485APOS 1 etf8_485a.htm POST-EFFECTIVE AMENDMENT

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 8, 2019

 

1933 Act Registration No. 333-210186

1940 Act Registration No. 811-23147

 

United States

Securities and Exchange Commission

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form N-1A
 

Registration Statement Under the Securities Act of 1933 [   ]
Pre-Effective Amendment No. __ [   ]
Post-Effective Amendment No. 37 [X]
and/or
Registration Statement Under the Investment Company Act of 1940 [   ]
Amendment No. 39 [X]

First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII

(Exact name of registrant as specified in charter)

120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400

Wheaton, Illinois 60187

(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (800) 621-1675

W. Scott Jardine, Esq., Secretary

First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII

First Trust Advisors L.P.

120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400

Wheaton, Illinois 60187

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

Copy to:

Eric F. Fess, Esq.

Chapman and Cutler LLP

111 West Monroe Street

Chicago, Illinois 60603

It is proposed that this filing will become effective (check appropriate box):

[   ] immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)

[   ] on ___________ pursuant to paragraph (b)

[   ] 60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

[   ] on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

[X] 75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)

[   ] on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485.

If appropriate, check the following box:

[   ] this post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.

 
 

Contents of Post-Effective Amendment No. 37

This Registration Statement comprises the following papers and contents:

The Facing Sheet

Part A - Prospectus for First Trust Buffer July ETF (formerly First Trust Buffer April ETF)

Part B – Statement of Additional Information for First Trust Buffer July ETF (formerly First Trust Buffer April ETF)

Part C - Other Information

Signatures

Index to Exhibits

Exhibits

 

First Trust
Exchange-Traded Fund VIII

PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS DATED MARCH 8, 2019
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION
Prospectus
First Trust Buffer July ETF
Ticker Symbol: [____]
Exchange: Cboe®
First Trust Buffer July ETF (the “Fund”) lists and principally trades its shares on the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“Cboe® 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 each consisting of 50,000 shares (each such block of shares called a “Creation Unit, and collectively, the “Creation Units”). The Fund’s Creation Units are generally issued and redeemed for cash and, in certain circumstances, in-kind for securities in which the Fund invests, and only to and from broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements.
The Fund is a series of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII (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
The Information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.
[_________], 2019


Summary Information
Investment Objective
The investment objective of the First Trust Buffer July ETF (the “Fund”) is to seek to provide investors with returns (before fees and expenses) that match those of the S&P 500® Price Return Index (the Index), up to a predetermined upside cap of [14]% (before fees and expenses), while providing a buffer against the first 10% (before fees and expenses) of Index losses, over a period of approximately one year from the first business day of July of each year to the last business day of June of the following year.
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
The following table describes the fees and expenses you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. Investors purchasing and selling shares may be subject to costs (including customary brokerage commissions) charged by their broker, which are not reflected in the table 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 ____%
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees 0.00%
Other Expenses(1) 0.00%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses ____%
(1) “Other Expenses” is an estimate based on the expenses 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. This example does not take into account customary brokerage commissions that you pay when purchasing or selling shares of the Fund in the secondary market.
The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated. 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
$___ $___
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.
Principal Investment Strategies
Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest substantially all of its assets in FLexible EXchange® Options (“FLEX Options”) that reference the performance of the SPDR® S&P 500® ETF Trust (“SPY” or the “Underlying ETF”). FLEX Options are customized equity or index option contracts that trade on an exchange, but provide investors with the ability to customize key contract terms like exercise prices, styles and expiration dates. The Index is a market capitalization-weighted equity index designed to measure the market performance (excluding dividends) of the large-cap segment of U.S. stocks trading on U.S. exchanges. The Underlying ETF is an exchange-traded unit investment trust that uses a full replication strategy, meaning it invests entirely in the S&P 500® Index. PDR Services, LLC (“PDR”) serves as the Underlying ETF’s sponsor. The investment objective of the Underlying ETF is to seek to provide investment results that, before expenses, correspond generally to the
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price and yield performance of the S&P 500® Index. The Fund’s investment sub-advisor is Cboe Vest Financial LLC ("Cboe Vest" or the "Sub-Advisor").
The Fund uses FLEX Options to employ a “target outcome strategy.” Target outcome strategies seek to produce pre-determined investment outcomes based upon the performance of an underlying security or index. The pre-determined outcomes sought by the Fund, which include a buffer and a cap, are based on the performance of the Index over a defined one-year period (the “Target Outcome Period”). In general, the target outcomes the Fund seeks for investors that hold Fund shares for an entire Target Outcome Period are as follows, though there can be no guarantee these results will be achieved:
If the Index appreciates over the Target Outcome Period, the Fund seeks to provide investors with a return that increases by the percentage increase of the Index over the Target Outcome Period, up to a cap that is determined at the start of the Target Outcome Period. The cap for the current Target Outcome Period is [14]% before fees and expenses.
If the Index decreases over the Target Outcome Period by 10% or less, the Fund seeks to provide a return of zero over the Target Outcome Period before fees and expenses.
If the Index decreases over the Target Outcome Period by more than 10%, the Fund seeks to provide a loss that is 10% less than the percentage loss on the Index with a maximum loss of approximately 90% over the Target Outcome Period before fees and expenses.
The initial Target Outcome Period will begin on July 1, 2019 and end on June 30, 2020. Subsequent Target Outcome Periods will begin on the business day following the end of the prior Target Outcome Period and will end on the business day immediately preceding the one-year anniversary of that new Target Outcome Period. On the first day of each new Target Outcome Period, the Fund resets by investing in a new set of FLEX Options that will provide the buffer and the cap for the new Target Outcome Period. The Fund will be perpetually offered and not terminate after the initial or any subsequent Target Outcome Period.
An investor that purchases Fund shares other than on the first day of a Target Outcome Period and/or sells Fund shares prior to the end of a Target Outcome Period may experience results that are very different from the target outcomes sought by the Fund for that Target Outcome Period. Both the cap and buffer are fixed levels that are calculated in relation to the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) at the start of a Target Outcome Period. As the Index price and the Fund’s NAV change over the Target Outcome Period, an investor acquiring Fund shares after the start of the Target Outcome Period will likely have a different return potential than an investor who purchased Fund shares at the start of the Target Outcome Period. This is because while the cap and buffer for the Target Outcome Period are fixed levels that remain constant throughout the Target Outcome Period, an investor purchasing Fund shares at market value during the Target Outcome Period likely purchased Fund shares at a price that is different from the Fund’s NAV at the start of the Target Outcome Period (i.e., the NAV that the cap and buffer reference). In addition, the price of the Index is likely to be different from the price of the Index at the start of the Target Outcome Period. To achieve the target outcomes sought by the Fund for a Target Outcome Period, an investor must hold Fund shares for that entire Target Outcome Period.
Buffer and Cap
The Fund seeks to provide a buffer on the first 10% loss of the Index over each Target Outcome Period. After the Index has decreased in value by more than 10%, the Fund will experience subsequent losses on a one-to-one basis (i.e., the Index loses 20%, the Fund loses 10%). The buffer is before taking into account the fees and expenses charged to shareholders.
If an investor purchases Fund shares during a Target Outcome Period at a time when the Fund has decreased in value by 10% or more from value of the Fund on the first day of the Target Outcome Period (the “Initial Fund Value”), that investor’s buffer will essentially be zero (meaning the investor can lose its entire investment). However, that investor’s potential gain will be larger than the Fund’s cap for the Target Outcome Period because the investor may experience the full gain if the Fund recovers the value it has lost from the first day of the Target Outcome Period through the date the investor purchased its Fund shares plus any additional gains between the Initial Fund Value and the cap.
Conversely, if an investor purchases Fund shares during a Target Outcome Period at a time when the Fund has increased in value from its Initial Fund Value for a Target Outcome Period, then a shareholder may experience losses prior to gaining the protection offered by the buffer (because the Fund must first decrease in value to its Initial Fund Value for the Target Outcome Period before subsequent losses will be protected by the buffer). While the Fund seeks to limit losses to 90% for shareholders who hold Fund shares for an entire Target Outcome Period, there is no guarantee it will successfully do so. Depending upon market conditions at the time of purchase, a shareholder that purchases Fund shares after the first day of a Target Outcome Period may lose their entire investment. An investment in the Fund is only appropriate for shareholders willing to bear those losses.
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The returns of the Fund are subject to a cap of [14]% (before fees and expenses) for the Target Outcome Period. Unlike other investment products, the potential returns an investor can receive from the Fund are subject to a pre-determined upside return cap that represents the maximum percentage return an investor can achieve from an investment in the Fund for an entire Target Outcome Period (before fees and expenses). In the event the Index experiences gains over a Target Outcome Period, the Fund seeks to provide investment returns that match the percentage increase of the Index, but any percentage gains over amount of the cap will not be experienced by the Fund. This means that if the Index experiences gains for a Target Outcome Period in excess of the cap for that Target Outcome Period, the Fund will not benefit from those excess gains. Therefore, regardless of the performance of the Index, the cap is the maximum return an investor can achieve from an investment in the Fund for that Target Outcome Period.
The cap is set on the first day of each Target Outcome Period. The cap is provided prior to taking into account annual Fund management fees of [__]% of the Fund's daily net assets, transaction fees and any extraordinary expenses incurred by the Fund. By way of example, if the cap for a Target Outcome Period is [14%], and the Fund’s annual management fee is [__%], the cap will be [___%], and could be lower if the Fund incurs extraordinary expenses or other costs and expenses that are not borne by the Advisor under its unitary management fee. The defined cap applicable to a Target Outcome Period will vary based on prevailing market conditions at the time, including then-current interest rate levels, Index and Underlying ETF volatility and dividend yield, and the relationship of puts and calls on the underlying FLEX Options. The cap for the initial Target Outcome Period of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 is [14%].
The cap level is a result of the design of the Fund’s principal investment strategy. In order to provide the buffer, the Fund purchases a series of put and call FLEX Options on the first day of a Target Outcome Period. As the purchaser of these FLEX Options, the Fund is obligated to pay a premium to the seller of those FLEX Options. The portfolio managers will calculate the amount of premiums that the Fund will owe on the FLEX Options acquired to provide the buffer and will then go into the market and sell FLEX Options with terms that entitle the Fund to receive premiums in an aggregate amount equal to the premiums on the buffer FLEX Options. The cap is the strike price of those sold FLEX Options.
The cap, and the Fund’s position relative to it on any given day, should be considered before investing in the Fund. If an investor purchases Fund shares during a Target Outcome Period, and the Fund has already increased in value above its Initial Fund Value for that Target Outcome Period to a level near to the cap, an investor purchasing Fund shares will have limited to no gain potential for the remainder of the Target Outcome Period. However, the investor will remain vulnerable to significant downside risk because the investor will bear the losses between the price at which it purchased its Fund shares and the Initial Fund Value for the Target Outcome Period before subsequent losses will be protected by the buffer.
The following chart illustrates the hypothetical returns that the Fund seeks to provide in certain illustrative scenarios for a shareholder that purchases Fund shares on the first day of the Target Outcome Period and holds such shares for the entire Target Outcome Period. This chart does not take into account payment by the Fund of fees and expenses. There is no guarantee that the Fund will be successful in providing these investment outcomes for any Target Outcome Period.
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Investors purchasing shares of the Fund during a Target Outcome Period will experience different results. The Fund’s website, www.ftportfolios.com/retail/etf/EtfSummary.aspx?Ticker=[___], provides information relating to the possible outcomes for an investor of an investment in the Fund on a daily basis, including the Fund’s position relative to the cap and buffer. Before purchasing Fund shares, an investor should visit the Fund's website to review this information and understand the possible outcomes of an investment in Fund shares on a particular day.
General Information on the FLEX Options
For each Target Outcome Period, the Fund will invest in both purchased and written put and call FLEX Options that reference the Underlying ETF. FLEX Options are customizable exchange-traded option contracts guaranteed for settlement by the Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”). The OCC guarantees performance by each of the counterparties to the FLEX Options, becoming the “buyer for every seller and the seller for every buyer,” protecting clearing members and options traders from counterparty risk. The OCC may make adjustments to FLEX Options for certain significant events, as more fully described in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information.
The FLEX Options that the Fund will hold that reference the Underlying ETF will give the Fund the right to receive or deliver shares of the Underlying ETF on the option expiration date at a strike price, depending on whether the option is a put or call option and whether the Fund purchases or sells the option. The FLEX Options held by the Fund are European style options, which are exercisable at the strike price only on the FLEX Option expiration date.
The Fund will generally, under normal conditions, hold four kinds of FLEX Options for each Target Outcome Period. The Fund will purchase a call option (giving the Fund the right to receive the shares of the Underlying ETF) and a put option (giving the Fund the right to deliver the shares of the Underlying ETF), while simultaneously selling (i.e., writing) a call option (giving the Fund the obligation to deliver the shares of the Underlying ETF) and a put option (giving the Fund the obligation to receive the shares of the Underlying ETF). The Fund intends to structure the FLEX Options so that any amount owed by the Fund on the written FLEX Options will be covered by payouts at expiration from the purchased FLEX Options. As a result, the FLEX Options will be fully covered and no additional collateral will be necessary during the life of the Fund. The Fund receives premiums in exchange for the written FLEX Options and pays premiums in exchange for the purchased FLEX Options. The OCC and securities exchanges on which the FLEX Options are listed do not charge ongoing fees to writers or purchasers of the FLEX Options during their life for continuing to hold the option contracts, but may charge transaction fees. Each of the FLEX Options purchased and sold throughout the Target Outcome Period will have the same terms, such as strike price and expiration date, as the FLEX Options purchased and sold on the first day of the Target Outcome Period.
Because of certain potential limitations of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. associated with the use of options trading on or originated from the Chicago Board Options Exchange and any other exchanges owned or controlled by Cboe Holdings, Inc., the Fund will not effect transactions in options on any Cboe Exchanges until such time that appropriate exemptive and/or no-action relief is obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and/or its staff by the Sub-Advisor, Cboe and/or any mutual funds and/or ETFs advised by the Sub-Advisor. This restriction shall not prevent the Sub-Advisor or the Fund from engaging in certain other transactions or receiving certain other services from Cboe or for which Cboe may receive a benefit, such as pricing services, provided such transactions and/or the receipt of such services is consistent with applicable statutes, rules, regulations and interpretive positions of the SEC and its staff.
The Fund is classified as “non-diversified” under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”).
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 objective will be achieved.
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.
CAP CHANGE RISK. A new cap is established at the beginning of each Target Outcome Period and is dependent on prevailing market conditions. As a result, the cap may rise or fall from one Target Outcome Period to the next and is unlikely to remain the same for consecutive Target Outcome Periods.
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CAPPED UPSIDE RISK. The Fund’s strategy seeks to provide returns that match those of the Index for Fund shares purchased on the first day of a Target Outcome Period and held for the entire Target Outcome Period, subject to a pre-determined upside cap. If an investor does not hold its Fund shares for an entire Target Outcome Period, the returns realized by that investor may not match those the Fund seeks to achieve. If the Index experiences gains during a Target Outcome Period, the Fund will not participate in those gains beyond the cap. In the event an investor purchases Fund shares after the first day of a Target Outcome Period and the Fund has risen in value to a level near to the cap, there may be little or no ability for that investor to experience an investment gain on their Fund shares.
CASH TRANSACTIONS RISK. The Fund may, under certain circumstances, effect a portion 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 shares 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.
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 securities issuers or the Fund’s third-party service providers, such as its administrator, transfer agent, custodian, or sub-advisor, as applicable, or issuers in which the Fund invests, can also subject 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.
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.
DOWNSIDE RISK. The Fund’s strategy seeks to provide returns that match those of the Index for Fund shares purchased on the first day of a Target Outcome Period and held for the entire Target Outcome Period (subject to the applicable cap) while limiting, or providing a buffer against, downside losses. In the event an investor purchases Fund shares after the first day of a Target Outcome Period, the buffer the Fund seeks to provide may not be available and the investor may not get the full benefit of the cap. The Fund might not achieve its objective in certain circumstances. The Fund does not provide principal protection and an investor may experience significant losses on its investment, including loss of its entire investment.
FLEX OPTIONS CORRELATION RISK. The FLEX Options held by the Fund will be exercisable at the strike price only on their expiration date. Prior to the expiration date, the value of the FLEX Options will be determined based upon market quotations or using other recognized pricing methods. The value of the FLEX Options prior to the expiration date may vary because of
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related factors other than the value of the Index. Factors that may influence the value of the FLEX Options include interest rate changes and implied volatility levels of the Index or Underlying ETF, among others.
FLEX OPTIONS LIQUIDITY RISK. The FLEX Options are listed on an exchange; however, no one can guarantee that a liquid secondary trading market will exist for the FLEX Options. In the event that trading in the FLEX Options is limited or absent, the value of the Fund’s FLEX Options may decrease. In a less liquid market for the FLEX Options, liquidating the FLEX Options may require the payment of a premium (for written FLEX Options) or acceptance of a discounted price (for purchased FLEX Options) and may take longer to complete. A less liquid trading market may adversely impact the value of the FLEX Options and Fund shares and result in the Fund being unable to achieve its investment objective.
FLEX OPTIONS RISK. The OCC may be unable or unwilling to perform its obligations under the FLEX Options contracts. Additionally, FLEX Options may be less liquid than other exchange-traded options. The value of the FLEX Options prior to their expiration date may vary because of factors other than fluctuations in the value of the Underlying ETF, such as an increase in interest rates, a change in the actual and perceived volatility of the stock market and the Underlying ETF and the remaining time to expiration. Additionally, the value of the FLEX Options does not increase or decrease at the same rate as the Index or Underlying ETF or their underlying securities.
FLEX OPTIONS VALUATION RISK. The FLEX Options held by the Fund will be exercisable at the strike price only on their expiration date. Prior to the expiration date, the value of the FLEX Options will be determined based upon market quotations or using other recognized pricing methods. The value of the FLEX Options prior to the expiration date may vary because of related factors other than the value of the Index or Underlying ETF. During periods of reduced market liquidity or in the absence of readily available market quotations for the holdings of the Fund, the ability of the Fund to value the FLEX Options becomes more difficult and the judgment of the Fund’s investment adviser (employing the fair value procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Trust) may play a greater role in the valuation of the Fund’s holdings due to reduced availability of reliable objective pricing data.
INDEX CONSTITUENT RISK. The Fund may be a constituent of one or more indices. 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.
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.
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.
NEW FUND RISK. As of the date of this prospectus, the Fund has no operating history and currently has fewer assets than larger funds. Like other new funds, large inflows and outflows may impact the Fund’s market exposure for limited periods of time. This impact may be positive or negative, depending on the direction of market movement during the period affected. If the Fund fails to attract a large amount of assets, shareholders of the Fund may incur higher expenses as the Fund’s fixed costs would be allocated over a smaller number of shareholders.
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NON-DIVERSIFICATION RISK. The Fund is classified as “non-diversified” under the 1940 Act. As a result, the Fund is only limited as to the percentage of its assets which may be invested in the securities of any one issuer by the diversification requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The Fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a limited number of issuers. As a result, the 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 invested in certain issuers.
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.
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.
SPECIAL TAX RISK. The Fund intends to qualify as a “regulated Investment company” (“RIC”), however, the federal income tax treatment of certain aspects of the proposed operations of the Fund are not entirely clear. This includes the tax aspects of the Fund’s options strategy, its hedging strategy, the possible application of the “straddle” rules, and various loss limitation provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. 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.
TARGET OUTCOME PERIOD RISK. The Fund’s investment strategy is designed to deliver returns that match the Index if Fund shares are bought on the day on which the Fund enters into the FLEX Options (i.e., the first day of a Target Outcome Period) and held until those FLEX Options expire at the end of the Target Outcome Period. In the event an investor purchases Fund shares after the first day of a Target Outcome Period or sells shares prior to the expiration of the Target Outcome Period, the value of that investor’s investment in Fund shares may not be buffered against a decline in the value of the Index and may not participate in a gain in the value of the Index up to the cap for the investor’s investment period.
TRADING ISSUES RISK. Although the shares of the Fund are listed for trading on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained. Trading in 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 shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange’s “circuit breaker” rules. Market makers are under no obligation to make a market in the Fund’s shares, and authorized participants are not obligated to submit purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units. In the event market makers cease making a market in the Fund's shares or authorized participants stop submitting purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units, Fund shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to their net asset value. 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 or the Fund does not have enough shareholders.
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UNDERLYING ETF EQUITY RISK. Because the Fund holds FLEX Options that reference the Underlying ETF, the Fund has exposure to the equity securities markets. Equity securities prices fluctuate for several reasons, including changes in investors’ perceptions of the financial condition of an issuer or the general condition of the relevant equity market, such as market volatility, or when political or economic events affecting an issuer occur. Common stock prices may be particularly sensitive to rising interest rates, as the cost of capital rises and borrowing costs increase. Equity securities may decline significantly in price over short or extended periods of time, and such declines may occur in the equity market as a whole, or they may occur in only a particular country, company, industry or sector of the market.
UNDERLYING ETF RISK. The Fund invests in FLEX Options that reference an ETF, which subjects the Fund to certain of the risks of owning shares of an ETFs as well as the types of instruments in which the Underlying ETF invests. The value of an ETF will fluctuate over time based on fluctuations in the values of the securities held by the ETF, which may be affected by changes in general economic conditions, expectations for future growth and profits, interest rates and the supply and demand for those securities. In addition, ETFs are subject to authorized participant concentration risk, market maker risk, premium/discount risk, tracking error risk and trading issues risk. An ETF that tracks an index may not exactly match the performance of the index due to cash drag, differences between the portfolio of the ETF and the components of the index, expenses and other factors. Certain options on an ETF may not qualify as "Section 1256 contracts" under Section 1256 of the Code, and disposition of such options will likely result in short-term or long-term capital gains or losses depending on the holding period.
Performance
The Fund does not have a performance history. Once available, the Fund’s performance information, and information that gives some indication of the risks of an investment in the Fund by comparing the Fund’s performance with a broad measure of market performance, will be available on the Fund’s website at www.ftportfolios.com. The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.
Management
Investment Advisor
First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust” or the “Advisor”)
Investment Sub-Advisor
Cboe Vest Financial LLC (“Cboe Vest” or the “Sub-Advisor”)
Portfolio Managers
The following persons serve as the portfolio managers of the Fund:
Karan Sood, Managing Director of Cboe Vest
Howard Rubin, Managing Director of Cboe Vest
Rachel Ames, a Portfolio Manager of Cboe Vest
The portfolio managers are primarily and jointly responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each portfolio manager has served as a part of the portfolio management team of the Fund since 2019.
Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares
The Fund issues and redeems shares on a continuous basis, at net asset value, only in Creation Units consisting of 50,000 shares. The Fund’s Creation Units are generally issued and redeemed for cash and, in certain circumstances, in kind for securities in which the Fund invests and only to and from broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements. Individual shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold on the Exchange and other eligible securities exchanges through a broker-dealer. Shares of the Fund trade on the Exchange at market prices rather than net asset value, which may cause the shares to trade at a price greater than net asset value (premium) or less than net asset value (discount).
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.
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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. 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 Objective and Strategies
The Fund is a series of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII 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 non-fundamental and may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board”) without shareholder approval. 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 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.
Fund Investments
Principal Investments
FLEX Options
FLEX Options are customized equity or index option contracts that trade on an exchange, but provide investors with the ability to customize key contract terms like exercise prices, styles and expiration dates. FLEX Options are guaranteed for settlement by the OCC.
The Fund will purchase and sell call and put FLEX Options based on the performance of the Underlying ETF. The FLEX Options that the Fund will hold that reference the Underlying ETF will give the Fund the right to receive or deliver shares of the Underlying ETF on the option expiration date at a strike price, depending on whether the option is a put or call option and whether the Fund purchases or sells the option. The FLEX Options held by the Fund are European style options, which are exercisable at the strike price only on the FLEX Option expiration date.
Non-Principal Investments
Cash Equivalents and Short-Term Investments
Normally, the Fund invests substantially all of its assets to meet its investment objective. The Fund may invest the remainder of its assets in securities with maturities of less than one year or cash equivalents, or each may hold cash. The percentage of the Fund invested in such holdings varies and depends on several factors, including market conditions. For temporary defensive purposes 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 SAI.
Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings
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 available on the Fund's website at www.ftportfolios.com.
Additional 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 objective. Before you invest, you should consider the following supplemental disclosure pertaining to the Principal Risks set forth above as well as additional Non-Principal Risks set forth below in this prospectus.
Principal Risks
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. Although participants are not obligated to make a market in the Fund’s shares or submit purchase and redemption orders for correction 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.
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CAP CHANGE RISK. A new cap is established at the beginning of each Target Outcome Period and is dependent on prevailing market conditions. As a result, the cap may rise or fall from one Target Outcome Period to the next and is unlikely to remain the same for consecutive Target Outcome Periods.
CAPPED UPSIDE RISK. The Fund’s strategy seeks to provide returns that match those of the Index for Fund shares purchased on the first day of a Target Outcome Period and held for the entire Target Outcome Period, subject to a pre-determined upside cap. If an investor does not hold its Fund shares for an entire Target Outcome Period, the returns realized by that investor may not match those the Fund seeks to achieve. If the Index experiences gains during a Target Outcome Period, the Fund will not participate in those gains beyond the cap. A new cap is established at the beginning of each Target Outcome Period and is dependent on prevailing market conditions. The cap may rise or fall from one Target Outcome Period to the next. In the event an investor purchases Fund shares after the first day of a Target Outcome Period and the Fund has risen in value to a level near to the cap, there may be little or no ability for that investor to experience an investment gain on their Fund shares. The return of the Fund may represent a return that is worse than the performance of the Index, including as a result of the Fund’s returns being subject to a cap.
CASH TRANSACTIONS RISK. The Fund may, under certain circumstances, effect a portion 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. A Fund that effects redemptions for cash 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 principally 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. 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 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.
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.
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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 security issuers, 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.
DERIVATIVES RISK. The Fund may utilize derivative instruments. 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.
DOWNSIDE RISK. The Fund’s strategy seeks to provide returns that match those of the Underlying ETF for Fund shares purchased on the first day of a Target Outcome Period and held for the entire Target Outcome Period while limiting, or providing a buffer against, downside losses. In the event an investor purchases Fund shares after the first day of a Target Outcome Period, the buffer the Fund seeks to provide may not be available. The Fund might not achieve its objective in certain circumstances. The Fund does not provide principal protection and an investor may experience significant losses on its investment, including loss of its entire investment.
FLEX OPTIONS CORRELATION RISK. The FLEX Options held by the Fund will be exercisable at the strike price only on their expiration date. Prior to the expiration date, the value of the FLEX Options will be determined based upon market quotations or using other recognized pricing methods. The value of the FLEX Options prior to the expiration date may vary because of related factors other than the value of the Index. Factors that may influence the value of the FLEX Options include interest rate changes and implied volatility levels of the Index or Underlying ETF, among others.
FLEX OPTIONS LIQUIDITY RISK. The FLEX Options are listed on an exchange; however, no one can guarantee that a liquid secondary trading market will exist for the FLEX Options. In the event that trading in the FLEX Options is limited or absent, the value of the Fund’s FLEX Options may decrease. Trading in the FLEX Options may be less deep and liquid than certain other securities such as standardized options. The FLEX Options may be less liquid than certain non-customized options. In a less liquid market for the FLEX Options, liquidating the FLEX Options may require the payment of a premium (for written FLEX Options) or acceptance of a discounted price (for purchased FLEX Options) and may take longer to complete. In a less liquid market for the FLEX Options, the liquidation of a large number of options may more significantly impact the price. A less liquid trading market may adversely impact the value of the FLEX Options and the Fund’s shares and result in the Fund being unable to achieve its investment objective.
FLEX OPTIONS RISK. The OCC may be unable or unwilling to perform its obligations under the FLEX Options contracts. Additionally, FLEX Options may be less liquid than other exchange-traded options. The value of the FLEX Options prior to
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their expiration date may vary because of factors other than fluctuations in the value of the Index or Underlying ETF, such as an increase in interest rates, a change in the actual and perceived volatility of the stock market and the Index or Underlying ETF and the remaining time to expiration. Additionally, the value of the FLEX Options does not increase or decrease at the same rate as the Index or Underlying ETF or their underlying securities.
FLEX OPTIONS VALUATION RISK. The FLEX Options held by the Fund will be exercisable at the strike price only on their expiration date. Prior to the expiration date, the value of the FLEX Options will be determined based upon market quotations or using other recognized pricing methods. The value of the FLEX Options prior to the expiration date may vary because of related factors other than the value of the Index or Underlying ETF. Factors that may influence the value of the FLEX Options include interest rate changes and implied volatility levels of the Index or Underlying ETF, among others. During periods of reduced market liquidity or in the absence of readily available market quotations for the holdings of the Fund, the ability of the Fund to value the FLEX Options becomes more difficult and the judgment of the Fund’s investment adviser (employing the fair value procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Trust) may play a greater role in the valuation of the Fund’s holdings due to reduced availability of reliable objective pricing data. Consequently, while such determinations may be made in good faith, it may nevertheless be more difficult for the Fund to accurately assign a daily value. Under those circumstances, the value of the FLEX Options will require more reliance on the investment adviser’s judgment than that required for securities for which there is an active trading market. This creates a risk of mispricing or improper valuation of the FLEX Options which could impact the value paid for shares of the Fund.
INDEX 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.
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.
NEW FUND RISK. As of the date of this prospectus, the Fund has no operating history and currently has fewer assets than larger funds. Like other new funds, large inflows and outflows may impact the Fund’s market exposure for limited periods of time. This impact may be positive or negative, depending on the direction of market movement during the period affected. If the Fund fails to attract a large amount of assets, shareholders of the Fund may incur higher expenses as the Fund’s fixed costs would be allocated over a smaller number of shareholders.
NON-DIVERSIFICATION RISK. The Fund is operated in a non-diversified manner. As a “non-diversified” fund, the Fund may hold a smaller number of portfolio securities than many other funds and may be more sensitive to any single economic, business, political or regulatory occurrence than a diversified fund. To the extent the Fund invests in a relatively small number of issuers due to the high percentage of the Fund’s assets invested in that security, a decline in the market value of a particular security
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held by the Fund may affect its value more than if it invested in a larger number of issuers. The value of the Fund’s shares may be more volatile than the values of shares of more diversified funds.
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.
SPECIAL TAX RISK. The Fund intends to qualify as a “regulated Investment company”; however, the federal income tax treatment of certain aspects of the proposed operations of the Fund are not entirely clear. This includes the tax aspects of the Fund’s options strategy, its hedging strategy, the possible application of the “straddle” rules, and various loss limitation provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. 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.
TARGET OUTCOME PERIOD RISK. The Fund’s investment strategy is designed to deliver returns that match the Index if Fund shares are bought on the day on which the Fund enters into the FLEX Options (i.e., the first day of a Target Outcome Period) and held until those FLEX Options expire at the end of the Target Outcome Period. In the event an investor purchases Fund shares after the first day of a Target Outcome Period or sells Shares prior to the expiration of the Target Outcome Period, the value of that investor’s investment in Fund shares may not be buffered against a decline in the value of the Index and may not participate in a gain in the value of the Index up to the cap for the investor’s investment period.
TRADING ISSUES RISK. Although the shares of the Fund are listed for trading on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained. Trading in 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 shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange’s “circuit breaker” rules. Market makers are under no obligation to make a market in the Fund’s shares, and authorized participants are not obligated to submit purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units. In the event market makers cease making a market in the Fund’s shares or authorized participants stop submitting purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units, Fund shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to their net asset value. 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 or the Fund does not have enough shareholders.
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UNDERLYING ETF EQUITY RISK. Because the Fund holds FLEX Options that reference the Underlying ETF, the Fund has exposure to the equity securities markets. Equity securities prices fluctuate for several reasons, including changes in investors’ perceptions of the financial condition of an issuer or the general condition of the relevant equity market, such as market volatility, or when political or economic events affecting the issuers occur. Common stock prices may be particularly sensitive to rising interest rates, as the cost of capital rises and borrowing costs increase. Equity securities may decline significantly in price over short or extended periods of time, and such declines may occur in the equity market as a whole, or they may occur in only a particular country, company, industry or sector of the market.
UNDERLYING ETF RISK. The Fund invests in FLEX Options that reference an ETF, which subjects the Fund to certain of the risks of owning shares of an ETFs as well as the types of instruments in which the Underlying ETF invests. The value of an ETF will fluctuate over time based on fluctuations in the values of the securities held by the ETF, which may be affected by changes in general economic conditions, expectations for future growth and profits, interest rates and the supply and demand for those securities. In addition, ETFs are subject to authorized participant concentration risk, market maker risk, premium/discount risk, tracking error risk and trading issues risk. An ETF that tracks an index may not exactly match the performance of the index due to cash drag, differences between the portfolio of the ETF and the components of the index, expenses and other factors. Certain options on an ETF may not qualify as "Section 1256 contracts" under Section 1256 of the Code, and disposition of such options will likely result in short-term or long-term capital gains or losses depending on the holding period.
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 low demand or 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.
DEPENDENCE ON KEY PERSONNEL. The Sub-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 Sub-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 Sub-Advisor.
FAILURE TO QUALIFY AS A REGULATED INVESTMENT COMPANY. 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. If the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company, distributions to the Fund’s shareholders generally would be eligible for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders. For additional information, please see the section entitled “Federal Tax Matters.”
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. Although the Fund and the Advisor seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures, there is no way to completely protect against such risks.
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 objective 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, Sub-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 overseeing the Sub-Advisor in the selection and ongoing monitoring of the securities in the Fund's portfolio and certain other services necessary for the management of the portfolio.
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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 7 mutual fund portfolios, 10 exchange-traded funds consisting of [___] series and 15 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.
The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, and First Trust have retained Cboe Vest Financial LLC ("Cboe Vest" or the "Sub-Advisor") to serve as investment sub-advisor pursuant to a sub-advisory agreement (the "Sub-Advisory Agreement"). In this capacity, Cboe Vest is responsible for the selection and ongoing monitoring of the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolio. Cboe Vest, with principal offices at 1765 Greensboro Station Pl, 9th Floor, McLean, Virginia 22102, was founded in 2012, and is a [_________________]. Cboe Vest had approximately $[_______] under management or committed to management as of [___________], 2019.
The Sub-Advisor is a subsidiary of Vest Financial Group, Inc. (“CboeVG”). CboeVG is majority owned by Cboe® Vest, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cboe® Holdings, Inc. The remaining portion of CboeVG is owned by certain individuals who operate CboeVG and the Sub-Advisor. CboeVG was organized in 2012. Cboe® Holdings, Inc. is the holding company for the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“Cboe®) and other subsidiaries. Cboe® is the largest U.S. options exchange and creator of listed options. Cboe® offers equity, index and ETF options, including proprietary products, such as the S&P 500® Index options, which is the most actively traded U.S. index option, and these products may trade on Cboe® affiliated exchanges resulting in transaction and other revenues accruing to Cboe®. In the future and subject to the qualifications described in the principal investment strategies of the Fund, the Fund may trade options on Cboe®, including options on the S&P 500® Index. The Fund will not pay, and Cboe® (and its parent and affiliates) will not receive any special compensation or consideration in connection with such transactions other than the typical costs that are associated with conducting such transactions by any other non-affiliated party. Certain options used by the Fund may trade on one or more Cboe® affiliated exchanges, in some cases exclusively on these exchanges, resulting in transaction and other revenues accruing to Cboe®. Cboe® is a registered trademark of Cboe®. VestSM is a service mark of CboeVG.
Karan Sood, Howard Rubin and Rachel Ames are the Fund’s portfolio managers and are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s investment portfolios.
Mr. Sood has ten years of experience in derivative based investment strategy design and trading. Mr. Sood joined Vest in 2012. Prior to joining the Adviser, Mr. Sood worked as a senior manager in new product development at ProShares Advisors LLC. At ProShares he was instrumental in developing several first-to-market derivative based ETFs. Prior to ProShares, Mr. Sood worked as a Vice President at Barclays Capital. Last based in New York, he was responsible for using derivatives to design structured investment strategies and solutions for the firm’s institutional clients in the Americas. Prior to his role in New York, Mr. Sood worked in similar capacity in London with Barclays Capital’s European clients. Mr. Sood received a master’s degree in Decision Sciences & Operations Research from London School of Economics & Political Science. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
Mr. Rubin has over twenty years of experience as a Portfolio Manager. Mr. Rubin joined Vest in 2017. Prior to joining Vest, Mr. Rubin has served as Director of Portfolio Management at ProShare Advisors LLC from December 2007 to September 2013. Mr. Rubin has also served as Senior Portfolio Manager of ProFund Advisors LLC since November 2004 and Portfolio Manager of ProFund Advisors LLC from April 2000 through November 2004. Mr. Rubin holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Mr. Rubin received a master’s degree in finance from George Washington University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Ames has over ten years of experience in portfolio management. Ms. Ames joined Vest in 2018. Prior to joining Vest, Ms. Ames served as a Portfolio Manager at ProShares Advisors LLC since October 2013, Associate Portfolio Manager from June 2009 through September 2013 and Portfolio Analyst from June 2004 through June 2009. Ms. Ames holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and a bachelor’s degree in finance from The George Washington University.
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For additional information concerning First Trust and the Sub-Advisor, 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 ownership by the portfolio managers of shares of the Fund is provided in the SAI.
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 oversees the Sub-Advisor’s management of the Fund’s assets and pays the Sub-Advisor for its services as Sub-Advisor. First Trust is paid an annual unitary management fee by the Fund equal to [___]% of the Fund's average daily net assets and is responsible for the Fund’s expenses, including the cost of transfer agency, sub-advisory, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other services, but excluding fee payments under the Investment Management Agreement, interest, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, distribution and service fees payable pursuant to a 12b-1 plan, if any, and extraordinary expenses.
A discussion regarding the Board’s approval of the Investment Management Agreement and Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement will be available in the Fund’s Semi-Annual Report to shareholders for the fiscal period ended [_________], 2019.
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 the Exchange. 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 incur customary 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 spread between the bid and the offer price in the secondary market on each leg of a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction. Share prices are reported in dollars and cents per share.
For purposes of the 1940 Act, the Fund is treated as a registered investment company, and, absent an available exemption or exemptive relief, the acquisition of shares by other registered investment companies and companies relying on Sections 3(c)(1) and 3(c)(7) of the 1940 Act is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act. The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has received an exemptive order from the Securities and Exchange Commission that permits certain registered investment companies to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions, including that any such investment companies enter into agreements with the Fund regarding the terms of any investment.
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 Exchange 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.
Information regarding the intra-day value of the shares of the Fund, also referred to as the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (“IOPV”), is disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the Fund’s trading day by the national securities exchange on which the shares are listed or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities or other assets and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit and includes any
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expenses of the Fund. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities or other assets held by the Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IOPV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the net asset value per share of the Fund because the IOPV may not be calculated in the same manner as the net asset value, which is computed once a day, generally at the end of the business day. The price of a non-U.S. security that is primarily traded on a non-U.S. exchange will be updated, using the last sale price, every 15 seconds throughout the trading day, provided that upon the closing of such non-U.S. exchange, the closing price of the security, after being converted to U.S. dollars, will be used. Furthermore, in calculating the IOPV of the Fund’s shares, exchange rates may be used throughout the day (9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Eastern Time) that may differ from those used to calculate the net asset value per share of the Fund and consequently may result in differences between the net asset value and the IOPV. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV of shares of the Fund and the Fund does not make any warranty as to its accuracy.
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 objective. 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 of the Fund, if any, are declared and paid quarterly by the Fund. The Fund distributes its net realized capital gains, if any, to shareholders at least annually.
Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional whole shares only if the broker through whom 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 was not asked to review, and has not reached a conclusion with respect to, the federal income tax treatment of the assets to be included in the Fund. This 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.
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Fund Status
The Fund intends 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 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. 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 dividends received from the Fund because the dividends received deduction is generally not available for distributions from regulated investment companies.
Capital Gains and Losses
If you are an individual, the maximum marginal stated federal tax rate for net capital gains is generally 20% (15% or 0% for taxpayers with taxable incomes below certain thresholds).
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 shares 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.
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.
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 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
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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.
Treatment of the Options
The Fund’s investments in offsetting positions with respect to the Underlying ETF may be “straddles” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The straddle rules may affect the character of gains (or losses) realized by the Fund, and losses realized by the Fund on positions that are part of a straddle may be deferred under the straddle rules, rather than being taken into account in calculating taxable income for the taxable year in which the losses are realized. In addition, certain carrying charges (including interest expense) associated with positions in a straddle may be required to be capitalized rather than deducted currently. Certain elections that the Fund may make with respect to its straddle positions may also affect the amount, character and timing of the recognition of gains or losses from the affected positions.
The tax consequences of straddle transactions to the Fund are not entirely clear in all situations under currently available authority. The straddle rules may increase the amount of short-term capital gain realized by the Fund, which is taxed as ordinary income when distributed to U.S. shareholders in a non-liquidating distribution. Because application of the straddle rules may affect the character of gains or losses, defer losses and/or accelerate the recognition of gains or losses from the affected straddle positions, if the Fund makes a non-liquidating distribution of its short-term capital gain, the amount which must be distributed to U.S. shareholders as ordinary income may be increased or decreased substantially as compared to the Fund that did not engage in such transactions.
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. Dispositions of shares by such persons may be subject to such withholding after December 31, 2018, although proposed regulations may eliminate this withholding obligation.
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 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 January 2, 2020. However, in the event 12b-1 fees are charged in the future, because these fees are paid
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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 (the "NYSE") is open for trading. If the NYSE closes early on a valuation day, the Fund’s net asset value will be determined as of that time. 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 at market or, in the absence of market value with respect to any investments, at fair value. Market value prices represent last sale or official closing prices from a national or foreign exchange (i.e., a regulated market) and are primarily obtained from third party pricing services (“Pricing Services”). Fair value prices represent any prices not considered market value prices and are either obtained from a Pricing Service or determined by the Advisor’s pricing committee (the “Pricing Committee”), in accordance with valuation procedures (which may be revised from time to time) adopted by the Board, and in accordance with provisions of the 1940 Act. 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. Valuing the Fund’s assets using fair value pricing can result in using prices for those assets (particularly assets that trade in foreign markets) that may differ from current market valuations.
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. For securities traded on an exchange that provides both an official closing price and a last sale price, the Advisor's Pricing Committee, at its discretion, shall determine to use either the last sale price or the official closing price, depending on which price reflects the appropriate market value. 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.
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, short-term debt instruments are fair valued using information provided by a Pricing Service or obtained from broker-dealer quotations. Short-term debt instruments having a remaining maturity of 60 days or less when purchased are typically valued at cost adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts, provided that the 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 the determination.
Fund Service Providers
[__________________], acts as the administrator, custodian and fund accounting and transfer agent for the Fund. Chapman and Cutler LLP, 111 West Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603, serves as legal counsel to the Fund.
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Premium/Discount Information
The Fund has not yet commenced operations and, therefore, does not have information about the differences between the Fund's daily market price on the Exchange and its net asset value. Once the Fund has commenced operations, this information will be available on the Fund's website at www.ftportfolios.com.
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 of 1933, as amended (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 VIII

First Trust Buffer July 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 or in person at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., or call the SEC at (202) 551-8090 for information on the Public Reference Room. You may also request information regarding the Fund by sending a request (along with a duplication fee) to the SEC’s Public Reference Section, 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549-1520 or 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 #: 333-210186
811-23147

 

 
 

Preliminary Statement of Additional Information
Dated March 8, 2019
Subject to Completion
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Investment Company Act File No. 811-23147
First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII
FUND NAME   TICKER SYMBOL   EXCHANGE
First Trust Buffer July ETF   ____   Cboe®
DATED __________, 2019
This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the prospectus dated __________, 2019, as it may be revised from time to time (the “Prospectus”), for First Trust Buffer July ETF (the “Fund” ), a series of the First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII (the “Trust”). Capitalized terms used herein that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted. A copy of the Prospectus may be obtained without charge by writing to the Trust’s distributor, First Trust Portfolios L.P., 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, or by calling toll free at (800) 621-1675.
The information in this Statement of Additional Information is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Statement of Additional Information is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer of sale is not permitted.


General Description of the Trust and the Fund
The Trust was organized as a Massachusetts business trust on February 22, 2016 and is authorized to issue an unlimited number of shares in one or more series. The Trust is an open-end management investment company, registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Trust currently offers shares in ___ series. This SAI relates to the Fund, which is a non-diversified series.
The Fund, as a series of the Trust, represents a beneficial interest in a separate portfolio of securities and other assets, with its own objective and policies.
The Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board,”“Board of Trustees” or “Trustees”) has the right to establish additional series in the future, to determine the preferences, voting powers, rights and privileges thereof and to modify such preferences, voting powers, rights and privileges without shareholder approval. Shares of any series may also be divided into one or more classes at the discretion of the Trustees.
The Trust or any series or class thereof may be terminated at any time by the Board of Trustees upon written notice to the shareholders.
Each share has one vote with respect to matters upon which a shareholder vote is required consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. Shares of all series of the Trust vote together as a single class except as otherwise required by the 1940 Act or if the matter being voted on affects only a particular series, and, if a matter affects a particular series differently from other series, the shares of that series will vote separately on such matter. The Trust’s Declaration of Trust (the “Declaration”) requires a shareholder vote only on those matters where the 1940 Act requires a vote of shareholders and otherwise permits the Trustees to take actions without seeking the consent of shareholders. For example, the Declaration gives the Trustees broad authority to approve reorganizations between the Fund and another entity, such as another exchange traded fund, or the sale of all or substantially all of the Fund's assets, or the termination of the Trust or the Fund without shareholder approval if the 1940 Act would not require such approval.
The Declaration provides that by becoming a shareholder of the Fund, each shareholder shall be expressly held to have agreed to be bound by the provisions of the Declaration and to any By-laws adopted by the Trust. The Declaration provides that, except as set forth therein and authorized by the Trustees, shareholders have no rights, privileges, claims or remedies under any contract or agreement entered into by the Trust or the Fund with any service provider or other agent to or contractor with the Trust or the Fund including, without limitation, any third party beneficiary rights.
The Declaration may, except in limited circumstances, be amended by the Trustees in any respect without a shareholder vote. The Declaration provides that the Trustees may establish the number of Trustees and that vacancies on the Board of Trustees may be filled by the remaining Trustees, except when election of Trustees by the shareholders is required under the 1940 Act. Trustees are then elected by a plurality of votes cast by shareholders at a meeting at which a quorum is present. The Declaration also provides that Trustees may be removed, with or without cause, by a vote of shareholders holding at least two-thirds of the voting power of the Trust, or by a vote of two-thirds of the remaining Trustees. The provisions of the Declaration relating to the election and removal of Trustees may not be amended without the approval of two-thirds of the Trustees.
The holders of Fund shares are required to disclose information on direct or indirect ownership of Fund shares as may be required to comply with various laws applicable to the Fund or as the Trustees may determine, and ownership of Fund shares may be disclosed by the Fund if so required by law or regulation. In addition, pursuant to the Declaration, the Trustees may, in their discretion, require the Trust to redeem shares held by any shareholder for any reason under terms set by the Trustees.
The Declaration provides a detailed process for the bringing of derivative actions by shareholders in order to permit legitimate inquiries and claims while avoiding the time, expense, distraction and other harm that can be caused to the Fund or its shareholders as a result of spurious shareholder demands and derivative actions. In addition, the Declaration provides that actions that are derivative in nature may not be brought directly. Prior to bringing a derivative action, a demand must first be made on the Trustees. The Declaration details various information, certifications, undertakings and acknowledgements that must be included in the demand. Following receipt of the demand, the Trustees have a period of 90 days, which may be extended by an additional 60 days, to consider the demand. If a majority of the Trustees who are considered independent for the purposes of considering the demand determine that maintaining the suit would not be in the best interests of the Fund, the Trustees are required to reject the demand and the complaining shareholder may not proceed with the derivative action unless the shareholder is able to sustain the burden of proof to a court that the decision of the Trustees not to pursue the requested action was not a good faith exercise of their business judgment on behalf of the Fund. In making such a determination,
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a Trustee is not considered to have a personal financial interest by virtue of being compensated for his or her services as a Trustee. If a demand is rejected, the complaining shareholder will be responsible for the costs and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) incurred by the Fund in connection with the consideration of the demand under a number of circumstances. In addition, if a court determines that a derivative action was made without reasonable cause or for an improper purpose, or if a derivative or direct action is dismissed on the basis of a failure to comply with the procedural provisions relating to shareholder actions as set forth in the Declaration, or if a direct action is dismissed by a court for failure to state a claim, the shareholder bringing the action may be responsible for the Fund's costs, including attorneys’ fees.
The provisions of the Declaration provide that any direct or derivative action commenced by a shareholder must be brought only in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Boston Division) or if any such action may not be brought in that court, then in the Business Litigation Session of Suffolk Superior Court in Massachusetts (the “Chosen Courts”). Except as prohibited by applicable law, if a shareholder commences an applicable action in a court other than a Chosen Court without the consent of the Fund, then such shareholder may be obligated to reimburse the Fund and any applicable Trustee or officer of the Fund made party to such proceeding for the costs and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) incurred in connection with any successful motion to dismiss, stay or transfer of the action. The Declaration also provides that any shareholder bringing an action against the Fund waives the right to trial by jury to the fullest extent permitted by law.
The Trust is not required to and does not intend to hold annual meetings of shareholders.
Under Massachusetts law applicable to Massachusetts business trusts, shareholders of such a trust may, under certain circumstances, be held personally liable as partners for its obligations. However, the Declaration contains an express disclaimer of shareholder liability for acts or obligations of the Trust and requires that notice of this disclaimer be given in each agreement, obligation or instrument entered into or executed by the Trust or the Trustees. The Declaration further provides for indemnification out of the assets and property of the Trust for all losses and expenses of any shareholder held personally liable for the obligations of the Trust. Thus, the risk of a shareholder incurring financial loss on account of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances in which both inadequate insurance existed and the Trust or the Fund itself was unable to meet its obligations.
The Declaration further provides that a Trustee acting in his or her capacity as Trustee is not personally liable to any person other than the Trust, for any act, omission, or obligation of the Trust. The Declaration requires the Trust to indemnify any persons who are or who have been Trustees, officers or employees of the Trust for any liability for actions or failure to act except to the extent prohibited by applicable federal law. In making any determination as to whether any person is entitled to the advancement of expenses in connection with a claim for which indemnification is sought, such person is entitled to a rebuttable presumption that he or she did not engage in conduct for which indemnification is not available. The Declaration provides that any Trustee who serves as chair of the Board of Trustees or of a committee of the Board of Trustees, as lead independent Trustee or as audit committee financial expert, or in any other similar capacity will not be subject to any greater standard of care or liability because of such position.
The Declaration further provides that no provision of the Declaration will restrict any shareholder rights expressly granted by the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended or the 1940 Act, or any rule, regulation or order of the Securities Exchange Commission thereunder.
The Fund is advised by First Trust Advisors L.P. (the “Advisor” or “First Trust”) and is sub-advised by Cboe Vest Financial LLC ("Cboe Vest" or the "Sub-Advisor").
The shares of the Fund list and principally trade on the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated ("Cboe®" or the "Exchange"), as shown on the cover of this SAI. The shares will trade on the Exchange at market prices that may be below, at or above net asset value. The Fund offers and issues shares at net asset value only in aggregations of a specified number of shares (each a “Creation Unit” or a “Creation Unit Aggregation”), generally in exchange for a basket of securities, (the "Deposit Securities"), together with the deposit of a specified cash payment, (the "Cash Component").  Shares are redeemable only in Creation Unit Aggregations and, generally, in exchange for portfolio securities and a specified cash payment.  Creation Units are aggregations of 50,000 shares of the Fund.
The Trust reserves the right to permit creations and redemptions of Fund shares to be made in whole or in part on a cash basis under certain circumstances. Fund shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Fund cash at least equal to 115% of the market value of the missing Deposit Securities. See the section entitled “Creation and Redemption of Creation Unit Aggregations.” In each instance of such cash creations or redemptions, transaction fees may be imposed that will be higher than the transaction fees
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associated with in-kind creations or redemptions. In all cases, such fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities.
Exchange Listing and Trading
There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of shares of the Fund will continue to be met. The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the shares of the Fund from listing if (i) following the initial 12-month period beginning at the commencement of trading of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial owners of the shares of the Fund for 30 or more consecutive trading days; or (ii) such other event shall occur or condition exist that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. The Exchange will remove the shares of the Fund from listing and trading upon termination of the Fund.
As in the case of other stocks traded on the Exchange, brokers’ commissions on transactions will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels.
The Fund reserves the right to adjust the price levels of shares in the future to help maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of the Fund.
The Fund is required by the Exchange to comply with certain listing standards (which includes certain investment parameters) in order to maintain its listing on the Exchange. Compliance with these listing standards may compel the Fund to sell securities at an inopportune time or for a price other than the security’s then-current market value. The sale of securities in such circumstances could limit the Fund's profit or require the Fund to incur a loss, and as a result, the Fund's performance could be impacted.
Investment Objective and Policies
The Prospectus describes the investment objective and certain policies of the Fund. The following supplements the information contained in the Prospectus concerning the investment objective and policies of the Fund.
The Fund is subject to the following fundamental policies, which may not be changed without approval of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund:
(1) The Fund may not issue senior securities, except as permitted under the 1940 Act.
(2) The Fund may not borrow money, except as permitted under the 1940 Act.
(3) The Fund will not underwrite the securities of other issuers except to the extent the Fund may be considered an underwriter under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”), in connection with the purchase and sale of portfolio securities.
(4) The Fund will not purchase or sell real estate or interests therein, unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments (but this shall not prohibit the Fund from purchasing or selling securities or other instruments backed by real estate or of issuers engaged in real estate activities).
(5) The Fund may not make loans to other persons, except through (i) the purchase of debt securities permissible under the Fund's investment policies, (ii) repurchase agreements, or (iii) the lending of portfolio securities, provided that no such loan of portfolio securities may be made by the Fund if, as a result, the aggregate of such loans would exceed 33⅓% of the value of the Fund's total assets.
(6) The Fund may not purchase or sell physical commodities unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments (but this shall not prevent the Fund from purchasing or selling options, futures contracts, forward contracts or other derivative instruments, or from investing in securities or other instruments backed by physical commodities).
(7) The Fund may not invest 25% or more of the value of its total assets in securities of issuers in any one industry or group of industries. This restriction does not apply to obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or securities of other investment companies.
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For purposes of applying restriction (1) above, under the 1940 Act as currently in effect, the Fund is not permitted to issue senior securities, except that the Fund may borrow from any bank if immediately after such borrowing the value of the Fund’s total assets is at least 300% of the principal amount of all of the Fund’s borrowings (i.e., the principal amount of the borrowings may not exceed 33⅓% of the Fund’s total assets). In the event that such asset coverage shall at any time fall below 300%, the Fund shall, within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays), reduce the amount of its borrowings to an extent that the asset coverage of such borrowing shall be at least 300%. The fundamental investment limitations set forth above limit the Fund’s ability to engage in certain investment practices and purchase securities or other instruments to the extent permitted by, or consistent with, applicable law. As such, these limitations will change as the statute, rules, regulations or orders (or, if applicable, interpretations) change, and no shareholder vote will be required or sought.
Except for restriction (2) above, if a percentage restriction is adhered to at the time of investment, a later increase in percentage resulting from a change in market value of the investment or the total assets will not constitute a violation of that restriction. With respect to restriction (2), if the limitations are exceeded as a result of a change in market value then the Fund will reduce the amount of borrowings within three days thereafter to the extent necessary to comply with the limitations (not including Sundays and holidays).
Notwithstanding restriction (7) above, to the extent the Fund invests in other investment companies, it will consider, to the extent practicable, the industry concentration of the underlying investment companies when determining compliance with the limitations set forth in restriction (7) above.
The foregoing fundamental policies of the Fund may not be changed without the affirmative vote of the majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund. The 1940 Act defines a majority vote as the vote of the lesser of (i) 67% or more of the voting securities represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of the outstanding securities are represented; or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities. With respect to the submission of a change in an investment policy to the holders of outstanding voting securities of the Fund, such matter shall be deemed to have been effectively acted upon with respect to the Fund if a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund vote for the approval of such matter, notwithstanding that such matter has not been approved by the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of any other series of the Trust affected by such matter.
In addition to the foregoing fundamental policies, the Fund is also subject to strategies and policies discussed herein which, unless otherwise noted, are non-fundamental policies and may be changed by the Board of Trustees.
Investment Strategies
Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest substantially all of its assets in FLexible EXchange® Options ("FLEX Options") on the SPDR® S&P 500® ETF Trust ("SPY" or the "Underlying ETF").
Types of Investments
FLexible EXchange® Options. The Fund’s portfolio includes several types of FLEX Options, including both purchased and written put and call options (as further described below). The FLEX Options are all European style options, which means that they are exercisable at the strike price only on the FLEX Option expiration date. FLEX Options are customized option contracts available through national securities exchanges that are guaranteed for settlement by the Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”), a market clearinghouse. FLEX Options provide investors with the ability to customize terms of an option, including exercise prices, exercise styles (European style versus American style options which are exercisable any time prior to the expiration date) and expiration dates, while achieving price discovery in competitive, transparent auctions markets and avoiding the counterparty exposure of the over-the-counter option positions.
Each FLEX Option contract entitles the holder thereof (i.e. the purchaser of the FLEX Option) the option to purchase (for the call options) or sell (for the put options) the cash value of the reference asset as of the close of the market on the FLEX Option expiration date at the strike price. The Fund intends to be structured so that any amount owed by the Fund on the written FLEX Options will be covered by payouts at expiration from the purchased FLEX Options. As a result, the FLEX Options will be fully covered and no additional collateral will be necessary during the life of the Fund. The Fund receives premiums in exchange for the written FLEX Options and pays premiums in exchange for the purchased FLEX Options. The OCC and securities exchange that the FLEX Options are listed on do not charge ongoing fees to writers or purchasers of the FLEX Options during their life for continuing to hold the option contracts.
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The OCC guarantees performance by each of the counterparties to FLEX Options, becoming the “buyer for every seller and the seller for every buyer,” protecting clearing members and options traders from counterparty risk. Subject to determination by the Securities Committee of the OCC, adjustments may be made to the FLEX Options for certain events (collectively, “Corporate Actions”) specified in the OCC’s by-laws and rules: certain stock dividends or distributions, stock splits, reverse stock splits, rights offerings, distributions, reorganizations, recapitalizations, or reclassifications with respect to an underlying security, or a merger, consolidation, dissolution or liquidation of the issuer of the underlying security. According to the OCC’s by-laws, the nature and extent of any such adjustment is to be determined by the OCC’s Securities Committee, in light of the circumstances known to it at the time such determination is made, based on its judgment as to what is appropriate for the protection of investors and the public interest, taking into account such factors as fairness to holders and writers (or purchasers and sellers) of the affected options, the maintenance of a fair and orderly market in the affected options, consistency of interpretation and practice, efficiency of exercise settlement procedures, and the coordination with other clearing agencies of the clearance and settlement of transactions in the underlying interest.
Certain Considerations Regarding Options. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an options exchange will exist for any particular option, or at any particular time, and for some options no secondary market on an exchange or elsewhere may exist. If the Fund is unable to close out a call option on securities that it has written before the option is exercised, the Fund may be required to purchase the optioned securities in order to satisfy its obligation under the option to deliver such securities. If the Fund is unable to effect a closing sale transaction with respect to options on securities that it has purchased, it would have to exercise the option in order to realize any profit and would incur transaction costs upon the purchase and sale of the underlying securities.
The writing and purchasing of options is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. Imperfect correlation between the options and securities markets may detract from the effectiveness of attempted hedging. Options transactions may result in significantly higher transaction costs and portfolio turnover for the Fund.
Fixed Income Investments and Cash Equivalents.    Normally, the Fund invests substantially all of its assets to meet its investment objective; however, for temporary or defensive purposes, the Fund may invest in fixed income investments and cash equivalents in order to provide income, liquidity and preserve capital.
Fixed income investments and cash equivalents held by the Fund may include, without limitation, the types of investments set forth below.
(1) The Fund may invest in U.S. government securities, including bills, notes and bonds differing as to maturity and rates of interest, which are either issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or by U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities. U.S. government securities include securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury, by various agencies of the U.S. government, or by various instrumentalities that have been established or sponsored by the U.S. government. U.S. Treasury securities are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the United States. 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 United States. Some of the U.S. government agencies that issue or guarantee securities include the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Farmers Home Administration, the Federal Housing Administration, the Maritime Administration, the Small Business Administration and The Tennessee Valley Authority. An instrumentality of the U.S. government is a government agency organized under federal charter with government supervision. Instrumentalities issuing or guaranteeing securities include, among others, the Federal Home Loan Banks, the Federal Land Banks, the Central Bank for Cooperatives, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks and the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”). In the case of those U.S. government securities not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, the investor must look principally to the agency or instrumentality issuing or guaranteeing the security for ultimate repayment and may not be able to assert a claim against the United States itself in the event that the agency or instrumentality does not meet its commitment. The U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities do not guarantee the market value of their securities; consequently, the value of such securities may fluctuate.
(2) The Fund may invest in certificates of deposit issued against funds deposited in a bank or savings and loan association. Such certificates are for a definite period of time, earn a specified rate of return and are normally negotiable. If such certificates of deposit are non-negotiable, they will be considered illiquid securities and be subject to the Fund's 15% restriction on investments in illiquid securities. Pursuant to the certificate of deposit, the issuer agrees to pay the amount deposited plus interest to the bearer of the certificate on the
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  date specified thereon. Under current FDIC regulations, the maximum insurance payable as to any one certificate of deposit is $250,000; therefore, certificates of deposit purchased by the Fund may not be fully insured. The Fund may only invest in certificates of deposit issued by U.S. banks with at least $1 billion in assets.
(3) The Fund may invest in bankers’ acceptances, which are short-term credit instruments used to finance commercial transactions. Generally, an acceptance is a time draft drawn on a bank by an exporter or an importer to obtain a stated amount of funds to pay for specific merchandise. The draft is then “accepted” by a bank that, in effect, unconditionally guarantees to pay the face value of the instrument on its maturity date. The acceptance may then be held by the accepting bank as an asset or it may be sold in the secondary market at the going rate of interest for a specific maturity.
(4) The Fund may invest in repurchase agreements, which involve purchases of debt securities with counterparties that are deemed by the Sub-Advisor to present acceptable credit risks. In such an action, at the time the Fund purchases the security, it simultaneously agrees to resell and redeliver the security to the seller, who also simultaneously agrees to buy back the security at a fixed price and time. This assures a predetermined yield for the Fund during its holding period since the resale price is always greater than the purchase price and reflects an agreed-upon market rate. Such actions afford an opportunity for the Fund to invest temporarily available cash. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements only with respect to obligations of the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities, certificates of deposit or bankers’ acceptances in which the Fund may invest. Repurchase agreements may be considered loans to the seller, collateralized by the underlying securities. The risk to the Fund is limited to the ability of the seller to pay the agreed-upon sum on the repurchase date; in the event of default, the repurchase agreement provides that the affected Fund is entitled to sell the underlying collateral. If the value of the collateral declines after the agreement is entered into, however, and if the seller defaults under a repurchase agreement when the value of the underlying collateral is less than the repurchase price, the Fund could incur a loss of both principal and interest. The portfolio managers monitor the value of the collateral at the time the action is entered into and at all times during the term of the repurchase agreement. The portfolio managers do so in an effort to determine that the value of the collateral always equals or exceeds the agreed-upon repurchase price to be paid to the Fund. If the seller were to be subject to a federal bankruptcy proceeding, the ability of the Fund to liquidate the collateral could be delayed or impaired because of certain provisions of the bankruptcy laws.
(5) The Fund may invest in bank time deposits, which are monies kept on deposit with banks or savings and loan associations for a stated period of time at a fixed rate of interest. There may be penalties for the early withdrawal of such time deposits, in which case the yields of these investments will be reduced.
(6) The Fund may invest in commercial paper, which are short-term unsecured promissory notes, including variable rate master demand notes issued by corporations to finance their current operations. Master demand notes are direct lending arrangements between the Fund and a corporation. There is no secondary market for the notes. However, they are redeemable by the Fund at any time. The Fund's portfolio managers will consider the financial condition of the corporation (e.g., earning power, cash flow and other liquidity ratios) and will continuously monitor the corporation’s ability to meet all of its financial obligations, because the Fund's liquidity might be impaired if the corporation were unable to pay principal and interest on demand. The Fund may invest in commercial paper only if it has received the highest rating from at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization or, if unrated, judged by the Sub-Advisor to be of comparable quality.
(7) The Fund may invest in shares of money market funds, as consistent with its investment objective and policies. Shares of money market funds are subject to management fees and other expenses of those funds. Therefore, investments in money market funds will cause the Fund to bear proportionately the costs incurred by the money market funds’ operations. At the same time, the Fund will continue to pay its own management fees and expenses with respect to all of its assets, including any portion invested in the shares of other investment companies. It is possible for the Fund to lose money by investing in money market funds.
Illiquid Securities.    The Fund may invest in illiquid securities (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 purposes of this restriction, illiquid securities may include, but are not limited to, certain 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 1933 Act, and repurchase agreements with maturities in excess of seven days, among others. However, the Fund will not acquire illiquid securities if, as a result, such securities would comprise
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more than 15% of the value of the Fund’s net assets. The Advisor, subject to oversight by the Board of Trustees, has the ultimate authority to determine, to the extent permissible under the federal securities laws, which securities are liquid or illiquid for purposes of this 15% limitation under the Fund’s liquidity risk management program, adopted pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act.
Restricted securities may be sold only in privately negotiated transactions or in a public offering with respect to which a registration statement is in effect under the 1933 Act. Where registration is required, the Fund may be obligated to pay all or part of the registration expenses and a considerable period may elapse between the time of the decision to sell and the time the Fund may be permitted to sell a security under an effective registration statement. If, during such a period, adverse market conditions were to develop, the Fund might obtain a less favorable price than that which prevailed when it decided to sell. Illiquid securities will be priced at fair value as determined in good faith under procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees. If, through the appreciation of illiquid securities or the depreciation of liquid securities, the Fund should be in a position where more than 15% of the value of its net assets are invested in illiquid securities, including restricted securities which are not readily marketable, the Advisor will report such occurrence to the Board of Trustees and take such steps as are deemed advisable to protect liquidity in accordance with the Fund’s liquidity risk management program.
Portfolio Turnover
The Fund buys and sells portfolio securities in the normal course of its investment activities. The proportion of the Fund's investment portfolio that is bought and sold during a year is known as the Fund's portfolio turnover rate. A portfolio turnover rate of 100% would occur, for example, if all of the portfolio securities (other than short-term securities) were replaced once during the fiscal year. A high portfolio turnover rate could result in the payment by the Fund of increased brokerage costs, expenses and taxes.
Lending of Portfolio Securities
In order to generate additional income, as a non-principal investment strategy, First Trust is authorized to select certain First Trust Funds, including the Fund, with notice to the Board of Trustees, to lend portfolio securities representing up to 33⅓% of the value of its total assets to broker-dealers, banks or other institutional borrowers of securities. As with other extensions of credit, there may be risks of delay in recovery of the securities or even loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially. However, such First Trust Funds will only enter into loan arrangements with broker-dealers, banks or other institutions which First Trust has determined are creditworthy under guidelines approved by the Board of Trustees. The First Trust Funds will pay a portion of the income earned on the lending transaction to the placing broker and may pay administrative and custodial fees in connection with these loans. First Trust may select any First Trust Fund to participate in the securities lending program, at its discretion with notice to the Board of Trustees.
In these loan arrangements, the First Trust Funds will receive collateral in the form of cash, U.S. government securities irrevocable bank standby letters of credit not issued by the Fund’s bank lending agent equal to at least 102% (for domestic securities) or 105% (for international securities) of the market value of the securities loaned as determined at the time of loan origination. This collateral must be valued daily by First Trust or the First Trust Fund’s lending agent and, if the market value of the loaned securities increases, the borrower must furnish additional collateral to the lending First Trust Fund. During the time portfolio securities are on loan, the borrower pays the lending First Trust Fund any dividends or interest paid on the securities. Loans are subject to termination at any time by the lending First Trust Fund or the borrower. While a First Trust Fund does not have the right to vote securities on loan, it would terminate the loan and regain the right to vote if that were considered important with respect to the investment. When a First Trust Fund lends portfolio securities to a borrower, payments in lieu of dividends made by the borrower to the First Trust Fund will not constitute “qualified dividends” taxable at the same rate as long-term capital gains, even if the actual dividends would have constituted qualified dividends had the First Trust Fund held the securities. Please see "Securities Lending Risk" below for a description of the risks associated with securities lending activities.
Investment Risks
The following risk disclosure supplements the discussion of the Fund's investment risks that appears in the Prospectus.
Overview
An investment in the Fund should be made with an understanding of the risks that an investment in the Fund's shares entails, including the risk that the general condition of the securities market may worsen and the value of the equity securities
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and therefore the value of the Fund may decline. The Fund may not be an appropriate investment for those who are unable or unwilling to assume the risks involved generally with such an investment.
FLEX Options Risk
The Fund holds purchased and written FLEX Options. The FLEX Options are European style options, which are exercisable at the strike price only on the FLEX Option expiration date. The FLEX Options held by the Fund give the option holder the right to buy the cash value of the reference asset on the FLEX Option expiration date at the strike price. The value of the FLEX Options prior to their expiration on the FLEX Option expiration date may vary because of factors other than fluctuations in value of the reference asset. The value of FLEX Options will be affected by changes in the value of the reference asset and its underlying securities, an increase in interest rates, a change in the actual and perceived volatility of the stock market and the reference asset and the remaining time to expiration. Additionally, the value of the FLEX Options does not increase or decrease at the same rate as the underlying asset or its underlying securities due to “tracking error” as described in the Fund’s prospectus (although they generally move in the same direction).
Derivatives Risk
The use of derivatives presents risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in traditional securities. The use of derivatives 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. In addition, when the Fund invests in certain derivative securities, including, but not limited to, when-issued securities, forward commitments, futures contracts and interest rate swaps, the Fund is effectively leveraging its investments, which could result in exaggerated changes in the net asset value of the Fund's shares and can result in losses that exceed the amount originally invested. The success of Sub-Advisor’s derivatives strategies will depend on its ability to assess and predict the impact of market or economic developments on the underlying asset, index or rate and the derivative itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the derivative under all possible market conditions. Liquidity risk exists when a security cannot be purchased or sold at the time desired, or cannot be purchased or sold without adversely affecting the price. Certain specific risks associated with an investment in derivatives may include: market risk, credit risk, correlation risk, liquidity risk, legal risk and systemic or “interconnection” risk, as specified below.
(1) Market Risk.Market risk is the risk that the value of the underlying assets may go up or down. Adverse movements in the value of an underlying asset can expose the Fund to losses. Derivative instruments may include elements of leverage and, accordingly, fluctuations in the value of the derivative instrument in relation to the underlying asset may be magnified. The successful use of derivative instruments depends upon a variety of factors, particularly the portfolio managers’ ability to predict movements of the securities, currencies and commodities markets, which may require different skills than predicting changes in the prices of individual securities. There can be no assurance that any particular strategy adopted will succeed. A decision to engage in a derivative transaction will reflect the portfolio managers’ judgment that the derivative transaction will provide value to the Fund and its shareholders and is consistent with the Fund's objective, investment limitations and operating policies. In making such a judgment, the portfolio managers will analyze the benefits and risks of the derivative transactions and weigh them in the context of the Fund's overall investments and investment objective.
(2) Credit Risk/Counterparty Risk.Credit risk is the risk that a loss may be sustained as a result of the failure of a counterparty to comply with the terms of a derivative instrument. The counterparty risk for exchange-traded derivatives is generally less than for privately negotiated or over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives, since generally a clearing agency, which is the issuer or counterparty to each exchange-traded instrument, provides a guarantee of performance. For privately negotiated instruments, there is no similar clearing agency guarantee. In all transactions, the Fund will bear the risk that the counterparty will default, and this could result in a loss of the expected benefit of the derivative transactions and possibly other losses to the Fund. The Fund will enter into transactions in derivative instruments only with counterparties that First Trust reasonably believes are capable of performing under the contract.
(3) Correlation Risk. Correlation risk is the risk that there might be an imperfect correlation, or even no correlation, between price movements of a derivative instrument and price movements of investments being hedged. When a derivative transaction is used to completely hedge another position, changes in the market value of the combined position (the derivative instrument plus the position being hedged) result from an imperfect correlation between the price movements of the two instruments. With a perfect hedge, the value of the combined position remains unchanged with any change in the price of the underlying asset. With an imperfect hedge, the value of the
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  derivative instrument and its hedge are not perfectly correlated. For example, if the value of a derivative instrument used in a short hedge (such as writing a call option, buying a put option or selling a futures contract) increased by less than the decline in value of the hedged investments, the hedge would not be perfectly correlated. This might occur due to factors unrelated to the value of the investments being hedged, such as speculative or other pressures on the markets in which these instruments are traded. The effectiveness of hedges using instruments on indices will depend, in part, on the degree of correlation between price movements in the index and the price movements in the investments being hedged.
(4) Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk is the risk that a derivative instrument cannot be sold, closed out or replaced quickly at or very close to its fundamental value. Generally, exchange contracts are very liquid because the exchange clearinghouse is the counterparty of every contract. OTC transactions are less liquid than exchange-traded derivatives since they often can only be closed out with the other party to the transaction. The Fund might be required by applicable regulatory requirements to maintain assets as “cover,” maintain segregated accounts and/or make margin payments when taking positions in derivative instruments involving obligations to third parties (i.e., instruments other than purchase options). If the Fund is unable to close out its positions in such instruments, it might be required to continue to maintain such assets or accounts or make such payments until the position expires, matures or is closed out. These requirements might impair the Fund's ability to sell a security or make an investment at a time when it would otherwise be favorable to do so, or require that the Fund sell a portfolio security at a disadvantageous time. The Fund's ability to sell or close out a position in an instrument prior to expiration or maturity depends upon the existence of a liquid secondary market or, in the absence of such a market, the ability and willingness of the counterparty to enter into a transaction closing out the position. Due to liquidity risk, there is no assurance that any derivatives position can be sold or closed out at a time and price that is favorable to the Fund.
(5) Legal Risk. Legal risk is the risk of loss caused by the unenforceability of a party’s obligations under the derivative. While a party seeking price certainty agrees to surrender the potential upside in exchange for downside protection, the party taking the risk is looking for a positive payoff. Despite this voluntary assumption of risk, a counterparty that has lost money in a derivative transaction may try to avoid payment by exploiting various legal uncertainties about certain derivative products.
(6) Systemic or “Interconnection” Risk. Systemic or “interconnection” risk is the risk that a disruption in the financial markets will cause difficulties for all market participants. In other words, a disruption in one market will spill over into other markets, perhaps creating a chain reaction. Much of the OTC derivatives market takes place among the OTC dealers themselves, thus creating a large interconnected web of financial obligations. This interconnectedness raises the possibility that a default by one large dealer could create losses for other dealers and destabilize the entire market for OTC derivative instruments.
Leverage Risk
Leverage risk is the risk that the Fund may be more volatile than if it had not been leveraged due to leverage’s tendency to exaggerate the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of the Fund’s portfolio. The use of leverage may also cause the Fund to liquidate portfolio positions when it may not be advantageous to do so to satisfy its obligations or to meet segregation requirements.
Liquidity Risk
Whether or not the securities held by the Fund are listed on a securities exchange, the principal trading market for certain of the securities may be in the OTC market. As a result, the existence of a liquid trading market for such securities may depend on whether dealers will make a market in the securities. There can be no assurance that a market will be made for any of the securities, that any market for such securities will be maintained or that there will be sufficient liquidity of the securities in any markets made. The price at which such securities are held by the Fund will be adversely affected if trading markets for the securities are limited or absent.
Listing Standards Risk
The Fund is required by the Exchange to comply with certain listing standards (which includes certain investment parameters) in order to maintain its listing on the Exchange. Compliance with these listing standards may compel the Fund
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to sell securities at inopportune time or for a price other than the security’s then-current market value. The sale of securities in such circumstances could limit the Fund’s profit or require the Fund to incur a loss, and as a result, the Fund’s performance could be impacted.
Securities Lending Risk
Securities lending involves exposure to certain risks, including counterparty risk, collateral risk and operational risk. Counterparty risk is the risk that the borrower may fail to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. As a result, a First Trust Fund engaged in securities lending transactions may suffer a loss and there may be a delay in recovering the lent securities. Any delay in the return of securities on loan may restrict the ability of the Fund to meet delivery or payment obligations. Collateral risk is the risk that the collateral received may be realized at a value lower than the value of the securities lent, whether due to inaccurate pricing of the collateral, adverse market movements in the value of the collateral, intra-day increases in the value of the securities lent, a deterioration in the credit rating of the collateral issuer, or the illiquidity of the market in which the collateral is traded. Securities lending also entails operational risks, such as settlement failures or delays in the settlement of instructions. Such failures or delays may restrict the ability of the Fund to meet delivery or payment obligations. Lastly, securities lending activities may result in adverse tax consequences for the Fund and its shareholders. For instance, substitute payments for dividends received by the Fund for securities loaned out by the Fund will not be considered qualified dividend income. The Fund could lose money if its short-term investment of the collateral declines in value over the period of the loan.
Management of the Fund
Trustees and Officers
The general supervision of the duties performed for the Fund under the investment management agreement is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees. There are five Trustees of the Trust, one of whom is an “interested person” (as the term is defined in the 1940 Act) and four of whom are Trustees who are not officers or employees of First Trust or any of its affiliates (“Independent Trustees”). The Trustees set broad policies for the Fund, choose the Trust’s officers and hire the Trust’s investment advisor. The officers of the Trust manage its day-to-day operations and are responsible to the Board of Trustees. The following is a list of the Trustees and executive officers of the Trust and a statement of their present positions and principal occupations during the past five years, the number of portfolios each Trustee oversees and the other directorships they have held during the past five years, if applicable. Each Trustee has been elected for an indefinite term. The officers of the Trust serve indefinite terms. Each Trustee, except for James A. Bowen, is an Independent Trustee. Mr. Bowen is deemed an “interested person” (as that term is defined in the 1940 Act) (“Interested Trustee”) of the Trust due to his position as Chief Executive Officer of First Trust, investment advisor to the Fund. The following table identifies the Trustees and Officers of the Trust. Unless otherwise indicated, the address of all persons below is c/o First Trust Advisors L.P., 120 E. Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, IL 60187.
Name and
Year of Birth
Position
and Offices
with Trust
Term of
Office and
Year First
Elected or
Appointed
Principal Occupations
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in the First
Trust Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other
Trusteeships or
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
During the
Past 5 Years
TRUSTEE WHO IS AN INTERESTED PERSON OF THE TRUST
James A. Bowen (1)
1955
Chairman of the Board and Trustee • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Chief Executive Officer, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.; Chairman of the Board of Directors, BondWave LLC (Software Development Company) and Stonebridge Advisors LLC (Investment Advisor) ___ Portfolios None
INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES
Richard E. Erickson
1951
Trustee • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Physician; Officer, Wheaton Orthopedics; Limited Partner, Gundersen Real Estate Limited Partnership (June 1992 to December 2016); Member, Sportsmed LLC (April 2007 to November 2015) ___ Portfolios None
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Name and
Year of Birth
Position
and Offices
with Trust
Term of
Office and
Year First
Elected or
Appointed
Principal Occupations
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in the First
Trust Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other
Trusteeships or
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
During the
Past 5 Years
INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES
Thomas R. Kadlec
1957
Trustee • Indefinite term
• Since inception
President, ADM Investor Services, Inc. (Futures Commission Merchant) ___ Portfolios Director of ADM Investor Services, Inc., ADM Investor Services International, Futures Industry Association, and National Futures Association
Robert F. Keith
1956
Trustee • Indefinite term
• Since inception
President, Hibs Enterprises (Financial and Management Consulting) ___ Portfolios Director of Trust Company of Illinois
Niel B. Nielson
1954
Trustee • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Senior Advisor (August 2018 to present), Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer (January 2015 to August 2018), Pelita Harapan Educational Foundation (Educational Products and Services); President and Chief Executive Officer (June 2012 to September 2014), Servant Interactive LLC (Educational Products and Services); President and Chief Executive Officer (June 2012 to September 2014), Dew Learning LLC (Educational Products and Services) ___ Portfolios Director of Covenant Transport, Inc.
(May 2003 to May 2014)
    
Name and
Year of Birth
Position and
Offices with Trust
Term of Office and
Length of Service
Principal Occupations
During Past 5 Years
OFFICERS OF THE TRUST
James M. Dykas
1966
President and Chief Executive Officer • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer (January 2016 to present), Controller (January 2011 to January 2016), Senior Vice President (April 2007 to January 2016), First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.; Chief Financial Officer (January 2016 to present), BondWave LLC (Software Development Company) and Stonebridge Advisors LLC (Investment Advisor)
W. Scott Jardine
1960
Secretary and Chief Legal Officer • Indefinite term
• Since inception
General Counsel, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.; Secretary and General Counsel, BondWave LLC; and Secretary, Stonebridge Advisors LLC
Daniel J. Lindquist
1970
Vice President • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Managing Director, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.
Kristi A. Maher
1966
Chief Compliance Officer and Assistant Secretary • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Deputy General Counsel, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.
Donald P. Swade
1972
Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Senior Vice President (July 2016 to Present), Vice President (April 2012 to July 2016), First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.
Roger F. Testin
1966
Vice President • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Senior Vice President, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.
Stan Ueland
1970
Vice President • Indefinite term
• Since inception
Senior Vice President, First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P.
(1) Mr. Bowen is deemed an “interested person” of the Trust due to his position as Chief Executive Officer of First Trust, investment advisor of the Fund.
Unitary Board Leadership Structure
Each Trustee serves as a trustee of all open-end and closed-end funds in the First Trust Fund Complex (as defined below), which is known as a “unitary” board leadership structure. Each Trustee currently serves as a trustee of First Trust Series Fund and First Trust Variable Insurance Trust, open-end funds with seven portfolios advised by First Trust; First Trust Senior
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Floating Rate Income Fund II, Macquarie/First Trust Global Infrastructure/Utilities Dividend & Income Fund, First Trust Energy Income and Growth Fund, First Trust Enhanced Equity Income Fund, First Trust/Aberdeen Global Opportunity Income Fund, First Trust Mortgage Income Fund, First Trust/Aberdeen Emerging Opportunity Fund, First Trust Specialty Finance and Financial Opportunities Fund, First Trust High Income Long/Short Fund, First Trust Energy Infrastructure Fund, First Trust MLP and Energy Income Fund, First Trust Intermediate Duration Preferred & Income Fund, First Trust Dynamic Europe Equity Income Fund, First Trust New Opportunities MLP & Energy Fund and First Trust Senior Floating Rate 2022 Target Term Fund, closed-end funds advised by First Trust; and First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund II, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund V, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VI, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII, First Trust Exchange-Traded AlphaDEX® Fund and First Trust Exchange-Traded AlphaDEX® Fund II, exchange-traded funds with ___ portfolios advised by First Trust (each a “First Trust Fund” and collectively, the “First Trust Fund Complex”). None of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust, nor any of their immediate family members, has ever been a director, officer or employee of, or consultant to, First Trust, First Trust Portfolios L.P. or their affiliates.
The management of the Fund, including general supervision of the duties performed for the Fund under the investment management agreement between the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, and the Advisor, is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees. The Trustees set broad policies for the Fund, choose the Trust’s officers and hire the Fund's investment advisor, sub-advisors and other service providers. The officers of the Trust manage the day-to-day operations and are responsible to the Board. The Board is composed of four Independent Trustees and one Interested Trustee. The Interested Trustee, James A. Bowen, serves as the Chairman of the Board for each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex.
The same five persons serve as Trustees on the Board and on the Boards of all other First Trust Funds. The unitary board structure was adopted for the First Trust Funds because of the efficiencies it achieves with respect to the governance and oversight of the First Trust Funds. Each First Trust Fund is subject to the rules and regulations of the 1940 Act (and other applicable securities laws), which means that many of the First Trust Funds face similar issues with respect to certain of their fundamental activities, including risk management, portfolio liquidity, portfolio valuation and financial reporting. Because of the similar and often overlapping issues facing the First Trust Funds, including among the First Trust exchange-traded funds, the Board of the First Trust Funds believes that maintaining a unitary board structure promotes efficiency and consistency in the governance and oversight of all First Trust Funds and reduces the costs, administrative burdens and possible conflicts that may result from having multiple boards. In adopting a unitary board structure, the Trustees seek to provide effective governance through establishing a board the overall composition of which will, as a body, possess the appropriate skills, diversity, independence and experience to oversee the Fund's business.
Annually, the Board reviews its governance structure and the committee structures, their performance and functions, and it reviews any processes that would enhance Board governance over the Fund's business. The Board has determined that its leadership structure, including the unitary board and committee structure, is appropriate based on the characteristics of the funds it serves and the characteristics of the First Trust Fund Complex as a whole.
In order to streamline communication between the Advisor and the Independent Trustees and create certain efficiencies, the Board has a Lead Independent Trustee who is responsible for: (i) coordinating activities of the Independent Trustees; (ii) working with the Advisor, Fund counsel and the independent legal counsel to the Independent Trustees to determine the agenda for Board meetings; (iii) serving as the principal contact for and facilitating communication between the Independent Trustees and the Fund's service providers, particularly the Advisor; and (iv) any other duties that the Independent Trustees may delegate to the Lead Independent Trustee. The Lead Independent Trustee is selected by the Independent Trustees and serves a three-year term or until his or her successor is selected.
The Board has established four standing committees (as described below) and has delegated certain of its responsibilities to those committees. The Board and its committees meet frequently throughout the year to oversee the Fund's activities, review contractual arrangements with and performance of service providers, oversee compliance with regulatory requirements and review Fund performance. The Independent Trustees are represented by independent legal counsel at all Board and committee meetings (other than meetings of the Executive Committee). Generally, the Board acts by majority vote of all the Trustees, including a majority vote of the Independent Trustees if required by applicable law.
The three Committee Chairmen and the Lead Independent Trustee rotate every three years in serving as Chairman of the Audit Committee, the Nominating and Governance Committee or the Valuation Committee, or as Lead Independent Trustee. The Lead Independent Trustee and immediate past Lead Independent Trustee also serve on the Executive Committee with the Interested Trustee.
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The four standing committees of the First Trust Fund Complex are: the Executive Committee (and Pricing and Dividend Committee), the Nominating and Governance Committee, the Valuation Committee and the Audit Committee. The Executive Committee, which meets between Board meetings, is authorized to exercise all powers of and to act in the place of the Board of Trustees to the extent permitted by the Trust’s Declaration of Trust and By Laws. Such Committee is also responsible for the declaration and setting of dividends. Mr. Kadlec, Mr. Bowen and Mr. Keith are members of the Executive Committee.
The Nominating and Governance Committee is responsible for appointing and nominating non-interested persons to the Board of Trustees. Messrs. Erickson, Kadlec, Keith and Nielson are members of the Nominating and Governance Committee. If there is no vacancy on the Board of Trustees, the Board will not actively seek recommendations from other parties, including shareholders. The Board of Trustees adopted a mandatory retirement age of 75 for Trustees, beyond which age Trustees are ineligible to serve. The Committee will not consider new trustee candidates who are 72 years of age or older. When a vacancy on the Board of Trustees occurs and nominations are sought to fill such vacancy, the Nominating and Governance Committee may seek nominations from those sources it deems appropriate in its discretion, including shareholders of the Fund. To submit a recommendation for nomination as a candidate for a position on the Board of Trustees, shareholders of the Fund should mail such recommendation to W. Scott Jardine, Secretary, at the Trust’s address, 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. Such recommendation shall include the following information: (i) evidence of Fund ownership of the person or entity recommending the candidate (if a Fund shareholder); (ii) a full description of the proposed candidate’s background, including education, experience, current employment and date of birth; (iii) names and addresses of at least three professional references for the candidate; (iv) information as to whether the candidate is an “interested person” in relation to the Fund, as such term is defined in the 1940 Act, and such other information that may be considered to impair the candidate’s independence; and (v) any other information that may be helpful to the Committee in evaluating the candidate. If a recommendation is received with satisfactorily completed information regarding a candidate during a time when a vacancy exists on the Board or during such other time as the Nominating and Governance Committee is accepting recommendations, the recommendation will be forwarded to the Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee and to counsel to the Independent Trustees.
The Valuation Committee is responsible for the oversight of the valuation procedures of the Fund (the “Valuation Procedures”), for determining the fair value of the Fund's securities or other assets under certain circumstances as described in the Valuation Procedures and for evaluating the performance of any pricing service for the Fund. Messrs. Erickson, Kadlec, Keith and Nielson are members of the Valuation Committee.
The Audit Committee is responsible for overseeing the Fund’s accounting and financial reporting process, the system of internal controls and audit process and for evaluating and appointing independent auditors (subject also to Board approval). Messrs. Erickson, Kadlec, Keith and Nielson serve on the Audit Committee.
Executive Officers
The executive officers of the Trust hold the same positions with each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex (representing ___ portfolios) as they hold with the Trust.
Risk Oversight
As part of the general oversight of the Fund, the Board is involved in the risk oversight of the Fund. The Board has adopted and periodically reviews policies and procedures designed to address the Fund’s risks. Oversight of investment and compliance risk is performed primarily at the Board level in conjunction with the Advisor’s investment oversight group and the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”). Oversight of other risks also occurs at the committee level. The Advisor’s investment oversight group reports to the Board at quarterly meetings regarding, among other things, Fund performance and the various drivers of such performance. The Board reviews reports on the Fund's and the service providers’ compliance policies and procedures at each quarterly Board meeting and receives an annual report from the CCO regarding the operations of the Fund's and the service providers’ compliance program. In addition, the Independent Trustees meet privately each quarter with the CCO. The Audit Committee reviews with the Advisor the Fund’s major financial risk exposures and the steps the Advisor has taken to monitor and control these exposures, including the Fund’s risk assessment and risk management policies and guidelines. The Audit Committee also, as appropriate, reviews in a general manner the processes other Board committees have in place with respect to risk assessment and risk management. The Nominating and Governance Committee monitors all matters related to the corporate governance of the Trust. The Valuation Committee monitors valuation risk and compliance with the Fund's Valuation Procedures and oversees the pricing services and actions by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee with respect to the valuation of portfolio securities.
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Not all risks that may affect the Fund can be identified nor can controls be developed to eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects. It may not be practical or cost effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, the processes and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness, and some risks are simply beyond the reasonable control of the Fund or the Advisor or other service providers. For instance, as the use of Internet technology has become more prevalent, the Fund and its service providers have become more susceptible to potential operational risks through breaches in cyber security (generally, intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund or a service provider to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity). There can be no guarantee that any risk management systems established by the Fund, its service providers, or issuers of the securities in which the Fund invests to reduce cyber security risks will succeed, and the Fund cannot control such systems put in place by service providers, issuers or other third parties whose operations may affect the Fund and/or their shareholders. Moreover, it is necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment related risks) to achieve the Fund's goals. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the Fund's ability to manage risk is subject to substantial limitations.
Board Diversification and Trustee Qualifications
As described above, the Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board oversees matters related to the nomination of Trustees. The Nominating and Governance Committee seeks to establish an effective Board with an appropriate range of skills and diversity, including, as appropriate, differences in background, professional experience, education, vocation, and other individual characteristics and traits in the aggregate. Each Trustee must meet certain basic requirements, including relevant skills and experience, time availability and, if qualifying as an Independent Trustee, independence from the Advisor, underwriters or other service providers, including any affiliates of these entities.
Listed below for each current Trustee are the experiences, qualifications and attributes that led to the conclusion, as of the date of this SAI, that each current Trustee should serve as a Trustee in light of the Trust’s business and structure.
Richard E. Erickson, M.D., is an orthopedic surgeon. He also has been President of Wheaton Orthopedics, a co-owner and director of a fitness center and a limited partner of two real estate companies. Dr. Erickson has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception. Dr. Erickson has also served as the Lead Independent Trustee and on the Executive Committee (20082009), Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20032007 and 20142016), Chairman of the Audit Committee (20122013) and Chairman of the Valuation Committee (June 20062007 and 20102011) of the First Trust Funds. He currently serves as Lead Independent Trustee and on the Executive Committee (since January 1, 2017) of the First Trust Funds.
Thomas R. Kadlec is President of ADM Investor Services Inc. (“ADMIS”), a futures commission merchant and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Archer Daniels Midland Company (“ADM”). Mr. Kadlec has been employed by ADMIS and its affiliates since 1990 in various accounting, financial, operations and risk management capacities. Mr. Kadlec serves on the boards of several international affiliates of ADMIS and is a member of ADM’s Integrated Risk Committee, which is tasked with the duty of implementing and communicating enterprise-wide risk management. In 2014, Mr. Kadlec was elected to the board of the Futures Industry Association. In 2017, Mr. Kadlec was elected to the board of the National Futures Association. Mr. Kadlec has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception. Mr. Kadlec also served on the Executive Committee from the organization of the first First Trust closed-end fund in 2003 until he was elected as the first Lead Independent Trustee in December 2005, serving as such through 2007 (and 20142016). He also served as Chairman of the Valuation Committee (20082009), Chairman of the Audit Committee (20102011) and Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20122013). He currently serves as Chairman of the Valuation Committee and on the Executive Committee (since January 1, 2017) of the First Trust Funds.
Robert F. Keith is President of Hibs Enterprises, a financial and management consulting firm. Mr. Keith has been with Hibs Enterprises since 2003. Prior thereto, Mr. Keith spent 18 years with ServiceMaster and Aramark, including three years as President and COO of ServiceMaster Consumer Services, where he led the initial expansion of certain products overseas; five years as President and COO of ServiceMaster Management Services; and two years as President of Aramark ServiceMaster Management Services. Mr. Keith is a certified public accountant and also has held the positions of Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of ServiceMaster, at which time he oversaw the financial aspects of ServiceMaster’s expansion of its Management Services division into Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Mr. Keith has served as a Trustee of the First Trust Funds since June 2006. Mr. Keith has also served as the Chairman of the Audit Committee (20082009) and Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20102011) and Chairman of the Valuation Committee (20142016) of the First Trust Funds. He served as Lead Independent Trustee and on the Executive Committee (20122016) and currently serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee (since January 1, 2017) of the First Trust Funds.
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Niel B. Nielson, Ph.D., has been the Senior Advisor of Pelita Harapan Educational Foundation, a global provider of educational products and services since August 2018. Prior thereto, Mr. Nielson served as the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Pelita Harapan Educational Foundation for three years. Mr. Nielson formerly served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dew Learning LLC from June 2012 through September 2014. Mr. Nielson formerly served as President of Covenant College (20022012), and as a partner and trader (of options and futures contracts for hedging options) for Ritchie Capital Markets Group (19961997), where he held an administrative management position at this proprietary derivatives trading company. He also held prior positions in new business development for ServiceMaster Management Services Company and in personnel and human resources for NationsBank of North Carolina, N.A. and Chicago Research and Trading Group, Ltd. (“CRT”). His international experience includes serving as a director of CRT Europe, Inc. for two years, directing out of London all aspects of business conducted by the U.K. and European subsidiary of CRT. Prior to that, Mr. Nielson was a trader and manager at CRT in Chicago. Mr. Nielson has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception and of the First Trust Funds since 1999. Mr. Nielson has also served as the Chairman of the Audit Committee (20032006 and 20142016), Chairman of the Valuation Committee (20072008), Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (20082009) and Lead Independent Trustee and a member of the Executive Committee (20102011). He currently serves as Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee (since January 1, 2017) of the First Trust Funds.
James A. Bowen is Chief Executive Officer of First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P. Mr. Bowen is involved in the day-to-day management of the First Trust Funds and serves on the Executive Committee. He has over 35 years of experience in the investment company business in sales, sales management and executive management. Mr. Bowen has served as a Trustee of each First Trust Fund since its inception and of the First Trust Funds since 1999.
Effective January 1, 2019, the fixed annual retainer paid to the Independent Trustees is $255,000 per year and an annual per fund fee of $2,500 for each closed-end fund and actively managed fund and $250 for each index fund. The fixed annual retainer is allocated equally among each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex rather than being allocated pro rata based on each fund’s net assets. Additionally, the Lead Independent Trustee is paid $30,000 annually, the Chairman of the Audit Committee or Valuation Committee are each paid $20,000 annually and the Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee is paid $10,000 annually to serve in such capacities with compensation allocated pro rata among each fund in the First Trust Fund Complex based on its net assets.
The following table sets forth the estimated compensation (including reimbursement for travel and out-of-pocket expenses) to be paid by the Fund for one fiscal year and the actual compensation paid by the First Trust Fund Complex to each of the Independent Trustees for the calendar year ended December 31, 2018, respectively. The Trust has no retirement or pension plans. The officers and Trustee who are “interested persons” as designated above serve without any compensation from the Trust. The Trust has no employees. Its officers are compensated by First Trust.
Name of Trustee Estimated Compensation from
the Fund (1)
Total Compensation from
the First Trust Fund Complex (2)
Richard E. Erickson $_____ $________
Thomas R. Kadlec $_____ $________
Robert F. Keith $_____ $________
Niel B. Nielson $_____ $________
(1) The estimated compensation to be paid by the Fund to the Independent Trustees for one fiscal year for services to the Fund.
(2) The total compensation paid to the Independent Trustees for the calendar year ended December 31, 2018 for services to the 161 portfolios, which consists of 7 open-end mutual funds, 15 closed-end funds and 139 exchange-traded funds.
The following table sets forth the dollar range of equity securities beneficially owned by the Trustees in the Fund and in other funds overseen by the Trustees in the First Trust Fund Complex as of December 31, 2018:
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Trustee Dollar Range of
Equity Securities
in the Fund
(Number of Shares Held)
Aggregate Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in All Registered
Investment Companies
Overseen by Trustee in the
First Trust Fund Complex
Interested Trustee
James A. Bowen None Over $100,000
Independent Trustees
Richard E. Erickson None Over $100,000
Thomas R. Kadlec None Over $100,000
Robert F. Keith None Over $100,000
Niel B. Nielson None Over $100,000
As of _____, 2019, the Independent Trustees of the Trust and their immediate family members did not own beneficially or of record any class of securities of an investment advisor or principal underwriter of the Fund or any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with an investment advisor or principal underwriter of the Fund.
As of _____, 2019, the officers and Trustees, in the aggregate, owned less than 1% of the shares of the Fund.
As of _____, 2019, First Trust Portfolios was the sole shareholder of the Fund. As sole shareholder, First Trust Portfolios has the ability to control the outcome of any item presented to shareholders for approval.
As of _____, 2019, the Advisor did not own any shares of the Fund.
Investment Advisor.    First Trust, 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, is the investment advisor to the Fund. 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 to the Fund subject to the policies of the Board of Trustees.
First Trust provides investment tools and portfolios for advisors and investors. First Trust is committed to theoretically sound portfolio construction and empirically verifiable investment management approaches. Its asset management philosophy and investment discipline are deeply rooted in the application of intuitive factor analysis and model implementation to enhance investment decisions.
First Trust acts as investment advisor for and manages the investment and reinvestment of the assets of the Fund. First Trust also administers the Trust’s business affairs, provides office facilities and equipment and certain clerical, bookkeeping and administrative services, and permits any of its officers or employees to serve without compensation as Trustees or officers of the Trust if elected to such positions.
Pursuant to an investment agreement between First Trust and the Trust, on behalf of the Fund (the “Investment Management Agreement”), First Trust oversees the Sub-Advisor's investment of the Fund's assets and is responsible for paying all expenses of the Fund, excluding the fee payments under the Investment Management Agreement, interest, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, distribution and service fees payable pursuant to a Rule 12b-1 plan, if any, and extraordinary expenses.
The Fund has agreed to pay First Trust an annual unitary management fee equal to 0.__% of its average daily net assets.
Under the Investment Management Agreement, First Trust shall not be liable for any loss sustained by reason of the purchase, sale or retention of any security, whether or not such purchase, sale or retention shall have been based upon the investigation and research made by any other individual, firm or corporation, if such recommendation shall have been selected with due care and in good faith, except loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of First Trust in the performance of its obligations and duties, or by reason of its reckless disregard of its obligations and duties. The Investment Management Agreement terminates automatically upon assignment and is terminable at any time without penalty as to the Fund by the Board of Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, or by vote of the holders
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of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities on 60 days’ written notice to First Trust, or by First Trust on 60 days’ written notice to the Fund.
Sub-Advisor
The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, and First Trust have retained Cboe Vest Financial LLC ("Cboe Vest" or the "Sub-Advisor"), to serve as investment sub-advisor to the Fund pursuant to a sub-advisory agreement (the "Sub-Advisory Agreement"). In this capacity, Cboe Vest is responsible for the selection and ongoing monitoring of the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolios. Cboe Vest, with principal offices at 1765 Greensboro Station Pl, 9th Floor, McLean, Virginia 22102, was founded in 2012, and is a [_________________]. Cboe Vest had approximately $[_______] under management or committed to management as of [___________], 2019.
The Sub-Advisor is a subsidiary of Vest Financial Group, Inc. (“CboeVG”). CboeVG is majority owned by Cboe® Vest, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cboe® Holdings, Inc. The remaining portion of CboeVG is owned by certain individuals who operate CboeVG and the Sub-Advisor. CboeVG was organized in 2012. Cboe® Holdings, Inc. is the holding company for the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“Cboe®) and other subsidiaries. Cboe® is the largest U.S. options exchange and creator of listed options. Cboe® offers equity, index and ETF options, including proprietary products, such as the S&P 500® Index options, which is the most actively traded U.S. index option, and these products may trade on Cboe® affiliated exchanges resulting in transaction and other revenues accruing to Cboe®. In the future and subject to the qualifications described in the principal investment strategies of the Fund, the Fund may trade options on Cboe®, including options on the S&P 500® Index. The Fund will not pay, and Cboe® (and its parent and affiliates) will not receive any special compensation or consideration in connection with such transactions other than the typical costs that are associated with conducting such transactions by any other non-affiliated party. Certain options used by the Fund may trade on one or more Cboe® affiliated exchanges, in some cases exclusively on these exchanges, resulting in transaction and other revenues accruing to Cboe®. Cboe® is a registered trademark of Cboe®. VestSM is a service mark of CboeVG.
Karan Sood, Howard Rubin and Rachel Ames are the Fund’s portfolio managers and are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s investment portfolio.
Mr. Sood has ten years of experience in derivative based investment strategy design and trading. Mr. Sood joined Vest in 2012. Prior to joining the Adviser, Mr. Sood worked as a senior manager in new product development at ProShares Advisors LLC. At ProShares he was instrumental in developing several first-to-market derivative based ETFs. Prior to ProShares, Mr. Sood worked as a Vice President at Barclays Capital. Last based in New York, he was responsible for using derivatives to design structured investment strategies and solutions for the firm’s institutional clients in the Americas. Prior to his role in New York, Mr. Sood worked in similar capacity in London with Barclays Capital’s European clients. Mr. Sood received a master’s degree in Decision Sciences & Operations Research from London School of Economics & Political Science. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
Mr. Rubin has over twenty years of experience as a Portfolio Manager. Mr. Rubin joined Vest in 2017. Prior to joining Vest, Mr. Rubin has served as Director of Portfolio Management at ProShare Advisors LLC from December 2007 to September 2013. Mr. Rubin has also served as Senior Portfolio Manager of ProFund Advisors LLC since November 2004 and Portfolio Manager of ProFund Advisors LLC from April 2000 through November 2004. Mr. Rubin holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Mr. Rubin received a master’s degree in finance from George Washington University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Ames has over ten years of experience in portfolio management. Ms. Ames joined Vest in 2018. Prior to joining Vest, Ms. Ames served as a Portfolio Manager at ProShares Advisors LLC since October 2013, Associate Portfolio Manager from June 2009 through September 2013 and Portfolio Analyst from June 2004 through June 2009. Ms. Ames holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and a bachelor’s degree in finance from The George Washington University.
As of _____, 2019, the portfolio managers did not beneficially own any shares of the Fund.
Compensation. The Portfolio Managers do not receive compensation that is based upon the Fund, any separate account strategy, partnership or any other commingled account’s, or any private account’s pre- or after-tax performance, or the value of the assets held by such entities. The Portfolio Managers do not receive any special or additional compensation from the
17

Sub-Advisor for their service as Portfolio Managers. The Portfolio Managers receive a salary from the Sub-Advisor. In addition to base salary, the Portfolio Managers may receive additional bonus compensation which is tied to the overall financial operating results of the Sub-Advisor's parent company, CboeVG.
Conflicts of Interest. Each Portfolio Manager’s management of “other accounts” may give rise to potential conflicts of interest in connection with his management of the Fund's investments, on the one hand, and the investments of the other accounts, on the other. The other accounts may have the same investment objective as the Fund. Therefore, a potential conflict of interest may arise as a result of the identical investment objectives, whereby a Portfolio Manager could favor one account over another. Another potential conflict could include the Portfolio Manager’s knowledge about the size, timing and possible market impact of Fund trades, whereby a Portfolio Manager could use this information to the advantage of other accounts and to the disadvantage of the Fund. However, the Sub-Advisor has established policies and procedures to ensure that the purchase and sale of securities among all accounts it manages are fairly and equitably allocated.
As noted above, the Sub-Advisor is a subsidiary of CboeVG, which is majority owned by Cboe® Vest, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cboe® Holdings, Inc. The remaining portion of CboeVG is owned by certain individuals who operate CboeVG and the Sub-Advisor. Cboe® Holdings, Inc. is the holding company for the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“Cboe®) and other subsidiaries. Cboe® is the largest U.S. options exchange and creator of listed options. Cboe® offers equity, index and ETF options, including proprietary products, such as the S&P 500 options, the most active U.S. index option, and these products may trade on Cboe® affiliated exchanges resulting in transaction and other revenues accruing to Cboe®. In the future and subject to the qualifications set forth below, the Fund may trade options on Cboe®, including options on the S&P 500® Index. The Fund will not pay, and Cboe® (and its parent and affiliates) will not receive any special compensation or consideration in connection with such transactions other than the typical costs that are associated with conducting such transactions by any other non-affiliated party. Certain options used by the Fund may trade on one or more Cboe®-affiliated exchanges, in some cases exclusively on these exchanges, resulting in transaction and other revenues accruing to Cboe®. Additionally, Cboe® Holdings, Inc. owns a minority interest in the OCC, and the securities in which the Fund may take positions are cleared by the OCC. In this regard, the OCC may receive a benefit as a result of the positions taken (i.e., the securities purchased) by the Fund, and, as a result, Cboe® Holdings may indirectly benefit. Additionally, the pricing for certain options positions held by the Fund may be obtained directly or indirectly from Cboe, and Cboe receives a fee for that service. [The Trust and] the Sub-Advisor have adopted procedures to ensure that any transactions of the Fund are consistent with applicable regulatory and statutory restrictions on affiliated transactions and are done in a manner that is subject to the oversight of the [Trust’s Board of Trustees] and is fair and equitable to the Fund. Cboe ® is a registered trademark of Cboe®. VestSM is a service mark of CboeVG.
Because of certain potential limitations of the Investment Company Act of 1940 associated with the use of options trading on or originated from the Chicago Board Options Exchange (“Cboe”) and any other exchanges owned or controlled by Cboe Holdings, Inc. (“Cboe Exchanges”), the Fund will not effect transactions in options on any Cboe Exchanges until such time that appropriate exemptive and/or no-action relief is obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and/or its staff by the Sub-Advisor, Cboe and/or any mutual funds and/or ETFs advised by the Sub-Advisor. This restriction shall not prevent the Sub-Advisor or the Fund from engaging in certain other transactions or receiving certain other services from Cboe or for which Cboe may receive a benefit, such as pricing services, provided such transactions and/or the receipt of such services is consistent with applicable statutes, rules, regulations and interpretive positions of the SEC and its staff. Additionally, the restrictions described in this paragraph do not prevent the Fund from engaging in options transactions on exchanges other than Cboe Exchanges where the OCC guarantees performance of such transactions.
The Sub-Advisory Agreement. The Sub-Advisor, subject to the Board of Trustees’ and Advisor’s supervision, provides the Fund with discretionary investment services. Specifically, the Sub-Advisor is responsible for managing the investments of the Fund in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives, policies and restrictions as provided in the Prospectus and this SAI, as may be subsequently changed by the Board of Trustees and communicated to the Sub-Advisor in writing. The Sub-Advisor further agrees to conform to all applicable laws and regulations of the SEC in all material respects and to conduct its activities under the Sub-Advisory Agreement in all material respects in accordance with applicable regulations of any governmental authority pertaining to its investment advisory services. In the performance of its duties, the Sub-Advisor will in all material respects satisfy any applicable fiduciary duties it may have to the Fund, will monitor the Fund’s investments and will comply with the provisions of the Trust’s Declaration of Trust and By-Laws, as amended from time to time, and the stated investment objective, policies and restrictions of the Fund. The Sub-Advisor is responsible for effecting all security transactions for the Fund’s assets. The Sub-Advisory Agreement provides that the Sub-Advisor shall generally not be liable for any loss suffered by the Fund or the Advisor (including, without limitation, by reason of the purchase, sale or retention of any security) in connection with the performance of the Sub-Advisor’s duties under the Sub-Advisory Agreement, except for a loss resulting from willful
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misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of the Sub-Advisor in performance of its duties under the Sub-Advisory Agreement, or by reason of its reckless disregard of its obligations and duties under the Sub-Advisory Agreement.
Pursuant to the Sub-Advisory Agreement, the Advisor has agreed to pay for the services and facilities provided by the Sub-Advisor through sub-advisory fees. The Sub-Advisor’s fees are paid by the Advisor out of the Advisor’s management fee. For the Fund, the Sub-Advisor receives a sub-advisory fee equal to __% of any remaining monthly unitary management fee paid to the Advisor after the average Fund’s expenses accrued during the most recent twelve months are subtracted from the unitary management fee for that month.
The Sub-Advisory Agreement may be terminated without the payment of any penalty by First Trust, the Board of Trustees, or a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act), upon 60 days’ written notice to the Sub-Advisor.
All fees and expenses are accrued daily and deducted before payment of dividends to investors. The Sub-Advisory Agreement has been approved by the Board of Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees of the Fund, and the common shareholders of the Fund.
Accounts Managed by Portfolio Managers
The portfolio managers manage the investment vehicles (other than the Fund) with the number of accounts and assets, as of __________, 2019, as set forth in the table below:
Portfolio Managers Registered
Investment
Companies
Number of
Accounts
($ Assets in Thousands)
Other Pooled
Investment
Vehicles
Number of
Accounts
($ Assets in Thousands)
Other Accounts
Number of
Accounts
($ Assets in Thousands)
Registered
Investment
Companies With Performance Fees
Number of
Accounts
($ Assets in Thousands)
Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
With
Performance Fees
Number of
Accounts
($ Assets in Thousands)
Other Accounts
With
Performance
Fees
Number of
Accounts
($ Assets in Thousands)
Karan Sood __
($__________)
__
($_________)
___
($__________)
NA __
($________)
__
($________)
Howard Rubin __
($__________)
__
($_________)
___
($__________)
NA __
($________)
__
($________)
Rachel Ames __
($__________)
__
($_________)
___
($__________)
NA __
($________)
__
($________)
Brokerage Allocations
The Sub-Advisor is responsible for decisions to buy and sell securities for the Fund and for the placement of the Fund's securities business, the negotiation of the commissions to be paid on brokered transactions, the prices for principal trades in securities, and the allocation of portfolio brokerage and principal business. It is the policy of the Sub-Advisor to seek the best execution at the best security price available with respect to each transaction, and with respect to brokered transactions in light of the overall quality of brokerage and research services provided to the Sub-Advisor and its clients. The best price to the Fund means the best net price without regard to the mix between purchase or sale price and commission, if any. Purchases may be made from underwriters, dealers and, on occasion, the issuers. Commissions will be paid on the Fund's futures and options transactions, if any. The purchase price of portfolio securities purchased from an underwriter or dealer may include underwriting commissions and dealer spreads. The Fund may pay markups on principal transactions. In selecting broker-dealers and in negotiating commissions, the Sub-Advisor considers, among other things, the firm’s reliability, the quality of its execution services on a continuing basis and its financial condition. Fund portfolio transactions may be effected with broker-dealers who have assisted investors in the purchase of shares.
Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act permits an investment advisor, under certain circumstances, to cause an account to pay a broker or dealer who supplies brokerage and research services a commission for effecting a transaction in excess of the amount of commission another broker or dealer would have charged for effecting the transaction. Brokerage and research services include (a) furnishing advice as to the value of securities, the advisability of investing, purchasing or selling securities, and the availability of securities or purchasers or sellers of securities; (b) furnishing analyses and reports concerning issuers, industries, securities, economic factors and trends, portfolio strategy and the performance of accounts; and (c) effecting securities transactions and performing functions incidental thereto (such as clearance, settlement and custody). Such brokerage and
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research services are often referred to as “soft dollars.” First Trust has advised the Board of Trustees that it does not currently intend to use soft dollars.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in selecting brokers, the Sub-Advisor may in the future consider investment and market information and other research, such as economic, securities and performance measurement research, provided by such brokers, and the quality and reliability of brokerage services, including execution capability, performance and financial responsibility. Accordingly, the commissions charged by any such broker may be greater than the amount another firm might charge if the Sub-Advisor determines in good faith that the amount of such commissions is reasonable in relation to the value of the research information and brokerage services provided by such broker to the Sub-Advisor or the Trust. In addition, the Sub-Advisor must determine that the research information received in this manner provides the Fund with benefits by supplementing the research otherwise available to the Fund. The Investment Management Agreement provides that such higher commissions will not be paid by the Fund unless First Trust determines in good faith that the amount is reasonable in relation to the services provided. The investment advisory fees paid by the Fund to First Trust under the Investment Management Agreement would not be reduced as a result of receipt by the Sub-Advisor of research services.
The Sub-Advisor places portfolio transactions for other advisory accounts advised by it, and research services furnished by firms through which The Fund effects its securities transactions may be used by the Sub-Advisor in servicing all of its accounts; not all of such services may be used by the Sub-Advisor in connection with the Fund. The Sub-Advisor believes it is not possible to measure separately the benefits from research services to each of the accounts (including the Fund) advised by it. Because the volume and nature of the trading activities of the accounts are not uniform, the amount of commissions in excess of those charged by another broker paid by each account for brokerage and research services will vary. However, the Sub-Advisor believes such costs to the Fund will not be disproportionate to the benefits received by the Fund on a continuing basis. The Sub-Advisor seeks to allocate portfolio transactions equitably whenever concurrent decisions are made to purchase or sell securities by the Fund and another advisory account. In some cases, this procedure could have an adverse effect on the price or the amount of securities available to the Fund. In making such allocations between the Fund and other advisory accounts, the main factors considered by the Sub-Advisor are the respective investment objective, the relative size of portfolio holding of the same or comparable securities, the availability of cash for investment and the size of investment commitments generally held.
Administrator, Custodian, Transfer Agent, Fund Accountant, Distributor, Additional Service Provider and Exchange
Administrator.    _______________________________ ("____"), ______________________________, serves as the Fund’s administrator and provides the Fund with accounting services pursuant to a fund administration and accounting agreement (the “Administration and Accounting Agreement”). Under the Administration and Accounting Agreement, ____ is obligated, on a continuous basis, to provide such administrative services as the Board reasonably deems necessary for the proper administration of the Trust and the Fund. ____ generally will assist in many aspects of the Trust’s and the Fund’s operations, including accounting, bookkeeping and record keeping services (including, without limitation, the maintenance of such books and records as are required under the 1940 Act and the rules thereunder, except as maintained by other service providers), assist in preparing reports to shareholders or investors, prepare and file tax returns, supply financial information and supporting data for reports to and filings with the SEC and various state Blue Sky authorities and supply supporting documentation for meetings of the Board.
Custodian.     Pursuant to a custody agreement, ____ serves as the custodian of the Fund’s assets. The custodian holds and administers the assets in the Fund’s portfolios.
Transfer Agent.    Pursuant to a transfer agency and service agreement, ____ provides the Trust with transfer agency services, which includes Creation Unit Aggregation order processing.
The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has agreed to indemnify ____ for certain liabilities, including certain liabilities arising under the federal securities laws, unless such loss or liability results from negligence or willful misconduct in the performance of its duties. As compensation for these services, ____ is paid a fee based on the Fund’s total average daily net assets. ____ also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses for the services described above. This fee is subject to reduction for assets over $1 billion. The Fund has not paid any fees to ____ for the services provided as the Advisor has assumed responsibility for payment of these fees as part of the unitary management fee.
Distributor.    First Trust Portfolios L.P., an affiliate of First Trust, is the distributor (“FTP” or the “Distributor”) and principal underwriter of the shares of the Fund. Its principal address is 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. The Distributor has entered into a Distribution Agreement with the Trust pursuant to which it distributes Fund shares. 
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Shares are continuously offered for sale by the Fund through the Distributor only in Creation Unit Aggregations, as described in the Prospectus and below under the heading “Creation and Redemption of Creation Unit Aggregations.”
12b-1 Plan.    The Trust has adopted a Plan of Distribution pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act (the “Plan”) pursuant to which the Fund may reimburse the Distributor up to a maximum annual rate of 0.25% of its average daily net assets.
Under the Plan and as required by Rule 12b-1, the Trustees will receive and review after the end of each calendar quarter a written report provided by the Distributor of the amounts expended under the Plan and the purpose for which such expenditures were made. With the exception of the Distributor and its affiliates, no “interested person” of the Trust (as that term is defined in the 1940 Act) and no Trustee of the Trust has a direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the Plan or any related agreement.
No fee is currently paid by the Fund under the Plan and, pursuant to a contractual agreement, the Fund will not pay 12b-1 fees any time before ______________.
Aggregations.    Fund shares in less than Creation Unit Aggregations are not distributed by the Distributor. The Distributor will deliver the Prospectus and, upon request, this SAI to persons purchasing Creation Unit Aggregations and will maintain records of both orders placed with it and confirmations of acceptance furnished by it. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the 1934 Act and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).
The Distribution Agreement provides that it may be terminated at any time, without the payment of any penalty, on at least 60 days’ written notice by the Trust to the Distributor (i) by vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees or (ii) by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund. The Distribution Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).
The Distributor has entered into agreements with participants that utilize the facilities of the Depository Trust Company (the "DTC Participants"), which have international, operational, capabilities and place orders for Creation Unit Aggregations of Fund shares. Participating Parties (which are participants in the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation) shall be DTC Participants.
Additional Service Provider.    First Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has engaged [ICE Data Services] or its designee (the “IPV Calculator”), to calculate the intra-day values for the shares of the Fund.
Exchange.    The only relationship that the Exchange has with First Trust or the Distributor of the Fund in connection with the Fund is that the Exchange lists the shares of the Fund and disseminates the intra-day portfolio valuesof the Fund pursuant to its listing agreement with the Trust. The Exchange is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of pricing or the timing of the issuance or sale of the shares of the Fund or in the determination or calculation of the asset value of the Fund. The Exchange has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Fund.
Additional Payments to Financial Intermediaries
First Trust or its affiliates may from time to time make payments, out of their own resources, to certain financial intermediaries that sell shares of First Trust mutual funds and ETFs ("First Trust Funds") to promote the sales and retention of Fund shares by those firms and their customers. The amounts of these payments vary by intermediary. The level of payments that First Trust is willing to provide to a particular intermediary may be affected by, among other factors, (i) the firm’s total assets or Fund shares held in and recent net investments into First Trust Funds, (ii) the value of the assets invested in the First Trust Funds by the intermediary’s customers, (iii) redemption rates, (iv) its ability to attract and retain assets, (v) the intermediary’s reputation in the industry, (vi) the level and/or type of marketing assistance and educational activities provided by the intermediary, (vii) the firm’s level of participation in First Trust Funds’ sales and marketing programs, (viii) the firm’s compensation program for its registered representatives who sell Fund shares and provide services to Fund shareholders, and (ix) the asset class of the First Trust Funds for which these payments are provided. Such payments are generally asset-based but also may include the payment of a lump sum.
First Trust may also make payments to certain intermediaries for certain administrative services and shareholder processing services, including record keeping and sub-accounting of shareholder accounts pursuant to a sub-transfer agency, omnibus account service or sub-accounting agreement. All fees payable by First Trust under this category of services may be charged back to the Fund, subject to approval by the Board.
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First Trust and/or its affiliates may make payments, out of its own assets, to those firms as compensation and/or reimbursement for marketing support and/or program servicing to selected intermediaries that are registered as holders or dealers of record for accounts invested in one or more of the First Trust Funds or that make First Trust Fund shares available through certain selected Fund no-transaction fee institutional platforms and fee-based wrap programs at certain financial intermediaries. Program servicing payments typically apply to employee benefit plans, such as retirement plans, or fee-based advisory programs but may apply to retail sales and assets in certain situations. The payments are based on such factors as the type and nature of services or support furnished by the intermediary and are generally asset-based. Services for which an intermediary receives marketing support payments may include, but are not limited to, business planning assistance, advertising, educating the intermediary’s personnel about First Trust Funds in connection with shareholder financial planning needs, placement on the intermediary’s preferred or recommended fund list, and access to sales meetings, sales representatives and management representatives of the intermediary. In addition, intermediaries may be compensated for enabling representatives of First Trust and/or its affiliates to participate in and/or present at conferences or seminars, sales or training programs for invited registered representatives and other employees, client and investor events and other events sponsored by the intermediary. Services for which an intermediary receives program servicing payments typically include, but are not limited to, record keeping, reporting or transaction processing and shareholder communications and other account administration services, but may also include services rendered in connection with Fund/investment selection and monitoring, employee enrollment and education, plan balance rollover or separation, or other similar services. An intermediary may perform program services itself or may arrange with a third party to perform program services. These payments, if any, are in addition to the service fee and any applicable omnibus sub-accounting fees paid to these firms with respect to these services by the First Trust Funds out of Fund assets.
From time to time, First Trust and/or its affiliates, at its expense, may provide other compensation to intermediaries that sell or arrange for the sale of shares of the First Trust Funds, which may be in addition to marketing support and program servicing payments described above. For example, First Trust and/or its affiliates may: (i) compensate intermediaries for National Securities Clearing Corporation networking system services (e.g., shareholder communication, account statements, trade confirmations and tax reporting) on an asset-based or per-account basis; (ii) compensate intermediaries for providing Fund shareholder trading information; (iii) make one-time or periodic payments to reimburse selected intermediaries for items such as ticket charges (i.e., fees that an intermediary charges its representatives for effecting transactions in Fund shares) or exchange order, operational charges (e.g., fees that an intermediary charges for establishing the Fund on its trading system), and literature printing and/or distribution costs; (iv) at the direction of a retirement plan’s sponsor, reimburse or pay direct expenses of an employee benefit plan that would otherwise be payable by the plan; and (v) provide payments to broker-dealers to help defray their technology or infrastructure costs.
When not provided for in a marketing support or program servicing agreement, First Trust and/or its affiliates may also pay intermediaries for enabling First Trust and/or its affiliates to participate in and/or present at conferences or seminars, sales or training programs for invited registered representatives and other intermediary employees, client and investor events and other intermediary-sponsored events, and for travel expenses, including lodging incurred by registered representatives and other employees in connection with prospecting, asset retention and due diligence trips. These payments may vary depending upon the nature of the event. First Trust and/or its affiliates make payments for such events as it deems appropriate, subject to its internal guidelines and applicable law.
First Trust and/or its affiliates occasionally sponsor due diligence meetings for registered representatives during which they receive updates on various First Trust Funds and are afforded the opportunity to speak with portfolio managers. Although invitations to these meetings are not conditioned on selling a specific number of shares, those who have shown an interest in First Trust Funds are more likely to be considered. To the extent permitted by their firm’s policies and procedures, all or a portion of registered representatives’ expenses in attending these meetings may be covered by First Trust and/or its affiliates.
The amounts of payments referenced above made by First Trust and/or its affiliates could be significant and may create an incentive for an intermediary or its representatives to recommend or offer shares of the First Trust Funds to its customers. The intermediary may elevate the prominence or profile of the First Trust Funds within the intermediary’s organization by, for example, placing the First Trust Funds on a list of preferred or recommended funds and/or granting First Trust and/or its affiliates preferential or enhanced opportunities to promote the First Trust Funds in various ways within the intermediary’s organization. These payments are made pursuant to negotiated agreements with intermediaries. The payments do not change the price paid by investors for the purchase of a share or the amount the Fund will receive as proceeds from such sales. Furthermore, many of these payments are not reflected in the fees and expenses listed in the fee table section of the Fund's Prospectus because they are not paid by the Fund. The types of payments described herein are not mutually exclusive, and a single intermediary may receive some or all types of payments as described.
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Other compensation may be offered to the extent not prohibited by state laws or any self-regulatory agency, such as FINRA. Investors can ask their intermediaries for information about any payments they receive from First Trust and/or its affiliates and the services it provides for those payments. Investors may wish to take intermediary payment arrangements into account when considering and evaluating any recommendations relating to Fund shares.
Additional Information
Book Entry Only System.    The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus.
DTC Acts as Securities Depository for Fund Shares.    Shares of the Fund are represented by securities registered in the name of The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee, Cede & Co., and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC.
DTC, a limited-purpose trust company, was created to hold securities of its participants (the “DTC Participants”) and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions among the DTC Participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC Participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. More specifically, DTC is owned by a number of its DTC Participants and by the New York Stock Exchange (the "NYSE") and FINRA. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as banks, brokers, dealers and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly (the “Indirect Participants”).
Beneficial ownership of shares is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in shares (owners of such beneficial interests are referred to herein as “Beneficial Owners”) is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC Participants) and on the records of DTC Participants (with respect to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners that are not DTC Participants). Beneficial Owners will receive from or through the DTC Participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase and sale of shares.
Conveyance of all notices, statements and other communications to Beneficial Owners is effected as follows. Pursuant to a letter agreement between DTC and the Trust, DTC is required to make available to the Trust upon request and for a fee to be charged to the Trust a listing of the shares of the Fund held by each DTC Participant. The Trust shall inquire of each such DTC Participant as to the number of Beneficial Owners holding shares, directly or indirectly, through such DTC Participant. The Trust shall provide each such DTC Participant with copies of such notice, statement or other communication, in such form, number and at such place as such DTC Participant may reasonably request, in order that such notice, statement or communication may be transmitted by such DTC Participant, directly or indirectly, to such Beneficial Owners. In addition, the Trust shall pay to each such DTC Participants a fair and reasonable amount as reimbursement for the expenses attendant to such transmittal, all subject to applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
Fund distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, as the registered holder of all Fund shares. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall immediately credit DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in shares of the Fund as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners of shares held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a street name, and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants.
The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial Owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in such shares, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests, or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners owning through such DTC Participants.
DTC may decide to discontinue providing its service with respect to shares at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Trust and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the Trust shall take action to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost.
Intra-Day Portfolio Value.    The price of a non-U.S. security that is primarily traded on a non-U.S. exchange shall be updated every 15 seconds throughout its trading day. Upon the closing of such non-U.S. exchange the closing price of the security will be used throughout the remainder of the U.S. business day. The exchange rates used to calculate the value of
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such non-U.S. securities may differ from those used by First Trust and consequently result in intra-day portfolio values that may vary. Furthermore, in calculating the intra-day portfolio values of the Fund’s shares, the exchange rates used throughout the day (9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Eastern Time) shall be those that are deemed to be most appropriate.
Policy Regarding Investment in Other Investment Companies. The Fund will not rely on Sections 12(d)(1)(F) or 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act to invest in other investment companies.
Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures
The Trust has adopted a proxy voting policy that seeks to ensure that proxies for securities held by the Fund are voted consistently with the best interests of the Fund.
The Board has delegated to ____ the day-to-day proxy voting responsibilities for the Fund and has directed ____ to vote proxies consistent with the Fund's best interests. ____’s Proxy Voting Guidelines are set forth in Exhibit A.
Information regarding how the Fund voted proxies (if any) relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 is available upon request and without charge on the Fund's website at www.ftportfolios.com, by calling (800) 621-1675 or by accessing the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
Quarterly Portfolio Schedule.    The Trust is required to disclose, after its first and third fiscal quarters, the complete schedule of the Fund's portfolio holdings with the SEC on Form N-Q. Form N-Q for the Trust is available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. The Trust’s Forms N-Q are available without charge, upon request, by calling (800) 621-1675 or by writing to First Trust Portfolios L.P., 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187.
Beginning in April 2019, the Trust will cease to disclose the Fund's holdings on Form N-Q and will disclose, on a monthly basis, the complete schedule of the Fund's portfolio holdings with the SEC on Form N-PORT. Form N-PORT for the Trust will be available in the same manner as Form N-Q discussed above.
Policy Regarding Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings.    The Trust has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the Fund’s portfolio holdings. The Board of Trustees must approve all material amendments to this policy. The Fund’s portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day the Fund is open for business through financial reporting and news services, including publicly accessible Internet websites. In addition, a basket composition file, which includes the security names and share quantities to deliver in exchange for Fund shares, together with estimates and actual cash components, is publicly disseminated each day the New York Stock Exchange (the "NYSE") is open for trading via the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”). The basket represents one Creation Unit of the Fund. The Fund’s portfolio holdings are also available on the Fund's website at www.ftportfolios.com. The Trust, First Trust, FTP and ____ will not disseminate non‑public information concerning the Trust.
Codes of Ethics.    In order to mitigate the possibility that the Fund will be adversely affected by personal trading, the Trust, First Trust and the Distributor have adopted Codes of Ethics under Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act. These Codes of Ethics contain policies restricting securities trading in personal accounts of the officers, Trustees and others who normally come into possession of information on portfolio transactions. Personnel subject to the Codes of Ethics may invest in securities that may be purchased or held by the Fund; however, the Codes of Ethics require that each transaction in such securities be reviewed by the CCO or his or her designee. These Codes of Ethics are on public file with, and are available from, the SEC.
Creation and Redemption of Creation Unit Aggregations
General
The Trust issues and sells shares of the Fund only in Creation Unit Aggregations on a continuous basis through the Distributor, without a sales load, at their net asset values next determined after receipt, on any Business Day (as defined below), of an order in proper form.
A “Business Day” is any day on which the NYSE is open for business. As of the date of this SAI, the NYSE observes the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
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The Fund intends to effect a significant portions of creations and redemptions for cash, rather than in-kind securities, and only to and from broker-dealers and large institutional investors that have entered into participation agreements, as described further below.
Purchase and Issuance of Creation Unit Aggregations
Fund Deposit.    The Fund intends to effect a significant portion of creations and redemptions for cash, rather than in-kind securities. The Fund may require or permit purchases of Creation Unit Aggregations to be made in whole or in part on a cash basis, rather than in-kind, under the following circumstances: (i) to the extent there is a Cash Component (as defined below); (ii) if, on a given Business Day, the Fund announces before the open of trading that all purchases on that day will be made entirely in cash; (iii) if, upon receiving a purchase order from an Authorized Participant (as defined below), the Fund determines to require the purchase to be made entirely in cash; (iv) if, on a given Business Day, the Fund requires all Authorized Participants purchasing shares on that day to deposit cash in lieu of some or all of the Deposit Securities (as defined below) because: (a) such instruments are not eligible for transfer through either the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC as such processes have been enhanced to effect purchases and redemptions of Creation Unit Aggregations (the “NSCC Process”) or through the facilities of DTC (the “DTC Process”); or (b) in the case of non-U.S. Deposit Securities, such instruments are not eligible for trading due to local trading restrictions, local restrictions on securities transfers or other similar circumstances; or (v) if the Fund permits an Authorized Participant to deposit cash in lieu of some or all of the Deposit Securities because: (a) such instruments are not available in sufficient quantity; or (b) such instruments are not eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant or the investor on whose behalf the Authorized Participant is acting.
In addition, under the following circumstances, it is possible that Deposit Securities may not correspond pro rata to the positions in the Fund’s portfolio as of the end of the prior Business Day: (i) in the case of bonds, for minor differences when it is impossible to break up bonds beyond certain minimum sizes needed for transfer and settlement; (ii) for minor differences when rounding is necessary to eliminate fractional shares or lots that are not tradeable round lots (a tradeable round lot for a security will be the standard unit of trading in that particular type of security in its primary market); or (iii) with respect to “to-be-announced” transactions, short positions and other positions that cannot be transferred in kind (including instruments that can be transferred in kind only with the consent of the original counterparty to the extent the Fund does not intend to seek such consents), and they will therefore be excluded from the Deposit Securities with their value reflected in the determination of the Cash Component.
Under limited circumstances where purchase of a Creation Unit Aggregation of shares for cash is not practical, the consideration for purchase of a Creation Unit Aggregation of shares of the Fund may consist of the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities and other instruments (the “Deposit Securities”) generally corresponding pro rata (except in certain circumstances) to the Fund’s portfolio positions (including cash positions) as of the end of the prior Business Day and an amount of cash computed as described below (the “Cash Component”). Together, the Deposit Securities (and/or any cash with respect to cash purchases and cash-in-lieu amounts) and the Cash Component constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit Aggregation of the Fund.
The Cash Component is sometimes also referred to as the Balancing Amount. The Cash Component serves the function of compensating for any differences between the net asset value per Creation Unit Aggregation and the Deposit Amount (as defined below). The Cash Component is an amount equal to the difference between (i) the net asset value of Fund shares (per Creation Unit Aggregation) and (ii) the “Deposit Amount” an amount equal to the aggregate market value of the Deposit Securities. If the Cash Component is a positive number (i.e., the net asset value per Creation Unit Aggregation exceeds the Deposit Amount), the creator will deliver the Cash Component. If the Cash Component is a negative number (i.e., the net asset value per Creation Unit Aggregation is less than the Deposit Amount), the creator will receive the Cash Component.
The Custodian, through the NSCC, makes available on each Business Day, prior to the opening of business of the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern Time), the list of the names and the required quantity of each Deposit Security, as well as the estimated Cash Component (if any) that will be applicable to Fund Deposits for the Fund for that day (subject to correction of any errors). Such Fund Deposit information is applicable in order to effect creations of Creation Unit Aggregations of the Fund until the next Business Day.
The identities and quantities of the Deposit Securities required for a Fund Deposit, if any, for the Fund change as corporate action events are reflected within the Fund from time to time by the Advisor with a view to the investment objectives of the Fund.
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Procedures for Creation of Creation Unit Aggregations.    In order to be eligible to place orders with the Distributor and to create a Creation Unit Aggregation of the Fund, an entity must be a DTC Participant (see the section entitled “Book Entry Only System”), must have executed an agreement with the Distributor and transfer agent, with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit Aggregations (“Participant Agreement”), and must have international operational capabilities. A DTC Participant is also referred to as an “Authorized Participant.” Investors should contact the Distributor for the names of Authorized Participants that have signed a Participant Agreement. All Fund shares, however created, will be entered on the records of DTC in the name of Cede & Co. for the account of a DTC Participant.
All standard orders to create Creation Unit Aggregations must be received by the transfer agent no later than the closing time of the regular trading session on the NYSE (“Closing Time”) (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time) in each case on the date such order is placed in order for the creation of Creation Unit Aggregations to be effected based on the net asset value of shares of the Fund as next determined on such date after receipt of the order in proper form. Subject to the provisions of the applicable Participant Agreement, in the case of custom orders, the order must generally be received by the transfer agent no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the trade date. The Fund may require custom orders for the purchase of Creation Unit Aggregations to be placed earlier in the day (for example, on days when the generally accepted close of the Exchange or the applicable fixed-income security market occurs earlier than normal (such as the day before a holiday)). In addition, it is possible that orders to purchase a Creation Unit Aggregation may not be accepted on any day when the applicable fixed-income security markets are closed. The date on which an order to create Creation Unit Aggregations (or an order to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations, as discussed below) is placed is referred to as the “Transmittal Date.” Orders must be transmitted by an Authorized Participant by telephone or other transmission method acceptable to the transfer agent pursuant to procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement. Economic or market disruptions or changes, or telephone or other communication failure may impede the ability to reach the transfer agent or an Authorized Participant.
All orders from investors who are not Authorized Participants to create Creation Unit Aggregations shall be placed with an Authorized Participant, as applicable, in the form required by such Authorized Participant. In addition, the Authorized Participant may request the investor to make certain representations or enter into agreements with respect to the order, e.g., to provide for payments of cash, when required. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed a Participant Agreement and that, therefore, orders to create Creation Unit Aggregations of the Fund have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement. In such cases there may be additional charges to such investor. At any given time, there may be only a limited number of broker-dealers that have executed a Participant Agreement. Those persons placing orders should ascertain the deadlines applicable to DTC and the Federal Reserve Bank wire system by contacting the operations department of the broker or depository institution effectuating such transfer of Deposit Securities and Cash Component.
Deposit Securities must be delivered to the Trust through the applicable processes set forth in the Participant Agreement. Deposit Securities that are non-U.S. securities must be delivered to an account maintained at the applicable local subcustodian of the Trust on or before the International Contractual Settlement Date (as defined below), all in accordance with the terms of the Participant Agreement. If a Deposit Security is an ADR or similar domestic instrument, it may be delivered to the Custodian. The Authorized Participant must also pay on or before the International Contractual Settlement Date immediately available or same-day funds estimated by the Trust to be sufficient to pay the Cash Component next determined after acceptance of the creation order, together with the applicable Creation Transaction Fee (as defined below) and additional variable amounts, as described below, all in accordance with the terms of the Participant Agreement. The “International Contractual Settlement Date” is the earlier of (i) the date upon which all of the required Deposit Securities, the Cash Component and any other cash amounts which may be due are delivered to the Fund or (ii) the latest day for settlement on the customary settlement cycle in the jurisdiction(s) where any of the securities of the Fund are customarily traded. Any excess funds will be returned following settlement of the issue of the Creation Unit Aggregation.
Issuance of Creation Unit Aggregations.    A Creation Unit Aggregation will generally not be issued until the transfer of good title to the Trust of the portfolio of Deposit Securities and the payment of the Cash Component, the Creation Transaction Fee (as defined below) and any other required cash amounts have been completed. As described in the next paragraph, in the event that an order for a Creation Unit is incomplete because certain or all of the Deposit Securities are missing, the Trust may issue a Creation Unit notwithstanding such deficiency in reliance on the undertaking of the Authorized Participant to deliver the missing Deposit Securities as soon as possible, which undertaking shall be secured by an additional cash deposit (described below) with respect to the undelivered Deposit Securities.
To the extent contemplated by the applicable Participant Agreement, Creation Unit Aggregations of the Fund will be issued to such Authorized Participant notwithstanding the fact that the corresponding Fund Deposits have not been received
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in part or in whole, in reliance on the undertaking of the Authorized Participant to deliver the missing Deposit Securities as soon as possible, which undertaking shall be secured by such Authorized Participant’s delivery and maintenance of collateral consisting of cash in the form of U.S. dollars in immediately available funds having a value (marked to market daily) at least equal to 115% (which First Trust may change from time to time) of the value of the missing Deposit Securities. The Participant Agreement will permit the Fund to buy the missing Deposit Securities at any time and will subject the Authorized Participant to liability for any shortfall between the cost to the Trust of purchasing such securities and the value of the collateral.
Acceptance of Orders for Creation Unit Aggregations.    The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject a creation order transmitted to it by the Distributor with respect to the Fund if: (i) the order is not in proper form; (ii) the investor(s), upon obtaining the Fund shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding shares of the Fund; (iii) the required Fund Deposit is not delivered; (iv) acceptance of the Deposit Securities would have certain adverse tax consequences to the Fund; (v) acceptance of the Fund Deposit would, in the opinion of the Trust, be unlawful; (vi) acceptance of the Fund Deposit would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust or the Distributor, have an adverse effect on the Trust, the Fund or the rights of Beneficial Owners; or (vii) circumstances outside the control of the Trust or the Fund make it impossible to process creation orders for all practical purposes. Examples of such circumstances include: acts of God or public service or utility problems such as fires, floods, extreme weather conditions and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy and computer failures; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the Trust, the Fund, First Trust, the Sub-Advisor, the Distributor, DTC, NSCC, the transfer agent, the Custodian, the sub-custodian or any other participant in the creation process; the imposition by a foreign government or a regulatory body of controls, or other monetary, currency or trading restrictions that directly affect the portfolio securities held; and similar extraordinary events. The Distributor shall notify a prospective creator of a Creation Unit and/or the Authorized Participant acting on behalf of such prospective creator of its rejection of the order of such person. The Trust, the Fund, the Custodian, any sub-custodian and the Distributor are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of Fund Deposits, nor shall any of them incur any liability for the failure to give any such notification.
All questions as to the quantity of each security in the Deposit Securities and the validity, form, eligibility, and acceptance for deposit of any securities to be delivered shall be determined by the Trust, and the Trust’s determination shall be final and binding.
Creation Transaction Fee.    Purchasers of Creation Units must pay a creation transaction fee (the “Creation Transaction Fee”) that is currently $___. The Creation Transaction Fee is applicable to each purchase transaction regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased in the transaction. The Creation Transaction Fee may vary and is based on the composition of the securities included in the Fund’s portfolio and the countries in which the transactions are settled. The price for each Creation Unit will equal the daily net asset value per share times the number of shares in a Creation Unit plus the fees described above and, if applicable, any operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees or stamp taxes. When the Fund permits an Authorized Participant to substitute cash in lieu of depositing one or more of the requisite Deposit Securities, the Authorized Participant may also be assessed an amount to cover the cost of purchasing the Deposit Securities, including operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees, stamp taxes, and part or all of the spread between the expected bid and offer side of the market related to such Deposit Securities.
Redemptions of Creation Unit Aggregations
Redemption of Fund Shares in Creation Unit Aggregations.    Fund shares may be redeemed only in Creation Unit Aggregations at their net asset value next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Fund through the transfer agent and only on a Business Day. The Fund will not redeem shares in amounts less than Creation Unit Aggregations. Beneficial Owners must accumulate enough shares in the secondary market to constitute a Creation Unit Aggregation in order to have such shares redeemed by the Trust. There can be no assurance, however, that there will be sufficient liquidity in the public trading market at any time to permit assembly of a Creation Unit Aggregation. Investors should expect to incur customary brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of Fund shares to constitute a redeemable Creation Unit Aggregation.
The Fund intends to effect a significant portion of creations and redemptions for cash, rather than in-kind securities. In accordance with exemptive relief granted to the Trust, the Fund may redeem in cash under the following circumstances: (i) to the extent there is a Cash Redemption Amount; (ii) if, on a given Business Day, the Fund announces before the open of trading that all redemptions on that day will be made entirely in cash; (iii) if, upon receiving a redemption order from an Authorized Participant, the Fund determines to require the redemption to be made entirely in cash; (iv) if, on a given Business Day, the Fund requires all Authorized Participants redeeming shares on that day to receive cash in lieu of some or all of the Fund Securities
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because: (a) such instruments are not eligible for transfer through either the NSCC Process or the DTC Process; or (b) in the case of non-U.S. Fund Securities (as defined below), such instruments are not eligible for trading due to local trading restrictions, local restrictions on securities transfers or other similar circumstances; or (v) if the Fund permits an Authorized Participant to receive cash in lieu of some or all of the Fund Securities because: (a) such instruments are not eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant or the investor on whose behalf the Authorized Participant is acting; or (b) with respect to non-U.S. Fund Securities, a holder of shares of the Fund would be subject to unfavorable income tax treatment if the holder receives redemption proceeds in kind.
In addition, under the following circumstances, it is possible that Fund Securities may not correspond pro rata to the positions in the Fund’s portfolio as of the end of the prior Business Day: (i) in the case of bonds, for minor differences when it is impossible to break up bonds beyond certain minimum sizes needed for transfer and settlement; (ii) for minor differences when rounding is necessary to eliminate fractional shares or lots that are not tradeable round lots; or (iii) with respect to “to-be-announced” transactions, short positions and other positions that cannot be transferred in kind (including instruments that can be transferred in kind only with the consent of the original counterparty to the extent the Fund does not intend to seek such consents), and they will therefore be excluded from the Fund Securities with their value reflected in the determination of the Cash Redemption Amount.
The Custodian, through the NSCC, makes available on each Business Day, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time), the estimated Cash Redemption Amount (defined below), or in limited circumstances where a cash redemption is not practical, the list of the names and the required quantity of the securities and other instruments (“Fund Securities”), as well as the estimated Cash Redemption Amount (defined below) (if any), that will be applicable for the Fund for that day (subject to correction of any errors) to redemption requests received in proper form (as described below) on that day.
Unless limited circumstances where redemption of a Creation Unit Aggregation for cash is not practical, the redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit Aggregation may consist of Fund Securitiesas announced on the Business Day of the request for redemption received in proper formplus or minus cash in an amount equal to the difference between the net asset value of the Fund shares (per Creation Unit Aggregation) being redeemed, as next determined after a receipt of a request in proper form, and the aggregate market value of the Fund Securities (the “Cash Redemption Amount”), less the applicable Redemption Transaction Fee as listed below and, if applicable, any operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees or stamp taxes. In the event that the Fund Securities have an aggregate market value greater than the net asset value of the Fund shares (per Creation Unit Aggregation), a compensating cash payment equal to the difference plus, the applicable Redemption Transaction Fee and, if applicable, any operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees or stamp taxes is required to be made by or through an Authorized Participant by the redeeming shareholder.
The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed (i) for any period during which the NYSE is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (ii) for any period during which trading on the NYSE is suspended or restricted; (iii) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which disposal of the shares of the Fund or determination of the Fund’s net asset value is not reasonably practicable; or (iv) in such other circumstances as are permitted by the SEC.
Redemption Transaction Fee.    Parties redeeming Creation Units must pay a redemption transaction fee (the “Redemption Transaction Fee”) that is currently $___. The Redemption Transaction Fee is applicable to each redemption transaction regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed in the transaction. The Redemption Transaction Fee may vary and is based on the composition of the securities included in the Fund’s portfolio and the countries in which the transactions are settled. Investors will also bear the costs of transferring the Fund Securities from the Trust to their account or on their order and may also be assessed an amount to cover other costs including operational processing and brokerage costs, transfer fees, stamp taxes and part or all of the spread between the expected bid and offer side of the market related to such securities. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary in addition to an Authorized Participant to effect a redemption of a Creation Unit Aggregation may be charged an additional fee for such services.
Placement of Redemption Orders.    Orders to redeem Creation Unit Aggregations must be delivered through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement and must comply with the applicable provisions of such Participant Agreement. Investors other than Authorized Participants are responsible for making arrangements for a redemption request to be made through an Authorized Participant.
Deliveries of the Cash Redemption Amount and/or Fund Securities to investors are generally expected to be made within two Business Days. Due to the schedule of holidays in certain countries, however, the delivery of in-kind redemption
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proceeds for the Fund may take longer than two Business Days after the day on which the redemption request is received in proper form. In such cases, the local market settlement procedures will not commence until the end of the local holiday periods. See below for a list of the local holidays in the foreign countries relevant to the Fund. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund would generally be required to make payment of redemption proceeds within seven days after a security is tendered for redemption. However, because the settlement of redemptions of Fund shares is contingent not only on the settlement cycle of the United States securities markets, but also on delivery cycles of foreign markets, pursuant to an exemptive order on which the Fund may rely, the Fund’s in-kind redemption proceeds are permitted to be paid within the maximum number of calendar days required for such payment or satisfaction in the principal local foreign markets where transactions in portfolio securities customarily clear and settle, but no later than 15 calendar days following tender of a Creation Unit Aggregation in proper form.
In connection with taking delivery of non-U.S. Fund Securities upon redemption of shares of the Fund, a redeeming Beneficial Owner, or an Authorized Participant acting on behalf of such Beneficial Owner, must maintain appropriate security arrangements with a qualified broker-dealer, bank or other custody provider in each jurisdiction in which any of the Fund Securities are customarily traded, to which account such Fund Securities will be delivered.
To the extent contemplated by a Participant Agreement, in the event the Authorized Participant has submitted a redemption request in proper form but is unable to transfer all or part of the Creation Unit Aggregation to be redeemed to the Fund’s transfer agent, the transfer agent may nonetheless accept the redemption request in reliance on the undertaking by the Authorized Participant to deliver the missing shares as soon as possible. Such undertaking shall be secured by the Authorized Participant’s delivery and maintenance of collateral consisting of cash having a value (marked to market daily) at least equal to 115%, (which First Trust may change from time to time), of the value of the missing shares.
The current procedures for collateralization of missing shares require, among other things, that any cash collateral shall be in the form of U.S. dollars in immediately available funds and shall be held by ____ and marked to market daily, and that the fees of ____ and any sub-custodians in respect of the delivery, maintenance and redelivery of the cash collateral shall be payable by the Authorized Participant. If the Participant Agreement provides for collateralization, it will permit the Trust, on behalf of the affected Fund, to purchase the missing shares at any time and will subject the Authorized Participant to liability for any shortfall between the cost to the Trust of purchasing such shares and the value of the collateral.
The calculation of the value of the Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount to be delivered/received upon redemption will be made by ____ according to the procedures set forth in this SAI under “Determination of Net Asset Value” computed on the Business Day on which a redemption order is deemed received by the Trust. Therefore, if a redemption order in proper form is submitted to ____ by a DTC Participant not later than Closing Time on the Transmittal Date, and the requisite number of shares of the Fund are delivered to ____ prior to the specified time, then the value of the Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount to be delivered will be determined by ____ on such Transmittal Date. A redemption order must be submitted in proper form.
Redemptions of Fund shares for Fund Securities will be subject to compliance with applicable federal and state securities laws, although the Fund expects Creation Unit Aggregations generally to be redeemed for cash under the circumstances described above. An Authorized Participant or an investor for which it is acting therefore will generally be paid redemption proceeds in cash. The Authorized Participant may request the redeeming Beneficial Owner of the Fund shares to complete an order form or to enter into agreements with respect to such matters as compensating cash payment, beneficial ownership of shares or delivery instructions.
Because the portfolio securities of the Fund may trade on the relevant exchange(s) on days that the listing exchange for the Fund is closed or that are otherwise not Business Days for the Fund, shareholders may not be able to redeem their shares of the Fund, or purchase and sell shares of the Fund on the listing exchange for the Fund, on days when the net asset value of the Fund could be significantly affected by events in the relevant foreign markets.
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 the SAI. 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 foreign tax consequences.
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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, our counsel was not asked to review, and has not reached a conclusion with respect to, the federal income tax treatment of the assets to be deposited in the Fund. This may not be sufficient for prospective investors to use for the purpose of avoiding penalties under federal tax law.
As with any investment, prospective investors should seek advice based on their individual circumstances from their own tax advisor.
The Fund intends to qualify annually and to elect to be treated as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).
To qualify for the favorable U.S. federal income tax treatment generally accorded to regulated investment companies, the Fund must, among other things, (i) derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from dividends, interest, payments with respect to securities loans and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies or other income derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies, or net income derived from interests in certain publicly traded partnerships; (ii) diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of the taxable year, (a) at least 50% of the market value of the Fund's assets is represented by cash and cash items (including receivables), U.S. government securities, the securities of other regulated investment companies and other securities, with such other securities of any one issuer generally limited for the purposes of this calculation to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund's total assets and not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of its total assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or the securities of other regulated investment companies) of any one issuer, or two or more issuers which the Fund controls which are engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more of certain publicly traded partnerships; and (iii) distribute at least 90% of its investment company taxable income (which includes, among other items, dividends, interest and net short-term capital gains in excess of net long-term capital losses) and at least 90% of its net tax-exempt interest income each taxable year. There are certain exceptions for failure to qualify if the failure is for reasonable cause or is de minimis, and certain corrective action is taken and certain tax payments are made by the Fund.
As regulated investment companies, the Fund generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on its investment company taxable income (as that term is defined in the Code, but without regard to the deduction for dividends paid) and net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss), if any, that it distributes to shareholders. The Fund intends to distribute to its shareholders, at least annually, substantially all of its investment company taxable income and net capital gain. If the Fund retains any net capital gain or investment company taxable income, it will generally be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate rates on the amount retained. In addition, amounts not distributed on a timely basis in accordance with a calendar year distribution requirement are subject to a nondeductible 4% excise tax unless, generally, the Fund distributes during each calendar year an amount equal to the sum of (1) at least 98% of its ordinary income (not taking into account any capital gains or losses) for the calendar year, (2) at least 98.2% of its capital gains in excess of its capital losses (adjusted for certain ordinary losses) for the one-year period ending October 31 of the calendar year, and (3) any ordinary income and capital gains for previous years that were not distributed during those years. In order to prevent application of the excise tax, the Fund intends to make its distributions in accordance with the calendar year distribution requirement. A distribution will be treated as paid on December 31 of the current calendar year if it is declared by the Fund in October, November or December with a record date in such a month and paid by the Fund during January of the following calendar year. Such distributions will be taxable to shareholders in the calendar year in which the distributions are declared, rather than the calendar year in which the distributions are received.
Subject to certain reasonable cause and de minimis exceptions, if the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company or fails to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement in any taxable year, the Fund would be taxed as an ordinary corporation on its taxable income (even if such income were distributed to its shareholders) and all distributions out of earnings and profits would be taxed to shareholders as ordinary income.
Distributions
Dividends paid out of the Fund's investment company taxable income are generally taxable to a shareholder as ordinary income to the extent of the Fund’s earnings and profits, whether paid in cash or reinvested in additional shares.
Income from the Fund may also be subject to a 3.8% “Medicare tax.” This tax generally applies to net investment income if the taxpayer’s 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.
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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 domestic corporations may be reported by the Fund as being eligible for the dividends received deduction.
Distributions of net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss), if any, properly reported as capital gain dividends are taxable to a shareholder as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long the shareholder has held Fund shares. Shareholders receiving distributions in the form of additional shares, rather than cash, generally will have a tax basis in each such share equal to the value of a share of the Fund on the reinvestment date. A distribution of an amount in excess of the Fund's current and accumulated earnings and profits will be treated by a shareholder as a return of capital which is applied against and reduces the shareholder’s basis in his or her shares. To the extent that the amount of any such distribution exceeds the shareholder’s basis in his or her shares, the excess will be treated by the shareholder as gain from a sale or exchange of the shares.
Shareholders will be notified annually as to the U.S. federal income tax status of distributions; and shareholders receiving distributions in the form of additional shares will receive a report as to the value of those shares.
Sale or Exchange of Fund Shares
Upon the sale or other disposition of shares of the Fund, which a shareholder holds as a capital asset, such shareholder may realize a capital gain or loss which will be long-term or short-term, depending upon the shareholder’s holding period for the shares. Generally, a shareholder’s gain or loss will be a long-term gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year.
Any loss realized on a sale or exchange will be disallowed to the extent that shares disposed of are replaced (including through reinvestment of dividends) within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after disposition of shares or to the extent that the shareholder, during such period, acquires or enters into an option or contract to acquire substantially identical stock or securities. In such a case, the basis of the shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss. Any loss realized by a shareholder on a disposition of Fund shares held by the shareholder for six months or less will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any distributions of long-term capital gain received by the shareholder with respect to such shares.
Taxes on Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units
If a shareholder exchanges securities for Creation Units, the shareholder 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 the shareholder’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the Cash Component paid. If a shareholder exchanges Creation Units for securities, then the shareholder will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the shareholder’s 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.
Nature of Fund Investments
Certain of the Fund's investment practices are subject to special and complex federal income tax provisions that may, among other things, (i) disallow, suspend or otherwise limit the allowance of certain losses or deductions; (ii) convert lower taxed long-term capital gain into higher taxed short-term capital gain or ordinary income; (iii) convert an ordinary loss or a deduction into a capital loss (the deductibility of which is more limited); (iv) cause the Fund to recognize income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash; (v) adversely affect the time as to when a purchase or sale of stock or securities is deemed to occur; and (vi) adversely alter the characterization of certain complex financial transactions.
Futures Contracts and Options
The Fund's transactions in futures contracts and options will be subject to special provisions of the Code that, among other things, may affect the character of gains and losses realized by the Fund (i.e., may affect whether gains or losses are ordinary or capital, or short-term or long-term), may accelerate recognition of income to the Fund and may defer Fund losses.
31

These rules could, therefore, affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders. These provisions also (i) will require the Fund to mark-to- market certain types of the positions in its portfolio (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out); and (ii) may cause the Fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to make distributions in amounts necessary to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement for qualifying to be taxed as a regulated investment company and the distribution requirements for avoiding excise taxes.
Investments in Certain Foreign Corporations
If the Fund holds an equity interest in any “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”), which are generally certain foreign 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 (described above). Dividends paid by PFICs are not treated as qualified dividend income.
Backup Withholding
The Fund may be required to withhold U.S. federal income tax from all taxable distributions and sale proceeds payable to shareholders who fail to provide the Fund with their correct taxpayer identification number or fail to make required certifications, or who have been notified by the Internal Revenue Service that they are subject to backup withholding. Corporate shareholders and certain other shareholders specified in the Code generally are exempt from such backup withholding. This withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability.
Non-U.S. Shareholders
U.S. taxation of a shareholder who, as to the United States, is a nonresident alien individual, a foreign trust or estate, a foreign corporation or foreign partnership (“non-U.S. shareholder”) depends on whether the income of the Fund is “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by the shareholder.
In addition to the rules described in this section concerning the potential imposition of withholding on distributions to non-U.S. persons, distributions to non-U.S. persons that are “financial institutions” may be subject to a withholding tax of 30% unless an agreement is in place between the financial institution and the U.S. Treasury to collect and disclose information about accounts, equity investments or debt interests in the financial institution held by one or more U.S. persons or the institution is resident in a jurisdiction that has entered into such an agreement with the U.S. Treasury. For these purposes, a “financial institution” means any entity that (i) accepts deposits in the ordinary course of a banking or similar business; (ii) holds financial assets for the account of others as a substantial portion of its business; or (iii) is engaged (or holds itself out as being engaged) primarily in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities, partnership interests, commodities or any interest (including a futures contract or option) in such securities, partnership interests or commodities. Dispositions of shares by such persons may be subject to such withholding after December 31, 2018, although proposed regulations may eliminate this withholding obligation.
Distributions to non-financial non-U.S. entities (other than publicly traded foreign entities, entities owned by residents of U.S. possessions, foreign governments, international organizations or foreign central banks) will also be subject to a withholding tax of 30% if the entity does not certify that the entity does not have any substantial U.S. owners or provide the name, address and TIN of each substantial U.S. owner. Dispositions of shares by such persons may be subject to such withholding after December 31, 2018. Proposed regulations would eliminate the obligation to withhold on dispositions.
Income Not Effectively Connected.    If the income from the Fund is not “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by the non-U.S. shareholder, distributions of investment company taxable income will generally be subject to a U.S. tax of 30% (or lower treaty rate), which tax is generally withheld from such distributions.
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Distributions of capital gain dividends and any amounts retained by the Fund which are properly reported by the Fund as undistributed capital gains will not be subject to U.S. tax at the rate of 30% (or lower treaty rate) unless the non-U.S. shareholder is a nonresident alien individual and is physically present in the United States for more than 182 days during the taxable year and meets certain other requirements. However, this 30% tax on capital gains of nonresident alien individuals who are physically present in the United States for more than the 182 day period only applies in exceptional cases because any individual present in the United States for more than 182 days during the taxable year is generally treated as a resident for U.S. income tax purposes; in that case, he or she would be subject to U.S. income tax on his or her worldwide income at the graduated rates applicable to U.S. citizens, rather than the 30% U.S. tax. In the case of a non-U.S. shareholder who is a nonresident alien individual, the Fund may be required to withhold U.S. income tax from distributions of net capital gain unless the non-U.S. shareholder certifies his or her non-U.S. status under penalties of perjury or otherwise establishes an exemption. If a non-U.S. shareholder is a nonresident alien individual, any gain such shareholder realizes upon the sale or exchange of such shareholder’s shares of the Fund in the United States will ordinarily be exempt from U.S. tax unless the gain is U.S. source income and such shareholder is physically present in the United States for more than 182 days during the taxable year and meets certain other requirements.
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.
In addition, capital gain distributions attributable to gains from U.S. real property interests (including certain U.S. real property holding corporations) will generally be subject to United States withholding tax and will give rise to an obligation on the part of the foreign shareholder to file a United States tax return.
Income Effectively Connected.    If the income from the Fund is “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by a non-U.S. shareholder, then distributions of investment company taxable income and capital gain dividends, any amounts retained by the Fund which are properly reported by the Fund as undistributed capital gains and any gains realized upon the sale or exchange of shares of the Fund will be subject to U.S. income tax at the graduated rates applicable to U.S. citizens, residents and domestic corporations. Non-U.S. corporate shareholders may also be subject to the branch profits tax imposed by the Code. The tax consequences to a non-U.S. shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of an applicable tax treaty may differ from those described herein. Non-U.S. shareholders are advised to consult their own tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund.
Capital Loss Carry-forward
Under the Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010, net capital losses of the Fund incurred in taxable years beginning after December 22, 2010 may be carried forward indefinitely, and their character is retained as short-term and/or long-term losses. To the extent that these loss carry-forwards are used to offset future capital gains, it is probable that the capital gains so offset will not be distributed to Fund shareholders. The Fund is subject to certain limitations, under U.S. tax rules, on the use of capital loss carry-forwards and net unrealized built-in losses. These limitations generally apply when there has been a 50% change in ownership.
Other Taxation
Fund shareholders may be subject to state, local and foreign taxes on their Fund distributions. Shareholders are advised to consult their own tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund.
Determination of Net Asset Value
The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Net Asset Value.”
The per share net asset value of the Fund is determined by dividing the total value of the securities and other assets, less liabilities, by the total number of shares outstanding. Under normal circumstances, daily calculation of the net asset value will utilize the last closing sale price of each security held by the Fund at the close of the market on which such security is principally listed. In determining net asset value, portfolio securities for the Fund for which accurate market quotations are readily available will be valued by the Fund accounting agent as follows:
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(1) Common stocks and other equity securities listed on any national or foreign exchange other than The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC ("Nasdaq") and the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (“AIM”) will be valued at the last sale price on the exchange on which they are principally traded, or the official closing price for Nasdaq and AIM securities. 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.
(2) Shares of open-end funds are valued at fair value which is based on NAV per share.
(3) Securities traded in the OTC market are fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price.
(4) Exchange-traded options and futures contracts are valued at the closing price in the market where such contracts are principally traded. If no closing price is available, they will be fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price. OTC options and futures contracts are fair valued at the mean of their most recent bid and asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price.
(5) Forward foreign currency contracts are fair valued at the current day’s interpolated foreign exchange rate, as calculated using the current day’s spot rate, and the 30-, 60-, 90- and 180-day forward rates provided by an independent pricing service or by certain independent dealers in such contracts.
In addition, the following types of securities will be fair valued by the Fund accounting agent as follows:
(1) Fixed-income securities, convertible securities, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, total return swaps, currency swaps, currency-linked notes, credit-linked notes and other similar instruments will be fair valued using a pricing service.
(2) Fixed-income and other debt securities having a remaining maturity of 60 days or less when purchased are fair valued at cost adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts (amortized cost), 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 the determination. Factors that may be considered in determining the appropriateness of the use of amortized cost include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) the credit conditions in the relevant market and changes thereto;
(ii) the liquidity conditions in the relevant market and changes thereto;
(iii) the interest rate conditions in the relevant market and changes thereto (such as significant changes in interest rates);
(iv) issuer-specific conditions (such as significant credit deterioration); and
(v) any other market-based data the Advisor’s Pricing Committee considers relevant. In this regard, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee may use last-obtained market-based data to assist it when valuing portfolio securities using amortized cost.
(3) Repurchase agreements will be valued as follows. Overnight repurchase agreements will be fair valued at cost when it represents the best estimate of fair value. Term repurchase agreements (i.e., those whose maturity exceeds seven days) will be fair valued by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee at the average of the bid quotations obtained daily from at least two recognized dealers.
If the Advisor’s Pricing Committee has reason to question the accuracy or reliability of a price supplied or the use of the amortized cost methodology, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee shall determine if “it needs to fair value” such portfolio security pursuant to established valuation procedures.  From time to time, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee will request that the Fund accounting agent submit price challenges to a pricing service, usually in response to any updated broker prices received.
Certain securities may not be able to be priced by pre-established pricing methods. Such securities may be valued by the Board of Trustees or its delegate, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee, at fair value. These securities generally include, but are not limited to, restricted securities (securities that may not be publicly sold without registration under the 1933 Act) for
34

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 Fund net asset value (as may be the case in foreign markets on which the security is primarily traded) or is likely to 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. Fair value prices represent any prices not considered market value prices and are either obtained from a pricing service or are determined by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee.  Market value prices represent last sale or official closing prices from a national or foreign exchange (i.e., a regulated market) and are primarily obtained from pricing services.  If no market price or official close price is available from either a pricing service or no quotations are available from one or more brokers or if the Advisor’s Pricing Committee has reason to question the reliability or accuracy of a price supplied or the use of amortized cost, the value of any portfolio security held by the Fund for which reliable market prices/quotations are not readily available will be determined by the Advisor’s Pricing Committee in a manner that most appropriately reflects fair market value of the security on the valuation date, based on a consideration of all available information.  When fair value prices are used, generally they will differ from market quotations or official closing prices on the applicable exchange.
Because foreign markets may be open on different days than the days during which a shareholder may buy or sell shares of the Fund, the value of the Fund's investments may change on the days when shareholders are not able to buy or sell shares of the Fund. For foreign securities, if an extraordinary market event occurs between the time the last “current” market quotation is available for a security in the Fund’s portfolio and the time the Fund’s net asset value is determined and calls into doubt whether that earlier market quotation represents fair value at the time the Fund’s net asset value is determined, the Fund accounting agent will immediately notify the Advisor’s Pricing Committee and the Advisor’s Pricing Committee shall determine the fair valuation.  For foreign securities, the Advisor’s Pricing Committee may seek to determine the “fair value” of such securities by retaining a pricing service to determine the value of the securities.
Foreign securities, currencies and other assets denominated in foreign currencies are translated into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate of such currencies against the U.S. dollar as provided by a pricing service.  All assets denominated in foreign currencies will be converted into U.S. dollars at the exchange rates in effect at the time of valuation.
Dividends and Distributions
The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes.”
General Policies.    Dividends from net investment income of the Fund, if any, are declared and paid [quarterly]. Distributions of net realized securities gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis. The Trust reserves the right to declare special distributions if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve the status of the Fund as a regulated investment company or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income.
Dividends and other distributions of Fund shares are distributed, as described below, on a pro rata basis to Beneficial Owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.
Dividend Reinvestment Service.    No reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by Beneficial Owners of the Fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial Owners should contact their brokers in order to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require Beneficial Owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares of the Fund purchased in the secondary market.
Miscellaneous Information
Counsel.     Chapman and Cutler LLP, 111 West Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603, is counsel to the Trust.
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.    Deloitte & Touche LLP, 111 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606, serves as the Fund's independent registered public accounting firm. The firm audits the Fund's financial statements and performs other related audit services.
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Exhibit AProxy Voting Guidelines
[Insert Sub-Advisor Proxy Guidelines]
A-1
 
 

First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII

Part C – Other Information

Item 28.Exhibits

Exhibit No. Description

(a)(1) Declaration of Trust of the Registrant. (1)

(2) Amended and Restated Establishment and Designation of Series, dated ______. (3)

(b)By-Laws of the Registrant. (1)
(c)Not applicable
(d)(1) Investment Management Agreement. (2)

(2) Amended Schedule A to Investment Management Agreement between Registrant and First Trust Advisors L.P. (3)

(e)(1) Distribution Agreement. (2)

(2) Exhibit A to Distribution Agreement by and between the Registrant and First Trust Portfolios L.P. (3)

(f)Not Applicable.
(g)(1) Custody Agreement between the Registrant and ______. (3)
(h)(1) Administration and Accounting Agreement between the Registrant and ____. (3)

(2) Transfer Agency and Service Agreement between the Registrant and _____. (3)

(3) Form of Subscription Agreement. (2)

(4) Form of Participant Agreement. (3)

(i)(1) Opinion and Consent of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. (.3)

(2) Opinion and Consent of Chapman and Cutler LLP. (3)

(j)Not Applicable.
(k)Not Applicable.
(l)Not Applicable.
(m)(1) 12b-1 Service Plan. (2)

(2) Exhibit A to 12b-1 Service Plan. (3)

(n)Not Applicable.
(o)Not Applicable.
(p)(1) First Trust Advisors L.P., First Trust Portfolios L.P. Code of Ethics, amended on July 1, 2013. (1)

(2) First Trust Funds Code of Ethics, amended on October 30, 2013. (1)

(q)Powers of Attorney for Messrs. Bowen, Erickson, Kadlec, Keith and Nielson authorizing James A. Bowen, W. Scott Jardine, James M. Dykas, Kristi A. Maher and Eric F. Fess to execute the Registration Statement. (1)

__________________

(1)Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-210186) filed on March 14, 2016.
(2)Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A (File No. 333-210186) filed on September 26, 2016.
(3)To be filed by amendment.
Item 29.Persons Controlled By or Under Common Control with Registrant

Not Applicable.

Item 30.Indemnification

Section 9.5 of the Registrant’s Declaration of Trust provides as follows:

Section 9.5. Indemnification and Advancement of Expenses. Subject to the exceptions and limitations contained in this Section 9.5, every person who is, or has been, a Trustee, officer, or employee of the Trust, including persons who serve at the request of the Trust as directors, trustees, officers, employees or agents of another organization in which the Trust has an interest as a shareholder, creditor or otherwise (hereinafter referred to as a "Covered Person"), shall be indemnified by the Trust to the fullest extent permitted by law against liability and against all expenses reasonably incurred or paid by him or in connection with any claim, action, suit or proceeding in which he becomes involved as a party or otherwise by virtue of his being or having been such a Trustee, director, officer, employee or agent and against amounts paid or incurred by him in settlement thereof.

No indemnification shall be provided hereunder to a Covered Person to the extent such indemnification is prohibited by applicable federal law.

The rights of indemnification herein provided may be insured against by policies maintained by the Trust, shall be severable, shall not affect any other rights to which any Covered Person may now or hereafter be entitled, shall continue as to a person who has ceased to be such a Covered Person and shall inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors and administrators of such a person.

Subject to applicable federal law, expenses of preparation and presentation of a defense to any claim, action, suit or proceeding subject to a claim for indemnification under this Section 9.5 shall be advanced by the Trust prior to final disposition thereof upon receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the recipient to repay such amount if it is ultimately determined that he is not entitled to indemnification under this Section 9.5.

To the extent that any determination is required to be made as to whether a Covered Person engaged in conduct for which indemnification is not provided as described herein, or as to whether there is reason to believe that a Covered Person ultimately will be found entitled to indemnification, the Person or Persons making the determination shall afford the Covered Person a rebuttable presumption that the Covered Person has not engaged in such conduct and that there is reason to believe that the Covered Person ultimately will be found entitled to indemnification.

As used in this Section 9.5, the words "claim," "action," "suit" or "proceeding" shall apply to all claims, demands, actions, suits, investigations, regulatory inquiries, proceedings or any other occurrence of a similar nature, whether actual or threatened and whether civil, criminal, administrative or other, including appeals, and the words "liability" and "expenses" shall include without limitation, attorneys' fees, costs, judgments, amounts paid in settlement, fines, penalties and other liabilities.

Item 31.Business and Other Connections of the Investment Adviser

First Trust Advisors L.P. (“First Trust”), investment adviser to the Registrant, serves as adviser or sub-adviser to various other open-end and closed-end management investment companies and is the portfolio supervisor of certain unit investment trusts. The principal business of certain of First Trust’s principal executive officers involves various activities in connection with the family of unit investment trusts sponsored by First Trust Portfolios L.P. (“FTP”). The principal address for all these investment companies, First Trust, FTP and the persons below is 120 East Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Wheaton, Illinois 60187.

A description of any business, profession, vocation or employment of a substantial nature in which the officers of First Trust who serve as officers or trustees of the Registrant have engaged during the last two years for his or her account or in the capacity of director, officer, employee, partner or trustee appears under “Management of the Fund” in the Statement of Additional Information. Such information for the remaining senior officers of First Trust appears below:

Name and Position with First Trust Employment During Past Two Years
Andrew S. Roggensack, President Managing Director and President, First Trust
R. Scott Hall, Managing Director Managing Director, First Trust
Ronald D. McAlister, Managing Director Managing Director, First Trust
David G. McGarel, Chief Investment Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director Managing Director; Senior Vice President, First Trust
Kathleen Brown,  Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President, First Trust
Brian Wesbury, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, First Trust
Item 32.Principal Underwriter

(a) FTP serves as principal underwriter of the shares of the Registrant, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund II, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund V, First Trust Exchange Traded Fund VI, First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII, First Trust Exchange-Traded AlphaDEX® Fund, First Trust Exchange-Traded AlphaDEX® Fund II, First Trust Variable Insurance Trust and First Trust Series Fund. FTP serves as principal underwriter and depositor of the following investment companies registered as unit investment trusts: the First Trust Combined Series, FT Series (formerly known as the First Trust Special Situations Trust), the First Trust Insured Corporate Trust, the First Trust of Insured Municipal Bonds and the First Trust GNMA.

(b)

Name and Principal
Business Address*
Positions and Offices
with Underwriter
Positions and
Offices with Fund
The Charger Corporation General Partner None
Grace Partners of DuPage L.P. Limited Partner None
James A. Bowen Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Trustee and Chairman of the Board
James M. Dykas Chief Financial Officer President and Chief Executive Officer
Frank L. Fichera Managing Director None
Russell J. Graham Managing Director None
R. Scott Hall Managing Director None
W. Scott Jardine General Counsel, Secretary and Managing Director Secretary
Daniel J. Lindquist Managing Director Vice President
Ronald D. McAlister Managing Director None
David G. McGarel Chief Investment Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director None
Richard A. Olson Managing Director None
Marisa Bowen Managing Director None
Andrew S. Roggensack President and Managing Director None
Kristi A. Maher Deputy General Counsel Chief Compliance Officer and Assistant Secretary

 

* All addresses are
120 East Liberty Drive,
Wheaton, Illinois 60187.

   

(c) Not Applicable.

Item 33.Location of Accounts and Records

First Trust, 120 East Liberty Drive, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, maintains the Registrant’s organizational documents, minutes of meetings, contracts of the Registrant and all advisory material of the investment adviser.

Item 34.Management Services

Not Applicable.

Item 35.Undertakings

Not Applicable.

 
 

Signatures

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Registrant has duly caused this Registration Statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, duly authorized in the City of Wheaton, and State of Illinois on the 8th day of March, 2019.

  First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII
  By: /s/ James M. Dykas
    James M. Dykas, President and
Chief Executive Officer

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this Registration Statement has been signed below by the following persons in the capacities and on the date indicated:

Signature Title   Date
/s/ James M. Dykas President and Chief Executive
Officer
March 8, 2019
James M. Dykas      
/s/ Donald P. Swade Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer
and Chief Accounting Officer
March 8, 2019
Donald P. Swade      
James A. Bowen* )
Trustee )
   
  )    
Richard E. Erickson* )
Trustee )
   
  )    
Thomas R. Kadlec* )
Trustee )
   
  ) By: /s/ W. Scott Jardine
Robert F. Keith* )
Trustee )
  W. Scott Jardine
Attorney-In-Fact
  )   March 8, 2019
Niel B. Nielson * )
Trustee )
   
  )    
*

Original powers of attorney authorizing James A. Bowen, W. Scott Jardine, James M. Dykas, Eric F. Fess and Kristi A. Maher to execute Registrant's Registration Statement, and Amendments thereto, for each of the trustees of the Registrant on whose behalf this Registration Statement is filed, were previously executed, filed as an exhibit and are incorporated by reference herein..

 

Index to Exhibits