A Look at First Trust’s Exchange-Traded Funds

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In keeping with our series of exchange-traded fund (ETF) providers, this week we will take a look at First Trust. As its name implies, First Trust offers a variety of trusts and funds, including unit trusts, variable annuities, closed-end funds, mutual funds, 401(k) and, yes, ETFs.

A company managing this smorgasbord of different investment vehicles needs to possess a special insight into the simplicity and convenience of both using ETFs and providing that opportunity to investors. First Trust was not the first company to offer ETF investing, but it did enter the game fairly early. It launched its first fund in mid-2003 in the form of the First Trust Value Line 100 ETF (FVL).

In the ensuing years, First Trust slowly introduced more ETFs, though the pace has greatly accelerated in recent years. First Trust now offers more than 80 ETFs.

First Trust has several dividend-focused ETFs for income-oriented investors. Of note is the First Trust Dow Jones Global Select Dividend Index Fund (FGD), which gained 11.85% in 2013 and has managed to rise 1.45% in 2014’s turbulent opening months.

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If you’d prefer to invest in another segment of the market, First Trust has you covered. The company provides funds for many sectors, including various energy and metals ETFs, and some more interesting technology funds, like a cloud computing ETF, as well as one that follows the success of smartphones.

First Trust also has funds for many global markets, for green/renewable energy, for different-sized market caps and others. If you’re looking for a variety of interesting ETFs to invest in, First Trust is a company you may want to consider.

In addition, if you want my advice about buying and selling specific ETFs, including appropriate stop losses, please consider subscribing to my Successful Investing newsletter. As always, I am happy to answer any of your questions about ETFs, so do not hesitate to send me an e-mail. You just may see your question answered in a future ETF Talk.

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In case you missed them, I encourage you to read my articles from previous weeks about ETF providers ProShares,  Vanguard, iShares and State Street. I also invite you to share your thoughts below.

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