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Should First Trust Capital Strength ETF (FTCS) Be on Your Investing Radar?

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If you're interested in broad exposure to the Large Cap Blend segment of the US equity market, look no further than the First Trust Capital Strength ETF (FTCS), a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 07/06/2006.

The fund is sponsored by First Trust Advisors. It has amassed assets over $1.33 B, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the Large Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

Why Large Cap Blend

Companies that fall in the large cap category tend to have a market capitalization above $10 billion. They tend to be stable companies with predictable cash flows and are usually less volatile than mid and small cap companies.

Blend ETFs are aptly named, since they tend to hold a mix of growth and value stocks, as well as show characteristics of both kinds of equities.

Costs

Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.61%, making it one of the more expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.03%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

It is important to delve into an ETF's holdings before investing despite the many upsides to these kinds of funds like diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Industrials sector--about 23.50% of the portfolio. Financials and Information Technology round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) accounts for about 2.33% of total assets, followed by The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (EL) and Expeditors International Of Washington, Inc. (EXPD).

The top 10 holdings account for about 22.14% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

FTCS seeks to match the performance of the The Capital Strength Index before fees and expenses. The Capital Strength Index is an equal-dollar weighted index which provides exposure to well-capitalized companies with strong market positions based on strong balance sheets, high degree of liquidity, ability to generate earnings growth & record financial strength & profit growth.

The ETF has gained about 4.06% so far this year and was up about 5.81% in the last one year (as of 11/29/2018). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $49.21 and $55.82.

The ETF has a beta of 0.91 and standard deviation of 11.86% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 50 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.

Alternatives

First Trust Capital Strength ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, FTCS is a reasonable option for those seeking exposure to the Large Cap ETFs area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) track a similar index. While iShares Core S&P 500 ETF has $162.17 B in assets, SPDR S&P 500 ETF has $259.77 B. IVV has an expense ratio of 0.04% and SPY charges 0.09%.

Bottom-Line

An increasingly popular option among retail and institutional investors, passively managed ETFs offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; they are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.


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FT-CAP STR E (FTCS): ETF Research Reports
 
Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (EL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ISHARS-SP500 (IVV): ETF Research Reports
 
SPDR-SP 500 TR (SPY): ETF Research Reports
 
Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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