Diversified Fixed Income ETF Portfolio, Series 55
The Diversified Fixed Income ETF Portfolio is a unit investment trust which seeks to provide investors
with current monthly income and diversification across fixed income asset classes. To accomplish this,
the portfolio invests in a broad range of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which are further diversified
among U.S. and foreign fixed income securities of various maturities and credit quality.
Instead of using multiple investments, investors may be able to fulfill the fixed income allocation within
their investment plans with this single, diversified portfolio.
What is Asset Allocation?
Asset allocation is the process of developing a diversified investment portfolio by combining different
assets in varying proportions. A portfolio’s long-term performance is determined primarily by the
distribution of dollars among asset classes. The asset allocation decision is one of the most important
decisions you will make as an investor. Studies have found that an asset allocation policy is the number
one factor in determining both the return and the risk of an investment portfolio.*
What is an ETF?
ETFs offer investors the opportunity to buy and sell an entire basket of securities with a single
transaction throughout the trading day. ETFs combine the characteristics of a mutual fund with the
convenience and trading flexibility of stocks. Below is a list of other ETF features.
- Diversification | ETFs hold a basket of securities which helps to mitigate single security
risk. It is important to note that diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss.
- Transparency | ETF holdings are available daily so investors know what they own.
- Tax Efficiency | The ETF structure allows for increased tax efficiency.
- Fully Invested | Unlike a traditional mutual fund, ETFs do not need to hold cash in order to
satisfy investor redemptions which allows them to better adhere to their investment objective.
This unit investment trust seeks a high rate of current monthly income by investing in
a diversified portfolio of fixed income ETFs; however, there is no assurance the
objective will be met.
| Not FDIC Insured Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value
You should consider the portfolio's investment objectives, risks, and
charges and expenses carefully before investing. Contact your financial professional
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.
An investment in this unmanaged unit investment trust should be made with an understanding of the risks involved with owning ETFs and fixed income securities.
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 of the funds 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. The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, intends to cease making LIBOR available as a reference rate over a phase-out period that began in early
2022. However, subsequent announcements by the FCA, the LIBOR administrators, and other regulators indicate that it is possible that the most widely used LIBOR rates may continue until mid-2023. The unavailability or
replacement of LIBOR may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain portfolio investments. Any potential effects of the transition away from LIBOR can be difficult to ascertain, and they may vary depending on a variety
of factors and they could result in losses to the portfolio.
Certain of the funds 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.
All of the funds invest in investment grade securities. Investment grade securities are subject to numerous risks including higher interest rates, economic recession, deterioration of the investment grade security market or
investors’ perception thereof, possible downgrades and defaults of interest and/or principal.
Certain of the
funds included in the portfolio 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.
Certain of the funds 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 funds 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
Certain of the funds
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’
Securities of non-U.S. issuers are subject to additional risks, including currency fluctuations, political risks, withholding, the lack of adequate financial information, and exchange control restrictions impacting non-U.S. issuers.
The United Kingdom’s official departure from the European Union (commonly referred to as “Brexit”) led to volatility in global financial markets, in particular those of the United Kingdom and across Europe, and the weakening in political, regulatory, consumer, corporate and financial confidence in the United Kingdom and Europe. It is not currently possible to determine the extent of the impact that Brexit may have on the portfolio’s investments and this uncertainty could negatively impact current and future economic conditions in the United Kingdom and other countries, which could negatively impact the value of the portfolio’s investments.
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 cybersecurity.
In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine which has caused and could continue to cause significant market disruptions and volatility within the markets in Russia, Europe, and the United States. The hostilities and sanctions resulting from those hostilities could have a significant impact on certain investments as well as performance.
The COVID-19 global pandemic and the ensuing policies enacted by governments and central banks have caused and may continue to cause significant volatility and uncertainty in global financial markets. While the U.S. has resumed “reasonably” normal business activity, many countries continue to impose lockdown measures. Additionally, there is no guarantee that vaccines will be effective against emerging variants of the disease.
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 portfolio 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.
For a discussion of additional risks of investing in the trust see
the “Risk Factors” section of the prospectus.