Exchange traded funds tracking the financial services sector, the second-largest sector weight in the S&P 500, have a few things in common beyond on the obvious.
Among those similarities are the facts that financial services stocks and ETFs have recently been in rally mode, but even with that upside, some of the group’s marquee ETFs still remain well below their pre-financial crisis highs. Indeed, it is impressive that some financial services ETFs have recently touched mutli-year highs, but investors looking for a fund tracking this sector that has made a new all-time high can turn to the First Trust Financial AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FXO). [Big Bank ETF Rallies]
FXO entered Monday with a year-to-date gain of 4.2%. Up 0.6% at this writing, the $877.4 million ETF touched a new all-time high earlier Monday, underscoring the advantages of First Trust’s AlphaDEX methodology in bull markets.
Arguably, FXO’s ascent to a fresh all-time high is even more impressive when evaluating the ETF’s industry weights. While traditional financial services ETFs have recently been buoyed by resurgent money center banks, FXO’s largest industry allocation is 35.8% to insurance providers. That is more than double the 16.3% the ETF devotes to banks.
What FXO’s sturdiness impressive is that insurance companies have been stung this year by fewer Americans taking out life insurance policies and low interest rates hindering net interest margins. [Insurance ETFs Look to Rebound]
Like the other AlphaDEX ETFs, FXO’s 172 holdings are selected based “on growth factors including three, six and 12-month price appreciation, sales to price and one year sales growth, and, separately, on value factors including book value to price, cash flow to price and return on assets,” according to First Trust.