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Should First Trust Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund (FYC) Be on Your Investing Radar?

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Launched on 04/19/2011, the First Trust Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund (FYC - Free Report) is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to provide a broad exposure to the Small Cap Growth segment of the US equity market.

The fund is sponsored by First Trust Advisors. It has amassed assets over $347.71 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs attempting to match the Small Cap Growth segment of the US equity market.

Why Small Cap Growth

There's a lot of potential to investing in small cap companies, but with market capitalization below $2 billion, that high potential comes with even higher risk.

While growth stocks do boast higher than average sales and earnings growth rates, and they are expected to grow faster than the wider market, investors should note these kinds of stocks have higher valuations. Additionally, growth stocks have a greater level of risk associated with them. When you consider growth versus value, growth stocks are usually the clear winner in strong bull markets but tend to fall flat in nearly all other environments.

Costs

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 0.70%, making it one of the most expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.14%.

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 to the Healthcare sector--about 28% of the portfolio. Information Technology and Consumer Discretionary round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE - Free Report) accounts for about 1.14% of total assets, followed by Foundation Medicine, Inc. and Axon Enterprise Inc. (AAXN - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 8.89% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

FYC seeks to match the performance of the Nasdaq AlphaDEX Small Cap Growth Index before fees and expenses. The NASDAQ AlphaDEX Small Cap Growth Index is an enhanced which employs the AlphaDEX stock selection methodology to select stocks from the NASDAQ US 700 Small Cap Growth Index.

The ETF has added roughly 17.75% so far this year and was up about 28.68% in the last one year (as of 07/13/2018). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $37.25 and $50.55.

The ETF has a beta of 1.05 and standard deviation of 16.64% for the trailing three-year period, making it a high risk choice in the space. With about 261 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

First Trust Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund 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, FYC is a great option for investors seeking exposure to the Small Cap ETFs segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

The VIPERS-SC GRWTH (VBK - Free Report) and the iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF (IWO - Free Report) track a similar index. While VIPERS-SC GRWTH has $8.65 B in assets, iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF has $11.21 B. VBK has an expense ratio of 0.07% and IWO charges 0.24%.

Bottom-Line

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.

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.