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Form N-CSRS FIRST TRUST EXCHANGE-TRA For: Jun 30

September 7, 2022 11:38 AM EDT

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM N-CSR

CERTIFIED SHAREHOLDER REPORT OF REGISTERED MANAGEMENT INVESTMENT COMPANIES

Investment Company Act file number 811-22767

First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII
(Exact name of registrant as specified in charter)

120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400
Wheaton, IL 60187
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip code)

 

W. Scott Jardine, Esq.
First Trust Portfolios L.P.
120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400
Wheaton, IL 60187
(Name and address of agent for service)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (630) 765-8000

Date of fiscal year end: December 31

Date of reporting period: June 30, 2022

Form N-CSR is to be used by management investment companies to file reports with the Commission not later than 10 days after the transmission to stockholders of any report that is required to be transmitted to stockholders under Rule 30e-1 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (17 CFR 270.30e-1). The Commission may use the information provided on Form N-CSR in its regulatory, disclosure review, inspection, and policymaking roles.

A registrant is required to disclose the information specified by Form N-CSR, and the Commission will make this information public. A registrant is not required to respond to the collection of information contained in Form N-CSR unless the Form displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) control number. Please direct comments concerning the accuracy of the information collection burden estimate and any suggestions for reducing the burden to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. The OMB has reviewed this collection of information under the clearance requirements of 44 U.S.C. § 3507.

 
 

 

Item 1. Report to Stockholders.

(a)The registrant’s semi-annual report transmitted to shareholders pursuant to Rule 30e-1 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 is as follows:

 

First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy
   Fund (FTGC) 

Semi-Annual Report
For the Six Months Ended
June 30, 2022
Table of Contents
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Semi-Annual Report
June 30, 2022
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This report contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the goals, beliefs, plans or current expectations of First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust” or the “Advisor”) and its representatives, taking into account the information currently available to them. Forward-looking statements include all statements that do not relate solely to current or historical fact. For example, forward-looking statements include the use of words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “would” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes.
Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the series of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII (the “Trust”) described in this report (First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund; hereinafter referred to as the “Fund”) to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. When evaluating the information included in this report, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the judgment of the Advisor and its representatives only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly revise or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events and circumstances that arise after the date hereof.
Performance and Risk Disclosure
There is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. The Fund is subject to market risk, which is the possibility that the market values of securities owned by the Fund will decline and that the value of the Fund’s shares may therefore be less than what you paid for them. Accordingly, you can lose money by investing in the Fund. See “Risk Considerations” in the Additional Information section of this report for a discussion of certain other risks of investing in the Fund.
Performance data quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results, and current performance may be lower or higher than the figures shown. For the most recent month-end performance figures, please visit www.ftportfolios.com or speak with your financial advisor. Investment returns, net asset value and share price will fluctuate and Fund shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
The Advisor may also periodically provide additional information on Fund performance on the Fund’s web page at www.ftportfolios.com.
How to Read This Report
This report contains information that may help you evaluate your investment in the Fund. It includes details about the Fund and presents data and analysis that provide insight into the Fund’s performance and investment approach.
The statistical information that follows may help you understand the Fund’s performance compared to that of relevant market benchmarks.
It is important to keep in mind that the opinions expressed by personnel of the Advisor are just that: informed opinions. They should not be considered to be promises or advice. The opinions, like the statistics, cover the period through the date on the cover of this report. The material risks of investing in the Fund are spelled out in the prospectus, the statement of additional information, and other Fund regulatory filings.

Shareholder Letter
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Semi-Annual Letter from the Chairman and CEO
June 30, 2022
Dear Shareholders,
First Trust is pleased to provide you with the semi-annual report for the First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (the “Fund”), which contains detailed information about the Fund for the six months ended June 30, 2022.
The trillions of dollars of stimulus funneled into the U.S. financial system by the Federal government throughout the bulk of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic was effective in bolstering economic activity, as reflected by some impressive gross domestic product (“GDP”) statistics. It also fueled inflation. I will touch on that angle as well. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that annualized real GDP growth rates over the four quarters comprising 2021 were 6.3%, 6.7%, 2.3% and 6.9%, respectively. It appears, however, that the upside from those stimulus dollars may be waning. In the first two quarters of 2022, the U.S. economy contracted. Real GDP declined by an annualized 1.6% in the first quarter and declined by an annualized 0.9% in the second quarter. Why the downturn? Well, the lion’s share of the stimulus programs for individuals ended in September 2021. The war between Russia and Ukraine, which commenced in late February 2022, China’s COVID-19 shutdown this year and the ongoing supply chain bottlenecks have also provided a drag on the global economy and securities markets, in my opinion. While the standard definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, the official arbiter of declaring recessions in the U.S. belongs to the National Bureau of Economic Research, and it factors in additional economic indicators in its evaluation process. Even if we were to experience a recession, it does not necessarily mean it will be deep in scope. Currently, the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) is still hoping to orchestrate a soft landing for the economy, though it admits it will be challenging.
In addition to the recent decline in economic activity, the financial media is paying a good deal of attention to the inverted yield curve in the Treasury market, particularly the spread between the yields on the 2-Year and 10-Year Treasury Note (“T-Note”). As of July 27, 2022, the closing yield on the 2-Year T-Note was 3.00%, 21 basis points (“bps”) above the 2.79% yield on the 10-Year T-Note. The current inversion has only been in play in earnest since July 5, 2022. Yields on shorter-maturity bonds should be lower than those further out on the curve. For the 30-year period ended July 27, 2022, the average yield on the 10-Year T-Note was 113 bps higher than the average yield on the 2-Year T-Note. Historically, such inversions have portended that a recession is likely to arrive in the next 12-24 months. At its meeting on July 27, 2022, the Fed raised the Federal Funds target rate by 75 bps to combat the spike in inflation. The target rate currently sits at 2.50%, marking the upper bound of its 2.25% to 2.50% range. The Fed’s next meeting is scheduled for September 20-21, 2022.
In the current climate, the number one goal is to tame inflation. The Fed has made it clear that it is committed to doing so. The Consumer Price Index stood at a trailing 12-month rate of 9.1% in June 2022, its highest level since 1981. Surging inflation is the number one concern of Americans. It is certainly going to be a hot button issue in the upcoming mid-term elections in November. A recent CNN poll revealed that 75% of Americans consider inflation their top economic concern and only 25% approve of President Joe Biden’s efforts to curtail it. This dovetails into another concern: the markets. With respect to returns, on a year-to-date and 12-month basis, all the major domestic and foreign stock and bond indices were sitting in negative territory, based on their respective total returns through June 30, 2022. Sell-offs are a natural part of market cycles. We all know that prices do not go up in a straight line. As previously noted, the Fed, the economy and the markets are battling some significant headwinds. The good news is we know what they are. Suffice it to say, it will take some time to remedy them. Stay the course!
Thank you for giving First Trust the opportunity to play a role in your financial future. We value our relationship with you and will report on the Fund again in six months.
Sincerely,
James A. Bowen
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Chief Executive Officer of First Trust Advisors L.P.
Page 1

Fund Performance Overview (Unaudited)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
The First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (the “Fund”) seeks to provide total return by providing investors with commodity exposure while seeking a relatively stable risk profile. The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) that seeks to achieve attractive risk-adjusted return by investing in commodity futures contracts, exchange-traded commodity linked instruments, and commodity linked total return swaps (collectively, “Commodities Instruments”) through a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the “Subsidiary”). The Fund will not invest directly in Commodities instruments. The Fund expects to gain exposure to these investments exclusively by investing in the Subsidiary. The Subsidiary is advised by First Trust Advisors L.P., the Fund’s investment advisor (the “Advisor”).
The Fund’s investment in the Subsidiary is intended to provide the Fund with exposure to commodity markets within the limits of current federal income tax laws applicable to investment companies such as the Fund, which limit the ability of investment companies to invest directly in Commodities Instruments. The Subsidiary has the same investment objective as the Fund, but unlike the Fund, it may invest without limitation in Commodities Instruments. Except as otherwise noted, references to the Fund’s investments include the Fund’s indirect investments through the Subsidiary. The Fund will invest up to 25% of its total assets in the Subsidiary.
The Subsidiary seeks to make investments generally in Commodities Instruments while managing volatility. Investment weightings of the underlying Commodities Instruments held by the Subsidiary are rebalanced in an attempt to stabilize risk levels. The dynamic weighting process is designed to result in a disciplined, systematic investment process, which is keyed off of the Advisor’s volatility forecasting process. The Subsidiary may have both long and short positions in Commodities Instruments. However, for a given Commodity Instrument the Subsidiary will provide a net long exposure.
The remainder of the Fund’s assets will primarily be invested in: (1) short-term investment grade fixed income securities, including U.S. government and agency securities, sovereign debt obligations of non-U.S. countries, and repurchase agreements; (2) money market instruments; (3) ETFs and other investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or established and registered in Canada or any province thereof; (4) Canadian ETFs; and (5) cash and other cash equivalents. The Fund uses such instruments as investments and to collateralize the Subsidiary’s Commodities Instruments exposure on a day-to-day basis.
Performance  
      Average Annual Total Returns   Cumulative Total Returns
  6 Months
Ended
6/30/22
1 Year
Ended
6/30/22
5 Years
Ended
6/30/22
Inception
(10/22/13)
to 6/30/22
  5 Years
Ended
6/30/22
Inception
(10/22/13)
to 6/30/22
Fund Performance              
NAV 16.19% 22.14% 8.42% -0.19%   49.78% -1.66%
Market Price 16.13% 22.01% 8.40% -0.18%   49.66% -1.59%
Index Performance              
Bloomberg Commodity Index 18.44% 24.27% 8.39% -0.32%   49.64% -2.74%
S&P GSCI® Total Return Index 35.80% 45.05% 11.67% -2.87%   73.66% -22.36%
S&P 500® Index -19.96% -10.62% 11.31% 11.38%   70.86% 155.06%
Total returns for the period since inception are calculated from the inception date of the Fund. “Average Annual Total Returns” represent the average annual change in value of an investment over the periods indicated. “Cumulative Total Returns” represent the total change in value of an investment over the periods indicated.
The Fund’s per share net asset value (“NAV”) is the value of one share of the Fund and is computed by dividing the value of all assets of the Fund (including accrued interest and dividends), less all liabilities (including accrued expenses and dividends declared but unpaid), by the total number of outstanding shares. The price used to calculate market return (“Market Price”) is determined by using the midpoint of the national best bid and offer price (“NBBO”) as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. Under SEC rules, the NBBO consists of the highest displayed buy and lowest sell prices among the various exchanges trading the Fund at the time the Fund’s NAV is calculated. Prior to January 1, 2019, the price used was the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the stock exchange on which shares of the Fund were listed for trading as of the time that the Fund’s NAV was calculated. Since shares of the Fund did not trade in the secondary market until after its inception, for the period from inception to the first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund, the NAV of the Fund is used as a proxy for the secondary market trading price to calculate market returns. NAV and market returns assume that all distributions have been reinvested in the Fund at NAV and Market Price, respectively.
An index is a statistical composite that tracks a specified financial market or sector. Unlike the Fund, the indices do not actually hold a portfolio of securities and therefore do not incur the expenses incurred by the Fund. These expenses negatively impact the performance of the Fund. Also, market returns do not include brokerage commissions that may be payable on secondary market transactions. If brokerage commissions were included, market returns would be lower. The total returns presented reflect the reinvestment of dividends on securities in the indices. The returns presented do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of Fund shares. The investment return and principal value of shares of the Fund will vary with changes in market conditions. Shares of the Fund may be worth more or less than their original cost when they are redeemed or sold in the market. The Fund’s past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
Page 2

Fund Performance Overview (Unaudited) (Continued)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Fund Allocation % of Net Assets
U.S. Treasury Bills 61.9%
Money Market Funds 11.7
Net Other Assets and Liabilities* 26.4
Total 100.0%
    
* Includes variation margin on futures contracts.

Performance figures assume reinvestment of all distributions and do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of Fund shares. An index is a statistical composite that tracks a specified financial market or sector. Unlike the Fund, the indices do not actually hold a portfolio of securities and therefore do not incur the expenses incurred by the Fund. These expenses negatively impact the performance of the Fund. The Fund’s past performance does not predict future performance.
Frequency Distribution of Discounts and Premiums
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.
Page 3

Portfolio Management
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Semi-Annual Report
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Advisor
First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust” or the “Advisor”) serves as the investment advisor, commodity pool operator and commodity trading advisor to the First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (the “Fund”). First Trust is responsible for the selection and ongoing monitoring of the Fund’s investment portfolio, managing the Fund’s business affairs and providing certain administrative services necessary for the management of the Fund.
Portfolio Management Team
John Gambla – CFA, FRM, PRM, Senior Portfolio Manager
Rob A. Guttschow – CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager
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 2013.
Page 4

First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Understanding Your Fund Expenses
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
As a shareholder of the First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (the “Fund”), you incur two types of costs: (1) transaction costs; and (2) ongoing costs, including management fees, distribution and/or service (12b-1) fees, if any, and other Fund expenses. This Example is intended to help you understand your ongoing costs of investing in the Fund and to compare these costs with the ongoing costs of investing in other funds.
The Example is based on an investment of $1,000 invested at the beginning of the period and held through the six-month period ended June 30, 2022.
Actual Expenses
The first line in the following table provides information about actual account values and actual expenses. You may use the information in this line, together with the amount you invested, to estimate the expenses that you paid over the period. Simply divide your account value by $1,000 (for example, an $8,600 account value divided by $1,000 = 8.6), then multiply the result by the number in the first line under the heading entitled “Expenses Paid During the Six-Month Period” to estimate the expenses you paid on your account during this six-month period.
Hypothetical Example for Comparison Purposes
The second line in the following table provides information about hypothetical account values and hypothetical expenses based on the Fund’s actual expense ratio and an assumed rate of return of 5% per year before expenses, which is not the Fund’s actual return. The hypothetical account values and expenses may not be used to estimate the actual ending account balance or expenses you paid for the period. You may use this information to compare the ongoing costs of investing in the Fund and other funds. To do so, compare this 5% hypothetical example with the 5% hypothetical examples that appear in the shareholder reports of the other funds.
Please note that the expenses shown in the table are meant to highlight your ongoing costs only and do not reflect any transactional costs such as brokerage commissions. Therefore, the second line in the table is useful in comparing ongoing costs only, and will not help you determine the relative total costs of owning different funds. In addition, if these transactional costs were included, your costs would have been higher.
  Beginning
Account Value
January 1, 2022
Ending
Account Value
June 30, 2022
Annualized
Expense Ratio
Based on the
Six-Month
Period
Expenses Paid
During the
Six-Month
Period (a)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Actual $1,000.00 $1,161.90 0.95% $5.09
Hypothetical (5% return before expenses) $1,000.00 $1,020.08 0.95% $4.76
    
(a) Expenses are equal to the annualized expense ratios as indicated in the table multiplied by the average account value over the period (January 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022), multiplied by 181/365 (to reflect the six-month period).
Page 5

First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Consolidated Portfolio of Investments
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Principal
Value
  Description   Stated
Coupon
  Stated
Maturity
  Value
U.S. TREASURY BILLS – 61.9%
$200,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   07/05/22   $199,974,222
200,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   07/07/22   199,975,624
200,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   07/12/22   199,939,194
600,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   07/14/22   599,779,542
300,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   07/19/22   299,841,561
200,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   07/26/22   199,855,382
200,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   07/28/22   199,856,000
270,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   08/02/22   269,724,360
300,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   08/04/22   299,670,270
160,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   08/09/22   159,779,390
170,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   08/11/22   169,742,255
   
Total U.S. Treasury Bills

  2,798,137,800
    (Cost $2,798,193,569)            
    
Shares   Description   Value
MONEY MARKET FUNDS – 11.7%
526,500,000  
Morgan Stanley Institutional Liquidity Funds - Treasury Portfolio - Institutional Class - 1.34% (b)

  526,500,000
    (Cost $526,500,000)    
    
 
Total Investments – 73.6%

 3,324,637,800
  (Cost $3,324,693,569)   
    
 
Net Other Assets and Liabilities – 26.4%

 1,195,262,503
 
Net Assets – 100.0%

 $4,519,900,303
 
The following futures contracts of the Fund’s wholly-owned subsidiary were open at June 30, 2022 (see Note 2B - Futures Contracts in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements):
Futures Contracts Long:   Number
of
Contracts
  Notional
Value
  Expiration
Date
  Unrealized
Appreciation
(Depreciation)/
Value
Brent Crude Oil Futures   456   $49,717,680   Jul–22   $638,021
Brent Crude Oil Futures   644   67,999,960   Aug–22   (7,079,707)
Brent Crude Oil Futures   551   55,419,580   Oct–22   1,149,397
Cattle Feeder Futures   965   83,762,000   Aug–22   (599,570)
Cocoa Futures   2,369   55,434,600   Sep–22   (3,863,026)
Cocoa Futures   691   16,445,800   Dec–22   (1,097,547)
Coffee “C” Futures   795   68,598,563   Sep–22   (1,319,745)
Coffee “C” Futures   235   20,008,781   Dec–22   (661,312)
Copper Futures   1,440   133,560,000   Sep–22   (20,728,500)
Copper Futures   613   57,031,987   Dec–22   (8,525,426)
Corn Futures   1,456   45,773,000   Sep–22   (6,884,276)
Corn Futures   2,572   79,699,850   Dec–22   (13,437,415)
Cotton No. 2 Futures   3,345   165,309,900   Dec–22   (37,685,798)
Gasoline RBOB Futures   633   94,016,072   Jul–22   6,482,302
Gasoline RBOB Futures   1,097   156,739,141   Aug–22   (8,746,905)
Gasoline RBOB Futures   471   61,450,805   Sep–22   (6,116,292)
Gasoline RBOB Futures   389   45,672,879   Nov–22   (1,198,213)
Gold 100 Oz. Futures   1,677   303,084,210   Aug–22   (6,403,693)
Kansas City Hard Red Winter Wheat Futures   827   39,354,862   Sep–22   (8,218,077)
Lean Hogs Futures   1,379   56,318,360   Aug–22   (2,463,674)
Live Cattle Futures   2,900   153,787,000   Aug–22   (676,296)
LME Aluminum Futures   3,835   234,438,344   Sep–22   (45,063,515)
Page 6
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Consolidated Portfolio of Investments (Continued)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Futures Contracts Long: (Continued)   Number
of
Contracts
  Notional
Value
  Expiration
Date
  Unrealized
Appreciation
(Depreciation)/
Value
LME Lead Futures   828   $39,505,950   Sep–22   $(4,767,626)
LME Nickel Futures   638   86,899,428   Sep–22   (11,881,491)
LME Zinc Futures   1,535   121,293,781   Sep–22   (21,399,445)
Low Sulphur Gasoil “G” Futures   203   22,817,200   Aug–22   1,978,534
Low Sulphur Gasoil “G” Futures   551   60,720,200   Sep–22   1,694,932
Low Sulphur Gasoil “G” Futures   463   50,131,325   Oct–22   (4,568,930)
Low Sulphur Gasoil “G” Futures   412   42,333,000   Dec–22   8,116,697
Natural Gas Futures   580   31,459,200   Jul–22   (22,426,320)
Natural Gas Futures   2,077   111,991,840   Aug–22   (47,902,477)
Natural Gas Futures   775   41,919,750   Sep–22   (29,739,022)
Natural Gas Futures   605   34,787,500   Dec–22   10,025,624
NY Harbor ULSD Futures   332   53,412,492   Jul–22   (6,572,838)
NY Harbor ULSD Futures   582   92,029,216   Aug–22   1,440,603
NY Harbor ULSD Futures   462   71,767,634   Sep–22   (7,211,351)
NY Harbor ULSD Futures   225   33,538,995   Nov–22   2,603,560
Platinum Futures   1,291   57,791,615   Oct–22   (4,848,768)
Silver Futures   1,413   143,786,880   Sep–22   (12,045,083)
Soybean Futures   4,638   338,110,200   Nov–22   (18,048,573)
Soybean Meal Futures   834   34,702,740   Sep–22   829,976
Soybean Meal Futures   3,814   155,115,380   Dec–22   (719,168)
Soybean Oil Futures   1,350   54,278,100   Aug–22   (9,405,200)
Soybean Oil Futures   3,510   135,752,760   Dec–22   (22,794,333)
Sugar #11 (World) Futures   4,344   90,007,680   Sep–22   (1,887,219)
Wheat Futures (CBT)   935   41,327,000   Sep–22   (9,503,885)
WTI Crude Futures   580   59,798,000   Aug–22   (2,331,377)
WTI Crude Futures   452   45,322,040   Sep–22   (3,705,568)
WTI Crude Futures   268   26,197,000   Oct–22   (1,706,694)
WTI Crude Futures   259   24,750,040   Nov–22   97,255
    Total   $4,145,170,320       $(389,177,454)
    
(a) Zero coupon bond.
(b) Rate shown reflects yield as of June 30, 2022.
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Page 7

First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Consolidated Portfolio of Investments (Continued)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)

Valuation Inputs
A summary of the inputs used to value the Fund’s investments as of June 30, 2022 is as follows (see Note 2A - Portfolio Valuation in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements):
ASSETS TABLE
  Total
Value at
6/30/2022
Level 1
Quoted
Prices
Level 2
Significant
Observable
Inputs
Level 3
Significant
Unobservable
Inputs
U.S. Treasury Bills

$2,798,137,800 $$2,798,137,800 $
Money Market Funds

526,500,000 526,500,000
Total Investments

3,324,637,800 526,500,000 2,798,137,800
Futures Contracts*

35,056,901 35,056,901
Total

$3,359,694,701 $561,556,901 $2,798,137,800 $
 
LIABILITIES TABLE
  Total
Value at
6/30/2022
Level 1
Quoted
Prices
Level 2
Significant
Observable
Inputs
Level 3
Significant
Unobservable
Inputs
Futures Contracts*

$(424,234,355) $(424,234,355) $$
    
* Includes cumulative appreciation/depreciation on futures contracts as reported in the Futures Contracts table. Only the current day’s variation margin is presented on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
Page 8
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
ASSETS:  
Investments, at value

 (Cost $3,324,693,569)

$ 3,324,637,800
Cash

781,681,523
Cash segregated as collateral for open futures contracts

578,384,537
Receivables:  
Investment securities sold

10,199,777
Dividends

532,358
Fund shares sold

25,704
Total Assets

4,695,461,699
LIABILITIES:  
Payables:  
Variation margin

136,922,216
Fund shares redeemed

34,705,635
Investment advisory fees

3,933,545
Total Liabilities

175,561,396
NET ASSETS

$4,519,900,303
NET ASSETS consist of:  
Paid-in capital

$ 4,162,780,762
Par value

1,690,033
Accumulated distributable earnings (loss)

355,429,508
NET ASSETS

$4,519,900,303
NET ASSET VALUE, per share

$26.74
Number of shares outstanding (unlimited number of shares authorized, par value $0.01 per share)

169,003,334
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Page 9

First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Consolidated Statement of Operations
For the Six Months Ended June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
INVESTMENT INCOME:  
Interest

$ 4,462,769
Dividends

 576,821
Total investment income

5,039,590
EXPENSES:  
Investment advisory fees

 18,073,512
Total expenses

18,073,512
NET INVESTMENT INCOME (LOSS)

(13,033,922)
NET REALIZED AND UNREALIZED GAIN (LOSS):  
Net realized gain (loss) on futures contracts

685,850,309
Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on:  
Investments

(55,769)
Futures contracts

(415,465,004)
Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation)

(415,520,773)
NET REALIZED AND UNREALIZED GAIN (LOSS)

270,329,536
NET INCREASE (DECREASE) IN NET ASSETS RESULTING FROM OPERATIONS

$ 257,295,614
Page 10
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Consolidated Statements of Changes in Net Assets
  Six Months
Ended
6/30/2022
(Unaudited)
  Year
Ended
12/31/2021
OPERATIONS:      
Net investment income (loss)

$ (13,033,922)   $ (13,057,311)
Net realized gain (loss)

 685,850,309    231,317,130
Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation)

 (415,520,773)    10,092,273
Net increase (decrease) in net assets resulting from operations

257,295,614   228,352,092
DISTRIBUTIONS TO SHAREHOLDERS FROM:      
Investment operations

 (1,269,859)    (143,037,852)
SHAREHOLDER TRANSACTIONS:      
Proceeds from shares sold

 2,520,279,408    1,695,094,894
Cost of shares redeemed

 (235,789,500)    (39,063,924)
Net increase (decrease) in net assets resulting from shareholder transactions

2,284,489,908   1,656,030,970
Total increase (decrease) in net assets

 2,540,515,663    1,741,345,210
NET ASSETS:      
Beginning of period

 1,979,384,640    238,039,430
End of period

$4,519,900,303   $1,979,384,640
CHANGES IN SHARES OUTSTANDING:      
Shares outstanding, beginning of period

 86,003,334    12,353,334
Shares sold

 91,550,000    75,300,000
Shares redeemed

 (8,550,000)    (1,650,000)
Shares outstanding, end of period

169,003,334   86,003,334
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Page 11

First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
Consolidated Financial Highlights
For a share outstanding throughout each period
  Six Months
Ended
6/30/2022
(Unaudited)
  Year Ended December 31,
  2021   2020   2019   2018   2017  
Net asset value, beginning of period

$ 23.02   $ 19.27   $ 18.94   $ 17.92   $ 20.77   $ 20.43
Income from investment operations:                      
Net investment income (loss)

(0.09)(a)   (0.22)(a)   (0.14)   0.26   0.18   (0.03)
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss)

3.82   5.63   0.47   0.91   (2.89)   0.62
Total from investment operations

3.73   5.41   0.33   1.17   (2.71)   0.59
Distributions paid to shareholders from:                      
Net investment income

(0.01)   (1.66)     (0.15)   (0.11)   (0.25)
Return of capital

        (0.03)  
Total distributions

(0.01)   (1.66)     (0.15)   (0.14)   (0.25)
Net asset value, end of period

$26.74   $23.02   $19.27   $18.94   $17.92   $20.77
Total return (b)

16.19%   28.09%   1.74%   6.55%   (13.04)%   2.89%
Ratios to average net assets/supplemental data:                      
Net assets, end of period (in 000’s)

$ 4,519,900   $ 1,979,385   $ 238,039   $ 163,876   $ 168,520   $ 188,005
Ratio of total expenses to average net assets

0.95%(c)   0.95%   0.95%   0.95%   0.95%   0.95%
Ratio of net investment income (loss) to average net assets

(0.69)%(c)   (0.94)%   (0.54)%   1.13%   0.75%   (0.33)%
Portfolio turnover rate (d)

0%   0%   0%   0%   0%   0%
    
(a) Based on average shares outstanding.
(b) Total return is calculated assuming an initial investment made at the net asset value at the beginning of the period, reinvestment of all distributions at net asset value during the period, and redemption at net asset value on the last day of the period. The returns presented do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of Fund shares. Total return is calculated for the time period presented and is not annualized for periods of less than a year.
(c) Annualized.
(d) Portfolio turnover is calculated for the time period presented and is not annualized for periods of less than a year and does not include securities received or delivered from processing creations or redemptions, derivatives and in-kind transactions.
Page 12
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
1. Organization
First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company organized as a Massachusetts business trust on November 6, 2012, and is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”).
The Trust consists of two funds that are currently offering shares. This report covers the First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (the “Fund”), a diversified series of the Trust, which trades under the ticker “FTGC” on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) and commenced operations on October 22, 2013. Unlike conventional mutual funds, the Fund issues and redeems shares on a continuous basis, at net asset value (“NAV”), only in large blocks of shares known as “Creation Units.”
The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund. The investment objective of the Fund seeks to provide total return by providing investors with commodity exposure while seeking a relatively stable risk profile. The Fund seeks to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns by investing in commodity futures contracts, exchange-traded commodity linked instruments, and commodity linked total return swaps (collectively, “Commodities Instruments”) through a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund, FT Cayman Subsidiary II, organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the “Subsidiary”). The Fund will not invest directly in Commodities Instruments. The Fund expects to gain exposure to these investments exclusively by investing in the Subsidiary. The Fund will invest up to 25% of its total assets in the Subsidiary. As of June 30, 2022, the Fund invested 21.3% of the Fund’s total assets in the Subsidiary. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. The Fund may not be appropriate for all investors.
2. Significant Accounting Policies
The Fund is considered an investment company and follows accounting and reporting guidance under Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 946, “Financial Services-Investment Companies.” The consolidated financial statements include the accounts on a consolidated basis of the Subsidiary. All intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. The following is a summary of significant accounting policies consistently followed by the Fund in the preparation of the consolidated financial statements. The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
A. Portfolio Valuation
The Fund’s NAV is determined daily as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, on each day the NYSE is open for trading. If the NYSE closes early on a valuation day, the NAV is determined as of that time. The Fund’s NAV is calculated by dividing the value of all assets of the Fund (including accrued interest and dividends), less all liabilities (including accrued expenses and dividends declared but unpaid), by the total number of shares outstanding.
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. 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 third-party pricing services. Fair value prices represent any prices not considered market value prices and are either obtained from a third-party pricing service or are determined by the Pricing Committee of the Fund’s investment advisor, First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust” or the “Advisor”), in accordance with valuation procedures adopted by the Trust’s Board of Trustees, and in accordance with provisions of the 1940 Act. Investments valued by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee, if any, are footnoted as such in the footnotes to the Consolidated Portfolio of Investments. The Fund’s investments are valued as follows:
Exchange-traded futures contracts are valued at the closing price in the market where such contracts are principally traded. If no closing price is available, exchange-traded futures contracts are fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price.
U.S. Treasuries are fair valued on the basis of valuations provided by a third-party pricing service approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees.
Shares of open-end funds are valued at fair value which is based on NAV per share.
If the Fund’s investments are not able to be priced by their pre-established pricing methods, such investments may be valued by the Trust’s Board of Trustees or its delegate, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee, at fair value. A variety of factors may be considered in determining the fair value of such investments.
Page 13

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Continued)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Valuing the Fund’s holdings using fair value pricing will result in using prices for those holdings that may differ from current market valuations. The Subsidiary’s holdings will be valued in the same manner as the Fund’s holdings.
The Fund is subject to fair value accounting standards that define fair value, establish the framework for measuring fair value and provide a three-level hierarchy for fair valuation based upon the inputs to the valuation as of the measurement date. The three levels of the fair value hierarchy are as follows:
Level 1 – Level 1 inputs are quoted prices in active markets for identical investments. An active market is a market in which transactions for the investment occur with sufficient frequency and volume to provide pricing information on an ongoing basis.
Level 2 – Level 2 inputs are observable inputs, either directly or indirectly, and include the following:
o Quoted prices for similar investments in active markets.
o Quoted prices for identical or similar investments in markets that are non-active. A non-active market is a market where there are few transactions for the investment, the prices are not current, or price quotations vary substantially either over time or among market makers, or in which little information is released publicly.
o Inputs other than quoted prices that are observable for the investment (for example, interest rates and yield curves observable at commonly quoted intervals, volatilities, prepayment speeds, loss severities, credit risks, and default rates).
o Inputs that are derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data by correlation or other means.
Level 3 – Level 3 inputs are unobservable inputs. Unobservable inputs may reflect the reporting entity’s own assumptions about the assumptions that market participants would use in pricing the investment.
The inputs or methodologies used for valuing investments are not necessarily an indication of the risk associated with investing in those investments. A summary of the inputs used to value the Fund’s investments as of June 30, 2022, is included with the Fund’s Consolidated Portfolio of Investments.
B. Futures Contracts
The Fund, through the Subsidiary, may purchase and sell exchange-listed commodity contracts. When the Subsidiary purchases a listed futures contract, it agrees to purchase a specified reference asset (e.g., commodity) at a specified future date. When the Subsidiary sells or shorts a listed futures contract, it agrees to sell a specified reference asset (e.g., commodity) at a specified future date. The price at which the purchase and sale will take place is fixed when the Subsidiary enters into the contract. The exchange clearing corporation is the ultimate counterparty for all exchange-listed contracts, so credit risk is limited to the creditworthiness of the exchange’s clearing corporation. Margin deposits are posted as collateral with the clearing broker and, in turn, with the exchange clearing corporation. Open futures contracts can be closed out prior to settlement by entering into an offsetting transaction in a matching futures contract. If the Subsidiary is not able to enter into an offsetting transaction, the Subsidiary will continue to be required to maintain margin deposits on the futures contract. When the contract is closed or expires, the Subsidiary records a realized gain or loss equal to the difference between the value of the contract at the time it was opened and the value at the time it was closed or expired. This gain or loss is included in “Net realized gain (loss) on futures contracts” on the Consolidated Statement of Operations.
Exchange-listed commodity futures contracts are generally based upon commodities within the six principal commodity groups: energy, industrial metals, agriculture, precious metals, foods and fibers, and livestock. The price of a commodity futures contract will reflect the storage costs of purchasing the physical commodity. These storage costs include the time value of money invested in the physical commodity plus the actual costs of storing the commodity less any benefits from ownership of the physical commodity that are not obtained by the holder of a futures contract (this is sometimes referred to as the “convenience yield”). To the extent that these storage costs change for an underlying commodity while the Subsidiary is in a long position on that commodity, the value of the futures contract may change proportionately.
Upon entering into a futures contract, the Subsidiary must deposit funds, called margin, with its custodian in the name of the clearing broker equal to a specified percentage of the current value of the contract. Open futures contracts are marked-to-market daily with the change in value recognized as a component of “Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on futures contracts” on the Consolidated Statement of Operations. This daily fluctuation in value of the contracts is also known as variation margin and is included as “Variation margin” payable or receivable on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
When the Subsidiary purchases or sells a futures contract, the Subsidiary is required to collateralize its position in order to limit the risk associated with the use of leverage and other related risks. To collateralize its position, the Subsidiary segregates assets consisting of cash or liquid securities that, when added to any amounts deposited with a futures commission merchant as margin, are equal to the unrealized depreciation of the futures contract or otherwise collateralize its position in a manner consistent with the 1940 Act or the
Page 14

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Continued)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
1940 Act Rules and SEC interpretations thereunder. As the Subsidiary continues to engage in the described securities trading practices and properly segregates assets, the segregated assets will function as a practical limit on the amount of leverage which the Subsidiary may undertake and on the potential increase in the speculative character of the Subsidiary’s outstanding portfolio investments. Additionally, such segregated assets generally ensure the availability of adequate funds to meet the obligations of the Subsidiary arising from such investment activities.
C. Cash
The Fund holds assets equal to or greater than the full notional exposure of the futures contracts. These assets may consist of cash and other short-term securities to comply with SEC guidance with respect to coverage of futures contracts by registered investment companies. At June 30, 2022, the Fund had restricted cash held of $578,384,537, which is included in “Cash segregated as collateral for open futures contracts” on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
D. Investment Transactions and Investment Income
Investment transactions are recorded as of the trade date. Realized gains and losses from investment transactions are recorded on the identified cost basis. Dividend income is recorded on the ex-dividend date. Interest income, if any, is recorded on the accrual basis. Amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts are recorded using the effective interest method.
E. Dividends and Distributions to Shareholders
Dividends from net investment income, 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.
Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional whole shares only if the broker through whom the shares were purchased 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.
Distributions from net investment income and realized capital gains are determined in accordance with income tax regulations, which may differ from U.S. GAAP. Certain capital accounts in the consolidated financial statements are periodically adjusted for permanent differences in order to reflect their tax character. These permanent differences are primarily due to the varying treatment of income and gain/loss on portfolio securities held by the Fund and have no impact on net assets or NAV per share. Temporary differences, which arise from recognizing certain items of income, expense and gain/loss in different periods for consolidated financial statement and tax purposes, will reverse at some time in the future.
The tax character of distributions paid by the Fund during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, was as follows:
Distributions paid from:  
Ordinary income

$143,037,852
Capital gains

Return of capital

As of December 31, 2021, the components of distributable earnings on a tax basis for the Fund were as follows:
Undistributed ordinary income

$1,275,317
Accumulated capital and other gain (loss)

(90,397,888)
Net unrealized appreciation (depreciation)

116,685,438
F. Income Taxes
The Fund intends to continue to qualify as a regulated investment company by complying with the requirements under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), which includes distributing substantially all of its net investment income and net realized gains to shareholders. Accordingly, no provision has been made for federal and state income taxes. However, due to the timing and amount of distributions, the Fund may be subject to an excise tax of 4% of the amount by which approximately 98% of the Fund’s taxable income exceeds the distributions from such taxable income for the calendar year.
The Subsidiary is classified as a controlled foreign corporation under Subchapter N of the Code. Therefore, the Fund is required to increase its taxable income by its share of the Subsidiary’s income, whether or not such earnings are distributed by the Subsidiary to the Fund. Net investment losses of the Subsidiary cannot be deducted by the Fund in the current period nor carried forward to offset taxable income in future periods.
Page 15

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Continued)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
The Fund intends to utilize provisions of the federal income tax laws, which allow it to carry a realized capital loss forward indefinitely following the year of the loss and offset such loss against any future realized capital gains. The Fund is subject to certain limitations under U.S. tax rules on the use of capital loss carryforwards and net unrealized built-in losses. These limitations apply when there has been a 50% change in ownership. At December 31, 2021, for federal income tax purposes, the Fund had no non-expiring capital loss carryforwards.
The Fund is subject to accounting standards that establish a minimum threshold for recognizing, and a system for measuring, the benefits of a tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. Taxable years ended 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 remain open to federal and state audit. As of June 30, 2022, management has evaluated the application of these standards to the Fund and has determined that no provision for income tax is required in the Fund’s consolidated financial statements for uncertain tax positions.
As of June 30, 2022, the aggregate cost, gross unrealized appreciation, gross unrealized depreciation, and net unrealized appreciation/(depreciation) on investments (including short positions and derivatives, if any) for federal income tax purposes were as follows:
Tax Cost   Gross
Unrealized
Appreciation
  Gross
Unrealized
(Depreciation)
  Net Unrealized
Appreciation
(Depreciation)
$3,324,693,569   $35,077,297   $(424,310,520)   $(389,233,223)
G. Expenses
Expenses, other than the investment advisory fee and other excluded expenses, are paid by the Advisor (See Note 3).
3. Investment Advisory Fee, Affiliated Transactions and Other Fee Arrangements
First Trust, the investment advisor to the Fund, is a limited partnership with one limited partner, Grace Partners of DuPage L.P., and one general partner, The Charger Corporation. The Charger Corporation is an Illinois corporation controlled by James A. Bowen, Chief Executive Officer of First Trust. First Trust is responsible for the selection and ongoing monitoring of the Fund’s and the Subsidiary’s investment portfolios, managing the Fund’s business affairs and providing certain administrative services necessary for the management of the Fund.
Pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement between the Trust and the Advisor, First Trust manages the investment of the Fund’s assets and is responsible for the Fund’s and the Subsidiary’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, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, distribution and service fees 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 0.95% of its average daily net assets. First Trust also provides fund reporting services to the Fund for a flat annual fee in the amount of $9,250, which is covered under the annual unitary management fee. The Subsidiary does not pay First Trust a separate management fee.
The Trust has multiple service agreements with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (“BBH”). Under the service agreements, BBH performs custodial, fund accounting, certain administrative services, and transfer agency services for the Fund. As custodian, BBH is responsible for custody of the Fund’s assets. As fund accountant and administrator, BBH is responsible for maintaining the books and records of the Fund’s investments and cash. As transfer agent, BBH is responsible for maintaining shareholder records for the Fund.
Each Trustee who is not an officer or employee of First Trust, any sub-advisor or any of their affiliates (“Independent Trustees”) is paid a fixed annual retainer that is allocated equally among each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex. Each Independent Trustee is also paid an annual per fund fee that varies based on whether the fund is a closed-end or other actively managed fund, a defined-outcome fund or an index fund.
Additionally, the Lead Independent Trustee and the Chairs of the Audit Committee, Nominating and Governance Committee and Valuation Committee are paid annual fees to serve in such capacities, with such compensation allocated pro rata among each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex based on net assets. Independent Trustees are reimbursed for travel and out-of-pocket expenses in connection with all meetings. The Lead Independent Trustee and Committee Chairs rotate every three years. The officers and “Interested” Trustee receive no compensation from the Trust for acting in such capacities.
Page 16

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Continued)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
4. Purchases and Sales of Securities
The cost of purchases and proceeds from sales of securities, excluding short-term investments, derivatives, and in-kind transactions, for the six months ended June 30, 2022, were $0 and $0, respectively.
For the six months ended June 30, 2022, the Fund did not have any in-kind purchases or sales.
5. Derivative Transactions
The following table presents the types of derivatives held by the Subsidiary at June 30, 2022, the primary underlying risk exposure and the location of these instruments as presented on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
        Asset Derivatives   Liability Derivatives
Derivative
Instrument
  Risk
Exposure
  Consolidated
Statement of Assets and
Liabilities Location
  Value   Consolidated
Statement of Assets and
Liabilities Location
  Value
Futures contracts   Commodity Risk   Unrealized appreciation
on futures contracts*
  $ 35,056,901   Unrealized depreciation
on futures contracts*
  $ 424,234,355
*Includes cumulative appreciation/depreciation on futures contracts as reported in the Consolidated Portfolio of Investments. Only the current day’s variation margin is presented on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
The following table presents the amount of net realized gain (loss) and change in net unrealized appreciation (depreciation) recognized for the six months ended June 30, 2022, on derivative instruments, as well as the primary underlying risk exposure associated with each instrument.
Consolidated Statement of Operations Location  
Commodity Risk Exposure  
Net realized gain (loss) on futures contracts $685,850,309
Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on futures contracts (415,465,004)
During the six months ended June 30, 2022, the notional value of futures contracts opened and closed were $13,774,922,811 and $11,144,936,796, respectively.
The Fund does not have the right to offset financial assets and liabilities related to futures contracts on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
6. Creations, Redemptions and Transaction Fees
The Fund generally issues and redeems its shares in primary market transactions through a creation and redemption mechanism and does not sell or redeem individual shares. Instead, financial entities known as “Authorized Participants” have contractual arrangements with the Fund or one of the Fund’s service providers to purchase and redeem Fund shares directly with the Fund in large blocks of shares known as “Creation Units.” Prior to the start of trading on every business day, the Fund 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 Fund’s shares. An Authorized Participant that wishes to effectuate a creation of the Fund’s shares deposits with the Fund the “basket” of securities, cash or other assets identified by the Fund that day, and then receives the Creation Unit of the Fund’s shares in return for those assets. After purchasing a Creation Unit, the Authorized Participant may continue to hold the Fund’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 the Fund’s shares for a basket of securities, cash or other assets. The combination of the creation and redemption process with secondary market trading in the Fund’s shares and underlying securities provides arbitrage opportunities that are designed to help keep the market price of the Fund’s shares at or close to the NAV per share of the Fund.
The Fund imposes fees in connection with the purchase of Creation Units. These fees may vary based upon various fact-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.
Page 17

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Continued)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
The Fund also imposes fees in connection with the redemption of Creation Units. These fees may vary based upon various fact-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.
7. Distribution Plan
The Board of Trustees 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 First Trust Portfolios L.P. (“FTP”), the distributor of the Fund, for amounts expended to finance activities primarily intended to result in the sale of Creation Units or to provide investor services. FTP may also use this amount to compensate securities dealers or other persons that are Authorized Participants for providing distribution assistance, including broker-dealer and shareholder support and educational and promotional services.
No 12b-1 fees are currently paid by the Fund, and pursuant to a contractual arrangement, no 12b-1 fees will be paid any time before April 30, 2024.
8. Indemnification
The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has a variety of indemnification obligations under contracts with its service providers. The Trust’s maximum exposure under these arrangements is unknown. However, the Trust has not had prior claims or losses pursuant to these contracts and expects the risk of loss to be remote.
9. Subsequent Events
Management has evaluated the impact of all subsequent events to the Fund through the date the consolidated financial statements were issued and has determined that there were no subsequent events requiring recognition or disclosure in the consolidated financial statements that have not already been disclosed.
Page 18

Additional Information
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures
A description of the policies and procedures that the Trust uses to determine how to vote proxies and information on how the Fund voted proxies relating to portfolio investments during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 is available (1) without charge, upon request, by calling (800) 988-5891; (2) on the Fund’s website at www.ftportfolios.com; and (3) on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) website at www.sec.gov.
Portfolio Holdings
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. The semi-annual and annual report for the Fund is 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.
Risk Considerations
Risks are inherent in all investing. Certain general risks that may be applicable to a Fund are identified below, but not all of the material risks relevant to each Fund are included in this report and not all of the risks below apply to each Fund. The material risks of investing in each Fund are spelled out in its prospectus, statement of additional information and other regulatory filings. Before investing, you should consider each Fund’s investment objective, risks, charges and expenses, and read each Fund’s prospectus and statement of additional information carefully. You can download each Fund’s prospectus at www.ftportfolios.com or contact First Trust Portfolios L.P. at (800) 621-1675 to request a prospectus, which contains this and other information about each Fund.
Concentration Risk. To the extent that a fund is able to invest 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 fund that tracks an index will be concentrated to the extent the fund’s corresponding index is concentrated. A concentration makes a fund more susceptible to any single occurrence and may subject the fund to greater market risk than a fund that is more broadly diversified.
Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that an issuer of a security will be unable or unwilling to make dividend, interest and/or principal payments when due and the related risk that the value of a security may decline because of concerns about the issuer’s ability to make such payments.
Cyber Security Risk. The funds are susceptible to potential operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause a fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause a fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. In addition, cyber security breaches of a fund’s third-party service providers, such as its administrator, transfer agent, custodian, or sub-advisor, as applicable, or issuers in which the fund invests, can also subject a fund to many of the same risks associated with direct cyber security breaches.
Defined Outcome Funds Risk. To the extent a fund’s investment strategy is designed to deliver returns tied to the price performance of an underlying ETF, an investor may not realize the returns the fund seeks to achieve if that investor does not hold shares for the entire target outcome period. In the event an investor purchases shares after the first day of the target outcome period or sells shares prior to the end of the target outcome period, the buffer that the fund seeks to provide against a decline in the value of the underlying ETF may not be available, the enhanced returns that the fund seeks to provide (if any) may not be available and the investor may not participate in a gain in the value of the underlying ETF up to the cap for the investor’s investment period. Additionally, the fund will not participate in gains of the underlying ETF above the cap and a shareholder may lose their entire investment. If the fund seeks enhanced returns, there are certain time periods when the value of the fund may fall faster than the value of the underlying ETF, and it is very unlikely that, on any given day during which the underlying ETF share price increases in value, the fund’s share price will increase at the same rate as the enhanced returns sought by the fund, which is designed for an entire target outcome period. Trading flexible exchange options involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities, such as less liquidity and correlation and valuation risks. A fund may experience substantial downside from specific flexible exchange option positions and certain positions may expire worthless.
Derivatives Risk. To the extent a fund uses derivative instruments such as futures contracts, options contracts and swaps, the fund may experience losses because of adverse movements in the price or value of the underlying asset, index or rate, which may be magnified
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Additional Information (Continued)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
by certain features of the derivative. These risks are heightened when a fund’s portfolio managers use derivatives to enhance the fund’s return or as a substitute for a position or security, rather than solely to hedge (or offset) the risk of a position or security held by the fund.
Equity Securities Risk. To the extent a fund invests in equity securities, the value of the fund’s shares will fluctuate with changes in the value of the equity securities. 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 stock market, such as market volatility, or when political or economic events affecting the issuers occur. In addition, 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.
ETF Risk. The shares of an ETF trade like common stock and represent an interest in a portfolio of securities. The risks of owning an ETF generally reflect the risks of owning the underlying securities, although lack of liquidity in an ETF could result in it being more volatile and ETFs have management fees that increase their costs. Shares of an ETF trade on an exchange at market prices rather than net asset value, which may cause the shares to trade at a price greater than net asset value (premium) or less than net asset value (discount). In times of market stress, decisions by market makers to reduce or step away from their role of providing a market for an ETF’s shares, or decisions by an ETF’s authorized participants that they are unable or unwilling to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders of an ETF’s shares, could result in shares of the ETF trading at a discount to net asset value and in greater than normal intraday bid-ask spreads.
Fixed Income Securities Risk. To the extent a fund invests in fixed income securities, the fund will be subject to credit risk, income risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk and prepayment risk. Income risk is the risk that income from a fund’s fixed income investments could decline during periods of falling interest rates. Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a fund’s fixed income securities will decline because of rising interest rates. Liquidity risk is the risk that a security cannot be purchased or sold at the time desired, or cannot be purchased or sold without adversely affecting the price. Prepayment risk is the risk that the securities will be redeemed or prepaid by the issuer, resulting in lower interest payments received by the fund. In addition to these risks, high yield securities, or “junk” bonds, are subject to greater market fluctuations and risk of loss than securities with higher ratings, and the market for high yield securities is generally smaller and less liquid than that for investment grade securities.
Index or Model Constituent Risk. Certain funds may be a constituent of one or more indices or ETF models. As a result, such a 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 a fund, 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, a fund’s net asset value could be negatively impacted and the fund’s market price may be significantly below its net asset value during certain periods. In addition, index rebalances may potentially result in increased trading activity in a fund’s shares.
Index Provider Risk. To the extent a fund seeks to track an index, it is subject to Index Provider Risk. There is no assurance that the Index Provider will compile the Index accurately, or that the Index will be determined, maintained, constructed, reconstituted, rebalanced, composed, calculated or disseminated accurately. To correct any such error, the Index Provider may carry out an unscheduled rebalance or other modification of the Index constituents or weightings, which may increase the fund’s costs. The Index Provider does not provide any representation or warranty in relation to the quality, accuracy or completeness of data in the Index, and it does not guarantee that the Index will be calculated in accordance with its stated methodology. Losses or costs associated with any Index Provider errors generally will be borne by the fund and its shareholders.
Investment Companies Risk. To the extent a fund invests in the securities of other investment vehicles, the fund will incur additional fees and expenses that would not be present in a direct investment in those investment vehicles. Furthermore, the fund’s investment performance and risks are directly related to the investment performance and risks of the investment vehicles in which the fund invests.
LIBOR Risk. To the extent a fund invests in floating or variable rate obligations that use the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) as a reference interest rate, it is subject to LIBOR Risk. The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR has ceased making LIBOR available as a reference rate over a phase-out period that began December 31, 2021. There is no assurance that any alternative reference rate, including the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR or that instruments using an alternative rate will have the same volume or liquidity. The unavailability or replacement of LIBOR may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain fund investments and may result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades. Any potential effects of the transition away from LIBOR on the fund or on certain instruments in which the fund invests can be difficult to ascertain, and they may vary depending on a variety of factors, and they could result in losses to the fund.
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Additional Information (Continued)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Management Risk. To the extent that a fund is actively managed, it is subject to management risk. In managing an actively-managed fund’s investment portfolio, the fund’s portfolio managers will apply investment techniques and risk analyses that may not have the desired result. There can be no guarantee that a fund will meet its investment objective.
Market Risk. Securities held by a fund, as well as shares of a fund itself, are subject to market fluctuations caused by factors such as general economic conditions, political events, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of a fund could decline in value or underperform other investments as a result of the risk of loss associated with these market fluctuations. 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 a fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. 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. The outbreak of the respiratory disease designated as COVID-19 in December 2019 has caused significant volatility and declines in global financial markets, which have caused losses for investors. 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.
Non-U.S. Securities Risk. To the extent a fund invests in non-U.S. securities, it is subject to additional risks not associated with securities of domestic issuers. 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 exchanges in foreign countries. Investments in non-U.S. securities may involve higher costs than investments in U.S. securities, including higher transaction and custody costs, as well as additional taxes imposed by non-U.S. governments. These risks may be heightened for securities of companies located, or with significant operations, in emerging market countries.
Operational Risk. Each fund is subject to risks arising from various operational factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of a fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. Each 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 a fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. Although the funds and the funds’ investment advisor seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures, there is no way to completely protect against such risks.
Passive Investment Risk. To the extent a fund seeks to track an index, the fund will invest in the securities included in, or representative of, the index regardless of their investment merit. A fund generally will not attempt to take defensive positions in declining markets.
NOT FDIC INSURED NOT BANK GUARANTEED MAY LOSE VALUE
Advisory Agreements
Board Considerations Regarding Approval of Continuation of Investment Management Agreements
The Board of Trustees of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII (the “Trust”), including the Independent Trustees, unanimously approved the continuation of the Investment Management Agreement (the “Fund Agreement”) with First Trust Advisors L.P. (the “Advisor” ) on behalf of the First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (the “Fund”). The Board approved the continuation of the Fund Agreement for a one-year period ending June 30, 2023 at a meeting held on June 12–13, 2022. Because the Fund invests in commodity futures contracts and exchange-traded commodity linked instruments through a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund (the “Subsidiary”), the Board, including the Independent Trustees, also approved the continuation of an Investment Management Agreement (the “Subsidiary Agreement” and together with the Fund Agreement, the “Agreements”) with the Advisor for the Subsidiary, also for a one-year period. The Board determined that the continuation of the Agreements is in the best interests of the Fund in light of the nature, extent and quality of the services provided and such other matters as the Board considered to be relevant in the exercise of its business judgment.
To reach this determination, the Board considered its duties under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), as well as under the general principles of state law, in reviewing and approving advisory contracts; the requirements of the 1940 Act in such matters; the fiduciary duty of investment advisors with respect to advisory agreements and compensation; the standards used by courts in determining whether investment company boards have fulfilled their duties; and the factors to be considered by the Board in
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Additional Information (Continued)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
voting on such agreements. At meetings held on April 18, 2022 and June 12–13, 2022, the Board, including the Independent Trustees, reviewed materials provided by the Advisor responding to requests for information from counsel to the Independent Trustees, submitted on behalf of the Independent Trustees, that, among other things, outlined: the services provided by the Advisor to the Fund and the Subsidiary (including the relevant personnel responsible for these services and their experience); the unitary fee rate payable by the Fund as compared to fees charged to a peer group of funds (the “Expense Group”) and a broad peer universe of funds (the “Expense Universe”), each assembled by Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (“Broadridge”), an independent source, and as compared to fees charged to other clients of the Advisor, including other exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) managed by the Advisor; the expense ratio of the Fund as compared to expense ratios of the funds in the Fund’s Expense Group and Expense Universe; performance information for the Fund, including comparisons of the Fund’s performance to that of one or more relevant benchmark indexes and to that of a performance group of funds and a broad performance universe of funds (the “Performance Universe”), each assembled by Broadridge; the nature of expenses incurred in providing services to the Fund and the potential for the Advisor to realize economies of scale, if any; profitability and other financial data for the Advisor; any indirect benefits to the Advisor and its affiliate, First Trust Portfolios L.P. (“FTP”); and information on the Advisor’s compliance program. The Board reviewed initial materials with the Advisor at the meeting held on April 18, 2022, prior to which the Independent Trustees and their counsel met separately to discuss the information provided by the Advisor. Following the April meeting, counsel to the Independent Trustees, on behalf of the Independent Trustees, requested certain clarifications and supplements to the materials provided, and the information provided in response to those requests was considered at an executive session of the Independent Trustees and their counsel held prior to the June 12–13, 2022 meeting, as well as at the June meeting. The Board applied its business judgment to determine whether the arrangements between the Trust and the Advisor and between the Advisor and the Subsidiary continue to be reasonable business arrangements from the Fund’s perspective. The Board determined that, given the totality of the information provided with respect to the Agreements, the Board had received sufficient information to renew the Agreements. The Board considered that shareholders chose to invest or remain invested in the Fund knowing that the Advisor manages the Fund and knowing the Fund’s unitary fee.
In reviewing the Agreements, the Board considered the nature, extent and quality of the services provided by the Advisor under the Agreements. The Board considered that the Advisor is responsible for the overall management and administration of the Trust, the Fund and the Subsidiary, and reviewed all of the services provided by the Advisor to the Fund and the Subsidiary, as well as the background and experience of the persons responsible for such services. The Board noted that the Fund is an actively-managed ETF and noted that the Advisor’s Alternatives Investment Team is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s and the Subsidiary’s investments. The Board considered the background and experience of the members of the Alternatives Investment Team and noted the Board’s prior meetings with members of the Team. The Board considered the Advisor’s statement that it applies the same oversight model internally with its Alternatives Investment Team as it uses for overseeing external sub-advisors, including portfolio risk monitoring and performance review. In reviewing the services provided, the Board noted the compliance program that had been developed by the Advisor and considered that it includes a robust program for monitoring the Advisor’s and the Fund’s compliance with the 1940 Act, as well as the Fund’s compliance with its investment objective, policies and restrictions. The Board also considered a report from the Advisor with respect to its risk management functions related to the operation of the Fund. Finally, as part of the Board’s consideration of the Advisor’s services, the Advisor, in its written materials and at the April 18, 2022 meeting, described to the Board the scope of its ongoing investment in additional personnel and infrastructure to maintain and improve the quality of services provided to the Fund and the other funds in the First Trust Fund Complex. In light of the information presented and the considerations made, the Board concluded that the nature, extent and quality of the services provided to the Trust, the Fund and the Subsidiary by the Advisor under the Agreements have been and are expected to remain satisfactory and that the Advisor has managed the Fund consistent with its investment objective, policies and restrictions.
The Board considered the unitary fee rate payable by the Fund under the Fund Agreement for the services provided. The Board considered that as part of the unitary fee the Advisor is responsible for the Fund’s expenses, including the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other services and license fees, if any, but excluding the fee payment under the Fund Agreement and interest, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, distribution and service fees pursuant to a Rule 12b-1 plan, if any, and extraordinary expenses, if any. The Board noted that the Advisor receives no compensation under the Subsidiary Agreement and pays the expenses of the Subsidiary. The Board received and reviewed information showing the fee rates and expense ratios of the peer funds in the Expense Group, as well as advisory and unitary fee rates charged by the Advisor to other fund (including ETFs) and non-fund clients, as applicable. Because the Fund pays a unitary fee, the Board determined that expense ratios were the most relevant comparative data point. Based on the information provided, the Board noted that the unitary fee for the Fund was above the median total (net) expense ratio of the peer funds in the Expense Group. With respect to the Expense Group, the Board at the April 18, 2022 meeting, discussed with Broadridge its methodology for assembling peer groups and discussed with the Advisor limitations in creating peer groups for actively-managed ETFs, including the limited number of actively-managed ETFs following a commodity-based strategy, and different business models that may affect the pricing of services among ETF sponsors. The Board took these limitations and differences into account in considering the peer data. With respect to fees charged to other non-ETF clients, the Board considered differences between the Fund and other non-ETF clients
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Additional Information (Continued)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
that limited their comparability. In considering the unitary fee rate overall, the Board also considered the Advisor’s statement that it seeks to meet investor needs through innovative and value-added investment solutions and the Advisor’s demonstrated long-term commitment to the Fund and the other funds in the First Trust Fund Complex.
The Board considered performance information for the Fund. The Board noted the process it has established for monitoring the Fund’s performance and portfolio risk on an ongoing basis, which includes quarterly performance reporting from the Advisor for the Fund. The Board determined that this process continues to be effective for reviewing the Fund’s performance. The Board received and reviewed information comparing the Fund’s performance for periods ended December 31, 2021 to the performance of the funds in the Performance Universe and to that of a benchmark index. Based on the information provided, the Board noted that the Fund underperformed the Performance Universe median and outperformed the benchmark index for the one-year period ended December 31, 2021, outperformed the Performance Universe median and the benchmark index for the three-year period ended December 31, 2021, and performed at the Performance Universe median and outperformed the benchmark index for the five-year period ended December 31, 2021.
On the basis of all the information provided on the unitary fee and performance of the Fund and the ongoing oversight by the Board, the Board concluded that the unitary fee for the Fund continues to be reasonable and appropriate in light of the nature, extent and quality of the services provided by the Advisor to the Fund under the Agreements.
The Board considered information and discussed with the Advisor whether there were any economies of scale in connection with providing advisory services to the Fund and noted the Advisor’s statement that it believes that its expenses relating to providing advisory services to the Fund will likely increase during the next twelve months as the Advisor continues to build infrastructure and add new staff. The Board noted that any reduction in fixed costs associated with the management of the Fund would benefit the Advisor, but that the unitary fee structure provides a level of certainty in expenses for the Fund. The Board considered the revenues and allocated costs (including the allocation methodology) of the Advisor in serving as investment advisor to the Fund for the twelve months ended December 31, 2021 and the estimated profitability level for the Fund calculated by the Advisor based on such data, as well as complex-wide and product-line profitability data, for the same period. The Board noted the inherent limitations in the profitability analysis and concluded that, based on the information provided, the Advisor’s profitability level for the Fund was not unreasonable. In addition, the Board considered indirect benefits described by the Advisor that may be realized from its relationship with the Fund. The Board considered that the Advisor had identified as an indirect benefit to the Advisor and FTP their exposure to investors and brokers who, absent their exposure to the Fund, may have had no dealings with the Advisor or FTP, and noted that the Advisor does not utilize soft dollars in connection with the Fund. The Board also considered the Advisor’s compensation for fund reporting services provided to the Fund pursuant to a separate Fund Reporting Services Agreement, which is paid from the unitary fee. The Board concluded that the character and amount of potential indirect benefits to the Advisor were not unreasonable.
Based on all of the information considered and the conclusions reached, the Board, including the Independent Trustees, unanimously determined that the terms of the Agreements continue to be fair and reasonable and that the continuation of the Agreements is in the best interests of the Fund. No single factor was determinative in the Board’s analysis.
Liquidity Risk Management Program
In accordance with Rule 22e-4 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), the Fund and each other fund in the First Trust Fund Complex, other than the closed-end funds, have adopted and implemented a liquidity risk management program (the “Program”) reasonably designed to assess and manage the funds’ liquidity risk, i.e., the risk that a fund could not meet requests to redeem shares issued by the fund without significant dilution of remaining investors’ interests in the fund.  The Board of Trustees of the First Trust Funds has appointed First Trust Advisors L.P. (the “Advisor”) as the person designated to administer the Program, and in this capacity the Advisor performs its duties primarily through the activities and efforts of the First Trust Liquidity Committee (the “Liquidity Committee”).
Pursuant to the Program, the Liquidity Committee classifies the liquidity of each fund’s portfolio investments into one of the four liquidity categories specified by Rule 22e-4:  highly liquid investments, moderately liquid investments, less liquid investments and illiquid investments.  The Liquidity Committee determines certain of the inputs for this classification process, including reasonably anticipated trade sizes and significant investor dilution thresholds. The Liquidity Committee also determines and periodically reviews a highly liquid investment minimum for certain funds, monitors the funds’ holdings of assets classified as illiquid investments to seek to ensure they do not exceed 15% of a fund’s net assets and establishes policies and procedures regarding redemptions in kind.
At the April 18, 2022 meeting of the Board of Trustees, as required by Rule 22e-4 and the Program, the Advisor provided the Board with a written report prepared by the Advisor that addressed the operation of the Program during the period from March 16, 2021 through the Liquidity Committee’s annual meeting held on March 17, 2022 and assessed the Program’s adequacy and effectiveness of implementation during this period, including the operation of the highly liquid investment minimum for each fund that is required
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Additional Information (Continued)
First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
under the Program to have one, and any material changes to the Program. Note that because the Fund primarily holds assets that are highly liquid investments, the Fund has not adopted any highly liquid investment minimum.
As stated in the written report, during the review period, no fund breached the 15% limitation on illiquid investments, no fund with a highly liquid investment minimum breached that minimum and no fund filed a Form N-LIQUID.  The Advisor concluded that each fund’s investment strategy is appropriate for an open-end fund; that the Program operated effectively in all material respects during the review period; and that the Program is reasonably designed to assess and manage the liquidity risk of each fund and to maintain compliance with Rule 22e-4.
Page 24

INVESTMENT ADVISOR
First Trust Advisors L.P.
120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400
Wheaton, IL 60187
ADMINISTRATOR, CUSTODIAN,
FUND ACCOUNTANT &
TRANSFER AGENT
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
50 Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02110
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED
PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
Deloitte & Touche LLP
111 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
LEGAL COUNSEL
Chapman and Cutler LLP
320 South Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60606

 

 

First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)

Semi-Annual Report
For the Six Months Ended
June 30, 2022
Table of Contents
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Semi-Annual Report
June 30, 2022
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This report contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the goals, beliefs, plans or current expectations of First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust” or the “Advisor”) and its representatives, taking into account the information currently available to them. Forward-looking statements include all statements that do not relate solely to current or historical fact. For example, forward-looking statements include the use of words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “would” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes.
Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the series of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII (the “Trust”) described in this report (First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF; hereinafter referred to as the “Fund”) to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. When evaluating the information included in this report, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the judgment of the Advisor and its representatives only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly revise or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events and circumstances that arise after the date hereof.
Performance and Risk Disclosure
There is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. The Fund is subject to market risk, which is the possibility that the market values of securities owned by the Fund will decline and that the value of the Fund’s shares may therefore be less than what you paid for them. Accordingly, you can lose money by investing in the Fund. See “Risk Considerations” in the Additional Information section of this report for a discussion of certain other risks of investing in the Fund.
Performance data quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results, and current performance may be lower or higher than the figures shown. For the most recent month-end performance figures, please visit www.ftportfolios.com or speak with your financial advisor. Investment returns, net asset value and share price will fluctuate and Fund shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
The Advisor may also periodically provide additional information on Fund performance on the Fund’s web page at www.ftportfolios.com.
How to Read This Report
This report contains information that may help you evaluate your investment in the Fund. It includes details about the Fund and presents data and analysis that provide insight into the Fund’s performance and investment approach.
The statistical information that follows may help you understand the Fund’s performance compared to that of relevant market benchmarks.
It is important to keep in mind that the opinions expressed by personnel of the Advisor are just that: informed opinions. They should not be considered to be promises or advice. The opinions, like the statistics, cover the period through the date on the cover of this report. The material risks of investing in the Fund are spelled out in the prospectus, the statement of additional information, and other Fund regulatory filings.

Shareholder Letter
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Semi-Annual Letter from the Chairman and CEO
June 30, 2022
Dear Shareholders,
First Trust is pleased to provide you with the semi-annual report for the First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (the “Fund”), which contains detailed information about the Fund for the six months ended June 30, 2022.
The trillions of dollars of stimulus funneled into the U.S. financial system by the Federal government throughout the bulk of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic was effective in bolstering economic activity, as reflected by some impressive gross domestic product (“GDP”) statistics. It also fueled inflation. I will touch on that angle as well. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that annualized real GDP growth rates over the four quarters comprising 2021 were 6.3%, 6.7%, 2.3% and 6.9%, respectively. It appears, however, that the upside from those stimulus dollars may be waning. In the first two quarters of 2022, the U.S. economy contracted. Real GDP declined by an annualized 1.6% in the first quarter and declined by an annualized 0.9% in the second quarter. Why the downturn? Well, the lion’s share of the stimulus programs for individuals ended in September 2021. The war between Russia and Ukraine, which commenced in late February 2022, China’s COVID-19 shutdown this year and the ongoing supply chain bottlenecks have also provided a drag on the global economy and securities markets, in my opinion. While the standard definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, the official arbiter of declaring recessions in the U.S. belongs to the National Bureau of Economic Research, and it factors in additional economic indicators in its evaluation process. Even if we were to experience a recession, it does not necessarily mean it will be deep in scope. Currently, the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) is still hoping to orchestrate a soft landing for the economy, though it admits it will be challenging.
In addition to the recent decline in economic activity, the financial media is paying a good deal of attention to the inverted yield curve in the Treasury market, particularly the spread between the yields on the 2-Year and 10-Year Treasury Note (“T-Note”). As of July 27, 2022, the closing yield on the 2-Year T-Note was 3.00%, 21 basis points (“bps”) above the 2.79% yield on the 10-Year T-Note. The current inversion has only been in play in earnest since July 5, 2022. Yields on shorter-maturity bonds should be lower than those further out on the curve. For the 30-year period ended July 27, 2022, the average yield on the 10-Year T-Note was 113 bps higher than the average yield on the 2-Year T-Note. Historically, such inversions have portended that a recession is likely to arrive in the next 12-24 months. At its meeting on July 27, 2022, the Fed raised the Federal Funds target rate by 75 bps to combat the spike in inflation. The target rate currently sits at 2.50%, marking the upper bound of its 2.25% to 2.50% range. The Fed’s next meeting is scheduled for September 20-21, 2022.
In the current climate, the number one goal is to tame inflation. The Fed has made it clear that it is committed to doing so. The Consumer Price Index stood at a trailing 12-month rate of 9.1% in June 2022, its highest level since 1981. Surging inflation is the number one concern of Americans. It is certainly going to be a hot button issue in the upcoming mid-term elections in November. A recent CNN poll revealed that 75% of Americans consider inflation their top economic concern and only 25% approve of President Joe Biden’s efforts to curtail it. This dovetails into another concern: the markets. With respect to returns, on a year-to-date and 12-month basis, all the major domestic and foreign stock and bond indices were sitting in negative territory, based on their respective total returns through June 30, 2022. Sell-offs are a natural part of market cycles. We all know that prices do not go up in a straight line. As previously noted, the Fed, the economy and the markets are battling some significant headwinds. The good news is we know what they are. Suffice it to say, it will take some time to remedy them. Stay the course!
Thank you for giving First Trust the opportunity to play a role in your financial future. We value our relationship with you and will report on the Fund again in six months.
Sincerely,
James A. Bowen
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Chief Executive Officer of First Trust Advisors L.P.
Page 1

Fund Performance Overview (Unaudited)
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
The First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investors with long-term total return. The shares of the Fund are listed and trade on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC under the ticker symbol “FAAR.” The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund that seeks to achieve long-term total return through long and short investments in exchange-traded commodity futures contracts (“Commodity Futures”) through a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the “Subsidiary”). The Fund does not invest directly in Commodity Futures. The Fund gains exposure to these investments exclusively by investing in the Subsidiary. The Subsidiary is advised by First Trust Advisors L.P., the Fund’s investment advisor.
The Fund’s investment in the Subsidiary is intended to provide the Fund with exposure to commodity markets within the limits of current federal income tax laws applicable to investment companies such as the Fund, which limit the ability of investment companies to invest directly in Commodity Futures. The Subsidiary has the same investment objective as the Fund, but unlike the Fund, it may invest without limitation in Commodity Futures. The Fund will invest up to 25% of its total assets in the Subsidiary.
The Subsidiary’s holdings primarily consist of Commodity Futures, which are contractual agreements to buy or sell a particular commodity or financial instrument at a pre-determined price at a settlement date in the future. The Fund, through the Subsidiary, engages in trading on commodity markets both inside and outside of the United States on behalf of the Fund. The Fund, through the Subsidiary, may invest in a range of Commodity Futures and markets as determined by the Fund’s investment advisor from time to time. The remainder of the Fund’s assets will primarily be invested in: (1) U.S. government and agency securities with maturities of five years or less; (2) short-term repurchase agreements; (3) money market instruments; and (4) Canadian ETFs; and (5) cash. The Fund uses such instruments as investments and to collateralize the Subsidiary’s Commodity Futures exposure on a day-to-day basis.
Performance  
      Average Annual Total Returns   Cumulative Total Returns
  6 Months
Ended
6/30/22
1 Year
Ended
6/30/22
5 Years
Ended
6/30/22
Inception
(5/18/16)
to 6/30/22
  5 Years
Ended
6/30/22
Inception
(5/18/16)
to 6/30/22
Fund Performance              
NAV 15.89% 16.96% 6.02% 4.02%   33.94% 27.25%
Market Price 16.03% 16.65% 5.58% 4.06%   31.20% 27.57%
Index Performance              
3 Month U.S. Treasury Bills + 3% 1.64% 3.22% 4.19% 4.07%   22.78% 27.66%
Bloomberg Commodity Index 18.44% 24.27% 8.39% 6.33%   49.64% 45.61%
S&P 500® Index -19.96% -10.62% 11.31% 12.63%   70.86% 106.96%
Total returns for the period since inception are calculated from the inception date of the Fund. “Average Annual Total Returns” represent the average annual change in value of an investment over the periods indicated. “Cumulative Total Returns” represent the total change in value of an investment over the periods indicated.
The Fund’s per share net asset value (“NAV”) is the value of one share of the Fund and is computed by dividing the value of all assets of the Fund (including accrued interest and dividends), less all liabilities (including accrued expenses and dividends declared but unpaid), by the total number of outstanding shares. The price used to calculate market return (“Market Price”) is determined by using the midpoint of the national best bid and offer price (“NBBO”) as of the time that the Fund’s NAV is calculated. Under SEC rules, the NBBO consists of the highest displayed buy and lowest sell prices among the various exchanges trading the Fund at the time the Fund’s NAV is calculated. Prior to January 1, 2019, the price used was the midpoint between the highest bid and the lowest offer on the stock exchange on which shares of the Fund were listed for trading as of the time that the Fund’s NAV was calculated. Since shares of the Fund did not trade in the secondary market until after its inception, for the period from inception to the first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund, the NAV of the Fund is used as a proxy for the secondary market trading price to calculate market returns. NAV and market returns assume that all distributions have been reinvested in the Fund at NAV and Market Price, respectively.
An index is a statistical composite that tracks a specified financial market or sector. Unlike the Fund, the indices do not actually hold a portfolio of securities and therefore do not incur the expenses incurred by the Fund. These expenses negatively impact the performance of the Fund. Also, market returns do not include brokerage commissions that may be payable on secondary market transactions. If brokerage commissions were included, market returns would be lower. The total returns presented reflect the reinvestment of dividends on securities in the indices. The returns presented do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of Fund shares. The investment return and principal value of shares of the Fund will vary with changes in market conditions. Shares of the Fund may be worth more or less than their original cost when they are redeemed or sold in the market. The Fund’s past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
Page 2

Fund Performance Overview (Unaudited) (Continued)
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Fund Allocation % of Net Assets
U.S. Treasury Bills 62.2%
Money Market Funds 10.8
Net Other Assets and Liabilities* 27.0
Total 100.0%
    
* Includes variation margin on futures contracts.

Performance figures assume reinvestment of all distributions and do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of Fund shares. An index is a statistical composite that tracks a specified financial market or sector. Unlike the Fund, the indices do not actually hold a portfolio of securities and therefore do not incur the expenses incurred by the Fund. These expenses negatively impact the performance of the Fund. The Fund’s past performance does not predict future performance.
Frequency Distribution of Discounts and Premiums
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.
Page 3

Portfolio Management
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Semi-Annual Report
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Advisor
First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust” or the “Advisor”) serves as the investment advisor, commodity pool operator and commodity trading advisor to the First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (the “Fund”). First Trust is responsible for the selection and ongoing monitoring of the Fund’s investment portfolio, managing the Fund’s business affairs and providing certain administrative services necessary for the management of the Fund.
Portfolio Management Team
John Gambla – CFA, FRM, PRM, Senior Portfolio Manager, Alternatives Investment Team of First Trust
Rob A. Guttschow – CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager, Alternatives Investment Team of First Trust
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 2016.
Page 4

First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Understanding Your Fund Expenses
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
As a shareholder of the First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (the “Fund”), you incur two types of costs: (1) transaction costs; and (2) ongoing costs, including management fees, distribution and/or service (12b-1) fees, if any, and other Fund expenses. This Example is intended to help you understand your ongoing costs of investing in the Fund and to compare these costs with the ongoing costs of investing in other funds.
The Example is based on an investment of $1,000 invested at the beginning of the period and held through the six-month period ended June 30, 2022.
Actual Expenses
The first line in the following table provides information about actual account values and actual expenses. You may use the information in this line, together with the amount you invested, to estimate the expenses that you paid over the period. Simply divide your account value by $1,000 (for example, an $8,600 account value divided by $1,000 = 8.6), then multiply the result by the number in the first line under the heading entitled “Expenses Paid During the Six-Month Period” to estimate the expenses you paid on your account during this six-month period.
Hypothetical Example for Comparison Purposes
The second line in the following table provides information about hypothetical account values and hypothetical expenses based on the Fund’s actual expense ratio and an assumed rate of return of 5% per year before expenses, which is not the Fund’s actual return. The hypothetical account values and expenses may not be used to estimate the actual ending account balance or expenses you paid for the period. You may use this information to compare the ongoing costs of investing in the Fund and other funds. To do so, compare this 5% hypothetical example with the 5% hypothetical examples that appear in the shareholder reports of the other funds.
Please note that the expenses shown in the table are meant to highlight your ongoing costs only and do not reflect any transactional costs such as brokerage commissions. Therefore, the second line in the table is useful in comparing ongoing costs only, and will not help you determine the relative total costs of owning different funds. In addition, if these transactional costs were included, your costs would have been higher.
  Beginning
Account Value
January 1, 2022
Ending
Account Value
June 30, 2022
Annualized
Expense Ratio
Based on the
Six-Month
Period
Expenses Paid
During the
Six-Month
Period (a)
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Actual $1,000.00 $1,158.90 0.95% $5.09
Hypothetical (5% return before expenses) $1,000.00 $1,020.08 0.95% $4.76
    
(a) Expenses are equal to the annualized expense ratios as indicated in the table multiplied by the average account value over the period (January 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022), multiplied by 181/365 (to reflect the six-month period).
Page 5

First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Consolidated Portfolio of Investments
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Principal
Value
  Description   Stated
Coupon
  Stated
Maturity
  Value
U.S. TREASURY BILLS – 62.2%
$10,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   07/05/22   $9,998,711
10,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   07/07/22   9,998,781
10,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   07/12/22   9,996,960
35,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   07/14/22   34,987,140
15,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   08/02/22   14,984,687
15,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   08/04/22   14,983,514
10,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   08/09/22   9,986,212
10,000,000  
U.S. Treasury Bill

  (a)   08/11/22   9,984,839
   
Total U.S. Treasury Bills

  114,920,844
    (Cost $114,923,574)            
    
Shares   Description   Value
MONEY MARKET FUNDS – 10.8%
20,000,000  
Morgan Stanley Institutional Liquidity Funds - Treasury Portfolio - Institutional Class - 1.34% (b)

  20,000,000
    (Cost $20,000,000)    
   
Total Investments – 73.0%

  134,920,844
    (Cost $134,923,574)    
   
Net Other Assets and Liabilities – 27.0%

  49,843,088
   
Net Assets – 100.0%

  $184,763,932
The following futures contracts of the Fund’s wholly-owned subsidiary were open at June 30, 2022 (see Note 2B - Futures Contracts in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements):
Futures Contracts Long:   Number
of
Contracts
  Notional
Value
  Expiration
Date
  Unrealized
Appreciation
(Depreciation)/
Value
Brent Crude Oil Futures   19   $2,071,570   Jul–22   $(103,810)
Brent Crude Oil Futures   19   2,006,210   Aug–22   (150,550)
Brent Crude Oil Futures   19   1,911,020   Oct–22   (43,566)
Cattle Feeder Futures   77   6,683,600   Aug–22   68,187
Corn Futures   114   3,532,575   Dec–22   (515,709)
Cotton No. 2 Futures   92   4,546,640   Dec–22   (900,010)
Gasoline RBOB Futures   14   2,079,344   Jul–22   182,714
Gasoline RBOB Futures   42   6,000,952   Aug–22   (193,041)
Gasoline RBOB Futures   34   3,991,974   Nov–22   (249,510)
Gold 100 Oz. Futures   113   20,422,490   Aug–22   (374,945)
Kansas City Hard Red Winter Wheat Futures   75   3,569,062   Sep–22   (397,616)
Live Cattle Futures   213   11,295,390   Aug–22   (230,271)
LME Zinc Futures   22   1,738,413   Sep–22   (306,012)
Low Sulphur Gasoil “G” Futures   14   1,542,800   Sep–22   (9,156)
Low Sulphur Gasoil “G” Futures   13   1,407,575   Oct–22   (97,970)
Natural Gas Futures   15   813,600   Jul–22   (583,725)
Natural Gas Futures   27   1,455,840   Aug–22   (519,998)
Natural Gas Futures   28   1,514,520   Sep–22   (776,105)
NY Harbor ULSD Futures   13   2,091,453   Jul–22   122,339
NY Harbor ULSD Futures   24   3,795,019   Aug–22   593,128
NY Harbor ULSD Futures   27   4,194,212   Sep–22   (380,058)
NY Harbor ULSD Futures   15   2,235,933   Nov–22   173,571
Soybean Futures   282   20,557,800   Nov–22   (993,460)
Soybean Meal Futures   98   4,077,780   Sep–22   82,643
Soybean Meal Futures   189   7,686,630   Dec–22   22,875
Page 6
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Consolidated Portfolio of Investments (Continued)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Futures Contracts Long: (Continued)   Number
of
Contracts
  Notional
Value
  Expiration
Date
  Unrealized
Appreciation
(Depreciation)/
Value
Soybean Oil Futures   56   $2,251,536   Aug–22   $(302,724)
Soybean Oil Futures   198   7,657,848   Dec–22   (1,114,516)
        $131,131,786       $(6,997,295)
Futures Contracts Short:                
Cocoa Futures   104   $(2,433,600)   Sep–22   $33,800
Coffee “C” Futures   99   (8,542,463)   Sep–22   93,297
Copper Futures   54   (5,008,500)   Sep–22   254,285
Lean Hogs Futures   91   (3,716,440)   Aug–22   250,748
LME Lead Futures   47   (2,242,488)   Sep–22   85,763
LME Nickel Futures   20   (2,724,120)   Sep–22   209,880
Platinum Futures   82   (3,670,730)   Oct–22   308,759
Silver Futures   61   (6,207,360)   Sep–22   404,149
Sugar #11 (World) Futures   172   (3,563,840)   Sep–22   33,833
WTI Crude Futures   17   (1,752,700)   Aug–22   82,090
        $(39,862,241)       $1,756,604
    Total   $91,269,545       $(5,240,691)
    
(a) Zero coupon bond.
(b) Rate shown reflects yield as of June 30, 2022.

Valuation Inputs
A summary of the inputs used to value the Fund’s investments as of June 30, 2022 is as follows (see Note 2A - Portfolio Valuation in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements):
ASSETS TABLE
  Total
Value at
6/30/2022
Level 1
Quoted
Prices
Level 2
Significant
Observable
Inputs
Level 3
Significant
Unobservable
Inputs
U.S. Treasury Bills

$114,920,844 $114,920,844 $$
Money Market Funds

20,000,000 20,000,000
Total Investments

134,920,844 134,920,844
Futures Contracts*

3,002,061 3,002,061
Total

$137,922,905 $137,922,905 $$
 
LIABILITIES TABLE
  Total
Value at
6/30/2022
Level 1
Quoted
Prices
Level 2
Significant
Observable
Inputs
Level 3
Significant
Unobservable
Inputs
Futures Contracts*

$(8,242,752) $(8,242,752) $$
    
* Includes cumulative appreciation/depreciation on futures contracts as reported in the Futures Contracts table. Only the current day’s variation margin is presented on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Page 7

First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
ASSETS:  
Investments, at value

 (Cost $134,923,574)

$ 134,920,844
Cash

45,872,076
Cash segregated as collateral for open futures contracts

9,668,396
Dividends receivable

25,930
Total Assets

190,487,246
LIABILITIES:  
Due to broker

3,197,520
Payables:  
Variation margin

2,375,385
Investment advisory fees

150,409
Total Liabilities

5,723,314
NET ASSETS

$184,763,932
NET ASSETS consist of:  
Paid-in capital

$ 160,559,995
Par value

55,500
Accumulated distributable earnings (loss)

24,148,437
NET ASSETS

$184,763,932
NET ASSET VALUE, per share

$33.29
Number of shares outstanding (unlimited number of shares authorized, par value $0.01 per share)

5,550,002
Page 8
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Consolidated Statement of Operations
For the Six Months Ended June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
INVESTMENT INCOME:  
Interest

$ 185,001
Dividends

 28,087
Total investment income

213,088
EXPENSES:  
Investment advisory fees

 759,675
Total expenses

759,675
NET INVESTMENT INCOME (LOSS)

(546,587)
NET REALIZED AND UNREALIZED GAIN (LOSS):  
Net realized gain (loss) on futures contracts

25,486,692
Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on:  
Investments

(2,730)
Futures contracts

(5,440,606)
Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation)

(5,443,336)
NET REALIZED AND UNREALIZED GAIN (LOSS)

20,043,356
NET INCREASE (DECREASE) IN NET ASSETS RESULTING FROM OPERATIONS

$ 19,496,769
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Page 9

First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Consolidated Statements of Changes in Net Assets
  Six Months
Ended
6/30/2022
(Unaudited)
  Year
Ended
12/31/2021
OPERATIONS:      
Net investment income (loss)

$ (546,587)   $ (971,021)
Net realized gain (loss)

 25,486,692    13,606,713
Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation)

 (5,443,336)    (2,402,421)
Net increase (decrease) in net assets resulting from operations

19,496,769   10,233,271
DISTRIBUTIONS TO SHAREHOLDERS FROM:      
Investment operations

 (15,820)    (7,651,184)
SHAREHOLDER TRANSACTIONS:      
Proceeds from shares sold

 52,619,692    55,887,439
Cost of shares redeemed

 (5,104,390)    —
Net increase (decrease) in net assets resulting from shareholder transactions

47,515,302   55,887,439
Total increase (decrease) in net assets

 66,996,251    58,469,526
NET ASSETS:      
Beginning of period

 117,767,681    59,298,155
End of period

$184,763,932   $117,767,681
CHANGES IN SHARES OUTSTANDING:      
Shares outstanding, beginning of period

 4,100,002    2,200,002
Shares sold

 1,600,000    1,900,000
Shares redeemed

 (150,000)    —
Shares outstanding, end of period

5,550,002   4,100,002
Page 10
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
Consolidated Financial Highlights
For a share outstanding throughout each period
  Six Months
Ended
6/30/2022
(Unaudited)
  Year Ended December 31,
  2021   2020   2019   2018   2017  
Net asset value, beginning of period

$ 28.72   $ 26.95   $ 25.88   $ 26.48   $ 29.35   $ 28.45
Income from investment operations:                      
Net investment income (loss)

(0.39)   (0.28)(a)   (0.18)(a)   0.36   0.14   (0.10)(a)
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss)

4.96   3.92   2.08   (0.70)   (2.86)   1.83
Total from investment operations

4.57   3.64   1.90   (0.34)   (2.72)   1.73
Distributions paid to shareholders from:                      
Net investment income

(0.00)(b)   (1.87)   (0.83)   (0.26)   (0.11)   (0.83)
Return of capital

        (0.04)  
Total distributions

(0.00)(b)   (1.87)   (0.83)   (0.26)   (0.15)   (0.83)
Net asset value, end of period

$33.29   $28.72   $26.95   $25.88   $26.48   $29.35
Total return (c)

15.89%   13.49%   7.35%   (1.27)%   (9.23)%   6.08%
Ratios to average net assets/supplemental data:                      
Net assets, end of period (in 000’s)

$ 184,764   $ 117,768   $ 59,298   $ 25,879   $ 18,534   $ 7,338
Ratio of total expenses to average net assets

0.95%(d)   0.95%   0.95%   0.95%   0.95%   0.95%
Ratio of net investment income (loss) to average net assets

(0.68)%(d)   (0.95)%   (0.68)%   0.88%   0.65%   (0.33)%
Portfolio turnover rate (e)

0%   0%   0%   0%   0%   0%
    
(a) Based on average shares outstanding.
(b) Amount is less than $0.01.
(c) Total return is calculated assuming an initial investment made at the net asset value at the beginning of the period, reinvestment of all distributions at net asset value during the period, and redemption at net asset value on the last day of the period. The returns presented do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of Fund shares. Total return is calculated for the time period presented and is not annualized for periods of less than a year.
(d) Annualized.
(e) Portfolio turnover is calculated for the time period presented and is not annualized for periods of less than a year and does not include securities received or delivered from processing creations or redemptions, derivatives and in-kind transactions.
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Page 11

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
1. Organization
First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company organized as a Massachusetts business trust on November 6, 2012, and is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”).
The Trust consists of two funds that are offering shares. This report covers the First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (the “Fund”), a diversified series of the Trust, which trades under the ticker “FAAR” on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) and commenced operations on May 18, 2016. Unlike conventional mutual funds, the Fund issues and redeems shares on a continuous basis, at net asset value (“NAV”), only in large blocks of shares known as “Creation Units.”
The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund. The investment objective of the Fund seeks to provide investors with long-term total return. The Fund seeks to achieve long-term total return through long and short investments in exchange-traded commodity futures contracts (“Commodities Futures”) through a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund, FT Cayman Subsidiary III, organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the “Subsidiary”). The Fund does not invest directly in Commodities Futures. The Fund gains exposure to these investments exclusively by investing in the Subsidiary. The Fund will invest up to 25% of its total assets in the Subsidiary. As of June 30, 2022, the Fund invested 17.25% of the Fund’s total assets in the Subsidiary. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. The Fund may not be appropriate for all investors.
2. Significant Accounting Policies
The Fund is considered an investment company and follows accounting and reporting guidance under Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 946, “Financial Services-Investment Companies.” The consolidated financial statements include the accounts on a consolidated basis of the Subsidiary. All intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. The following is a summary of significant accounting policies consistently followed by the Fund in the preparation of the consolidated financial statements. The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
A. Portfolio Valuation
The Fund’s NAV is determined daily as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, on each day the NYSE is open for trading. If the NYSE closes early on a valuation day, the NAV is determined as of that time. The Fund’s NAV is calculated by dividing the value of all assets of the Fund (including accrued interest and dividends), less all liabilities (including accrued expenses and dividends declared but unpaid), by the total number of shares outstanding.
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. 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 third-party pricing services. Fair value prices represent any prices not considered market value prices and are either obtained from a third-party pricing service or are determined by the Pricing Committee of the Fund’s investment advisor, First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust” or the “Advisor”), in accordance with valuation procedures adopted by the Trust’s Board of Trustees, and in accordance with provisions of the 1940 Act. Investments valued by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee, if any, are footnoted as such in the footnotes to the Consolidated Portfolio of Investments. The Fund’s investments are valued as follows:
Exchange-traded futures contracts are valued at the closing price in the market where such contracts are principally traded. If no closing price is available, exchange-traded futures contracts are fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price.
U.S. Treasuries are fair valued on the basis of valuations provided by a third-party pricing service approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees.
Shares of open-end funds are valued at fair value which is based on NAV per share.
If the Fund’s investments are not able to be priced by their pre-established pricing methods, such investments may be valued by the Trust’s Board of Trustees or its delegate, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee, at fair value. A variety of factors may be considered in determining the fair value of such investments.
Valuing the Fund’s holdings using fair value pricing will result in using prices for those holdings that may differ from current market valuations. The Subsidiary’s holdings will be valued in the same manner as the Fund’s holdings.
Page 12

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Continued)
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
The Fund is subject to fair value accounting standards that define fair value, establish the framework for measuring fair value and provide a three-level hierarchy for fair valuation based upon the inputs to the valuation as of the measurement date. The three levels of the fair value hierarchy are as follows:
Level 1 – Level 1 inputs are quoted prices in active markets for identical investments. An active market is a market in which transactions for the investment occur with sufficient frequency and volume to provide pricing information on an ongoing basis.
Level 2 – Level 2 inputs are observable inputs, either directly or indirectly, and include the following:
o Quoted prices for similar investments in active markets.
o Quoted prices for identical or similar investments in markets that are non-active. A non-active market is a market where there are few transactions for the investment, the prices are not current, or price quotations vary substantially either over time or among market makers, or in which little information is released publicly.
o Inputs other than quoted prices that are observable for the investment (for example, interest rates and yield curves observable at commonly quoted intervals, volatilities, prepayment speeds, loss severities, credit risks, and default rates).
o Inputs that are derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data by correlation or other means.
Level 3 – Level 3 inputs are unobservable inputs. Unobservable inputs may reflect the reporting entity’s own assumptions about the assumptions that market participants would use in pricing the investment.
The inputs or methodologies used for valuing investments are not necessarily an indication of the risk associated with investing in those investments. A summary of the inputs used to value the Fund’s investments as of June 30, 2022, is included with the Fund’s Consolidated Portfolio of Investments.
B. Futures Contracts
The Fund, through the Subsidiary, may purchase and sell exchange-listed commodity contracts. When the Subsidiary purchases a listed futures contract, it agrees to purchase a specified reference asset (e.g., commodity) at a specified future date. When the Subsidiary sells or shorts a listed futures contract, it agrees to sell a specified reference asset (e.g., commodity) at a specified future date. The price at which the purchase and sale will take place is fixed when the Subsidiary enters into the contract. The exchange clearing corporation is the ultimate counterparty for all exchange-listed contracts, so credit risk is limited to the creditworthiness of the exchange’s clearing corporation. Margin deposits are posted as collateral with the clearing broker and, in turn, with the exchange clearing corporation. Open futures contracts can be closed out prior to settlement by entering into an offsetting transaction in a matching futures contract. If the Subsidiary is not able to enter into an offsetting transaction, the Subsidiary will continue to be required to maintain margin deposits on the futures contract. When the contract is closed or expires, the Subsidiary records a realized gain or loss equal to the difference between the value of the contract at the time it was opened and the value at the time it was closed or expired. This gain or loss is included in “Net realized gain (loss) on futures contracts” on the Consolidated Statement of Operations.
Exchange-listed commodity futures contracts are generally based upon commodities within the five principal commodity groups: energy, industrial metals, agriculture, precious metals, and livestock. The price of a commodity futures contract will reflect the storage costs of purchasing the physical commodity. These storage costs include the time value of money invested in the physical commodity plus the actual costs of storing the commodity less any benefits from ownership of the physical commodity that are not obtained by the holder of a futures contract (this is sometimes referred to as the “convenience yield”). To the extent that these storage costs change for an underlying commodity while the Subsidiary is in a long position on that commodity, the value of the futures contract may change proportionately.
Upon entering into a futures contract, the Subsidiary must deposit funds, called margin, with its custodian in the name of the clearing broker equal to a specified percentage of the current value of the contract. Open futures contracts are marked-to-market daily with the change in value recognized as a component of “Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on futures contracts” on the Consolidated Statement of Operations. This daily fluctuation in value of the contracts is also known as variation margin and is included as “Variation margin” payable or receivable on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
When the Subsidiary purchases or sells a futures contract, the Subsidiary is required to collateralize its position in order to limit the risk associated with the use of leverage and other related risks. To collateralize its position, the Subsidiary segregates assets consisting of cash or liquid securities that, when added to any amounts deposited with a futures commission merchant as margin, are equal to the unrealized depreciation of the futures contract or otherwise collateralize its position in a manner consistent with the 1940 Act or the 1940 Act Rules and SEC interpretations thereunder. As the Subsidiary continues to engage in the described securities trading practices and properly segregates assets, the segregated assets will function as a practical limit on the amount of leverage which the Subsidiary may undertake and on the potential increase in the speculative character of the Subsidiary’s outstanding portfolio investments.
Page 13

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Continued)
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Additionally, such segregated assets generally ensure the availability of adequate funds to meet the obligations of the Subsidiary arising from such investment activities.
C. Investment Transactions and Investment Income
Investment transactions are recorded as of the trade date. Realized gains and losses from investment transactions are recorded on the identified cost basis. Dividend income is recorded on the ex-dividend date. Interest income, if any, is recorded on the accrual basis. Amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts are recorded using the effective interest method.
D. Cash
The Fund holds assets equal to or greater than the full notional exposure of the futures contracts. These assets may consist of cash and other short-term securities to comply with SEC guidance with respect to coverage of futures contracts by registered investment companies. At June 30, 2022, the Fund had restricted cash held of $9,668,396, which is included in “Cash segregated as collateral for open futures contracts” on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
E. Dividends and Distributions to Shareholders
Dividends from net investment income, 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.
Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional whole shares only if the broker through whom the shares were purchased 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.
Distributions from net investment income and realized capital gains are determined in accordance with income tax regulations, which may differ from U.S. GAAP. Certain capital accounts in the consolidated financial statements are periodically adjusted for permanent differences in order to reflect their tax character. These permanent differences are primarily due to the varying treatment of income and gain/loss on portfolio securities held by the Fund and have no impact on net assets or NAV per share. Temporary differences, which arise from recognizing certain items of income, expense and gain/loss in different periods for consolidated financial statement and tax purposes, will reverse at some time in the future.
The tax character of distributions paid by the Fund during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, was as follows:
Distributions paid from:  
Ordinary income

$7,651,184
Capital gains

Return of capital

As of December 31, 2021, the components of distributable earnings on a tax basis for the Fund were as follows:
Undistributed ordinary income

$15,341
Accumulated capital and other gain (loss)

(7,306,694)
Net unrealized appreciation (depreciation)

7,506,609
F. Income Taxes
The Fund intends to continue to qualify as a regulated investment company by complying with the requirements under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), which includes distributing substantially all of its net investment income and net realized gains to shareholders. Accordingly, no provision has been made for federal and state income taxes. However, due to the timing and amount of distributions, the Fund may be subject to an excise tax of 4% of the amount by which approximately 98% of the Fund’s taxable income exceeds the distributions from such taxable income for the calendar year.
The Subsidiary is classified as a controlled foreign corporation under Subchapter N of the Code. Therefore, the Fund is required to increase its taxable income by its share of the Subsidiary’s income, whether or not such earnings are distributed by the Subsidiary to the Fund. Net investment losses of the Subsidiary cannot be deducted by the Fund in the current period nor carried forward to offset taxable income in future periods.
The Fund intends to utilize provisions of the federal income tax laws, which allow it to carry a realized capital loss forward indefinitely following the year of the loss and offset such loss against any future realized capital gains. The Fund is subject to certain limitations under U.S. tax rules on the use of capital loss carryforwards and net unrealized built-in losses. These limitations apply
Page 14

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Continued)
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
when there has been a 50% change in ownership. At December 31, 2021, for federal income tax purposes, the Fund had no non-expiring capital loss carryforwards.
The Fund is subject to accounting standards that establish a minimum threshold for recognizing, and a system for measuring, the benefits of a tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. Taxable years ended 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 remain open to federal and state audit. As of June 30, 2022, management has evaluated the application of these standards to the Fund and has determined that no provision for income tax is required in the Fund’s consolidated financial statements for uncertain tax positions.
As of June 30, 2022, the aggregate cost, gross unrealized appreciation, gross unrealized depreciation, and net unrealized appreciation/(depreciation) on investments (including short positions and derivatives, if any) for federal income tax purposes were as follows:
Tax Cost   Gross
Unrealized
Appreciation
  Gross
Unrealized
(Depreciation)
  Net Unrealized
Appreciation
(Depreciation)
$134,923,574   $3,002,636   $(8,246,057)   $(5,243,421)
G. Expenses
Expenses, other than the investment advisory fee and other excluded expenses, are paid by the Advisor (See Note 3).
3. Investment Advisory Fee, Affiliated Transactions and Other Fee Arrangements
First Trust, the investment advisor to the Fund, is a limited partnership with one limited partner, Grace Partners of DuPage L.P., and one general partner, The Charger Corporation. The Charger Corporation is an Illinois corporation controlled by James A. Bowen, Chief Executive Officer of First Trust. First Trust is responsible for the selection and ongoing monitoring of the Fund’s and the Subsidiary’s investment portfolios, managing the Fund’s business affairs and providing certain administrative services necessary for the management of the Fund.
Pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement between the Trust and the Advisor, First Trust manages the investment of the Fund’s assets and is responsible for the Fund’s and the Subsidiary’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, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, distribution and service fees 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 0.95% of its average daily net assets. First Trust also provides fund reporting services to the Fund for a flat annual fee in the amount of $9,250, which is covered under the annual unitary management fee. The Subsidiary does not pay First Trust a separate management fee.
The Trust has multiple service agreements with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (“BBH”). Under the service agreements, BBH performs custodial, fund accounting, certain administrative services, and transfer agency services for the Fund. As custodian, BBH is responsible for custody of the Fund’s assets. As fund accountant and administrator, BBH is responsible for maintaining the books and records of the Fund’s investments and cash. As transfer agent, BBH is responsible for maintaining shareholder records for the Fund.
Each Trustee who is not an officer or employee of First Trust, any sub-advisor or any of their affiliates (“Independent Trustees”) is paid a fixed annual retainer that is allocated equally among each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex. Each Independent Trustee is also paid an annual per fund fee that varies based on whether the fund is a closed-end or other actively managed fund, a defined-outcome fund or an index fund.
Additionally, the Lead Independent Trustee and the Chairs of the Audit Committee, Nominating and Governance Committee and Valuation Committee are paid annual fees to serve in such capacities, with such compensation allocated pro rata among each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex based on net assets. Independent Trustees are reimbursed for travel and out-of-pocket expenses in connection with all meetings. The Lead Independent Trustee and Committee Chairs rotate every three years. The officers and “Interested” Trustee receive no compensation from the Trust for acting in such capacities.
4. Purchases and Sales of Securities
The cost of purchases and proceeds from sales of securities, excluding short-term investments, derivatives, and in-kind transactions, for the six months ended June 30, 2022, were $0 and $0, respectively.
For the six months ended June 30, 2022, the Fund did not have any in-kind purchases or sales.
Page 15

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Continued)
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
5. Derivative Transactions
The following table presents the types of derivatives held by the Subsidiary at June 30, 2022, the primary underlying risk exposure and the location of these instruments as presented on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
        Asset Derivatives   Liability Derivatives
Derivative
Instrument
  Risk
Exposure
  Consolidated
Statement of Assets and
Liabilities Location
  Value   Consolidated
Statement of Assets and
Liabilities Location
  Value
Futures contracts   Commodity Risk   Unrealized appreciation
on futures contracts*
  $ 3,002,061   Unrealized depreciation
on futures contracts*
  $ 8,242,752
*Includes cumulative appreciation/depreciation on futures contracts as reported in the Consolidated Portfolio of Investments. Only the current day’s variation margin is presented on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
The following table presents the amount of net realized gain (loss) and change in net unrealized appreciation (depreciation) recognized for the six months ended June 30, 2022, on derivative instruments, as well as the primary underlying risk exposure associated with each instrument.
Consolidated Statement of Operations Location  
Commodity Risk Exposure  
Net realized gain (loss) on futures contracts $25,486,692
Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on futures contracts (5,440,606)
During the six months ended June 30, 2022, the notional value of futures contracts opened and closed were $669,512,463 and $582,218,893, respectively.
The Fund does not have the right to offset financial assets and liabilities related to futures contracts on the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
6. Creations, Redemptions and Transaction Fees
The Fund generally issues and redeems its shares in primary market transactions through a creation and redemption mechanism and does not sell or redeem individual shares. Instead, financial entities known as “Authorized Participants” have contractual arrangements with the Fund or one of the Fund’s service providers to purchase and redeem Fund shares directly with the Fund in large blocks of shares known as “Creation Units.” Prior to the start of trading on every business day, the Fund 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 Fund’s shares. An Authorized Participant that wishes to effectuate a creation of the Fund’s shares deposits with the Fund the “basket” of securities, cash or other assets identified by the Fund that day, and then receives the Creation Unit of the Fund’s shares in return for those assets. After purchasing a Creation Unit, the Authorized Participant may continue to hold the Fund’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 the Fund’s shares for a basket of securities, cash or other assets. The combination of the creation and redemption process with secondary market trading in the Fund’s shares and underlying securities provides arbitrage opportunities that are designed to help keep the market price of the Fund’s shares at or close to the NAV per share of the Fund.
The Fund imposes fees in connection with the purchase of Creation Units. These fees may vary based upon various fact-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.
The Fund also imposes fees in connection with the redemption of Creation Units. These fees may vary based upon various fact-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
Page 16

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Continued)
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
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.
7. Distribution Plan
The Board of Trustees 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 First Trust Portfolios L.P. (“FTP”), the distributor of the Fund, for amounts expended to finance activities primarily intended to result in the sale of Creation Units or to provide investor services. FTP may also use this amount to compensate securities dealers or other persons that are Authorized Participants for providing distribution assistance, including broker-dealer and shareholder support and educational and promotional services.
No 12b-1 fees are currently paid by the Fund, and pursuant to a contractual arrangement, no 12b-1 fees will be paid any time before April 30, 2024.
8. Indemnification
The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has a variety of indemnification obligations under contracts with its service providers. The Trust’s maximum exposure under these arrangements is unknown. However, the Trust has not had prior claims or losses pursuant to these contracts and expects the risk of loss to be remote.
9. Subsequent Events
Management has evaluated the impact of all subsequent events to the Fund through the date the consolidated financial statements were issued and has determined that there were no subsequent events requiring recognition or disclosure in the consolidated financial statements that have not already been disclosed.
Page 17

Additional Information
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures
A description of the policies and procedures that the Trust uses to determine how to vote proxies and information on how the Fund voted proxies relating to portfolio investments during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 is available (1) without charge, upon request, by calling (800) 988-5891; (2) on the Fund’s website at www.ftportfolios.com; and (3) on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) website at www.sec.gov.
Portfolio Holdings
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. The semi-annual and annual report for the Fund is 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.
Risk Considerations
Risks are inherent in all investing. Certain general risks that may be applicable to a Fund are identified below, but not all of the material risks relevant to each Fund are included in this report and not all of the risks below apply to each Fund. The material risks of investing in each Fund are spelled out in its prospectus, statement of additional information and other regulatory filings. Before investing, you should consider each Fund’s investment objective, risks, charges and expenses, and read each Fund’s prospectus and statement of additional information carefully. You can download each Fund’s prospectus at www.ftportfolios.com or contact First Trust Portfolios L.P. at (800) 621-1675 to request a prospectus, which contains this and other information about each Fund.
Concentration Risk. To the extent that a fund is able to invest 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 fund that tracks an index will be concentrated to the extent the fund’s corresponding index is concentrated. A concentration makes a fund more susceptible to any single occurrence and may subject the fund to greater market risk than a fund that is more broadly diversified.
Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that an issuer of a security will be unable or unwilling to make dividend, interest and/or principal payments when due and the related risk that the value of a security may decline because of concerns about the issuer’s ability to make such payments.
Cyber Security Risk. The funds are susceptible to potential operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause a fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause a fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. In addition, cyber security breaches of a fund’s third-party service providers, such as its administrator, transfer agent, custodian, or sub-advisor, as applicable, or issuers in which the fund invests, can also subject a fund to many of the same risks associated with direct cyber security breaches.
Defined Outcome Funds Risk. To the extent a fund’s investment strategy is designed to deliver returns tied to the price performance of an underlying ETF, an investor may not realize the returns the fund seeks to achieve if that investor does not hold shares for the entire target outcome period. In the event an investor purchases shares after the first day of the target outcome period or sells shares prior to the end of the target outcome period, the buffer that the fund seeks to provide against a decline in the value of the underlying ETF may not be available, the enhanced returns that the fund seeks to provide (if any) may not be available and the investor may not participate in a gain in the value of the underlying ETF up to the cap for the investor’s investment period. Additionally, the fund will not participate in gains of the underlying ETF above the cap and a shareholder may lose their entire investment. If the fund seeks enhanced returns, there are certain time periods when the value of the fund may fall faster than the value of the underlying ETF, and it is very unlikely that, on any given day during which the underlying ETF share price increases in value, the fund’s share price will increase at the same rate as the enhanced returns sought by the fund, which is designed for an entire target outcome period. Trading flexible exchange options involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities, such as less liquidity and correlation and valuation risks. A fund may experience substantial downside from specific flexible exchange option positions and certain positions may expire worthless.
Derivatives Risk. To the extent a fund uses derivative instruments such as futures contracts, options contracts and swaps, the fund may experience losses because of adverse movements in the price or value of the underlying asset, index or rate, which may be magnified
Page 18

Additional Information (Continued)
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
by certain features of the derivative. These risks are heightened when a fund’s portfolio managers use derivatives to enhance the fund’s return or as a substitute for a position or security, rather than solely to hedge (or offset) the risk of a position or security held by the fund.
Equity Securities Risk. To the extent a fund invests in equity securities, the value of the fund’s shares will fluctuate with changes in the value of the equity securities. 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 stock market, such as market volatility, or when political or economic events affecting the issuers occur. In addition, 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.
ETF Risk. The shares of an ETF trade like common stock and represent an interest in a portfolio of securities. The risks of owning an ETF generally reflect the risks of owning the underlying securities, although lack of liquidity in an ETF could result in it being more volatile and ETFs have management fees that increase their costs. Shares of an ETF trade on an exchange at market prices rather than net asset value, which may cause the shares to trade at a price greater than net asset value (premium) or less than net asset value (discount). In times of market stress, decisions by market makers to reduce or step away from their role of providing a market for an ETF’s shares, or decisions by an ETF’s authorized participants that they are unable or unwilling to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders of an ETF’s shares, could result in shares of the ETF trading at a discount to net asset value and in greater than normal intraday bid-ask spreads.
Fixed Income Securities Risk. To the extent a fund invests in fixed income securities, the fund will be subject to credit risk, income risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk and prepayment risk. Income risk is the risk that income from a fund’s fixed income investments could decline during periods of falling interest rates. Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a fund’s fixed income securities will decline because of rising interest rates. Liquidity risk is the risk that a security cannot be purchased or sold at the time desired, or cannot be purchased or sold without adversely affecting the price. Prepayment risk is the risk that the securities will be redeemed or prepaid by the issuer, resulting in lower interest payments received by the fund. In addition to these risks, high yield securities, or “junk” bonds, are subject to greater market fluctuations and risk of loss than securities with higher ratings, and the market for high yield securities is generally smaller and less liquid than that for investment grade securities.
Index or Model Constituent Risk. Certain funds may be a constituent of one or more indices or ETF models. As a result, such a 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 a fund, 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, a fund’s net asset value could be negatively impacted and the fund’s market price may be significantly below its net asset value during certain periods. In addition, index rebalances may potentially result in increased trading activity in a fund’s shares.
Index Provider Risk. To the extent a fund seeks to track an index, it is subject to Index Provider Risk. There is no assurance that the Index Provider will compile the Index accurately, or that the Index will be determined, maintained, constructed, reconstituted, rebalanced, composed, calculated or disseminated accurately. To correct any such error, the Index Provider may carry out an unscheduled rebalance or other modification of the Index constituents or weightings, which may increase the fund’s costs. The Index Provider does not provide any representation or warranty in relation to the quality, accuracy or completeness of data in the Index, and it does not guarantee that the Index will be calculated in accordance with its stated methodology. Losses or costs associated with any Index Provider errors generally will be borne by the fund and its shareholders.
Investment Companies Risk. To the extent a fund invests in the securities of other investment vehicles, the fund will incur additional fees and expenses that would not be present in a direct investment in those investment vehicles. Furthermore, the fund’s investment performance and risks are directly related to the investment performance and risks of the investment vehicles in which the fund invests.
LIBOR Risk. To the extent a fund invests in floating or variable rate obligations that use the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) as a reference interest rate, it is subject to LIBOR Risk. The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR has ceased making LIBOR available as a reference rate over a phase-out period that began December 31, 2021. There is no assurance that any alternative reference rate, including the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR or that instruments using an alternative rate will have the same volume or liquidity. The unavailability or replacement of LIBOR may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain fund investments and may result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades. Any potential effects of the transition away from LIBOR on the fund or on certain instruments in which the fund invests can be difficult to ascertain, and they may vary depending on a variety of factors, and they could result in losses to the fund.
Page 19

Additional Information (Continued)
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
Management Risk. To the extent that a fund is actively managed, it is subject to management risk. In managing an actively-managed fund’s investment portfolio, the fund’s portfolio managers will apply investment techniques and risk analyses that may not have the desired result. There can be no guarantee that a fund will meet its investment objective.
Market Risk. Securities held by a fund, as well as shares of a fund itself, are subject to market fluctuations caused by factors such as general economic conditions, political events, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of a fund could decline in value or underperform other investments as a result of the risk of loss associated with these market fluctuations. 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 a fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. 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. The outbreak of the respiratory disease designated as COVID-19 in December 2019 has caused significant volatility and declines in global financial markets, which have caused losses for investors. 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.
Non-U.S. Securities Risk. To the extent a fund invests in non-U.S. securities, it is subject to additional risks not associated with securities of domestic issuers. 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 exchanges in foreign countries. Investments in non-U.S. securities may involve higher costs than investments in U.S. securities, including higher transaction and custody costs, as well as additional taxes imposed by non-U.S. governments. These risks may be heightened for securities of companies located, or with significant operations, in emerging market countries.
Operational Risk. Each fund is subject to risks arising from various operational factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of a fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. Each 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 a fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. Although the funds and the funds’ investment advisor seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures, there is no way to completely protect against such risks.
Passive Investment Risk. To the extent a fund seeks to track an index, the fund will invest in the securities included in, or representative of, the index regardless of their investment merit. A fund generally will not attempt to take defensive positions in declining markets.
NOT FDIC INSURED NOT BANK GUARANTEED MAY LOSE VALUE
Advisory Agreements
Board Considerations Regarding Approval of Continuation of Investment Management Agreements
The Board of Trustees of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII (the “Trust”), including the Independent Trustees, unanimously approved the continuation of the Investment Management Agreement (the “Fund Agreement”) with First Trust Advisors L.P. (the “Advisor”) on behalf of the First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (the “Fund”). The Board approved the continuation of the Fund Agreement for a one-year period ending June 30, 2023 at a meeting held on June 12–13, 2022. Because the Fund invests in commodity futures contracts and exchange-traded commodity linked instruments through a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund (the “Subsidiary”), the Board, including the Independent Trustees, also approved the continuation of an Investment Management Agreement (the “Subsidiary Agreement” and, together with the Fund Agreement, the “Agreements”) with the Advisor for the Subsidiary, also for a one-year period. The Board determined that the continuation of the Agreements is in the best interests of the Fund in light of the nature, extent and quality of the services provided and such other matters as the Board considered to be relevant in the exercise of its business judgment.
To reach this determination, the Board considered its duties under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), as well as under the general principles of state law, in reviewing and approving advisory contracts; the requirements of the 1940 Act in such matters; the fiduciary duty of investment advisors with respect to advisory agreements and compensation; the standards used by courts in determining whether investment company boards have fulfilled their duties; and the factors to be considered by the Board in
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Additional Information (Continued)
First Trust Alternative Absolute Return Strategy ETF (FAAR)
June 30, 2022 (Unaudited)
voting on such agreements. At meetings held on April 18, 2022 and June 12–13, 2022, the Board, including the Independent Trustees, reviewed materials provided by the Advisor responding to requests for information from counsel to the Independent Trustees, submitted on behalf of the Independent Trustees, that, among other things, outlined: the services provided by the Advisor to the Fund and the Subsidiary (including the relevant personnel responsible for these services and their experience); the unitary fee rate payable by the Fund as compared to fees charged to a peer group of funds (the “Expense Group”) and a broad peer universe of funds (the “Expense Universe”), each assembled by Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (“Broadridge”), an independent source, and as compared to fees charged to other clients of the Advisor, including other exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) managed by the Advisor; the expense ratio of the Fund as compared to expense ratios of the funds in the Fund’s Expense Group and Expense Universe; performance information for the Fund, including comparisons of the Fund’s performance to that of one or more relevant benchmark indexes and to that of a performance group of funds and a broad performance universe of funds (the “Performance Universe”), each assembled by Broadridge; the nature of expenses incurred in providing services to the Fund and the potential for the Advisor to realize economies of scale, if any; profitability and other financial data for the Advisor; any indirect benefits to the Advisor and its affiliate, First Trust Portfolios L.P. (“FTP”); and information on the Advisor’s compliance program. The Board reviewed initial materials with the Advisor at the meeting held on April 18, 2022, prior to which the Independent Trustees and their counsel met separately to discuss the information provided by the Advisor. Following the April meeting, counsel to the Independent Trustees, on behalf of the Independent Trustees, requested certain clarifications and supplements to the materials provided, and the information provided in response to those requests was considered at an executive session of the Independent Trustees and their counsel held prior to the June 12–13, 2022 meeting, as well as at the June meeting. The Board applied its business judgment to determine whether the arrangements between the Trust and the Advisor and between the Advisor and the Subsidiary continue to be reasonable business arrangements from the Fund’s perspective. The Board determined that, given the totality of the information provided with respect to the Agreements, the Board had received sufficient information to renew the Agreements. The Board considered that shareholders chose to invest or remain invested in the Fund knowing that the Advisor manages the Fund and knowing the Fund’s unitary fee.
In reviewing the Agreements, the Board considered the nature, extent and quality of the services provided by the Advisor under the Agreements. The Board considered that the Advisor is responsible for the overall management and administration of the Trust, the Fund and the Subsidiary, and reviewed all of the services provided by the Advisor to the Fund and the Subsidiary, as well as the background and experience of the persons responsible for such services. The Board noted that the Fund is an actively-managed ETF and noted that the Advisor’s Alternatives Investment Team is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s and the Subsidiary’s investments. The Board considered the background and experience of the members of the Alternatives Investment Team and noted the Board’s prior meetings with members of the Team. The Board considered the Advisor’s statement that it applies the same oversight model internally with its Alternatives Investment Team as it uses for overseeing external sub-advisors, including portfolio risk monitoring and performance review. In reviewing the services provided, the Board noted the compliance program that had been developed by the Advisor and considered that it includes a robust program for monitoring the Advisor’s and the Fund’s compliance with the 1940 Act, as well as the Fund’s compliance with its investment objective, policies and restrictions. The Board also considered a report from the Advisor with respect to its risk management functions related to the operation of the Fund. Finally, as part of the Board’s consideration of the Advisor’s services, the Advisor, in its written materials and at the April 18, 2022 meeting, described to the Board the scope of its ongoing investment in additional personnel and infrastructure to maintain and improve the quality of services provided to the Fund and the other funds in the First Trust Fund Complex. In light of the information presented and the considerations made, the Board concluded that the nature, extent and quality of the services provided to the Trust, the Fund and the Subsidiary by the Advisor under the Agreements have been and are expected to remain satisfactory and that the Advisor has managed the Fund consistent with its investment objective, policies and restrictions.
The Board considered the unitary fee rate payable by the Fund under the Fund Agreement for the services provided. The Board considered that as part of the unitary fee the Advisor is responsible for the Fund’s expenses, including the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other services and license fees, if any, but excluding the fee payment under the Fund Agreement and interest, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, distribution and service fees pursuant to a Rule 12b-1 plan, if any, and extraordinary expenses, if any. The Board noted that the Advisor receives no compensation under the Subsidiary Agreement and pays the expenses of the Subsidiary. The Board received and reviewed information showing the fee rates and expense ratios of the peer funds in the Expense Group, as well as advisory and unitary fee rates charged by the Advisor to other fund (including ETFs) and non-fund clients, as applicable. Because the Fund pays a unitary fee, the Board determined that expense ratios were the most relevant comparative data point. Based on the information provided, the Board noted that the unitary fee for the Fund was above the median total (net) expense ratio of the peer funds in the Expense Group. With respect to the Expense Group, the Board, at the April 18, 2022 meeting, discussed with Broadridge its methodology for assembling peer groups and discussed with the Advisor limitations in creating peer groups for actively-managed ETFs, including the limited number of actively-managed ETFs following an absolute return strategy and that the Expense Group contained both actively-managed ETFs and open-end mutual funds, and different business models that may affect the pricing of services among ETF sponsors. The Board took these limitations and differences into account in considering the peer data. With respect to fees charged to
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