Meet an Advisor: John Davi of Astoria Advisors  | ETF Trends

Exchange: An ETF Experience is coming February 5–8, so Evan Harp is sitting down and chatting with some of the advisors who will be there. Today’s edition is focused on John Davi of Astoria Portfolio Advisors.  

Evan Harp: When and how did your practice begin? 

John Davi: Astoria Portfolio Advisors began managing money in 2017. 

Evan Harp: What is your investment philosophy? 

John Davi: We are macro- and quantitative-focused. We express our macro views via factor-based ETFs and use alternatives to hedge the downside risk. This is very rare. We find firms are either macro or quantitative in nature, and not a lot use alts because they were dead money for most of the past 10 years. However, having alts this year has helped our portfolios quite a bit. 

Evan Harp: What is the biggest obstacle you had to overcome, and how did you do it? 

John Davi: Being a new firm, not having a track record and competing with the 800-pound gorillas hasn’t been easy. However, our firm created a niche, we developed some institutional caliber strategies which have been resonating well with independent RIAs. Also, our portfolio construction being unique really helped separate us. 

Evan Harp: What is the biggest obstacle you had to overcome, and how did you do it? 

John Davi: We really like laddering our bond exposure and have been using BSCN, BSMN, and buying Treasuries directly from the government. I can’t believe I am excited about bonds. For years, essentially we were underweight the asset class and using other ways to hedge equity risk and provide income. We’ve warmed up considerably. Our top idea right now is to purchase six-month T Bills. A sign of the times! 

Evan Harp: Exchange is slated for February 5–8. What do you think the biggest story in the market will be at that time? 

John Davi: My sense is that investors will have moved on from the disruptive growth and crypto love affair and going back to boring bond/stock investing. I always use the booths as a measure of what’s in vogue, and I couldn’t believe the number of crypto firms present at the exhibit hall. My guess is they won’t be back for a while. 

Evan Harp: Who is another financial advisor that inspires you and why? 

John Davi: There are a number of ETF strategist firms we admire and respect greatly. Rich Bernstein Advisors and Main Management come to mind immediately. In terms of ETF issuers, we’ve always had great admiration for WisdomTree, SSGA, and iShares. More recently we’ve been impressed with Pacer and some of their interesting ETFs. 

For more news, information, and analysis, visit VettaFi | ETF Trends.