Senior Loan Select Closed-End, Series 43

As interest rates remain low, these are challenging times to invest for income. In this environment, many investors are seeking alternative sources of income, including those which have historically reacted favorably during periods of rising interest rates, such as senior loans.

Senior loans typically generate a higher level of income as short-term interest rates rise, providing a potential offset to traditional fixed-rate bond holdings which typically come under pressure in periods of rising rates. In addition, we believe senior loans currently offer a compelling value given that the default rate in the senior loan market is well below its long-term average, the U.S. is experiencing slow but positive economic growth, and there continues to be strong investor demand for the asset class.

What Are Senior Loans?

Senior loans are floating-rate secured debt extended to non-investment grade corporations which are backed by collateral, such as property, and are senior in the capital structure of a company. The capital structure is how a company finances its overall operations and growth by using different sources of funds such as long-term debt, short-term debt, common equity and preferred equity. Investors may find comfort in the fact that senior loans have a senior secured position in the capital structure, thereby having a claim not only on the cash flow of a given company, but also its assets. This added security has historically offered investors less volatility in relation to the junior parts of a given capital structure.

Why Senior Loans?

  • The interest paid on a senior loan resets every 30-90 days based on prevailing short-term interest rates. Therefore, should short-term rates move higher, investors in senior loans would receive a higher income stream due to the floating-rate nature of the interest on the loans. Unlike securities with a fixed-rate coupon, a senior loan's floating-rate feature provides a natural hedge against rising interest rates.

  • We believe that senior loans can be used as an effective means to aid portfolio diversification because of their low correlation to other fixed-income asset classes. Correlation is a statistical measure that provides a way to evaluate the potential diversification benefits of combining different assets. The historical correlation between senior loans and other asset classes, including investment-grade corporate bonds and equities, is low. Because senior loans are not highly correlated with other asset classes, they can potentially decrease portfolio volatility, enhance overall return and provide meaningful diversification to an asset allocation strategy. It is important to note that diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss.

Portfolio Objective

This unit investment trust seeks high current income by investing in a diversified portfolio of closed-end funds which invest in senior loan floating-rate securities; 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.

Risk Considerations
An investment in this unmanaged unit investment trust should be made with an understanding of the risks involved with owning closed-end funds that invest in senior loan floating-rate securities.

Closed-end funds 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 the funds 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, closed-end funds frequently trade at a discount to their net asset value in the secondary market. All of the closed-end funds employ the use of leverage, which increases the volatility of such funds.

All of the closed-end 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. All of the floating-rate securities pay interest based on LIBOR. The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, will cease making LIBOR available as a reference rate over a phase-out period that will begin immediately after December 31, 2021. 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.

The yield on closed-end funds 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 (“high-yield” securities or “junk” bonds). Investing in such 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 high-yield securities 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 closed-end funds invest in covenant-lite loans which contain fewer or no maintenance covenants and may hinder a closed-end fund’s ability to reprice credit risk and mitigate potential loss especially during a downturn in the credit cycle.

All of the closed-end funds invest in securities issued by foreign issuers. Such securities are subject to certain risks including currency and interest rate fluctuations, nationalization or other adverse political or economic developments, lack of liquidity of certain foreign markets, withholding, the lack of adequate financial information, and exchange control restrictions impacting foreign issuers.

About one year after the United Kingdom officially departed the European Union (commonly referred to as “Brexit”), the United Kingdom and the European Union reached a trade agreement that became effective on December 31, 2020. It is not currently possible to determine the extent of the impact the Brexit trade agreement may have on the portfolio’s investments and this certainly 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.

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.

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.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in major disruptions to economies and markets around the world. Financial markets have experienced extreme volatility and severe losses, negatively impacting global economic growth prospects. The duration of the COVID-19 outbreak and its effects cannot be determined with certainty and may exacerbate other political, social and economic risks.

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.

This UIT is a buy and hold strategy and investors should consider their ability to hold the trust until maturity. 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.