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Is First Trust Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX ETF (FYC) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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Launched on 04/19/2011, the First Trust Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX ETF (FYC - Free Report) is a smart beta exchange traded fund offering broad exposure to the Style Box - Small Cap Growth category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has long been dominated by products based on market cap weighted indexes, a strategy created to reflect the market or a particular market segment.

A good option for investors who believe in market efficiency, market cap weighted indexes offer a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns.

If you're the kind of investor who would rather try and beat the market through good stock selection, then smart beta funds are your best choice; this fund class is known for tracking non-cap weighted strategies.

By attempting to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, non-cap weighted indexes are based on certain fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such.

This area offers many different investment choices, such as simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies; however, not all of these strategies can deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by First Trust Advisors, and has been able to amass over $246.78 million, which makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - Small Cap Growth. Before fees and expenses, this particular fund seeks to match the performance of the Nasdaq AlphaDEX Small Cap Growth Index.

The NASDAQ AlphaDEX Small Cap Growth Index is an enhanced which employs the AlphaDEX stock selection methodology to select stocks from the NASDAQ US 700 Small Cap Growth Index.

Cost & Other Expenses

Since cheaper funds tend to produce better results than more expensive funds, assuming all other factors remain equal, it is important for investors to pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio.

Annual operating expenses for FYC are 0.70%, which makes it one of the more expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.70%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Most ETFs are very transparent products, and disclose their holdings on a daily basis. ETFs also offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, though it's still important for investors to research a fund's holdings.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Information Technology sector - about 17.70% of the portfolio. Healthcare and Consumer Discretionary round out the top three.

When you look at individual holdings, Lantheus Holdings, Inc. (LNTH - Free Report) accounts for about 0.92% of the fund's total assets, followed by Matador Resources Company (MTDR - Free Report) and Matson, Inc. (MATX - Free Report) .

FYC's top 10 holdings account for about 8.18% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -10.02% and is down about -2.46% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 03/24/2022), respectively. FYC has traded between $62.37 and $80.47 during this last 52-week period.

FYC has a beta of 1.21 and standard deviation of 30.81% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a high risk choice in the space. With about 263 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


First Trust Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Small Cap Growth segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

IShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF (IWO - Free Report) tracks Russell 2000 Growth Index and the Vanguard SmallCap Growth ETF (VBK - Free Report) tracks CRSP U.S. Small Cap Growth Index. IShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF has $11.06 billion in assets, Vanguard SmallCap Growth ETF has $14.22 billion. IWO has an expense ratio of 0.24% and VBK charges 0.07%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Style Box - Small Cap Growth.

Bottom Line

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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