Tickers: VFLEX (CLASS I SHARES), VFLAX (CLASS A SHARES)
The First Trust Alternative Opportunities Fund seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation by pursuing positive absolute returns across market cycles.
In pursuing its objective, the Fund seeks to generate attractive long-term returns with low sensitivity to traditional equity and fixed income indices.
Benefits of Structure
- Accessible – No investor accreditation requirements or paperwork
- Liquidity* – Limited redemptions offered quarterly, daily NAV available for purchase
- 1099 – Tax Reporting
- Low Minimum – $1,000
Diversified Returns & Differentiated Access
- Seeks to complement equity and fixed income exposures as the strategy provides access to and diversification across all alternative market segments within a single, actively managed overall portfolio
- 7% annualized distribution rate entirely supported by investment income, paid out monthly
VFLEX enables ALL investors to gain exposure to Private Equity, Private Credit, Real Estate and Hedge Funds within one comprehensive, streamlined investment vehicle.
FUND HIGHLIGHTS (as of 12/30/22)1
- Historical Returns: Annualized Return 7.35%
- Low Volatility: Daily Annualized Volatility 3.02%
- Current Income: 7% annualized distribution paid monthly, entirely supported by investment income with no return of capital component
- Equity Diversification: Average return on down equity days, -0.01%2
- Fixed Income Diversification: Positive returns on down days for bonds, +0.03% 2
- 30 (out of 33) positive calendar months back to March 2020
Source: UMB Bank
Alternative Asset Classes
The managers employ a multi-sector approach spanning residential, commercial, corporate, consumer and specialty finance markets. The emphasis is on alternative credit investments, including private loans, illiquid credit and stressed/distressed credit.
Top co-investment opportunities are typically only available to investors that have substantial allocations to a manager’s existing private vehicle. FTCM sources these opportunities across direct lending, distressed credit, leveraged buyouts, mezzanine equity and growth capital opportunities.
The objective is to construct a balanced portfolio of hedge funds across Arbitrage, Credit, Event Driven, Long/Short Equity and Multi-Strategy managers. The exposure aims to provide a core alternatives exposure that is uncorrelated to stocks and bonds.
The Private Equity sub-strategy seeks to provide exposure to secondary and primary investments in private equity and other private asset funds and, to a limited degree, to direct investments in operating companies.
The managers of the Fund’s Real Estate private funds invest across multiple core real-asset type funds, including industrial, multi-family, retail, and office, in multiple geographies across North America with the potential to expand the holdings to include real-assets in Europe.
Closed End Fund Arbitrage
The manager of the Closed-End Fund Arbitrage strategy has a core expertise in identifying themes in the closed-end fund (“CEF”) universe that may cause constituents of that universe to trade at discounts or premiums to their underlying net-asset-value.
The team looks for CEFs trading at a material discount to its NAV and then seeks to benefit from mean reversion of those discounts which historically ebb and flow due to cyclical and investor behavioral reasons.
The manager of the Structured Credit strategy employs a top-down strategy to identify relative valuation opportunities within structured credit markets and a bottom-up credit selection process to selecting individual issuers.
The managers will invest opportunistically across a wide range of credits and issuer types based on relative value within fixed income. Specifically, the strategy targets opportunities in: Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS); Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS); Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs); and Asset-Backed Securities (ABS).
|Private Equity||Up to 30%|
|Real Estate||Up to 30%|
|Alternative Credit||Up to 30%|
|Hedged Strategies||Up to 30%|
|Co-Investments||Up to 30%|
Historical Track Record (as of 2/28/23)4
Monthly Standardized Performance (%) as of 2/28/23
|Net Asset Value (NAV)**||Inception Date||3 Month||YTD||1 Year||2 Year||3 Year||5 Year||Since Fund Inception|
|VFLEX – Class I Shares||6/12/2017||2.21||2.06||2.12||7.03||7.61||5.85||5.35|
|ICE BofA 3 Month U.S. Treasury Index||N/A||1.01||0.65||2.12||1.07||0.85||1.35||1.33|
|Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index||N/A||-0.04||0.41||-9.72||-6.25||-3.77||0.53||0.30|
Quarterly Standardized Performance (%) as of 12/30/22
|Net Asset Value (NAV)**||Inception Date||3 Month||YTD||1 Year||2 Year||3 Year||5 Year||Since Fund Inception|
|VFLEX – Class I Shares||6/12/2017||0.72||0.49||0.49||7.53||7.02||5.09||5.13
|ICE BofA 3 Month U.S. Treasury Index||N/A||0.85||1.47||1.47||0.76||0.73||1.27||1.25|
|Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index||N/A||1.87||-13.01||-13.01||-7.45||-2.71||0.02||0.23|
Class A Shares – Sales Charge Schedules
|Your Investment||Front-End Sales Charge As A % Of Offering Price****||Front-End Sales Charge As A % Of Net Investment||Dealer Reallowance As A % Of Offering Price|
|Up to $24,999||4.50%||4.71%||3.75%|
|$25,000 - $49,999||3.50%||3.63%||2.75%|
|$50,000 - $99,999||2.50%||2.56%||2.00%|
|$100,000 - $249,999||2.00%||2.04%||1.50%|
|$250,000 or more||None||None||None|
|Ticker||Record Date||Ex-Dividend Date||Payment Date||Income Div||ST Capital||LT Capital|
Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results and current performance may be higher or lower than performance quoted. Investment returns and principal value will fluctuate and shares when sold or redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Returns are average annualized total returns, except those for periods of less than one year, which are cumulative.
1Fund mandate and portfolio construction was updated materially on 1/2019 to expand VFLEX to less-liquid alternative investments with unique illiquidity premiums.
2Equity is represented by the S&P 500 Index and fixed income is represented by the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index.
3This represents a model portfolio for The First Trust Alternative Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”). The model portfolio is a portfolio that represents FTCM’s view on what the Fund’s portfolio may look like under normal market conditions. The portfolio is actively managed and will seek to achieve its investment objective by utilizing a flexible asset allocation strategy across a wide array of asset classes and sectors. FTCM may choose to focus on countries or regions, asset classes, industries and sectors to the exclusion of others at any time or from time to time based on market conditions and other factors. Model portfolio allocations should not be relied upon as an indicator of future results or used as the basis for investment decisions. Holdings as of 12/30/22 and are subject to change.
4Fund inception is 6/12/17.
5The Fund has implemented a level distribution policy representing an annual distribution rate of 7% as of January 1st, 2023. The distribution policy may be modified at any time. There is no guarantee that the Fund will be able to meet or maintain its distribution policy. Distributions may be paid from sources of income other than ordinary income, such as net realized short-term capital gains, net realized long-term capital gains and return of capital. The actual amounts and sources of the amounts for tax reporting purposes will depend upon the Fund’s investment experience during the remainder of its fiscal year and may be subject to changes based on tax regulations. If a distribution includes anything other than net investment income, the Fund provides a Section 19(a) notice of the estimate of its distribution sources at that time. These estimates may not match the final tax characterization (for the full year’s distributions) contained in shareholders’ 1099-DIV forms at year-end.
Class I Shares Gross Expense Ratio: 2.82%. Net Expense Ratio: 2.80%. Pursuant to contract, First Trust Capital Management has agreed to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses to prevent the annual net expense ratio of Class I shares from exceeding 1.25% of the average daily net assets, respectively, excluding 12b-1 distribution and service fees and certain other expenses as described in the prospectus until 7/31/2023. Currently, the net expense ratio is the amount applied to each share’s NAV. Expense limitations may be terminated or modified prior to their expiration only with the approval of the Board of Trustees of First Trust Capital Management.
*While interval funds are required to offer periodic opportunities for share redemption, an investor may not be able to redeem the full quantity of shares desired during a given repurchase window. If investor demand for redemption exceeds 5%, tender offers will be prorated, meaning investors may only receive proportional amounts of the fund.
**NAV represent the Fund’s net assets (assets less liabilities) divided by the Fund’s outstanding shares. The Fund’s performance reflects fee waivers and expense reimbursements, absent which performance would have been lower.
***Performance information for the indexes is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual fund performance. Indexes do not charge management fees or brokerage expenses, and no such fees or expenses were deducted from the performance shown. All Index returns assume that dividends are reinvested when they are received. Indexes are unmanaged and an investor cannot invest directly into an index.
****The offering price includes the sales charge.
You could lose money by investing in a fund. An investment in a fund is not a deposit of a bank and is not insured or guaranteed. There can be no assurance that a fund’s objective(s) will be achieved. Please refer to each fund’s prospectus and SAI for additional details on a fund’s risks. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.
Alternative investments may employ complex strategies, have unique investment and risk characteristics and may not be appropriate for all investors.
In managing the Fund’s investment portfolio, the portfolio managers will apply investment techniques and risk analyses that may not have the desired result.
The investment manager and sub-advisors of a multi-managed fund make investment recommendations independently and they may not complement each other. This may result in an increase in the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and higher transaction costs and risks.
Market risk is the risk that a particular security, or shares of a fund in general may fall in value. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as general economic conditions, political events, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of a fund could decline in value or underperform other investments as a result. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious disease or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have significant negative impact on a fund. In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine which has caused and could continue to cause significant market disruptions and volatility within the markets in Russia, Europe, and the United States. The hostilities and sanctions resulting from those hostilities could have a significant impact on certain fund investments as well as fund performance. The COVID-19 global pandemic and the ensuing policies enacted by governments and central banks have caused and may continue to cause significant volatility and uncertainty in global financial markets. While the U.S. has resumed “reasonably” normal business activity, many countries continue to impose lockdown measures. Additionally, there is no guarantee that vaccines will be effective against emerging variants of the disease.
The Fund is structured as an interval fund and has adopted a policy to make quarterly repurchase offers, at per-class NAV, of not less than 5% of the Fund’s outstanding shares on the repurchase request deadline. There is no guarantee that shareholders will be able to sell all the shares that they want to sell in any repurchase offer. If a repurchase offer is oversubscribed, the Fund may repurchase only a pro rata portion of the shares tendered by each shareholder. The repurchase policy will decrease the s·1ze of the Fund over time and may force the Fund to sell assets. It may also reduce the investment opportunities available to it and cause its expense ratio to increase. In addition, the Fund may need to liquidate holdings earlier than desired, potentially resulting in losses and increasing portfolio turnover.
The Fund is subject to limited liquidity since shareholders will not be able to redeem shares daily or on demand. Shares are not transferable, and liquidity is only provided through repurchase offers made quarterly by the Fund. Fund holdings may be or may become illiquid.
A fund classified as “non-diversified” may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a limited number of issuers. As a result, a fund may be more susceptible to a single adverse economic or regulatory occurrence affecting one or more of these issuers, experience increased volatility and be highly concentrated in certain issuers.
Certain underlying funds are not registered under the securities laws and their portfolio holdings may not be disclosed. Unregistered funds may have less investor protection and transparency than registered funds.
Because the shares of CEFs cannot be redeemed upon demand, shares of many CEFs will trade on exchanges at market prices rather than net asset value, which may cause the shares to trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount).
The Fund may invest in the shares of other investment funds which involves additional expenses that would not be present in a direct investment in the underlying funds. In addition, the Fund’s investment performance and risks may be related to the investment performance and risks of the underlying funds.
Collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”) carry additional risks, including, the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments, the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default, the possibility that the investments in CLOs are subordinate to other classes or tranches, and the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results.
Certain fund holdings may be thinly traded or have a limited trading market and as a result may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities.
Mortgage-related securities are more susceptible to adverse economic, political or regulatory events that affect the value of real estate. They are also subject to the risk that the rate of mortgage prepayments decreases, which extends the average life of a security and increases the interest rate exposure.
Investments in companies that are the subject of a publicly announced transaction carry the risk the transaction is renegotiated, takes longer to complete than originally planned and that the transaction is never completed. Any such event could cause the Fund to incur a loss. The risk/reward payout of merger arbitrage strategies typically is asymmetric, with the losses in failed transactions often far exceeding the gains in successful transactions.
The stocks of companies that have recently conducted an initial public offering are often subject to price volatility and speculative trading. These stocks may have exhibited above average price appreciation in connection with the initial public offering prior to inclusion in the Fund. The price of stocks included in the Fund may not continue to appreciate and their performance may not replicate the performance exhibited in the past.
The use of derivatives, including futures, options, swap agreements, and forward contracts, can lead to losses because of adverse movements in the price or value of the underlying asset, index or rate, which may be magnified by certain features of the derivatives.
Short selling creates special risks which could result in increased gains or losses and volatility of returns. Because losses on short sales arise from increases in the value of the security sold short, such losses are theoretically unlimited.
The Fund’s use of leverage may result in losses that exceed the amount originally invested and may accelerate the rates of losses.
The Fund may be subject to the risk that a counterparty will not fulfill its obligations which may result in significant financial loss to the Fund.
Certain securities held by the Fund are subject to call, credit, default, inflation, income, interest rate, extension, and prepayment risks. These risks could result in a decline in a security’s value and/or income, increased volatility as interest rates rise or fall and have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance.
High yield securities, or “junk” bonds, are less liquid and are subject to greater market fluctuations and risk of loss than securities with higher ratings, and therefore, are considered to be highly speculative.
Repurchase agreements typically involve the acquisition by the Fund of fixed-income securities from a selling financial institution such as a bank or broker-dealer. The Fund may incur a loss if the other party to a repurchase agreement is unwilling or unable to fulfill its contractual obligations to repurchase the underlying security. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the other party may fail to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could lose money if it is unable to recover the securities and/or if the value of collateral held by the Fund, including the value of the investments made with cash collateral, is less than the value of securities.
Securities of micro, small- and mid-capitalization companies may experience greater price volatility and be less liquid than larger, more established companies.
Securities of non-U.S. issuers are subject to additional risks, including currency fluctuations, political risks, withholding, the lack of adequate financial information, and exchange control restrictions impacting non-U.S. issuers. These risks may be heightened for securities of companies located in, or with significant operations in, emerging market countries.
Changes in currency exchange rates and the relative value of non-US currencies may affect the value of the Fund’s investments and the value of the Fund’s shares.
Stocks with growth characteristics tend to be more volatile than certain other stocks and their prices may fluctuate more dramatically than the overall stock market.
A fund with significant exposure to a single sector may be more affected by an adverse economic or political development than a broadly diversified fund.
High portfolio turnover may result in higher levels of transaction costs and may generate greater tax liabilities for shareholders.
A fund may hold securities or other assets that may be valued on the basis of factors other than market quotations. This may occur because the asset or security does not trade on a centralized exchange, or in times of market turmoil or reduced liquidity. Portfolio holdings that are valued using techniques other than market quotations, including “fair valued” assets or securities, may be subject to greater fluctuation in their valuations from one day to the next than if market quotations were used. There is no assurance that a fund could sell or close out a portfolio position for the value established for it at any time.
Value stocks are subject to the risk that valuations never improve or that the returns on value stocks are less than returns on other styles of investing or the overall stock market.
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.
A fund is susceptible to operational risks through breaches in cyber security. Such events could cause a fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss.
To the extent a fund invests in floating or variable rate obligations that use the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) as a reference interest rate, it is subject to LIBOR Risk. The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, has ceased making LIBOR available as a reference rate over a phase-out period that began December 31, 2021. There is no assurance that any alternative reference rate, including the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR or that instruments using an alternative rate will have the same volume or liquidity. The unavailability or replacement of LIBOR may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain fund investments and may result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades. Any potential effects of the transition away from LIBOR on a fund or on certain instruments in which a fund invests can be difficult to ascertain, and they may vary depending on a variety of factors, and they could result in losses to a fund.
First Trust Capital Management is the adviser to the Fund. The Fund’s distributor is First Trust Portfolios L.P.
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index – The Index covers the investment-grade, U.S. dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market, including Treasuries, government-related and corporate securities, MBS, ABS, and CMBS. These major sectors are subdivided into more specific indices that are calculated and reported on a regular basis.
ICE BofA 3-Month US Treasury Index – The Index measures the performance of U.S. Treasury securities maturing in 90 days and assumes reinvestment of all income.
S&P 500 Index – The Index an unmanaged index of 500 companies used to measure large-cap U.S. stock market performance.
Volatility is represented by Standard Deviation, which is a measure of price variability (risk).