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Is First Trust Mid Cap Growth AlphaDEX ETF (FNY) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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The First Trust Mid Cap Growth AlphaDEX ETF (FNY - Free Report) was launched on 04/19/2011, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Style Box - Mid 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.

There are some investors, though, who think it's possible to beat the market with great stock selection; this group likely invests in another class of funds known as smart beta, which track non-cap weighted strategies.

Non-cap weighted indexes try to choose stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, which is based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a mix of other such characteristics.

Even though this space provides many choices to investors--think one of the simplest methodologies like equal-weighting and more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting--not all have been able to deliver first-rate results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by First Trust Advisors. FNY has been able to amass assets over $251.84 million, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - Mid Cap Growth. 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.

Cost & Other Expenses

Cost is an important factor in selecting the right ETF, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins if all other fundamentals are the same.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.70% for this ETF, which makes it one of the most expensive products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0%.

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.

FNY's heaviest allocation is in the Healthcare sector, which is about 17.90% of the portfolio. Its Information Technology and Industrials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Apa Corporation (APA - Free Report) accounts for about 1.19% of total assets, followed by Antero Resources Corporation (AR - Free Report) and Ovintiv Inc. (OVV - Free Report) .

FNY's top 10 holdings account for about 10.74% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -25.32% so far this year and is down about -26.43% in the last one year (as of 07/05/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $53.88 and $79.63.

The fund has a beta of 1.12 and standard deviation of 28.21% for the trailing three-year period, which makes FNY a medium risk choice in this particular space. With about 226 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


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

Vanguard MidCap Growth ETF (VOT - Free Report) tracks CRSP U.S. Mid Cap Growth Index and the iShares Russell MidCap Growth ETF (IWP - Free Report) tracks Russell MidCap Growth Index. Vanguard MidCap Growth ETF has $8.99 billion in assets, iShares Russell MidCap Growth ETF has $11.20 billion. VOT has an expense ratio of 0.07% and IWP charges 0.23%.

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 - Mid 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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