First Trust Specialty Finance and Financial Opportunities Fund Declares its Quarterly Distribution of $0.0825 Per Share
First Trust Specialty Finance and Financial Opportunities Fund (the "Fund") (NYSE: FGB) has declared the Fund's regularly scheduled quarterly distribution of $0.0825 per share. The distribution will be payable on February 29, 2024, to shareholders of record as of February 23, 2024. The ex-dividend date is expected to be February 22, 2024. The quarterly distribution information for the Fund appears below.
A portion of the distribution may be treated as paid from sources other than net investment income, including short-term capital gain, long-term capital gain and return of capital. The final determination of the source and tax status of all distributions paid in 2024 will be made after the end of 2024 and will be provided on Form 1099-DIV.
The Fund is a diversified, closed-end management investment company that seeks to provide a high level of current income. As a secondary objective, the Fund seeks to provide attractive total return. The Fund pursues these investment objectives by investing at least 80% of its managed assets in a portfolio of securities of specialty finance and other financial companies that the Fund's investment sub-advisor believes offer attractive opportunities for income and capital appreciation.
First Trust Advisors L.P. ("FTA") is a federally registered investment advisor and serves as the Fund's investment advisor. FTA and its affiliate First Trust Portfolios L.P. ("FTP"), a FINRA registered broker-dealer, are privately-held companies that provide a variety of investment services. FTA has collective assets under management or supervision of approximately $211 billion as of January 31, 2024 through unit investment trusts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, mutual funds and separate managed accounts. FTA is the supervisor of the First Trust unit investment trusts, while FTP is the sponsor. FTP is also a distributor of mutual fund shares and exchange-traded fund creation units. FTA and FTP are based in Wheaton, Illinois.
Confluence Investment Management LLC ("Confluence"), an SEC registered investment advisor, serves as the Fund's investment sub-advisor. The Confluence team has more than 600 years of combined financial experience and 400 years of portfolio management/research experience, maintaining a track record that dates back to 1994. As of December 31, 2023, Confluence had $12.3 billion in assets under management and advisement (assets under management = $7.2 billion; assets under advisement = $5.1 billion).
Principal Risk Factors: Risks are inherent in all investing. Certain risks applicable to the Fund are identified below, which includes the risk that you could lose some or all of your investment in the Fund. The principal risks of investing in the Fund are spelled out in the Fund's annual shareholder reports. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor. The Fund also files reports, proxy statements and other information that is available for review.
Past performance is no assurance of future results. Investment return and market value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. There can be no assurance that the Fund's investment objectives will be achieved. The Fund may not be appropriate for all investors.
Market risk is the risk that a particular investment, or shares of a fund in general may fall in value. Investments held by the Fund are subject to market fluctuations caused by real or perceived adverse economic conditions, political events, regulatory factors or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of a fund could decline in value or underperform other investments as a result. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, market manipulation, government defaults, government shutdowns, regulatory actions, political changes, diplomatic developments, the imposition of sanctions and other similar measures, spread of infectious disease or other public health issues, recessions, natural disasters or other events could have significant negative impact on a fund and its investments.
Current market conditions risk is the risk that a particular investment, or shares of the fund in general, may fall in value due to current market conditions. As a means to fight inflation, the Federal Reserve and certain foreign central banks have raised interest rates and expect to continue to do so, and the Federal Reserve has announced that it intends to reverse previously implemented quantitative easing. Recent and potential future bank failures could result in disruption to the broader banking industry or markets generally and reduce confidence in financial institutions and the economy as a whole, which may also heighten market volatility and reduce liquidity. Ongoing armed conflicts between Russia and Ukraine in Europe and among Israel, Hamas and other militant groups in the Middle East, have caused and could continue to cause significant market disruptions and volatility within the markets in Russia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. The hostilities and sanctions resulting from those hostilities have and could continue to have a significant impact on certain fund investments as well as fund performance and liquidity. The COVID-19 global pandemic, or any future public health crisis, 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, negatively impacting global growth prospects.
The Fund invests in business development companies ("BDCs") which may be subject to a high degree of risks, including management's ability to meet the BDC's investment objective, and to manage the BDC's portfolio when the underlying securities are redeemed or sold, during periods of market turmoil and as investors' perceptions regarding a BDC or its underlying investments change.
Investing in real estate investment trusts ("REITs") involves certain unique risks in addition to investing in the real estate industry in general. REITs are subject to interest rate risk and the risk of default by lessees or borrowers.
The Fund may invest in a variety of other mortgage-related securities. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of mortgage-related securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates, and may reduce the market value of the securities. In addition, mortgage-related securities are subject to the risk that borrowers may pay off their mortgages sooner than expected, particularly when interest rates decline. This can reduce the Fund's returns. The Fund's investments in other asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-backed securities, as well as additional risks associated with the nature of the assets and the servicing of those assets.
Because the Fund is concentrated in the financials sector, it will be more susceptible to adverse economic or regulatory occurrences affecting this sector, such as changes in interest rates, availability and cost of capital funds, and competition.
Use of leverage can result in additional risk and cost, and can magnify the effect of any losses.
The risks of investing in the Fund are spelled out in the shareholder report and other regulatory filings.
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 professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
The Fund's daily closing New York Stock Exchange price and net asset value per share as well as other information can be found at https://www.ftportfolios.com or by calling 1-800-988-5891.