Is First Trust Mid Cap Value AlphaDEX ETF (FNK) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Designed to provide broad exposure to the Style Box - Mid Cap Value category of the market, the First Trust Mid Cap Value AlphaDEX ETF (FNK) is a smart beta exchange traded fund launched on 04/19/2011.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

For a long time now, the ETF industry has been flooded with products based on market capitalization weighted indexes, which are designed to represent the broader market or a particular market segment.

Market cap weighted indexes offer a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, and are a good option for investors who believe in market efficiency.

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.

This area offers many different investment choices, such as simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies; however, not all of these strategies can deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by First Trust Advisors. FNK has been able to amass assets over $225.71 million, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - Mid Cap Value. FNK seeks to match the performance of the Nasdaq AlphaDEX Mid Cap Value Index before fees and expenses.

The NASDAQ AlphaDEX Mid Cap Value Index is an enhanced index which employs the AlphaDEX stock selection methodology to select stocks from the NASDAQ US 600 Mid Cap Value Index.

Cost & Other Expenses

Expense ratios are an important factor in the return of an ETF and in the long-term, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins, other things remaining the same.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.70% for FNK, making it one of the most expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.64%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

It is important to delve into an ETF's holdings before investing despite the many upsides to these kinds of funds like diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Representing 24.70% of the portfolio, the fund has heaviest allocation to the Financials sector; Consumer Discretionary and Industrials round out the top three.

Taking into account individual holdings, Macy's, Inc. (M) accounts for about 1.24% of the fund's total assets, followed by Frontier Communications Parent, Inc. (FYBR) and Amkor Technology, Inc. (AMKR).

The top 10 holdings account for about 8.9% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, FNK has gained about 3.14%, and it's up approximately 25.18% in the last one year (as of 04/05/2024). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $40.99 and $54.15.

FNK has a beta of 1.30 and standard deviation of 21.68% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 226 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


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

IShares Russell Mid-Cap Value ETF (IWS) tracks Russell MidCap Value Index and the Vanguard Mid-Cap Value ETF (VOE) tracks CRSP U.S. Mid Cap Value Index. IShares Russell Mid-Cap Value ETF has $13.79 billion in assets, Vanguard Mid-Cap Value ETF has $16.24 billion. IWS has an expense ratio of 0.23% and VOE 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 - Mid 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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First Trust Mid Cap Value AlphaDEX ETF (FNK): ETF Research Reports

Macy's, Inc. (M) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Amkor Technology, Inc. (AMKR) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Vanguard Mid-Cap Value ETF (VOE): ETF Research Reports

iShares Russell Mid-Cap Value ETF (IWS): ETF Research Reports

Frontier Communications Parent, Inc. (FYBR) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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