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Should First Trust Mid Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund (FNY) Be on Your Investing Radar?

Zacks Equity Research

Designed to provide broad exposure to the Mid Cap Growth segment of the US equity market, the First Trust Mid Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund (FNY) is a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 04/19/2011.

The fund is sponsored by First Trust Advisors. It has amassed assets over $321.10 M, making it one of the smaller ETFs attempting to match the Mid Cap Growth segment of the US equity market.

Why Mid Cap Growth

Mid cap companies have market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion. They usually have higher growth prospects than large cap companies and are less volatile than small cap companies. Thus they have a nice balance of growth potential and stability.

Qualities of growth stocks include faster growth rates compared to the broader market, as well as higher valuations and higher than average sales and earnings growth rates. Something to keep in mind is the higher level of volatility that is affiliated with growth stocks. Compared to value stocks, growth stocks are a safer bet in a strong bull market, but don't perform as strongly in almost all other financial environments.

Costs

When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts in the long term if all other factors remain equal.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.70%, making it the most expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.10%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Information Technology sector--about 16.80% of the portfolio. Industrials and Healthcare round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARWR) accounts for about 1.22% of total assets, followed by Roku, Inc. (ROKU) and Carvana Co. (CVNA).

The top 10 holdings account for about 9.21% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

FNY seeks to match the performance of the Nasdaq AlphaDEX Mid Cap Growth Index before fees and expenses. The NASDAQ AlphaDEX Mid Cap Growth Index is an enhanced which employs the AlphaDEX stock selection methodology to select stocks from the NASDAQ US 600 Mid Cap Growth Index.

The ETF return is roughly 30.44% so far this year and it's up approximately 15% in the last one year (as of 12/03/2019). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $33.42 and $48.21.

The ETF has a beta of 1.09 and standard deviation of 16.83% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 226 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

First Trust Mid Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, FNY is an outstanding option for investors seeking exposure to the Style Box - Mid Cap Growth segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

The iShares S&P Mid-Cap 400 Growth ETF (IJK) and the iShares Russell Mid-Cap Growth ETF (IWP) track a similar index. While iShares S&P Mid-Cap 400 Growth ETF has $7.40 B in assets, iShares Russell Mid-Cap Growth ETF has $11.19 B. IJK has an expense ratio of 0.24% and IWP charges 0.24%.

Bottom-Line

While an excellent vehicle for long term investors, passively managed ETFs are a popular choice among institutional and retail investors due to their low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency.

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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First Trust Mid Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund (FNY): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares Russell Mid-Cap Growth ETF (IWP): ETF Research Reports
 
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARWR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Carvana Co. (CVNA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Roku, Inc. (ROKU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
iShares S&P Mid-Cap 400 Growth ETF (IJK): ETF Research Reports
 
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