Look at FPX’s top-four holdings. After Facebook, it is Abbvie (NYSE: ABBV), General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Phillips (NYSE: PSX). That is two spin-offs and a former bankruptcy (GM).

Assuming that FPX needs an elevated number of IPOs every year to perform well is false. Here is why: If 2013 represented the best year for U.S. IPOs in dollar terms since 1999, that does not explain the ETF’s four-year winning streak. In every year from 2009 through 2013, FPX crushed the S&P 500, including beating the broader market index by 1,800 basis points in 2009.

It is probably safe to say that in 2009, with the financial crisis still fresh on executives’ minds, the number of IPOs was not on par with that of 1999 or 2013. Yet somehow FPX managed to gain 44.6%.

First Trust US IPO Index Fund

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of Facebook.