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Should First Trust Mid Cap Core AlphaDEX ETF (FNX) Be on Your Investing Radar?

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The First Trust Mid Cap Core AlphaDEX ETF (FNX - Free Report) was launched on 05/08/2007, and is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Mid Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

The fund is sponsored by First Trust Advisors. It has amassed assets over $944 million, making it one of the average sized ETFs attempting to match the Mid Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

Why Mid Cap Blend

Compared to large and small cap companies, mid cap businesses tend to have higher growth prospects and are less volatile, respectively, with market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion. These types of companies, then, have a good balance of stability and growth potential.

Typically holding a combination of both growth and value stocks, blend ETFs also demonstrate qualities seen in value and growth investments.


Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.62%, making it one of the most expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.21%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Consumer Discretionary sector--about 20% of the portfolio. Industrials and Financials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (UAL - Free Report) accounts for about 0.47% of total assets, followed by Amkor Technology, Inc. (AMKR - Free Report) and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 4.21% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

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

The ETF has lost about -1.94% so far this year and is down about -7.77% in the last one year (as of 03/16/2023). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $80.01 and $100.72.

The ETF has a beta of 1.21 and standard deviation of 28.50% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 451 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


First Trust Mid Cap Core AlphaDEX ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, FNX is a reasonable option for those seeking exposure to the Style Box - Mid Cap Blend area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

The Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF (VO - Free Report) and the iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF (IJH - Free Report) track a similar index. While Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF has $49.83 billion in assets, iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF has $63.76 billion. VO has an expense ratio of 0.04% and IJH charges 0.05%.


Passively managed ETFs are becoming increasingly popular with institutional as well as retail investors due to their low cost, transparency, flexibility and tax efficiency. They are excellent vehicles for long term investors.

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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