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Profit from the Booming IPO Market with This ETF

Neena Mishra

IPO market has been extremely hot this year, especially in the second quarter when 61 companies completed their IPOs, the highest quarterly number in 2½ years, according to Dealogic. They raised $14.4 billion, the most since the second quarter of 2012, when Facebook made a debut.

Construction companies topped the list for deal value with four deals worth $2.31 billion while Healthcare came in second with 15 deals worth $2.15 billion. The insurance industry came in third with $1.46 billion debut of ING US--the largest deal during the quarter. (Read: 3 Hot Sector ETFs surging to #1 Ranks)

The activity in the space had slowed down towards the end of June as the market was hit by ‘tapering’ talk. Tapering concerns have now somewhat subsided and US stocks still remain quite attractable relative to other asset classes.

Further, the economic picture continues to improve, albeit slowly and money managers are looking for suitable avenues to invest their cash. It thus appears now that the IPO market momentum may continue into the second half of the year too.

The publicly available IPO pipeline so far includes 140 companies looking to raise $30.5 billion in total, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. (Read: 3 Aerospace & Defense ETFs Defying Gravity)

One of the most successful IPOs this year was by Noodles & Company (NDLS), a fast-casual restaurant chain, which saw its shares surge more than 100% on the first day of trading. More recently, online coupon site RetailMeNot (SALE) surged 32% in its first day of trading.

While investing in IPOs directly can be difficult, there is one ETF available to tap the IPO resurgence easily and safely. (Read:3 Bank ETFs leading the pack this earnings season)

First Trust US IPO Index Fund (FPX)

The product tracks the IPOX-100 U.S. Index, which is modified value-weighted price index measuring the performance of 100 largest, best performing and most liquid U.S. IPOs during the first 1000 trading days. It charges 60 basis points in annual fees.

The fund has a nice mix of sectors, with top four being Consumer Discretionary (26.0%), Technology (18.1%), Energy (17.7%) and Healthcare (17%). In terms of individual holdings, Facebook (9.5%), AbbVie (9.1%), General Motors (7.4%) take the top three spots. Thus this product could be an excellent choice for ‘believers’ in Facebook (FB) stock, which has risen to Zacks Rank#1 (Strong Buy) after its excellent quarterly results.

With a 10% cap on all constituents, the fund rules out too much concentration in any single holding. Per First Trust, the index has been able to capture around 85% of total market capitalization created through U.S. IPO activity during the past four years, with a tilt towards mid and large-cap stocks.

The ETF, which was initiated in 2006, has managed to attract a modest $97 million in assets so far. Of the 100 securities currently held, maximum, minimum and median market cap are $66.63 Billion, $995 Million and $ $3.39 Billion respectively. Thus while the ETF itself is thinly traded, with an average daily volume of about 20,000 shares, liquidity does not appear to be a concern. (Read: The truth about low volume ETFs)

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