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Form 485APOS FIRST TRUST EXCHANGE-TRA

August 8, 2022 4:19 PM EDT

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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 8, 2022

 

1933 Act Registration No. 333-174332

1940 Act Registration No. 811-22559

 

United States

Securities and Exchange Commission

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form N-1A
 

Registration Statement Under the Securities Act of 1933 [   ]
Pre-Effective Amendment No. __ [   ]
Post-Effective Amendment No. 203 [X]
and/or
Registration Statement Under the Investment Company Act of 1940 [   ]
Amendment No. 205 [X]

First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV

(Exact name of registrant as specified in charter)

120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400

Wheaton, Illinois 60187

(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (800) 621-1675

W. Scott Jardine, Esq., Secretary

First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV

First Trust Advisors L.P.

120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400

Wheaton, Illinois 60187

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

Copy to:

Eric F. Fess, Esq.

Chapman and Cutler LLP

320 South Canal Street

Chicago, Illinois 60606

It is proposed that this filing will become effective (check appropriate box):

[   ] immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)

[   ] on (date) pursuant to paragraph (b)

[   ] 60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

[   ] on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

[X] 75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)

[   ] on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485.

If appropriate, check the following box:

[  ] this post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.

 
 

Contents of Post-Effective Amendment No. 203

This Registration Statement comprises the following papers and contents:

The Facing Sheet

Part A - Prospectus for FT Energy Income Partners Strategy ETF

Part B - Statement of Additional Information FT Energy Income Partners Strategy ETF

Part C - Other Information

Signatures

Index to Exhibits

Exhibits

 

First Trust
Exchange-Traded Fund IV
Prospectus
PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS DATED AUGUST 8, 2022
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION
FT Energy Income Partners Strategy ETF
Ticker Symbol:
[____]
Exchange:
NYSE Arca
FT Energy Income Partners Strategy ETF (the “Fund”) lists and principally trades its shares on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca” or the “Exchange”). Market prices may differ to some degree from the net asset value of the shares. Unlike mutual funds, the Fund issues and redeems shares at net asset value, only in large specified blocks of shares called "Creation Units."
The Fund is a series of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV (the “Trust”) and an actively managed exchange-traded fund organized as a separate series of a registered management investment company.
Except when aggregated in Creation Units, the shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
NOT FDIC INSURED MAY LOSE VALUE NO BANK GUARANTEE
The Information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.
[_______, 2022]

Summary Information
Investment Objective
The FT Energy Income Partners Strategy ETF's (the "Fund") investment objective is to seek risk-adjusted total return.
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
The following table describes the fees and expenses you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund. Investors may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table and example below.
Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)
Maximum Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Purchases (as a percentage of offering price)
None
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Management Fees
____%
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees
____%
Other Expenses
____%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses
____%
Example
The example below is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds.
The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then hold or sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain at current levels. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
1 Year
3 Years
$___
$___
Portfolio Turnover
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costsand may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. The Fund has no operational history and therefore no historical turnover rate.
Principal Investment Strategies
Under normal market conditions, the Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in a portfolio of equity securities in the energy, utility, electric power, industrial and materials sectors. The portfolio will consist of companies in the energy industry that include enterprises connected to the exploration, development, production, gathering, transportation, processing, storing, refining, distribution, mining or marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids (including propane), crude oil, refined petroleum products, petrochemicals, electricity, coal or other energy sources, including renewable energy and other enterprises that participate in businesses that manufacture, operate or provide services in support of energy assets and/or energy activities such as renewable energy equipment, energy storage, carbon capture and sequestration, fugitive methane abatement, energy transmission and distribution equipment, and utility companies selected by Energy Income Partners, LLC, the Fund’s investment sub-advisor (“Energy Income Partners” or the “Sub-Advisor”). These companies may include publicly-traded master limited partnerships or limited liability companies taxed as partnerships (“MLPs”), MLP affiliates and energy infrastructure real estate investment trusts (“REITs”).
The Fund’s portfolio will be selected based upon the Sub-Advisor’s belief that a professionally managed portfolio of energy companies, energy infrastructure companies, and companies in related industries offers an attractive balance of income and growth through a combination of dividends and capital appreciation. The Sub-Advisor believes that rapid changes to the energy
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system driven by innovations like shale, renewable energy and storage, government policies relating to sustainability for companies, and investment funds have created a wider range of opportunities in the energy sector than in the past.
In selecting the Fund’s portfolio, the Sub-Advisor focuses primarily on a company’s yield, growth, and valuation. In evaluating yield, the Sub-Advisor seeks companies with stable cash flows and higher-than-average dividend payout ratios or companies with cyclical cash flows that have lower and more sustainable dividend payout ratios. In evaluating growth, the Sub-advisor focuses on increasing per share earnings and cash flow, with a belief that free cash flow can drive reinvestment or share repurchase, each of which can drive per share growth. Finally, in evaluating a company’s valuation, the Sub-advisor seeks companies that have the potential to experience positive changes in value, where business restructuring, changes in management or asset mix, or changes in government policy may positively impact investor perception about a company’s future. Through the analysis described above, and use of rigorous investment research and analytical tools along with conservative portfolio construction, the Sub-Advisor selects companies for the Fund’s portfolio that it believes have the best potential to achieve the Fund’s investment objective.
The Fund may invest in U.S. and non-U.S. companies with various market capitalizations. As of _____, 2022, the Fund expects to have significant investments in energy and utility companies and Canadian and European issuers, although this may change from time to time. To the extent the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in a given jurisdiction or investment sector, the Fund may be exposed to the risks associated with that jurisdiction or investment sector. While the Fund may invest in equity securities of MLPs, the Fund will limit its investment in MLPs, or other companies taxed as partnerships in order to comply with applicable tax diversification rules.
The Fund is classified as “non-diversified” under the Investment Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”).
Principal Risks
You could lose money by investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit of a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objective will be achieved. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.
AUTHORIZED PARTICIPANT CONCENTRATION RISK. Only an authorized participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. A limited number of institutions act as authorized participants for the Fund. To the extent that these institutions exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders and no other authorized participant steps forward to create or redeem, the Fund’s shares may trade at a premium or discount (the difference between the market price of the Fund's shares and the Fund's net asset value) and possibly face delisting and the bid/ask spread (the difference between the price that someone is willing to pay for shares of the Fund at a specific point in time versus the price at which someone is willing to sell) on the Fund’s shares may widen.
CANADA RISK. The Fund is subject to certain risks specifically associated with investments in the securities of Canadian issuers. The Canadian economy is heavily dependent on the demand for natural resources and agricultural products. Canada is a major producer of commodities such as forest products, metals, agricultural products, and energy related products like oil, gas, and hydroelectricity. Accordingly, a change in the supply and demand of these resources, both domestically and internationally, can have a significant effect on Canadian market performance. Canada is a top producer of zinc and uranium and a global source of many other natural resources, such as gold, nickel, aluminum, and lead. Conditions that weaken demand for such products worldwide could have a negative impact on the Canadian economy as a whole. Changes to the U.S. economy may significantly affect the Canadian economy because the United States is Canada’s largest trading partner and foreign investor. These and other factors could have a negative impact on the Fund and its investments in Canada.
CURRENCY RISK. The Fund may hold investments that are denominated in non-U.S. currencies, or in securities that provide exposure to such currencies, currency exchange rates or interest rates denominated in such currencies. Changes in currency exchange rates affect the value of investments denominated in a foreign currency, and therefore the value of such investments in the Fund’s portfolio. The Fund’s net asset value could decline if a currency to which the Fund has exposure depreciates against the U.S. dollar or if there are delays or limits on repatriation of such currency. Currency exchange rates can be very volatile and can change quickly and unpredictably. As a result, the value of an investment in the Fund may change quickly and without warning.
CYBER SECURITY RISK. The Fund is susceptible to operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause the Fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational
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damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. Cyber security breaches may involve unauthorized access to the Fund’s digital information systems through “hacking” or malicious software coding but may also result from outside attacks such as denial-of-service attacks through efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users. In addition, cyber security breaches of the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests or the Fund’s third-party service providers, such as its administrator, transfer agent, custodian, or sub-advisor, as applicable, can also subject the Fund to many of the same risks associated with direct cyber security breaches. Although the Fund has established risk management systems designed to reduce the risks associated with cyber security, there is no guarantee that such efforts will succeed, especially because the Fund does not directly control the cyber security systems of issuers or third-party service providers.
ENERGY COMPANIES RISK. The success of energy companies is cyclical and highly dependent on energy prices. The market value of securities issued by energy companies may decline for many reasons, including, among other things, changes in the levels and volatility of global energy prices, changes in international politics, policies of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), energy supply and demand, capital expenditures on exploration and production of energy sources, exchange rates, interest rates, economic conditions, tax treatment, energy conservation efforts, increased competition and technological advances. Energy companies may be subject to substantial government regulation and contractual fixed pricing, which may increase the cost of doing business and limit the earnings of these companies. A significant portion of the revenues of energy companies may depend on a relatively small number of customers, including governmental entities and utilities. As a result, governmental budget constraints may have a material adverse effect on the stock prices of energy companies. Governmental regulation may affect the profitability of these companies. Energy companies may also operate in, or engage in transactions involving, countries with less developed regulatory regimes or a history of expropriation, nationalization or other adverse policies. Energy companies also face a significant risk of liability from accidents resulting in injury or loss of life or property, pollution or other environmental problems, equipment malfunctions or mishandling of materials and a risk of loss from terrorism, political strife or natural disasters.
ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE COMPANIES RISK. Energy infrastructure companies, including MLPs and utility companies, are subject to risks specific to the energy and energy-related industries. This includes but is not limited to: fluctuations in commodity prices impacting the volume of energy commodities transported, processed, stored or distributed; reductions in volumes of natural gas or other energy commodities being available for transporting, processing, storing or distributing; slowdowns in new construction and acquisitions limiting growth potential; reduced demand for oil, natural gas and petroleum products, particularly for a sustained period of time; depletion of natural gas reserves or other commodities; rising interest rates resulting in higher costs of capital, increased operating costs; counterparties to contracts defaulting or going bankrupt; and an inability to execute acquisitions or expansion projects in a cost-effect manner; extreme weather events and environmental hazards; and threats of attack by terrorists on energy assets. Energy infrastructure companies may also face counterparty risk, such that long-term contracts may be declared void if the counterparty to those contracts enters bankruptcy proceedings. In addition, energy infrastructure companies are subject to significant federal, state and local government regulation in virtually every aspect of their operations, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and the prices they may charge for products and services. Energy infrastructure companies that own interstate pipelines are subject to regulation by U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") with respect to the tariff rates they may charge for transportation services. An adverse determination by FERC with respect to the tariff rates of such a company could have a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and its ability to pay cash distributions or dividends. Various governmental authorities have the power to enforce compliance with these regulations and the permits issued under them and violators are subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, including civil fines, injunctions or both. Stricter laws, regulations or enforcement policies could be enacted in the future which would likely increase compliance costs and may adversely affect the financial performance of energy infrastructure companies. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, also may impact the energy infrastructure companies.
Certain energy infrastructure companies in the utilities industry are subject to the imposition of rate caps, increased competition due to deregulation, the difficulty in obtaining an adequate return on invested capital or in financing large construction projects, the limitations on operations and increased costs and delays attributable to environmental considerations, and the capital market’s ability to absorb utility debt. In addition, taxes, government regulation, international politics, price and supply fluctuations, volatile interest rates and energy conservation may cause difficulties for these companies. Such issuers have been experiencing certain of these problems in varying degrees.
EQUITY SECURITIES RISK. The value of the Fund’s shares will fluctuate with changes in the value of the equity securities in which it invests. Equity securities prices fluctuate for several reasons, including changes in investors’ perceptions of the financial condition of an issuer or the general condition of the relevant equity market, such as market volatility, or when political or
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economic events affecting an issuer occur. Common stock prices may be particularly sensitive to rising interest rates, as the cost of capital rises and borrowing costs increase. Equity securities may decline significantly in price over short or extended periods of time, and such declines may occur in the equity market as a whole, or they may occur in only a particular country, company, industry or sector of the market.
EUROPE RISK. The Fund is subject to certain risks specifically associated with investments in the securities of European issuers. Political or economic disruptions in European countries, even in countries in which the Fund is not invested, may adversely affect security values and thus the Fund’s holdings. A significant number of countries in Europe are member states in the European Union (the “EU”), and the member states no longer control their own monetary policies by directing independent interest rates for their currencies. In these member states, the authority to direct monetary policies, including money supply and official interest rates for the Euro, is exercised by the European Central Bank. In a 2016 referendum, the United Kingdom elected to withdraw from the EU (“Brexit”). After years of negotiations between the United Kingdom and the EU, a withdrawal agreement was reached whereby the United Kingdom formally left the EU. As the second largest economy among EU members, the implications of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal are difficult to gauge and cannot be fully known. Its departure may negatively impact the EU and Europe as a whole by causing volatility within the EU, triggering prolonged economic downturns in certain European countries or sparking additional member states to contemplate departing the EU (thereby perpetuating political instability in the region).
INDEX OR MODEL CONSTITUENT RISK. The Fund may be a constituent of one or more indices or ETF models. As a result, the Fund may be included in one or more index-tracking exchange-traded funds or mutual funds. Being a component security of such a vehicle could greatly affect the trading activity involving the Fund’s shares, the size of the Fund and the market volatility of the Fund. Inclusion in an index could increase demand for the Fund and removal from an index could result in outsized selling activity in a relatively short period of time. As a result, the Fund’s net asset value could be negatively impacted and the Fund’s market price may be below the Fund’s net asset value during certain periods. In addition, index rebalances may potentially result in increased trading activity in the Fund's shares.
INDUSTRIALS COMPANIES RISK. Industrials companies convert unfinished goods into finished durables used to manufacture other goods or provide services. Examples of industrials companies include companies involved in the production of electrical equipment and components, industrial products, manufactured housing and telecommunications equipment, as well as defense and aerospace companies. General risks of industrials companies include the general state of the economy, exchange rates, commodity prices, intense competition, consolidation, domestic and international politics, government regulation, import controls, excess capacity, consumer demand and spending trends. In addition, industrials companies may also be significantly affected by overall capital spending levels, economic cycles, rapid technological changes, delays in modernization, labor relations, environmental liabilities, governmental and product liability and e-commerce initiatives.
INFLATION RISK. Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. As inflation increases, the present value of the Fund’s assets and distributions may decline.
MANAGEMENT RISK. The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. In managing the Fund’s investment portfolio, the portfolio managers will apply investment techniques and risk analyses that may not produce the desired result. There can be no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objective.
MARKET MAKER RISK. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares due to a limited number of market markers. Decisions by market makers or authorized participants to reduce their role or step away from these activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying values of the Fund’s portfolio securities and the Fund’s market price. The Fund may rely on a small number of third-party market makers to provide a market for the purchase and sale of shares. Any trading halt or other problem relating to the trading activity of these market makers could result in a dramatic change in the spread between the Fund’s net asset value and the price at which the Fund’s shares are trading on the Exchange, which could result in a decrease in value of the Fund’s shares. This reduced effectiveness could result in Fund shares trading at a discount to net asset value and also in greater than normal intraday bid-ask spreads for Fund shares.
MARKET RISK. Market risk is the risk that a particular security, or shares of the Fund in general, may fall in value. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of the Fund could decline in value or underperform other investments. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments.
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For example, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic and the aggressive responses taken by many governments, including closing borders, restricting international and domestic travel, and the imposition of prolonged quarantines or similar restrictions, had negative impacts, and in many cases severe impacts, on markets worldwide. While the development of vaccines has slowed the spread of the virus and allowed for the resumption of reasonably normal business activity in the United States, many countries continue to impose lockdown measures in an attempt to slow the spread. Additionally, there is no guarantee that vaccines will be effective against emerging variants of the disease. As this global pandemic illustrated, such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. These events also adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets. Any of such circumstances could have a materially negative impact on the value of the Fund’s shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, the Fund’s shares may trade at increased premiums or discounts to their net asset value and the bid/ask spread on the Fund’s shares may widen.
MATERIALS COMPANIES RISK. Materials and processing companies are involved in the extraction or processing of raw materials such as metals, ore and forestry products. These companies are sensitive to changes in the business cycle and fluctuations in the supply and demand for raw materials. Further, certain materials and processing companies can be affected by shifts in the housing market, as many produced raw materials are components of construction projects. Rising wage costs can also impact companies that rely on skilled labor. In addition, materials and processing companies may be significantly affected by volatility of commodity prices, import controls, worldwide competition, liability for environmental damage, depletion of resources and mandated expenditures for safety and pollution control devices.
MLP RISK. Investments in securities of MLPs involve certain risks different from or in addition to the risks of investing in common stocks. MLP common units can be affected by macro-economic factors and other factors unique to the partnership or company and the industry or industries in which the MLP operates. Certain MLP securities may trade in relatively low volumes due to their smaller capitalizations or other factors, which may cause them to have a high degree of price volatility and illiquidity. The structures of MLPs create certain risks, including, for example, risks related to the limited ability of investors to control an MLP and to vote on matters affecting the MLP, risks related to potential conflicts of interest between an MLP and the MLP's general partner, the risk that an MLP will generate insufficient cash flow to meet its current operating requirements, the risk that an MLP will issue additional securities or engage in other transactions that will have the effect of diluting the interests of existing investors, and risks related to the general partner's right to require unit-holders to sell their common units at an undesirable time or price.
MLP TAX RISK. The Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective relies in part upon the level of taxable income it receives from the MLPs in which it invests, a factor over which the Fund has no control. The benefit the Fund derives from its investment in MLPs is largely dependent on their being treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Partnerships do not pay U.S. federal income tax at the partnership level. Rather, each partner is allocated a share of the partnership’s income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses. A change in current tax law or a change in the underlying business mix of a given MLP could result in an MLP being treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which would result in the MLP being required to pay U.S. federal income tax (as well as state and local income taxes) on its taxable income at the applicable corporate tax rate. This would have the effect of reducing the amount of cash available for distribution by an MLP and could result in a significant reduction in the value of the Fund’s investment. The classification of an MLP as a corporation for U. S. federal income tax purposes would have the effect of reducing the amount of cash available for distribution by the MLP and causing any such distributions received by the Fund to be taxed as dividend income to the extent of the MLP’s current or accumulated earnings and profits. To the extent a distribution received by the Fund from an MLP is treated as a return of capital, the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the interests of the MLP may be reduced, which will result in an increase in the amount of income or gain (or decrease in the amount of loss) that will be recognized by the Fund for tax purposes upon the sale of any such interests or upon subsequent distributions in respect of such interests. Furthermore, any return of capital distribution received from an MLP may require the Fund to restate the character of its distributions and amend any shareholder tax reporting previously issued.
NON-DIVERSIFICATION RISK. The Fund is classified as “non-diversified” under the Investment Act of 1940, as amended (the "1940 Act"). As a result, the Fund is only limited as to the percentage of its assets which may be invested in the securities of any one issuer by the diversification requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The Fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a limited number of issuers. As a result, the Fund may be more susceptible to a single adverse economic or regulatory occurrence affecting one or more of these issuers, experience increased volatility and be highly invested in certain issuers.
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NON-U.S. SECURITIES RISK. Non-U.S. securities are subject to higher volatility than securities of domestic issuers due to possible adverse political, social or economic developments, restrictions on foreign investment or exchange of securities, capital controls, lack of liquidity, currency exchange rates, excessive taxation, government seizure of assets, the imposition of sanctions by foreign governments, different legal or accounting standards, and less government supervision and regulation of securities exchanges in foreign countries.
OPERATIONAL RISK. The Fund is subject to risks arising from various operational factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund relies on third-parties for a range of services, including custody. Any delay or failure relating to engaging or maintaining such service providers may affect the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. Although the Fund and the Fund's investment advisor seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures, there is no way to completely protect against such risks.
PREMIUM/DISCOUNT RISK. The market price of the Fund’s shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in the Fund’s net asset value as well as the relative supply of and demand for shares on the Exchange. The Fund’s investment advisor cannot predict whether shares will trade below, at or above their net asset value because the shares trade on the Exchange at market prices and not at net asset value. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for shares will be closely related, but not identical, to the same forces influencing the prices of the holdings of the Fund trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. However, given that shares can only be purchased and redeemed in Creation Units, and only to and from broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements (unlike shares of closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their net asset value), the Fund’s investment advisor believes that large discounts or premiums to the net asset value of shares should not be sustained. During stressed market conditions, the market for the Fund’s shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the market for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings, which could in turn lead to differences between the market price of the Fund’s shares and their net asset value and the bid/ask spread on the Fund’s shares may widen.
REIT RISK. REITs typically own and operate income-producing real estate, such as residential or commercial buildings, or real-estate related assets, including mortgages. As a result, investments in REITs are subject to the risks associated with investing in real estate, which may include, but are not limited to: fluctuations in the value of underlying properties; defaults by borrowers or tenants; market saturation; changes in general and local operating expenses; and other economic, political or regulatory occurrences affecting companies in the real estate sector. REITs are also subject to the risk that the real estate market may experience an economic downturn generally, which may have a material effect on the real estate in which the REITs invest and their underlying portfolio securities. REITs may have also a relatively small market capitalization which may result in their shares experiencing less market liquidity and greater price volatility than larger companies. Increases in interest rates typically lower the present value of a REIT's future earnings stream, and may make financing property purchases and improvements more costly. Because the market price of REIT stocks may change based upon investors' collective perceptions of future earnings, the value of the Fund will generally decline when investors anticipate or experience rising interest rates.
SIGNIFICANT EXPOSURE RISK. To the extent that the Fund invests a significant percentage of its assets in a single asset class or the securities of issuers within the same country, state, region, industry or sector, an adverse economic, business or political development may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were more broadly diversified. A significant exposure makes the Fund more susceptible to any single occurrence and may subject the Fund to greater market risk than a fund that is more broadly diversified.
SMALLER COMPANIES RISK. Small and/or mid capitalization companies may be more vulnerable to adverse general market or economic developments, and their securities may be less liquid and may experience greater price volatility than larger, more established companies as a result of several factors, including limited trading volumes, fewer products or financial resources, management inexperience and less publicly available information. Accordingly, such companies are generally subject to greater market risk than larger, more established companies.
TRADING ISSUES RISK. Trading in Fund shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Fund shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange’s “circuit breaker” rules. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged. The Fund may have difficulty maintaining its listing on the Exchange in the event the Fund’s assets are small, the Fund does not have enough shareholders, or if the Fund is unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders.
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UTILITY COMPANIES RISK. Utility companies include companies producing or providing gas, electricity or water. These companies are subject to the risk of the imposition of rate caps, increased competition due to deregulation, the difficulty in obtaining an adequate return on invested capital or in financing large construction projects counterparty risk, the limitations on operations and increased costs and delays attributable to environmental considerations and the capital market’s ability to absorb utility debt. In addition, taxes, government regulation, domestic and international politics, price and supply fluctuations, volatile interest rates and energy conservation may negatively affect utility companies.
Performance
The Fund does not have a performance history. Once available, the Fund’s performance information, and information that gives some indication of the risks of an investment in the Fund by comparing the Fund's performance with a broad measure of market performance, will be available on the Fund’s website at www.ftportfolios.com. The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.
Management
Investment Advisor
First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust” or the “Advisor”)
Investment Sub-Advisor
Energy Income Partners, LLC (“Energy Income Partners” or the “Sub-Advisor”)
Portfolio Managers
The following persons serve as portfolio managers of the Fund:
James J. Murchie, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Portfolio Manager and Principal of Energy Income Partners
Eva Pao, Co-Founder, Co-Portfolio Manager and Principal of Energy Income Partners
John K. Tysseland, Co-Portfolio Manager and Principal of Energy Income Partners
The portfolio managers are primarily and jointly responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each portfolio manager has served as a part of the portfolio management team of the Fund since [_______] 2022.
Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares
The Fund issues and redeems shares on a continuous basis, at net asset value, only in large blocks of shares called “Creation Units.” Individual shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold on the secondary market through a broker-dealer. Since shares of the Fund trade on securities exchanges in the secondary market at their market price rather than their net asset value, the Fund’s shares may trade at a price greater than (premium) or less than (discount) the Fund’s net asset value. An investor may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase shares of the Fund (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for shares of the Fund (ask) when buying or selling shares in the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”). Recent information, including the Fund’s net asset value, market price, premiums and discounts, bid-ask spreads and the median bid-ask spread for the Fund’s most recent fiscal year, is available online at https://www.ftportfolios.com/Retail/etf/home.aspx.
Tax Information
The Fund’s distributions are taxable and will generally be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains. Distributions on shares held in a tax-deferred account, while not immediately taxable, will be subject to tax when the shares are no longer held in a tax-deferred account.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries
If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), First Trust and First Trust Portfolios L.P., the Fund’s distributor, may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
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Additional Information on the Fund's Investment Objective and Strategies
The Fund is a series of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV and is regulated as an “investment company” under the 1940 Act. The Fund is actively managed and does not seek to track the performance of an index. The Fund’s investment objective is [fundamental] and may not be changed without approval by the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund. Unless an investment policy is identified as being fundamental, all investment policies included in this prospectus and the Fund's Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) are non-fundamental and may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board”) without shareholder approval. If there is a material change to the Fund’s principal investment strategies, you should consider whether the Fund remains an appropriate investment for you. There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its investment objective.
Additional Information on the Fund’s Strategy
The Sub-Advisor believes that a professionally managed portfolio of dividend-paying energy companies, energy infrastructure companies, and companies in related industries offers an attractive balance of income and growth, and that the use of rigorous investment research and analytical tools along with conservative portfolio construction provides a value added service to the individual investor making an investment in these asset classes.
The Fund may use bond index and equity index futures, options, futures, forward contracts, swaps and other derivative instruments to seek to enhance return, to hedge some of the risks of its investments in securities, as a substitute for a position in the underlying asset, to reduce transaction costs, to maintain full market exposure (which means to adjust the characteristics of their investments to more closely approximate those of the markets in which it invests), to manage cash flows, to limit exposure to losses due to changes to non-U.S. currency exchange rates or to preserve capital.
The Sub-Advisor believes that the energy system is massive, mostly privately owned and operated, and is indispensable to the world economy. Making changes to that system to compensate for the normal capital spending cycle, supply interruptions due to wars and pandemics or the need to lower its costs, improve its reliability and reduce its environmental impact will take a lot more than meetings by top government officials and the aspirational goals that come out of those meetings. It requires a fundamental knowledge of how the system actually works, what incentives suppliers and customers actually respond to, as well as the political will and public support to implement policies that actually affect the very mechanisms that drive this massive system. The Sub-Advisor believes these dynamics and how they are understood by investors creates opportunity.
In selecting the Fund’s portfolio, the Sub-Advisor focuses primarily on a company’s yield, growth, and valuation. In evaluating yield, the Sub-Advisor seeks companies with stable cash flows and higher-than-average dividend payout ratios or companies with cyclical cash flows that have lower and more sustainable dividend payout ratios. In evaluating growth, the Sub-advisor focuses on increasing per share earnings and cash flow, with a belief that free cash flow can drive reinvestment or share repurchase, each of which can drive per share growth. Finally, in evaluating a company’s valuation, the Sub-advisor seeks companies that have the potential to experience positive changes in value, where business restructuring, changes in management or asset mix, or changes in government policy may positively impact investor perception about a company’s future. Through the analysis described above, and use of rigorous investment research and analytical tools along with conservative portfolio construction, the Sub-Advisor selects companies for the Fund’s portfolio that it believes have the best potential to achieve the Fund’s investment objective.
The Sub-Advisor has many years of experience investing in the energy sector. The Sub-Advisor believes that investment success in the energy sector requires a working knowledge of the entire energy sector. That means knowledge of the oil and gas segment, refining and marketing, petrochemicals, natural gas processing and storage, electric power generation and storage from conventional, unconventional and renewable sources, conventional- and unconventional-powered transportation, space heating and industrial process heat, among others. It also means understanding cost and performance-related competitiveness of competing fuels such as oil, coal, hydrogen, renewables and nuclear as well as the impact of environmental and other regulations at the local, state and federal level as well as the impact of international trade.
In addition, the Sub-Advisor believes that the attractive characteristics of the energy business can be materially enhanced by a rigorous application of investment research and portfolio construction tools that incorporate this wide industry knowledge on the one hand and the discipline to balance expected total returns between yield, growth and expected changes in valuation on the other.
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Fund Investments
Principal Investments
Equity Securities
Equity securities include common stocks; preferred securities; warrants to purchase common stocks or preferred securities; securities convertible into common stocks or preferred securities; master limited partnership ("MLP") units and MLP I-units discussed below and other securities with equity characteristics.
If the Fund’s investment in qualifying MLPs exceeds 25% of the value of the Fund’s total assets at the end of any quarter in which the Fund is required to test its diversification, the Fund may not qualify as a regulated investment company for federal income tax purposes unless the Fund takes corrective measures within 30 days of the end of the quarter.
Master Limited Partnerships
The Fund may invest in equity securities of MLPs without limit, however, in order to comply with applicable tax diversification rules, the Fund may have to limit the percentage of its nets assets invested in MLPs on a periodic basis. As of the date of this prospectus, this limit is 25% of the Fund’s assets on a quarterly basis.
MLPs are limited partnerships whose shares (or units) are listed and traded on a U.S. securities exchange, just like common stock. To qualify as an MLP, a partnership must receive at least 90% of its income from qualifying sources such as natural resource activities. Natural resource activities include the exploration, development, mining, production, processing, refining, transportation, storage and marketing of mineral or natural resources. MLPs generally have two classes of owners, the general partner and limited partners. The general partner, which is generally a major energy company, investment fund or the management of the MLP, typically controls the MLP through a 2% general partner equity interest in the MLP plus common units and subordinated units. Limited partners own the remainder of the partnership, through ownership of common units, and have a limited role in the partnership’s operations and management.
MLPs are typically structured such that common units have first priority to receive quarterly cash distributions up to an established minimum quarterly dividend (“MQD”). Common units also accrue arrearages in distributions to the extent the MQD is not paid. Once common units have been paid, subordinated units receive distributions of up to the MQD, but subordinated units do not accrue arrearages. Distributable cash in excess of the MQD paid to both common and subordinated units is distributed to both common and subordinated units generally on a pro rata basis. The general partner is also eligible to receive incentive distributions if the general partner operates the business in a manner which maximizes value to unit holders. As the general partner increases cash distributions to the limited partners, the general partner receives an increasingly higher percentage of the incremental cash distributions. A common arrangement provides that the general partner can reach a tier where the general partner is receiving 50% of every incremental dollar paid to common and subordinated unit holders. By providing for incentive distributions the general partner is encouraged to streamline costs and acquire assets in order to grow the partnership, increase the partnership’s cash flow, and raise the quarterly cash distribution in order to reach higher tiers. Such results benefit all security holders of the MLP.
Non-U.S. Investments
The Fund may invest in U.S. dollar-denominated depositary receipts, U.S. dollar-denominated foreign securities and non-U.S. dollar-denominated foreign securities. The Fund’s investments may include American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) and Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”).
The Fund may invest in non-U.S. securities, which may include securities denominated in U.S. dollars or in non-U.S. currencies. Because evidences of ownership of such securities usually are held outside the United States, the Fund would be subject to additional risks if it invested in non-U.S. securities, which include possible adverse political and economic developments, seizure or nationalization of foreign deposits and adoption of governmental restrictions which might adversely affect or restrict the payment of distributions on the non-U.S. securities to investors located outside the country of the issuer, whether from currency blockage or otherwise. Since non-U.S. securities may be purchased with and payable in foreign currencies, the value of these assets as measured in U.S. dollars may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency rates and exchange control regulations.
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Real Estate Investment Trusts
The Fund may invest in real estate investment trusts ("REITs"). REITs are financial vehicles that pool investors’ capital to purchase or finance real estate. REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs or a combination of equity and mortgage REITs. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest payments. REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with the applicable tax requirements.
Non-Principal Investments
Cash Equivalents and Short-Term Investments
Normally, the Fund invests substantially all of its assets to meet its investment objective. The Fund may invest in securities with maturities of less than one year or cash equivalents, or it may hold cash. The percentage of the Fund invested in such holdings varies and depends on several factors, including market conditions. For temporary defensive purposes and during periods of high cash inflows or outflows, the Fund may depart from its principal investment strategies and invest part or all of its assets in these securities or it may hold cash. During such periods, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective. The Fund may adopt a defensive strategy when the portfolio managers believe securities in which the Fund normally invests have elevated risks due to political or economic factors and in other extraordinary circumstances. For more information on eligible short-term investments, see the SAI.
Derivatives
The Fund may use bond index and equity index futures, options, futures, forward contracts, swaps and other derivative instruments to seek to enhance return, to hedge some of the risks of its investments in securities, as a substitute for a position in the underlying asset, to reduce transaction costs, to maintain full market exposure (which means to adjust the characteristics of their investments to more closely approximate those of the markets in which it invests), to manage cash flows, to limit exposure to losses due to changes to non-U.S. currency exchange rates or to preserve capital.
The Fund will comply with the regulatory requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with respect to coverage of options and futures positions by registered investment companies and, if the guidelines so require, will earmark or set aside cash, U.S. Government securities, high grade liquid debt securities and/or other liquid assets permitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission in a segregated custodial account in the amount prescribed (or take such other actions permitted by law). Securities earmarked or held in a segregated account cannot be sold while the futures or options position is outstanding, unless replaced with other permissible assets, and will be marked to market daily.
ETFs
The Fund may invest in securities of other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), that invest primarily in securities of the types in which the Fund may invest directly. As a shareholder in an investment company, the Fund bears its ratable share of such investment company’s expenses and would remain subject to payment of the investment company’s advisory and administrative fees with respect to assets so invested. Shareholders would therefore be subject to duplicative expenses to the extent the Fund invests in other investment companies. In addition, the Fund will incur brokerage costs when purchasing and selling shares of ETFs. Securities of other investment companies may be leveraged, in which case the value and/or yield of such securities will tend to be more volatile than securities of unleveraged securities. The Fund’s ability to invest in other investment companies is limited by the1940 Act and the related rules and interpretations.
Illiquid Investments
The Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in securities and other instruments that are, at the time of investment, illiquid (determined using the Securities and Exchange Commission's standard applicable to investment companies, i.e., any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment). For this purpose, illiquid investments may include, but are not limited to, restricted securities (securities the disposition of which is restricted under the federal securities laws), securities that may only be resold pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), that are deemed to be illiquid, and certain repurchase agreements.
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Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings
The Fund’s portfolio holdings are available on the Fund's website at www.ftportfolios.com. A description of the policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund's portfolio securities is included in the Fund's SAI, which is also available on the Fund's website.
Risks of Investing in the Fund
Risk is inherent in all investing. Investing in the Fund involves risk, including the risk that you may lose all or part of your investment. There can be no assurance that the Fund will meet its stated objective. Before you invest, you should consider the following disclosure pertaining to the Principal Risks set forth above as well as additional Non-Principal Risks set forth below in this prospectus. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.
Principal Risks
AUTHORIZED PARTICIPANT CONCENTRATION RISK. Only an authorized participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. A limited number of institutions act as authorized participants for the Fund. However, participants are not obligated to make a market in the Fund’s shares or submit purchase and redemption orders for creation units. To the extent that these institutions exit the business, reduce their role or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders and no other authorized participant steps forward to create or redeem, the Fund’s shares may trade at a premium or discount to the Fund’s net asset value and possibly face delisting and the bid/ask spread on the Fund’s shares may widen.
CANADA RISK. The Fund invests significantly in the securities of Canadian issuers. The Canadian economy is heavily dependent on the demand for natural resources and agricultural products. Canada is a major producer of commodities such as forest products, metals, agricultural products, and energy related products like oil, gas, and hydroelectricity. Accordingly, a change in the supply and demand of these resources, both domestically and internationally, can have a significant effect on Canadian market performance. Canada is a top producer of zinc and uranium and a global source of many other natural resources, such as gold, nickel, aluminum, and lead. Conditions that weaken demand for such products worldwide could have a negative impact on the Canadian economy as a whole. The Canadian economy is heavily dependent on relationships with certain key trading partners. The United States is Canada’s largest trading and investment partner, and the Canadian economy is significantly affected by developments in the U.S. economy. Any downturn in U.S. economic activity is likely to have an adverse impact on the Canadian economy.
CURRENCY RISK. The Fund may invest in securities denominated in a non-U.S. currency. Changes in currency exchange rates affect the value of investments denominated in a foreign currency, the value of dividends and interest earned from such securities and gains and losses realized on the sale of such securities. The Fund’s net asset value could decline if a currency to which the Fund has exposure depreciates against the U.S. dollar or if there are delays or limits on repatriation of such currency. Currency exchange rates can be very volatile and can change quickly and unpredictably. Changes in currency exchange rates may affect the Fund's net asset value, the value of dividends and interest earned, and gains and losses realized on the sale of securities. An increase in the strength of the U.S. dollar relative to other currencies may cause the value of the Fund to decline. Certain non-U.S. currencies may be particularly volatile, and non-U.S. governments may intervene in the currency markets, causing a decline in value or liquidity in the Fund's non-U.S. holdings whose value is tied to the affected non-U.S. currency. Additionally, the prices of non-U.S. securities that are traded in U.S. dollars are often indirectly influenced by currency fluctuations.
CYBER SECURITY RISK. The Fund is susceptible to operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause the Fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. These risks typically are not covered by insurance. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber incidents include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems (e.g., through “hacking” or malicious software coding) for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data or causing operational disruption. Cyber attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users). Cyber security failures by or breaches of the systems of the Advisor, distributor and other service providers (including, but not limited to, sub-advisors, index providers, fund accountants, custodians, transfer agents and administrators), market makers, authorized participants or the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business
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operations, potentially resulting in: financial losses; interference with the Fund’s ability to calculate its net asset value; disclosure of confidential trading information; impediments to trading; submission of erroneous trades or erroneous creation or redemption orders; the inability of the Fund or its service providers to transact business; violations of applicable privacy and other laws; regulatory fines penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs; or additional compliance costs. Substantial costs may be incurred by the Fund in order to resolve or prevent cyber incidents in the future. While the Fund has established business continuity plans in the event of, and risk management systems to prevent, such cyber attacks, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified and that prevention and remediation efforts will not be successful. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cyber security plans and systems put in place by service providers to the Fund, issuers in which the Fund invests, market makers or authorized participants. However, there is no guarantee that such efforts will succeed, and the Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.
ENERGY COMPANIES RISK. The Fund invests significantly in energy companies. The success of energy companies may be cyclical and highly dependent on energy prices. The market value of securities issued by energy companies may decline for many reasons, including, among other things, changes in the levels and volatility of global energy prices, energy supply and demand, capital expenditures on exploration and production of energy sources, exchange rates, interest rates, economic conditions, tax treatment, energy conservation efforts, increased competition and technological advances. Energy companies may be subject to substantial government regulation and contractual fixed pricing, which may increase the cost of doing business and limit the earnings of these companies. A significant portion of the revenues of these companies may depend on a relatively small number of customers, including governmental entities and utilities. As a result, governmental budget constraints may have a material adverse effect on the stock prices of energy companies. Energy companies may also operate in, or engage in transactions involving, countries with less developed regulatory regimes or a history of expropriation, nationalization or other adverse policies. Energy companies also face a significant risk of liability from accidents resulting in injury or loss of life or property, pollution or other environmental problems, equipment malfunctions or mishandling of materials and a risk of loss from terrorism, political strife or natural disasters. Energy companies can be significantly affected by the supply of, and demand for, specific products (e.g., oil and natural gas) and services, exploration and production spending, government subsidization, world events and general economic conditions. Energy companies may have relatively high levels of debt and may be more likely than other companies to restructure their businesses if there are downturns in energy markets or in the global economy.
ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE COMPANIES RISK. The Fund invests significantly in energy infrastructure companies. Energy infrastructure companies are subject to risks specific to the energy and energy-related industries. This includes but is not limited to: fluctuations in commodity prices impacting the volume of energy commodities transported, processed, stored or distributed; reductions in volumes of natural gas or other energy commodities being available for transporting, processing, storing or distributing; slowdowns in new construction and acquisitions limiting growth potential; reduced demand for oil, natural gas and petroleum products, particularly for a sustained period of time; depletion of natural gas reserves or other commodities; rising interest rates resulting in higher costs of capital, increased operating costs and an inability to execute acquisitions or expansion projects in a cost-effect manner; extreme weather events and environmental hazards; and threats of attack by terrorists on energy assets. In addition, energy infrastructure companies are subject to significant federal, state and local government regulation in virtually every aspect of their operations, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and the prices they may charge for products and services. Energy infrastructure companies may also face counterparty risk such that long term contracts may be declared void if the counterparty to those contracts enters into bankruptcy proceedings. Energy infrastructure companies that own interstate pipelines are subject to regulation by U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") with respect to the tariff rates they may charge for transportation services. An adverse determination by FERC with respect to the tariff rates of such a company could have a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and its ability to pay cash distributions or dividends. Various governmental authorities have the power to enforce compliance with these regulations and the permits issued under them and violators are subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, including civil fines, injunctions or both. Stricter laws, regulations or enforcement policies could be enacted in the future which would likely increase compliance costs and may adversely affect the financial performance of energy infrastructure companies. Certain energy infrastructure companies in the utilities industry are subject to the imposition of rate caps, increased competition due to deregulation, the difficulty in obtaining an adequate return on invested capital or in financing large construction projects, the limitations on operations and increased costs and delays attributable to environmental considerations, and the capital market’s ability to absorb utility debt. In addition, taxes, government regulation, international politics, price and supply fluctuations, volatile interest rates and energy conservation may cause difficulties for these companies. Such issuers have been experiencing certain of these problems to varying degrees.
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EQUITY SECURITIES RISK. The value of the Fund’s shares will fluctuate with changes in the value of the equity securities in which it invests. Equity securities prices fluctuate for several reasons, including changes in investors' perceptions of the financial condition of an issuer or the general condition of the relevant equity market, such as market volatility, or when political or economic events affecting the issuers occur. Common stock prices may be particularly sensitive to rising interest rates, as the cost of capital rises and borrowing costs increase. Equity securities may decline significantly in price over short or extended periods of time, and such declines may occur in the equity market as a whole, or they may occur in only a particular country, company, industry or sector of the market. Additionally, holders of an issuer's common stock may be subject to greater risks than holders of its preferred stock and debt securities because common stockholders' claims are subordinated to those of holders of preferred stocks and debt securities upon the bankruptcy of an issuer.
EUROPE RISK. The Fund may invest in the securities of European issuers. Therefore, in addition to the risks associated with investments in non-U.S. securities generally, the Fund is subject to certain risks associated specifically with investments in securities of European issuers. Political or economic disruptions in European countries, even in countries in which the Fund is not invested, may adversely affect security values and thus the Fund’s holdings. A significant number of countries in Europe are member states in the EU, and the member states no longer control their own monetary policies by directing independent interest rates for their currencies. In these member states, the authority to direct monetary policies, including money supply and official interest rates for the Euro, is exercised by the European Central Bank. In a 2016 referendum, the United Kingdom elected to withdraw from the EU. After years of negotiations between the United Kingdom and the EU, a withdrawal agreement was reached whereby the United Kingdom formally left the EU. As the second largest economy among EU members, the implications of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal are difficult to gauge and cannot be fully known. Trade between the United Kingdom and the EU is highly integrated through supply chains and trade in services, as well as through multinational companies. The United Kingdom’s departure may negatively impact the EU and Europe as a whole by causing volatility within the EU, triggering prolonged economic downturns in certain European countries or sparking additional member states to contemplate departing the EU (thereby perpetuating political instability in the region).
INDEX OR MODEL CONSTITUENT RISK. The Fund may be a constituent of one or more indices or ETF models. As a result, the Fund may be included in one or more index-tracking ETFs or mutual funds. Being a component security of such a vehicle could greatly affect the trading activity involving the Fund's shares, the size of the Fund and the market volatility of the Fund’s shares. Inclusion in an index could increase demand for the Fund and removal from an index could result in outsized selling activity in a relatively short period of time. As a result, the Fund’s net asset value could be negatively impacted and the Fund’s market price may be below the Fund’s net asset value during certain periods. In addition, index rebalances may potentially result in increased trading activity. To the extent buying or selling activity increases, the Fund can be exposed to increased brokerage costs and adverse tax consequences and the market price of the Fund can be negatively affected.
INDUSTRIALS COMPANIES RISK. The value of securities issued by industrials companies may be adversely affected by supply and demand related to their specific products or services and industrials sector products in general. The products of manufacturing companies may face obsolescence due to rapid technological developments and frequent new product introduction. World events and changes in government regulations, import controls, economic conditions and exchange rates may adversely affect the performance of companies in the industrials sector. Industrials companies may be adversely affected by liability for environmental damage and product liability claims. Industrials companies may also be adversely affected by changes or trends in commodity prices, which may be influenced by unpredictable factors. Industrials companies, particularly aerospace and defense companies, may also be adversely affected by government spending policies because companies in this sector tend to rely to a significant extent on government demand for their products and services.
INFLATION RISK. Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. As inflation increases, the present value of the Fund’s assets and distributions may decline. This risk is more prevalent with respect to debt securities held by the Fund. Inflation creates uncertainty over the future real value (after inflation) of an investment. Inflation rates may change frequently and drastically as a result of various factors, including unexpected shifts in the domestic or global economy, and the Fund’s investments may not keep pace with inflation, which may result in losses to Fund investors.
MANAGEMENT RISK. The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. In managing the Fund’s investment portfolio, the portfolio managers will apply investment techniques and risk analyses that may not produce the desired result. There can be no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objective(s), meet relevant benchmarks or perform as well as other funds with similar objectives.
MARKET MAKER RISK. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares due to a limited number of market markers. Decisions by market makers or authorized participants to reduce
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their role or step away from these activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying values of the Fund’s portfolio securities and the Fund’s market price. The Fund may rely on a small number of third-party market makers to provide a market for the purchase and sale of shares. Any trading halt or other problem relating to the trading activity of these market makers could result in a dramatic change in the spread between the Fund’s net asset value and the price at which the Fund’s shares are trading on the Exchange, which could result in a decrease in value of the Fund’s shares. This reduced effectiveness could result in Fund shares trading at a discount to net asset value and also in greater than normal intraday bid-ask spreads for Fund shares.
MARKET RISK. Market risk is the risk that a particular security, or shares of the Fund in general, may fall in value. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of the Fund could decline in value or underperform other investments due to short-term market movements or any longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments. For example, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic and the aggressive responses taken by many governments, including closing borders, restricting international and domestic travel, and the imposition of prolonged quarantines or similar restrictions, had negative impacts, and in many cases severe impacts, on markets worldwide. While the development of vaccines has slowed the spread of the virus and allowed for the resumption of reasonably normal business activity in the United States, many countries continue to impose lockdown measures in an attempt to slow the spread. Additionally, there is no guarantee that vaccines will be effective against emerging variants of the disease. As this global pandemic illustrated, such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. Additionally, in February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine which has caused and could continue to cause significant market disruptions and volatility within the markets in Russia, Europe, and the United States. The hostilities and sanctions resulting from those hostilities could have a significant impact on certain Fund investments as well as Fund performance. These events also adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets. Any of such circumstances could have a materially negative impact on the value of the Fund’s shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, the Fund’s shares may trade at increased premiums or discounts to their net asset value and the bid/ask spread on the Fund’s shares may widen.
MATERIALS COMPANIES RISK. The Fund invests significantly in materials and processingcompanies. Materials and processing companies are involved in the extraction or processing of raw materials such as metals, ore and forestry products. Changes in world events, political and economic conditions, energy conservation, environmental policies, commodity price volatility, changes in currency exchange rates, imposition of import controls, increased competition, depletion of resources, technical progress and labor relations, among other factors, may adversely affect materials and processing companies. These companies are also at risk of liability for environmental damage and product liability claims. Production of materials may exceed demand as a result of market imbalances or economic downturns, leading to poor investment returns.
MLP RISK. Investments in securities of MLPs involve certain risks different from or in addition to the risks of investing in common stocks, including for example risks related to the limited ability of investors to control an MLP and to vote on matters affecting the MLP, risks related to potential conflicts of interest between an MLP and the MLP's general partner, the risk that an MLP will generate insufficient cash flow to meet its current operating requirements, the risk that an MLP will issue additional securities or engage in other transactions that will have the effect of diluting the interests of existing investors, and risks related to the general partner's right to require investors to sell their common units at an undesirable time or price. MLP common units can be affected by macro-economic and other factors affecting the stock market in general, changes or anticipated changes in interest rates, investor sentiment towards MLPs or the energy sector generally, changes in a particular issuer's financial condition, or unfavorable or unanticipated poor performance of a particular issuer (in the case of MLPs, generally measured in terms of distributable cash flow). Prices of common units of individual MLPs also can be affected by other factors unique to the partnership or company, including earnings power and coverage ratios. Certain MLP securities may trade in relatively low volumes due to their smaller capitalizations or other factors, which may cause them to have a high degree of price volatility and lack sufficient market liquidity to enable the Fund to effect a sale at an advantageous time or price. Because many MLPs pay out most of their operating cash flows, the MLPs rely on capital markets for access to equity and debt financing to fund growth through organization. If market conditions limit an MLPs access to capital markets, the MLPs growth prospects could diminish and its costs of capital increase, which would decrease the value of the common units held by the Fund. MLPs are now a higher cost way of financing these industries; the reverse of the conditions that led to the growth of the asset class in the early part of the last decade. As a result, the industry is witnessing the consolidation or simplification of corporate structures where the MLP sleeve of capital is being eliminated because it no longer reduces a company’s cost of equity financing. Even for MLPs that have avoided exposure to commodity prices and have been successful in growing their dividends, the cost of
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the MLP structure has risen due to growing incentive payments to the general partner. These incentives increase with per share dividend growth at the limited partnership level and are due on newly issued shares, as well as older shares that have experienced the growth. As a result, the more successful the MLP is in growing its dividends, the closer it gets to paying incentives to the parent/general partner that are more onerous than a tax at the corporate level. The lower the corporate tax rate, the sooner this threshold is crossed. In many cases, MLPs are merely a part of the corporate finance structure of a company. MLPs are created when they lower the cost of equity financing and are no longer used when they do not. MLPs that own interstate pipelines are subject to FERC regulation with respect to tariffs charged and received an adverse decision.
MLP TAX RISK. The Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective relies in part upon the level of taxable income it receives from the MLPs in which it invests, a factor over which the Fund has no control. The benefit the Fund derives from its investment in MLPs is largely dependent on their being treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Partnerships do not pay U.S. federal income tax at the partnership level. Rather, each partner is allocated a share of the partnership’s income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses. A change in current tax law or a change in the underlying business mix of a given MLP could result in an MLP being treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which would result in the MLP being required to pay U.S. federal income tax (as well as state and local income taxes) on its taxable income at the applicable corporate tax rate. This would have the effect of reducing the amount of cash available for distribution by an MLP and could result in a significant reduction in the value of the Fund’s investment. The classification of an MLP as a corporation for U. S. federal income tax purposes would have the effect of reducing the amount of cash available for distribution by the MLP and causing any such distributions received by the Fund to be taxed as dividend income to the extent of the MLP’s current or accumulated earnings and profits. To the extent a distribution received by the Fund from an MLP is treated as a return of capital, the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the interests of the MLP may be reduced, which will result in an increase in the amount of income or gain (or decrease in the amount of loss) that will be recognized by the Fund for tax purposes upon the sale of any such interests or upon subsequent distributions in respect of such interests. Furthermore, any return of capital distribution received from an MLP may require the Fund to restate the character of its distributions and amend any shareholder tax reporting previously issued.
NON-DIVERSIFICATION RISK. As a “non-diversified” fund, the Fund may hold a smaller number of portfolio securities than many other funds and may be more sensitive to any single economic, business, political or regulatory occurrence than a diversified fund. To the extent the Fund invests in a relatively small number of issuers due to the high percentage of the Fund’s assets invested in that security, a decline in the market value of a particular security held by the Fund may affect its value more than if it invested in a larger number of issuers. The value of the Fund’s shares may be more volatile than the values of shares of more diversified funds.
NON-U.S. SECURITIES RISK. The Fund may invest in non-U.S. securities. An investment in securities of non-U.S. companies involves risks not associated with domestic issuers. Investment in non-U.S. securities may involve higher costs than investment in U.S. securities, including higher transaction and custody costs as well as the imposition of additional taxes by non-U.S. governments. Non-U.S. investments may also involve risks associated with the level of currency exchange rates, less complete financial information about the issuers, less market liquidity, more market volatility and political instability. Future political and economic developments, the possible imposition of withholding taxes on dividend income, the possible seizure or nationalization of non-U.S. holdings, the imposition of sanctions by foreign governments, the possible establishment of capital controls, exchange controls or freezes on the convertibility of currency or the adoption of other governmental restrictions might adversely affect an investment in non-U.S. securities. Additionally, non-U.S. issuers may be subject to less stringent regulation, and to different accounting, auditing and recordkeeping requirements. The U.S. and non-U.S. markets often rise and fall at different times or by different amounts due to economic or other regional developments particular to a given country or region.
OPERATIONAL RISK. The Fund is subject to risks arising from various operational factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund relies on third-parties for a range of services, including custody. Any delay or failure relating to engaging or maintaining such service providers may affect the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. Although the Fund and the Fund’s investment advisor seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures, there is no way to completely protect against such risks.
PREMIUM/DISCOUNT RISK. The market price of the Fund’s shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in the Fund’s net asset value as well as the relative supply of and demand for shares on the Exchange. First Trust cannot predict whether shares will trade below, at or above their net asset value because the shares trade on the Exchange at market prices and not at net asset value. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in
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the secondary trading market for shares will be closely related, but not identical, to the same forces influencing the prices of the holdings of the Fund trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. However, given that shares can only be purchased and redeemed in Creation Units, and only to and from broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements (unlike shares of closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their net asset value), First Trust believes that large discounts or premiums to the net asset value of shares should not be sustained absent disruptions to the creation and redemption mechanism, extreme market volatility or potential lack of authorized participants. During stressed market conditions, the market for the Fund’s shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the market for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings, which could in turn lead to differences between the market price of the Fund’s shares and their net asset value and the bid/ask spread on the Fund’s shares may widen.
REIT RISK. REITs typically own and operate income-producing real estate, such as residential or commercial buildings, or real-estate related assets, including mortgages. As a result, investments in REITs are subject to the risks associated with investing in real estate, which may include, but are not limited to: fluctuations in the value of underlying properties; defaults by borrowers or tenants; market saturation; changes in general and local operating expenses; and other economic, political or regulatory occurrences affecting companies in the real estate sector. Additionally, investing in REITs involves certain other risks related to their structure and focus, which include, but are not limited to, dependency upon management skills, limited diversification, the risks of locating and managing financing for projects, heavy cash flow dependency, possible default by borrowers, the costs and potential losses of self-liquidation of one or more holdings, the risk of a possible lack of mortgage funds and associated interest rate risks, overbuilding, property vacancies, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, changes in zoning laws, losses due to environmental damages, changes in neighborhood values and appeal to purchasers, the possibility of failing to maintain exemptions from registration under the 1940 Act, failure to satisfy the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for maintaining REIT status and, in many cases, relatively small market capitalization, which may result in less market liquidity and greater price volatility for a REIT’s shares. REITs are also subject to the risk that the real estate market may experience an economic downturn generally, which may have a material effect on the real estate in which the REITs invest and their underlying portfolio securities.
SIGNIFICANT EXPOSURE RISK. To the extent that the Fund invests a significant percentage of its assets in a single asset class or the securities of issuers within the same country, state, region, industry or sector, an adverse economic, business or political development that affected a particular asset class, region or industry may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were more broadly diversified. A significant exposure makes the Fund more susceptible to any single occurrence and may subject the Fund to greater volatility and market risk than a fund that is more broadly diversified.
SMALLER COMPANIES RISK. The Fund invests in the securities of small and/or mid capitalization companies. The stock price of small and/or mid capitalization companies may be more volatile than those of larger companies and therefore the Fund’s share price may be more volatile than those of funds that invest a larger percentage of their assets in stocks issued by large capitalization companies. Stock prices of small and/or mid capitalization companies are also generally more vulnerable than those of large capitalization companies to adverse business and economic developments. Securities of small and/or mid capitalization companies may be thinly traded, making it difficult for the Fund to buy and sell them. In addition, small and/or mid capitalization companies are typically less financially stable than larger, more established companies and may reinvest a high proportion of their earnings in their business and may not pay dividends. Small and/or mid capitalization companies may also depend on a small number of essential personnel who may also be less experienced than the management of larger companies, making these companies more vulnerable to experiencing adverse effects due to the loss or inexperience of personnel. Small and/or mid capitalization companies also normally have less diverse product lines than those of large capitalization companies and are more susceptible to adverse developments concerning their products.
TRADING ISSUES RISK. Trading in Fund shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Fund shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange’s “circuit breaker” rules. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged. The Fund may have difficulty maintaining its listing on the Exchange in the event the Fund’s assets are small, the Fund does not have enough shareholders, or if the Fund is unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders.
UTILITY COMPANIES RISK. The Fund invests significantly in utility companies. Utility companies include companies producing or providing gas, electricity or water. The risks inherent in the utility sector include a variety of factors that may adversely affect the business or operations of utility companies, including: high interest costs associated with capital construction and improvement programs; difficulty in raising adequate capital on reasonable terms in periods of high inflation and unsettled
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capital markets; governmental regulation of rates that the issuer can charge to customers; costs associated with compliance with, and adjusting to changes to, environmental and other regulations; counterparty risk; effects of economic slowdowns and surplus capacity; increased competition from other providers of utility services; costs associated with the reduced availability of certain types of fuel, occasionally reduced availability and high costs of natural gas for resale, and the effects of energy conservation policies. Some utility companies also face risks associated with the effects of a national energy policy and lengthy delays, and greatly increased costs and other problems, associated with the design, construction, licensing, regulation and operation of nuclear facilities for electric generation, including, among other considerations: the problems associated with the use of radioactive materials and the disposal of radioactive wastes; technological innovations that may render existing plants, equipment or products obsolete; difficulty in obtaining regulatory approval of new technologies; lack of compatibility of telecommunications equipment; potential impacts of terrorist activities on the utility industry and its customers; and the impact of natural or man-made disasters. Utility companies may also be subject to regulation by various governmental authorities and may be affected by the imposition of special tariffs and changes in tax laws, regulatory policies and accounting standards. Deregulation is subjecting utility companies to greater competition and may adversely affect profitability. As deregulation allows utility companies to diversify outside of their original geographic regions and their traditional lines of business, utility companies may engage in riskier ventures. There is no assurance that regulatory authorities will, in the future, grant rate increases, or that such increases will be adequate to permit the payment of dividends on stocks issued by a utility company.
Non-Principal Risks
BORROWING AND LEVERAGE RISK. If the Fund borrows money, it must pay interest and other fees, which may reduce the Fund’s returns. Any such borrowings are intended to be temporary. However, under certain market conditions, including periods of decreased liquidity, such borrowings might be outstanding for longer periods of time. As prescribed by the 1940 Act, the Fund will be required to maintain specified asset coverage of at least 300% with respect to any bank borrowing immediately following such borrowing and at all times thereafter. The Fund may be required to dispose of assets on unfavorable terms if market fluctuations or other factors reduce the Fund’s asset coverage to less than the prescribed amount.
CASH TRANSACTIONS RISK. The Fund may, under certain circumstances, effect a portion of creations and redemptions for cash, rather than in-kind securities. As a result, an investment in the Fund may be less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that effects its creations and redemptions only in-kind. ETFs are able to make in-kind redemptions and avoid being taxed on gains on the distributed portfolio securities at the fund level. A Fund that effects redemptions for cash may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. Any recognized gain on these sales by the Fund will generally cause the Fund to recognize a gain it might not otherwise have recognized, or to recognize such gain sooner than would otherwise be required if it were to distribute portfolio securities only in-kind. The Fund intends to distribute these gains to shareholders to avoid being taxed on this gain at the fund level and otherwise comply with the special tax rules that apply to it. This strategy may cause shareholders to be subject to tax on gains they would not otherwise be subject to, or at an earlier date than if they had made an investment in a different ETF. Moreover, cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees and taxes. These brokerage fees and taxes, which will be higher than if the Fund sold and redeemed its shares entirely in-kind, will be passed on to those purchasing and redeeming Creation Units in the form of creation and redemption transaction fees. In addition, these factors may result in wider spreads between the bid and the offered prices of the Fund’s shares than for ETFs that distribute portfolio securities in-kind.
DEFERRED TAX RISK. As a limited partner in the MLPs in which it invests, the Fund will be allocated its pro rata share of income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses from the MLPs. A significant portion of MLP income has historically been offset by tax deductions. The Fund will recognize income with respect to that portion of a distribution that is not offset by tax deductions, with the remaining portion of the distribution being treated as a tax-deferred return of capital. The percentage of an MLP’s distribution which is offset by tax deductions will fluctuate over time for various reasons. A significant slowdown in acquisition or investment activity by MLPs held in the Fund’s portfolio could result in a reduction of accelerated depreciation or other deductions generated by these activities, which may result in increased net income to the Fund. A reduction in the percentage of the income from an MLP offset by tax deductions or gains as a result of the sale of portfolio securities will reduce that portion, if any, of the Fund’s distribution treated as a tax-deferred return of capital and increase that portion treated as dividend income, resulting in lower after-tax distributions to the Fund’s shareholders. The Fund will rely to some extent on information provided by MLPs, which is usually not timely, to determine the tax character of the distributions to shareholders.
DERIVATIVES RISK. The use of derivative instruments involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other traditional investments. These risks include: (i) the risk that the counterparty
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to a derivative transaction may not fulfill its contractual obligations; (ii) risk of mispricing or improper valuation; and (iii) the risk that changes in the value of the derivative may not correlate perfectly with the underlying asset. Derivative prices are highly volatile and may fluctuate substantially during a short period of time. Such prices are influenced by numerous factors that affect the markets, including, but not limited to: changing supply and demand relationships; government programs and policies; national and international political and economic events, changes in interest rates, inflation and deflation and changes in supply and demand relationships. Trading derivative instruments involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities. Derivative contracts ordinarily have leverage inherent in their terms. The low margin deposits normally required in trading derivatives, including futures contracts, permit a high degree of leverage. Accordingly, a relatively small price movement may result in an immediate and substantial loss. The use of leverage may also cause the Fund to liquidate portfolio positions when it would not be advantageous to do so in order to satisfy its obligations or to meet collateral segregation requirements. The use of leveraged derivatives can magnify potential for gain or loss and, therefore, amplify the effects of market volatility on share price.
DEPENDENCE ON KEY PERSONNEL RISK. The Sub-Advisor is dependent upon the experience and expertise of the Fund’s portfolio managers in providing advisory services with respect to the Fund’s investments. If the Sub-Advisor were to lose the services of any of these portfolio managers, its ability to service the Fund could be adversely affected. There can be no assurance that a suitable replacement could be found for any of the portfolio managers in the event of their death, resignation, retirement or inability to act on behalf of the Sub-Advisor.
DEPOSITARY RECEIPTS RISK. The Fund invests in depositary receipts. Depository receipts are securities issued by a bank or trust company reflecting ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign company. An investment in depositary receipts involves further risks due to certain unique features. Any distributions paid to the holders of depositary receipts are usually subject to a fee charged by the depositary. Holders of depositary receipts may have limited voting rights pursuant to a deposit agreement between the underlying issuer and the depositary. In certain cases, the depositary will vote the shares deposited with it as directed by the underlying issuer’s board of directors. Furthermore, investment restrictions in certain countries may adversely impact the value of depositary receipts because such restrictions may limit the ability to convert shares into depositary receipts and vice versa. Such restrictions may cause shares of the underlying issuer to trade at a discount or premium to the market price of the depositary receipt. Moreover, if depositary receipts are converted into shares, the laws in certain countries may limit the ability of a non-resident to trade the shares and to reconvert the shares to depositary receipts. Depositary receipts may be “sponsored” or “unsponsored.” Sponsored depositary receipts are established jointly by a depositary and the underlying issuer, whereas unsponsored depositary receipts may be established by a depositary without participation by the underlying issuer. Holders of unsponsored depositary receipts generally bear all the costs associated with establishing the unsponsored depositary receipts. In addition, the issuers of the securities underlying unsponsored depositary receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the U.S. and, therefore, there may be less information available regarding such issuers and there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the depositary receipts.
ETF RISK. The Fund may invest in ETFs. Most ETFs use a “passive” investment strategy and seek to replicate the performance of a market index. Such ETFs do not take defensive positions in volatile or declining markets their shares may trade below net asset value. While some ETFs seek to achieve the same return as a particular market index, the performance of the ETF may diverge from the performance of the index. Some ETFs are actively managed ETFs and do not track a particular index which indirectly subjects an investor to active management risk. An active secondary market in ETF shares may not develop or be maintained and may be halted or interrupted due to actions by its listing exchange, unusual market conditions or other reasons. There can be no assurance that an ETF’s shares will continue to be listed on an active exchange. In addition, shareholders bear both their proportionate share of the Fund’s expenses and, indirectly, the ETF’s expenses, incurred through the Fund’s ownership of the ETF. Because the expenses and costs of an ETF are shared by its investors, redemptions by other investors in the ETF could result in decreased economies of scale and increased operating expenses for such ETF. These transactions might also result in higher brokerage, tax or other costs for the ETF. This risk may be particularly important when one investor owns a substantial portion of the ETF. There is a risk that ETFs in which the Fund invests may terminate due to extraordinary events. For example, any of the service providers to ETFs, such as the trustee or sponsor, may close or otherwise fail to perform their obligations to the ETF, and the ETF may not be able to find a substitute service provider. Also, certain ETFs may be dependent upon licenses to use various indexes as a basis for determining their compositions and/or otherwise to use certain trade names. If these licenses are terminated, the ETFs may also terminate. In addition, an ETF may terminate if its net assets fall below a certain amount.
FAILURE TO QUALIFY AS A REGULATED INVESTMENT COMPANY RISK. If, in any year, the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company under the applicable tax laws, the Fund would be taxed as an ordinary corporation. In such circumstances,
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the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest and make substantial distributions before requalifying as a regulated investment company that is accorded special tax treatment.
INTERNATIONAL CLOSED MARKET TRADING RISK. Because securities held by the Fund may trade on non-U.S. exchanges that are closed when the Fund's primary listing exchange is open, there are likely to be deviations between the current price of an underlying security and the last quoted price for the underlying security (i.e., the Fund’s quote from the closed foreign market), resulting in premiums or discounts to the Fund's net asset value that may be greater than those experienced by other exchange-traded funds. However, because shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units at a Fund's net asset value, it is not expected that large discounts or premiums to the net asset value of the Fund will be sustained over the long term (unlike shares of many closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their net asset values). In addition, shareholders may not be able to redeem their shares of a Fund, or purchase and sell shares of a Fund on the listing exchange for the Fund, on days when the net asset value of the Fund could be significantly affected by events in the relevant foreign markets.
ISSUER SPECIFIC CHANGES RISK. The value of an individual security or particular type of security can be more volatile than the market as a whole and can perform differently from the value of the market as a whole.
LEGISLATION/LITIGATION RISK. From time to time, various legislative initiatives are proposed in the United States and abroad, which may have a negative impact on certain companies in which the Fund invests. In addition, litigation regarding any of the issuers of the securities owned by the Fund, or industries represented by these issuers, may negatively impact the value of the securities. Such legislation or litigation may cause the Fund to lose value or may result in higher portfolio turnover if the Advisor determines to sell such a holding.
Fund Organization
The Fund is a series of the Trust, an investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund is treated as a separate fund with its own investment objective and policies. The Trust is organized as a Massachusetts business trust. The Board is responsible for the overall management and direction of the Trust. The Board elects the Trust’s officers and approves all significant agreements, including those with the Advisor, Sub-Advisor, custodian, distributor and fund administrative and accounting agent.
Management of the Fund
First Trust Advisors L.P., 120 East Liberty Drive, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, is the investment advisor to the Fund. In this capacity, First Trust is responsible for the overseeing the Sub-Advisor in the investment of the Fund’s assets, managing the Fund’s business affairs and providing certain clerical, bookkeeping and other administrative services.
First Trust is a limited partnership with one limited partner, Grace Partners of DuPage L.P., and one general partner, The Charger Corporation. Grace Partners of DuPage L.P. is a limited partnership with one general partner, The Charger Corporation, and a number of limited partners. The Charger Corporation is an Illinois corporation controlled by James A. Bowen, the Chief Executive Officer of First Trust. First Trust discharges its responsibilities subject to the policies of the Fund.
First Trust serves as advisor or sub-advisor to 9 mutual fund portfolios, 10 exchange-traded funds consisting of [___] series and 16 closed-end funds. It is also the portfolio supervisor of certain unit investment trusts sponsored by First Trust Portfolios L.P. (“FTP”), an affiliate of First Trust, 120 East Liberty Drive, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. FTP specializes in the underwriting, trading and distribution of unit investment trusts and other securities. FTP is the principal underwriter of the shares of the Fund.
The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, and First Trust have retained Energy Income Partners, LLC located at 10 Wright Street, Westport, Connecticut 06880 to serve as the Fund’s investment sub-advisor pursuant to an investment sub-advisory agreement (the "Sub-Advisory Agreement"). In this capacity, Energy Income Partners is responsible for the selection and on-going monitoring of the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolio. Energy Income Partners is a registered investment advisor founded in October 2003 by James J. Murchie, Eva Pao and Linda Longville to provide professional asset management services in the energy sector. In addition to serving as Sub-Advisor to the Fund, Energy Income Partners serves as the investment manager to two privately placed funds, one registered investment company, separately managed accounts and provides a model portfolio to unified managed accounts. Energy Income Partners also serves as the sub-advisor to the First Trust Energy Income and Growth Fund (NYSE: FEN); First Trust Energy Infrastructure Fund (NYSE: FIF); First Trust MLP and Energy Income Fund (NYSE: FEI); First Trust New Opportunities MLP & Energy Fund (NYSE: FPL); two actively managed ETFs, First Trust EIP
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Carbon Impact ETF (NYSE Arca: ECLN); First Trust North American Energy Infrastructure Fund (NYSE Arca: EMLP) and a sleeve of First Trust Multi-Income Allocation Portfolio of the First Trust Variable Insurance Trust. Energy Income Partners primarily focuses on portfolio companies that operate infrastructure assets such as pipelines, storage and terminals that receive fee-based or regulated income from their customers. As of [__________], 2022, Energy Income Partners served as investment advisor to investment portfolios with $[____] billion in assets. First Trust Capital Partners, LLC, an affiliate of First Trust, owns, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, a 15% ownership interest in each of the Energy Income Partners and EIP Partners, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and affiliate of Energy Income Partners.
James J. Murchie, Eva Pao and John K. Tysseland are the Fund’s portfolio managers and are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s investment portfolio.
James J. Murchie is a Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Portfolio Manager and a Principal of Energy Income Partners. After founding Energy Income Partners in October 2003, Mr. Murchie and the Energy Income Partners investment team joined Pequot Capital Management Inc. (“Pequot Capital”) in December 2004. In August 2006, Mr. Murchie and the Energy Income Partners investment team left Pequot Capital and re-established Energy Income Partners. Prior to founding Energy Income Partners, Mr. Murchie was a Portfolio Manager at Lawhill Capital Partners, LLC (“Lawhill Capital”), a long/short equity hedge fund investing in commodities and equities in the energy and basic industry sectors. Before Lawhill Capital, Mr. Murchie was a Managing Director at Tiger Management, LLC, where his primary responsibility was managing a portfolio of investments in commodities and related equities. Mr. Murchie was also a Principal at Sanford C. Bernstein. He began his career at British Petroleum, PLC. Mr. Murchie holds a BA in history and anthropology from Rice University and received his MA from Harvard University.
Eva Pao is a Co-Founder, Co-Portfolio Manager and Principal of Energy Income Partners. She is a Co-founder of Energy Income Partners since inception in 2003. From 2005 to mid-2006, Ms. Pao joined Pequot Capital Management during Energy Income Partners’ affiliation with Pequot. Prior to Harvard Business School, Ms. Pao was a Manager at Enron Corp where she managed a portfolio in Canadian oil and gas equities for Enron’s internal hedge fund that specialized in energy-related equities and managed a natural gas trading book. Ms. Pao received her undergraduate degree at Rice University and received her MBA from Harvard Business School.
John K. Tysseland is a Co-Portfolio Manager and Principal of Energy Income Partners. Prior to joining Energy Income Partners, Mr. Tysseland worked at Citi Research most currently serving as a Managing Director where he covered midstream energy companies and MLPs. From 1998 to 2005, he worked at Raymond James & Associates as a Vice President who covered the oilfield service industry and established the firm’s initial coverage of MLPs in 2001. Prior to that, he was an Equity Trader at Momentum Securities from 1997 to 1998 and an Assistant Executive Director at Sumar Enterprises from 1996 to 1997. Mr. Tysseland graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BA in economics.
For additional information concerning First Trust, the Sub-Advisor and the portfolio managers, including a description of the services provided to the Fund, see the Fund’s SAI. Additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities in the Fund is provided in the SAI.
Management Fee
Pursuant to an investment management agreement between First Trust and the Trust, on behalf of the Fund (the “Investment Management Agreement”), First Trust oversees Energy Income Partners’ management of the Fund’s assets and pays Energy Income Partners for its services as Sub-Advisor. First Trust is paid an annual unitary management fee by the Fund equal to [___]% of the Fund's average daily net assets and is responsible for the Fund's expenses, including the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other services, but excluding fee payments under the Investment Management Agreement, interest, taxes, acquired fund fees and expenses, if any, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, distribution and service fees payable pursuant to a Rule 12b-1 plan, if any, and extraordinary expenses.
A discussion regarding the Board’s approval of the Investment Management Agreement and Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement is available in the Fund's Annual Report to Shareholders for the fiscal year ended [__________].
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How to Buy and Sell Shares
Most investors buy and sell shares of the Fund in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on the secondary market on one or more national securities exchanges. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded shares. There is no minimum investment when buying shares on the Exchange. Although shares are generally purchased and sold in “round lots” of 100 shares, brokerage firms typically permit investors to purchase or sell shares in smaller “odd lots,” at no per-share price differential. When buying or selling shares through a broker, investors should expect to pay brokerage commissions, investors may receive less than the net asset value of the shares because shares are bought and sold at market prices rather than at net asset value, and investors may pay some or all of the bid-ask spread for each transaction (purchase or sale) of Fund shares. Share prices are reported in dollars and cents per share.
Under normal circumstances, the Fund will pay out redemption proceeds to a redeeming authorized participant within two days after the authorized participant’s redemption request is received, in accordance with the process set forth in the Fund’s SAI and in the agreement between the authorized participant and the Fund’s distributor. However, the Fund reserves the right, including under stressed market conditions, to take up to seven days after the receipt of a redemption request to pay an authorized participant, all as permitted by the 1940 Act. If the Fund has foreign investments in a country where a local market holiday, or series of consecutive holidays, or the extended delivery cycles for transferring foreign investments to redeeming authorized participants prevents the Fund from delivering such foreign investments to an authorized participant in response to a redemption request, the Fund may take up to 15 days after the receipt of the redemption request to deliver such investments to the authorized participant.
For purposes of the 1940 Act, the Fund is treated as a registered investment company, and the acquisition of shares by other registered investment companies and companies relying on Sections 3(c)(1) and 3(c)(7) of the 1940 Act is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act and the related rules and interpretations.
Book Entry
Shares are held in book-entry form, which means that no share certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all shares for all purposes.
Investors owning shares are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for all shares. Participants in DTC include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of share certificates or to have shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other stocks that you hold in book-entry or “street name” form.
Share Trading Prices
The trading price of shares of the Fund on the secondary market is based on market price and may differ from the Fund’s daily net asset value and can be affected by market forces of supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors.
Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of the Fund's Shares
The Fund imposes no restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions (“market timing”). In determining not to approve a written, established policy, the Board evaluated the risks of market timing activities by the Fund's shareholders. The Board considered that the Fund's shares can only be purchased and redeemed directly from the Fund in Creation Units by broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements (i.e., authorized participants (“APs”)) and that the vast majority of trading in the Fund's shares occurs on the secondary market. Because the secondary market trades do not involve the Fund directly, it is unlikely those trades would cause many of the harmful effects of market timing, including dilution, disruption of portfolio management, increases in the Fund's trading costs and the realization of capital gains. With respect to trades directly with the Fund, to the extent effected in-kind (i.e., for securities), those trades do not cause any of the harmful effects that may result from frequent cash trades. To the extent that the Fund may effect the purchase or redemption of Creation Units in exchange wholly or partially for cash, the Board noted that such trades could result in dilution to the Fund and increased transaction costs, which could negatively impact the Fund's ability to achieve its investment objective. However, the Board noted that direct trading by APs is critical to ensuring that the shares trade at or close to net asset value. In addition, the Fund imposes fixed and variable transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of
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Creation Units to cover the custodial and other costs incurred by the Fund in effecting trades. Finally, the Advisor monitors purchase and redemption orders from APs for patterns of abusive trading and the Fund reserves the right to not accept orders from APs that the Advisor has determined may be disruptive to the management of the Fund.
Dividends, Distributions and Taxes
Dividends from net investment income from the Fund, if any, are declared and paid quarterly by the Fund. The Fund distributes its net realized capital gains, if any, to shareholders at least annually.
Due to the tax treatment under current law of cash distributions made by MLPs in which the Fund invests, a portion of the distributions the Fund anticipates making may consist of tax-deferred return of capital. To the extent that distributions exceed such Fund’s earnings and profits, distributions are generally not treated as taxable income for the investor. Instead, Fund shareholders will experience a reduction in the basis of their shares, which may increase the capital gain or reduce capital loss, realized upon the sale of such shares. Thus, if the Fund’s capital was the source of a distribution and the payment amounted to a return of capital, the Fund would be required to provide a written notice to that effect. A “return of capital” represents a return on a shareholder’s original investment in the Fund, and should not be confused with a dividend from earnings and profits. Upon the sale of Fund shares, shareholders generally will recognize capital gain or loss measured by the difference between the sale proceeds received by the shareholder and the shareholder’s federal income tax basis in shares sold, as adjusted to reflect return of capital.
Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional whole shares only if the broker through whom you purchased shares makes such option available. Such shares will generally be reinvested by the broker based upon the market price of those shares and investors may be subject to customary brokerage commissions charged by the broker.
Federal Tax Matters
This section summarizes some of the main U.S. federal income tax consequences of owning shares of the Fund. This section is current as of the date of this prospectus. Tax laws and interpretations change frequently, and these summaries do not describe all of the tax consequences to all taxpayers. For example, these summaries generally do not describe your situation if you are a corporation, a non-U.S. person, a broker-dealer, or other investor with special circumstances. In addition, this section does not describe your state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences.
This federal income tax summary is based in part on the advice of counsel to the Fund. The Internal Revenue Service could disagree with any conclusions set forth in this section. In addition, counsel to the Fund may not have been asked to review, and may not have reached a conclusion with respect to, the federal income tax treatment of the assets to be included in the Fund. The following disclosure may not be sufficient for you to use for the purpose of avoiding penalties under federal tax law.
As with any investment, you should seek advice based on your individual circumstances from your own tax advisor.
Fund Status
The Fund intends to continue to qualify as a “regulated investment company” under the federal tax laws. If the Fund qualifies as a regulated investment company and distributes its income as required by the tax law, the Fund generally will not pay federal income taxes. An adverse federal income tax audit of a partnership that the Fund invests in could result in the Fund being required to pay federal income tax or pay a deficiency dividend (without having received additional cash).
Distributions
The Fund’s distributions are generally taxable. After the end of each year, you will receive a tax statement that separates the distributions of the Fund into two categories, ordinary income distributions and capital gain dividends. Ordinary income distributions are generally taxed at your ordinary tax rate, however, as further discussed below, certain ordinary income distributions received from the Fund may be taxed at the capital gains tax rates. Generally, you will treat all capital gain dividends as long-term capital gains regardless of how long you have owned your shares. To determine your actual tax liability for your capital gain dividends, you must calculate your total net capital gain or loss for the tax year after considering all of your other taxable transactions, as described below. In addition, the Fund may make distributions that represent a return of capital for tax purposes and thus will generally not be taxable to you; however, such distributions may reduce your tax basis in your shares, which could result in you having to pay higher taxes in the future when shares are sold, even if you sell the shares at a loss from your original investment. A "return of capital" is a return, in whole or in part, of the funds that you previously invested
24

in the Fund. A return of capital distribution should not be considered part of a Fund’s dividend yield or total return of an investment in Fund shares. The tax status of your distributions from the Fund is not affected by whether you reinvest your distributions in additional shares or receive them in cash. The income from the Fund that you must take into account for federal income tax purposes is not reduced by amounts used to pay a deferred sales fee, if any. The tax laws may require you to treat distributions made to you in January as if you had received them on December 31 of the previous year.
Income from the Fund may also be subject to a 3.8% “Medicare tax.” This tax generally applies to your net investment income if your adjusted gross income exceeds certain threshold amounts, which are $250,000 in the case of married couples filing joint returns and $200,000 in the case of single individuals.
Dividends Received Deduction
A corporation that owns shares generally will not be entitled to the dividends received deduction with respect to many dividends received from the Fund because the dividends received deduction is generally not available for distributions from regulated investment companies. However, certain ordinary income dividends on shares that are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund from certain corporations may be reported by the Fund as being eligible for the dividends received deduction.
Capital Gains and Losses and Certain Ordinary Income Dividends
If you are an individual, the maximum marginal stated federal tax rate for net capital gain is generally 20% (15% or 0% for taxpayers with taxable incomes below certain thresholds). Some capital gains, including some portion of your capital gain dividends may be taxed at a higher maximum stated tax rate. Some portion of your capital gain dividends may be attributable to the Fund’s interest in a master limited partnership which may be subject to a maximum marginal stated federal tax rate of 28%, rather than the rates set forth above. In the case of capital gain dividends, the determination of which portion of the capital gain dividend, if any, is subject to the 28% tax rate, will be made based on rules prescribed by the United States Treasury. Capital gains may also be subject to the Medicare tax described above.
Net capital gain equals net long-term capital gain minus net short-term capital loss for the taxable year. Capital gain or loss is long-term if the holding period for the asset is more than one year and is short-term if the holding period for the asset is one year or less. You must exclude the date you purchase your shares to determine your holding period. However, if you receive a capital gain dividend from the Fund and sell your share at a loss after holding it for six months or less, the loss will be recharacterized as long-term capital loss to the extent of the capital gain dividend received. The tax rates for capital gains realized from assets held for one year or less are generally the same as for ordinary income. The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, treats certain capital gains as ordinary income in special situations.
An election may be available to you to defer recognition of the gain attributable to a capital gain dividend if you make certain qualifying investments within a limited time. You should talk to your tax advisor about the availability of this deferral election and its requirements.
Ordinary income dividends received by an individual shareholder from a regulated investment company such as the Fund are generally taxed at the same rates that apply to net capital gain (as discussed above), provided certain holding period requirements are satisfied and provided the dividends are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund itself. The Fund will provide notice to its shareholders of the amount of any distribution which may be taken into account as a dividend which is eligible for the capital gains tax rates.
Sale of Shares
If you sell or redeem your shares, you will generally recognize a taxable gain or loss. To determine the amount of this gain or loss, you must subtract your tax basis in your shares from the amount you receive in the transaction. Your tax basis in your shares is generally equal to the cost of your shares, generally including sales charges. In some cases, however, you may have to adjust your tax basis after you purchase your shares. An election may be available to you to defer recognition of capital gain if you make certain qualifying investments within a limited time. You should talk to your tax advisor about the availability of this deferral election and its requirements.
Taxes on Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units
If you exchange securities for Creation Units you will generally recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and your aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the cash component paid. If you exchange Creation Units for securities, you will generally recognize a gain or loss equal
25

to the difference between your basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate market value of the securities received and the Cash Redemption Amount. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units or Creation Units for securities cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.
Treatment of Fund Expenses
Expenses incurred and deducted by the Fund will generally not be treated as income taxable to you.
Non-U.S. Tax Credit
Because the Fund may invest in non-U.S. securities, the tax statement that you receive may include an item showing non-U.S. taxes the Fund paid to other countries. In this case, dividends taxed to you will include your share of the taxes the Fund paid to other countries. You may be able to deduct or receive a tax credit for your share of these taxes.
Non-U.S. Investors
If you are a non-U.S. investor (i.e., an investor other than a U.S. citizen or resident or a U.S. corporation, partnership, estate or trust), you should be aware that, generally, subject to applicable tax treaties, distributions from the Fund will be characterized as dividends for federal income tax purposes (other than dividends which the Fund properly reports as capital gain dividends) and will be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, including withholding taxes, subject to certain exceptions described below. However, distributions received by a non-U.S. investor from the Fund that are properly reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends may not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, including withholding taxes, provided that the Fund makes certain elections and certain other conditions are met. Distributions from the Fund that are properly reported by the Fund as an interest-related dividend attributable to certain interest income received by the Fund or as a short-term capital gain dividend attributable to certain net short-term capital gain income received by the Fund may not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, including withholding taxes when received by certain non-U.S. investors, provided that the Fund makes certain elections and certain other conditions are met.
Distributions may be subject to a U.S. withholding tax of 30% in the case of distributions to (i) certain non-U.S. financial institutions that have not entered into an agreement with the U.S. Treasury to collect and disclose certain information and are not resident in a jurisdiction that has entered into such an agreement with the U.S. Treasury and (ii) certain other non-U.S. entities that do not provide certain certifications and information about the entity’s U.S. owners. This withholding tax is also currently scheduled to apply to the gross proceeds from the disposition of securities that produce U.S. source interest or dividends. However, proposed regulations may eliminate the requirement to withhold on payments of gross proceeds from dispositions.
Investments in Certain Non-U.S. Corporations
If the Fund holds an equity interest in any passive foreign investment companies, which are generally certain non-U.S. corporations that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, certain rents and royalties or capital gains) or that hold at least 50% of their assets in investments producing such passive income, the Fund could be subject to U.S. federal income tax and additional interest charges on gains and certain distributions with respect to those equity interests, even if all the income or gain is timely distributed to its shareholders. The Fund will not be able to pass through to its shareholders any credit or deduction for such taxes. The Fund may be able to make an election that could ameliorate these adverse tax consequences. In this case, the Fund would recognize as ordinary income any increase in the value of such passive foreign investment company shares, and as ordinary loss any decrease in such value to the extent it did not exceed prior increases included in income. Under this election, the Fund might be required to recognize in a year income in excess of its distributions from passive foreign investment companies and its proceeds from dispositions of passive foreign investment company stock during that year, and such income would nevertheless be subject to the distribution requirement and would be taken into account for purposes of the 4% excise tax. Dividends paid by passive foreign investment companies are not treated as qualified dividend income.
Distribution Plan
FTP serves as the distributor of Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. FTP does not maintain a secondary market in shares.
The Board has adopted a Distribution and Service Plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. In accordance with the Rule 12b-1 plan, the Fund is authorized to pay an amount up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year to reimburse
26

FTP for amounts expended to finance activities primarily intended to result in the sale of Creation Units or the provision of investor services. FTP may also use this amount to compensate securities dealers or other persons that are APs for providing distribution assistance, including broker-dealer and shareholder support and educational and promotional services.
The Fund does not currently pay 12b-1 fees, and pursuant to a contractual arrangement, the Fund will not pay 12b-1 fees any time before [________, 2023]. However, in the event 12b-1 fees are charged in the future, because these fees are paid out of the Fund's assets, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than certain other types of sales charges.
Net Asset Value
The Fund's net asset value is determined as of the close of trading (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time) on each day the New York Stock Exchange is open for business. Net asset value is calculated for the Fund by taking the market price of the Fund’s total assets, including interest or dividends accrued but not yet collected, less all liabilities, and dividing such amount by the total number of shares outstanding. The result, rounded to the nearest cent, is the net asset value per share. All valuations are subject to review by the Board or its delegate.
The Fund’s investments are valued daily in accordance with valuation procedures adopted by the Board, and in accordance with provisions of the 1940 Act. Certain securities in which the Fund may invest are not listed on any securities exchange or board of trade. Such securities are typically bought and sold by institutional investors in individually negotiated private transactions that function in many respects like an over the counter secondary market, although typically no formal market makers exist. Certain securities, particularly debt securities, have few or no trades, or trade infrequently, and information regarding a specific security may not be widely available or may be incomplete. Accordingly, determinations of the fair value of debt securities may be based on infrequent and dated information. Because there is less reliable, objective data available, elements of judgment may play a greater role in valuation of debt securities than for other types of securities. Typically, debt securities are valued using information provided by a third-party pricing service. The third-party pricing service primarily uses broker quotes to value the securities.
The Fund's investments are valued daily at market value or, in the absence of market value with respect to any portfolio securities, at fair value, in accordance with valuation procedures adopted by the Board and in accordance with the 1940 Act. Portfolio securities listed on any exchange other than The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) and the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (“AIM”) are valued at the last sale price on the business day as of which such value is being determined. Securities listed on Nasdaq or the AIM are valued at the official closing price on the business day as of which such value is being determined. If there has been no sale on such day, or no official closing price in the case of securities traded on Nasdaq or the AIM, the securities are fair valued at the mean of the most recent bid and ask prices on such day. Portfolio securities traded on more than one securities exchange are valued at the last sale price or official closing price, as applicable, on the business day as of which such value is being determined at the close of the exchange representing the principal market for such securities. Portfolio securities traded in the over-the-counter market, but excluding securities trading on Nasdaq or the AIM, are fair valued at the mean of the most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at the closing bid price. Short-term investments that mature in less than 60 days when purchased are fair valued at cost adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discount, provided the Advisor’s Pricing Committee has determined that the use of amortized cost is an appropriate reflection of fair value given market and issuer-specific conditions existing at the time of the determination. Net asset value may change on days when investors may not sell or redeem Fund shares.
Certain securities may not be able to be priced by pre-established pricing methods. Such securities may be valued by the Board or its delegate, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee, at fair value. The use of fair value pricing by the Fund is governed by valuation procedures adopted by the Board and in accordance with the provisions of the 1940 Act. These securities generally include, but are not limited to, certain restricted securities (securities which may not be publicly sold without registration under the Securities Act) for which a pricing service is unable to provide a market price; securities whose trading has been formally suspended; a security whose market or fair value price is not available from a pre-established pricing source; a security with respect to which an event has occurred that is likely to materially affect the value of the security after the market has closed but before the calculation of the Fund's net asset value or make it difficult or impossible to obtain a reliable market quotation; and a security whose price, as provided by the pricing service, does not, in the opinion of the Advisor's Pricing Committee, reflect the security’s “fair value.” As a general principle, the current “fair value” of a security would appear to be the amount which the owner might reasonably expect to receive for the security upon its current sale. When fair value prices are used, generally they will differ from the current market valuations. See the Fund's SAI for details.
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Because foreign securities exchanges may be open on different days than the days during which an investor may purchase or sell shares of the Fund, the value of the Fund's securities may change on days when investors are not able to purchase or sell shares of the Fund. The value of securities denominated in foreign currencies is converted into U.S. dollars at the exchange rates in effect at the time of valuation.
Fund Service Providers
The Bank of New York Mellon, 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286, acts as the administrator, custodian and fund accounting and transfer agent for the Fund. Chapman and Cutler LLP, 320 S. Canal St., Chicago, Illinois 60606, serves as legal counsel to the Fund.
Premium/Discount Information
Information showing the number of days the market price of the Fund's shares was greater (at a premium) and less (at a discount) than the Fund's net asset value for the most recently completed year, and the most recently completed calendar quarters since that year (or life of the Fund, if shorter), is available at https://www.ftportfolios.com/Retail/etf/home.aspx.
Financial Highlights
The Fund is new and has no performance history as of the date of this prospectus. Financial information therefore is not available.
Other Information
Continuous Offering
The Fund issues, on a continuous offering basis, its shares in one or more groups of a fixed number of Fund shares (each such group of such specified number of individual Fund shares, a “Creation Unit Aggregation”). The method by which Creation Unit Aggregations of Fund shares are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Unit Aggregations of shares are issued and sold by the Fund on an ongoing basis, a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act, may occur at any point. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery requirement and liability provisions of the Securities Act.
For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Unit Aggregations after placing an order with FTP, breaks them down into constituent shares and sells such shares directly to customers, or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker-dealer or its client in the particular case, and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to a characterization as an underwriter.
Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of shares, are generally required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. As a result, broker-dealer firms should note that dealers who are not underwriters but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with the shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to shares are reminded that, under the Securities Act Rule 153, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to a broker-dealer in connection with a sale on the Exchange is satisfied by the fact that the prospectus is available from the Exchange upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is available with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange, a trading facility or an alternative trading system.
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First Trust
Exchange-Traded Fund IV


FT Energy Income Partners Strategy ETF
For More Information
For more detailed information on the Fund, several additional sources of information are available to you. The SAI, incorporated by reference into this prospectus, contains detailed information on the Fund's policies and operation. Additional information about the Fund's investments is available in the annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund's annual report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly impacted the Fund's performance during the last fiscal year. The Fund's most recent SAI, annual and semi-annual reports and certain other information are available free of charge by calling the Fund at (800) 621-1675, on the Fund's website at www.ftportfolios.com or through your financial advisor. Shareholders may call the toll-free number above with any inquiries.
You may obtain this and other information regarding the Fund, including the SAI and the Codes of Ethics adopted by First Trust, FTP and the Trust, directly from the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Information on the SEC’s website is free of charge. Visit the SEC’s online EDGAR database at www.sec.gov. You may also request information regarding the Fund by sending a request (along with a duplication fee) to the SEC by sending an electronic request to [email protected]
First Trust Advisors L.P.
120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400
Wheaton, Illinois 60187
(800) 621-1675
www.ftportfolios.com
SEC File #: 333-174332
811-22559

 

 
 

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Investment Company Act File No. 811-22559
First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV
Preliminary Statement of Additional Information
Dated August 8, 2022
Subject to Completion
FUND NAME
TICKER SYMBOL
EXCHANGE
FT Energy Income Partners Strategy ETF
____
NYSE Arca
DATED ________, 2022
This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the prospectus dated _______, 2022, as it may be revised from time to time (the “Prospectus”), for FT Energy Income Partners Strategy ETF (the “Fund”), a series of the First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV (the “Trust”). Capitalized terms used herein that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted. A copy of the Prospectus may be obtained without charge by writing to the Trust’s distributor, First Trust Portfolios L.P., 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, or by calling toll free at (800) 621-1675.
The information in this Statement of Additional Information is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Statement of Additional Information is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer of sale is not permitted.

General Description of the Trust and the Fund
The Trust was organized as a Massachusetts business trust on September 15, 2010 and is authorized to issue an unlimited number of shares in one or more series. The Trust is an open-end management investment company, registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Trust currently offers shares in __ series. This SAI relates to the Fund, which is a non-diversified series.
The Fund, as a series of the Trust, represents a beneficial interest in a separate portfolio of securities and other assets, with its own objective and policies.
The Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board,”“Board of Trustees” or “Trustees”) has the right to establish additional series in the future, to determine the preferences, voting powers, rights and privileges thereof and to modify such preferences, voting powers, rights and privileges without shareholder approval. Shares of any series may also be divided into one or more classes at the discretion of the Trustees.
The Trust or any series or class thereof may be terminated at any time by the Board of Trustees upon written notice to the shareholders.
Each share has one vote with respect to matters upon which a shareholder vote is required, consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. Shares of all series of the Trust vote together as a single class except as otherwise required by the 1940 Act, or if the matter being voted on affects only a particular series, and, if a matter affects a particular series differently from other series, the share of that series will vote separately on such matter. The Trust’s Declaration of Trust (the “Declaration”) requires a shareholder vote only on those matters where the 1940 Act requires a vote of shareholders and otherwise permits the Trustees to take actions without seeking the consent of shareholders. For example, the Declaration gives the Trustee broad authority to approve reorganizations between the Fund and another entity, such as another exchange-traded fund, or the sale of all or substantially all of the Fund’s assets, or the termination of the Trust or the Fund without shareholder approval if the 1940 Act would not require such approval.
The Declaration provides that by becoming a shareholder of the Fund, each shareholder shall be expressly held to have agreed to be bound by the provisions of the Declaration and to any By-laws adopted by the Trust. The Declaration provides that, except as set forth therein and authorized by the Trustees, shareholders have no rights, privileges, claims or remedies under any contract or agreement entered into by the Trust or the Fund with any service provider or other agent to or contractor with the Trust or the Fund including, without limitation, any third party beneficiary rights.
The Declaration may, except in limited circumstances, be amended by the Trustees in any respect without a shareholder vote. The Declaration provides that the Trustees may establish the number of Trustees and that vacancies on the Board of Trustees may be filled by the remaining Trustees, except when election of Trustees by the shareholders is required under the 1940 Act. Trustees are then elected by a plurality of votes cast by shareholders at a meeting at which a quorum is present.
The Declaration also provides that Trustees may be removed, with or without cause, by a vote of shareholders holding at least two-thirds of the voting power of the Trust, or by a vote of two-thirds of the remaining Trustees. The provisions of the Declaration relating to the election and removal of Trustees may not be amended without the approval of two-thirds of the Trustees.
The holders of Fund shares are required to disclose information on direct or indirect ownership of Fund shares as may be required to comply with various laws applicable to the Fund or as the Trustees may determine, and ownership of Fund shares may be disclosed by the Fund if so required by law or regulation. In addition, pursuant to the Declaration, the Trustees may, in their discretion, require the Trust to redeem shares held by any shareholder for any reason under terms set by the Trustees.
The Declaration provides a detailed process for the bringing of derivative actions by shareholders in order to permit legitimate inquiries and claims while avoiding the time, expense, distraction and other harm that can be caused to the Fund or its shareholders as a result of spurious shareholder demands and derivative actions. In addition, the Declaration provides that actions that are derivative in nature may not be brought directly. Prior to bringing a derivative action, a demand must first be made on the Trustees. The Declaration details various information, certifications, undertakings and acknowledgements that must be included in the demand. Following receipt of the demand, the Trustees have a period of 90 days, which may be extended by an additional 60 days, to consider the demand. If a majority of the Trustees who are considered independent for the purposes of considering the demand determine that maintaining the suit would not be in the best interests of the Fund, the Trustees are required to reject the demand and the complaining shareholder may not proceed with the derivative
1

action unless the shareholder is able to sustain the burden of proof to a court that the decision of the Trustees not to pursue the requested action was not a good faith exercise of their business judgment on behalf of the Fund. In making such a determination, a Trustee is not considered to have a personal financial interest by virtue of being compensated for his or her services as a Trustee. If a demand is rejected, the complaining shareholder will be responsible for the costs and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) incurred by the Fund in connection with the consideration of the demand under a number of circumstances. In addition, if a court determines that a derivative action was made without reasonable cause or for an improper purpose, or if a derivative or direct action is dismissed on the basis of a failure to comply with the procedural provisions relating to shareholder actions as set forth in the Declaration, or if a direct action is dismissed by a court for failure to state a claim, the shareholder bringing the action may be responsible for the Fund’s costs, including attorneys’ fees.
The provisions of the Declaration provide that any direct or derivative action commenced by a shareholder must be brought only in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Boston Division) or if any such action may not be brought in that court, then in the Business Litigation Session of Suffolk Superior Court in Massachusetts (the “Chosen Courts”). Except as prohibited by applicable law, if a shareholder commences an applicable action in a court other than a Chosen Court without the consent of the Fund, then such shareholder may be obligated to reimburse the Fund and any applicable Trustee or officer of the Fund made party to such proceeding for the costs and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) incurred in connection with any successful motion to dismiss, stay or transfer of the action. The Declaration also provides that any shareholder bringing an action against the Fund waives the right to trial by jury to the fullest extent permitted by law.
The Trust is not required to and does not intend to hold annual meetings of shareholders.
Under Massachusetts law applicable to Massachusetts business trusts, shareholders of such a trust may, under certain circumstances, be held personally liable as partners for its obligations. However, the Declaration contains an express disclaimer of shareholder liability for acts or obligations of the Trust and requires that notice of this disclaimer be given in each agreement, obligation or instrument entered into or executed by the Trust or the Trustees. The Declaration further provides for indemnification out of the assets and property of the Trust for all losses and expenses of any shareholder held personally liable for the obligations of the Trust. Thus, the risk of a shareholder incurring financial loss on account of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances in which both inadequate insurance existed and the Trust or the Fund itself was unable to meet its obligations.
The Declaration further provides that a Trustee acting in his or her capacity as Trustee is not personally liable to any person other than the Trust, for any act, omission, or obligation of the Trust. The Declaration requires the Trust to indemnify any persons who are or who have been Trustees, officers or employees of the Trust for any liability for actions or failure to act except to the extent prohibited by applicable federal law. In making any determination as to whether any person is entitled to the advancement of expenses in connection with a claim for which indemnification is sought, such person is entitled to a rebuttable presumption that he or she did not engage in conduct for which indemnification is not available. The Declaration provides that any Trustee who serves as chair of the Board of Trustees or of a committee of the Board of Trustees, as lead independent Trustee or as audit committee financial expert, or in any other similar capacity will not be subject to any greater standard of care or liability because of such position.
The Declaration further provides that no provision of the Declaration will restrict any shareholder rights expressly granted by the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended or the 1940 Act, or any rule, regulation or order of the Securities Exchange Commission thereunder.
The Fund is advised by First Trust Advisors L.P. (the “Advisor” or “First Trust”). The sub-advisor to the Fund is Energy Income Partners, LLC (“EIP” or the “Sub-Advisor”).
The shares of the Fund are principally listed and traded on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca” or the “Exchange”). ETFs, such as the Fund, do not sell or redeem individual shares of the Fund. Instead, financial entities known as “Authorized Participants” (which are defined and discussed in greater detail below) that have contractual arrangements with the Fund or the Distributor to purchase and redeem Fund shares directly with the Fund in large blocks of shares known as “Creation Units.” An Authorized Participant that purchases a Creation Unit of Fund shares deposits with the Fund a “basket” of securities, cash and/or other assets identified by the Fund that day, and then receives the Creation Unit of Fund shares in return for those assets. The redemption process is the reverse of the purchase process: the Authorized Participant redeems a Creation Unit of Fund shares for a basket of securities, cash and/or other assets. The basket is generally representative of the Fund’s portfolio, and together with a cash balancing amount, it is equal to the NAV of the Fund shares comprising the Creation Unit. Pursuant to Rule 6c-11 of the 1940 Act, the Fund may utilize baskets that are not representative of the Fund’s portfolio. Such “custom baskets” are discussed in the section entitled “Creation and Redemption of Creation Units.”
2

Fund shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Fund cash at least equal to 115% of the market value of the missing Deposit Securities. See the section entitled “Creation and Redemption of Creation Units.” In each instance of such cash creations or redemptions, transaction fees may be imposed that will be higher than the transaction fees associated with in-kind creations or redemptions. In all cases, such fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities.
Exchange Listing and Trading
There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of shares of the Fund will continue to be met. The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the shares of the Fund from listing if (i) following the initial 12-month period beginning at the commencement of trading of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial owners of the shares of the Fund for 30 or more consecutive trading days; or (ii) such other event shall occur or condition exist that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. The Exchange will remove the shares of the Fund from listing and trading upon termination of the Fund.
As in the case of other stocks traded on the Exchange, brokers’ commissions on transactions will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels.
The Fund reserves the right to adjust the price levels of shares in the future to help maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of the Fund.
Investment Objective and Policies
The Prospectus describes the investment objective and certain policies of the Fund. The following supplements the information contained in the Prospectus concerning the investment objective and policies of the Fund.
The Fund is subject to the following fundamental policies, which may not be changed without approval of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund:
(1)
The Fund may not issue senior securities, except as permitted under the 1940 Act.
(2)
The Fund may not borrow money, except that the Fund may (i) borrow money from banks for temporary or emergency purposes (but not for leverage or the purchase of investments) and (ii) engage in other transactions permissible under the 1940 Act that may involve a borrowing (such as obtaining short-term credits as are necessary for the clearance of transactions, engaging in delayed-delivery transactions, or purchasing certain futures, forward contracts and options), provided that the combination of (i) and (ii) shall not exceed 33⅓% of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the amount borrowed), less the Fund’s liabilities (other than borrowings).
(3)
The Fund will not underwrite the securities of other issuers except to the extent the Fund may be considered an underwriter under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”), in connection with the purchase and sale of portfolio securities.
(4)
The Fund will not purchase or sell real estate or interests therein, unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments (but this shall not prohibit the Fund from purchasing or selling securities or other instruments backed by real estate or of issuers engaged in real estate activities).
(5)
The Fund may not make loans to other persons, except through (i) the purchase of debt securities permissible under the Fund’s investment policies, (ii) repurchase agreements, or (iii) the lending of portfolio securities, provided that no such loan of portfolio securities may be made by the Fund if, as a result, the aggregate of such loans would exceed 33⅓% of the value of the Fund’s total assets.
(6)
The Fund may not purchase or sell physical commodities unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments (but this shall not prevent the Fund from purchasing or selling options, futures contracts, forward contracts or other derivative instruments, or from investing in securities or other instruments backed by physical commodities).
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(7)
The Fund may not invest 25% or more of the value of its total assets in securities of issuers in any one industry or group of industries except that the Fund will concentrate its assets in any of the group of industries constituting the energy sector. This restriction does not apply to obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities.
For purposes of applying restriction (1) above, under the 1940 Act as currently in effect, the Fund is not permitted to issue senior securities, except that the Fund may borrow from any bank if immediately after such borrowing and at all times thereafter, the value of the Fund’s total assets is at least 300% of the principal amount of all of the Fund’s borrowings (i.e., the principal amount of the borrowings may not exceed 33⅓% of the Fund’s total assets). In the event that such asset coverage shall at any time fall below 300% the Fund shall, within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays), reduce the amount of its borrowings to an extent that the asset coverage of such borrowings shall be at least 300%.
Except for restriction (2) above, if a percentage restriction is adhered to at the time of investment, a later increase in percentage resulting from a change in market value of the investment or the total assets will not constitute a violation of that restriction. With respect to restriction (2), if the limitations are exceeded as a result of a change in market value then the Fund will reduce the amount of borrowings within three days thereafter to the extent necessary to comply with the limitations (not including Sundays and holidays).
The fundamental investment limitations set forth above limit the Fund’s ability to engage in certain investment practices and purchase securities or other instruments to the extent permitted by, or consistent with, applicable law. As such, these limitations will change as the statute, rules, regulations or orders (or, if applicable, interpretations) change, and no shareholder vote will be required or sought.
The Fund’s investment objective and the foregoing fundamental policies of the Fund may not be changed without the affirmative vote of the majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund. The 1940 Act defines a majority vote as the vote of the lesser of (i) 67% or more of the voting securities represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of the outstanding securities are represented; or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities. With respect to the submission of a change in an investment policy to the holders of outstanding voting securities of the Fund, such matter shall be deemed to have been effectively acted upon with respect to the Fund if a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund vote for the approval of such matter, notwithstanding that such matter has not been approved by the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of any other series of the Trust affected by such matter.
In addition to the foregoing fundamental policies, the Fund is also subject to strategies and policies discussed herein which, unless otherwise noted, are non-fundamental restrictions and policies and may be changed by the Board of Trustees.
Investment Strategies
The following information supplements the discussion of the Fund’s investment objective, policies and strategies that appears in the Prospectus.
Under normal market conditions, the Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in a portfolio of equity securities in the energy, utility, electric power, industrial and materials sectors. The portfolio will consist of companies in the energy industry that include enterprises connected to the exploration, development, production, gathering, transportation, processing, storing, refining, distribution, mining or marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids (including propane), crude oil, refined petroleum products, petrochemicals, electricity, coal or other energy sources, including renewable energy and other enterprises that derive the majority of their earnings from manufacturing, operating or providing services in support of energy assets and/or energy activities such as renewable energy equipment, energy storage, carbon capture and sequestration, fugitive methane abatement, energy transmission and distribution equipment, and utility companies selected by EIP. These companies may include publicly-traded master limited partnerships or limited liability companies taxed as partnerships (“MLPs”), MLP affiliates and energy infrastructure real estate investment trusts (“REITs”).
Types of Investments
Depositary Receipts. The Fund may invest in securities of foreign issuers in the form of sponsored or unsponsored American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) or other depositary receipts (collectively “Depositary Receipts”). ADRs and ADSs are Depositary Receipts normally issued by a U.S. bank or trust company that evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. EDRs and GDRs are typically issued by foreign banks or trust companies, although they also may be issued by
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U.S. banks or trust companies, and evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by either a foreign or a U.S. corporation. Generally, Depositary Receipts in registered form are designed for use in the U.S. securities market. Depositary Receipts in bearer form are designed for use in securities markets outside the United States. Depositary Receipts may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted. Ownership of unsponsored Depositary Receipts may not entitle a Fund to financial or other reports from the issuer of the underlying security, to which it would be entitled as the owner of sponsored Depositary Receipts. The issuers of unsponsored Depositary Receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States; therefore, there may less information available regarding such issuers and there may not be a correlation between such information and the market of the value of the Depositary Receipts.
Derivatives. The Fund may invest in bond index and equity index futures, options, futures, forward contracts, swaps and other derivative instruments to seek to enhance return, to hedge some of the risks of its investments in securities, as a substitute for a position in the underlying asset, to reduce transaction costs, to maintain full market exposure (which means to adjust the characteristics of its investments to more closely approximate those of the markets in which it invests), to manage cash flows, to limit exposure to losses due to changes to non U.S. currency exchange rates or to preserve capital.
Equities. Equity securities represent an ownership position in a company. The prices of equity securities fluctuate based on, among other things, events specific to their issuers and market, economic and other conditions. Equity securities may include common and preferred stocks. Common stocks include the common stock of any class or series of a domestic or foreign corporation or any similar equity interest, such as a trust or partnership interest. These investments may or may not pay dividends and may or may not carry voting rights. Common stock occupies the most junior position in a company’s capital structure. The Fund may also invest in warrants and rights related to common stocks.
The Fund will also invest in preferred equity securities. Preferred stock, unlike common stock, offers a stated dividend rate payable from the issuer’s earnings. Preferred stock dividends may be cumulative or non-cumulative, participating or action rate. If interest rates rise, the fixed dividend on preferred stocks may be less attractive, causing the price of preferred stocks to decline. Preferred stock may have mandatory sinking fund provisions, as well as call/redemption provisions prior to maturity, a negative feature when interest rates decline.
Fixed Income Investments and Cash Equivalents. Normally, the Fund invests substantially all of its assets to meet its investment objectives. However, for temporary or defensive purposes, the Fund may invest in fixed income investments and cash equivalents in order to provide income, liquidity and preserve capital.
Fixed income investments and cash equivalents held by the Fund may include, without limitation, the types of investments set forth below.
(1)
The Fund may invest in U.S. government securities, including bills, notes and bonds differing as to maturity and rates of interest, which are either issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or by U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities. U.S. government securities include securities that are issued or guaranteed by the United States Treasury, by various agencies of the U.S. government, or by various instrumentalities that have been established or sponsored by the U.S. government. U.S. Treasury securities are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the United States. Securities issued or guaranteed by federal agencies and U.S. government-sponsored instrumentalities may or may not be backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Some of the U.S. government agencies that issue or guarantee securities include the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Farmers Home Administration, the Federal Housing Administration, the Maritime Administration, the Small Business Administration and The Tennessee Valley Authority. An instrumentality of the U.S. government is a government agency organized under federal charter with government supervision. Instrumentalities issuing or guaranteeing securities include, among others, the Federal Home Loan Banks, the Federal Land Banks, the Central Bank for Cooperatives, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks and FNMA. In the case of those U.S. government securities not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, the investor must look principally to the agency or instrumentality issuing or guaranteeing the security for ultimate repayment, and may not be able to assert a claim against the United States itself in the event that the agency or instrumentality does not meet its commitment. The U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities do not guarantee the market value of their securities, and consequently, the value of such securities may fluctuate. In addition, the Fund may invest in sovereign debt obligations of non-U.S. countries. A sovereign debtor’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest in a timely manner may be affected by a number of factors, including its cash flow situation, the extent of its non-U.S. reserves, the availability of sufficient non-U.S. exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy toward principal international lenders and the political constraints to which it may be subject.
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(2)
The Fund may invest in certificates of deposit issued against funds deposited in a bank or savings and loan association. Such certificates are for a definite period of time, earn a specified rate of return, and are normally negotiable. If such certificates of deposit are non-negotiable, they will be considered illiquid securities and be subject to the Fund’s 15% restriction on investments in illiquid securities. Pursuant to the certificate of deposit, the issuer agrees to pay the amount deposited plus interest to the bearer of the certificate on the date specified thereon. Under current FDIC regulations, the maximum insurance payable as to any one certificate of deposit is $250,000; therefore, certificates of deposit purchased by the Fund may not be fully insured. The Fund may only invest in certificates of deposit issued by U.S. banks with at least $1 billion in assets.
(3)
The Fund may invest in bankers’ acceptances, which are short-term credit instruments used to finance commercial transactions. Generally, an acceptance is a time draft drawn on a bank by an exporter or an importer to obtain a stated amount of funds to pay for specific merchandise. The draft is then “accepted” by a bank that, in effect, unconditionally guarantees to pay the face value of the instrument on its maturity date. The acceptance may then be held by the accepting bank as an asset or it may be sold in the secondary market at the going rate of interest for a specific maturity.
(4)
The Fund may invest in repurchase agreements, which involve purchases of debt securities with counterparties that are deemed by the Advisor to present acceptable credit risks. In such an action, at the time the Fund purchases the security, it simultaneously agrees to resell and redeliver the security to the seller, who also simultaneously agrees to buy back the security at a fixed price and time. This assures a predetermined yield for the Fund during its holding period since the resale price is always greater than the purchase price and reflects an agreed-upon market rate. Such actions afford an opportunity for the Fund to invest temporarily available cash. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements only with respect to obligations of the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities, certificates of deposit, or bankers’ acceptances in which the Fund may invest. Repurchase agreements may be considered loans to the seller, collateralized by the underlying securities. The risk to the Fund is limited to the ability of the seller to pay the agreed-upon sum on the repurchase date; in the event of default, the repurchase agreement provides that the Fund is entitled to sell the underlying collateral. If the value of the collateral declines after the agreement is entered into, however, and if the seller defaults under a repurchase agreement when the value of the underlying collateral is less than the repurchase price, the Fund could incur a loss of both principal and interest. The portfolio managers monitor the value of the collateral at the time the action is entered into and at all times during the term of the repurchase agreement. The portfolio managers do so in an effort to determine that the value of the collateral always equals or exceeds the agreed-upon repurchase price to be paid to the Fund. If the seller were to be subject to a federal bankruptcy proceeding, the ability of the Fund to liquidate the collateral could be delayed or impaired because of certain provisions of the bankruptcy laws.
(5)
The Fund may invest in bank time deposits, which are monies kept on deposit with banks or savings and loan associations for a stated period of time at a fixed rate of interest. There may be penalties for the early withdrawal of such time deposits, in which case the yields of these investments will be reduced.
(6)
The Fund may invest in commercial paper, which are short-term unsecured promissory notes, including variable rate master demand notes issued by corporations to finance their current operations. Master demand notes are direct lending arrangements between the Fund and a corporation. There is no secondary market for the notes. However, they are redeemable by the Fund at any time. The Fund’s portfolio managers will consider the financial condition of the corporation (e.g., earning power, cash flow and other liquidity ratios) and will continuously monitor the corporation’s ability to meet all of its financial obligations, because the Fund’s liquidity might be impaired if the corporation were unable to pay principal and interest on demand. The Fund may invest in commercial paper only if it has received the highest rating from at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization or, if unrated, judged by First Trust to be of comparable quality.
(7)
The Fund may invest in shares of money market funds, as consistent with its investment objectives and policies. Shares of money market funds are subject to management fees and other expenses of those funds. Therefore, investments in money market funds will cause the Fund to bear proportionately the costs incurred by the money market funds’ operations. At the same time, the Fund will continue to pay its own management fees and expenses with respect to all of its assets, including any portion invested in the shares of other investment companies. It is possible for the Fund to lose money by investing in money market funds.
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Illiquid Investments. The Fund may invest in illiquid investments (i.e., any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment). For purposes of this restriction, illiquid investments may include, but are not limited to, certain restricted securities (securities the disposition of which is restricted under the federal securities laws), securities that may only be resold pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act, and repurchase agreements with maturities in excess of seven days, among others. However, the Fund will not acquire illiquid investments if, as a result, such securities would comprise more than 15% of the value of the Fund’s net assets. The Advisor, subject to oversight by the Board of Trustees, has the ultimate authority to determine, to the extent permissible under the federal securities laws, which securities are liquid or illiquid for purposes of this 15% limitation under the Fund’s liquidity risk management program, adopted pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act.
Restricted securities may be sold only in privately negotiated transactions or in a public offering with respect to which a registration statement is in effect under the 1933 Act. Where registration is required, the Fund may be obligated to pay all or part of the registration expenses and a considerable period may elapse between the time of the decision to sell and the time the Fund may be permitted to sell a security under an effective registration statement. If, during such a period, adverse market conditions were to develop, the Fund might obtain a less favorable price than that which prevailed when it decided to sell. Illiquid investments will be priced at fair value as determined in good faith under procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees. If, through the appreciation of illiquid investments or the depreciation of liquid securities, the Fund should be in a position where more than 15% of the value of its net assets are invested in illiquid investments, including restricted securities which are not readily marketable, the Advisor will report such occurrence to the Board of Trustees and take such steps as are deemed advisable to protect liquidity in accordance with the Fund’s liquidity risk management program.
Master Limited Partnerships. Much of the opportunities in higher payout energy infrastructure are in the form of MLPs. The Sub-Advisors believe that this investment opportunity is difficult for many large investors to take advantage of, which has left these securities largely in the hands of retail investors. Non-taxable investors, such as pension funds and endowments, have not historically owned significant portions of these securities because MLPs can generate a substantial amount of "unrelated business taxable income," or UBTI, which can be disadvantageous to such institutions. In addition, for tax years beginning on or before October 22, 2004, MLPs represented non-qualifying income for mutual funds. Prior to the rapid growth of these asset classes over the last few years, MLPs were considered too small for most large investor allocations. As a result, the Sub-Advisors believe the combination of the lack of institutional investment and the growth in size of these asset classes has made this an attractive investment universe. For purposes of this SAI, a MLP is a limited partnership or a limited liability company that is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, the interests in which (known as units) are traded on securities exchanges or over-the-counter.
Non-U.S. Investments. Non-U.S. securities include securities issued or guaranteed by companies organized under the laws of countries other than the United States (including emerging markets), securities issued or guaranteed by foreign, national, provincial, state, municipal or other governments with taxing authority or by their agencies or instrumentalities and debt obligations of supranational governmental entities such as the World Bank or European Union. Non-U.S. securities may also include U.S. dollar-denominated debt obligations, such as “Yankee Dollar” obligations, of foreign issuers and of supra-national government entities. Yankee Dollar obligations are U.S. dollar-denominated obligations issued in the U.S. capital markets by foreign corporations, banks and governments. Foreign securities also may be traded on foreign securities exchanges or in over-the-counter (“OTC”) capital markets.
Certain of the Fund’s investment in foreign securities may be denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. To the extent the Fund invests in such instruments, the value of the assets of the Fund as measured in U.S. dollars will be affected by changes in exchange rates. Generally, the Fund’s currency exchange transactions will be conducted on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the spot rate prevailing in the currency exchange market. The cost of the Fund’s currency exchange transactions will generally be the difference between the bid and offer spot rate of the currency being purchased or sold. In order to protect against uncertainty in the level of future currency exchange rates, the Fund is authorized to enter into various currency exchange transactions.
Real Estate Investment Trusts.  Real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) are typically publicly traded corporations or trusts that invest in residential or commercial real estate. REITs generally can be divided into the following three types: (i) equity REITs which invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive their income primarily from rents and capital gains or real estate appreciation; (ii) mortgage REITs which invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgage loans and derive their income primarily from interest payments; and (iii) hybrid REITs which combine the characteristics of equity REITs and mortgage REITs.
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Warrants. Warrants acquired by the Fund entitle it to buy common stock from the issuer at a specified price and time. They do not represent ownership of the securities but only the right to buy them. Warrants are subject to the same market risks as stocks, but may be more volatile in price. The Fund’s investment in warrants will not entitle it to receive dividends or exercise voting rights and will become worthless if the warrants cannot be profitably exercised before their expiration date.
Hedging Strategies
General Description of Hedging Strategies
The Fund may engage in hedging activities or other investments in derivative instruments, as described above. The Fund may utilize a variety of financial instruments, including bond index and equity index futures, options, futures, forward contracts and swaps to attempt to hedge the Fund’s holdings.
Hedging or derivative instruments on securities generally are used to hedge against price movements in one or more particular securities positions that the Fund owns or intends to acquire. Such instruments may also be used to “lock-in” realized but unrecognized gains in the value of portfolio securities. Hedging instruments on stock indices, in contrast, generally are used to hedge against price movements in broad market sectors in which the Fund has invested or expects to invest. Hedging strategies, if successful, can reduce the risk of loss by wholly or partially offsetting the negative effect of unfavorable price movements in the investments being hedged. However, hedging strategies can also reduce the opportunity for gain by offsetting the positive effect of favorable price movements in the hedged investments. The use of hedging instruments is subject to applicable regulations of the SEC, the several options and futures exchanges upon which they are traded, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) and various state regulatory authorities. In addition, the Fund’s ability to use hedging instruments may be limited by tax considerations.
General Limitations on Futures and Options Transactions
The Fund limits its direct investments in futures, options on futures and swaps to the extent necessary for First Trust to claim the exclusion from regulation as a “commodity pool operator” with respect to the Fund under CFTC Rule 4.5, as such rule may be amended from time to time. Under Rule 4.5 as currently in effect, the Fund limits its trading activity in futures, options on futures and swaps (excluding activity for “bona fide hedging purposes,” as defined by the CFTC) such that it meets one of the following tests: (i) aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish its futures, options on futures and swap positions do not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio, after taking into account unrealized profits and losses on such positions; or (ii) aggregate net notional value of its futures, options on futures and swap positions does not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio, after taking into account unrealized profits and losses on such positions.
First Trust has filed a notice of eligibility for exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” with respect to the Fund with the National Futures Association, the futures industry’s self-regulatory organization. If First Trust were no longer able to claim the exclusion for the Fund, First Trust would be required to register as a “commodity pool operator,” and the Fund and First Trust would be subject to regulation under the Commodity Exchange Act (the “CEA”).
The foregoing limitations are non-fundamental policies of the Fund and may be changed without shareholder approval as regulatory agencies permit.
Asset Coverage for Futures and Options Positions
The Fund will comply with the regulatory requirements of the SEC and the CFTC with respect to coverage of options and futures positions by registered investment companies and, if the guidelines so require, will earmark or set aside cash, U.S. government securities, high grade liquid debt securities and/or other liquid assets permitted by the SEC and CFTC in a segregated custodial account in the amount prescribed. Securities earmarked or held in a segregated account cannot be sold while the futures or options position is outstanding, unless replaced with other permissible assets, and will be marked-to-market daily.
Stock Index Options
The Fund may purchase stock index options, sell stock index options in order to close out existing positions, and/or write covered options on stock indices for hedging purposes. Stock index options are put options and call options on various stock indices. In most respects, they are identical to listed options on common stocks. The primary difference between stock options and index options occurs when index options are exercised. In the case of stock options, the underlying security, common stock, is delivered. However, upon the exercise of an index option, settlement does not occur by delivery of the securities
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comprising the stock index. The option holder who exercises the index option receives an amount of cash if the closing level of the stock index upon which the option is based is greater than, in the case of a call, or less than, in the case of a put, the exercise price of the option. This amount of cash is equal to the difference between the closing price of the stock index and the exercise price of the option expressed in dollars times a specified multiple.
A stock index fluctuates with changes in the market values of the stocks included in the index. For example, some stock index options are based on a broad market index, such as the S&P 500 Index or the Value Line® Composite Index or a more narrow market index, such as the S&P 100 Index. Indices may also be based on an industry or market segment. Options on stock indices are currently traded on the following exchanges: the Chicago Board Options Exchange, NYSE Amex Options, The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.
The Fund’s use of stock index options is subject to certain risks. Successful use by the Fund of options on stock indices will be subject to the ability of First Trust to correctly predict movements in the directions of the stock market. This requires different skills and techniques than predicting changes in the prices of individual securities. In addition, the Fund’s ability to effectively hedge all or a portion of the securities in its portfolio, in anticipation of or during a market decline through transactions in put options on stock indices, depends on the degree to which price movements in the underlying index correlate with the price movements of the securities held by the Fund. Inasmuch as the Fund’s securities will not duplicate the components of an index, the correlation will not be perfect. Consequently, the Fund will bear the risk that the prices of its securities being hedged will not move in the same amount as the prices of its put options on the stock indices. It is also possible that there may be a negative correlation between the index and the Fund’s securities, which would result in a loss on both such securities and the options on stock indices acquired by the Fund.
The hours of trading for options may not conform to the hours during which the underlying securities are traded. To the extent that the options markets close before the markets for the underlying securities, significant price and rate movements can take place in the underlying markets that cannot be reflected in the options markets. The purchase of options is a highly specialized activity, which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The purchase of stock index options involves the risk that the premium and transaction costs paid by the Fund in purchasing an option will be lost as a result of unanticipated movements in prices of the securities comprising the stock index on which the option is based.
Certain Considerations Regarding Options
There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an options exchange will exist for any particular option, or at any particular time, and for some options no secondary market on an exchange or elsewhere may exist. If the Fund is unable to close out a call option on securities that it has written before the option is exercised, the Fund may be required to purchase the optioned securities in order to satisfy its obligation under the option to deliver such securities. If the Fund is unable to effect a closing sale transaction with respect to options on securities that it has purchased, it would have to exercise the option in order to realize any profit and would incur transaction costs upon the purchase and sale of the underlying securities.
The writing and purchasing of options is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. Imperfect correlation between the options and securities markets may detract from the effectiveness of attempted hedging. Options transactions may result in significantly higher transaction costs and portfolio turnover for the Fund.
Futures Contracts
The Fund may enter into futures contracts, including index futures as a hedge against movements in the securities markets, in order to hedge against changes on securities held or intended to be acquired by the Fund or for other purposes permissible under the CEA. The Fund’s hedging activities may include sales of futures as an offset against the effect of expected declines in stock prices and purchases of futures as an offset against the effect of expected increases in stock prices. The Fund will not enter into futures contracts that are prohibited under the CEA and will, to the extent required by regulatory authorities, enter only into futures contracts that are traded on futures exchanges and are standardized as to maturity date and underlying financial instrument. Futures exchanges and trading are regulated under the CEA by the CFTC.
An interest rate futures contract provides for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified amount of a specific financial instrument (e.g., a debt security) or currency for a specified price at a designated date, time and place. An index futures contract is an agreement pursuant to which the parties agree to take or make delivery of an amount of cash equal to the difference between the value of the index at the close of the last trading day of the contract and the price at which the index futures contract was originally written. Transaction costs are incurred when a futures contract is bought
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or sold and margin deposits must be maintained. A futures contract may be satisfied by delivery or purchase, as the case may be, of the instrument or by payment of the change in the cash value of the index. More commonly, futures contracts are closed out prior to delivery by entering into an offsetting transaction in a matching futures contract. Although the value of an index might be a function of the value of certain specified securities, no physical delivery of those securities is made. If the offsetting purchase price is less than the original sale price, a gain will be realized. Conversely, if the offsetting sale price is more than the original purchase price, a gain will be realized; if it is less, a loss will be realized. The transaction costs must also be included in these calculations. There can be no assurance, however, that the Fund will be able to enter into an offsetting transaction with respect to a particular futures contract at a particular time. If the Fund is not able to enter into an offsetting transaction, the Fund will continue to be required to maintain the margin deposits on the futures contract.
Margin is the amount of funds that must be deposited by the Fund with its custodian in a segregated account in the name of the futures commission merchant in order to initiate futures trading and to maintain the Fund’s open positions in futures contracts. A margin deposit is intended to ensure the Fund’s performance of the futures contract.
The margin required for a particular futures contract is set by the exchange on which the futures contract is traded and may be significantly modified from time to time by the exchange during the term of the futures contract. Futures contracts are customarily purchased and sold on margins that may range upward from less than 5% of the value of the futures contract being traded.
If the price of an open futures contract changes (by increase in the case of a sale or by decrease in the case of a purchase) so that the loss on the futures contract reaches a point at which the margin on deposit does not satisfy margin requirements, the broker will require an increase in the margin. However, if the value of a position increases because of favorable price changes in the futures contract so that the margin deposit exceeds the required margin, the broker will pay the excess to the Fund. In computing daily net asset value, the Fund will mark to market the current value of its open futures contracts. The Fund expects to earn interest income on its margin deposits.
Because of the low margin deposits required, futures trading involves an extremely high degree of leverage. As a result, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss, as well as gain, to the investor. For example, if at the time of purchase 10% of the value of the futures contract is deposited as margin, a subsequent 10% decrease in the value of the futures contract would result in a total loss of the margin deposit, before any deduction for the transaction costs, if the account were then closed out. A 15% decrease would result in a loss equal to 150% of the original margin deposit, if the future contracts were closed out. Thus, a purchase or sale of a futures contract may result in losses in excess of the amount initially invested in the futures contract. However, the Fund would presumably have sustained comparable losses if, instead of the futures contract, it had invested in the underlying financial instrument and sold it after the decline.
Most U.S. futures exchanges limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single trading day. The day limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price at the end of a trading session. Once the daily limit has been reached in a particular type of futures contract, no trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movement during a particular trading day and therefore does not limit potential losses, because the limit may prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. Futures contract prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of futures positions and subjecting some investors to substantial losses.
There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist at a time when the Fund seeks to close out a futures position. The Fund would continue to be required to meet margin requirements until the position is closed, possibly resulting in a decline in the Fund’s net asset value. In addition, many of the contracts discussed above are relatively new instruments without a significant trading history. As a result, there can be no assurance that an active secondary market will develop or continue to exist.
A public market exists in futures contracts covering a number of indices, including but not limited to, the S&P 500 Index, the S&P 100 Index, the Nasdaq-100 Index®, the Value Line® Composite Index and the NYSE Composite Index®.
Options on Futures
The Fund may also purchase or write put and call options on futures contracts and enter into closing transactions with respect to such options to terminate an existing position. A futures option gives the holder the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a long position (call) or short position (put) in a futures contract at a specified exercise price prior
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to the expiration of the option. Upon exercise of a call option, the holder acquires a long position in the futures contract and the writer is assigned the opposite short position. In the case of a put option, the opposite is true. Prior to exercise or expiration, a futures option may be closed out by an offsetting purchase or sale of a futures option of the same series.
The Fund may use options on futures contracts in connection with hedging strategies. Generally, these strategies would be applied under the same market and market sector conditions in which the Fund uses put and call options on securities or indices. The purchase of put options on futures contracts is analogous to the purchase of puts on securities or indices so as to hedge the Fund’s securities holdings against the risk of declining market prices. The writing of a call option or the purchasing of a put option on a futures contract constitutes a partial hedge against declining prices of securities that are deliverable upon exercise of the futures contract. If the price at expiration of a written call option is below the exercise price, the Fund will retain the full amount of the option premium which provides a partial hedge against any decline that may have occurred in the Fund’s holdings of securities. If the price when the option is exercised is above the exercise price, however, the Fund will incur a loss, which may be offset, in whole or in part, by the increase in the value of the securities held by the Fund that were being hedged. Writing a put option or purchasing a call option on a futures contract serves as a partial hedge against an increase in the value of the securities the Fund intends to acquire.
As with investments in futures contracts, the Fund is required to deposit and maintain margin with respect to put and call options on futures contracts written by it. Such margin deposits will vary depending on the nature of the underlying futures contract (and the related initial margin requirements), the current market value of the option and other futures positions held by the Fund. The Fund will earmark or set aside in a segregated account at the Fund’s custodian, liquid assets, such as cash, U.S. government securities or other high-grade liquid debt obligations equal in value to the amount due on the underlying obligation. Such segregated assets will be marked-to-market daily, and additional assets will be earmarked or placed in the segregated account whenever the total value of the earmarked or segregated assets falls below the amount due on the underlying obligation.
The risks associated with the use of options on futures contracts include the risk that the Fund may close out its position as a writer of an option only if a liquid secondary market exists for such options, which cannot be assured. The Fund’s successful use of options on futures contracts depends on First Trust’s ability to correctly predict the movement in prices of futures contracts and the underlying instruments, which may prove to be incorrect. In addition, there may be imperfect correlation between the instruments being hedged and the futures contract subject to the option. For additional information, see “Futures Contracts.” Certain characteristics of the futures market might increase the risk that movements in the prices of futures contracts or options on futures contracts might not correlate perfectly with movements in the prices of the investments being hedged. For example, all participants in the futures and options on futures contracts markets are subject to daily variation margin calls and might be compelled to liquidate futures or options on futures contracts positions whose prices are moving unfavorably to avoid being subject to further calls. These liquidations could increase the price volatility of the instruments and distort the normal price relationship between the futures or options and the investments being hedged. Also, because of initial margin deposit requirements, there might be increased participation by speculators in the futures markets. This participation also might cause temporary price distortions. In addition, activities of large traders in both the futures and securities markets involving arbitrage, “program trading,” and other investment strategies might result in temporary price distortions.
Swap Agreements
A swap is a financial instrument that typically involves the exchange of cash flows between two parties on specified dates (settlement dates), where the cash flows are based on agreed-upon prices, rates, indices, etc. The nominal amount on which the cash flows are calculated is called the notional amount. Swaps are individually negotiated and structured to include exposure to a variety of different types of investments or market factors, such as interest rates, non-U.S. currency rates, mortgage securities, corporate borrowing rates, security prices, indexes or inflation rates.
Swap agreements may increase or decrease the overall volatility of the investments of the Fund and its share price. The performance of swap agreements may be affected by a change in the specific interest rate, currency, or other factors that determine the amounts of payments due to and from the Fund. If a swap agreement calls for payments by the Fund, the Fund must be prepared to make such payments when due. In addition, if the counterparty’s creditworthiness declines, the value of a swap agreement would be likely to decline, potentially resulting in losses.
Generally, swap agreements have a fixed maturity date that will be agreed upon by the parties. The agreement can be terminated before the maturity date only under limited circumstances, such as default by one of the parties or insolvency, among others, and can be transferred by a party only with the prior written consent of the other party. The Fund may be able to eliminate its exposure under a swap agreement either by assignment or by other disposition, or by entering into an offsetting
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swap agreement with the same party or a similarly creditworthy party. If the counterparty is unable to meet its obligations under the contract, declares bankruptcy, defaults or becomes insolvent, the Fund may not be able to recover the money it expected to receive under the contract.
A swap agreement can be a form of leverage, which can magnify the Fund’s gains or losses. In order to reduce the risk associated with leveraging, the Fund may cover its current obligations under swap agreements according to guidelines established by the SEC. If the Fund enters into a swap agreement on a net basis, it will earmark assets with a daily value at least equal to the excess, if any, of the Fund’s accrued obligations under the swap agreement over the accrued amount the Fund is entitled to receive under the agreement. If the Fund enters into a swap agreement on other than a net basis, it will earmark assets with a value equal to the full amount of the Fund’s accrued obligations under the agreement.
Equity Swaps. In a typical equity swap, one party agrees to pay another party the return on a stock, stock index or basket of stocks in return for a specified interest rate. By entering into an equity index swap, for example, the index receiver can gain exposure to stocks making up the index of securities without actually purchasing those stocks. Equity index swaps involve not only the risk associated with investment in the securities represented in the index, but also the risk that the performance of such securities, including dividends, will not exceed the return on the interest rate that the Fund will be committed to pay.
Interest Rate Swaps. Interest rate swaps are financial instruments that involve the exchange of one type of interest rate for another type of interest rate cash flow on specified dates in the future. Some of the different types of interest rate swaps are “fixed-for floating rate swaps,” “termed basis swaps” and “index amortizing swaps.” Fixed-for floating rate swaps involve the exchange of fixed interest rate cash flows for floating rate cash flows. Termed basis swaps entail cash flows to both parties based on floating interest rates, where the interest rate indices are different. Index amortizing swaps are typically fixed-for floating swaps where the notional amount changes if certain conditions are met. Like a traditional investment in a debt security, the Fund could lose money by investing in an interest rate swap if interest rates change adversely. For example, if the Fund enters into a swap where it agrees to exchange a floating rate of interest for a fixed rate of interest, the Fund may have to pay more money than it receives. Similarly, if the Fund enters into a swap where it agrees to exchange a fixed rate of interest for a floating rate of interest, the Fund may receive less money than it has agreed to pay.
Currency Swaps. A currency swap is an agreement between two parties in which one party agrees to make interest rate payments in one currency and the other promises to make interest rate payments in another currency. The Fund may enter into a currency swap when it has one currency and desires a different currency. Typically the interest rates that determine the currency swap payments are fixed, although occasionally one or both parties may pay a floating rate of interest. Unlike an interest rate swap, however, the principal amounts are exchanged at the beginning of the contract and returned at the end of the contract. Changes in non-U.S. exchange rates and changes in interest rates, as described above, may negatively affect currency swaps.
Credit Default Swaps. A credit default swap is similar to an insurance contract in that it provides the buyer with protection against specific risks. Most often, corporate bond investors buy credit default swaps for protection against a default by the issuer of the corporate bond, but these flexible instruments can be used in many ways to customize exposure to corporate credit. Credit default swap agreements can mitigate risks in bond investing by transferring a given risk from one party to another without transferring the underlying bond or other credit asset. In a credit default swap agreement, one party “sells” risk and the counterparty “buys” that risk. The “seller” of credit risk, who also tends to own the underlying credit asset, pays a periodic fee to the risk “buyer.” In return, the risk “buyer” agrees to pay the “seller” a set amount if there is a default, or a credit event.
The Fund’s use of credit default swap agreements exposes the Fund to additional risks, including but not limited to, the credit and liquidity risk of a counterparty. If the credit quality of any such counterparty deteriorates, such counterparty may default on its obligations to make payments under the swap agreement. The Fund may also be exposed to liquidity risk because the market for credit default swaps are relatively illiquid and the Fund will generally not be permitted to terminate or assign its credit default swaps without the consent of the related counterparty and accordingly may not be able to terminate or assign such credit default swaps in a timely fashion and for a fair price, potentially restricting its ability to take advantage of market opportunities.
Portfolio Turnover
The Fund buys and sells portfolio securities in the normal course of its investment activities. The proportion of the Fund's investment portfolio that is bought and sold during a year is known as the Fund's portfolio turnover rate. A portfolio turnover rate of 100% would occur, for example, if all of the portfolio securities (other than short-term securities) were replaced once during the fiscal year. A high portfolio turnover rate could result in the payment by the Fund of increased brokerage
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costs, expenses and taxes. Significant variations in portfolio turnover from year-to-year are generally the result of fluctuations in the size of the Fund or changes to the Fund’s portfolio holdings.
Lending of Portfolio Securities
In order to generate additional income, as a non-principal investment strategy, First Trust is authorized to select certain First Trust Funds, including the Fund, with notice to the Board of Trustees, to lend portfolio securities representing up to 33⅓% of the value of its total assets to broker-dealers, banks or other institutional borrowers of securities. As with other extensions of credit, there may be risks of delay in recovery of the securities or even loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially. However, such First Trust Funds will only enter into loan arrangements with broker-dealers, banks or other institutions which First Trust has determined are creditworthy under guidelines approved by the Board of Trustees. The First Trust Funds will pay a portion of the income earned on the lending transaction to the placing broker and may pay administrative and custodial fees in connection with these loans. First Trust may select the First Trust Fund to participate in the securities lending program, at its discretion with notice to the Board of Trustees.
In these loan arrangements, the First Trust Funds will receive collateral in the form of cash, U.S. government securities or other high-grade debt obligations in an amount at least equal to the value of the borrowed securities, marked to market daily. This collateral must be valued daily by First Trust or the First Trust Fund’s lending agent and, if the market value of the loaned securities increases, the borrower must furnish additional collateral to the lending First Trust Fund. During the time portfolio securities are on loan, the borrower pays the lending First Trust Fund any dividends or interest paid on the securities. Loans are subject to termination at any time by the lending First Trust Fund or the borrower. While a First Trust Fund does not have the right to vote securities on loan, it would terminate the loan and regain the right to vote if that were considered important with respect to the investment. When a First Trust Fund lends portfolio securities to a borrower, payments in lieu of dividends made by the borrower to the First Trust Fund will not constitute “qualified dividends” taxable at the same rate as long-term capital gains, even if the actual dividends would have constituted qualified dividends had the First Trust Fund held the securities. Please see "Securities Lending Risk" below for a description of the risks associated with securities lending activities.
Investment Risks
The following risk disclosure supplements the discussion of the Fund’s investment risks that appears in the Prospectus.
Overview
An investment in the Fund should be made with an understanding of the risks that an investment in the Fund’s shares entails, including the risk that the financial condition of the issuers of the securities held by the Fund or the general condition of the securities market may worsen and the value of the securities and therefore the value of the Fund may decline. The Fund may not be an appropriate investment for those who are unable or unwilling to assume the risks involved generally with such an investment. The past market and earnings performance of any of the securities included in the Fund is not predictive of their future performance.
Common Stocks Risk
Equity securities are especially susceptible to general market movements and to volatile increases and decreases of value as market confidence in and perceptions of the issuers change. These perceptions are based on unpredictable factors including expectations regarding government, economic, monetary and fiscal policies; inflation and interest rates; economic expansion or contraction; and global or regional political, economic or banking crises. First Trust cannot predict the direction or scope of any of these factors. Shareholders of common stocks have rights to receive payments from the issuers of those common stocks that are generally subordinate to those of creditors of, or holders of debt obligations or preferred stocks of, such issuers.
Shareholders of common stocks of the type held by the Fund have a right to receive dividends only when and if, and in the amounts, declared by the issuer’s board of directors and have a right to participate in amounts available for distribution by the issuer only after all other claims on the issuer have been paid. Common stocks do not represent an obligation of the issuer and, therefore, do not offer any assurance of income or provide the same degree of protection of capital as do debt securities. The issuance of additional debt securities or preferred stock will create prior claims for payment of principal, interest and dividends which could adversely affect the ability and inclination of the issuer to declare or pay dividends on its common stock or the rights of holders of common stock with respect to assets of the issuer upon liquidation or bankruptcy. The value
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of common stocks is subject to market fluctuations for as long as the common stocks remain outstanding, and thus the value of the equity securities in the Fund will fluctuate over the life of the Fund and may be more or less than the price at which they were purchased by the Fund. The equity securities held in the Fund may appreciate or depreciate in value (or pay dividends) depending on the full range of economic and market influences affecting these securities, including the impact of the Fund’s purchase and sale of the equity securities and other factors.
Holders of common stocks incur more risk than holders of preferred stocks and debt obligations because common stockholders, as owners of the entity, have generally inferior rights to receive payments from the issuer in comparison with the rights of creditors of, or holders of debt obligations or preferred stocks issued by, the issuer. Cumulative preferred stock dividends must be paid before common stock dividends, and any cumulative preferred stock dividend omitted is added to future dividends payable to the holders of cumulative preferred stock. Preferred stockholders are also generally entitled to rights on liquidation, which are senior to those of common stockholders.
Deferred Tax Risk
As a limited partner in the MLPs in which it may invest, the Fund will be allocated its pro rata share of income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses from the MLPs. A significant portion of MLP income has historically been offset by tax deductions. The Fund will recognize income with respect to that portion of a distribution that is not offset by tax deductions, with the remaining portion of the distribution being treated as a tax-deferred return of capital. The percentage of an MLP’s distribution which is offset by tax deductions will fluctuate over time for various reasons. A significant slowdown in acquisition or investment activity by MLPs held in the Fund’s portfolio could result in a reduction of accelerated depreciation or other deductions generated by these activities, which may result in increased net income to the Fund. A reduction in the percentage of the income from an MLP offset by tax deductions or gains as a result of the sale of portfolio securities will reduce that portion, if any, of the Fund’s distribution treated as a tax-deferred return of capital and increase that portion treated as dividend income, resulting in lower after-tax distributions to the Fund’s shareholders. The Fund will rely to some extent on information provided by MLPs, which is usually not timely, to determine the tax character of the distributions to shareholders.
Depositary Receipts Risk
Depositary Receipts may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted. ADRs are receipts typically issued by a U.S. bank or trust company that evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. EDRs are receipts issued by a European bank or trust company evidencing ownership of securities issued by a foreign corporation. New York shares are typically issued by a company incorporated in the Netherlands and represent a direct interest in the company. Unlike traditional Depositary Receipts, New York share programs do not involve custody of the Dutch shares of the company. GDRs are receipts issued throughout the world that evidence a similar arrangement. ADRs, EDRs and GDRs may trade in foreign currencies that differ from the currency the underlying security for each ADR, EDR or GDR principally trades in. Global shares are the actual (ordinary) shares of a non-U.S. company which trade both in the home market and the United States. Generally, ADRs and New York shares, in registered form, are designed for use in the U.S. securities markets. EDRs, in registered form, are used to access European markets. GDRs, in registered form, are tradable both in the United States and in Europe and are designed for use throughout the world. Global shares are represented by the same share certificate in the United States and the home market, and separate registrars in the United States and the home country are maintained. In most cases, purchases occurring on a U.S. exchange would be reflected on the U.S. registrar. Global shares may also be eligible to list on exchanges in addition to the United States and the home country. The Fund may hold unsponsored Depositary Receipts. The issuers of unsponsored Depositary Receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States; therefore, there may be less information available regarding such issuers and there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the Depositary Receipts.
Derivatives Risk
The use of derivatives presents risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in traditional securities. The use of derivatives can lead to losses because of adverse movements in the price or value of the underlying asset, index or rate, which may be magnified by certain features of the derivatives. In addition, when the Fund invests in certain derivative securities, including, but not limited to, bond index and equity index futures, options, futures, forward contracts and swaps the Fund is effectively leveraging its investments, which could result in exaggerated changes in the net asset value of the Fund’s shares and can result in losses that exceed the amount originally invested. The success of the Sub-Advisor’s derivatives strategies will depend on their ability to assess and predict the impact of market or economic developments on the underlying asset, index or rate and the derivative itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the derivative under all possible market conditions. Liquidity risk exists when a security cannot be purchased or sold at the time desired, or cannot be purchased or sold without adversely affecting the price. Certain specific risks associated with an
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investment in derivatives may include: market risk, credit risk, correlation risk, liquidity risk, legal risk and systemic or “interconnection” risk, as specified below.
(1)
Market Risk. Market risk is the risk that the value of the underlying assets may go up or down. Adverse movements in the value of an underlying asset can expose the Fund to losses. Derivative instruments may include elements of leverage and, accordingly, fluctuations in the value of the derivative instrument in relation to the underlying asset may be magnified. The successful use of derivative instruments depends upon a variety of factors, particularly the Sub-Advisor’s ability to predict movements of the securities, currencies and commodities markets, which may require different skills than predicting changes in the prices of individual securities. There can be no assurance that any particular strategy adopted will succeed. A decision to engage in a derivative transaction will reflect the Sub-Advisor’s judgment that the derivative transaction will provide value to the Fund and its shareholders and is consistent with the Fund’s objective, investment limitations, and operating policies. In making such a judgment, the Sub-Advisor will analyze the benefits and risks of the derivative transactions and weigh them in the context of the Fund’s overall investments and investment objective.
(2)
Credit Risk/Counterparty Risk. Credit risk is the risk that a loss may be sustained as a result of the failure of a counterparty to comply with the terms of a derivative instrument. The counterparty risk for exchange-traded derivatives is generally less than for privately-negotiated or OTC derivatives, since generally a clearing agency, which is the issuer or counterparty to each exchange-traded instrument, provides a guarantee of performance. For privately-negotiated instruments, there is no similar clearing agency guarantee. In all transactions, the Fund will bear the risk that the counterparty will default, and this could result in a loss of the expected benefit of the derivative transactions and possibly other losses to the Fund. The Fund will enter into transactions in derivative instruments only with counterparties that the Sub-Advisor reasonably believes are capable of performing under the contract.
(3)
Correlation Risk. Correlation risk is the risk that there might be an imperfect correlation, or even no correlation, between price movements of a derivative instrument and price movements of investments being hedged. When a derivative transaction is used to completely hedge another position, changes in the market value of the combined position (the derivative instrument plus the position being hedged) result from an imperfect correlation between the price movements of the two instruments. With a perfect hedge, the value of the combined position remains unchanged with any change in the price of the underlying asset. With an imperfect hedge, the value of the derivative instrument and its hedge are not perfectly correlated. For example, if the value of a derivative instrument used in a short hedge (such as writing a call option, buying a put option or selling a futures contract) increased by less than the decline in value of the hedged investments, the hedge would not be perfectly correlated. This might occur due to factors unrelated to the value of the investments being hedged, such as speculative or other pressures on the markets in which these instruments are traded. The effectiveness of hedges using instruments on indices will depend, in part, on the degree of correlation between price movements in the index and the price movements in the investments being hedged.
(4)
Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk is the risk that a derivative instrument cannot be sold, closed out or replaced quickly at or very close to its fundamental value. Generally, exchange contracts are very liquid because the exchange clearinghouse is the counterparty of every contract. OTC transactions are less liquid than exchange-traded derivatives since they often can only be closed out with the other party to the transaction. The Fund might be required by applicable regulatory requirements to maintain assets as “cover,” maintain segregated accounts, and/or make margin payments when it takes positions in derivative instruments involving obligations to third parties (i.e., instruments other than purchase options). If the Fund is unable to close out its positions in such instruments, it might be required to continue to maintain such assets or accounts or make such payments until the position expires, matures or is closed out. These requirements might impair the Fund’s ability to sell a security or make an investment at a time when it would otherwise be favorable to do so, or require that the Fund sell a portfolio security at a disadvantageous time. The Fund’s ability to sell or close out a position in an instrument prior to expiration or maturity depends upon the existence of a liquid secondary market or, in the absence of such a market, the ability and willingness of the counterparty to enter into a transaction closing out the position. Due to liquidity risk, there is no assurance that any derivatives position can be sold or closed out at a time and price that is favorable to the Fund.
(5)
Legal Risk. Legal risk is the risk of loss caused by the unenforceability of a party’s obligations under the derivative. While a party seeking price certainty agrees to surrender the potential upside in exchange for downside protection,
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the party taking the risk is looking for a positive payoff. Despite this voluntary assumption of risk, a counterparty that has lost money in a derivative transaction may try to avoid payment by exploiting various legal uncertainties about certain derivative products.
(6)
Systemic or “Interconnection” Risk. Systemic or “interconnection’ risk is the risk that a disruption in the financial markets will cause difficulties for all market participants. In other words, a disruption in one market will spill over into other markets, perhaps creating a chain reaction. Much of the OTC derivatives market takes place among the OTC dealers themselves, thus creating a large interconnected web of financial obligations. This interconnectedness raises the possibility that a default by one large dealer could create losses for other dealers and destabilize the entire market for OTC derivative instruments.
Failure to Qualify as a Regulated Investment Company
If, in any year, the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company (a “RIC”) under the applicable tax laws, the Fund would be taxed as an ordinary corporation. In such circumstances, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest and make substantial distributions before requalifying as a RIC that is accorded special tax treatment. If the Fund fails to qualify as a RIC, distributions to the Fund’s shareholders generally would be eligible (i) for treatment as qualified dividend income in the case of individual shareholders, and (ii) for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders. See “Federal Tax Matters”.
Industry Specific Risk
Income provided by the Fund may be reduced by changes in the dividend policies of the energy companies in which the Fund invests and the capital resources at such companies. The principal risks inherent in investing in energy companies include the following:
Regulatory Risk. Energy companies are subject to significant U.S., state and local government and/or foreign government regulation in virtually every aspect of their operations, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and the prices and the methodology of setting prices they may charge for the products and services that could negatively affect the profitability of energy companies and their performance. Energy companies that own interstate pipelines are subject to regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with respect to the tariff rates that they may charge to their customers. For example, on March 14, 2018, FERC changed its long-standing tax allowance policy which no longer permits such companies to include in their cost of service an income tax allowance to the extent that their owners have an actual or potential tax liability on the income generated by them. This had a negative impact on the performance of some energy companies affected by this decision. This policy change and any similar policy changes in the future could adversely impact an MLP’s business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and ability to pay cash distributions or dividends.
Various governmental agencies and authorities have the power to enforce compliance with these regulations, and violators may be subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, including civil fines, assessment of monetary penalties, imposition of remedial requirements, injunctions or all of the above. Stricter laws, regulations or enforcement policies could be enacted in the future, which would likely increase compliance costs and may adversely affect the financial performance of energy companies.
Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may trigger a variety of administrative, civil and criminal enforcement measures, including the assessment of monetary penalties, the imposition of remedial requirements, and the issuance of orders enjoining future operations. Certain environmental statutes, state laws and regulations impose strict, joint and several liability for costs required to clean up and restore sites where hazardous substances have been disposed of or otherwise released. Moreover, it is not uncommon for neighboring landowners and other third parties to file claims for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by the release of hazardous substances or other waste products into the environment.
There is an inherent risk that other entities operating in the energy industry may incur environmental costs and liabilities due to the nature of their businesses and the substances they handle. For example, an accidental release from wells or gathering pipelines could subject them to substantial liabilities for environmental cleanup and restoration costs, claims made by neighboring landowners and other third parties for personal injury and property damage, and fines or penalties for related violations of environmental laws or regulations. Energy companies may not be able to recover these costs from insurance.
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Voluntary initiatives and mandatory controls have been adopted or are being discussed both in the United States and worldwide to reduce emissions of “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide, a by-product of burning fossil fuels, and methane, the major constituent of natural gas, which many scientists and policymakers believe contribute to global climate change. These measures and future measures could result in increased costs to certain companies in which the Fund may invest to operate and maintain facilities and administer and manage a greenhouse gas emissions program and may reduce demand for fuels that generate greenhouse gases and that are managed or produced by companies in which the Fund may invest.
Supply and Demand Risk. A decrease in the production of natural gas, natural gas liquids (“NGLs”), crude oil or other energy commodities or a decrease in the volume of such commodities available for transportation, processing, storage or distribution may adversely impact the financial performance of energy companies. Production declines and volume decreases could be caused by various factors, including depressed commodity prices, catastrophic events affecting production, depletion of resources, labor difficulties, environmental or other governmental regulation, equipment failures and unexpected maintenance problems, import supply disruption, increased competition from alternative energy sources, international politics and political circumstances (particularly of key energy-producing countries), and policies of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (“OPEC”). Alternatively, a sustained decline in demand for such commodities could also impact the financial performance of energy companies. Factors that could lead to a decline in demand include economic recession or other adverse economic or political conditions (especially in key energy-consuming countries), higher fuel taxes, governmental regulations, increases in fuel economy, consumer shifts to the use of alternative fuel sources, an increase in commodity prices and weather conditions.
Volatility in the underlying commodity markets has had an adverse effect on companies in the Energy Industry. This environment has led to price volatility of energy related equities which has affecting the ability of certain of the companies to participate in projects that provide growth. As a result, some portfolio companies have reduced dividends and financed projects with internally generated cash flow to avoid raising capital through equity issuance and diluting current shareholders. While this action may result in long term value for current shareholders, it does affect the performance of the company in the short term and therefore affects the Fund’s performance. During this period of volatility, however, the Manager continues to seek companies that are not affected by the cyclicality of the commodity markets.
Interest Rate Risk. Rising interest rates could adversely affect the financial performance of energy companies. Rising interest rates may increase an Energy Company’s cost of capital, which would increase operating costs and may reduce an Energy Company’s ability to execute acquisitions or expansion projects in a cost-effective manner. Rising interest rates may also impact the price of Energy Company shares or units as the yields on alternative investments increase.
Acquisition Risk. The ability of MLPs, YieldCos, and dividend paying corporations to grow and, where applicable, to increase distributions to share or unit holders is dependent partly on their ability to make acquisitions that result in an increase in adjusted operating surplus per share/unit. In the event that MLPs, YieldCos, and dividend paying corporations are unable to make such accretive acquisitions because, for example, they are unable to identify attractive acquisition candidates, negotiate acceptable purchase contracts, raise financing for such acquisitions on economically acceptable terms or because they are outbid by competitors, their future growth and ability to raise dividends or distributions may be limited. Furthermore, even if MLPs, YieldCos, and dividend paying corporations do consummate acquisitions that they believe will be accretive, the acquisitions may in fact result in a decrease in adjusted operating surplus per share/unit. Any acquisition involves risks, which include, among others: the possibility of mistaken assumptions about revenues and costs, including synergies; the assumption of unknown liabilities; possible limitations on rights to indemnity from the seller; the diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns; unforeseen difficulties operating in new product areas or new geographic areas; and customer or key employee losses at the acquired businesses.
Affiliated Party Risk. Some MLPs may be dependent on their parents or sponsors for a majority of their revenues. Any failure by the parents or sponsors of an MLP to satisfy their payments or obligations could impact the MLPs revenues and cash flows and its ability to make distributions.
Catastrophe Risk. The operations of energy companies are subject to many hazards inherent in the transporting, processing, storing, distributing or marketing of natural gas, NGLs, crude oil, refined petroleum products or other
17

hydrocarbons, or in the exploring, managing or producing of such commodities or products, including: damage to pipelines, storage tanks or related equipment and surrounding properties caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and other natural disasters and acts of terrorism; inadvertent damage from construction and farm equipment; leaks of natural gas, NGLs, crude oil, refined petroleum products or other hydrocarbons; and fires and explosions, among others. The occurrence of any such events could result in substantial losses due to, for example, personal injury and/or loss of life, damage to and destruction of property and equipment and pollution or other environmental damage, and may result in the curtailment, suspension or discontinuation of affected energy companies’ related operations. Many energy companies are not fully insured against all risks inherent to their businesses. If an accident or event occurs that is not fully insured, it could adversely affect an Energy Company’s operations and financial condition.
Operational Risk. Energy companies are subject to various operational risks, such as failed drilling or well development, unscheduled outages, underestimated cost projections, unanticipated operation and maintenance expenses, failure to obtain the necessary permits to operate and failure of third-party contractors (e.g., energy producers and shippers) to perform their contractual obligations. In addition, energy companies employ a variety of means of increasing cash flow, including increasing utilization of existing facilities, expanding operations through new construction, expanding operations through acquisitions, or securing additional long-term contracts. Energy companies may be subject to construction risk, acquisition risk or other risk factors arising from their specific business strategies.
Competition Risk. The energy companies in which the Fund may invest that are involved in upstream (exploration, development and production of energy resources) and midstream (processing, storing and transporting of energy resources) businesses may face substantial competition in acquiring properties, enhancing and developing their assets, marketing their commodities, securing trained personnel, services and supplies to build new projects and operating their properties. Many of their competitors, including major oil companies, natural gas utilities, independent power producers and other private independent energy companies, will likely have financial and other resources that substantially exceed their resources. The upstream businesses in which the Fund may invest face greater competition in the production, marketing and selling of power and energy products brought about in part from the deregulation of the energy markets.
Financing Risk. Some of the energy companies in which the Fund may invest may rely on capital markets to raise money to pay their existing obligations and to fund growth. Their ability to access the capital markets on attractive terms or at all may be affected by any of the risk factors associated with energy companies described above, by general economic and market conditions or by other factors. This may in turn affect their ability to grow and maintain their dividend or distribution.
Commodity Pricing Risk. Energy companies may be affected by fluctuations in the prices of energy commodities, including, for example, natural gas, NGLs, crude oil and coal, in the short- and long-term. Fluctuations in energy commodity prices would impact directly energy companies that produce such energy commodities and could impact indirectly energy companies that engage in the transportation, storage, processing, distribution or marketing of or exploration for such energy commodities. Commodity prices fluctuate for many reasons, including changes in market and economic conditions or political circumstances (especially of key energy-producing and consuming countries), the impact of weather on demand, levels of domestic production and imported commodities, energy conservation, domestic and foreign governmental regulation, international politics, policies of OPEC, and taxation and the availability of local, intrastate and interstate transportation systems. Volatility of commodity prices may make it more difficult for energy companies to raise capital to the extent the market perceives that their performance may be directly tied to commodity prices. The Energy Industry as a whole may also be impacted by the perception that the performance of energy companies is directly linked to commodity prices.
Counterparty Credit Risk. Low commodity prices may introduce the risk of financial distress among companies engaged in exploration and production of oil and natural gas. Energy companies that derive revenues from the transportation, storage, processing, distribution or marketing of such energy commodities may face counterparty credit risk from financially distressed energy producers that are unable to perform under or seek to reject contracts for these services. If a contract is successfully rejected during bankruptcy, the affected Energy Company will have an unsecured claim for damages but will likely only recover a portion of its claim for damages and may not recover anything at all. Furthermore, if the terms of the contract are not economic for the Energy Company, there may be an incentive for the Energy
18

Company to renegotiate the contract to increase the utilization of its assets (whether or not the Energy Company has filed for bankruptcy). In either case, an Energy Company that operates assets for a company that is in financial distress could experience a material adverse impact to its financial performance and results of operations.
Depletion and Exploration Risk. Energy companies engaged in the exploration, development, management or production of natural gas, NGLs (including propane), crude oil or refined petroleum products are subject to the risk that their commodity reserves are depleted over time. These kinds of energy companies generally increase reserves through expansion of their existing businesses, through exploration of new sources or development of existing sources, through acquisitions or by securing long-term contracts to acquire additional reserves. Each of these strategies entails risk. The financial performance of these energy companies may be adversely affected if they are unable to cost-effectively acquire additional reserves at a rate at least equal to the rate of decline of their existing reserves. A failure to maintain or increase reserves could reduce the amount and/or change the characterization of cash distributions paid by these energy companies.
Weather Risks. Weather plays a role in the seasonality of cash flows of some companies in which the Fund may invest. Companies in the propane industry, for example, rely on the winter season to generate almost all of their earnings. In an unusually warm winter season, propane companies experience decreased demand for their product. The damage done by extreme weather also may serve to increase many companies’ insurance premiums and could adversely affect such companies’ financial condition and ability to pay distributions to shareholders. Other companies operating in the energy infrastructure sector may be subject to similar risks.
Liquidity Risk
Whether or not the securities held by the Fund are listed on a securities exchange, the principal trading market for certain of the securities may be in the OTC market. As a result, the existence of a liquid trading market for such securities may depend on whether dealers will make a market in the securities. There can be no assurance that a market will be made for any of the securities, that any market for such securities will be maintained or that there will be sufficient liquidity of the securities in any markets made. The price at which such securities are held by the Fund will be adversely affected if trading markets for the securities are limited or absent.
Listing Standards Risk
The Fund is required to comply with listing requirements adopted by the Exchange. Non-compliance with such requirements may result in the Fund's shares being delisted by the Exchange. Any resulting liquidation of the Fund could cause the Fund to incur elevated transaction costs and could result in negative tax consequences for its shareholders.
Market Risk
Market risk is the risk that a particular security, or shares of the Fund in general, may fall in value. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of the Fund could decline in value or underperform other investments due to short-term market movements or any longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. Such events could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets. Any of such circumstances could have a materially negative impact on the value of a Fund’s shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, the Fund’s shares may trade at increased premiums or discounts to their net asset value.
Health crises caused by the outbreak of infectious diseases or other public health issues, may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social, economic, market and financial risks. The impact of any such events, could negatively affect the global economy, as well as the economies of individual countries or regions, the financial performance of individual companies, sectors and industries, and the markets in general in significant and unforeseen ways. Any such impact could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the securities and other instruments in which the Fund invests and negatively impact the Fund’s investment return. For example, an outbreak of a respiratory disease designated as COVID-19 was first detected in China in December 2019 and subsequently spread internationally. The transmission of COVID-19 and efforts to contain its spread have resulted in international, national and local border closings and other significant travel restrictions and disruptions, significant disruptions to business operations, supply chains and customer activity, event cancellations and restrictions, service cancellations, reductions and other changes, significant challenges in healthcare service preparation and delivery, and quarantines, as well as general
19

concern and uncertainty that has negatively affected the economic environment. While the development of vaccines has slowed the spread of the virus and allowed for the resumption of reasonably normal business activity in the United States, many countries continue to impose lockdown measures in an attempt to slow the spread. Additionally, there is no guarantee that vaccines will be effective against emerging variants of the disease. The impact of this COVID-19 pandemic may be short term or may last for an extended period of time, and in either case could result in a substantial economic downturn or recession.
In addition, the operations of the Fund, the Advisor and the Fund’s other service providers may be significantly impacted, or even temporarily or permanently halted, as a result of government quarantine measures, voluntary and precautionary restrictions on travel or meetings and other factors related to a public health emergency, including its potential adverse impact on the health of any such entity’s personnel.
Additional Market Disruption Risk
In February 2022, Russia commenced a military attack on Ukraine. In response, various countries, including the United States, issued broad-ranging sanctions on Russia and certain Russian companies and individuals. The hostilities between the two countries may escalate and any existing or future sanctions could have a severe adverse effect on Russia’s economy, currency, companies and region as well as negatively impact other regional and global economic markets of the world (including Europe and the United States), companies in such countries and various sectors, industries and markets for securities and commodities globally, such as oil and natural gas. Accordingly, the hostilities and sanctions may have a negative effect on the Fund’s investments and performance beyond any direct exposure to Russian issuers or those of adjoining geographic regions. Russia may also take retaliatory actions or countermeasures, such as cyberattacks and espionage, which may negatively impact the countries and companies in which the Fund may invest. The extent and duration of the military action or future escalation of such hostilities; the extent and impact of existing and any future sanctions, market disruptions and volatility; and the result of any diplomatic negotiations cannot be predicted. These and any related events could have a significant negative impact on certain of the Fund’s investments as well as the Fund’s performance, and the value or liquidity of certain securities held by the Fund may decline significantly.
Non-U.S. Securities Risk
An investment in non-U.S. securities involves risks in addition to the usual risks inherent in domestic investments, including currency risk. The value of a non-U.S. security in U.S. dollars tends to decrease when the value of the U.S. dollar rises against the non-U.S. currency in which the security is denominated and tends to increase when the value of the U.S. dollar falls against such currency. Non-U.S. securities are affected by the fact that in many countries there is less publicly available information about issuers than is available in the reports and ratings published about companies in the United States and companies may not be subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards. Other risks inherent in non-U.S. investments may include expropriation; confiscatory taxation; withholding taxes on dividends and interest; less extensive regulation of non-U.S. brokers, securities markets and issuers; diplomatic developments; and political or social instability. Non-U.S. economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in various respects, and many non-U.S. securities are less liquid and their prices tend to be more volatile than comparable U.S. securities. From time to time, non-U.S. securities may be difficult to liquidate rapidly without adverse price effects.
Authorization, Custody and Settlement Risk for Non-U.S. Securities
Approval of governmental authorities may be required prior to investing in the securities of companies based in certain frontier countries. Delays in obtaining such an approval would delay investments in the particular country.
Rules adopted under the 1940 Act permit a fund to maintain its non-U.S. securities and cash in the custody of certain eligible non-U.S. banks and securities depositories. Certain banks in foreign countries that are eligible foreign sub-custodians may be recently organized or otherwise lack extensive operating experience. In addition, in certain countries there may be legal restrictions or limitations on the ability of the Fund to recover assets held in custody by a foreign sub-custodian in the event of the bankruptcy of the sub-custodian. Settlement systems in emerging markets may be less well organized than in developed markets. Thus there may be a risk that settlement may be delayed and that cash or securities of the Fund may be in jeopardy because of failures of or defects in the systems. Under the laws of certain countries in which the Fund may invest, the Fund may be required to release local shares before receiving cash payment or may be required to make cash payment prior to receiving local shares.
Certain countries in which the Fund may invest utilize share blocking schemes. Share blocking refers to a practice, in certain foreign markets, where voting rights related to an issuer’s securities are predicated on these securities being blocked from trading at the custodian or sub-custodian level, for a period of time around a shareholder meeting. These restrictions
20

have the effect of prohibiting securities to potentially be voted (or having been voted), from trading within a specified number of days before, and in certain instances, after the shareholder meeting.
Share blocking may prevent the Fund from buying or selling securities for a period of time. During the time that shares are blocked, trades in such securities will not settle. The specific practices may vary by market and the blocking period can last from a day to several weeks, typically terminating on a date established at the discretion of the issuer.
Once blocked, the only manner in which to remove this block would be to withdraw a previously cast vote, or to abstain from voting altogether. The process for having a blocking restriction lifted can be quite onerous, with the particular requirements varying widely by country. In addition, in certain countries, the block cannot be removed.
Share blocking may present operational challenges for the Fund and Authorized Participants, including the effect that an imposed block would have on pending trades. Pending trades may be caused to fail and could potentially remain unsettled for an extended period of time. Fails may also expose the transfer agent and the Fund to “Buy In” situations in which, if unable to deliver shares after a certain period of time, a counterparty has the right to go to market, purchase a security at the current market price and have any additional expense borne by the Fund or transfer agent.
As a result, First Trust or the Sub-Advisor on behalf of the Fund, reserves the right to abstain from voting proxies in share blocking proxy markets.
Passive Foreign Investment Companies Risk
The Fund may invest in companies that are considered to be “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”), which are generally certain non-U.S. corporations that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, certain rents and royalties or capital gains) or that hold at least 50% of their assets in investments producing such passive income. Therefore, the Fund could be subject to U.S. federal income tax and additional interest charges on gains and certain distributions with respect to those equity interests, even if all the income or gain is distributed to its shareholders in a timely manner. The Fund will not be able to pass through to its shareholders any credit or deduction for such taxes.
Real Estate Investment Trust Risk
REITs are financial vehicles that pool investors’ capital to purchase or finance real estate. REITs may concentrate their investments in specific geographic areas or in specific property types, e.g., hotels, shopping malls, residential complexes and office buildings. The market value of REIT shares and the ability of the REITs to distribute income may be adversely affected by several factors, including rising interest rates; changes in the national, state and local economic climate and real estate conditions; perceptions of prospective tenants of the safety, convenience and attractiveness of the properties; the ability of the owners to provide adequate management, maintenance and insurance; the cost of complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act; increased competition from new properties; the impact of present or future environmental legislation and compliance with environmental laws; changes in real estate taxes and other operating expenses; adverse changes in governmental rules and fiscal policies; adverse changes in zoning laws; and other factors beyond the control of the issuers of the REITs. In addition, distributions received by the Fund from REITs may consist of dividends, capital gains and/or return of capital. Many of these distributions however will not generally qualify for favorable treatment as qualified dividend income.
Securities Lending Risk
Securities lending involves exposure to certain risks, including counterparty risk, collateral risk and operational risk. Counterparty risk is the risk that the borrower may fail to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. As a result, a First Trust Fund engaged in securities lending transactions may suffer a loss and there may be a delay in recovering the lent securities. Any delay in the return of securities on loan may restrict the ability of the Fund to meet delivery or payment obligations. Collateral risk is the risk that the collateral received may be realized at a value lower than the value of the securities lent, whether due to inaccurate pricing of the collateral, adverse market movements in the value of the collateral, intra-day increases in the value of the securities lent, a deterioration in the credit rating of the collateral issuer, or the illiquidity of the market in which the collateral is traded. Securities lending also entails operational risks, such as settlement failures or delays in the settlement of instructions. Such failures or delays may restrict the ability of the Fund to meet delivery or payment obligations. Lastly, securities lending activities may result in adverse tax consequences for the Fund and its shareholders. For instance, substitute payments for dividends received by the Fund for securities loaned out by the Fund will not be considered qualified dividend income. The Fund could lose money if its short-term investment of the collateral declines in value over the period of the loan.
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Small and Mid Capitalization Companies Risk
Certain of the equity securities in the Fund may be small and/or mid capitalization company stocks. While historically such company stocks have outperformed the stocks of large companies, the former have customarily involved more investment risk as well. Small and mid capitalization companies may have limited product lines, markets or financial resources; may lack management depth or experience; and may be more vulnerable to adverse general market or economic developments than large companies. Some of these companies may distribute, sell or produce products which have recently been brought to market and may be dependent on key personnel.
The prices of small and mid capitalization company securities are often more volatile than prices associated with large company issues, and can display abrupt or erratic movements at times, due to limited trading volumes and less publicly available information. Also, because small and mid capitalization companies normally have fewer shares outstanding and these shares trade less frequently than large companies, it may be more difficult for the Fund which contains these equity securities to buy and sell significant amounts of such shares without an unfavorable impact on prevailing market prices. The securities of small and mid capitalization companies are often traded OTC and may not be traded in the volumes typical of a national securities exchange.
Tax Law Change Risk
Changes in tax laws or regulations, or interpretations thereof in the future, could adversely affect the Fund or the assets in which it invests. Any such changes could negatively impact the Fund and its shareholders.
Management of the Fund
Trustees and Officers
The general supervision of the duties performed for the Fund under the investment management agreement and sub-advisory agreement is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees. There are six Trustees of the Trust, one of whom is an “interested person” (as the term is defined in the 1940 Act) and five of whom are Trustees who are not officers or employees of First Trust or any of its affiliates (“Independent Trustees”). The Trustees set broad policies for the Fund, choose the Trust’s officers and hire the Trust’s investment advisor and sub-advisor. The officers of the Trust manage its day-to-day operations and are responsible to the Board of Trustees. The following is a list of the Trustees and executive officers of the Trust and a statement of their present positions and principal occupations during the past five years, the number of portfolios each Trustee oversees and the other directorships they have held during the past five years, if applicable. Each Trustee has been elected for an indefinite term. The officers of the Trust serve indefinite terms. Each Trustee, except for James A. Bowen, is an Independent Trustee. Mr. Bowen is deemed an “interested person” (as that term is defined in the 1940 Act) (“Interested Trustee”) of the Trust due to his position as Chief Executive Officer of First Trust, investment advisor to the Fund. The following table identifies the Trustees and Officers of the Trust. Unless otherwise indicated, the address of all persons below is c/o First Trust Advisors L.P., 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, IL 60187.
Name and
Year of Birth
Position
and Offices
with Trust
Term of
Office and
Year First
Elected or
Appointed
Principal Occupations
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in the First
Trust Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other
Trusteeships or
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
During the
Past 5 Years
TRUSTEE WHO IS AN INTERESTED PERSON OF THE TRUST
James A. Bowen (1)
1955
Chairman of the
Board and Trustee
Indefinite term
Since inception
Chief Executive Officer, First Trust
Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios
L.P.; Chairman of the Board of Directors,
BondWave LLC (Software Development
Company) and Stonebridge Advisors LLC
(Investment Advisor)
[___] Portfolios
None
INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES
Richard E. Erickson
1951
Trustee
Indefinite term
Since inception
Physician, Edward-Elmhurst Medical
Group; Physician and Officer, Wheaton
Orthopedics (1990 to 2021)
[___] Portfolios
None
22

Name and
Year of Birth
Position
and Offices
with Trust
Term of
Office and
Year First
Elected or
Appointed
Principal Occupations
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in the First
Trust Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other
Trusteeships or
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
During the
Past 5 Years
INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES
Thomas R. Kadlec
1957
Trustee
Indefinite term
Since inception
Retired; President, ADM Investor
Services, Inc. (Futures Commission
Merchant) (2010 to July 2022)
[___] Portfolios
Director, National
Futures
Association;
formerly, Director
of ADM Investor
Services, Inc.,
ADM Investor
Services
International,
ADMIS Hong Kong
Ltd., ADMIS
Singapore Ltd. and
Futures Industry
Association
Denise M. Keefe
1964
Trustee
Indefinite term
Since 2021
Executive Vice President, Advocate
Aurora Health and President, Advocate
Aurora Continuing Health Division
(Integrated Healthcare System)
[___] Portfolios
Director and Board
Chair of Advocate
Home Health
Services, Advocate
Home Care
Products and
Advocate Hospice;
Director and Board
Chair of Aurora At
Home (since
2018); Director of
Advocate
Physician Partners
Accountable Care
Organization;
Director and Board
Chair of RML Long
Term Acute Care
Hospitals; and
Director of Senior
Helpers (since
2021)
Robert F. Keith
1956
Trustee
Indefinite term
Since inception
President, Hibs Enterprises (Financial and
Management Consulting)
[___] Portfolios
Formerly, Director
of Trust Company
of Illinois
Niel B. Nielson
1954
Trustee
Indefinite term
Since inception
Senior Advisor (2018 to present),
Managing Director and Chief Operating
Officer (2015 to 2018), Pelita Harapan
Educational Foundation (Educational
Products and Services)
[___] Portfolios
None
Name and
Year of Birth
Position and
Offices with Trust
Term of Office and
Length of Service
Principal Occupations
During Past 5 Years
OFFICERS OF THE TRUST
James M. Dykas
1966
President and Chief
Executive Officer
Indefinite term
Since 2016
Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, First
Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.;
Chief Financial Officer, BondWave LLC (Software
Development Company) and Stonebridge Advisors
LLC (Investment Advisor)
W. Scott Jardine
1960
Secretary and Chief Legal
Officer
Indefinite term
Since inception
General Counsel, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First
Trust Portfolios L.P.; Secretary and General Counsel,
BondWave LLC; and Secretary, Stonebridge Advisors
LLC
Daniel J. Lindquist
1970
Vice President
Indefinite term
Since inception
Managing Director, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First
Trust Portfolios L.P.
23

Name and
Year of Birth
Position and
Offices with Trust
Term of Office and
Length of Service
Principal Occupations
During Past 5 Years
Kristi A. Maher
1966
Chief Compliance Officer
and Assistant Secretary
Indefinite term
Chief Compliance
Officer since January
2011
Assistant Secretary
since inception
Deputy General Counsel, First Trust Advisors L.P.
and First Trust Portfolios L.P.
Donald P. Swade
1972
Treasurer, Chief Financial
Officer and Chief
Accounting Officer
Indefinite term
Since 2016
Senior Vice President, First Trust Advisors L.P. and
First Trust Portfolios L.P.
Roger F. Testin
1966
Vice President
Indefinite term
Since inception
Senior Vice President, First Trust Advisors L.P. and
First Trust Portfolios L.P.
Stan Ueland
1970
Vice President
Indefinite term
Since inception
Senior Vice President, First Trust Advisors L.P. and
First Trust Portfolios L.P.
(1)
Mr. Bowen is deemed an “interested person” of the Trust due to his position as Chief Executive Officer of First Trust, investment advisor of the Fund.
Unitary Board Leadership Structure
Each Trustee serves as a trustee of all open-end and closed-end funds in the First Trust Fund Complex (as defined below), which is known as a “unitary” board leadership structure. Each Trustee currently serves as a trustee of First Trust Series Fund and First Trust Variable Insurance Trust, open-end funds with nine portfolios advised by First Trust; First Trust Senior Floating Rate Income Fund II, Macquarie/First Trust Global Infrastructure/Utilities Dividend & Income Fund, First Trust Energy Income and Growth Fund, First Trust Enhanced Equity Income Fund, First Trust/Aberdeen Global Opportunity Income Fund, First Trust Mortgage Income Fund, First Trust/Aberdeen Emerging Opportunity Fund, First Trust Specialty Finance and Financial Opportunities Fund, First Trust High Income Long/Short Fund, First Trust Energy Infrastructure Fund, First Trust MLP and Energy Income Fund, First Trust Intermediate Duration Preferred & Income Fund, First Trust Dynamic Europe Equity Income Fund, First Trust New Opportunities MLP & Energy Fund and First Trust High Yield Opportunities 2027 Term Fund, closed-end funds advised by First Trust; and First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund II, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund V, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VI, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII, First Trust Exchange-Traded AlphaDEX® Fund and First Trust Exchange-Traded AlphaDEX® Fund II, exchange-traded funds with [___] portfolios advised by First Trust (each a “First Trust Fund” and collectively, the “First Trust Fund Complex”). None of the Independent Trustees nor any of their immediate family members has ever been a director, officer or employee of, or consultant to, First Trust, First Trust Portfolios L.P. or their affiliates.
The management of the Fund, including general supervision of the duties performed for the Fund under the investment management agreement between the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, and the Advisor, and the sub-advisory agreement among the Advisor, the Sub-Advisor and the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees. The Trustees set broad policies for the Fund, choose the Trust’s officers and hire the Fund's investment advisor, sub-advisors and other service providers. The officers of the Trust manage the day-to-day operations and are responsible to the Board. The Board is composed of five Independent Trustees and one Interested Trustee. The Interested Trustee, James A. Bowen, serves as the Chairman of the Board for each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex.
The same six persons serve as Trustees on the Board and on the Boards of all other First Trust Funds. The unitary board structure was adopted for the First Trust Funds because of the efficiencies it achieves with respect to the governance and oversight of the First Trust Funds. Each First Trust Fund is subject to the rules and regulations of the 1940 Act (and other applicable securities laws), which means that many of the First Trust Funds face similar issues with respect to certain of their fundamental activities, including risk management, portfolio liquidity, portfolio valuation and financial reporting. Because of the similar and often overlapping issues facing the First Trust Funds, including among the First Trust exchange-traded funds, the Board of the First Trust Funds believes that maintaining a unitary board structure promotes efficiency and consistency in the governance and oversight of all First Trust Funds and reduces the costs, administrative burdens and possible conflicts that may result from having multiple boards. In adopting a unitary board structure, the Trustees seek to provide effective governance through establishing a board the overall composition of which will, as a body, possess the appropriate skills, diversity, independence and experience to oversee the Fund's business.
Annually, the Board reviews its governance structure and the committee structures, their performance and functions, and it reviews any processes that would enhance Board governance over the Fund's business. The Board has determined that
24

its leadership structure, including the unitary board and committee structure, is appropriate based on the characteristics of the funds it serves and the characteristics of the First Trust Fund Complex as a whole.
In order to streamline communication between the Advisor and the Independent Trustees and create certain efficiencies, the Board has a Lead Independent Trustee who is responsible for: (i) coordinating activities of the Independent Trustees; (ii) working with the Advisor, Fund counsel and the independent legal counsel to the Independent Trustees to determine the agenda for Board meetings; (iii) serving as the principal contact for and facilitating communication between the Independent Trustees and the Fund's service providers, particularly the Advisor; and (iv) any other duties that the Independent Trustees may delegate to the Lead Independent Trustee. The Lead Independent Trustee is selected by the Independent Trustees and serves a three-year term or until his or her successor is selected.
The Board has established five standing committees (as described below) and has delegated certain of its responsibilities to those committees. The Board and its committees meet frequently throughout the year to oversee the Fund's activities, review contractual arrangements with and performance of service providers, oversee compliance with regulatory requirements and review Fund performance. The Independent Trustees are represented by independent legal counsel at all Board and committee meetings (other than meetings of the Dividend Committee). Generally, the Board acts by majority vote of all the Trustees, including a majority vote of the Independent Trustees if required by applicable law.
The four Committee Chairs and the Lead Independent Trustee rotate every three years in serving as Chair of the Audit Committee, the Nominating and Governance Committee, the Valuation Committee, or the Dividend Committee, or as Lead Independent Trustee. The Lead Independent Trustee and immediately preceding Lead Independent Trustee also serve on the Executive Committee with the Interested Trustee.
The five standing committees of the First Trust Fund Complex are: the Executive Committee, the Nominating and Governance Committee, the Valuation Committee, the Audit Committee and the Dividend Committee. The Executive Committee, which meets between Board meetings, is authorized to exercise all powers of and to act in the place of the Board of Trustees to the extent permitted by the Trust’s Declaration of Trust and By Laws. Mr. Nielson, Mr. Bowen and Dr. Erickson are members of the Executive Committee.
The Nominating and Governance Committee is responsible for appointing and nominating non-interested persons to the Board of Trustees. Messrs. Erickson, Kadlec, Keith, Nielson and Ms. Keefe are members of the Nominating and Governance Committee. If there is no vacancy on the Board of Trustees, the Board will not actively seek recommendations from other parties, including shareholders. The Board of Trustees adopted a mandatory retirement age of 75 for Trustees, beyond which age Trustees are ineligible to serve. The Committee will not consider new trustee candidates who are 72 years of age or older or will turn 72 years old during the initial term. When a vacancy on the Board of Trustees occurs or is anticipated to occur and nominations are sought to fill such vacancy, the Nominating and Governance Committee may seek nominations from those sources it deems appropriate in its discretion, including shareholders of the Fund. To submit a recommendation for nomination as a candidate for a position on the Board of Trustees, shareholders of the Fund should mail such recommendation to W. Scott Jardine, Secretary, at the Trust’s address, 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. Such recommendation shall include the following information: (i) evidence of Fund ownership of the person or entity recommending the candidate (if a Fund shareholder); (ii) a full description of the proposed candidate’s background, including education, experience, current employment and date of birth; (iii) names and addresses of at least three professional references for the candidate; (iv) information as to whether the candidate is an “interested person” in relation to the Fund, as such term is defined in the 1940 Act, and such other information that may be considered to impair the candidate’s independence; and (v) any other information that may be helpful to the Committee in evaluating the candidate. If a recommendation is received with satisfactorily completed information regarding a candidate during a time when a vacancy exists on the Board or during such other time as the Nominating and Governance Committee is accepting recommendations, the recommendation will be forwarded to the Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee and to counsel to the Independent Trustees.
The Valuation Committee is responsible for the oversight of the valuation of the securities held in the Fund's portfolio. Messrs. Erickson, Kadlec, Keith, Nielson and Ms. Keefe are members of the Valuation Committee.
The Audit Committee is responsible for overseeing the Fund’s accounting and financial reporting process, the system of internal controls and audit process and for evaluating and appointing independent auditors (subject also to Board approval). Messrs. Erickson, Kadlec, Keith, Nielson and Ms. Keefe serve on the Audit Committee.
The Dividend Committee is responsible for assisting the Board in, or assuming the authority and power of the Board with respect to, the declaration and setting of the Fund's dividends. Messrs. Erickson and Nielson serve on the Dividend Committee.
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Executive Officers
The executive officers of the Trust hold the same positions with each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex (representing [___] portfolios) as they hold with the Trust, except Mr. Ueland who is an executive officer of only the ETFs advised by First Trust and Mr. Testin who is an executive officer of only the ETFs and open-end funds advised by First Trust.
Risk Oversight
As part of the general oversight of the Fund, the Board is involved in the risk oversight of the Fund. The Board has adopted and periodically reviews policies and procedures designed to address the Fund’s risks. Oversight of investment and compliance risk, including oversight of any sub-advisors, is performed primarily at the Board level in conjunction with the Advisor’s investment oversight group and the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”). Oversight of other risks also occurs at the committee level. The Advisor’s investment oversight group reports to the Board at quarterly meetings regarding, among other things, Fund performance and the various drivers of such performance as well as information related to the Sub-Advisor and its operations and processes. The Board reviews reports on the Fund's and the service providers’ compliance policies and procedures at each quarterly Board meeting and receives an annual report from the CCO regarding the operations of the Fund's and the service providers’ compliance programs. In addition, the Independent Trustees meet privately each quarter with the CCO. The Audit Committee reviews, with the Advisor and the Fund's independent auditors, the Fund’s major financial risk exposures and the steps the Advisor has taken to monitor and control these exposures, including the Fund’s risk assessment and risk management policies and guidelines. The Audit Committee also, as appropriate, reviews in a general manner the processes other Board committees have in place with respect to risk assessment and risk management. The Nominating and Governance Committee monitors all matters related to the corporate governance of the Trust. The Valuation Committee monitors valuation risk and oversees the actions by the Advisor with respect to the valuation of portfolio securities.
Not all risks that may affect the Fund can be identified nor can controls be developed to eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects. It may not be practical or cost effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, the processes and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness, and some risks are simply beyond the reasonable control of the Fund or the Advisor or other service providers. For instance, as the use of Internet technology has become more prevalent, the Fund and its service providers have become more susceptible to potential operational risks through breaches in cyber security (generally, intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund or a service provider to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity).  There can be no guarantee that any risk management systems established by the Fund, its service providers, or issuers of the securities in which the Fund invests to reduce cyber security risks will succeed, and the Fund cannot control such systems put in place by service providers, issuers or other third parties whose operations may affect the Fund and/or its shareholders. Moreover, it is necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve the Fund's goals. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the Fund's ability to manage risk is subject to substantial limitations.
Board Diversification and Trustee Qualifications
As described above, the Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board oversees matters related to the selection and nomination of Trustees. The Nominating and Governance Committee seeks to establish an effective Board with an appropriate range of skills and diversity, including, as appropriate, differences in background, professional experience, education, vocation, and other individual characteristics and traits in the aggregate. Each Trustee must meet certain basic requirements, including relevant skills and experience, time availability and, if qualifying as an Independent Trustee, independence from the Advisor, Sub-Advisor, underwriters or other service providers, including any affiliates of these entities.
Listed below for each current Trustee are the experiences, qualifications and attributes that led to the conclusion, as of the date of this SAI, that each current Trustee should serve as a Trustee in light of the Trust’s business and structure.
Richard E. Erickson, M.D., is an orthopedic surgeon with Edward-Elmhurst Medical Group. He was previously President of Wheaton Orthopedics, a co-owner and director of a fitness center and a limited partner of two real estate companies. Dr. Erickson has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception and of the First Trust Funds since 1999. Dr. Erickson has also served as the Lead Independent Trustee (20082009 and 20172019) and on the Executive Committee (20082009 and 2017present), Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20032007 and 20142016), Chairman of the Audit Committee (20122013) and Chairman of the Valuation Committee (June 20062007 and 20102011) of the First Trust Funds. He currently serves as Chairman of the Valuation Committee (since January 1, 2020) of the First Trust Funds.
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Thomas R. Kadlec was previously President of ADM Investor Services Inc. (“ADMIS”), a futures commission merchant and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Archer Daniels Midland Company (“ADM”) from 2010 to July 2022. Mr. Kadlec was employed by ADMIS and its affiliates since 1990 in various accounting, financial, operations and risk management capacities. Mr. Kadlec served on the boards of several international affiliates of ADMIS until July 2022 and served as a member of ADM’s Integrated Risk Committee from 20082018, which was tasked with the duty of implementing and communicating enterprise-wide risk management. From 2014 to 2022, Mr. Kadlec was on the board of the Futures Industry Association. In 2017, Mr. Kadlec was elected to the board of the National Futures Association. Mr. Kadlec has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception. Mr. Kadlec also served on the Executive Committee from the organization of the first First Trust closed-end fund in 2003 through 2005 (and 20142019) until he was elected as the first Lead Independent Trustee in December 2005, serving as such through 2007 (and 20142016). He also served as Chairman of the Valuation Committee (20082009 and 20172019), Chairman of the Audit Committee (20102011) and Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20122013). He currently serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee (since January 1, 2020) of the First Trust Funds.
Denise M. Keefe is Executive Vice President of Advocate Aurora Health and President of Advocate Aurora Continuing Health Division (together, “Advocate”), one of the largest integrated healthcare systems in the U.S. serving Illinois and Wisconsin. Ms. Keefe has been employed by Advocate since 1993 and is responsible for the Continuing Health Division’s strategic direction, fiscal management, business development, revenue enhancement, operational efficiencies, and human resource management of 4,000 employees. Ms. Keefe also currently serves on the boards of several organizations within the Advocate Aurora Continuing Health Division and other health care organizations, including RML Long Term Acute Care Hospitals (since 2014) and Senior Helpers (since 2021). Prior thereto, Ms. Keefe was Corporate Vice President, Marketing and Business Development for the Visiting Nurse Association of Chicago (19891992) and a former Board Member of Sherman West Court Skilled Nursing Facility. Ms. Keefe has served as a Trustee of the First Trust Funds and on the Audit Committee, Nominating and Governance Committee and Valuation Committee of the First Trust Funds since November 1, 2021.
Robert F. Keith is President of Hibs Enterprises, a financial and management consulting firm. Mr. Keith has been with Hibs Enterprises since 2003. Prior thereto, Mr. Keith spent 18 years with ServiceMaster and Aramark, including three years as President and COO of ServiceMaster Consumer Services, where he led the initial expansion of certain products overseas; five years as President and COO of ServiceMaster Management Services; and two years as President of Aramark ServiceMaster Management Services. Mr. Keith is a certified public accountant and also has held the positions of Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of ServiceMaster, at which time he oversaw the financial aspects of ServiceMaster’s expansion of its Management Services division into Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Mr. Keith has served as a Trustee of the First Trust Funds since 2006. Mr. Keith has also served as the Chairman of the Audit Committee (20082009 and 20172019), Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20102011) and Chairman of the Valuation Committee (20142016) of the First Trust Funds. He served as Lead Independent Trustee and on the Executive Committee (20122016) and currently serves as Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (since January 1, 2020) of the First Trust Funds.
Niel B. Nielson, Ph.D., has been the Senior Advisor of Pelita Harapan Educational Foundation, a global provider of educational products and services since 2018. Prior thereto, Mr. Nielson served as the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Pelita Harapan Educational Foundation for three years. Mr. Nielson formerly served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dew Learning LLC from 2012 through 2014. Mr. Nielson formerly served as President of Covenant College (20022012), and as a partner and trader (of options and futures contracts for hedging options) for Ritchie Capital Markets Group (19961997), where he held an administrative management position at this proprietary derivatives trading company. He also held prior positions in new business development for ServiceMaster Management Services Company and in personnel and human resources for NationsBank of North Carolina, N.A. and Chicago Research and Trading Group, Ltd. (“CRT”). His international experience includes serving as a director of CRT Europe, Inc. for two years, directing out of London all aspects of business conducted by the U.K. and European subsidiary of CRT. Prior to that, Mr. Nielson was a trader and manager at CRT in Chicago. Mr. Nielson has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception and of the First Trust Funds since 1999. Mr. Nielson has also served as the Chairman of the Audit Committee (20032006 and 20142016), Chairman of the Valuation Committee (20072008), Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20082009 and 20172019) and Lead Independent Trustee and a member of the Executive Committee (20102011). He currently serves as Lead Independent Trustee and on the Executive Committee (since January 1, 2020) and as Chairman of the Dividend Committee (since October 19, 2020) of the First Trust Funds.
James A. Bowen is Chief Executive Officer of First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P. Mr. Bowen is involved in the day-to-day management of the First Trust Funds and serves on the Executive Committee. He has over 35 years of experience in the investment company business in sales, sales management and executive management. Mr. Bowen has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception and of the First Trust Funds since 1999.
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Effective January 1, 2020, the fixed annual retainer paid to the Independent Trustees is $255,000 per year and an annual per fund fee of $2,500 for each closed-end fund and actively managed fund, $750 for each target outcome fund and $250 for each index fund. The fixed annual retainer is allocated equally among each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex rather than being allocated pro rata based on each fund’s net assets. Additionally, the Lead Independent Trustee is paid $30,000 annually, the Chairman of the Audit Committee or Valuation Committee are each paid $20,000 annually and the Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee is paid $10,000 annually to serve in such capacities with compensation allocated pro rata among each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex based on its net assets.
The following table sets forth the estimated compensation (including reimbursement for travel and out-of-pocket expenses) to be paid by the Fund for one fiscal year and the actual compensation paid by the First Trust Fund Complex to each of the Independent Trustees for the calendar year ended December 31, 2021, respectively. The Trust has no retirement or pension plans. The officers and Trustee who are “interested persons” as designated above serve without any compensation from the Trust. The Trust has no employees. Its officers are compensated by First Trust.
Name of Trustee
Estimated Compensation from
the Fund (1)
Total Compensation from
the First Trust Fund Complex (2)
Richard E. Erickson
$[____]
$509,393
Thomas R. Kadlec
$[____]
$509,393
Denise M. Keefe (3)
$[____]
$125,813
Robert F. Keith
$[____]
$499,393
Niel B. Nielson
$[____]
$519,393
(1)
The estimated compensationto be paid by the Fund to the Independent Trustees for one fiscal year for services to the Fund.
(2)
The total compensation paid to the Independent Trustees for the calendar year ended December 31, 2021 for services to the 219 portfolios existing in 2021, which consisted of 8 open-end mutual funds, 16 closed-end funds and 195 exchange-traded funds.
(3)
Ms. Keefe was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the First Trust Funds effective November 1, 2021.
The following table sets forth the dollar range of equity securities beneficially owned by the Trustees in the Fund and in other funds overseen by the Trustees in the First Trust Fund Complex as of December 31, 2021:
Trustee
Dollar Range of Equity
Securities in the Fund
(Number of Shares
Held)
Aggregate Dollar
Range of Equity
Securities in All
Registered Investment
Companies Overseen
by Trustee in the First
Trust Fund Complex
Interested Trustee
James A. Bowen
None
Over $100,000
Independent Trustees
Richard E. Erickson
None
Over $100,000
Thomas R. Kadlec
None
Over $100,000
Denise M. Keefe(1)
None
None
Robert F. Keith
None
Over $100,000
Niel B. Nielson
None
Over $100,000
(1)
Ms. Keefe was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the First Trust Funds effective November 1, 2021.
As of _______, 2022, the Independent Trustees of the Trust and their immediate family members did not own beneficially or of record any class of securities of an investment advisor or principal underwriter of the Fund or any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with an investment advisor or principal underwriter of the Fund.
As of _______, 2022, the officers and Trustees, in the aggregate, owned less than 1% of the shares of the Fund.
As of _______, 2022, First Trust Portfolios was the sole shareholder of the Fund. As sole shareholder, First Trust Portfolios has the ability to control the outcome of any item presented to shareholders for approval.
Investment Advisor. First Trust, 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, is the investment advisor to the Fund. First Trust is a limited partnership with one limited partner, Grace Partners of DuPage L.P., and one general partner, The Charger Corporation. Grace Partners of DuPage L.P. is a limited partnership with one general partner, The Charger Corporation,
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and a number of limited partners. The Charger Corporation is an Illinois corporation controlled by James A. Bowen, the Chief Executive Officer of First Trust. First Trust discharges its responsibilities to the Fund subject to the policies of the Fund.
First Trust provides investment tools and portfolios for advisors and investors. First Trust is committed to theoretically sound portfolio construction and empirically verifiable investment management approaches. Its asset management philosophy and investment discipline are deeply rooted in the application of intuitive factor analysis and model implementation to enhance investment decisions.
First Trust acts as investment advisor for and manages the investment and reinvestment of the assets of the Fund. First Trust also administers the Trust’s business affairs, provides office facilities and equipment and certain clerical, bookkeeping and administrative services, and permits any of its officers or employees to serve without compensation as Trustees or officers of the Trust if elected to such positions.
Pursuant to an investment management agreement between First Trust and the Trust, on behalf of the Fund (the “Investment Management Agreement”), First Trust oversees Energy Income Partner's management of the Fund’s assets and is responsible for paying all expenses of the Fund, excluding the fee payments under the Investment Management Agreement, interest, taxes, brokerage commissions, acquired fund fees and expenses, if any, and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, distribution and service fees payable pursuant to a Rule 12b-1 plan, if any, and extraordinary expenses. The Fund has agreed to pay First Trust an annual unitary management fee equal to 0.__% of its average daily net assets.
Under the Investment Management Agreement, First Trust shall not be liable for any loss sustained by reason of the purchase, sale or retention of any security, whether or not such purchase, sale or retention shall have been based upon the investigation and research made by any other individual, firm or corporation, if such recommendation shall have been selected with due care and in good faith, except loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith, or gross negligence on the part of First Trust in the performance of its obligations and duties, or by reason of its reckless disregard of its obligations and duties. The Investment Management Agreement terminates automatically upon assignment and is terminable at any time without penalty as to the Fund by the Board of Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, or by vote of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities on 60 days’ written notice to First Trust, or by First Trust on 60 days’ written notice to the Fund.
Sub-Advisor
The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, and First Trust have retained Energy Income Partners, LLC (“EIP”) to serve as the Fund’s investment sub-advisor pursuant to a sub-advisory agreement (the “Sub-Advisory Agreement”). In this capacity, EIP is responsible for the selection and on-going monitoring of the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolio. EIP is located at 10 Wright Street, Westport, Connecticut 06880, is a registered investment advisor and serves as investment advisor to investment portfolios with approximately $__ billion of assets as of _________, 2022. EIP is a Delaware limited liability company and an SEC-registered investment advisor, founded in October 2003 by James J. Murchie, Eva Pao and Linda Longville to provide professional asset management services in the energy sector. EIP mainly focuses on portfolio companies that operate infrastructure assets such as pipelines, storage and terminals that receive fee-based or regulated income from their customers. In addition to serving as sub-advisor to the Fund, EIP serves as the investment manager to two privately placed funds, one registered investment company, separately managed accounts and provides a model portfolio to unified management accounts. EIP also serves as the sub-advisor to the First Trust Energy Income and Growth Fund (NYSE: FEN), First Trust Energy Infrastructure Fund (NYSE: FIF), First Trust MLP and Energy Income Fund (NYSE: FEI), First Trust New Opportunities MLP & Energy Fund (NYSE: FPL), two actively managed ETFs, First Trust EIP Carbon Impact ETF (NYSE Arca: ECLN) and First Trust North American Energy Infrastructure Fund (NYSE Arca: EMLP) and the sleeves of First Trust Multi-Income Allocation Portfolio of the First Trust Variable Insurance Trust. EIP primarily focuses on portfolio companies that operate infrastructure assets such as pipelines, storage and terminals that receive fee-based or regulated income from their customers. First Trust Capital Partners, LLC (“FTCP”), an affiliate of First Trust, owns, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, a 15% ownership interest in each of EIP and EIP Partners, LLC, an affiliate of EIP.
Portfolio Managers. The portfolio managers are primarily and jointly responsible for the day-to-day portfolio management of the Fund. There are currently three portfolio managers, as follows:
James J. Murchie is the Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Portfolio Manager and a Principal of Energy Income Partners. After founding Energy Income Partners in October 2003, Mr. Murchie and the Energy Income Partners investment team joined Pequot Capital Management Inc. (“Pequot Capital”) in December 2004. In August 2006, Mr. Murchie and the Energy Income Partners investment team left Pequot Capital and re-established Energy Income
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Partners. Prior to founding Energy Income Partners, Mr. Murchie was a Portfolio Manager at Lawhill Capital Partners, LLC (“Lawhill Capital”), a long/short equity hedge fund investing in commodities and equities in the energy and basic industry sectors. Before Lawhill Capital, Mr. Murchie was a Managing Director at Tiger Management, LLC, where his primary responsibility was managing a portfolio of investments in commodities and related equities. Mr. Murchie was also a Principal at Sanford C. Bernstein. He began his career at British Petroleum, PLC. Mr. Murchie holds a BA in history and anthropology from Rice University and received his MA from Harvard University.
Eva Pao is a Co-Founder, Co-Portfolio Manager and Principal of Energy Income Partners. She is a Co-founder of Energy Income Partners since inception in 2003. From 2005 to mid-2006, Ms. Pao joined Pequot Capital Management during Energy Income Partners’ affiliation with Pequot. Prior to Harvard Business School, Ms. Pao was a Manager at Enron Corp where she managed a portfolio in Canadian oil and gas equities for Enron’s internal hedge fund that specialized in energy-related equities and managed a natural gas trading book. Ms. Pao received her undergraduate degree at Rice University and received her MBA from Harvard Business School.
John K. Tysseland is a Co-Portfolio Manager and Principal of EIP. Prior to joining EIP, Mr. Tysseland worked at Citi Research most currently serving as a Managing Director where he covered midstream energy companies and MLPs. From 1998 to 2005, he worked at Raymond James & Associates as a Vice President who covered the oilfield service industry and established the firm’s initial coverage of MLPs in 2001. Prior to that, he was an Equity Trader at Momentum Securities from 1997 to 1998 and an Assistant Executive Director at Sumar Enterprises from 1996 to 1997. Mr. Tysseland graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BA in economics.
As of ________, 2022, none of the portfolio managers beneficially owned any shares of the Fund.
Compensation.The portfolio managers are compensated by a competitive minimum base salary and share in the profits of EIP in relationship to their ownership of EIP.
Accounts Managed By Portfolio Managers
The portfolio managers manage the investment vehicles (other than the Fund) with the number of accounts and assets, as of _________, 2022, set forth in the table below:
Portfolio Manager
Registered
Investment Companies
Number of Accounts
($ Assets in Millions)
Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
Number of Accounts
($ Assets in Millions)
Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
with Performance Fees
Number of Accounts
($ Assets in Millions)
Other Accounts
Number of Accounts
($ Assets in Millions)
James J. Murchie
[_] ($[____])
[_] ($[____])
[_] ($[____])
[_] ($[____])
Eva Pao
[_] ($[____])
[_] ($[____])
[_] ($[____])
[_] ($[____])
John K. Tysseland
[_] ($[____])
[_] ($[____])
[_] ($[____])
[_] ($[____])
Conflicts of Interest. Actual or apparent conflicts of interest may arise when a portfolio manager has day-to-day management responsibilities with respect to more than one fund or other account. More specifically, portfolio managers who manage multiple funds and/or other accounts may be presented with one or more of the potential conflicts described below.
The management of multiple funds and/or other accounts may result in a portfolio manager devoting unequal time and attention to the management of each fund and/or other account. The Sub-Advisor seeks to manage such competing interests for the time and attention of the portfolio managers by having the portfolio managers focus on a particular investment discipline. Most other accounts managed by the portfolio managers are managed using the same investment models that are used in connection with the management of the Fund.
The Sub-Advisor will generally execute transactions for clients on an aggregated basis where possible and when EIP believes that to do so will allow it to obtain best execution and to negotiate more favorable commission rates or avoid certain transaction costs that might have otherwise been paid had such orders been placed independently. In accordance with its fiduciary duty, it is the Sub-Advisor's policy that all clients be treated fairly, subject to client imposed and other constraints noted below. A number of factors are taken into consideration when allocating investment opportunities among EIP’s clients, including the Fund, including investment objectives and strategies, risk tolerances, tax status, size of client accounts, size of available positions, current market conditions, total portfolio invested positions and the nature of the security to be allocated. The Sub-Advisor may aggregate orders in which the Sub-Advisor, the Portfolio Managers or the/its affiliates may be/have financial interest including proprietary accounts. If the portfolio managers identify a limited investment opportunity that may be suitable
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for more than one fund or other account, a fund may not be able to take full advantage of that opportunity due to an allocation of filled purchase or sale orders across all eligible funds and other accounts. To deal with these situations, the Sub-Advisor adopted procedures for allocating portfolio transactions across multiple accounts including proprietary accounts.
With respect to securities transactions for the Fund, the Sub-Advisor determines which broker to use to execute each order, consistent with its duty to seek best execution of the transaction. However, with respect to certain other accounts, the Sub-Advisor may be limited by the client with respect to the selection of brokers or may be instructed to direct trades through a particular broker. In these cases, trades for the Fund in a particular security may be placed separately from, rather than aggregated with, such other accounts. Having separate transactions with respect to a security may temporarily affect the market price of the security or the execution of the transaction, or both, to the possible detriment of the Fund or other account(s) involved.
The Sub-Advisor, the Advisor and the Fund have adopted certain compliance procedures that are designed to address these types of conflicts. However, there is no guarantee that such procedures will detect each and every situation in which a conflict arises.
The Sub-Advisory Agreement. The Sub-Advisor, subject to the Board of Trustees’ and Advisor’s supervision, provides the Fund with discretionary investment services. Specifically, the Sub-Advisor is responsible for managing the investments of the Fund in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective, policies and restrictions as provided in the Prospectus and this SAI, as may be subsequently changed by the Board of Trustees and communicated to the Sub-Advisor in writing. The Sub-Advisor further agrees to conform to all applicable laws and regulations of the SEC in all material respects and to conduct its activities under the Sub-Advisory Agreement in all material respects in accordance with applicable regulations of any governmental authority pertaining to its investment advisory services. In the performance of its duties, the Sub-Advisor will, in all material respects satisfy any applicable fiduciary duties it may have to the Fund, monitor the Fund’s investments, and will comply with the provisions of the Fund's Declaration of Trust and By-Laws, as amended from time to time, and the stated investment objective, policies and restrictions of the Fund. The Sub-Advisor is responsible for effecting all security transactions for the Fund’s assets. The Sub-Advisory Agreement provides that the Sub-Advisor shall generally not be liable for any loss suffered by the Fund or the advisor (including, without limitation, by reason of the purchase, sale or retention of any security) in connection with the performance of the Sub-Advisor’s duties under the Sub-Advisory Agreement, except for a loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of the Sub-Advisor in performance of its duties under the Sub-Advisory Agreement, or by reason of its reckless disregard of its obligations and duties under the Sub-Advisory Agreement.
Pursuant to the Sub-Advisory Agreement, the Advisor has agreed to pay for the services and facilities provided by the Sub-Advisor through sub-advisory fees. EIP receives a sub-advisory fee from First Trust equal to __% of any remaining monthly investment management fee paid to First Trust after the average Fund expenses accrued during the most recent twelve months are subtracted from the investment management fee in a given month. The Sub-Advisor’s fees are paid by the Advisor out of the Advisor’s management fee.
The Sub-Advisory Agreement may be terminated without the payment of any penalty by First Trust, the Board of Trustees, or a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act), upon 60 days’ written notice to the Sub-Advisor.
All fees and expenses are accrued daily and deducted before payment of dividends to investors. The Sub-Advisory Agreement has been approved by the Board of Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees of the Fund, and the common shareholders of the Fund.
Brokerage Allocations
Subject to the supervision of the Board of Trustees, the Sub-Advisor shall have authority and discretion to select brokers and dealers to execute transactions initiated by the Sub-Advisor and to select the market in which the transactions will be executed. In placing orders for the sale and purchase of securities for the Fund, the Sub-Advisor will use its commercially reasonable efforts to obtain best execution. However, the Sub-Advisor will not deemed to be in breach of any obligation owing to the Trust or the Fund solely by reason of its having caused the Fund to pay a member of a securities exchange, a broker or a dealer a commission for effecting a securities transaction for the Fund in excess of the amount of commission another member of an exchange, broker or dealer would have charged if the Sub-Advisor determines in good faith that the commission cost is reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and research services (within the meaning of Section 28(e)(3) of the 1934 Act) provided by such broker or dealer to the Sub-Advisor, viewed in terms of either that particular transaction or of the overall responsibilities with respect to its clients, including the Fund, as to which the Sub-Advisor exercises investment discretion,
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notwithstanding that the Fund may not be the direct or exclusive beneficiary of any such services or that another broker may be willing to charge the Fund a lower commission on the particular transaction.
The Sub-Advisor’s objective in selecting brokers and dealers and in effecting portfolio transactions is to seek to obtain the best combination of price and execution with respect to its clients’ portfolio transactions. Steps associated with seeking best execution include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) determine each client’s trading requirements; (ii) select appropriate trading methods, venues, and agents to execute the trades under the circumstances; (iii) evaluate market liquidity of each security and take appropriate steps to avoid excessive market impact; (iv) maintain client confidentiality and proprietary information inherent in the decision to trade; and (v) review the results on a periodic basis.
In arranging for the purchase and sale of clients’ portfolio securities, the Sub-Advisor takes numerous factors into consideration. The best net price, giving effect to brokerage commissions, spreads and other costs, is normally an important factor in this decision, but a number of other judgmental factors are considered as they are deemed relevant. The factors include, but are not limited to: the execution capabilities required by the transactions; the ability and willingness of the broker or dealer to facilitate the accounts’ portfolio transactions by participating therein for its own account; the importance to the account of speed, efficiency and confidentiality; the broker or dealer’s apparent familiarity with sources from or to whom particular securities might be purchased or sold; the reputation and perceived soundness of the broker or dealer; the Sub-Advisor’s knowledge of negotiated commission rates and spreads currently available; the nature of the security being traded; the size and type of the transaction; the nature and character of the markets for the security to be purchased or sold; the desired timing of the trade; the activity existing and expected in the market for the particular security; confidentiality; the execution, clearance and settlement capabilities as well as the reputation and perceived soundness of the broker-dealer selected and others which are considered; the Sub-Advisor’s knowledge of actual or apparent operational problems of any broker-dealer; the broker-dealer’s execution services rendered on a continuing basis and in other transactions; the reasonableness of spreads or commissions; as well as other matters relevant to the selection of a broker or dealer for portfolio transactions for any account. The Sub-Advisor does not adhere to any rigid formula in making the selection of the applicable broker or dealer for portfolio transactions, but weighs a combination of the preceding factors.
When buying or selling securities in dealer markets, the Sub-Advisor generally prefers to deal directly with market makers in the securities. The Sub-Advisor will typically effect these trades on a “net” basis, and will not pay the market maker any commission, commission equivalent or markup/markdown other than the “spread.” Usually, the market maker profits from the “spread,” that is, the difference between the price paid (or received) by the Sub-Advisor and the price received (or paid) by the market maker in trades with other broker-dealers or other customers.
The Sub-Advisor may use Electronic Communications Networks (“ECN”) or Alternative Trading Systems (“ATS”) to effect such over-the-counter trades for equity securities when, in the Sub-Advisor’s judgment, the use of an ECN or ATS may result in equal or more favorable overall executions for the transactions.
Portfolio transactions for each client account will generally be completed independently, except when the Sub-Advisor is in the position of buying or selling the same security for a number of clients at approximately the same time. Because of market fluctuations, the prices obtained on such transactions within a single day may vary substantially. In order to avoid having clients receive different prices for the same security on the same day, the Sub-Advisor endeavors, when possible, to use an “averaging” procedure.
Under this procedure, purchases or sales of a particular security for clients’ accounts will at times be combined or “batched” with purchases or sales for other advisory clients by the Sub-Advisor unless the client has expressly directed otherwise. Such batched trades may be used to facilitate best execution, including negotiating more favorable prices, obtaining more timely or equitable execution or reducing overall commission charges. In such cases, the price shown on confirmations of clients’ purchases or sales will be the average execution price on all of the purchases and sales that are aggregated for this purpose.
The Sub-Advisor may also consider the following when deciding on allocations: (i) cash flow changes (including available cash, redemptions, exchanges, capital additions and capital withdrawals) may provide a basis to deviate from a pre-established allocation as long as it does not result in an unfair advantage to specific accounts or types of accounts over time; (ii) accounts with specialized investment objectives or restrictions emphasizing investment in a specific category of securities may be given priority over other accounts in allocating such securities; and (iii) for bond trades, street convention and good delivery often dictate the minimum size and par amounts and may result in deviations from pro rata distribution.
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Administrator, Fund Accounting Agent, Custodian, Transfer Agent, Distributor, and Exchange
Administrator and Fund Accounting Agent. The Fund has appointed The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation ("BNYM"), located at 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286, to serve as the Fund's administrator and provide the Fund with accounting services pursuant to a fund administration and accounting agreement (the “Administration and Accounting Agreement”). Under the Administration and Accounting Agreement, BNYM is obligated, on a continuous basis, to provide such administrative services as the Board reasonably deems necessary for the proper administration of the Trust and the Fund. BNYM generally will assist in many aspects of the Trust’s and the Fund's operations, including accounting, bookkeeping and record keeping services (including, without limitation, the maintenance of such books and records as are required under the 1940 Act and the rules thereunder, except as maintained by other service providers), assist in preparing reports to shareholders or investors, prepare and file tax returns, supply financial information and supporting data for reports to and filings with the SEC and various state Blue Sky authorities and supply supporting documentation for meetings of the Board.
Custodian. The Trust has appointed BNYM to serve as the Fund's custodian pursuant to a custody agreement (the “Custody Agreement”). Pursuant to the terms of the Custody Agreement, BNYM is generally responsible for the safekeeping of the Fund's assets and performing various other administrative duties set forth in the agreement.
Transfer Agent. The Trust has appointed BNYM to serve as the Fund's transfer agent and dividend disbursing agent pursuant to a transfer agency and service agreement (the “Transfer Agency Agreement”). Pursuant to the terms of the Transfer Agency Agreement, BNYM is responsible for performing and facilitating the purchases and redemptions of Creation Unit Aggregations, as well as performing other customary services of a transfer agent and dividend disbursing agent.
As set forth in the Administration and Accounting Agreement, Custody Agreement and Transfer Agency Agreement, the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has agreed to indemnify and hold harmless BNYM from certain costs, expenses, damages, liabilities or claims which are sustained or incurred or which may be asserted against BNYM, provided that such costs, expenses, damages, liabilities and claims did not result from BNYM’s own negligence or willful misconduct.
As compensation for the services provided by BNYM under the Administration and Accounting Agreement, Custody Agreement and Transfer Agency Agreement, the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has agreed to pay to BNYM such compensation as may be specifically agreed upon from time to time and reimburse BNYM for out-of-pocket expenses which are a normal incident of the services provided under the agreements. Pursuant to the terms of the Investment Management Agreement, the Fund does not directly pay BNYM for these services, as First Trust has assumed responsibility for the payment of these expenses out of the unitary management fee it receives from the Fund.
Distributor. First Trust Portfolios L.P., an affiliate of First Trust, is the distributor (“FTP” or the “Distributor”) and principal underwriter of the shares of the Fund. Its principal address is 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. The Distributor has entered into a Distribution Agreement with the Trust pursuant to which it distributes Fund shares. Shares are continuously offered for sale by the Fund through the Distributor only in Creation Unit Aggregations, as described in the Prospectus and below under the heading "Creations and Redemption of Creation Units."
12b-1 Plan. The Trust has adopted a Plan of Distribution pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act (the “Plan”) pursuant to which the Fund may reimburse the Distributor up to a maximum annual rate of 0.25% of its average daily net assets.
Under the Plan and as required by Rule 12b-1, the Trustees will receive and review after the end of each calendar quarter a written report provided by the Distributor of the amounts expended under the Plan and the purpose for which such expenditures were made. With the exception of the Distributor and its affiliates, no “interested person” of the Trust (as that term is defined in the 1940 Act) and no Trustee of the Trust has a direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the Plan or any related agreement.
No fee is currently paid by the Fund under the Plan and, pursuant to a contractual agreement, the Fund will not pay 12b-1 fees any time before [_____,_____].
Aggregations. Fund shares in less than Creation Unit Aggregations are not distributed by the Distributor. The Distributor will deliver the Prospectus and, upon request, this SAI to persons purchasing Creation Unit Aggregations and will maintain records of both orders placed with it and confirmations of acceptance furnished by it. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the 1934 Act and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).
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The Distribution Agreement provides that it may be terminated at any time, without the payment of any penalty, on at least 60 days’ written notice by the Trust to the Distributor (i) by vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees or (ii) by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund. The Distribution Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).
The Distributor may also enter into agreements with participants that utilize the facilities of the Depositary Trust Company (the "DTC Participants"), which have international operational capabilities and place orders for Creation Unit Aggregations of Fund shares. Participating Parties (which are participants in the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation) shall be DTC Participants.
Exchange. The only relationship that the Exchange has with First Trust or the Distributor of the Fund in connection with the Fund is that the Exchange lists the shares of the Fund and disseminates the intra-day portfolio values of the Fund that are calculated by the IPV Calculator pursuant to its listing agreement with the Trust. The Exchange is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of pricing or the timing of the issuance or sale of the shares of the Fund or in the determination or calculation of the asset value of the Fund. The Exchange has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Fund.
Additional Payments to Financial Intermediaries
First Trust or its affiliates may from time to time make payments, out of their own resources, to certain financial intermediaries that sell shares of First Trust mutual funds and ETFs (“First Trust Funds”) to promote the sales and retention of Fund shares by those firms and their customers.  The amounts of these payments vary by intermediary.  The level of payments that First Trust is willing to provide to a particular intermediary may be affected by, among other factors, (i) the firm’s total assets or Fund shares held in and recent net investments into First Trust Funds, (ii) the value of the assets invested in the First Trust Funds by the intermediary’s customers, (iii) redemption rates, (iv) its ability to attract and retain assets, (v) the intermediary’s reputation in the industry, (vi) the level and/or type of marketing assistance and educational activities provided by the intermediary, (vii) the firm’s level of participation in First Trust Funds’ sales and marketing programs, (viii) the firm’s compensation program for its registered representatives who sell Fund shares and provide services to Fund shareholders, and (ix) the asset class of the First Trust Funds for which these payments are provided. Such payments are generally asset-based but also may include the payment of a lump sum.
First Trust may also make payments to certain intermediaries for certain administrative services and shareholder processing services, including record keeping and sub-accounting of shareholder accounts pursuant to a sub-transfer agency, omnibus account service or sub-accounting agreement.  All fees payable by First Trust under this category of services may be charged back to the Fund, subject to approval by the Board.
First Trust and/or its affiliates may make payments, out of its own assets, to those firms as compensation and/or reimbursement for marketing support and/or program servicing to selected intermediaries that are registered as holders or dealers of record for accounts invested in one or more of the First Trust Funds or that make First Trust Fund shares available through certain selected Fund no-transaction fee institutional platforms and fee-based wrap programs at certain financial intermediaries. Program servicing payments typically apply to employee benefit plans, such as retirement plans, or fee-based advisory programs but may apply to retail sales and assets in certain situations. The payments are based on such factors as the type and nature of services or support furnished by the intermediary and are generally asset-based. Services for which an intermediary receives marketing support payments may include, but are not limited to, business planning assistance, advertising, educating the intermediary’s personnel about First Trust Funds in connection with shareholder financial planning needs, placement on the intermediary’s preferred or recommended fund list, and access to sales meetings, sales representatives and management representatives of the intermediary. In addition, intermediaries may be compensated for enabling representatives of First Trust and/or its affiliates to participate in and/or present at conferences or seminars, sales or training programs for invited registered representatives and other employees, client and investor events and other events sponsored by the intermediary. Services for which an intermediary receives program servicing payments typically include, but are not limited to, record keeping, reporting or transaction processing and shareholder communications and other account administration services, but may also include services rendered in connection with Fund/investment selection and monitoring, employee enrollment and education, plan balance rollover or separation, or other similar services. An intermediary may perform program services itself or may arrange with a third party to perform program services. These payments, if any, are in addition to the service fee and any applicable omnibus sub-accounting fees paid to these firms with respect to these services by the First Trust Funds out of Fund assets.
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From time to time, First Trust and/or its affiliates, at its expense, may provide other compensation to intermediaries that sell or arrange for the sale of shares of the First Trust Funds, which may be in addition to marketing support and program servicing payments described above. For example, First Trust and/or its affiliates may: (i) compensate intermediaries for National Securities Clearing Corporation networking system services (e.g., shareholder communication, account statements, trade confirmations and tax reporting) on an asset-based or per-account basis; (ii) compensate intermediaries for providing Fund shareholder trading information; (iii) make one-time or periodic payments to reimburse selected intermediaries for items such as ticket charges (i.e., fees that an intermediary charges its representatives for effecting transactions in Fund shares) or exchange order, operational charges (e.g., fees that an intermediary charges for establishing the Fund on its trading system), and literature printing and/or distribution costs; (iv) at the direction of a retirement plan’s sponsor, reimburse or pay direct expenses of an employee benefit plan that would otherwise be payable by the plan; and (v) provide payments to broker-dealers to help defray their technology or infrastructure costs.
When not provided for in a marketing support or program servicing agreement, First Trust and/ or its affiliates may also pay intermediaries for enabling First Trust and/or its affiliates to participate in and/or present at conferences or seminars, sales or training programs for invited registered representatives and other intermediary employees, client and investor events and other intermediary-sponsored events, and for travel expenses, including lodging incurred by registered representatives and other employees in connection with prospecting, asset retention and due diligence trips. These payments may vary depending upon the nature of the event. First Trust and/or its affiliates make payments for such events as it deems appropriate, subject to its internal guidelines and applicable law.
First Trust and/or its affiliates occasionally sponsor due diligence meetings for registered representatives during which they receive updates on various First Trust Funds and are afforded the opportunity to speak with portfolio managers. Although invitations to these meetings are not conditioned on selling a specific number of shares, those who have shown an interest in First Trust Funds are more likely to be considered. To the extent permitted by their firm’s policies and procedures, all or a portion of registered representatives’ expenses in attending these meetings may be covered by First Trust and/or its affiliates.
The amounts of payments referenced above made by First Trust and/or its affiliates could be significant and may create an incentive for an intermediary or its representatives to recommend or offer shares of the First Trust Funds to its customers. The intermediary may elevate the prominence or profile of the First Trust Funds within the intermediary’s organization by, for example, placing the First Trust Funds on a list of preferred or recommended funds and/or granting First Trust and/or its affiliates preferential or enhanced opportunities to promote the First Trust Funds in various ways within the intermediary’s organization. These payments are made pursuant to negotiated agreements with intermediaries. The payments do not change the price paid by investors for the purchase of a share or the amount the Fund will receive as proceeds from such sales. Furthermore, many of these payments are not reflected in the fees and expenses listed in the fee table section of the Fund’s Prospectus because they are not paid by the Fund. The types of payments described herein are not mutually exclusive, and a single intermediary may receive some or all types of payments as described.
Other compensation may be offered to the extent not prohibited by state laws or any self-regulatory agency, such as FINRA. Investors can ask their intermediaries for information about any payments they receive from First Trust and/or its affiliates and the services it provides for those payments. Investors may wish to take intermediary payment arrangements into account when considering and evaluating any recommendations relating to Fund shares.
Additional Information
Book Entry Only System. The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus.
DTC Acts as Securities Depository for Fund Shares. Shares of the Fund are represented by securities registered in the name of The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee, Cede & Co., and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC.
DTC, a limited-purpose trust company, was created to hold securities of its participants (the “DTC Participants”) and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions among the DTC Participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC Participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. More specifically, DTC is owned by a number of its DTC Participants and by the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and FINRA. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as banks, brokers, dealers and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly (the “Indirect Participants”).
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Beneficial ownership of shares is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in shares (owners of such beneficial interests are referred to herein as “Beneficial Owners”) is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC Participants) and on the records of DTC Participants (with respect to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners that are not DTC Participants). Beneficial Owners will receive from or through the DTC Participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase and sale of shares.
Conveyance of all notices, statements and other communications to Beneficial Owners is effected as follows. Pursuant to a letter agreement between DTC and the Trust, DTC is required to make available to the Trust upon request and for a fee to be charged to the Trust a listing of the shares of the Fund held by each DTC Participant. The Trust shall inquire of each such DTC Participant as to the number of Beneficial Owners holding shares, directly or indirectly, through such DTC Participant. The Trust shall provide each such DTC Participant with copies of such notice, statement or other communication, in such form, number and at such place as such DTC Participant may reasonably request, in order that such notice, statement or communication may be transmitted by such DTC Participant, directly or indirectly, to such Beneficial Owners. In addition, the Trust shall pay to each such DTC Participants a fair and reasonable amount as reimbursement for the expenses attendant to such transmittal, all subject to applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
Fund distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, as the registered holder of all Fund shares. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall immediately credit DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in shares of the Fund as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners of shares held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants.
The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial Owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in such shares, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests, or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners owning through such DTC Participants.
DTC may decide to discontinue providing its service with respect to shares at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Trust and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the Trust shall take action to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost.
Policy Regarding Investment in Other Investment Companies. The Fund will not rely on Sections 12(d)(1)(F) or 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act to invest in other investment companies.
Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures
The Trust has adopted a proxy voting policy that seeks to ensure that proxies for securities held by the Fund are voted consistently with the best interests of the Fund.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for oversight of the Fund’s proxy voting process. The Board has delegated day-to-day proxy voting responsibility to the Sub-Advisor. The Proxy Voting Guidelines of the Sub-Advisor are set forth in Exhibit A to this SAI.
Information regarding how the Fund voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30, is available upon request and without charge on the Fund’s website at www.ftportfolios.com, by calling (800) 621-1675 or by accessing the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
Portfolio Schedule. The Fund files portfolio holdings information for each month in a fiscal quarter within 60 days after the end of the relevant fiscal quarter on Form N-PORT. Portfolio holdings information for the third month of each fiscal quarter will be publicly available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. The Fund’s complete schedule of portfolio holdings for the second and fourth quarters of each fiscal year is included in the semi-annual and annual reports to shareholders, respectively, and is filed with the SEC on Form N-CSR. A semi-annual or annual report for the Fund will become available to investors within 60 days after the period to which it relates. The Fund’s Forms N-PORT and Forms N-CSR are available on the SEC’s website listed above.
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Policy Regarding Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings. The Trust has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the Fund’s portfolio holdings. The Board of Trustees must approve all material amendments to this policy. The Fund’s portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day the Fund is open for business through financial reporting and news services, including publicly accessible Internet websites. In addition, a basket composition file, which includes the security names and share quantities to deliver in exchange for Fund shares, together with estimates and actual cash components, is publicly disseminated each day the NYSE is open for trading via the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”). Pursuant to Rule 6c-11 under the 1940 Act, information regarding the Fund’s current portfolio holdings will be available on a daily basis at https://www.ftportfolios.com/Retail/etf/home.aspx. The Trust, First Trust, FTP, the Sub-Advisor and BNYM will not disseminate non-public information concerning the Trust.
Codes of Ethics. In order to mitigate the possibility that the Fund will be adversely affected by personal trading, the Trust, First Trust, EIP and the Distributor adopted Codes of Ethics under Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act. These Codes of Ethics contain policies restricting securities trading in personal accounts of the officers, Trustees and others who normally come into possession of information on portfolio transactions. Personnel subject to the Codes of Ethics may invest in securities that may be purchased or held by the Fund; however, the Codes of Ethics require that each transaction in such securities be reviewed by the Chief Compliance Officer or his or her designee. These Codes of Ethics are on public file with, and are available from, the SEC.
Creation and Redemption of Creation Units
General. ETFs, such as the Fund, generally issue and redeem their shares in primary market transactions through a creation and redemption mechanism and do not sell or redeem individual shares. Instead, financial entities known as “Authorized Participants” have contractual arrangements with an ETF or one of the ETF’s service providers to purchase and redeem ETF shares directly with the ETF in large blocks of shares known as “Creation Units.” Prior to the start of trading on every business day, an ETF publishes through the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) the “basket” of securities, cash or other assets that it will accept in exchange for a Creation Unit of the ETF’s shares. An Authorized Participant that wishes to effectuate a creation of an ETF’s shares deposits with the ETF the “basket” of securities, cash or other assets identified by the ETF that day, and then receives the Creation Unit of the ETF’s shares in return for those assets. After purchasing a Creation Unit, the Authorized Participant may continue to hold the ETF’s shares or sell them in the secondary market. The redemption process is the reverse of the purchase process: the authorized participant redeems a Creation Unit of ETF shares for a basket of securities, cash or other assets. The combination of the creation and redemption process with secondary market trading in ETF shares and underlying securities provides arbitrage opportunities that are designed to help keep the market price of ETF shares at or close to the NAV per share of the ETF.
Authorized Participants. An “Authorized Participant” is a member or participant of a clearing agency registered with the SEC that has a written agreement with the Fund or one of its service providers that allows the Authorized Participant to place orders for the purchase or redemption of Creation Units (a “Participant Agreement”). Orders to purchase Creation Units must be delivered through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement and must comply with the applicable provisions of such Participant Agreement. Investors wishing to purchase or sell shares generally do so on an exchange. Institutional investors other than Authorized Participants are responsible for making arrangements for a redemption request to be made through an Authorized Participant.
Business Day. A “Business Day” is generally any day on which the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), the Exchange and the Trust are open for business. As of the date of this SAI, the NYSE observes the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Business Day on which an order to purchase or redeem Creation Units is received in proper form is referred to as the “Transmittal Date.”
Basket Composition. Rule 6c-11(c)(3) under of the 1940 Act requires an ETF relying on the exemptions offered by Rule 6c-11 to adopt and implement written policies and procedures governing the construction of baskets and the process that the ETF will use for the acceptance of baskets. In general, in connection with the construction and acceptance of baskets, the Advisor may consider various factors, including, but not limited to: (1) whether the securities, assets and other positions comprising a basket are consistent with the ETF’s investment objective(s), policies and disclosure; (2) whether the securities, assets and other positions can legally and readily be acquired, transferred and held by the ETF and/or Authorized Participant(s), as applicable; (3) whether to utilize cash, either in lieu of securities or other instruments or as a cash balancing amount; and (4) in the case of an ETF that tracks an index, whether the securities, assets and other positions aid index tracking.
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The Fund may utilize a pro rata basket or a custom basket in reliance on Rule 6c-11. A “pro rata basket” is a basket that is a pro rata representation of the ETF’s portfolio holdings, except for minor deviations when it is not operationally feasible to include a particular instrument within the basket, except to the extent that the Fund utilized different baskets in transactions on the same Business Day.
Rule 6c-11 defines “custom baskets” to include two categories of baskets. First, a basket containing a non-representative selection of the ETF’s portfolio holdings would constitute a custom basket. These types of custom baskets include, but are not limited to, baskets that do not reflect: (i) a pro rata representation of the Fund’s portfolio holdings; (ii) a representative sampling of an ETF’s portfolio holdings; or (iii) changes due to a rebalancing or reconstitution of an ETF’s securities market index, if applicable. Second, if different baskets are used in transactions on the same Business Day, each basket after the initial basket would constitute a custom basket. For example, if an ETF exchanges a basket with either the same or another Authorized Participant that reflects a representative sampling that differs from the initial basket, that basket (and any such subsequent baskets) would be a custom basket. Similarly, if an ETF substitutes cash in lieu of a portion of basket assets for a single Authorized Participant, that basket would be a custom basket. The Advisor’s Rule 6c-11 Committee defines any deviation from a pro rata basket to be a “custom basket.” Rebalancing and reconstitution baskets do not constitute custom baskets. All cash baskets that are the initial basket on a Business Day also do not constitute custom baskets.
Under a variety of circumstances, an ETF and its shareholders may benefit from the flexibility afforded by custom baskets. In general terms, the use of custom baskets may reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve trading. Because utilizing custom baskets provides a way for an ETF to add, remove and re-weight portfolio securities without transacting in the market, it may help the ETF to avoid transaction costs and adverse tax consequences. Rule 6c-11 provides an ETF with flexibility to use “custom baskets” if the ETF has adopted written policies and procedures that: (1) set forth detailed parameters for the construction and acceptance of custom baskets that are in the best interests of the ETF and its shareholders, including the process for any revisions to, or deviations from, those parameters; and (2) specify the titles or roles of employees of the ETF’s investment advisor who are required to review each custom basket for compliance with those parameters.
The use of baskets that do not correspond pro rata to an ETF’s portfolio holdings has historically created concern that an Authorized Participant could take advantage of its relationship with an ETF and pressure the ETF to construct a basket that favors an Authorized Participant to the detriment of the ETF’s shareholders. For example, because ETFs rely on Authorized Participants to maintain the secondary market by promoting an effective arbitrage mechanism, an Authorized Participant holding less liquid or less desirable securities potentially could pressure an ETF into accepting those securities in its basket in exchange for liquid ETF shares (i.e., dumping). An Authorized Participant also could pressure the ETF into including in its basket certain desirable securities in exchange for ETF shares tendered for redemption (i.e., cherry-picking). In either case, the ETF’s other investors would be disadvantaged and would be left holding shares of an ETF with a less liquid or less desirable portfolio of securities. The Advisor has adopted policies and procedures designed to mitigate these concerns but there is ultimately no guarantee that such policies and procedures will be effective.
Basket Dissemination. Basket files are published for consumption through the NSCC, a subsidiary of Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, and can be utilized for pricing, creations, redemptions, rebalancing and custom scenarios. In most instances, pro rata baskets are calculated and supplied by the ETF’s custodial bank based on ETF holdings, whereas non-pro rata, custom and forward-looking pro rata baskets are calculated by the Fund’s investment advisor and disseminated by the ETF’s custodial bank through the NSCC process.
Placement of Creation or Redemption Orders. All orders to purchase or redeem Creation Units are to be governed according to the applicable Participant Agreement that each Authorized Participant has executed. In general, all orders to purchase or redeem Creation Units must be received by the transfer agent in the proper form required by the Participant Agreement no later than the closing time of the regular trading session of the NYSE (ordinarily 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) on each day the NYSE is open for business (the “Closing Time”) in order for the purchase or redemption of Creation Units to be effected based on the NAV of shares of the Fund as next determined on such date after receipt of the order in proper form. However, at its discretion, the Fund may require an Authorized Participant to submit orders to purchase or redeem Creation Units be placed earlier in the day (such as instances where an applicable market for a security comprising a creation or redemption basket closes earlier than usual).
Delivery of Redemption Proceeds. Deliveries of securities to Authorized Participants in connection with redemption orders are generally expected to be made within two Business Days. Due to the schedule of holidays in certain countries, however, the delivery of in-kind redemption proceeds for the Fund may take longer than two Business Days after the day on which the redemption request is received in proper form. Section 22(e) of the 1940 Act generally prohibits a registered open-end management investment company from postponing the date of satisfaction of redemption requests for more than seven days
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after the tender of a security for redemption. This prohibition can cause operational difficulties for ETFs that hold foreign investments and exchange in-kind baskets for Creation Units. For example, local market delivery cycles for transferring foreign investments to redeeming investors, together with local market holiday schedules, can sometimes require a delivery process in excess of seven days. However, Rule 6c-11 grants relief from Section 22(e) to permit an ETF to delay satisfaction of a redemption request for more than seven days if a local market holiday, or series of consecutive holidays, or the extended delivery cycles for transferring foreign investments to redeeming Authorized Participants, or the combination thereof prevents timely delivery of the foreign investment included in the ETF’s basket. Under this exemption, an ETF must deliver foreign investments as soon as practicable, but in no event later than 15 days after the tender to the ETF. The exemption therefore will permit a delay only to the extent that additional time for settlement is actually required, when a local market holiday, or series of consecutive holidays, or the extended delivery cycles for transferring foreign investments to redeeming authorized participants prevents timely delivery of the foreign investment included in the ETF’s basket. If a foreign investment settles in less than 15 days, Rule 6c-11 requires an ETF to deliver it pursuant to the standard settlement time of the local market where the investment trades. Rule 6c-11 defines “foreign investment” as any security, asset or other position of the ETF issued by a foreign issuer (as defined by Rule 3b-4 under the 1934 Act), and that is traded on a trading market outside of the United States. This definition is not limited to “foreign securities,” but also includes other investments that may not be considered securities. Although these other investments may not be securities, they may present the same challenges for timely settlement as foreign securities if they are transferred in kind.
Creation Transaction Fees. The Fund imposes fees in connection with the purchase of Creation Units. These fees may vary based upon various facts-based circumstances, including, but not limited to, the composition of the securities included in the Creation Unit or the countries in which the transactions are settled. The price for each Creation Unit will equal the daily NAV per share of the Fund times the number of shares in a Creation Unit, plus the fees described above and, if applicable, any operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees, stamp taxes and part or all of the spread between the expected bid and offer side of the market related to the securities comprising the creation basket.
Redemption Transaction Fees. The Fund also imposes fees in connection with the redemption of Creation Units. These fees may vary based upon various facts-based circumstances, including, but not limited to, the composition of the securities included in the Creation Unit or the countries in which the transactions are settled. The price received for each Creation Unit will equal the daily NAV per share of the Fund times the number of shares in a Creation Unit, minus the fees described above and, if applicable, any operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees, stamp taxes and part or all of the spread between the expected bid and offer side of the market related to the securities comprising the redemption basket. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary in addition to an Authorized Participant to effect a redemption of a Creation Unit may also be assessed an amount to cover the cost of such services. The redemption fee charged by the Fund will comply with Rule 22c-2 of the 1940 Act which limits redemption fees to no more than 2% of the value of the shares redeemed.
Suspension of Creations. The SEC has stated its position that an ETF generally may suspend the issuance of Creation Units only for a limited time and only due to extraordinary circumstances, such as when the markets on which the ETF’s portfolio holdings are traded are closed for a limited period of time. The SEC has also stated that an ETF could not set transaction fees so high as to effectively suspend the issuance of Creation Units. Circumstances in which the Fund may suspend creations include, but are not limited to: (i) the order is not in proper form; (ii) the purchaser or group of related purchasers, upon obtaining the Creation Units of Fund shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding shares of the Fund; (iii) the required consideration is not delivered; (iv) the acceptance of the basket would, in the opinion of the Fund, be unlawful; or (v) there exist circumstances outside the control of the Fund that make it impossible to process purchases of Creation Units for all practical purposes. Examples of such circumstances include: acts of God or public service or utility problems such as fires, floods, extreme weather conditions and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy and computer failures; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the Fund, First Trust, the Distributor, DTC, NSCC, the transfer agent, the custodian, any sub-custodian or any other participant in the purchase process; and similar extraordinary events. The Fund reserves the right to reject a creation order transmitted to it provided that such action does not result in a suspension of sales of creation units in contravention of 6c-11 and the SEC’s positions thereunder. The Transfer Agent shall notify a prospective creator of a Creation Unit and/or the Authorized Participant acting on behalf of such prospective creator of the rejection of the order of such person. The Trust, the Fund, the Transfer Agent, the custodian, any sub-custodian and the Distributor are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of baskets, nor shall any of them incur any liability for the failure to give any such notification.
Suspension of Redemptions. An ETF may suspend the redemption of Creation Units only in accordance with Section 22(e) of the 1940 Act. Section 22(e) stipulates that no registered investment company shall suspend the right of redemption,
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or postpone the date of payment or satisfaction upon redemption of any redeemable security in accordance with its terms for more than seven days after the tender of such security to the company or its agent designated for that purpose for redemption, except (1) for any period (A) during which the NYSE is closed other than customary week-end and holiday closings or (B) during which trading on the NYSE is restricted; (2) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which (A) disposal by the investment company of securities owned by it is not reasonably practicable or (B) it is not reasonably practicable for such company fairly to determine the value of its net assets; or (3) for such other periods as the SEC may by order permit for the protection of security holders of the investment company.
Exceptions to Use of Creation Units. Under Rule 6c-11 of the 1940 Act, ETFs are permitted to sell or redeem individual shares on the day of consummation of a reorganization, merger, conversion, or liquidation. In these limited circumstances, an ETF may need to issue or redeem individual shares and may need to transact without utilizing Authorized Participants.
Federal Tax Matters
This section summarizes some of the main U.S. federal income tax consequences of owning shares of the Fund. This section is current as of the date of the SAI. Tax laws and interpretations change frequently, and these summaries do not describe all of the tax consequences to all taxpayers. For example, these summaries generally do not describe your situation if you are a corporation, a non-U.S. person, a broker-dealer or other investor with special circumstances. In addition, this section does not describe your state, local or foreign tax consequences.
This federal income tax summary is based in part on the advice of counsel to the Fund. The Internal Revenue Service could disagree with any conclusions set forth in this section. In addition, our counsel may not have been asked to review, and may not have reached a conclusion with respect to, the federal income tax treatment of the assets to be deposited in the Fund. The following disclosure may not be sufficient for prospective investors to use for the purpose of avoiding penalties under federal tax law.
As with any investment, prospective investors should seek advice based on their individual circumstances from their own tax advisor.
The Fund intends to qualify annually and to elect to be treated as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).
To qualify for the favorable U.S. federal income tax treatment generally accorded to regulated investment companies, the Fund must, among other things, (i) derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from dividends, interest, payments with respect to securities loans and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies or other income derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies, or net income derived from interests in certain publicly traded partnerships; (ii) diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of the taxable year, (a) at least 50% of the market value of the Fund's assets is represented by cash and cash items (including receivables), U.S. government securities, the securities of other regulated investment companies and other securities, with such other securities of any one issuer generally limited for the purposes of this calculation to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund's total assets and not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of its total assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or the securities of other regulated investment companies) of any one issuer, or two or more issuers which the Fund controls which are engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more of certain publicly traded partnerships; and (iii) distribute at least 90% of its investment company taxable income (which includes, among other items, dividends, interest and net short-term capital gains in excess of net long-term capital losses) and at least 90% of its net tax-exempt interest income each taxable year. There are certain exceptions for failure to qualify if the failure is for reasonable cause or is de minimis, and certain corrective action is taken and certain tax payments are made by the Fund.
Some of the energy infrastructure companies may be treated as publicly traded partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As mentioned above, if the investment in publicly traded partnerships exceeds 25% of the value of the Fund's total assets at the end of any quarter in which the Fund is required to test its diversification, the Fund may not qualify as a RIC unless the Fund takes corrective measures within 30 days.
As a regulated investment company, the Fund generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on its investment company taxable income (as that term is defined in the Code, but without regard to the deduction for dividends paid) and net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss), if any, that it distributes to shareholders. The Fund intends to distribute to its shareholders, at least annually, substantially all of its investment company taxable income
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and net capital gain. If the Fund retains any net capital gain or investment company taxable income, it will generally be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate rates on the amount retained. In addition, amounts not distributed on a timely basis in accordance with a calendar year distribution requirement are subject to a nondeductible 4% excise tax unless, generally, the Fund distributes during each calendar year an amount equal to the sum of (1) at least 98% of its ordinary income (not taking into account any capital gains or losses) for the calendar year, (2) at least 98.2% of its capital gains in excess of its capital losses (adjusted for certain ordinary losses) for the one-year period ending October 31 of the calendar year, and (3) any ordinary income and capital gains for previous years that were not distributed during those years. In order to prevent application of the excise tax, the Fund intends to make its distributions in accordance with the calendar year distribution requirement. A distribution will be treated as paid on December 31 of the current calendar year if it is declared by the Fund in October, November or December with a record date in such a month and paid by the Fund during January of the following calendar year. Such distributions will be taxable to shareholders in the calendar year in which the distributions are declared, rather than the calendar year in which the distributions are received.
Subject to certain reasonable cause and de minimis exceptions, if the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company or fails to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement in any taxable year, the Fund would be taxed as an ordinary corporation on its taxable income (even if such income were distributed to its shareholders) and all distributions out of earnings and profits would be taxed to shareholders as ordinary income.
Distributions
Dividends paid out of the Fund’s investment company taxable income are generally taxable to a shareholder as ordinary income to the extent of the Fund’s earnings and profits, whether paid in cash or reinvested in additional shares. However, certain ordinary income distributions received from the Fund may be taxed at capital gains tax rates. In particular, ordinary income dividends received by an individual shareholder from a regulated investment company such as the Fund are generally taxed at the same rates that apply to net capital gain, provided that certain holding period requirements are satisfied and provided the dividends are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund itself. Dividends received by the Fund from foreign corporations are qualifying dividends eligible for this lower tax rate only in certain circumstances. The Fund will provide notice to its shareholders of the amount of any distributions that may be taken into account as a dividend which is eligible for the capital gains tax rates. The Fund cannot make any guarantees as to the amount of any distribution which will be regarded as a qualifying dividend.
Income from the Fund may also be subject to a 3.8% “Medicare tax.” This tax generally applies to net investment income if the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income exceeds certain threshold amounts, which are $250,000 in the case of married couples filing joint returns and $200,000 in the case of single individuals.
A corporation that owns shares generally will not be entitled to the dividends received deduction with respect to many dividends received from the Fund because the dividends received deduction is generally not available for distributions from regulated investment companies. However, certain ordinary income dividends on shares that are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund from certain domestic corporations may be reported by the Fund as being eligible for the dividends received deduction.
Distributions of net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss), if any, properly reported as capital gain dividends are taxable to a shareholder as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long the shareholder has held Fund shares. An election may be available to you to defer recognition of the gain attributable to a capital gain dividend if you make certain qualifying investments within a limited time. You should talk to your tax advisor about the availability of this deferral election and its requirements. Shareholders receiving distributions in the form of additional shares, rather than cash, generally will have a tax basis in each such share equal to the value of a share of the Fund on the reinvestment date. A distribution of an amount in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits will be treated by a shareholder as a return of capital which is applied against and reduces the shareholder’s basis in his or her shares. To the extent that the amount of any such distribution exceeds the shareholder’s basis in his or her shares, the excess will be treated by the shareholder as gain from a sale or exchange of the shares.
Shareholders will be notified annually as to the U.S. federal income tax status of distributions, and shareholders receiving distributions in the form of additional shares will receive a report as to the value of those shares.
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Sale or Exchange of Fund Shares
Upon the sale or other disposition of shares of the Fund, which a shareholder holds as a capital asset, such shareholder may realize a capital gain or loss which will be long-term or short-term, depending upon the shareholder’s holding period for the shares. Generally, a shareholder’s gain or loss will be a long-term gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. An election may be available to you to defer recognition of capital gain if you make certain qualifying investments within a limited time. You should talk to your tax advisor about the availability of this deferral election and its requirements.
Any loss realized on a sale or exchange will be disallowed to the extent that shares disposed of are replaced (including through reinvestment of dividends) within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after disposition of shares or to the extent that the shareholder, during such period, acquires or enters into an option or contract to acquire, substantially identical stock or securities. In such a case, the basis of the shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss. Any loss realized by a shareholder on a disposition of Fund shares held by the shareholder for six months or less will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any distributions of long-term capital gain received by the shareholder with respect to such shares.
Taxes on Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units
If a shareholder exchanges securities for Creation Units the shareholder will generally recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and the shareholder’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the Cash Component paid. If a shareholder exchanges Creation Units for securities, then the shareholder will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the shareholder’s basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate market value of the securities received and the Cash Redemption Amount. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units or Creation Units for securities cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.
Nature of Fund Investments
Certain of the Fund’s investment practices are subject to special and complex federal income tax provisions that may, among other things, (i) disallow, suspend or otherwise limit the allowance of certain losses or deductions; (ii) convert lower taxed long-term capital gain into higher taxed short-term capital gain or ordinary income; (iii) convert an ordinary loss or a deduction into a capital loss (the deductibility of which is more limited); (iv) cause the Fund to recognize income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash; (v) adversely affect the time as to when a purchase or sale of stock or securities is deemed to occur; and (vi) adversely alter the characterization of certain complex financial transactions.
Futures Contracts and Options
The Fund’s transactions in futures contracts and options will be subject to special provisions of the Code that, among other things, may affect the character of gains and losses realized by the Fund (i.e., may affect whether gains or losses are ordinary or capital, or short-term or long-term), may accelerate recognition of income to the Fund and may defer Fund losses. These rules could, therefore, affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders. These provisions also (i) will require the Fund to mark to market certain types of the positions in its portfolio (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out); and (ii) may cause the Fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to make distributions in amounts necessary to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement for qualifying to be taxed as a regulated investment company and the distribution requirements for avoiding excise taxes.
Investments in Certain Foreign Corporations
If the Fund holds an equity interest in any “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”), which are generally certain foreign corporations that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, certain rents and royalties or capital gains) or that hold at least 50% of their assets in investments producing such passive income, the Fund could be subject to U.S. federal income tax and additional interest charges on gains and certain distributions with respect to those equity interests, even if all the income or gain is timely distributed to its shareholders. The Fund will not be able to pass through to its shareholders any credit or deduction for such taxes. The Fund may be able to make an election that could ameliorate these adverse tax consequences. In this case, the Fund would recognize as ordinary income any increase in the value of such PFIC shares, and as ordinary loss any decrease in such value to the extent it did not exceed prior increases included in income. Under this election, the Fund might be required to recognize in a year income in excess of its distributions
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from PFICs and its proceeds from dispositions of PFIC stock during that year, and such income would nevertheless be subject to the distribution requirement and would be taken into account for purposes of the 4% excise tax (described above). Dividends paid by PFICs are not treated as qualified dividend income.
Backup Withholding
The Fund may be required to withhold U.S. federal income tax from all taxable distributions and sale proceeds payable to shareholders who fail to provide the Fund with their correct taxpayer identification number or fail to make required certifications, or who have been notified by the Internal Revenue Service that they are subject to backup withholding. Corporate shareholders and certain other shareholders specified in the Code generally are exempt from such backup withholding. This withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability.
Non-U.S. Shareholders
U.S. taxation of a shareholder who, as to the United States, is a nonresident alien individual, a foreign trust or estate, a foreign corporation or foreign partnership (“non-U.S. shareholder”) depends on whether the income of the Fund is “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by the shareholder.
In addition to the rules described in this section concerning the potential imposition of withholding on distributions to non-U.S. persons, distributions to non-U.S. persons that are “financial institutions” may be subject to a withholding tax of 30% unless an agreement is in place between the financial institution and the U.S. Treasury to collect and disclose information about accounts, equity investments or debt interests in the financial institution held by one or more U.S. persons or the institution is resident in a jurisdiction that has entered into such an agreement with the U.S. Treasury. For these purposes, a “financial institution” means any entity that (i) accepts deposits in the ordinary course of a banking or similar business; (ii) holds financial assets for the account of others as a substantial portion of its business; or (iii) is engaged (or holds itself out as being engaged) primarily in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities, partnership interests, commodities or any interest (including a futures contract or option) in such securities, partnership interests or commodities. This withholding tax is also currently scheduled to apply to the gross proceeds from the disposition of securities that produce U.S. source interest or dividends. However, proposed regulations may eliminate the requirement to withhold on payments of gross proceeds from dispositions.
Distributions to non-financial non-U.S. entities (other than publicly traded foreign entities, entities owned by residents of U.S. possessions, foreign governments, international organizations, or foreign central banks) will also be subject to a withholding tax of 30% if the entity does not certify that the entity does not have any substantial U.S. owners or provide the name, address and TIN of each substantial U.S. owner. This withholding tax is also currently scheduled to apply to the gross proceeds from the disposition of securities that produce U.S. source interest or dividends. However, proposed regulations may eliminate the requirement to withhold on payments of gross proceeds from dispositions.
Income Not Effectively Connected. If the income from the Fund is not “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by the non-U.S. shareholder, distributions of investment company taxable income will generally be subject to a U.S. tax of 30% (or lower treaty rate), which tax is generally withheld from such distributions.
Distributions of capital gain dividends and any amounts retained by the Fund which are properly reported by the Fund as undistributed capital gains will not be subject to U.S. tax at the rate of 30% (or lower treaty rate) unless the non-U.S. shareholder is a nonresident alien individual and is physically present in the United States for more than 182 days during the taxable year and meets certain other requirements. However, this 30% tax on capital gains of nonresident alien individuals who are physically present in the United States for more than the 182-day period only applies in exceptional cases because any individual present in the United States for more than 182 days during the taxable year is generally treated as a resident for U.S. income tax purposes; in that case, he or she would be subject to U.S. income tax on his or her worldwide income at the graduated rates applicable to U.S. citizens, rather than the 30% U.S. tax. In the case of a non-U.S. shareholder who is a nonresident alien individual, the Fund may be required to withhold U.S. income tax from distributions of net capital gain unless the non-U.S. shareholder certifies his or her non-U.S. status under penalties of perjury or otherwise establishes an exemption. If a non-U.S. shareholder is a nonresident alien individual, any gain such shareholder realizes upon the sale or exchange of such shareholder’s shares of the Fund in the United States will ordinarily be exempt from U.S. tax unless the gain is U.S. source income and such shareholder is physically present in the United States for more than 182 days during the taxable year and meets certain other requirements.
Distributions from the Fund that are properly reported by the Fund as an interest-related dividend attributable to certain interest income received by the Fund or as a short-term capital gain dividend attributable to certain net short-term
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capital gain income received by the Fund may not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, including withholding taxes when received by certain non-U.S. shareholders, provided that the Fund makes certain elections and certain other conditions are met. In addition, capital gain distributions attributable to gains from U.S. real property interests (including certain U.S. real property holding corporations) will generally be subject to United States withholding tax and will give rise to an obligation on the part of the non-U.S. shareholder to file a United States tax return.
Income Effectively Connected. If the income from the Fund is “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by a non-U.S. shareholder, then distributions of investment company taxable income and capital gain dividends, any amounts retained by the Fund which are properly reported by the Fund as undistributed capital gains and any gains realized upon the sale or exchange of shares of the Fund will be subject to U.S. income tax at the graduated rates applicable to U.S. citizens, residents and domestic corporations. Non-U.S. corporate shareholders may also be subject to the branch profits tax imposed by the Code. The tax consequences to a non-U.S. shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of an applicable tax treaty may differ from those described herein. Non-U.S. shareholders are advised to consult their own tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund.
Capital Loss Carry-forward
Under the Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010, net capital losses of the Fund incurred in taxable years beginning after December 22, 2010 may be carried forward indefinitely, and their character is retained as short-term and/or long-term losses. To the extent that these loss carry-forwards are used to offset future capital gains, it is probable that the capital gains so offset will not be distributed to Fund shareholders. The Fund is subject to certain limitations, under U.S. tax rules, on the use of capital loss carry-forwards and net unrealized built-in losses. These limitations generally apply when there has been a 50% change in ownership.
Other Taxation
Fund shareholders may be subject to state, local and foreign taxes on their Fund distributions. Shareholders are advised to consult their own tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund.
Determination of Net Asset Value
The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Net Asset Value.”
The per-share net asset value of the Fund is determined by dividing the total value of the securities and other assets, less liabilities, by the total number of shares outstanding. Under normal circumstances, daily calculation of the net asset value will utilize the last closing sale price of each security held by the Fund at the close of the market on which such security is principally listed. In determining net asset value, portfolio securities for the Fund for which accurate market quotations are readily available will be valued by the Fund accounting agent as follows:
(1)
Common stocks and other equity securities listed on any national or foreign exchange other than Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (“AIM”) will be valued at the last sale price on the exchange on which they are principally traded, or the official closing price for Nasdaq and AIM securities. Portfolio securities traded on more than one securities exchange are valued at the last sale price or official closing price, as applicable, on the Business Day as of which such value is being determined at the close of the exchange representing the principal market for such securities.
(2)
Shares of open-end funds are valued at fair value which is based on NAV per share.
(3)
Securities traded in the OTC market are fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price.
(4)
Exchange traded options and futures contracts are valued at the closing price in the market where such contracts are principally traded. If no closing price is available, they will be fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price. OTC options and futures contracts are fair valued at the mean of the most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price.
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(5)
Forward foreign currency contracts are fair valued at the current day’s interpolated foreign exchange rate, as calculated using the current day’s spot rate, and the 30, 60, 90 and 180-day forward rates provided by a pricing service or by certain independent dealers in such contracts.
In addition, the following types of securities will be fair valued by the Fund accounting agent as follows:
(1)
Fixed-income securities, convertible securities, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, total return swaps, currency swaps, currency-linked notes, credit-linked notes and other similar instruments will be fair valued using a pricing service.
(2)
Fixed income and other debt securities having a remaining maturity of 60 days or less when purchased are fair valued at cost adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts (amortized cost), provided the Advisor’s Pricing Committee has determined that the use of amortized cost is an appropriate reflection of fair value given market and issuer-specific conditions existing at the time of the determination. Factors that may be considered in determining the appropriateness of the use of amortized cost include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i)
the credit conditions in the relevant market and changes thereto;
(ii)
the liquidity conditions in the relevant market and changes thereto;
(iii)
the interest rate conditions in the relevant market and changes thereto (such as significant changes in interest rates);
(iv)
issuer-specific conditions (such as significant credit deterioration); and
(v)
any other market-based data the Advisor’s Pricing Committee considers relevant. In this regard, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee may use last-obtained market-based data to assist it when valuing portfolio securities using amortized cost.
(3)
Repurchase agreements will be valued as follows. Overnight repurchase agreements will be fair valued at amortized cost when it represents the best estimate of fair value. Term repurchase agreements (i.e., those whose maturity exceeds seven days) will be fair valued by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee at the average of the bid quotations obtained daily from at least two recognized dealers.
If the Advisor’s Pricing Committee has reason to question the accuracy or reliability of a price supplied or the use of the amortized cost methodology, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee shall determine if “it needs to fair value” such portfolio security pursuant to established valuation procedures. From time to time, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee will request that the Fund accounting agent submit price challenges to a pricing service, usually in response to any updated broker prices received.
Certain securities may not be able to be priced by pre-established pricing methods. Such securities may be valued by the Board of Trustees or its delegate, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee, at fair value. These securities generally include but are not limited to, restricted securities (securities that may not be publicly sold without registration under the 1933 Act) for which a pricing service is unable to provide a market price; securities whose trading has been formally suspended; a security whose market or fair value price is not available from a pre-established pricing source; a security with respect to which an event has occurred that is likely to materially affect the value of the security after the market has closed but before the calculation of Fund net asset value (as may be the case in foreign markets on which the security is primarily traded) or is likely to make it difficult or impossible to obtain a reliable market quotation; and a security whose price, as provided by the pricing service, does not reflect the security’s fair value. Fair value prices represent any prices not considered market value prices and are either obtained from a pricing service or are determined by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee. Market value prices represent last sale or official closing prices from a national or foreign exchange (i.e., a regulated market) and are primarily obtained from pricing services. If no market price or official close price is available from either a pricing service or no quotations are available from one or more brokers or if the Advisor’s Pricing Committee has reason to question the reliability or accuracy of a price supplied or the use of amortized cost, the value of any portfolio security held by the Fund for which reliable market prices/quotations are not readily available will be determined by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee in a manner that most appropriately reflects fair market value of the security on the valuation date, based on a consideration of all available information. When fair value prices are used, generally they will differ from market quotations or official closing prices on the applicable exchange.
Because foreign markets may be open on different days than the days during which a shareholder may purchase the shares of the Fund, the value of the Fund’s investments may change on the days when shareholders are not able to purchase
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the shares of the Fund. For foreign securities, if an extraordinary market event occurs between the time the last “current” market quotation is available for a security in the Fund’s portfolio and the time the Fund’s net asset value is determined and calls into doubt whether that earlier market quotation represents fair value at the time the Fund’s net asset value is determined, the Fund accounting agent will immediately notify the Advisor’s Pricing Committee and the Advisor’s Pricing Committee shall determine the fair valuation. For foreign securities, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee may seek to determine the “fair value” of such securities by retaining a pricing service to determine the value of the securities.
Foreign securities, currencies and other assets denominated in foreign currencies are translated into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate of such currencies against the U.S. dollar as provided by a pricing service. All assets denominated in foreign currencies will be converted into U.S. dollars at the exchange rates in effect at the time of valuation.
Dividends and Distributions
The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes.”
General Policies. Dividends from net investment income of the Fund, if any, are declared and paid quarterly. Distributions of net realized securities gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis. The Trust reserves the right to declare special distributions if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve the status of the Fund as a regulated investment company or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income.
Due to the tax treatment of distributions made by MLPs in which the Fund invests, a portion of the distributions the Fund anticipates making may consist of tax-deferred return of capital. To the extent that distributions exceed the Fund’s earnings and profits, distributions are generally not treated as taxable income for the investor. Instead, Fund shareholders will experience a reduction in the basis of their shares, which may increase the capital gain or reduce capital loss, realized upon the sale of such shares. Thus, if the Fund’s capital was the source of a distribution and the payment amounted to a return of capital, the Fund would be required to provide a written notice to that effect.A “return of capital” represents a return on a shareholder’s original investment in the Fund, and should not be confused with a dividend from earnings and profits. Upon the sale of Fund shares, shareholders generally will recognize capital gain or loss measured by the difference between the sale proceeds received by the shareholder and the shareholder’s federal income tax basis in shares sold, as adjusted to reflect return of capital. Accordingly, Fund shareholders should carefully review any written disclosure accompanying a distribution and should not assume that the source of payment is the Fund’s income.
Dividends and other distributions of Fund shares are distributed, as described below, on a pro rata basis to Beneficial Owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.
Dividend Reinvestment Service. No reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by Beneficial Owners of the Fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial Owners should contact their brokers in order to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require Beneficial Owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares of the Fund purchased in the secondary market.
Miscellaneous Information
Counsel. Chapman and Cutler LLP, 320 S. Canal St., Chicago, Illinois 60606, is counsel to the Trust.
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. Deloitte & Touche LLP, 111 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606, serves as the Fund's independent registered public accounting firm. The firm audits the Fund's financial statements and performs other related audit services.
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Exhibit AProxy Voting Guidelines
Energy Income Partners, LLC
Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures
If an adviser exercises voting authority with respect to client securities, Advisers Act Rule 206(4)-6 requires the adviser to adopt and implement written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that client securities are voted in the best interest of the client. This is consistent with legal interpretations which hold that an adviser’s fiduciary duty includes handling the voting of proxies on securities held in client accounts over which the adviser exercises voting discretion in a manner consistent with the best interest of the client.
Absent unusual circumstances, EIP exercises voting authority with respect to securities held in client accounts pursuant to provisions in its advisory agreements. Accordingly, EIP has adopted these policies and procedures with the aim of meeting the following requirements of Rule 206(4)-6:
ensuring that proxies are voted in the best interest of clients;
addressing material conflicts that may arise between EIP’s interests and those of its clients in the voting of proxies;
disclosing to clients how they may obtain information on how EIP voted proxies with respect to the client’s securities;
describing to clients EIP’s proxy voting policies and procedures and, upon request, furnishing a copy of the policies and procedures to the requesting client.
Engagement of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.
With the aim of ensuring that proxies are voted in the best interests of EIP clients, EIP has engaged Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) as its independent proxy voting service to provide EIP with proxy voting recommendations, as well as to handle the administrative mechanics of proxy voting. EIP, after reviewing ISS’s own Proxy Voting Guidelines, has concluded that ISS’s Proxy Voting Guidelines are reasonably designed to vote proxies in the best interests of EIP’s clients, and has therefore directed ISS to utilize its Proxy Voting Guidelines in making recommendations to vote, as those guidelines may be amended from time to time.
To the extent that an issuer files additional proxy information sufficiently in advance of the submission deadline for votes, EIP shall consider such information prior to exercising its voting authority. EIP notes that it shall not override the votes that are prepopulated by ISS in accordance with its policies unless there is information in the additional proxy information that in the opinion of EIP that would require a change in vote and such ISS recommendation is not in the best interest of the client.
Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, from time to time, EIP may determine that voting in contravention to a recommendation made by ISS may be in the best interest of EIP’s clients. When EIP chooses to override an ISS voting recommendation, EIP will document the occurrence, including the reason(s) that it chose to do so. Documentation of any override of an ISS voting recommendation shall be reviewed at the next scheduled Brokerage Committee meeting.
In certain circumstances, voting situations may arise in which the optimal voting decision may not be easily captured by a rigid set of voting guidelines. This is particularly the case for significant corporate events, including, but not necessarily limited to, mergers and acquisitions, dissolutions, conversions and consolidations. While each such transaction is unique in its terms, conditions and potential economic outcome, EIP will conduct such additional analysis as it deems necessary to form the voting decision that it believes is in the best interests of its clients. All records relating to such analyses will be maintained and reviewed periodically by the Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) or her designee.
On an annual basis, EIP’s Brokerage Committee shall be responsible for approving the ongoing use of ISS as a proxy voting service provider. Such approval shall be based upon, among other things, a reviews of (1) ISS’s Proxy Voting Guidelines, including any changes thereto; (2) the results of internal testing regarding ISS’s adherence to its proxy voting guidelines; (3) periodic due diligence over ISS as described further below; and (4) any potential factual errors, potential incompleteness, or potential methodological weaknesses in ISS’s analysis that were identified and documented throughout the preceding twelve month period.
Conflicts of Interest in Proxy Voting
There may be instances where EIP’s interests conflict, or appear to conflict, with client interests in the voting of proxies. For example, EIP may provide services to, or have an investor who is a senior member of, a company whose management is soliciting proxies. There may be a concern that EIP would vote in favor of management because of its relationship with the company
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or a senior officer. Or, for example, EIP (or its senior executive officers) may have business or personal relationships with corporate directors or candidates for directorship.
EIP addresses these conflicts or appearances of conflicts by ensuring that proxies are voted in accordance with the recommendations made by ISS, an independent third-party proxy voting service. As previously noted, in most cases, proxies will be voted in accordance with ISS’s own pre-existing proxy voting guidelines, subject to EIP’s right to override an ISS voting recommendation. Under no circumstances will EIP override an ISS recommendation in any instance in which EIP identifies a potential conflict of interest.
Disclosure on How Proxies Were Voted
EIP will disclose to clients in Part 2A of its Form ADV how clients can obtain information on how their proxies were voted, by contacting EIP at its office in Westport, CT. EIP will also disclose in the ADV a summary of these proxy voting policies and procedures and that upon request, clients will be furnished a full copy of these policies and procedures. Finally, EIP will disclose in its ADV Part 2A, (1)the extent to which automated voting is used and (2) the how these policies and procedures address the use of automated voting in the cases where it becomes aware before the submission deadline for proxies to be voted at the shareholder meeting that an issuer intends to file or has filed additional soliciting materials with the SEC regarding the matter to be voted on.
It is the responsibility of the CCO to ensure that any requests made by clients for proxy voting information are responded to in a timely fashion and that a record of requests and responses are maintained in EIP’s books and records.
Proxy Materials
EIP personnel will instruct custodians to forward to ISS all proxy materials received on securities held in EIP client accounts.
Limitations
In certain circumstances, where EIP has determined that it is consistent with the client’s best interest, EIP will not take steps to ensure that proxies are voted on securities in the client’s account. The following are circumstances where this may occur:
Limited Value: Proxies will not be required to be voted on securities in a client’s account if the value of the client’s economic interest in the securities is indeterminable or insignificant (less than $1,000). Proxies will also not be required to be voted for any securities that are no longer held by the client’s account.
Securities Lending Program: When securities are out on loan, they are transferred into the borrower’s name and are voted by the borrower, in its discretion. In most cases, EIP will not take steps to see that loaned securities are voted. However, where EIP determines that a proxy vote, or other shareholder action, is materially important to the client’s account, EIP will make a good faith effort to recall the security for purposes of voting, understanding that in certain cases, the attempt to recall the security may not be effective in time for voting deadlines to be met.
Unjustifiable Costs: In certain circumstances, after doing a cost-benefit analysis, EIP may choose not to vote where the cost of voting a client’s proxy would exceed any anticipated benefits to the client of the proxy proposal.
Oversight of Policy
The CCO will follow the following procedures with respect to the oversight of ISS in making recommendation with respect to and voting client proxies:
Periodically, but no less frequently than semi-annually, sample proxy votes to review whether they complied with EIP’s proxy voting policies and procedures, including a review of those items that relate to certain proposals that may require more analysis (e.g., non-routine matters).
Collect information, no less frequently than annually, reasonably sufficient to support the conclusion that ISS has the capacity and competency to adequately analyze proxy issues. In this regard, the CCO shall consider, among other things:
the adequacy and quality of ISS’s staffing and personnel;
the robustness of its policies and procedures regarding its ability to (i) ensure that its proxy voting recommendations are based on current and accurate information and (ii) identify, disclose and address any conflicts of interest;
ISS’s engagement with issuers, including ISS’s process for ensuring that it has complete and accurate information about each issuer and each particular matter, and ISS’s process, if any, for EIP to access the issuer’s views about ISS’s voting recommendations in a timely and efficient manner;
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ISS’s efforts to correct any identified material deficiencies in its analysis;
ISS’s disclosure to EIP regarding the sources of information and methodologies used in formulating voting recommendations or executing voting instructions;
ISS’s consideration of factors unique to a specific issuer or proposal when evaluating a matter subject to a shareholder vote; and