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Should You Invest in the First Trust NASDAQ ABA Community Bank Index Fund (QABA)?

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If you're interested in broad exposure to the Financials - Community Banks segment of the U.S. equity market, look no further than the First Trust NASDAQ ABA Community Bank Index Fund (QABA - Free Report) , a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 06/29/2009.

Retail and institutional investors increasingly turn to passively managed ETFs because they offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; these kind of funds are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.

Additionally, sector ETFs offer convenient ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Financials - Community Banks is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 9, placing it in bottom 44%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by First Trust Advisors. It has amassed assets over $342.66 M, making it the largest ETF attempting to match the performance of the Financials - Community Banks segment of the U.S. equity market. QABA seeks to match the performance of the NASDAQ OMX ABA Community Bank Index before fees and expenses.

The NASDAQ OMX ABA Community Bank Index is a market capitalization-weighted index. The Index includes a subset of banks and thrifts or their holding companies listed on NASDAQ.

Costs

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

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.60%, making it the least expensive product in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.32%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure which minimizes single stock risk, it is still important to look into a fund's holdings before investing. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Financials sector--about 99.70% of the portfolio.

Looking at individual holdings, East West Bancorp, Inc. (EWBC - Free Report) accounts for about 3.52% of total assets, followed by Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (CBSH - Free Report) and Pacwest Bancorp (PACW - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 21.98% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has gained about 9.21% so far this year and was up about 18.87% in the last one year (as of 05/23/2018). In that past 52-week period, it has traded between $46.12 and $57.11.

The ETF has a beta of 0.97 and standard deviation of 20.55% for the trailing three-year period, making it a high risk choice in the space. With about 180 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

First Trust NASDAQ ABA Community Bank Index Fund carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, QABA is a good option for those seeking exposure to the Financials ETFs area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

First Trust NASDAQ ABA Community Bank Index Fund (QABA - Free Report) tracks same index. The fund has $342.66 M in assets. QABA has an expense ratio of 0.60%.

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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