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First Trust Mortgage Income Fund (FMY) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for First Trust Mortgage Income Fund (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, geopolitical disruptions, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the First Trust Mortgage Income Fund, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which First Trust Mortgage Income Fund operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund
2. Improving business portfolio management of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in United States
4. Making a sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund




Strengths of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund are -

Ability to lead change in

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is one of the leading players in the industry in United States. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the industry in United States but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled First Trust Mortgage Income Fund in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Innovation driven organization

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is one of the most innovative firm in sector.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund in the sector have low bargaining power. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Successful track record of launching new products

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund in industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Learning organization

- First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is a learning organization. It has inculcated three key characters of learning organization in its processes and operations – exploration, creativity, and expansiveness. The work place at First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at First Trust Mortgage Income Fund emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.

High brand equity

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in industry

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the industry. The sustainable margins have also helped First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Training and development

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund has one of the best training and development program in industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.

Strong track record of project management in the industry

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.

Highly skilled collaborators

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.






Weaknesses of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund are -

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to provide better information regarding products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that First Trust Mortgage Income Fund needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is planning to shift buying processes online.

High bargaining power of channel partners in industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in United States, First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the industry.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

First Trust Mortgage Income Fund has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

High dependence on First Trust Mortgage Income Fund ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though First Trust Mortgage Income Fund has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of United States, First Trust Mortgage Income Fund needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is one of the leading players in the industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the industry in last five years.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is just above the industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact industry. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, First Trust Mortgage Income Fund has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the industry over the last five years. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

High dependence on existing supply chain

– The disruption in the global supply chains because of the Covid-19 pandemic and blockage of the Suez Canal illustrated the fragile nature of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left First Trust Mortgage Income Fund vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.




First Trust Mortgage Income Fund Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund are -

Leveraging digital technologies

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to conduct training and development for its employees across the world. This will result in not only reducing the cost of training but also help employees in different part of the world to integrate with the headquarter work culture, ethos, and standards.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that First Trust Mortgage Income Fund operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in sector.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.

Developing new processes and practices

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can develop new processes and procedures in industry using technology such as automation using artificial intelligence, real time transportation and products tracking, 3D modeling for concept development and new products pilot testing etc.

Manufacturing automation

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in sector. It can use CAD and 3D printing to build a quick prototype and pilot testing products. It can leverage automation using machine learning and artificial intelligence to do faster production at lowers costs, and it can leverage the growth in satellite and tracking technologies to improve inventory management, transportation, and shipping.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to expand its talent hiring zone. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 20% of the high end workforce in fields such as finance, information technology, can continously work from remote local post Covid-19. This presents a really great opportunity for First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Reconfiguring business model

– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to increase its market reach. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund will be able to reach out to new customers. Secondly 5G will also provide technology framework to build new tools and products that can help more immersive consumer experience and faster consumer journey.

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.




Threats First Trust Mortgage Income Fund External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund are -

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to industry are lowering. It can presents First Trust Mortgage Income Fund with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the sector.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the industry.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for First Trust Mortgage Income Fund in industry. The industry is already at various protected from local competition in China, with the rise of trade war the protection levels may go up. This presents a clear threat of current business model in Chinese market.

Capital market disruption

– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Environmental challenges

– First Trust Mortgage Income Fund needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the industry.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is facing in sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for First Trust Mortgage Income Fund in the sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Consumer confidence and its impact on First Trust Mortgage Income Fund demand

– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in industry and other sectors.

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.

High level of anxiety and lack of motivation

– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund needs to understand the core reasons impacting the industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Instability in the European markets

– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. First Trust Mortgage Income Fund will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at First Trust Mortgage Income Fund needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of First Trust Mortgage Income Fund to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that First Trust Mortgage Income Fund needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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