will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between (x) the sum of the redeemer’s basis in the Creation Units and any net cash paid, and (y) the sum of the aggregate market value of the securities received and any net cash received. The IRS, however, may assert that a loss that is realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units may not be currently deducted under the rules governing “wash sales” by an authorized participant that does not mark-to-market its holdings, or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Authorized participants should consult their own tax advisor with respect to whether wash sales rules apply and when a loss might be deductible.

 

The Fund has the right to reject an order for Creation Units if the purchaser (or a group of purchasers) would, upon obtaining the shares so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding shares of the Fund and if, pursuant to section 351 of the Internal Revenue Code, the Fund would have a basis in the deposit securities different from the market value of such securities on the date of deposit. The Fund also has the right to require information necessary to determine beneficial share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination. If the Fund does issue Creation Units to a purchaser (or a group of purchasers) that would, upon obtaining the Creation Units so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding shares of the Fund, the purchaser (or a group of purchasers) will not recognize gain or loss upon the exchange of securities for Creation Units.

 

The Fund may include cash when paying the redemption price for Creation Units in addition to, or in place of, the delivery of a basket of securities. The Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. This may cause the Fund to recognize investment income and/or capital gains or losses that it might not have recognized if it had completely satisfied the redemption in-kind. As a result, the Fund may be less tax efficient if it includes such a cash payment than if the in-kind redemption process was used.

 

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Persons exchanging securities or non-U.S. currency for Creation Units should consult their own tax advisors with respect to the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction. If you purchase or redeem Creation Units, you will be sent a confirmation statement showing how many Fund shares you purchased or redeemed and at what price.

 

The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the consequences under current federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. Consult your personal tax advisor about the potential tax consequences to you of an investment in the Fund under all tax laws applicable to you.

 

More information about taxes is in the SAI.

 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

The financial highlights table is intended to help you understand the Fund’s financial performance for the past five years. Certain information reflects financial results for a single Fund share. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned or lost, on an investment in the Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions). This information has been derived from the financial statements audited by Tait, Weller & Baker LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, whose report, along with the Fund’s financial statements, are included in the Fund’s Annual Report, which is available upon request.

 

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ADVISORSHARES TRUST — Financial Highlights

 

AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF   Years Ended June 30,  
  2022     2021(7)     2020(7)     2019(7)     2018(7)  
Selected Data for a Share of Capital Stock Outstanding                                        
Net Asset Value, Beginning of Year/Period   $ 23.00     $ 48.55     $ 63.84     $ 78.01     $ 85.65  
Investment Operations                                        
Net Investment Income (Loss)(1)     (0.97 )     (1.59 )     (0.64 )     0.13       (1.34 )
Net Realized and Unrealized Gain (Loss)     9.82       (23.96 )     (14.55 )     (14.30 )     (6.30 )
Distributions of Net Realized Gains by other investment companies           0.00 (2)                   
Net Increase (Decrease) in Net Assets Resulting from Investment Operations(3)     8.85       (25.55 )     (15.19 )     (14.17 )     (7.64 )
Distributions from Net Investment Income                 (0.10 )            
Total Distributions                 (0.10 )            
Net Asset Value, End of Year/Period   $ 31.85     $ 23.00     $ 48.55     $ 63.84     $ 78.01  
Market Value, End of Year/Period   $ 31.96     $ 23.00     $ 48.50     $ 63.90     $ 77.80  
Total Return                                        
Total Investment Return Based on Net Asset Value(4)     38.48 %     (52.62 )%     (23.79 )%     (18.16 )%     (8.92 )%
Total Investment Return Based on Market(4)     38.96 %     (52.58 )%     (23.94 )%     (17.87 )%     (9.01 )%
Ratios/Supplemental Data                                        
Net Assets, End of Year/Period (000’s omitted)   $ 166,185     $ 50,655     $ 162,019     $ 135,814     $ 133,587  
Ratio to Average Net Assets of:                                        
Expenses, net of expense waivers and reimbursements(5)     4.15 %(8)      4.90 %(8)      3.10 %(8)      2.94 %(8)     2.52 %(8) 
Expenses, prior to expense waivers and reimbursements(5)     4.15 %(8)      4.90 %(8)      3.10 %(8)      2.94 %(8)      2.52 %(8) 
Net Investment Income (Loss)(5)     (3.70 )%     (4.49 )%     (1.07 )%     0.18 %     (1.63 )%
Portfolio Turnover Rate(6)     1,462 %     669 %     593 %     338 %     301 %

 

 
(1) Based on average shares outstanding.
(2) Amount represents less than $0.005 or 0.005%.
(3) The amount shown for a share distribution throughout the period may not correlate with the Statement of Operations for the period due to the timing of sales and repurchases of Fund Shares in relation to income earned and/or fluctuating fair value of the investments of the Fund.
(4) Net asset value total investment return is calculated assuming an initial investment made at the net asset value at the beginning of the period, reinvestment of all dividends and distributions on ex-date, if any, at net asset value during the period, and redemption on the last day of the period. Periods less than one year are not annualized. Market value total return is calculated assuming an initial investment made at the market value at the beginning of the period, reinvestment of all dividends and distributions at market value during the period on pay date, and sale at the market value on the last day of the period.
(5) Ratios of periods of less than one year have been annualized. Excludes expenses incurred by the underlying investments in other funds.
(6) Portfolio turnover rate is not annualized and excludes the value of portfolio securities received or delivered as in-kind creations or redemptions of the Fund’s capital shares.
(7) After the close of business on February 5, 2021, the Fund’s applicable class underwent a reverse stock split. The per share data presented here has been retroactively adjusted to reflect this split. See Note 1 of the Notes to Financial Statements.
(8) The expense ratio includes interest and dividend expenses on short sales of 2.47%, 3.14%, 1.42%, 1.22%, 0.84%, and 1.03% for the periods ended June 30, 2022, June 30, 2021, June 30, 2020, June 30, 2019, June 30, 2018, and June 30, 2017, respectively.

 

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ADVISORSHARES RANGER EQUITY BEAR ETF

 

Advisor

AdvisorShares Investments, LLC

4800 Montgomery Lane, Suite 150

Bethesda, Maryland 20814

Sub-Advisor

Ranger Alternative Management, L.P.

1845 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Suite 1050

Dallas, Texas 75201

Distributor

Foreside Fund Services, LLC

Three Canal Plaza, Suite 100

Portland, Maine 04101

Legal Counsel

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20004

Administrator, Custodian & Transfer Agent

The Bank of New York Mellon

240 Greenwich Street

New York, New York 10286

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

Additional and more detailed information about the Fund is included in the Fund’s SAI. The SAI has been filed with the SEC and is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus and, therefore, legally forms a part of this Prospectus. The SEC maintains the EDGAR database on its website (http://www.sec.gov), which contains the SAI, material incorporated by reference, and other information about the Fund. You may request documents from the SEC, upon payment of a duplication fee, by emailing the SEC at publicinfo@sec.gov.

 

You may obtain a copy of the SAI and the Annual and Semi-Annual Reports without charge by calling 877.843.3831, visiting the website at www.advisorshares.com, or writing to the Trust at 4800 Montgomery Lane, Suite 150, Bethesda, Maryland 20814. Additional information about the Fund’s investments is available in the Fund’s Annual and Semi-Annual Reports. Also in the Fund’s Annual Report is a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during the last fiscal year.

 

No one has been authorized to give any information or to make any representations not contained in this Prospectus or in the SAI in connection with the offering of Fund shares. Do not rely on any such information or representations as having been authorized by the Fund. This Prospectus does not constitute an offering by the Fund in any jurisdiction where such an offering is not lawful.

 

The Trust’s SEC Investment Company Act File Number is 811-22110.

 

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