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First Trust
Exchange-Traded Fund IV
Prospectus
First Trust Long Duration Opportunities ETF
Ticker Symbol:
LGOV
Exchange:
NYSE Arca
First Trust Long Duration Opportunities ETF (the “Fund”) lists and principally trades its shares on NYSE Arca, Inc. ("NYSE Arca" or the "Exchange"). Market prices may differ to some degree from the net asset value of the shares. Unlike mutual funds, the Fund issues and redeems shares at net asset value, only in large specified blocks of shares called "Creation Units."
The Fund is a series of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV (the “Trust”) and an actively managed exchange-traded fund organized as a separate series of a registered management investment company.
Except when aggregated in Creation Units, the shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
NOT FDIC INSURED MAY LOSE VALUE NO BANK GUARANTEE
March 1, 2022


Summary Information
Investment Objectives
The First Trust Long Duration Opportunities ETF's (the "Fund") primary investment objective is to generate current income with a focus on preservation of capital.
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
The following table describes the fees and expenses you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund. Investors may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table and example below.
Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)
Maximum Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Purchases (as a percentage of offering price)
None
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Management Fees
0.65%
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees
0.00%
Other Expenses(1)
0.04%
Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses
0.02%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses
0.71%
(1)
Other expenses have been restated to reflect the expenses that the Fund expects to incur for the current fiscal year.
Example
The example below is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds.
The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then hold or sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain at current levels. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
1 Year
3 Years
5 Years
10 Years
$73
$228
$396
$884
Portfolio Turnover
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 142% of the average value of its portfolio.
Principal Investment Strategies
Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets (including investment borrowings) in a portfolio of investment-grade debt securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or government-sponsored entities, including publicly-issued U.S. Treasury securities and mortgage-related securities. The Fund may also invest in exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) that principally invest in such securities. As discussed in more detail below, the Fund may purchase mortgage-related securities in “to-be-announced” transactions (“TBA Transactions”), including mortgage dollar rolls. The Fund includes cash earmarked or otherwise held as collateral for settling mortgage dollar rolls and other TBA Transactions towards its 80% investment requirement. The Fund’s investment advisor seeks to manage the Fund’s portfolio to have a weighted average effective duration of eight or more years. Duration, which is discussed in more detail below, measures a debt security’s expected life on a present value basis, taking into account the debt security’s yield, interest payments and final maturity.
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In managing the Fund’s portfolio, the Fund’s portfolio managers utilize a top-down, bottom-up analytical investment process. The portfolio managers will first conduct a top-down review of the mortgage-backed security and Treasury fixed income sectors to determine sector position weights based on its evaluation of market fundamentals. The portfolio managers then perform a bottom-up analysis of individual securities to determine in which sub-sectors the portfolio will be over, neutral and underweight. The portfolio managers analyze the Fund’s holdings on a systematic basis to monitor any changes in security and portfolio performance, in addition to looking for meaningful changes in risk factors.
Under normal market conditions, the portfolio managers will manage the Fund’s portfolio to have a weighted average effective duration of eight or more years. Duration is a mathematical calculation of the average life of a debt security (or portfolio of debt securities) that serves as a measure of its price risk. In general, each year of duration represents an expected 1% change in the value of a security for every 1% immediate change in interest rates. For example, the price of a debt security with a three-year duration would be expected to drop by approximately 3% in response to a 1% increase in interest rates. Therefore, prices of debt securities with shorter durations tend to be less sensitive to interest rate changes than debt securities with longer durations. As the value of a debt security changes over time, so will its duration. The Fund’s portfolio managers will calculate the duration of the portfolio by modeling the cash flows of all the individual holdings, including the impact of prepayment variability and coupon adjustments where applicable, to determine the duration of each holding and then aggregating based on the size of the position. In performing this duration calculation, the Fund’s portfolio managers will utilize third-party models.
The Fund’s investments in mortgage-related securities may include investments in fixed or adjustable-rate securities structured as “pass-through” securities and collateralized mortgage obligations, including residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities, stripped mortgage-backed securities and real estate mortgage investment conduits. The Fund will invest in mortgage-related securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies (such as Ginnie Mae), and U.S. government-sponsored entities (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). The Fund may purchase government-sponsored mortgage-related securities in TBA Transactions, including mortgage dollar rolls. In a TBA Transaction, a seller and buyer of securities agree upon a price for delivering a given volume of securities at a specified future date. The characteristic feature of a TBA Transaction is that the actual identity of the securities to be delivered at settlement is not specified on the trade date. Instead, participants agree upon only the general parameters of the securities to be delivered, including issuer, maturity, coupon, price, par amount and settlement date. Generally, two days prior to the settlement date, the seller provides the buyer with the identity of the securities it intends to deliver on the settlement date. In a mortgage dollar roll, the Fund will sell (or buy) mortgage-backed securities for delivery on a specified date and simultaneously contract to repurchase (or sell) substantially similar (same type, coupon and maturity) securities on a future date. The Fund intends to enter into mortgage dollar rolls only with high quality securities dealers and banks, as determined by the Fund’s portfolio managers.
In addition to its investment in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies and government-sponsored entities, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in other types of debt securities, including privately-issued, non-agency sponsored asset-backed and mortgage-related securities, futures contracts, options, swap agreements, cash and cash equivalents, and ETFs that investment principally in fixed income securities. Further, the Fund may enter into short sales as part of its overall portfolio management strategy, or to offset a potential decline in the value of a security; however, the Fund does not expect, under normal market conditions, to engage in short sales with respect to more than 30% of the value of its net assets. To the extent required under applicable federal securities laws, rules, and interpretations thereof, the Fund will “set aside” liquid assets or engage in other measures to “cover” open positions and short positions held in connection with the foregoing types of transactions.
Although the Fund intends to invest primarily in investment grade securities, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in securities of any credit quality, including securities that are below investment grade, which are also known as high yield securities, or commonly referred to as “junk” bonds, or unrated securities that have not been judged by the portfolio managers to be of comparable quality to rated investment grade securities. In the case of a split rating between one or more of the nationally recognized statistical rating organizations, the Fund will consider the highest rating.
Principal Risks
You could lose money by investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit of a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objectives will be achieved. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.
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ASSET-BACKED SECURITIES RISK. Asset-backed securities are debt securities typically created by buying and pooling loans or other receivables other than mortgage loans and creating securities backed by those similar type assets. As with other debt securities, asset-backed securities are subject to credit risk, extension risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk and valuation risk. These securities are generally not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government and are subject to the risk of default on the underlying asset or loan, particularly during periods of economic downturn. The impairment of the value of collateral or other assets underlying an asset-backed security, such as a result of non-payment of loans or non-performance of underlying assets, may result in a reduction in the value of such asset-backed securities and losses to the Fund.
AUTHORIZED PARTICIPANT CONCENTRATION RISK. Only an authorized participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. A limited number of institutions act as authorized participants for the Fund. To the extent that these institutions exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders and no other authorized participant steps forward to create or redeem, the Fund’s shares may trade at a premium or discount to the Fund’s net asset value and possibly face delisting.
CALL RISK. Some debt securities may be redeemed, or “called,” at the option of the issuer before their stated maturity date. In general, an issuer will call its debt securities if they can be refinanced by issuing new debt securities which bear a lower interest rate. The Fund is subject to the possibility that during periods of falling interest rates an issuer will call its high yielding debt securities. The Fund would then be forced to invest the proceeds at lower interest rates, likely resulting in a decline in the Fund’s income.
CASH TRANSACTIONS RISK. The Fund will effect some or all of its creations and redemptions for cash rather than in-kind. As a result, an investment in the Fund may be less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that effects all of its creations and redemptions in-kind. Because the Fund may effect redemptions for cash, it may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. A sale of portfolio securities may result in capital gains or losses and may also result in higher brokerage costs.
COUNTERPARTY RISK. Fund transactions involving a counterparty are subject to the risk that the counterparty will not fulfill its obligation to the Fund. Counterparty risk may arise because of the counterparty’s financial condition (i.e., financial difficulties, bankruptcy, or insolvency), market activities and developments, or other reasons, whether foreseen or not. A counterparty’s inability to fulfill its obligation may result in significant financial loss to the Fund. The Fund may be unable to recover its investment from the counterparty or may obtain a limited recovery, and/or recovery may be delayed.
CREDIT RISK. An issuer or other obligated party of a debt security may be unable or unwilling to make dividend, interest and/or principal payments when due. In addition, the value of a debt security may decline because of concerns about the issuer’s ability or unwillingness to make such payments.
CYBER SECURITY RISK. The Fund is susceptible to operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause the Fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. Cyber security breaches may involve unauthorized access to the Fund’s digital information systems through “hacking” or malicious software coding but may also result from outside attacks such as denial-of-service attacks through efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users. In addition, cyber security breaches of the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests or the Fund’s third-party service providers, such as its administrator, transfer agent, custodian, or sub-advisor, as applicable, can also subject the Fund to many of the same risks associated with direct cyber security breaches. Although the Fund has established risk management systems designed to reduce the risks associated with cyber security, there is no guarantee that such efforts will succeed, especially because the Fund does not directly control the cyber security systems of issuers or third-party service providers.
DEBT SECURITIES RISK. Investments in debt securities subject the holder to the credit risk of the issuer. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer or other obligor of a security will not be able or willing to make payments of interest and principal when due. Generally, the value of debt securities will change inversely with changes in interest rates. To the extent that interest rates rise, certain underlying obligations may be paid off substantially slower than originally anticipated and the value of those securities may fall sharply. During periods of falling interest rates, the income received by the Fund may decline. If the principal on a debt security is prepaid before expected, the prepayments of principal may have to be reinvested in obligations paying interest at lower rates. Debt securities generally do not trade on a securities exchange making them generally less liquid and more difficult to value than common stock.
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DERIVATIVES RISK. The use of derivative instruments involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other traditional investments. These risks include: (i) the risk that the counterparty to a derivative transaction may not fulfill its contractual obligations; (ii) risk of mispricing or improper valuation; and (iii) the risk that changes in the value of the derivative may not correlate perfectly with the underlying asset. Derivative prices are highly volatile and may fluctuate substantially during a short period of time. Such prices are influenced by numerous factors that affect the markets, including, but not limited to: changing supply and demand relationships; government programs and policies; national and international political and economic events, changes in interest rates, inflation and deflation and changes in supply and demand relationships. Trading derivative instruments involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities. Derivative contracts ordinarily have leverage inherent in their terms. The low margin deposits normally required in trading derivatives, including futures contracts, permit a high degree of leverage. Accordingly, a relatively small price movement may result in an immediate and substantial loss. The use of leverage may also cause the Fund to liquidate portfolio positions when it would not be advantageous to do so in order to satisfy its obligations or to meet collateral segregation requirements. The use of leveraged derivatives can magnify potential for gain or loss and, therefore, amplify the effects of market volatility on share price.
ETF RISK. Under certain market conditions, the Fund may invest in ETFs. The Fund’s investment in shares of ETFs subjects it to the risks of owning the securities underlying the ETF, as well as the same structural risks faced by an investor purchasing shares of the Fund, including premium/discount risk and trading issues risk. As a shareholder in another ETF, the Fund bears its proportionate share of the ETF’s expenses, subjecting Fund shareholders to duplicative expenses.
EXTENSION RISK. Extension risk is the risk that, when interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the issuer (or other obligated party) more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these debt securities to fall. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of debt securities, making their market value more sensitive to changes in interest rates. The value of longer-term debt securities generally changes more in response to changes in interest rates than shorter-term debt securities. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, securities may exhibit additional volatility and may lose value.
FUTURES CONTRACTS RISK. Futures contracts are typically exchange-traded contracts that call for the future delivery of an asset by one party to another at a certain price and date, or cash settlement of the terms of the contract. The risk of a position in a futures contract may be very large compared to the relatively low level of margin the Fund is required to deposit. In many cases, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss or gain to the investor relative to the size of a required margin deposit. In the event no secondary market exists for a particular contract, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions, and the Fund will be unable to terminate the derivative. If the Fund uses futures contracts for hedging purposes, there is a risk of imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of the derivatives and movements in the securities or index underlying the derivatives or movements in the prices of the Fund's investments that are the subject of such hedge. The prices of futures contracts may not correlate perfectly with movements in the securities or index underlying them.
INCOME RISK. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall or if there are defaults in its portfolio. This decline can occur because the Fund may subsequently invest in lower-yielding securities as debt securities in its portfolio mature, are near maturity or are called, or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional debt securities.
INDEX OR MODEL CONSTITUENT RISK. The Fund may be a constituent of one or more indices or ETF models. As a result, the Fund may be included in one or more index-tracking exchange-traded funds or mutual funds. Being a component security of such a vehicle could greatly affect the trading activity involving the Fund’s shares, the size of the Fund and the market volatility of the Fund. Inclusion in an index could increase demand for the Fund and removal from an index could result in outsized selling activity in a relatively short period of time. As a result, the Fund’s net asset value could be negatively impacted and the Fund’s market price may be below the Fund’s net asset value during certain periods. In addition, index rebalances may potentially result in increased trading activity in the Fund’s shares.
INFLATION RISK. Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. As inflation increases, the present value of the Fund’s assets and distributions may decline.
INTEREST RATE RISK. Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of the debt securities in the Fund’s portfolio will decline because of rising market interest rates. Interest rate risk is generally lower for shorter term debt securities and higher for longer-term debt securities. The Fund may be subject to a greater risk of rising interest rates than would normally be the case due to the current period of historically low rates and the effect of potential government fiscal policy initiatives and resulting market reaction to those initiatives. Duration is a reasonably accurate measure of a debt security’s price sensitivity to changes
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in interest rates and a common measure of interest rate risk. Duration measures a debt security’s expected life on a present value basis, taking into account the debt security’s yield, interest payments and final maturity. In general, duration represents the expected percentage change in the value of a security for an immediate 1% change in interest rates. For example, the price of a debt security with a three-year duration would be expected to drop by approximately 3% in response to a 1% increase in interest rates. Therefore, prices of debt securities with shorter durations tend to be less sensitive to interest rate changes than debt securities with longer durations. As the value of a debt security changes over time, so will its duration.
LEVERAGE RISK. The Fund has exposure to instruments subjecting them to leverage risk. Leverage may result in losses that exceed the amount originally invested and may accelerate the rates of losses. Leverage tends to magnify, sometimes significantly, the effect of any increase or decrease in the Fund’s exposure to an asset or class of assets and may cause the value of the Fund’s shares to be volatile and sensitive to market swings.
LIBOR TRANSITION RISK. The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, intends to cease making LIBOR available as a reference rate over a phase-out period that is currently expected to begin after the end of 2021. However, subsequent announcements by the FCA, the LIBOR administrators, and other regulators indicate that it is possible that the most widely used LIBOR rates may continue until mid-2023. 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. In the United States, it is anticipated that in many instances the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) will replace LIBOR as the reference rate for many of the floating rate instruments held by the Fund. There is no assurance that the composition or characteristics of SOFR, or any alternative reference rate, 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. As a result, the transition process might lead to increased volatility and reduced liquidity in markets that currently rely on LIBOR to determine interest rates; a reduction in the value of some LIBOR-based investments; increased difficulty in borrowing or refinancing and diminished effectiveness of any applicable hedging strategies against instruments whose terms currently include LIBOR; and/or costs incurred in connection with temporary borrowings and closing out positions and entering into new agreements. Any such effects (as well as other unforeseen effects) of the transition away from LIBOR and the adoption of alternative reference rates could result in losses to the Fund.
LIQUIDITY RISK. The Fund may hold certain investments that may be subject to restrictions on resale, trade over-the-counter or in limited volume, or lack an active trading market. Accordingly, the Fund may not be able to sell or close out of such investments at favorable times or prices (or at all), or at the prices approximating those at which the Fund currently values them. Illiquid securities may trade at a discount from comparable, more liquid investments and may be subject to wide fluctuations in market value.
MANAGEMENT RISK. The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. In managing the Fund’s investment portfolio, the portfolio managers will apply investment techniques and risk analyses that may not produce the desired result. There can be no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objectives.
MARKET MAKER RISK. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares due to a limited number of market markers. Decisions by market makers or authorized participants to reduce their role or step away from these activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying values of the Fund’s portfolio securities and the Fund’s market price. The Fund may rely on a small number of third-party market makers to provide a market for the purchase and sale of shares. Any trading halt or other problem relating to the trading activity of these market makers could result in a dramatic change in the spread between the Fund’s net asset value and the price at which the Fund’s shares are trading on the Exchange, which could result in a decrease in value of the Fund’s shares. This reduced effectiveness could result in Fund shares trading at a discount to net asset value and also in greater than normal intraday bid-ask spreads for Fund shares.
MARKET RISK. Market risk is the risk that a particular security, or shares of the Fund in general, may fall in value. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of the Fund could decline in value or underperform other investments. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments. For example, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic and the aggressive responses taken by many governments, including closing borders, restricting international and domestic travel, and the imposition of prolonged quarantines or similar restrictions, had negative impacts, and in many cases severe impacts, on markets worldwide. While
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the development of vaccines has slowed the spread of the virus and allowed for the resumption of reasonably normal business activity in the United States, many countries continue to impose lockdown measures in an attempt to slow the spread. Additionally, there is no guarantee that vaccines will be effective against emerging variants of the disease. As this global pandemic illustrated, such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. These events also adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets. Any of such circumstances could have a materially negative impact on the value of the Fund’s shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, the Fund’s shares may trade at increased premiums or discounts to their net asset value.
MORTGAGE-RELATED SECURITIES RISK. Mortgage-related securities are subject to the same risks as investments in other types of debt securities, including credit risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk and valuation risk. However, these investments make the Fund more susceptible to adverse economic, political or regulatory events that affect the value of real estate. Mortgage-related securities are also significantly affected by the rate of prepayments and modifications of the mortgage loans underlying those securities, as well as by other factors such as borrower defaults, delinquencies, realized or liquidation losses and other shortfalls. The incidence of borrower defaults or delinquencies may rise significantly during financial downturns and could adversely affect the value of mortgage-related securities held by the Fund. Events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events that result in broad and simultaneous financial hardships for individuals and businesses could have a significant negative impact on the value of mortgage-related securities. Mortgage-related securities are particularly sensitive to prepayment risk and extension risk, given that mortgage loans generally allow borrowers to refinance. In periods of declining interest rates, borrowers may be more apt to prepay their mortgage sooner than expected. This can reduce the returns to the security holder as the amount of interest related to the price may be reduced while the proceeds may have to be reinvested at lower prevailing interest rates. This is prepayment risk. In periods of rising interest rates, borrowers may be less likely to refinance than expected thus extending the cash flows of the security such that there is increased downward price sensitivity to interest rate changes. This is extension risk. As the timing and amount of prepayments cannot be accurately predicted, the timing of changes in the rate of prepayments of the mortgage loans may significantly affect the Fund's actual yield to maturity on any mortgage-related securities. Along with prepayment risk, mortgage-related securities are significantly affected by interest rate risk.
NON-AGENCY SECURITIES RISK. Investments in asset-backed or mortgage-backed securities offered by non-governmental issuers, such as commercial banks, savings and loans, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers are subject to additional risks. There are no direct or indirect government or agency guarantees of payments in loan pools created by non-government issuers. Securities issued by private issuers are subject to the credit risks of the issuers. An unexpectedly high rate of defaults on the loan pool may adversely affect the value of a non-agency security and could result in losses to the Fund. The risk of such defaults is generally higher in the case of pools that include subprime loans. Non-agency securities are typically traded “over-the-counter” rather than on a securities exchange and there may be a limited market for the securities, especially when there is a perceived weakness in the mortgage and real estate market sectors. Without an active trading market, the non-agency mortgage-related securities held by the Fund may be particularly difficult to value because of the complexities involved in assessing the value of the underlying loans.
OPERATIONAL RISK. The Fund is subject to risks arising from various operational factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund relies on third-parties for a range of services, including custody. Any delay or failure relating to engaging or maintaining such service providers may affect the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. Although the Fund and the Fund's investment advisor seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures, there is no way to completely protect against such risks.
OPTIONS RISK. The use of options involves investment strategies and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions and depends on the ability of the Fund's portfolio managers to forecast market movements correctly. The prices of options are volatile and are influenced by, among other things, actual and anticipated changes in the value of the underlying instrument, or in interest or currency exchange rates, including the anticipated volatility, which in turn are affected by fiscal and monetary policies and by national and international political and economic events. The effective use of options also depends on the Fund's ability to terminate option positions at times deemed desirable to do so. There is no assurance that the Fund will be able to effect closing transactions at any particular time or at an acceptable price. In addition, there may at times be an imperfect correlation between the movement in values of options and their underlying securities and there may at times not be a liquid secondary market for certain options.
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PORTFOLIO TURNOVER RISK. High portfolio turnover may result in the Fund paying higher levels of transaction costs and may generate greater tax liabilities for shareholders. Portfolio turnover risk may cause the Fund’s performance to be less than expected.
PREMIUM/DISCOUNT RISK. The market price of the Fund’s shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in the Fund’s net asset value as well as the relative supply of and demand for shares on the Exchange. The Fund’s investment advisor cannot predict whether shares will trade below, at or above their net asset value because the shares trade on the Exchange at market prices and not at net asset value. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for shares will be closely related, but not identical, to the same forces influencing the prices of the holdings of the Fund trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. However, given that shares can only be purchased and redeemed in Creation Units, and only to and from broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements (unlike shares of closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their net asset value), the Fund’s investment advisor believes that large discounts or premiums to the net asset value of shares should not be sustained. During stressed market conditions, the market for the Fund’s shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the market for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings, which could in turn lead to differences between the market price of the Fund’s shares and their net asset value.
PREPAYMENT RISK. Prepayment risk is the risk that the issuer of a debt security will repay principal prior to the scheduled maturity date. Debt securities allowing prepayment may offer less potential for gains during a period of declining interest rates, as the Fund may be required to reinvest the proceeds of any prepayment at lower interest rates. These factors may cause the value of an investment in the Fund to change.
SHORT SALES RISK. In connection with a short sale of a security or other instrument, the Fund is subject to the risk that instead of declining, the price of the security or other instrument sold short will rise. If the price of the security or other instrument sold short increases between the date of the short sale and the date on which the Fund replaces the security or other instrument borrowed to make the short sale, the Fund will experience a loss, which is theoretically unlimited since there is a theoretically unlimited potential for the market price of a security or other instrument sold short to increase. In addition, as a series of an investment company registered under the 1940 Act, the Fund must segregate liquid assets, or engage in other measures to “cover” open positions with respect to short sales. The Fund may nonetheless incur significant losses on short sales even if they are covered.
SIGNIFICANT EXPOSURE RISK. To the extent that the Fund invests a significant percentage of its assets in a single asset class or the securities of issuers within the same country, state, region, industry or sector, an adverse economic, business or political development may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were more broadly diversified. A significant exposure makes the Fund more susceptible to any single occurrence and may subject the Fund to greater market risk than a fund that is more broadly diversified.
SWAP AGREEMENTS RISK. Swap agreements may involve greater risks than direct investment in securities as they may be leveraged and are subject to credit risk, counterparty risk and valuation risk. A swap agreement could result in losses if the underlying reference or asset does not perform as anticipated. In addition, many swaps trade over-the-counter and may be considered illiquid. It may not be possible for the Fund to liquidate a swap position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.
TRADING ISSUES RISK. Trading in Fund shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Fund shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange’s “circuit breaker” rules. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged. The Fund may have difficulty maintaining its listing on the Exchange in the event the Fund’s assets are small, the Fund does not have enough shareholders, or if the Fund is unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders.
U.S. GOVERNMENT SECURITIES RISK. U.S. government securities are subject to interest rate risk but generally do not involve the credit risks associated with investments in other types of debt securities. As a result, the yields available from U.S. government securities are generally lower than the yields available from other debt securities. U.S. government securities are guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and the payment of principal when held to maturity.While securities issued or guaranteed by U.S. federal government agencies (such as Ginnie Mae) are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, securities issued by government sponsored entities (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) are solely the obligation of the issuer and generally do not carry any guarantee from the U.S. government.
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VALUATION RISK. Unlike publicly traded securities that trade on national securities exchanges, there is no central place or exchange for trading most debt securities. Debt securities generally trade on an “over-the-counter” market. Due to the lack of centralized information and trading, and variations in lot sizes of certain debt securities, the valuation of debt securities may carry more uncertainty and risk than that of publicly traded securities. Debt securities are commonly valued by third-party pricing services that utilize a range of market-based inputs and assumptions, including readily available market quotations obtained from broker-dealers making markets in such securities, cash flows and transactions for comparable instruments. However, because the available information is less reliable and more subjective, elements of judgment may play a greater role in valuation of debt securities than for other types of securities. There is no assurance that the Fund will be able to sell a portfolio security at the price established by the pricing service, which could result in a loss to the Fund.
VOLATILITY RISK. Volatility is the characteristic of a security, an index or a market to fluctuate significantly in price within a short time period. The Fund may invest in securities or financial instruments that exhibit more volatility than the market as a whole. Such exposures could cause the Fund’s net asset value to experience significant increases or declines in value over short periods of time.
WHEN-ISSUED, TBA AND DELAYED DELIVERY TRANSACTIONS RISK. The Fund may purchase securities on a when-issued, to-be-announced ("TBA"), delayed delivery or forward commitment basis. In such a transaction, the purchase price of the securities is typically fixed at the time of the commitment, but delivery and payment can take place a month or more after the date of the commitment. At the time of delivery of the securities, the value may be more or less than the purchase or sale price. Purchasing securities on a when-issued, TBA, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis may give rise to investment leverage and may increase the Fund’s volatility. Default by, or bankruptcy of, a counterparty to a when-issued, TBA, delayed delivery or forward commitment transaction would expose the Fund to possible losses because of an adverse market action, expenses or delays in connection with the purchase or sale of the pools specified in such transaction.
Annual Total Return
The bar chart and table below illustrate the annual calendar year returns of the Fund based on net asset value as well as the average annual Fund returns. The bar chart and table provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund’s performance from year-to-year and by showing how the Fund’s average annual total returns based on net asset value compared to those of a broad-based securities market index. See “Total Return Information” for additional performance information regarding the Fund. The Fund’s performance information is accessible on the Fund’s website at www.ftportfolios.com.
First Trust Long Duration Opportunities ETF
Calendar Year Total Returns as of 12/31
During the periods shown in the chart above:
Best Quarter
 
Worst Quarter
 
10.63%
March 31, 2020
-6.62%
March 31, 2021
The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.
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Returns before taxes do not reflect the effects of any income or capital gains taxes. All after-tax returns are calculated using the historical highest individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of any state or local tax. Returns after taxes on distributions reflect the taxed return on the payment of dividends and capital gains. Returns after taxes on distributions and sale of shares assume you sold your shares at period end, and, therefore, are also adjusted for any capital gains or losses incurred. Returns for the market indices do not include expenses, which are deducted from Fund returns, or taxes.
Your own actual after-tax returns will depend on your specific tax situation and may differ from what is shown here. After-tax returns are not relevant to investors who hold Fund shares in tax-deferred accounts such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) or employee-sponsored retirement plans.
Average Annual Total Returns for the Periods Ended December 31, 2021
 
1 Year
Since
Inception
Inception
Date
Return Before Taxes
-1.42%
7.01%
1/22/2019
Return After Taxes on Distributions
-2.45%
5.64%
 
Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Shares
-0.85%
4.82%
 
ICE BofA 5+ Year US Treasury Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses
or taxes)
-3.85%
6.58%
 
Management
Investment Advisor
First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust” or the “Advisor”)
Portfolio Managers
The following persons serve as portfolio managers of the Fund:
James Snyder, Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager
Jeremiah Charles, Senior Vice President and 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 part of the portfolio management team of the Fund since 2019.
Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares
The Fund issues and redeems shares on a continuous basis, at net asset value, only in large blocks of shares called “Creation Units.” Individual shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold on the secondary market through a broker-dealer. Since shares of the Fund trade on securities exchanges in the secondary market at their market price rather than their net asset value, the Fund’s shares may trade at a price greater than (premium) or less than (discount) the Fund’s net asset value. An investor may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase shares of the Fund (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for shares of the Fund (ask) when buying or selling shares in the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”). Recent information, including the Fund’s net asset value, market price, premiums and discounts, bid-ask spreads and the median bid-ask spread for the Fund’s most recent fiscal year, is available online at https://www.ftportfolios.com/Retail/etf/home.aspx.
Tax Information
The Fund’s distributions are taxable and will generally be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains. Distributions on shares held in a tax-deferred account, while not immediately taxable, will be subject to tax when the shares are no longer held in a tax-deferred account.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries
If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), First Trust and First Trust Portfolios L.P., the Fund’s distributor, may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services.
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These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
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Additional Information on the Fund's Investment Objectives and Strategies
The Fund is a series of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV and is regulated as an “investment company” under the 1940 Act. The Fund is actively managed and does not seek to track the performance of an index. The Fund’s investment objective is fundamental and may not be changed without approval by the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund. Unless an investment policy is identified as being fundamental, all investment policies included in this prospectus and the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) are non-fundamental and may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board”), without shareholder approval. If there is a material change to the Fund’s principal investment strategies, you should consider whether the Fund remains an appropriate investment for you. There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its investment objective.
Additional Information on the Fund’s Strategy
The Fund targets an estimated weighted average effective duration of eight years or more. In comparison to maturity (i.e., the date on which a debt instrument ceases and the issuer is obligated to repay the principal amount), duration is a measure of the expected price volatility of a debt instrument as a result of changes in market rates of interest, based on the weighted average timing of the instrument’s expected principal and interest payments and other factors. Duration differs from maturity in that it considers a security’s yield, coupon payments, principal payments, call features and coupon adjustments in addition to the amount of time until the security finally matures. As the value of a security changes over time, so will its duration. Prices of securities with lower durations tend to be less sensitive to interest rate changes than securities with higher durations. In general, a portfolio of securities with a lower duration can be expected to be less sensitive to interest rate changes than a portfolio with a higher duration.
Fund Investments
Principal Investments
Asset-Backed Securities
Asset-backed securities are securities backed by installment contracts, credit-card receivables or other assets. Asset-backed securities represent interests in “pools” of assets in which payments of both interest and principal on the securities are made on a regular basis. The payments are, in effect, “passed through” to the holder of the securities (net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of the securities). The average life of asset-backed securities varies with the maturities of the underlying instruments and, as a result of prepayments, can often be less than the original maturity of the assets underlying the securities.
Debt Securities
Debt securities include obligations typically issued by corporations to borrow money from investors, such as corporate bonds, debentures and notes. These securities may be either secured or unsecured. Holders of debt securities, as creditors, have a prior legal claim over common and preferred shareholders as to both income and assets of the issuer for the principal and interest due them and may have a prior claim over other creditors if liens or mortgages are involved. Interest on debt securities is typically paid semi-annually and is fully taxable to the holder of the securities. The investment return of debt securities reflects interest on the security and changes in the market value of the security. The market value of a fixed rate debt security generally may be expected to rise and fall inversely with changes in interest rates and also may be affected by the credit rating of the issuer, the issuer’s performance and perceptions of the issuer in the marketplace. Debt securities issued by corporations usually have a higher yield than government or agency bonds due to the presence of credit risk.
Derivative Instruments
The Fund may invest in options, futures and swaps. The use of these derivative transactions may allow the Fund to obtain net long or short exposures to selected interest rates or durations. The Fund may also utilize derivatives to enhance return, to hedge some of the risks of its investments in securities, as a substitute for a position in the underlying asset, to reduce transaction costs, to maintain full market exposure (which means to adjust the characteristics of its investments to more closely approximate those of the markets in which it invests), to manage cash flows or to preserve capital.
Exchange-Traded Funds
ETFs trade on a securities exchange and their shares may, at times, trade at a premium or discount to their net asset value. As a stockholder in an investment company or other pooled vehicle, the Fund will bear its ratable share of that investment
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company’s or vehicle’s expenses and would remain subject to payment of the Fund’s or vehicle’s advisory and administrative fees with respect to assets so invested.
The Fund’s ability to invest in other investment companies is limited by the 1940 Act and the related rules and interpretations. The Fund has adopted a policy that it will not invest in other investment companies in excess of 1940 Act limits in reliance on Sections 12(d)(1)(F) or 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act.
High Yield Securities
The Fund may invest in securities of any credit quality, including securities that are rated below investment grade. Below investment grade securities are rated below “BBB-” by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (“S&P”), or Fitch Ratings, Inc. (“Fitch”), below “Baa3” by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) or comparably rated by another NRSRO or, if unrated, determined by the Sub‑Advisor to be of comparable credit quality at the time of purchase. Below investment grade securities are commonly referred to as “junk” or “high yield” securities and are considered speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal.
Mortgage-Related Investments
Mortgage-related securities are structured debt obligations collateralized by pools of residential or commercial mortgage loans made by banks and other financial institutions to finance purchases of residential homes, commercial buildings and other real estate. The individual mortgage loans are packaged or “pooled” together for sale to investors by various governmental and private organizations and provide the holder with monthly payments derived from the principal and interest payments made by the individual borrowers on the pooled mortgage loans. In their simplest form, mortgage-related securities are structured as “pass-through” securities, meaning they provide investors with monthly payments consisting of a pro rata share of both regular interest and principal payments as well as unscheduled prepayments on the underlying mortgage loans. In the basic mortgage-pass through structure, mortgages with similar issuer, term and coupon characteristics are collected and aggregated into a pool consisting of multiple mortgage loans. The pool is assigned a CUSIP number and undivided interests in the pool are traded and sold as pass-through securities. The holder of the security is entitled to a pro rata share of principal and interest payments (including unscheduled prepayments) from the pool of mortgage loans. However, mortgage-related securities may also be structured as collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”). A CMO is a multi-class bond backed by a pool of mortgage pass-through certificates or mortgage loans. While CMOs may be collateralized by whole mortgage loans or private mortgage bonds, they are generally collateralized by portfolios of mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed by Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their income streams. Each class of CMOs, often referred to as a “tranche,” is issued at a specific coupon rate and offers investors various maturity and credit risk characteristics. Tranches are categorized as senior, mezzanine, and subordinated/equity or “first loss,” according to their degree of risk. The most senior tranche has the greatest collateralization and pays the lowest interest rate. If there are defaults or the collateral otherwise underperforms, scheduled payments to senior tranches take precedence over those of mezzanine tranches, and scheduled payments to mezzanine tranches take precedence over those to subordinated/equity tranches. Lower tranches represent lower degrees of credit quality and pay higher interest rates intended to compensate for the increased risks. The return on the lower tranches is especially sensitive to the rate of defaults in the collateral pool. The lowest tranche (i.e., the “equity” or “residual” tranche) specifically receives the residual interest payments (money that is left over after the higher tranches have been paid and expenses of the issuing entities have been paid) rather than a fixed interest rate.
Mortgage-related investments may be issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities, (such as Ginnie Mae), and U.S. government-sponsored entities, (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). Government agency or instrumentality securities have different levels of credit support. Securities issued by the U.S. governments, its agencies or instrumentalities carry a guarantee as to the timely repayment of principal and interest that is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. However, the full faith and credit guarantee does not apply to the market prices and yields of the Ginnie Mae securities or to the net asset value, trading price or performance of the Fund, which will vary with changes in interest rates and other market conditions. Securities issued by government-sponsored entities may only be backed by the creditworthiness of the issuing institution, not the U.S. government. Government-sponsored entity issuers may have the right to borrow from the U.S. Treasury to meet their obligations.
The Fund may also invest up to 20% of its net assets in privately-issued, non-agency sponsored mortgage- and asset-backed securities. There are no direct or indirect government or agency guarantees of payments in mortgage pools created by non-government issuers.
Additionally, the Fund may invest in mortgage dollar rolls. In a mortgage dollar roll, the Fund will sell (or buy) mortgage- backed securities for delivery on a specified date and simultaneously contract to repurchase (or sell) substantially similar (same type,
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coupon and maturity) securities on a future date. During the period between a sale and repurchase, the Fund will forgo principal and interest paid on the mortgage-backed securities. The Fund will earn or lose money on a mortgage dollar roll from any difference between the sale price and the future purchase price. In a sale and repurchase, the Fund will also earn money on the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the initial sale. The Fund intends to enter into mortgage dollar rolls only with high quality securities dealers and banks, as determined by the portfolio managers.
The Fund may also invest in TBA Transactions. A TBA Transaction is a method of trading mortgage-backed securities. In a TBA Transaction, the buyer and the seller agree on general trade parameters such as agency, settlement date, par amount and price. The actual pools delivered generally are determined two days prior to the settlement date.
U.S. Government Securities
The Fund may invest in U.S. government securities. U.S. government securities include U.S. Treasury obligations and securities issued or guaranteed by various agencies of the U.S. government, or by various instrumentalities which have been established or sponsored by the U.S. government, including STRIPS and zero-coupon bonds. U.S. Treasury obligations are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government. Securities issued or guaranteed by federal agencies and U.S. government sponsored instrumentalities may or may not be backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The Fund may also invest in callable agency securities, which give the issuer (the U.S. government agency) the right to redeem the security prior to maturity. The Fund may also invest in U.S. government inflation-indexed securities. At times, the Fund may allocate its investments into direct obligations of the U.S. government (such as Treasury bonds, bills and notes) and in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, including government-sponsored entities.
Non-Principal Investments
Cash Equivalents and Short-Term Investments
Under normal market conditions, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in short-term debt securities that are not publicly-issued U.S. Treasury securities and bonds, debentures and mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or government-sponsored entities, such as money market funds and other cash equivalents, or it may hold cash. The percentage of the Fund invested in these types of holdings will vary and will depend on several factors, including market conditions. Cash earmarked or otherwise held as collateral for settling mortgage dollar rolls and other delayed-delivery transactions is not included within the above 20% limitation and will count towards the Fund's 80% investment requirement.
The Fund may invest in securities with maturities of less than one year or cash equivalents, or it may hold cash, in order to collateralize, its investments or for temporary defensive purposes. The percentage of the Fund invested in these types of holdings varies and depends on several factors, including market conditions. For temporary defensive purposes, during the initial invest-up period and during periods of high cash inflows or outflows, the Fund may depart from its principal investment strategies and invest part or all of its assets in these securities or it may hold cash. During such periods, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective. The Fund may adopt a defensive strategy when the portfolio managers believe securities in which the Fund normally invests have elevated risks due to political or economic factors and in other extraordinary circumstances. For more information on eligible short-term investments, see the Fund’s SAI.
Illiquid Investments
The Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in securities and other instruments that are, at the time of investment, illiquid (determined using the Securities and Exchange Commission's standard applicable to investment companies, i.e., any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment). For this purpose, illiquid investments may include, but are not limited to, restricted securities (securities the disposition of which is restricted under the federal securities laws), securities that may only be resold pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), that are deemed to be illiquid, and certain repurchase agreements.
Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings
The Fund’s portfolio holdings are available on the Fund’s website at www.ftportfolios.com. A description of the policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is included in the Fund’s SAI, which is also available on the Fund’s website.
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Risks of Investing in the Fund
Risk is inherent in all investing. Investing in the Fund involves risk, including the risk that you may lose all or part of your investment. There can be no assurance that the Fund will meet its stated objectives. Before you invest, you should consider the following disclosure pertaining to the Principal Risks set forth above as well as additional Non-Principal Risks set forth below in this prospectus. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.
Principal Risks
ASSET-BACKED SECURITIES RISK. Asset-backed securities are debt securities typically created by buying and pooling loans or other receivables other than mortgage loans and creating securities backed by those similar type assets. They are typically issued by trusts and special purpose co-purchasers that pass income from the underlying pool to investors. As with other debt securities, asset-backed securities are subject to credit risk, extension risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk and valuation risk. Certain asset-backed securities do not have the benefit of the same security interest in the related collateral as do mortgage-backed securities, nor are they provided government guarantees of repayment. Credit card receivables are generally unsecured, and the debtors are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such debtors the right to set off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the balance due. In addition, some issuers of automobile receivables permit the servicers to retain possession of the underlying obligations. If the servicer were to sell these obligations to another party, there is a risk that the purchaser would acquire an interest superior to that of the holders of the related automobile receivables. The impairment of the value of collateral or other assets underlying an asset-backed security, such as a result of non-payment of loans or non-performance of underlying assets, may result in a reduction in the value of such asset-backed securities and losses to the Fund.
AUTHORIZED PARTICIPANT CONCENTRATION RISK. Only an authorized participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. A limited number of institutions act as authorized participants for the Fund. However, participants are not obligated to make a market in the Fund’s shares or submit purchase and redemption orders for creation units. To the extent that these institutions exit the business, reduce their role or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders and no other authorized participant steps forward to create or redeem, the Fund’s shares may trade at a premium or discount to the Fund’s net asset value and possibly face delisting.
CALL RISK. Some debt securities may be redeemed at the option of the issuer, or “called,” before their stated maturity date. In general, an issuer will call its debt securities if they can be refinanced by issuing new debt securities which bear a lower interest rate. The Fund is subject to the possibility that during periods of falling interest rates an issuer will call its high yielding debt securities. The Fund would then be forced to invest the unanticipated proceeds at lower interest rates, likely resulting in a decline in the Fund’s income. Such redemptions and subsequent reinvestments would also increase the Fund’s portfolio turnover. If a called debt security was purchased by the Fund at a premium, the value of the premium may be lost in the event of a redemption.
CASH TRANSACTIONS RISK. The Fund will effect some or all of its creations and redemptions for cash rather than in-kind. As a result, an investment in the Fund may be less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that effects its creations and redemptions only in-kind. ETFs are able to make in-kind redemptions and avoid being taxed on gains on the distributed portfolio securities at the fund level. The Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. Any recognized gain on these sales by the Fund will generally cause the Fund to recognize a gain it might not otherwise have recognized, or to recognize such gain sooner than would otherwise be required if it were to distribute portfolio securities only in-kind. The Fund intends to distribute these gains to shareholders to avoid being taxed on this gain at the fund level and otherwise comply with the special tax rules that apply to it. This strategy may cause shareholders to be subject to tax on gains they would not otherwise be subject to, or at an earlier date than if they had made an investment in a different ETF. Moreover, cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees and taxes. These brokerage fees and taxes, which will be higher than if the Fund sold and redeemed its shares entirely in-kind, will be passed on to those purchasing and redeeming Creation Units in the form of creation and redemption transaction fees. In addition, these factors may result in wider spreads between the bid and the offered prices of the Fund’s shares than for ETFs that distribute portfolio securities in-kind.
COUNTERPARTY RISK. The Fund is subject to counterparty risk. If the Fund enters into an investment or transaction that depends on the performance of another party, the Fund becomes subject to the credit risk of that counterparty. The Fund's ability to profit from these types of investments and transactions depends on the willingness and ability of the Fund’s counterparty to perform its obligations. If a counterparty fails to meet its contractual obligations, the Fund may be unable to terminate or realize any gain on the investment or transaction, resulting in a loss to the Fund. The Fund may experience
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significant delays in obtaining any recovery in an insolvency, bankruptcy, or other reorganization proceeding involving a counterparty (including recovery of any collateral posted by it) and may obtain only a limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances. If the Fund holds collateral posted by its counterparty, it may be delayed or prevented from realizing on the collateral in the event of a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding relating to the counterparty. Under applicable law or contractual provisions, including if the Fund enters into an investment or transaction with a financial institution and such financial institution (or an affiliate of the financial institution) experiences financial difficulties, then the Fund may in certain situations be prevented or delayed from exercising its rights to terminate the investment or transaction, or to realize on any collateral and may result in the suspension of payment and delivery obligations of the parties under such investment or transactions or in another institution being substituted for that financial institution without the consent of the Fund. Further, the Fund may be subject to “bail-in” risk under applicable law whereby, if required by the financial institution's authority, the financial institution's liabilities could be written down, eliminated or converted into equity or an alternative instrument of ownership. A bail-in of a financial institution may result in a reduction in value of some or all of securities and, if the Fund holds such securities or has entered into a transaction with such a financial security when a bail-in occurs, the Fund may also be similarly impacted.
CREDIT RISK. An issuer or other obligated party of a debt security may be unable or unwilling to make dividend, interest and/or principal payments when due. In addition, the value of a debt security may decline because of concerns about the issuer’s ability or unwillingness to make such payments. Debt securities are subject to varying degrees of credit risk which are often reflected in credit ratings. The credit rating of a debt security may be lowered if the issuer or other obligated party suffers adverse changes to its financial condition. These adverse changes may lead to greater volatility in the price of the debt security and affect the security’s liquidity. High yield and comparable unrated debt securities, while generally offering higher yields than investment grade debt with similar maturities, involve greater risks, including the possibility of dividend or interest deferral, default or bankruptcy, and are regarded as predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay dividends or interest and repay principal. To the extent that the Fund holds debt securities that are secured or guaranteed by financial institutions, changes in credit quality of such financial institutions could cause values of the debt security to deviate.
CYBER SECURITY RISK. The Fund is susceptible to operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause the Fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. These risks typically are not covered by insurance. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber incidents include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems (e.g., through “hacking” or malicious software coding) for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data or causing operational disruption. Cyber attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users). Cyber security failures by or breaches of the systems of the Advisor, distributor and other service providers (including, but not limited to, sub-advisors, index providers, fund accountants, custodians, transfer agents and administrators), market makers, authorized participants or the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in: financial losses; interference with the Fund’s ability to calculate its net asset value; disclosure of confidential trading information; impediments to trading; submission of erroneous trades or erroneous creation or redemption orders; the inability of the Fund or its service providers to transact business; violations of applicable privacy and other laws; regulatory fines penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs; or additional compliance costs. Substantial costs may be incurred by the Fund in order to resolve or prevent cyber incidents in the future. While the Fund has established business continuity plans in the event of, and risk management systems to prevent, such cyber attacks, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified and that prevention and remediation efforts will not be successful. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cyber security plans and systems put in place by service providers to the Fund, issuers in which the Fund invests, market makers or authorized participants. However, there is no guarantee that such efforts will succeed, and the Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.
DEBT SECURITIES RISK. Investments in debt securities subject the holder to the credit risk of the issuer. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer or other obligor of a security will not be able or willing to make payments of interest and principal when due. Generally, the value of debt securities will change inversely with changes in interest rates. To the extent that interest rates rise, certain underlying obligations may be paid off substantially slower than originally anticipated and the value of those securities may fall sharply. During periods of falling interest rates, the income received by the Fund may decline. If the principal on a debt security is prepaid before expected, the prepayments of principal may have to be reinvested in obligations paying interest at lower rates. Debt securities generally do not trade on a centralized securities exchange making them generally less
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liquid and more difficult to value than common stock. The values of debt securities may also increase or decrease as a result of market fluctuations, actual or perceived inability or unwillingness of issuers, guarantors or liquidity providers to make scheduled principal or interest payments or illiquidity in debt securities markets generally.
DERIVATIVES RISK. The use of derivative instruments involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other traditional investments. These risks include: (i) the risk that the counterparty to a derivative transaction may not fulfill its contractual obligations; (ii) risk of mispricing or improper valuation; and (iii) the risk that changes in the value of the derivative may not correlate perfectly with the underlying asset. Derivative prices are highly volatile and may fluctuate substantially during a short period of time. Such prices are influenced by numerous factors that affect the markets, including, but not limited to: changing supply and demand relationships; government programs and policies; national and international political and economic events, changes in interest rates, inflation and deflation and changes in supply and demand relationships. Trading derivative instruments involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities. Derivative contracts ordinarily have leverage inherent in their terms. The low margin deposits normally required in trading derivatives, including futures contracts, permit a high degree of leverage. Accordingly, a relatively small price movement may result in an immediate and substantial loss. The use of leverage may also cause the Fund to liquidate portfolio positions when it would not be advantageous to do so in order to satisfy its obligations or to meet collateral segregation requirements. The use of leveraged derivatives can magnify potential for gain or loss and, therefore, amplify the effects of market volatility on share price.
ETF RISK. The Fund may invest in ETFs. Most ETFs use a “passive” investment strategy and seek to replicate the performance of a market index. Such ETFs do not take defensive positions in volatile or declining markets their shares may trade below net asset value. While some ETFs seek to achieve the same return as a particular market index, the performance of the ETF may diverge from the performance of the index. Some ETFs are actively managed ETFs and do not track a particular index which indirectly subjects an investor to active management risk. An active secondary market in ETF shares may not develop or be maintained and may be halted or interrupted due to actions by its listing exchange, unusual market conditions or other reasons. There can be no assurance that an ETF’s shares will continue to be listed on an active exchange. In addition, shareholders bear both their proportionate share of the Fund’s expenses and, indirectly, the ETF’s expenses, incurred through the Fund’s ownership of the ETF. Because the expenses and costs of an ETF are shared by its investors, redemptions by other investors in the ETF could result in decreased economies of scale and increased operating expenses for such ETF. These transactions might also result in higher brokerage, tax or other costs for the ETF. This risk may be particularly important when one investor owns a substantial portion of the ETF. There is a risk that ETFs in which the Fund invests may terminate due to extraordinary events. For example, any of the service providers to ETFs, such as the trustee or sponsor, may close or otherwise fail to perform their obligations to the ETF, and the ETF may not be able to find a substitute service provider. Also, certain ETFs may be dependent upon licenses to use various indexes as a basis for determining their compositions and/or otherwise to use certain trade names. If these licenses are terminated, the ETFs may also terminate. In addition, an ETF may terminate if its net assets fall below a certain amount.
EXTENSION RISK. Extension risk is the risk that, when interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the issuer (or other obligated party) more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these debt securities to fall. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of debt securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. The value of longer-term debt securities generally changes more in response to changes in interest rates than shorter-term debt securities. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, securities may exhibit additional volatility and may lose value. Extension risk is particularly prevalent for a callable debt security where an increase in interest rates could result in the issuer of that security choosing not to redeem the debt security as anticipated on the security’s call date. Such a decision by the issuer could have the effect of lengthening the debt security’s expected maturity, making it more vulnerable to interest rate risk and reducing its market value.
FUTURES CONTRACTS RISK. The Fund may enter into futures contracts. Futures contracts are typically exchange-traded contracts that call for the future delivery of an asset by one party to another at a certain price and date, or cash settlement of the terms of the contract. The risk of a position in a futures contract may be very large compared to the relatively low level of margin the Fund is required to deposit. In many cases, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss or gain to the investor relative to the size of a required margin deposit. The ability to establish and close out positions in futures contracts is be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid secondary market. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular futures contract at any particular time. If the Fund uses futures contracts for hedging purposes, there is a risk of imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of the derivatives and movements in the securities or index underlying the derivatives or movements in the prices of the Fund's investments that are the subject of such hedge. The prices of futures contracts, for a number of reasons, may
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not correlate perfectly with movements in the securities or index underlying them. For example, participants in the futures markets are subject to margin deposit requirements less onerous than margin requirements in the securities markets in general. As a result, futures markets may attract more speculators than the securities markets. Increased participation by speculators in those markets may cause temporary price distortions. Due to the possibility of price distortion, even a correct forecast of general market trends by the Fund’s portfolio managers still may not result in a successful derivatives activity over a very short time period. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the various exchanges have established limits referred to as “speculative position limits” on the maximum net long or net short positions that any person and certain affiliated entities may hold or control in a particular futures contract. It is possible that, as a result of such limits, the Fund will be precluded from taking positions in certain futures contracts it might have otherwise taken to the disadvantage of shareholders.
HIGH YIELD SECURITIES RISK. The Fund’s investment in high yield securities, or “junk” bonds, may entail increased credit risks and the risk that the value of the Fund’s assets will decline, and may decline precipitously, with increases in interest rates. In recent years there have been wide fluctuations in interest rates and therefore in the value of debt securities generally. High yield securities are, under most circumstances, subject to greater market fluctuations and risk of loss of income and principal than are investments in lower-yielding, higher-rated debt securities. As interest rates rise, the value of high yield securities may decline precipitously. Increased rates may also indicate a slowdown in the economy which may adversely affect the credit of issuers of high yield securities resulting in a higher incidence of defaults among such issuers. A slowdown in the economy, or a development adversely affecting an issuer’s creditworthiness, may result in the issuer being unable to maintain earnings or sell assets at the rate and at the prices, respectively, that are required to produce sufficient cash flow to meet its interest and principal requirements. The Fund’s portfolio managers cannot predict future economic policies or their consequences or, therefore, the course or extent of any similar market fluctuations in the future. In addition, high yield securities are generally less liquid than investment grade securities.
INCOME RISK. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall. This decline can occur because the Fund may subsequently invest in lower-yielding securities as debt securities in its portfolio mature, are near maturity or are called, or the Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional debt securities. In addition, the Fund’s income could decline when the Fund experiences defaults on the debt securities it holds.
INDEX OR MODEL CONSTITUENT RISK. The Fund may be a constituent of one or more indices or ETF models. As a result, the Fund may be included in one or more index-tracking ETFs or mutual funds. Being a component security of such a vehicle could greatly affect the trading activity involving the Fund, the size of the Fund and the market volatility of the Fund’s shares. Inclusion in an index could increase demand for the Fund and removal from an index could result in outsized selling activity in a relatively short period of time. As a result, the Fund’s net asset value could be negatively impacted and the Fund’s market price may be below the Fund’s net asset value during certain periods. In addition, index rebalances may potentially result in increased trading activity. To the extent buying or selling activity increases, the Fund can be exposed to increased brokerage costs and adverse tax consequences and the market price of the Fund can be negatively affected.
INFLATION RISK. Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. As inflation increases, the present value of the Fund’s assets and distributions may decline. This risk is more prevalent with respect to debt securities held by the Fund. Inflation creates uncertainty over the future real value (after inflation) of an investment. Inflation rates may change frequently and drastically as a result of various factors, including unexpected shifts in the domestic or global economy, and the Fund’s investments may not keep pace with inflation, which may result in losses to Fund investors.
INTEREST RATE RISK. The value of debt securities held by the Fund will fluctuate in value with changes in interest rates. In general, debt securities will increase in value when interest rates fall and decrease in value when interest rates rise. The Fund may be subject to a greater risk of rising interest rates than would normally be the case due to the current period of historically low rates and the effect of potential government fiscal policy initiatives and resulting market reaction to those initiatives. Interest rate risk is generally lower for shorter term investments and higher for longer term investments. Duration is a common measure of interest rate risk. Duration measures a debt security’s expected life on a present value basis, taking into account the debt security’s yield, interest payments and final maturity. Duration is a reasonably accurate measure of a debt security’s price sensitivity to changes in interest rates. The longer the duration of a debt security, the greater the debt security’s price sensitivity is to changes in interest rates. Rising interest rates also may lengthen the duration of debt securities with call features, since exercise of the call becomes less likely as interest rates rise, which in turn will make the securities more sensitive to changes in interest rates and result in even steeper price declines in the event of further interest rate increases. An increase in interest rates could also cause principal payments on a debt security to be repaid at a slower rate than expected. This risk is particularly prevalent for a callable debt security where an increase in interest rates could cause the issuer of that security
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to not redeem the security as anticipated on the call date, effectively lengthening the security’s expected maturity, in turn making that security more vulnerable to interest rate risk and reducing its market value. When interest rates fall, the Fund may be required to reinvest the proceeds from the sale, redemption or early prepayment of a debt security at a lower interest rate.
LEVERAGE RISK. The Fund has exposure to instruments subjecting them to leverage risk. Leverage may result in losses that exceed the amount originally invested and may accelerate the rates of losses. Leverage tends to magnify, sometimes significantly, the effect of any increase or decrease in the Fund’s exposure to an asset or class of assets and may cause the value of the Fund’s portfolio and the Fund’s shares to be volatile and sensitive to market swings. Certain instruments have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment.
LIBOR TRANSITION RISK. The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, intends to cease making LIBOR available as a reference rate over a phase-out period that is currently expected to begin after the end of 2021. However, subsequent announcements by the FCA, the LIBOR administrators, and other regulators indicate that it is possible that the most widely used LIBOR rates may continue until mid-2023. 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. In the United States, it is anticipated that in many instances the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) will replace LIBOR as the reference rate for many of the floating rate instruments held by the Fund. There is no assurance that the composition or characteristics of SOFR, or any alternative reference rate, 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. As a result, the transition process might lead to increased volatility and reduced liquidity in markets that currently rely on LIBOR to determine interest rates; a reduction in the value of some LIBOR-based investments; increased difficulty in borrowing or refinancing and diminished effectiveness of any applicable hedging strategies against instruments whose terms currently include LIBOR; and/or costs incurred in connection with temporary borrowings and closing out positions and entering into new agreements. Any such effects (as well as other unforeseen effects) of the transition away from LIBOR and the adoption of alternative reference rates could result in losses to the Fund.
LIQUIDITY RISK. The Fund may have investments that it may not be able to dispose of or close out readily at a favorable time or price (or at all), or at a price approximating the Fund’s valuation of the investment. For example, certain investments may be subject to restrictions on resale, may trade over-the-counter or in limited volume, or may not have an active trading market. Illiquid securities may trade at a discount from comparable, more liquid investments and may be subject to wide fluctuations in market value. It may be difficult for the Fund to value illiquid securities accurately. The market for certain investments may become illiquid under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the conditions of a particular issuer. If the Fund needed to sell a large block of illiquid securities to meet shareholder redemption request or to raise cash, these sales could further reduce the securities’ prices and adversely affect performance of the Fund. Disposal of illiquid securities may entail registration expenses and other transaction costs that are higher than those for liquid securities.
MANAGEMENT RISK. The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. In managing the Fund’s investment portfolio, the portfolio managers will apply investment techniques and risk analyses that may not produce the desired result. There can be no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objective(s), meet relevant benchmarks or perform as well as other funds with similar objectives.
MARKET MAKER RISK. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares due to a limited number of market markers. Decisions by market makers or authorized participants to reduce their role or step away from these activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying values of the Fund’s portfolio securities and the Fund’s market price. The Fund may rely on a small number of third-party market makers to provide a market for the purchase and sale of shares. Any trading halt or other problem relating to the trading activity of these market makers could result in a dramatic change in the spread between the Fund’s net asset value and the price at which the Fund’s shares are trading on the Exchange, which could result in a decrease in value of the Fund’s shares. This reduced effectiveness could result in Fund shares trading at a discount to net asset value and also in greater than normal intraday bid-ask spreads for Fund shares.
MARKET RISK. Market risk is the risk that a particular security, or shares of the Fund in general, may fall in value. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of the Fund could decline in value or underperform other investments due to short-term market movements or any longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. In addition,
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local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments. For example, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic and the aggressive responses taken by many governments, including closing borders, restricting international and domestic travel, and the imposition of prolonged quarantines or similar restrictions, had negative impacts, and in many cases severe impacts, on markets worldwide. While the development of vaccines has slowed the spread of the virus and allowed for the resumption of reasonably normal business activity in the United States, many countries continue to impose lockdown measures in an attempt to slow the spread. Additionally, there is no guarantee that vaccines will be effective against emerging variants of the disease. As this global pandemic illustrated, such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. These events also adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets. Any of such circumstances could have a materially negative impact on the value of the Fund’s shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, the Fund’s shares may trade at increased premiums or discounts to their net asset value.
MORTGAGE-RELATED SECURITIES RISK. Mortgage-related securities are subject to the same risks as investments in other types of debt securities, including credit risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk and valuation risk. However, these investments make the Fund more susceptible to adverse economic, political or regulatory events that affect the value of real estate. Mortgage-related securities are also significantly affected by the rate of prepayments and modifications of the mortgage loans underlying those securities, as well as by other factors such as borrower defaults, delinquencies, realized or liquidation losses and other shortfalls. The incidence of borrower defaults or delinquencies may rise significantly during financial downturns and could adversely affect the value of mortgage-related securities held by the Fund. Events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events that result in broad and simultaneous financial hardships for individuals and businesses could have a significant negative impact on the value of mortgage-related securities. Mortgage-related securities are particularly sensitive to prepayment risk and extension risk, given that mortgage loans generally allow borrowers to refinance. In periods of declining interest rates, borrowers may be more apt to prepay their mortgage sooner than expected. This can reduce the returns to the security holder as the amount of interest related to the price may be reduced while the proceeds may have to be reinvested at lower prevailing interest rates. This is prepayment risk. In periods of rising interest rates, borrowers may be less likely to refinance than expected thus extending the cash flows of the security such that there is increased downward price sensitivity to interest rate changes. This is extension risk. As the timing and amount of prepayments cannot be accurately predicted, the timing of changes in the rate of prepayments of the mortgage loans may significantly affect the Fund's actual yield to maturity on any mortgage-related securities. Along with prepayment risk, mortgage-related securities are significantly affected by interest rate risk.
NON-AGENCY SECURITIES RISK. The Fund invests in non-agency securities. Investments in asset-backed or mortgage-backed securities offered by non-governmental issuers, such as commercial banks, savings and loans, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers are subject to additional risks. There are no direct or indirect government or agency guarantees of payments in loan pools created by non-government issuers. Securities issued by private issuers are subject to the credit risks of the issuers. Timely payment of interest and principal of non-governmental issuers is supported by various forms of private insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance purchased by the issuer. There can be no assurance that the private insurers can meet their obligations under the policies. Non-agency securities are also not subject to the same underwriting requirements for the underlying mortgages that are applicable to those mortgage-related securities that have a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee. An unexpectedly high rate of defaults on the loan pool may adversely affect the value of a non-agency security and could result in losses to the Fund. The risk of such defaults is generally higher in the case of loan pools that include subprime loans. Subprime loans refer to loans made to borrowers with weakened credit histories or with a lower capacity to make timely payments on their loans. Non-agency securities are typically traded “over the counter” rather than on a securities exchange and there may be a limited market for the securities, especially when there is a perceived weakness in the mortgage and real estate market sectors. Without an active trading market, the non-agency securities held by the Fund may be particularly difficult to value because of the complexities involved in assessing the value of the underlying loans.
OPERATIONAL RISK. The Fund is subject to risks arising from various operational factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund relies on third-parties for a range of services, including custody. Any delay or failure relating to engaging or maintaining such service providers may affect the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. Although the Fund and the Fund’s investment advisor seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures, there is no way to completely protect against such risks.
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OPTIONS RISK. The Fund may utilize options. The use of options involves investment strategies and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions and depends on the ability of the Fund's portfolio manager to forecast market movements correctly. The prices of options are influenced by, among other things, actual and anticipated changes in the value of the underlying instrument, or in interest or currency exchange rates, including the anticipated volatility, which in turn are affected by fiscal and monetary policies and by national and international political and economic events. As a seller (writer) of a put option, the seller will tend to lose money if the value of the reference index or security falls below the strike price. As the seller (writer) of a call option, the seller will tend to lose money if the value of the reference index or security rises above the strike price. As the buyer of a put or call option, the buyer risks losing the entire premium invested in the option if the buyer does not exercise the option. The effective use of options also depends on the Fund's ability to terminate option positions at times deemed desirable to do so. There is no assurance that the Fund will be able to effect closing transactions at any particular time or at an acceptable price. In addition, there may at times be an imperfect correlation between the movement in values of options and their underlying securities and there may at times not be a liquid secondary market for certain options. Options may also involve the use of leverage, which could result in greater price volatility than other markets.
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER RISK. The Fund has an investment strategy that may frequently involve buying and selling portfolio securities. High portfolio turnover may result in the Fund paying higher levels of transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, dealer mark-ups and other costs and may generate greater tax liabilities for shareholders. Portfolio turnover risk may cause the Fund’s performance to be less than expected.
PREMIUM/DISCOUNT RISK. The market price of the Fund’s shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in the Fund’s net asset value as well as the relative supply of and demand for shares on the Exchange. First Trust cannot predict whether shares will trade below, at or above their net asset value because the shares trade on the Exchange at market prices and not at net asset value. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for shares will be closely related, but not identical, to the same forces influencing the prices of the holdings of the Fund trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. However, given that shares can only be purchased and redeemed in Creation Units, and only to and from broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements (unlike shares of closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their net asset value), First Trust believes that large discounts or premiums to the net asset value of shares should not be sustained absent disruptions to the creation and redemption mechanism, extreme market volatility or potential lack of authorized participants. During stressed market conditions, the market for the Fund’s shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the market for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings, which could in turn lead to differences between the market price of the Fund’s shares and their net asset value.
PREPAYMENT RISK. Prepayment risk is the risk that the issuer of a debt security will repay principal (in part or in whole) prior to the scheduled maturity date. Debt securities allowing prepayment may offer less potential for gains during a period of declining interest rates, as the Fund may be required to reinvest the proceeds of any prepayment at lower interest rates, reducing its income. If the Fund purchased the debt securities at a premium, prepayments on the securities could cause the Fund to lose a portion of its principal investment. These factors may cause the value of an investment in the Fund to change. The impact of prepayments on the price of a debt security may be difficult to predict and may increase the security’s volatility.
SHORT SALES RISK. In connection with a short sale of a security or other instrument, the Fund is subject to the risk that instead of declining, the price of the security or other instrument sold short will rise. If the price of the security or derivative that is the subject of a short sale increases, then the Fund will incur a loss equal to the increase in price from the time that the short sale was entered into plus any premiums and interest paid to a third party in connection with the short sale. The risk of loss on a shorted position arises from the increase in value of the security sold short and is potentially unlimited unlike the risk of loss on a long position, which is limited to the amount paid for the investment plus transaction costs. Therefore, short sales involve the risk that losses may be exaggerated, potentially losing more money than the actual cost of the investment. Also, there is the risk that the third party to the short sale may fail to honor its contract terms, causing a loss to the Fund. Further, in times of unusual or adverse economic, market or political conditions, the Fund may not be able to fully or partially implement its short selling strategy. In addition, as a series of an investment company registered under the 1940 Act, the Fund must segregate liquid assets, or engage in other measures to “cover” open positions with respect to short sales. The Fund may nonetheless incur significant losses on short sales even if they are covered.
SIGNIFICANT EXPOSURE RISK. To the extent that the Fund invests a significant percentage of its assets in a single asset class or the securities of issuers within the same country, state, region, industry or sector, an adverse economic, business or political development that affected a particular asset class, region or industry may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more
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than if the Fund were more broadly diversified. A significant exposure makes the Fund more susceptible to any single occurrence and may subject the Fund to greater volatility and market risk than a fund that is more broadly diversified.
SWAP AGREEMENTS RISK. The Fund may enter in swap agreements. Swap agreements are two-party contracts entered into for a set period of time in which the parties agree to exchange payments based on some underlying reference or asset (such as interest rates). The use of swaps is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques, risk analyses and tax planning different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. These transactions can result in sizeable realized and unrealized capital gains and losses relative to the gains and losses from the Fund’s direct investments in the reference assets. Transactions in swaps can involve greater risks than if the Fund had invested directly in the reference asset since, in addition to general market risks, swaps may be leveraged and are also subject to credit risk, counterparty risk, liquidity risk and valuation risk. Because they are two-party contracts and may have terms of greater than seven days, certain swap transactions may be considered to be illiquid. Moreover, the Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap counterparty. Some swaps may be complex and difficult to value. Swaps may also be subject to pricing or “basis” risk, which exists when a particular swap becomes extraordinarily expensive relative to historical prices or the price of corresponding cash market instruments. Under certain market conditions it may not be economically feasible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses. The prices of swaps can be very volatile, and a variance in the degree of volatility or in the direction of the price of the reference asset from the sub-adviser’s expectations may produce significant losses in the Fund’s investments in swaps. In addition, a perfect correlation between a swap and an investment position may be impossible to achieve. As a result, the Fund’s use of swaps may not be effective in fulfilling the Fund’s investment strategies and may contribute to losses that would not have been incurred otherwise. Certain swaps are not bilateral agreements but are centrally-cleared and are exchange-traded. Central clearing tends to decrease credit risk and improve liquidity but many regulations regarding centrally-cleared swaps have not been fully implemented and the scope of the risks remain unclear. As central clearing does not make the agreements risk-free and there is no guarantee that the Fund would consider all centrally-cleared or exchange-traded swaps to be liquid.
TRADING ISSUES RISK. Trading in Fund shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Fund shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange’s “circuit breaker” rules. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged. The Fund may have difficulty maintaining its listing on the Exchange in the event the Fund’s assets are small, the Fund does not have enough shareholders, or if the Fund is unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders.
U.S. GOVERNMENT SECURITIES RISK. The Fund invest in U.S. government securities. U.S. government securities are subject to interest rate risk but generally do not involve the credit risks associated with investments in other types of debt securities. As a result, the yields available from U.S. government securities are generally lower than the yields available from other debt securities. U.S. government securities are guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and the payment of principal when held to maturity.While securities issued or guaranteed by U.S. federal government agencies (such as Ginnie Mae) are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, securities issued by government sponsored entities (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) are solely the obligation of the issuer and generally do not carry any guarantee from the U.S. government. No assurance can be given that the U.S. government will provide financial support to its government sponsored entities or any other agency if not obligated by law to do so.
VALUATION RISK. Unlike publicly traded securities that trade on national securities exchanges, there is no central place or exchange for trading most debt securities. Debt securities generally trade on an “over-the-counter” market. Due to the lack of centralized information and trading, and variations in lot sizes of certain debt securities, the valuation of debt securities may carry more uncertainty and risk than that of publicly traded securities. Debt securities are commonly valued by third-party pricing services that utilize a range of market-based inputs and assumptions, including readily available market quotations obtained from broker-dealers making markets in such securities, cash flows and transactions for comparable instruments. However, because the available information is less reliable and more subjective, elements of judgment may play a greater role in valuation of debt securities than for other types of securities. There is no assurance that the Fund will be able to sell a portfolio security at the price established by the pricing service, which could result in a loss to the Fund.
VOLATILITY RISK. Volatility is the characteristic of a security, an index or a market to fluctuate significantly in price within a short time period. The Fund may invest in securities or financial instruments that exhibit more volatility than the market as a whole. Such exposures could cause the Fund’s net asset value to experience significant increases or declines in value over
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short periods of time. Volatility can be caused by many factors, including changes in the economy or financial markets or for reasons specific to a particular issuer.
WHEN-ISSUED, TBA AND DELAYED DELIVERY TRANSACTIONS RISK. The Fund may purchase securities on a when-issued, TBA, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis. In such a transaction, the purchase price of the securities is typically fixed at the time of the commitment, but delivery and payment can take place a month or more after the date of the commitment. At the time of delivery of the securities, the value may be more or less than the purchase or sale price. Purchasing securities on a when-issued, TBA, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis may give rise to investment leverage and may increase the Fund’s volatility. Default by, or bankruptcy of, a counterparty to a when-issued, TBA or delayed delivery transaction would expose the Fund to possible losses because of an adverse market action, expenses or delays in connection with the purchase or sale of the pools specified in such transaction. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority recently imposed mandatory margin requirements for certain types of when-issued, TBA, delayed delivery or forward commitment transactions. Such transactions require mandatory collateralization which could increase the cost of such transactions and impose added operational complexity.
Non-Principal Risks
BORROWING AND LEVERAGE RISK. If the Fund borrows money, it must pay interest and other fees, which may reduce the Fund’s returns. Any such borrowings are intended to be temporary. However, under certain market conditions, including periods of decreased liquidity, such borrowings might be outstanding for longer periods of time. As prescribed by the 1940 Act, the Fund will be required to maintain specified asset coverage of at least 300% with respect to any bank borrowing immediately following such borrowing and at all times thereafter. The Fund may be required to dispose of assets on unfavorable terms if market fluctuations or other factors reduce the Fund’s asset coverage to less than the prescribed amount.
CREDIT RATING AGENCY RISK. Credit ratings are determined by credit rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s, Inc., Moody’s Investors Services, Inc. and Fitch Inc., and are only the opinions of such entities. Ratings assigned by a rating agency are not absolute standards of credit quality and do not evaluate market risk or the liquidity of securities. Any shortcomings or inefficiencies in credit rating agencies’ processes for determining credit ratings may adversely affect the credit ratings of securities held by the Fund and, as a result, may adversely affect those securities’ perceived or actual credit risk.
DEPENDENCE ON KEY PERSONNEL RISK. The Advisor is dependent upon the experience and expertise of the Fund’s portfolio managers in providing advisory services with respect to the Fund’s investments. If the Advisor were to lose the services of any of these portfolio managers, its ability to service the Fund could be adversely affected. There can be no assurance that a suitable replacement could be found for any of the portfolio managers in the event of their death, resignation, retirement or inability to act on behalf of the Advisor.
FAILURE TO QUALIFY AS A REGULATED INVESTMENT COMPANY RISK. If, in any year, the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company under the applicable tax laws, the Fund would be taxed as an ordinary corporation. In such circumstances, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest and make substantial distributions before requalifying as a regulated investment company that is accorded special tax treatment.
FORWARD CONTRACTS RISK. A forward contract is an over-the-counter derivative transaction between two parties to buy or sell a specified amount of an underlying reference at a specified price (or rate) on a specified date in the future. Forward contracts are negotiated on an individual basis and are not standardized or traded on exchanges. The market for forward contracts is substantially unregulated and can experience lengthy periods of illiquidity, unusually high trading volume and other negative impacts, such as political intervention, which may result in volatility or disruptions in such markets. A relatively small price movement in a forward contract may result in substantial losses to the Fund, exceeding the amount of the margin paid. Forward contracts can increase the Fund’s risk exposure to underlying references and their attendant risks, such as credit risk, currency risk, market risk, and interest rate risk, while also exposing the Fund to counterparty risk, liquidity risk and valuation risk, among others.
ISSUER SPECIFIC CHANGES RISK. The value of an individual security or particular type of security can be more volatile than the market as a whole and can perform differently from the value of the market as a whole.
LEGISLATION/LITIGATION RISK. From time to time, various legislative initiatives are proposed in the United States and abroad which may have a negative impact on certain companies in which the Fund invests. In addition, litigation regarding any of the issuers of the securities owned by the Fund, or industries represented by these issuers, may negatively impact the value of the securities. Such legislation or litigation may cause the Fund to lose value or may result in higher portfolio turnover if the portfolio managers determine to sell such a holding.
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OTC DERIVATIVES RISK. The Fund may utilize derivatives that are traded over-the-counter, or “OTC.” In general, OTC derivatives are subject to the same risks as derivatives generally, as described throughout. However, because OTC derivatives do not trade on an exchange, the parties to an OTC derivative face heightened levels of counterparty risk, liquidity risk and valuation risk. To the extent that the Fund utilizes OTC derivatives, its counterparty risk will be higher if it only trades with a single or small number of counterparties. The secondary market for OTC derivatives may not be as deep as for other instruments and such instruments may experience periods of illiquidity. In addition, some OTC derivatives may be complex and difficult to value. Under certain market conditions it may not be economically feasible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity. If a particular derivative transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.
Fund Organization
The Fund is a series of the Trust, an investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund is treated as a separate fund with its own investment objectives and policies. The Trust is organized as a Massachusetts business trust. The Board is responsible for the overall management and direction of the Trust. The Board elects the Trust’s officers and approves all significant agreements, including those with the Advisor, custodian and fund administrative and accounting agent.
Management of the Fund
First Trust Advisors L.P., 120 East Liberty Drive, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, is the investment advisor to the Fund. In this capacity, First Trust is responsible for the selection and ongoing monitoring of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio and certain other services necessary for the management of the portfolio.
First Trust is a limited partnership with one limited partner, Grace Partners of DuPage L.P., and one general partner, The Charger Corporation. Grace Partners of DuPage L.P. is a limited partnership with one general partner, The Charger Corporation, and a number of limited partners. The Charger Corporation is an Illinois corporation controlled by James A. Bowen, the Chief Executive Officer of First Trust. First Trust discharges its responsibilities subject to the policies of the Board.
First Trust serves as advisor or sub-advisor for 8 mutual fund portfolios, 10 exchange-traded funds consisting of 193 series and 16 closed-end funds. It is also the portfolio supervisor of certain unit investment trusts sponsored by First Trust Portfolios L.P. (“FTP”), an affiliate of First Trust, 120 East Liberty Drive, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. FTP specializes in the underwriting, trading and distribution of unit investment trusts and other securities. FTP is the principal underwriter of the shares of the Fund.
James Snyder and Jeremiah Charles are the Fund’s portfolio managers and are jointly and primarily responsible for the day- to-day management of the Fund’s investment portfolio.
James Snyder is a Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager for First Trust. Prior to joining First Trust in 2013, Mr. Snyder worked as a Senior Portfolio Manager at Fort Sheridan Advisors where he managed mortgage portfolios for institutional clients. Mr. Snyder has led several mortgage trading and portfolio groups at Deerfield Capital, Spyglass Capital & Trading and American Express Financial Advisors. Mr. Snyder managed AXP Federal Income Fund, and developed mortgage trading strategies for Spyglass Capital and Deerfield’s Mortgage REIT and Opportunity Fund. Mr. Snyder holds a B.S. and M.A. in Economics from DePaul University and an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Jeremiah Charles is a Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager for First Trust. Prior to joining First Trust in 2013, Mr. Charles worked as a Vice President of Mortgage Product Sales for CRT Capital where he advised pension funds, hedge funds, and institutional money managers. Before joining CRT in 2011, Mr. Charles spent 6 years with Deerfield Capital Management LLC as a Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager for the Mortgage Trading team. Mr. Charles began his professional career as an Analyst at Piper Jaffray. Mr. Charles holds a B.S. in Finance from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, and a M.S. in Real Estate Finance with Honors from the Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University.
For additional information concerning First Trust, including a description of the services provided to the Fund, see the Fund’s SAI. Additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and the portfolio managers’ ownership of shares of the Fund is provided in the SAI.
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Management Fee
Pursuant to an investment management agreement between First Trust and the Trust, on behalf of the Fund (the “Investment Management Agreement”), First Trust manages the investment of the Fund’s assets. First Trust is paid an annual management fee of 0.65% of the Fund’s average daily net assets and is responsible for the Fund’s expenses, including the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other services, but excluding fee payments under the Investment Management Agreement, interest, taxes, acquired fund fees and expenses, if any, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, distribution and service fees pursuant to a Rule 12b-1 plan, if any, and extraordinary expenses.
A discussion regarding the Board’s approval of the continuation of the Investment Management Agreement is available in the Fund’s Annual Report to shareholders for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2021.
How to Buy and Sell Shares
Most investors buy and sell shares of the Fund in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on the secondary market on one or more national securities exchanges. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded shares. There is no minimum investment when buying shares on the Exchange. Although shares are generally purchased and sold in “round lots” of 100 shares, brokerage firms typically permit investors to purchase or sell shares in smaller “odd lots,” at no per-share price differential. When buying or selling shares through a broker, investors should expect to pay brokerage commissions, investors may receive less than the net asset value of the shares because shares are bought and sold at market prices rather than at net asset value, and investors may pay some or all of the bid-ask spread for each transaction (purchase or sale) of Fund shares. Share prices are reported in dollars and cents per share.
Under normal circumstances, the Fund will pay out redemption proceeds to a redeeming authorized participant within two days after the authorized participant’s redemption request is received, in accordance with the process set forth in the Fund’s SAI and in the agreement between the authorized participant and the Fund’s distributor. However, the Fund reserves the right, including under stressed market conditions, to take up to seven days after the receipt of a redemption request to pay an authorized participant, all as permitted by the 1940 Act. If the Fund has foreign investments in a country where a local market holiday, or series of consecutive holidays, or the extended delivery cycles for transferring foreign investments to redeeming authorized participants prevents the Fund from delivering such foreign investments to an authorized participant in response to a redemption request, the Fund may take up to 15 days after the receipt of the redemption request to deliver such investments to the authorized participant.
For purposes of the 1940 Act, the Fund is treated as a registered investment company and the acquisition of shares by other registered investment companies and companies relying on Sections 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the 1940 Act is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act and the related rules and interpretations.
Book Entry
Shares are held in book-entry form, which means that no share certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all shares for all purposes.
Investors owning shares are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for all shares. Participants in DTC include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of share certificates or to have shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other stocks that you hold in book-entry or “street name” form.
Share Trading Prices
The trading price of shares of the Fund on the secondary market is based on market price and may differ from the Fund’s daily net asset value and can be affected by market forces of supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors.
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Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of the Fund's Shares
The Fund imposes no restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions (“market timing”). In determining not to approve a written, established policy, the Board evaluated the risks of market timing activities by the Fund's shareholders. The Board considered that the Fund's shares can only be purchased and redeemed directly from the Fund in Creation Units by broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements (i.e., authorized participants (“APs”)) and that the vast majority of trading in the Fund's shares occurs on the secondary market. Because the secondary market trades do not involve the Fund directly, it is unlikely those trades would cause many of the harmful effects of market timing, including dilution, disruption of portfolio management, increases in the Fund's trading costs and the realization of capital gains. With respect to trades directly with the Fund, to the extent effected in-kind (i.e., for securities), those trades do not cause any of the harmful effects that may result from frequent cash trades. To the extent that the Fund may effect the purchase or redemption of Creation Units in exchange wholly or partially for cash, the Board noted that such trades could result in dilution to the Fund and increased transaction costs, which could negatively impact the Fund's ability to achieve its investment objectives. However, the Board noted that direct trading by APs is critical to ensuring that the shares trade at or close to net asset value. In addition, the Fund imposes fixed and variable transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Creation Units to cover the custodial and other costs incurred by the Fund in effecting trades. Finally, the Advisor monitors purchase and redemption orders from APs for patterns of abusive trading and the Fund reserves the right to not accept orders from APs that the Advisor has determined may be disruptive to the management of the Fund, or otherwise not in the Fund's best interests.
Dividends, Distributions and Taxes
Dividends from net investment income, if any, are declared and paid monthly 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 you purchased shares makes such option available. Such shares will generally be reinvested by the broker based upon the market price of those shares and investors may be subject to customary brokerage commissions charged by the broker.
Federal Tax Matters
This section summarizes some of the main U.S. federal income tax consequences of owning shares of the Fund. This section is current as of the date of this prospectus. Tax laws and interpretations change frequently, and these summaries do not describe all of the tax consequences to all taxpayers. For example, these summaries generally do not describe your situation if you are a corporation, a non-U.S. person, a broker-dealer, or other investor with special circumstances. In addition, this section does not describe your state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences.
This federal income tax summary is based in part on the advice of counsel to the Fund. The Internal Revenue Service could disagree with any conclusions set forth in this section. In addition, counsel to the Fund may not have been asked to review, and may not have reached a conclusion with respect to, the federal income tax treatment of the assets to be included in the Fund. The following disclosure may not be sufficient for you to use for the purpose of avoiding penalties under federal tax law.
As with any investment, you should seek advice based on your individual circumstances from your own tax advisor.
Fund Status
The Fund intends to continue to qualify as a “regulated investment company” under the federal tax laws. If the Fund qualifies as a regulated investment company and distributes its income as required by the tax law, the Fund generally will not pay federal income taxes.
Distributions
The Fund’s distributions are generally taxable. After the end of each year, you will receive a tax statement that separates the distributions of the Fund into two categories, ordinary income distributions and capital gain dividends. Ordinary income distributions are generally taxed at your ordinary tax rate, however, as further discussed below, certain ordinary income distributions received from the Fund may be taxed at the capital gains tax rates. Generally, you will treat all capital gain dividends as long-term capital gains regardless of how long you have owned your shares. To determine your actual tax liability for your capital gain dividends, you must calculate your total net capital gain or loss for the tax year after considering all of your other
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taxable transactions, as described below. In addition, the Fund may make distributions that represent a return of capital for tax purposes and thus will generally not be taxable to you; however, such distributions may reduce your tax basis in your shares, which could result in you having to pay higher taxes in the future when shares are sold, even if you sell the shares at a loss from your original investment. A “return of capital” is a return, in whole or in part, of the funds that you previously invested in the Fund. A return of capital distribution should not be considered part of a Fund’s dividend yield or total return of an investment in Fund shares. The tax status of your distributions from the Fund is not affected by whether you reinvest your distributions in additional shares or receive them in cash. The income from the Fund that you must take into account for federal income tax purposes is not reduced by amounts used to pay a deferred sales fee, if any. The tax laws may require you to treat distributions made to you in January as if you had received them on December 31 of the previous year.
Income from the Fund may also be subject to a 3.8% “Medicare tax.” This tax generally applies to your net investment income if your adjusted gross income exceeds certain threshold amounts, which are $250,000 in the case of married couples filing joint returns and $200,000 in the case of single individuals.
Dividends Received Deduction
A corporation that owns shares generally will not be entitled to the dividends received deduction with respect to many dividends received from the Fund because the dividends received deduction is generally not available for distributions from regulated investment companies. However, certain ordinary income dividends on shares that are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund from certain corporations may be reported by the Fund as being eligible for the dividends received deduction.
Capital Gains and Losses and Certain Ordinary Income Dividends
If you are an individual, the maximum marginal stated federal tax rate for net capital gain is generally 20% (15% or 0% for taxpayers with taxable income below certain thresholds). Some capital gain, including some portion of your capital gain dividends, may be taxed at a higher maximum stated tax rate. Capital gains may also be subject to the Medicare tax described above.
Net capital gain equals net long-term capital gain minus net short-term capital loss for the taxable year. Capital gain or loss is long-term if the holding period for the asset is more than one year and is short-term if the holding period for the asset is one year or less. You must exclude the date you purchase your shares to determine your holding period. However, if you receive a capital gain dividend from the Fund and sell your share at a loss after holding it for six months or less, the loss will be recharacterized as long-term capital loss to the extent of the capital gain dividend received. The tax rates for capital gains realized from assets held for one year or less are generally the same as for ordinary income. The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, treats certain capital gains as ordinary income in special situations.
An election may be available to you to defer recognition of the gain attributable to a capital gain dividend if you make certain qualifying investments within a limited time. You should talk to your tax advisor about the availability of this deferral election and its requirements.
Ordinary income dividends received by an individual shareholder from a regulated investment company such as the Fund are generally taxed at the same rates that apply to net capital gain (as discussed above), provided certain holding period requirements are satisfied and provided the dividends are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund itself. The Fund will provide notice to its shareholders of the amount of any distribution which may be taken into account as a dividend which is eligible for the capital gains tax rates.
Sale of Shares
If you sell or redeem your shares, you will generally recognize a taxable gain or loss. To determine the amount of this gain or loss, you must subtract your tax basis in your shares from the amount you receive in the transaction. Your tax basis in your shares is generally equal to the cost of your shares, generally including sales charges. In some cases, however, you may have to adjust your tax basis after you purchase your shares. An election may be available to you to defer recognition of capital gain if you make certain qualifying investments within a limited time. You should talk to your tax advisor about the availability of this deferral election and its requirements.
Taxes on Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units
If you exchange securities for Creation Units you will generally recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and your aggregate basis in the securities surrendered
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and the cash component paid. If you exchange Creation Units for securities, you will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between your basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate market value of the securities received and the cash redemption amount. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units or Creation Units for securities cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.
Treatment of Fund Expenses
Expenses incurred and deducted by the Fund will generally not be treated as income taxable to you.
Non-U.S. Tax Credit
Because the Fund may invest in non-U.S. securities, the tax statement that you receive may include an item showing non-U.S. taxes the Fund paid to other countries. In this case, dividends taxed to you will include your share of the taxes the Fund paid to other countries. You may be able to deduct or receive a tax credit for your share of these taxes.
Non-U.S. Investors
If you are a non-U.S. investor (i.e., an investor other than a U.S. citizen or resident or a U.S. corporation, partnership, estate or trust), you should be aware that, generally, subject to applicable tax treaties, distributions from the Fund will be characterized as dividends for federal income tax purposes (other than dividends which the Fund properly reports as capital gain dividends) and will be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, including withholding taxes, subject to certain exceptions described below. However, distributions received by a non-U.S. investor from the Fund that are properly reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends may not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, including withholding taxes, provided that the Fund makes certain elections and certain other conditions are met. Distributions from the Fund that are properly reported by the Fund as an interest-related dividend attributable to certain interest income received by the Fund or as a short-term capital gain dividend attributable to certain net short-term capital gain income received by the Fund may not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, including withholding taxes when received by certain non-U.S. investors, provided that the Fund makes certain elections and certain other conditions are met.
Distributions may be subject to a U.S. withholding tax of 30% in the case of distributions to (i) certain non-U.S. financial institutions that have not entered into an agreement with the U.S. Treasury to collect and disclose certain information and are not resident in a jurisdiction that has entered into such an agreement with the U.S. Treasury and (ii) certain other non-U.S. entities that do not provide certain certifications and information about the entity’s U.S. owners. This withholding tax is also currently scheduled to apply to the gross proceeds from the disposition of securities that produce U.S. source interest or dividends. However, proposed regulations may eliminate the requirement to withhold on payments of gross proceeds from dispositions.
Investments in Certain Non-U.S. Corporations
If the Fund holds an equity interest in any “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”), which are generally certain non-U.S. corporations that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, certain rents and royalties or capital gains) or that hold at least 50% of their assets in investments producing such passive income, the Fund could be subject to U.S. federal income tax and additional interest charges on gains and certain distributions with respect to those equity interests, even if all the income or gain is timely distributed to its shareholders. The Fund will not be able to pass through to its shareholders any credit or deduction for such taxes. The Fund may be able to make an election that could ameliorate these adverse tax consequences. In this case, the Fund would recognize as ordinary income any increase in the value of such PFIC shares, and as ordinary loss any decrease in such value to the extent it did not exceed prior increases included in income. Under this election, the Fund might be required to recognize in a year income in excess of its distributions from PFICs and its proceeds from dispositions of PFIC stock during that year, and such income would nevertheless be subject to the distribution requirement and would be taken into account for purposes of the 4% excise tax. Dividends paid by PFICs are not treated as qualified dividend income.
Distribution Plan
FTP serves as the distributor of Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. FTP does not maintain a secondary market in shares.
The Board has adopted a Distribution and Service Plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. In accordance with the Rule 12b-1 plan, the Fund is authorized to pay an amount up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year to reimburse
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FTP for amounts expended to finance activities primarily intended to result in the sale of Creation Units or the provision of investor services. FTP may also use this amount to compensate securities dealers or other persons that are APs for providing distribution assistance, including broker-dealer and shareholder support and educational and promotional services.
The Fund does not currently pay 12b-1 fees, and pursuant to a contractual arrangement, the Fund will not pay 12b-1 fees any time before March 31, 2023. However, in the event 12b-1 fees are charged in the future, because these fees are paid out of the Fund's assets, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than certain other types of sales charges.
Net Asset Value
The Fund's net asset value is determined as of the close of trading (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time) on each day the New York Stock Exchange is open for business. Net asset value is calculated for the Fund by taking the market price of the Fund’s total assets, including interest or dividends accrued but not yet collected, less all liabilities, and dividing such amount by the total number of shares outstanding. The result, rounded to the nearest cent, is the net asset value per share. All valuations are subject to review by the Board or its delegate.
The Fund’s investments are valued daily in accordance with valuation procedures adopted by the Board, and in accordance with provisions of the 1940 Act. Certain securities in which the Fund may invest are not listed on any securities exchange or board of trade. Such securities are typically bought and sold by institutional investors in individually negotiated private transactions that function in many respects like an over the counter secondary market, although typically no formal market makers exist. Certain securities, particularly debt securities, have few or no trades, or trade infrequently, and information regarding a specific security may not be widely available or may be incomplete. Accordingly, determinations of the fair value of debt securities may be based on infrequent and dated information. Because there is less reliable, objective data available, elements of judgment may play a greater role in valuation of debt securities than for other types of securities. Typically, debt securities are valued using information provided by a third-party pricing service. The third-party pricing service primarily uses broker quotes to value the securities.
The Fund's investments are valued daily at market value or, in the absence of market value with respect to any portfolio securities, at fair value, in accordance with valuation procedures adopted by the Board and in accordance with the 1940 Act. Portfolio securities listed on any exchange other than The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC ("Nasdaq") and the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (“AIM”) are valued at the last sale price on the business day as of which such value is being determined. Securities listed on Nasdaq or the AIM are valued at the official closing price on the business day as of which such value is being determined. If there has been no sale on such day, or no official closing price in the case of securities traded on Nasdaq or the AIM, the securities are fair valued at the mean of the most recent bid and ask prices on such day. Portfolio securities traded on more than one securities exchange are valued at the last sale price or official closing price, as applicable, on the business day as of which such value is being determined at the close of the exchange representing the principal market for such securities. Portfolio securities traded in the over-the-counter market, but excluding securities trading on Nasdaq or the AIM, are fair valued at the mean of the most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at the closing bid price. Short-term investments that mature in less than 60 days when purchased are fair valued at cost adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discount, provided the Advisor’s Pricing Committee has determined that the use of amortized cost is an appropriate reflection of fair value given market and issuer-specific conditions existing at the time of determination. Net asset value may change on days when investors may not sell or redeem Fund shares.
Mortgage-related debt securities and other mortgage-related instruments ("Mortgage-Related Investments") will generally be valued by using a third-party pricing service. If a pricing service does not cover a particular Mortgage-Related Investment, or discontinues covering a Mortgage-Related Investment, the security will be priced using a broker quote. To derive values, pricing services and broker-dealers may use matrix pricing and valuation models, as well as recent market transactions for the same or similar assets. Occasionally, the Advisor’s pricing committee (the "Pricing Committee") may determine that a pricing service price does not represent an accurate value of a Mortgage-Related Investment, based on the broker quote it receives, a recent trade in the security by the Fund, information from a portfolio manager, or other market information. In the event that the Pricing Committee determines that the pricing service price is unreliable or inaccurate based on such other information, the broker quote may be used. Additionally, if the Pricing Committee determines that the price of a Mortgage-Related Investment obtained from a pricing service and the available broker quote is unreliable or inaccurate due to market conditions or other reasons, or if a pricing service price or broker quote is unavailable, the security will be valued using fair value pricing, as described below.
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Certain securities may not be able to be priced by pre-established pricing methods. Such securities may be valued by the Board or its delegate, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee, at fair value. The use of fair value pricing by the Fund is governed by valuation procedures adopted by the Board and in accordance with the provisions of the 1940 Act. These securities generally include, but are not limited to, certain restricted securities (securities which may not be publicly sold without registration under the Securities Act) for which a pricing service is unable to provide a market price; securities whose trading has been formally suspended; a security whose market or fair value price is not available from a pre-established pricing source; a security with respect to which an event has occurred that is likely to materially affect the value of the security after the market has closed but before the calculation of the Fund's net asset value or make it difficult or impossible to obtain a reliable market quotation; and a security whose price, as provided by the pricing service, does not reflect the security’s fair value. As a general principle, the current fair value of a security would appear to be the amount which the owner might reasonably expect to receive for the security upon its current sale. When fair value prices are used, generally they will differ from the current market valuations. See the Fund's SAI for details.
Fund Service Providers
The Bank of New York Mellon, 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286, acts as the administrator, custodian and fund accounting and transfer agent for the Fund. Chapman and Cutler LLP, 320 S. Canal St., Chicago, Illinois 60606, serves as legal counsel to the Fund.
Premium/Discount Information
Information showing the number of days the market price of the Fund's shares was greater (at a premium) and less (at a discount) than the Fund's net asset value for the most recently completed year, and the most recently completed calendar quarters since that year (or life of the Fund, if shorter), is available at https://www.ftportfolios.com/Retail/etf/home.aspx.
Total Return Information
The table below compares the total return of the Fund to a market index. The information presented for the Fund is for the period indicated.
“Average annual total returns” represent the average annual change in the value of an investment over the period indicated. “Cumulative total returns” represent the total change in value of an investment over the period indicated. The return information shown under “Annual Total Return” in the Fund’s summary prospectus represents the average annual total returns of the Fund as of the calendar year end, while the information presented below is as of the Fund’s fiscal year end. The net asset value per share of the Fund 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 liabilities (including accrued expenses and dividends declared but unpaid), by the total number of outstanding shares. The net asset value return is based on the net asset value per share of the Fund and the market return is based on the market price per share of the Fund. 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 net asset value 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 net asset value is calculated. Since the shares of the Fund typically do not trade in the secondary market until several days after the Fund's inception, for the period from inception to the first day of secondary market trading in shares of the Fund, the net asset value of the Fund is used as a proxy for the secondary market trading price to calculate market returns. Market and net asset value returns assume that all distributions have been reinvested in the Fund at Market Price and net asset value, respectively. An index is a statistical composite that tracks a specified financial market or sector. Unlike the Fund, an index does not actually hold a portfolio of securities and therefore does 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 reflect the reinvestment of dividends on securities in the index. The returns shown in the table below do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund distributions or the redemption or sale of shares of the Fund. 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 results.
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First Trust Long Duration Opportunities ETF (LGOV)
Total Returns as of October 31, 2021
 
 
Average Annual
Cumulative
 
1 Year
Inception
(1/22/2019)
Inception
(1/22/2019)
Fund Performance
 
 
 
Net Asset Value
-1.02%
7.22%
21.33%
Market Price
-1.74%
7.22%
21.33%
Index Performance
 
 
 
ICE BofA 5+ Year US Treasury Index
-4.67%
6.64%
19.51%
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Financial Highlights
The financial highlights table is intended to help you understand the Fund's financial performance for the periods shown. Certain information reflects financial results for a single share of the Fund. The total returns represent the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions). The information for the periods indicated has been derived from financial statements audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, whose report, along with the Fund's financial statements, is included in the Fund's Annual Report to Shareholders dated October 31, 2021 and is incorporated by reference in the Fund's SAI, which is available upon request.
First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV
Financial Highlights
For a share outstanding throughout each period
First Trust Long Duration Opportunities ETF (LGOV)
 
Year Ended October 31,
Period
Ended
10/31/2019 (a)
 
2021
2020
Net asset value, beginning of period
$28.97
$28.04
$25.00
Income from investment operations:
 
 
 
Net investment income (loss)
0.47
0.82
0.55
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss)
(0.77)
1.24
2.95
Total from investment operations
(0.30)
2.06
3.50
Distributions paid to shareholders from:
 
 
 
Net investment income
(0.47)
(1.13)
(0.46)
Net realized gains
(0.45)
__
__
Return of capital
(0.04)
__
__
Total distributions
(0.96)
(1.13)
(0.46)
Net asset value, end of period
$27.71
$28.97
$28.04
Total Return (b)
(1.02)%
7.46%
14.08%
Ratios/supplemental data:
 
 
 
Net assets, end of period (in 000’s)
$33,251
$21,725
$11,215
Ratios to average net assets:
 
 
 
Ratio of total expenses to average net assets (c)
0.69% (d)
0.69% (d)
0.65% (e)
Ratio of net investment income (loss) to average net assets
1.61%
1.89%
2.64% (e)
Portfolio turnover rate (f) (g)
142%
174%
152%
(a)
Inception date is January 22, 2019, which is consistent with the commencement of investment operations and is the date the initial creation units were established.
(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)
The Fund indirectly bears its proportionate share of fees and expenses incurred by the underlying funds in which the Fund invests. The ratio does not include these indirect fees and expenses.
(d)
Includes excise tax. If this excise tax expense was not included, the expense ratio would have been 0.65%.
(e)
Annualized.
(f)
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 and in-kind transactions.
(g)
The portfolio turnover rate not including mortgage dollar rolls was 69%, 118% and 104% for the periods ended October 31, 2021, October 31, 2020 and October 31,2019, respectively.
33

Other Information
Continuous Offering
The Fund issues, on a continuous offering basis, its shares in one or more groups of a fixed number of Fund shares (each such group of such specified number of individual Fund shares, a “Creation Unit Aggregation”). The method by which Creation Unit Aggregations of Fund shares are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Unit Aggregations of shares are issued and sold by the Fund on an ongoing basis, a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act, may occur at any point. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery requirement and liability provisions of the Securities Act.
For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Unit Aggregations after placing an order with FTP, breaks them down into constituent shares and sells such shares directly to customers, or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker-dealer or its client in the particular case, and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to a characterization as an underwriter.
Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of shares, are generally required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. As a result, broker-dealer firms should note that dealers who are not underwriters but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with the shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to shares are reminded that, under the Securities Act Rule 153, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to a broker-dealer in connection with a sale on the Exchange is satisfied by the fact that the prospectus is available from the Exchange upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is available with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange, a trading facility or an alternative trading system.
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First Trust
Exchange-Traded Fund IV


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