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75/25 Strategic Allocation Portfolio, 4th Quarter 2019 Series

Investors have long recognized the importance of balancing risk and creating diversification by dividing assets among major asset categories such as stocks and bonds. Finding the right mix of investments is a key factor to successful investing. Because different investments often react differently to economic and market changes, diversifying among investments that focus on different areas of the market primarily helps to reduce volatility and also has the potential to enhance your returns.

We believe there are three hallmarks to a successful long-term investment plan—asset allocation, diversification, and rebalancing. The 75/25 Strategic Allocation Portfolio is a unit investment trust that has been developed to address these needs. It invests in a fixed portfolio of common stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which are selected by applying our disciplined investment process. It provides investors with asset allocation, diversification, and an annual rebalancing opportunity through a single investment.

Consider The Potential Benefits Of Our Investing Process

  • Complete portfolio transparency — Individual portfolio holdings and their weightings are published daily.
  • Low cash positions so more of your money is put to work.
  • "Style pure" portfolios — Each component of the allocation contains securities selected specifically for the stated style and investment objective of its asset class, ensuring that the portfolio is “style pure” on the initial date of deposit.
  • No overlap — When constructing the portfolio we select a unique set of securities for each asset class within the portfolio ensuring that there is no overlap. Avoiding overlap is a common obstacle when building an allocation on one’s own.
  • Diversification, discipline, and a periodic rebalancing opportunity helping to decrease volatility and potentially increase returns.

A Comprehensive Approach to Security Selection

Effective asset allocation requires combining assets with low correlations—that is, those that have performed differently over varying market conditions. Investing in assets with low to negative correlation can reduce the overall volatility and risk within your portfolio and may also help to improve portfolio performance. We apply a disciplined and comprehensive valuation process to select securities across assets of varying sizes, styles, countries, and sectors, including those that have had relatively lower correlation with one another.

Common Stock Selection Process

Because stock prices are subject to factors that can make them deviate from a company’s true value, we believe evaluating each company based on time-tested fundamental measures is key to achieving a higher rate of long-term success. Our approach to selecting stocks is based on a proprietary rules-based selection process which is consistently applied. This process embodies key elements of our investment philosophy by focusing on financial measures that are least susceptible to accounting distortions and erroneous corporate guidance.

When selecting stocks for the portfolio, we apply a model which analyzes large-cap, mid-cap, small-cap, and international stocks to assess valuations based on multiple risk, value, and growth factors. Our goal is to identify stocks which exhibit the fundamental characteristics that enable them to provide the greatest potential for capital appreciation. This process is unique and represents a critical point of differentiation from indexing and other management styles.



Fixed Income ETF Selection Processs

For the fixed income portion of the portfolio we include ETFs which invest in a variety of fixed income securities. Incorporating ETFs which invest in a broad range of fixed income securities results in a portfolio with a distinct risk/reward profile. ETFs provide investors with several benefits, including diversification, transparency, and tax efficiency, all of which align with the principles upon which the portfolio is based.

We perform rigorous analysis and employ a disciplined portfolio construction process when selecting ETFs to include in the portfolio. Primarily, we prefer larger funds with higher trading volumes and we look for funds with higher dividend yields, as well as those that have shown a relatively consistent dividend over time. We also consider a fund’s ability to continue its dividend payment in the future.

The next step in our process is to consider current economic events that might affect financial markets generally and/or the ETF market, as well as news relating to a specific ETF, ETF group or category of funds. Where relevant, we review the credit quality of the underlying securities held by the funds. We prefer to avoid funds with high expenses, as well as funds with higher than average expense ratios relative to their peers.

We consult with our fixed income research teams and portfolio management teams who understand the unique factors that drive risk adjusted returns within various asset classes to develop the overall strategic allocation of the fixed income portfolio. Based on these factors, we create a broadly diversified fixed income portfolio with an emphasis on higher income funds.


You should consider the portfolio's investment objective, risks, and charges and expenses carefully before investing. Contact your financial advisor or call First Trust Portfolios, L.P. at 1-800-621-1675 to request a prospectus, which contains this and other information about the portfolio. Read it carefully before you invest.

Risk Considerations

An investment in this unmanaged unit investment trust should be made with an understanding of the risks involved with an investment in a portfolio of common stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Common stocks are subject to certain risks, such as an economic recession and the possible deterioration of either the financial condition of the issuers of the equity securities or the general condition of the stock market.

ETFs are subject to various risks, including management’s ability to meet the fund’s investment objective, and to manage the fund’s portfolio when the underlying securities are redeemed or sold, during periods of market turmoil and as investors’ perceptions regarding ETFs or their underlying investments change. Unlike open-end funds, which trade at prices based on a current determination of the fund’s net asset value, ETFs frequently trade at a discount from their net asset value in the secondary market. Certain ETFs may employ the use of leverage, which increases the volatility of such funds.

An investment in a portfolio containing equity securities of foreign issuers is subject to additional risks, including currency fluctuations, political risks, withholding, the lack of adequate financial information, and exchange control restrictions impacting foreign issuers.

All of the ETFs invest in investment grade securities. Investment grade securities are subject to numerous risks including higher interest rates, economic recession, deterioration of the investment grade market or investors’ perception thereof, possible downgrades and defaults of interest and/or principal.

Certain of the ETFs invest in floating-rate securities. A floating-rate security is an instrument in which the interest rate payable on the obligation fluctuates on a periodic basis based upon changes in an interest rate benchmark. As a result, the yield on such a security will generally decline in a falling interest rate environment, causing the trust to experience a reduction in the income it receives from such securities. Certain of the floating-rate securities pay interest based on LIBOR. Due to the uncertainty regarding the future utilization of LIBOR and the nature of any replacement rate, the potential effect of a transition away from LIBOR on a fund or the financial instruments in which the fund invests cannot yet be determined.

Certain of the ETFs invest in senior loans. The yield on ETFs which invest in senior loans will generally decline in a falling interest rate environment and increase in a rising interest rate environment. Senior loans are generally below investment grade quality (“junk” bonds). An investment in senior loans involves the risk that the borrowers may default on their obligations to pay principal or interest when due.

Certain of the ETFs invest in mortgage-backed securities. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of mortgage-backed securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates, and may reduce the market value of the securities. In addition, mortgage-backed securities are subject to prepayment risk, the risk that borrowers may pay off their mortgages sooner than expected, particularly when interest rates decline.

An investment in a portfolio containing small-cap and mid-cap companies is subject to additional risks, as the share prices of small-cap companies and certain mid-cap companies are often more volatile than those of larger companies due to several factors, including limited trading volumes, products, financial resources, management inexperience and less publicly available information.

Certain of the ETFs invest in U.S. Treasury obligations which are subject to numerous risks including higher interest rates, economic recession and deterioration of the bond market or investors’ perceptions thereof.

Certain of the ETFs invest in covenant-lite loans which contain fewer or no maintenance covenants and may hinder the ETF’s ability to reprice credit risk and mitigate potential loss especially during a downturn in the credit cycle.

Certain of the ETFs invest in high-yield securities or “junk” bonds. Investing in high-yield securities should be viewed as speculative and you should review your ability to assume the risks associated with investments which utilize such securities. High-yield securities are subject to numerous risks, including higher interest rates, economic recession, deterioration of the junk bond market, possible downgrades and defaults of interest and/or principal. High-yield security prices tend to fluctuate more than higher rated securities and are affected by short-term credit developments to a greater degree.

Certain of the securities in the portfolio are issued by Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Companies involved in the real estate industry are subject to changes in the real estate market, vacancy rates and competition, volatile interest rates and economic recession.

It is important to note that an investment can be made in the underlying funds directly rather than through the trust. These direct investments can be made without paying the trust’s sales charge, operating expenses and organizational costs.

The value of the securities held by the trust may be subject to steep declines or increased volatility due to changes in performance or perception of the issuers.

Although this unit investment trust terminates in approximately 15 months, the strategy is long-term. Investors should consider their ability to pursue investing in successive portfolios, if available. There may be tax consequences unless units are purchased in an IRA or other qualified plan.

As the use of Internet technology has become more prevalent in the course of business, the trust has become more susceptible to potential operational risks through breaches in cyber security.

For a discussion of additional risks of investing in the trust see the "Risk Factors" section of the prospectus.

The information in the 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. The prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.
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The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial advisors are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
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