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Is First Trust Small Cap Value AlphaDEX ETF (FYT) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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The First Trust Small Cap Value AlphaDEX ETF (FYT - Free Report) made its debut on 04/19/2011, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund that provides broad exposure to the Style Box - Small Cap Value category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on market capitalization weighted indexes that are designed to represent the market or a particular segment of the market.

Market cap weighted indexes work great for investors who believe in market efficiency. They provide a low-cost, convenient and transparent way of replicating market returns.

However, some investors believe in the possibility of beating the market through exceptional stock selection, and choose a different type of fund that tracks non-cap weighted strategies: smart beta.

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.

The smart beta space gives investors many different choices, from equal-weighting, one of the simplest strategies, to more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting. However, not all of these methodologies have been able to deliver remarkable returns.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by First Trust Advisors. FYT has been able to amass assets over $224.11 million, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - Small Cap Value. Before fees and expenses, FYT seeks to match the performance of the Nasdaq AlphaDEX Small Cap Value Index.

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

Cost & Other Expenses

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

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.71%, making it one of the most expensive products in the space.

FYT's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 1.27%.

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.

Representing 31.90% of the portfolio, the fund has heaviest allocation to the Financials sector; Industrials and Consumer Discretionary round out the top three.

Taking into account individual holdings, Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (ABG - Free Report) accounts for about 0.81% of the fund's total assets, followed by Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (GPI - Free Report) and Sanmina Corporation (SANM - Free Report) .

FYT's top 10 holdings account for about 7.31% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -8.64% and is down about -1.62% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 08/02/2022), respectively. FYT has traded between $42.85 and $54.42 during this last 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 1.37 and standard deviation of 36.05% for the trailing three-year period, making it a high risk choice in the space. With about 263 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


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

IShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN - Free Report) tracks Russell 2000 Value Index and the Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF (VBR - Free Report) tracks CRSP U.S. Small Cap Value Index. IShares Russell 2000 Value ETF has $12.31 billion in assets, Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF has $23.87 billion. IWN has an expense ratio of 0.24% and VBR 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 Value.

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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