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Should You Invest in the First Trust NASDAQ Semiconductor ETF (FTXL)?

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Looking for broad exposure to the Technology - Semiconductors segment of the equity market? You should consider the First Trust NASDAQ Semiconductor ETF (FTXL - Free Report) , a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 09/20/2016.

While an excellent vehicle for long term investors, passively managed ETFs are a popular choice among institutional and retail investors due to their low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency.

Additionally, sector ETFs offer convenient ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Technology - Semiconductors is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 12, placing it in bottom 25%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by First Trust Advisors. It has amassed assets over $1.32 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Technology - Semiconductors segment of the equity market. FTXL seeks to match the performance of the Nasdaq US Smart Semiconductor Index before fees and expenses.

The Nasdaq US Smart Semiconductor Index is a modified factor weighted index, designed to provide exposure to US companies within the semiconductor industry.


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 0.60%, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.59%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

ETFs offer a diversified exposure and thus minimize single stock risk but it is still important to delve into a fund's holdings before investing. Most ETFs are very transparent products and many disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Information Technology sector--about 100% of the portfolio.

Looking at individual holdings, Intel Corporation (INTC - Free Report) accounts for about 9.40% of total assets, followed by Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM - Free Report) and Broadcom Inc. (AVGO - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 63.17% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has added roughly 2.62% and it's up approximately 34.76% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 02/21/2024), respectively. FTXL has traded between $58.40 and $85.29 during this last 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 1.30 and standard deviation of 33.81% for the trailing three-year period. With about 33 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.


First Trust NASDAQ Semiconductor ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, FTXL is an outstanding option for investors seeking exposure to the Technology ETFs segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

IShares Semiconductor ETF (SOXX - Free Report) tracks PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index and the VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH - Free Report) tracks MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index. IShares Semiconductor ETF has $11.59 billion in assets, VanEck Semiconductor ETF has $14.53 billion. SOXX has an expense ratio of 0.35% and SMH charges 0.35%.

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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